Jack Carter / John Wick by John Beatty!

How cool is this Jack Carter / John Wick piece that my buddy, John Beatty drew for me?

John has created several Stallone pieces for me over the years, but this one is perhaps the most creative.  Using the Jack of Spades… with each J standing for Jack (Carter) and John (Wick)… the spades suit symbolizing death… the Carter and Wick figures mirror images of the other.  The drawing can work from any position – Carter or Wick on top or viewed from the horizontal angle that I’ve used (and prefer).  I also have to give John Beatty props for the research he did to make sure both Carter and Wick have their preferred guns.

You can see a bigger version of the art by clicking on the image above.  You can also find John at his Twitter, his website or even his Facebook page.

Stallone & Schwarzenegger in “Modern Times” DeepFake Classic!

This is one of the best (and most inspired) DeepFake videos yet.  Hats off to Brian Monarch.

Thanks to StalloneZoner, Steve Reeves for the heads-up!

For more deepfake videos, please follow on insta at BrianMonarch 🙂

They did make a movie before The Expendables and Escape Plan! Haha… Check out Arnold and Sly in this classic scene from Charlie Chaplin’s Modern Times!

This work is in the public domain in the United States because it was published in the United States between 1925 and 1977, inclusive, without a copyright notice.

Fig Leaf Rag – distressed by Kevin MacLeod is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 license. https://creativecommons.org/licenses/…

Source: http://incompetech.com/music/royalty-…

Artist: http://incompetech.com/

Comparing the Rankings of All 8 “Rocky” Movies by /Film & Rotten Tomatoes & Zablo

Yesterday we compared Evan Saathoff’s (of /Film) rankings all of the Rocky/Creed movies to mine.  By coincidence, Rotten Tomatoes just posted their readers rankings of the Rocky/Creed movies.  I thought it’d be interesting to see how those matched up to Saathoff’s and mine.  So, let’s take a look.

Saathoff

Zablo

Rotten Tomatoes

8. Rocky IV

8. Rocky V

8. Rocky V

7. Rocky V

7. Rocky IV

7. Rocky IV

6. Creed II

6. Rocky II 

6. Rocky III

5. Rocky II

5. Creed II

5. Rocky II

4. Rocky III 

4. Creed

4. Rocky Balboa

3. Rocky Balboa

3. Rocky Balboa 

3. Creed II

2. Creed

2. Rocky III 

2. Rocky

1. Rocky

1. Rocky 

1. Creed

Movie Rankings in Agreement:
#8 for Rocky V by Zablo & Rotten Tomatoes
#7 for Rocky IV by Zablo & Rotten Tomatoes
#5 for Rocky II by Saathoff and Rotten Tomatoes
#3 for Rocky Balboa by Saathoff and Zablo
#1 for Rocky by Saathoff and Zablo

There was no movie that had complete consensus. This surprises me, since I thought that Rocky would come in at #1 on all three rankings.

Ranking & Thoughts on All 8 “Rocky” Movies!

Evan Saathoff at /Film ranked all of the Rocky/Creed movies in his post Butkus to Punchy: Ranking All 8 ‘Rocky’ Movies from Worst to Best.  Here is a comparison of his order with my rankings and thoughts about each.

Saathoff

Zablo

8. Rocky IV: “…is silly fun, a skeleton of a film held together through a series of montages. Candy is cool, but you shouldn’t make a meal of it.”

8. Rocky V: I totally agree that binging Rocky back to the street level was a good idea.  Fans hated Rocky has to lose everything to get him there, so it was a tough needle to thread.  I also think that Sly’s Rocky mannerisms go to over the top in spots. 

7. Rocky V: “…Bringing Rocky back to the street level is a good decision, though much of the film feels like a superfluous dry run for both Rocky Balboa and Creed (if you love those films, Rocky V is kind of a necessary beast).”

7. Rocky IV:  is very much a product of the 80s with the music and montages.  I’ve grown to appreciate Rocky IV even more because it sets up the return of Drago in Creed II and we get to see the results of Rocky’s win in IV from Drago’s perspective. 

