Sept. 17, 2010 | 11:35 a.m.
There’s something deliciously ironic about the idea of Arnold Schwarzenegger as the protector of pop culture against the blood-thirsty commandos, barbarians, killer robots and all the other heavily armed hordes in video games. This is, after all, the man who starred films that reeked of cordite and left behind a mountain of spent shell casings. The fight really isn’t between the action-hero-turned politician and the video game industry — it just looks that way, thanks to the semantics of legal documents that refer to an ongoing California conflict, Schwarzenegger vs. EMA. Times staff writer Alex Pham recently summed up the points of the case nicely. In a nutshell, the fight centers over a 2005 state law banning the sale or rental of violent video games to minors. That law was ruled unconstitutional by a lower federal circuit court, but the decision was appealed […]
Sept. 09, 2010 | 8:19 a.m.
Sylvester Stallone and Arnold Schwarzenegger share the screen in “The Expendables,” and they are forever linked in the public mind by their 1980s-era rivalry as box-office action stars. But their history, according to Stallone, goes back to a glittery night in January 1977 when the two Hollywood newcomers shared a table at the 34th Golden Globes, and each walked away with a trophy. Other winners that night included Barbra Streisand, Laurence Olivier and Robert Redford. Here’s how Stallone remembers that first meeting of future Hollywood titans: “We were the outsiders, believe me. People were looking at us. I think that was the very first time we met, if I remember right. We were seated at the same table, and I remember thinking, ‘Who is this guy?’ I had heard of him, but I didn’t know what he was all about. I’m there for ‘Rocky,’ and he […]
Aug. 04, 2010 | 8:38 p.m.
Los Angeles Times film reporter Amy Kaufman, embedded among some of action’s elite stars, brings us this report from the Hollywood “black carpet” premiere of “The Expendables.” There were tough guys aplenty at Tuesday’s Hollywood premiere of “The Expendables,” where renowned action stars and bulky athletes gathered to promote Sylvester Stallone’s testosterone-fueled new film. But on the black carpet, the film’s cast of macho men got downright mushy as they extolled the virtues of their director and costar. Many of the actors said they were so eager to work with Stallone that they barely knew anything about the movie before signing onto the project. “I didn’t even read the script. I said yeah, I’ll be there. Thank God it was a good script,” said Eric Roberts, who recently wrapped filming VH1′s “Celebrity Rehab,” on which he battled a medical marijuana […]
July 30, 2010 | 4:46 p.m.
Arnold Schwarzenegger had plenty to tell us about old friends and new projects for our in-depth feature on Sly Stallone and “The Expendables,” but there was one quote that didn’t make it in; turns out the governor has a great gut feeling about the 63-year-old Stallone. “It is a great inspiration for people to see someone at his age still at the top of his game — acting, writing, directing, doing his own stunts and fight scenes — I mean, what an amazing talent. And for him to still be so athletic and be able to rip off his shirt and have a six-pack is just unbelievable.” – Geoff Boucher RECENT AND RELATED: Stallone: Velcro muscles made old-school stars expendable 24 FRAMES: Guess which movie Stallone says is his worst? Schwarzenegger reloads with “Expendables” ZEITCHIK: Hollywood ponders Arnold’s future McG: “We’re bringing credibility back” to […]
July 18, 2010 | 3:54 p.m.
This is a longer version of my cover story in the Sunday Calendar section of the Los Angeles Times. The lights were down low in Sylvester Stallone’s Beverly Hills office on a recent afternoon, so it was impossible to see the 64-year-old movie star’s eyes behind his plum-tinted sunglasses. His snug Italian suit emphasized his still-muscular frame as he sat ramrod straight. His face doesn’t move much. So he seemed like a statue, until he started recounting the moment when he knew he was becoming expendable. “It was that first Batman movie,” he said, referring to the 1989 film starring Michael Keaton, an actor never known for biceps. “The action movies changed radically when it became possible to Velcro your muscles on. It was the beginning of a new era. The visual took over. The special effects became more important than […]
April 19, 2010 | 12:50 a.m.
Times film reporter and 24 Frames blogger Steven Zeitchik asks the question we have been asking ourselves ever since the trailer for “The Expendables” hit theaters: Will he really be back? In the recently released trailer for “The Expendables,” the action movie directed by Sylvester Stallone about a group of aging mercenaries on a rebel mission in South America, big-screen graybeards such Stallone, