Sylvester Stallone

Cliffhanger (1993)

Great Movie Re-Watch

Cliffhanger (1993)

Director:

Renny Harlin

Writers:

Michael France

Sylvester Stallone

Starring:

Sylvester Stallone

John Lithgow

Michael Rooker

Janine Turner

Rex Linn

Caroline Goodall

Blurb:

A botched mid-air heist results in suitcases full of cash being searched for by various groups throughout the Rocky Mountains.

Thoughts:

Once again Stallone has a writing credit because of course, he does. I have no idea how much work he actually puts into scripts but if credits are any indication he’s a prolific writer.

I’ve had an incredibly busy last three weeks and I haven’t watched many movies or read any books. I’m trying to teach myself Python and that’s slowing down my entertainment consumption. I watched a couple of movies in theaters as well, but honestly, I’m not feeling like writing blog posts right now. I will continue, at least, the bare minimum for my Great Movie Re-Watch movies.

Cliffhanger is a movie. It’s a movie with mountain climbing. It is an action movie, but also has weird moments where the music doesn’t fit the typical action movie feeling. John Lithgow makes a great villain.

Those are my thoughts on Cliffhanger.

Demolition Man (1993)

The Great Movie Re-Watch

Demolition Man (1993) 

Director: 

Marco Brambilla 

Writers: 

Daniel Waters 

Robert Reneau 

Peter M. Lenkov 

Starring: 

Sylvester Stallone 

Wesley Snipes 

Sandra Bullock 

Nigel Hawthorne 

Blurb: 

A police officer is brought out of suspended animation in prison to pursue an old ultra-violent nemesis who is loose in a non-violent future society. 

Thoughts: 

Demolition Man is one of my favorite movies. I wouldn’t say top ten, but it’s one that I love to go back and watch frequently. It’s so entertaining. You’ve got action, it’s set in the future, and it’s funny. So often, the balance of comedy and action isn’t done well, like in Tango and Cash, but Demolition Man nails it.  

Wesley Snipes is perfectly cast. He nails the manic energy of Simon Phoenix. It was surprising to find out he turned down the role multiple times until the director and a producer visited him on the set of another movie. Stallone also initially turned done the role before he accepted. He wanted Jackie Chan to play Phoenix, but Chan knew better. He’s not a villain.  

We’ve got eleven years yet to reach this “utopian” paradise with no murder where Taco Bell won the franchise wars. I can agree that no murder would be incredible, but I’m not sure if I’m willing to live with everything else. The loss of exchanging bodily fluids would be a big no for me.  

I love how consistent the movie is. Whenever they’re in a building or near tech, they get fined credits anytime one of the characters curses. There is also unique music that plays when Phoenix is on screen. It’s all just so fun.  

Sandra Bullock was another excellent casting choice. She does seem a bit young for Stallone. I’m also side-eyeing him and how quick he is to jump into a relationship with her. His first question when he wakes up is about his wife. The memory that sticks with him the most is her hammering on the block of ice he was jailed in. Yet, a couple of days later, he’s fine to get down with Bullock. My least favorite trope in action movies.  

Last year Stallone said a sequel was in the works. I have no idea what could be done, and I’m hesitant to see what they would do. I find it difficult to believe that they could capture what makes Demolition Man so fun. If it happens, I guess we’ll see. 

Tango & Cash (1989)

The Great Movie Re-Watch

Tango & Cash (1989)

Directors:

Andrey Konchalovskiy

Albert Magnoli

Writers:

Randy Feldman

Jeffrey Boam

Starring:

Sylvester Stallone

Kurt Russell

Terri Hatcher

Jack Palance

Blurb:

Framed by their ruthless arch-nemesis, a mismatched LAPD crime-fighting duo has to put its differences aside to even the score with the evil kingpin who put them behind bars once and for all.

Thoughts:

The title and idea of Tango & Cash are awesome. You’ve got Sylvester Stallone and Kurt Russell as, basically, buddy cops. They’re taking down criminals in their own way until they’re framed by a weird old white dude that has a thing for mice. It’s a great premise, and the first half of the movie is fine. Sadly, the last half doesn’t make sense, and it’s clear that someone else directed it.