6. Creed II:  …the film runs through a mild remake of Rocky II and leads to a good training montage.”

6. Rocky II Rocky II is a worthy follow-up to Rocky.  Sly in the director’s chair!

5. Rocky II: “…Rocky II is special for other reasons. It’s the last bit of “human” Rocky Balboa we’ll see for a while. 

5. Creed IISome fans were upset that an altercation between Rocky and Drago that was filmed didn’t make the final cut of the movie.  I may be in the minority, but I don’t think the scene was needed.

4. Rocky III: “…He’s transformed from a street-level thug to full-on Stallone megastardom. He’s still Rocky, but you have to use your imagination.
That would be fatal if not for Mr. T’s incredible Clubber Lang, the most underrated character in the series.”

4. Creed:  Saathoff’s summary of Creed is perfectly stated.  I couldn’t agree more.

3. Rocky Balboa: “…In 2006, the idea of making an old man Rocky movie was a joke. Yet here comes Stallone, visibly aged and hurting from a long string of flops, delivering the second best film to wear the Rocky title.”

3. Rocky Balboa  Never under-estimate or doubt Sly Sallone.  Despite all odds, Sly brought back Rocky and showed that there was more to his story!

2. Creed: “…the greatest thing happened: a creative handoff to a young and hungry talent capable of seeing the character through new eyes. Ryan Coogler managed the impossible with 2015’s Creed, which simultaneously started a new franchise while offering a deeply respectful seventh entry to Stallone’s. Creed is very much a sequel to Rocky Balboa and yet yields Balboa to a main character who seems his opposite: cocky, smart and brash.”

2. Rocky III   Rocky is transformed from a street-level, journeyman fighter into a world champion celebrity and I loved it!

1. Rocky: “…No number of decades or sequels can dull the feeling of triumph Rocky delivers in its final moments. It’s one of those rare films that make you cry because you’re happy rather than upset.

1. Rocky  I’m simply going to go with Saathoff’s quote:  “No number of decades or sequels can dull the feeling of triumph Rocky delivers.”

Michael Mann’s “Collateral” Trivia!

Rob Hunter at Film School Rejects posted 31 Things We Learned from Michael Mann’s ‘Collateral‘ Commentary.  Before you click over, here are three of my favorites…

One of the big reasons why he chose to make Collateral was the way Stuart Beattie’s script captures an entire story in a very short period of time. The whole movie is “like the third act of a traditional drama.” He likes how it doesn’t go backward to offer more detail into these characters’ lives, and instead we’re just catching them at this moment. (I like movies that movie in real time or that all the action takes place during a short, specific time frame.  Movies with those parameters seems to really move and probably because of necessity to get the story told. – Craig)

Vincent is being intentionally rude upon first entering Max’s cab, but it’s not because he’s a jerk — he’s testing Max to see if he’s a man with an aggressive streak. Had he been, Vincent would have quickly changed cabs. (And we just thought Vincent was rude.  It’s these little touches that make viewing a movie repeatedly fun. – Craig)

He and Cruise worked out where exactly Vincent came from, and while nearly none of it is mentioned in the film their collaborative backstory is pretty detailed. “If he was in a foster home for part of his childhood, and he was back in public school at age 11, that would have been sometime in the 70s. He would have been dressed very awkwardly. He would’ve probably been ostracized ’cause he’d have looked odd. We postulated an alcoholic, abusive father who was culturally very progressive, he was probably part of Ed Sadlowski’s Steelworkers Local, he was a Vietnam veteran, he had friends who were African-American on the South side of Chicago. The Checkerboard Lounge is thirty minutes away on the Calumet Skyway. The father was probably an aficionado of jazz. There was a great jazz scene on the South side of Chicago, but it’s almost as if the father blamed the son for what happened to the mother. The father never tutored the boy in jazz…” And so on. (Look at the attention to detail!  Funny thing is there are other actors who’d be like, let’s do the scene, I don’t need the background stuff.  – Craig)

“Wiseguy” Trivia!

If you’ve never seen the series Wiseguy, it’s worth searching out (at least for the first few story arcs).  Ken Wahl played an undercover cop, Jonathon Banks was Wahl’s supervisor and Jim Byrnes was his handler.  The series was one of the first to have story arcs going over several episodes with guest stars playing the criminals.  Wiseguy was one of the best shows on television at the time.

I bring this up because the fine folks at Me-TV present 10 Undercover Facts about Wiseguy.  Before you click over, here are three of my favorite of the facts and my thoughts on each…

Wahl suffered some serious injuries.  (Sadly, Wahl’s acting career was cut short due to injuries.  Wahl missed part of season two due to an injury to his Achilles tendon.  In 1992, he fell down steps and broke his neck!  After filming a 1996 Wiseguy reunion movie, Wahl retired due to constant pain. – Craig)

You can’t see every episode in reruns due to music (licensing). (There are several episodes where music played such an integral part of scenes that to lose the music lessen their impact.  The biggest casualty was the conclusion of the Sonny Steelgrave arc which used Nights in White Satin by the Moody Blues. – Craig)

Wahl left the series early. (Wahl left after the third season and the series just wasn’t the same.  But we will always have those early story arcs.  Check them out! – Craig)

“Psycho” – Amazing Poster by Ignacio RC!

Isn’t this Psycho poster by Ignacio RC one of the most creative and beautiful posters you’ve seen lately?  I love it.  Here’s what Ignacio had to say about his inspiration for the piece…

I always loved Atari box art (Cliff Spohn, Steve Hendricks…) and particularly Steve Hendricks art for ‘Haunted House’ Atari 2600 game, so wanted to play with the same concept for ‘Psycho’, just for fun and practice.

Ignacio RC is an illustrator from A Coruña in Spain.  If you’d like to see more of Ignacio RC’s art, you can check out his gallery.

Source: Poster Spy.

Check Out the Amazing Animated Short “Dernier Round” (“Last Round”)

Check out this amazing animated short, Dernier Round (Last Round) created by a talented group of student filmmakers from France.  Dernier Round felt like the set-up for a wonderful full-length movie that I’d love to see!

“In a Parisian suburb, a promising young boxer must find a way to finance the future of his little sister, a piano prodigy.”

Source: FirstShowing.net.

“The Heathens” by Ace Atkins is Coming!

It’s been announced that Ace Atkins will have a new Quinn Colson novel coming out on July 13, 2021.  The Heathens will be the 11th novel in the best selling series and I can’t wait.  Here’s the synopsis…

Sheriff Quinn Colson and his former deputy Lillie Virgil find themselves on opposite sides of a case for the first time after a man is found dead and three delinquent teens go on the run.

The Byrd clan is one of the wildest families in Tibbehah County. The three kids are the ire of school resource and truant officers–they peddle pot and steal car parts, doing what they can to survive with a mother who sometimes disappears for months on end. But when their mother returns with a new husband, a registered sex offender, a homicide soon follows, and the kids hit the highway.

U.S. Marshal Lillie Virgil is convinced the Byrd kids are guilty of murder, and sets off on a cross-country hunt to track them down and bring them to justice. Back in Tibbehah, Sheriff Quinn Colson isn’t so sure. And as he digs deeper into the case, he comes to think there may be a larger conspiracy at work.

If you’ve missed out (or are interested in getting started) here our the Quinn Colson novels in order of publication.

  1. The Ranger
  2. The Lost Ones
  3. The Broken Places
  4. The Forsaken
  5. The Redeemers
  6. The Innocents
  7. The Fallen
  8. The Sinners
  9. The Shameless
  10. The Revelators

“Coyote” Starring Michael Chiklis – The Poster and Trailer are Here!

Here’s the poster and trailer for the new CBS limited series Coyote starring Michael Chiklis.  I cannot wait for this one!

Coyote is the story of Ben Clemens (Michael Chiklis), who after 32 years as a border patrol agent, is forced to work for the very people he spent his career trying to keep out of America. Now exposed to life on the other side of the wall, Ben will start to question his black and white views of the world, challenging his ideology and his loyalties.