Sly Stallone – Expendables week

I really loved the idea behind The Expendables – gather together the action stars of the 80s & 90s and craft a movie around them. You couldn’t do it in the 90s because the salaries for Arnold, Sly, and Bruce were astronomical. Sylvester Stallone revived his Rocky franchise and his Rambo franchise in recent years and created a brand new franchise with The Expendables. They are already planning a third Expendables with Nicholas Cage.

Sylvester Stallone has a fair number of films on instant Netflix. In addition to The Expendables we have:

Rocky (1976) – Rated PG

“When world heavyweight boxing champ Apollo Creed (Carl Weathers) wants to give an unknown fighter a shot at the title as a publicity stunt, his handlers pick palooka Rocky Balboa (Sylvester Stallone), an uneducated collector for a Philadelphia loan shark. Gritty, grim and epic, this crowd-pleasing film won the 1976 Best Picture Oscar thanks to John G. Avildsen’s solid direction and Stallone’s root-for-the-underdog script.”

If you enjoy this, make a day of it and catch Rocky II, Rocky III (Mr. T and Hulk Hogan), Rocky IV (Dolph Lundgren), and Rocky V. Only Rocky Balboa (2006) is unavailable. Obviously the first one is the best one and the quality does go downhill but the first four are fun if you like boxing.

Paradise Alley (1978) – Rated PG

“Three down-and-out brothers struggle to find a way out of New York’s seedy Hell’s Kitchen just after World War II. Cosmo (Sylvester Stallone) is a hustler who tries to “manage” his younger, bigger brother Victor (Lee Canalito) as a ham-and-egg fighter in the ring. Armand Assante, Anne Archer, Kevin Conway, Tom Waits and Frank McRae co-star. Stallone makes his directorial debut and even sings the theme song.”

Demolition Man (1993) – Rated R

“In the violent 1990s, a cop (Sylvester Stallone) catches a relentless killer (Wesley Snipes), and both end up in a cryogenic deep freeze. In the peaceful year 2032, the criminal emerges from his long chill and attacks the now crimeless California. Unable to stop the bloodshed, a “Big Brother” boss (Nigel Hawthorne) defrosts the murderer’s past nemesis, who struggles to adapt to the ways of a new world and a restless new partner (Sandra Bullock).”

Demolition Man is an absolute hoot. Wesley Snipes is delightfully over the top here (and Stallone should put him in Expendables 3). Sandra Bullock has a juicy early role as our leading lady. There are early roles for Rob Schneider, Jack Black, and Dennis Leary. Even Jesse ‘The Body’ Ventura shows up.

The dystopian future shown here is hilarious. Stallone makes a little fun of Schwarzenegger here just as Arnold did in Last Action Hero (same year).

Cop Land (1997) – Rated R

“Following a controversial shooting involving a police officer, a small-town sheriff teams up with a New York City internal affairs investigator and uncovers a possible connection to the mob”

This was one of Stallone’s jabs at drama and it works pretty well. Just don’t watch it expecting an action movie.

Eye See You (aka D-Tox 2002) – Rated R

“Traumatized after witnessing a brutal crime while on the job, FBI agent Jake Malloy (Sylvester Stallone) checks into a rehab clinic for law enforcement officers in the remote wilderness of Wyoming, run by an ex-cop named Doc (Kris Kristofferson). When he realizes that a serial killer is loose in the facility and his fellow patients are being murdered, Jake must set aside his fears and track down the killer before he becomes the next victim.”

The movie with not one but two really bad titles. Eye See You is okay but definitely a lesser offering.