Honestly, reading up on the film, it’s a miracle it got made. They went twenty million over budget, and Stallone fired the director and the original director of photography. Supposedly he was also the producer, director, writer, and star all at one time. He wasn’t given credit for it, and the Wikipedia isn’t one I’d trust completely, so take that with a bag of salt. It’s possible he felt inferior because Russell is so clearly the better actor.

I’d say this is around the time Stallone’s career started to take a downturn. He still did some good movies, but they were more hit or miss. He’s a better actor than Schwarzenegger, but he’s got a type he can play, and he should stick with it. Stallone is definitely not a comedian. He should have learned that in Cobra, but he didn’t. His jokes did not land in Tango & Cash, and it made his character seem off. Stallone has the superior butt, but Russell has better comedic timing.

Apparently, Stallone is trying to make a sequel, but I don’t see Russell doing it. I didn’t read anything about them having issues, but I find it hard to believe that Stallone was a joy to work with.

Only one more movie left in the 80s!

Rambo III (1988)

The Great Movie Re-Watch

Rambo III (1988)

Director:

Peter MacDonald

Writers:

Sylvester Stallone

Sheldon Lettich

Starring:

Sylvester Stallone

Richard Crenna

Blurb:

Rambo mounts a one-man mission to rescue his friend Colonel Trautman from the clutches of the formidable invading Soviet forces in Afghanistan.

Thoughts:

Technically, Rambo III was playing while I was endlessly scrolling on my phone. I looked up occasionally. I read the Wikipedia entry. That’s about it, though. I vaguely remember Rambo looking world-weary as he killed a lot of Russians and saved a lot of Afghans. There were explosions, probably racism, and according to Wikipedia, we’re still in peak Stallone diva time.

What else can you say? At this point, the series has completely left behind what made the first movie good. I like explosions and action, but I can’t view Rambo as a self-insert, so he does nothing for me. He’s eye-roll-worthy and occasionally sympathetic. I think the behind-the-scenes stuff I’ve read has lowered my opinion of Stallone, so I can’t enjoy them even at the low level I used to.

Oh well. Little Mermaid is next.

Cobra (1986)

The Great Movie Re-Watch

Cobra (1986)

Director:

George P. Cosmatos

Writers:

Sylvester Stallone

Starring:

Sylvester Stallone

Brigitte Neilsen

Reni Santoni

Brian Thompson

Blurb:

A tough-on-crime street cop must protect the only surviving witness to a strange murderous cult with far-reaching plans.

Thoughts:

Cobra has a lot of tropes that have become overused, or it has stuff borrowed from much better works. Stallone’s character, Marion Cobretti, seems influenced by Dirty Harry and a character played by Steve McQueen in The Reivers. He’s also named after John Wayne. It’s too much for me.

It’s all a bit heavy-handed, and there are a couple of my least favorite tropes in action movies. Stallone gets the girl after being a dick to her. They have sex while she’s being chased by a violent cult of murderers that like to bang axes together. There’s a genuinely awful montage about halfway through the movie. It is painful to watch and doesn’t fit in with the film. There are several attempts by Stallone to be funny, some running gag about eating healthy, but it comes off as weird and awkward.

The original director’s cut was two hours long, but they cut stuff so that they could get more showings in theaters. Stallone was apparently in charge of or had a say in what was cut, so they cut many scenes with other characters. Which explains at the end of the movie where his partner is shot and then disappears until Stallone is putting him in an ambulance.

Reading the Wikipedia entry for this movie is peak diva Stallone. The man sounded like he was unbearable while filming this. Not just making the movie all about him to the detriment of the plot, but he wanted the author who wrote the book this was loosely based on to re-release the book and list him as coauthor—the absolute ego on this man.

The best part about Cobra was the tagline, “Crime is a disease. Meet the cure.” Everything else was too over the top, cliché, and honestly too dark, in my opinion. It might as well have been set in a post-apocalyptic world with how L.A. was depicted. Not a fan.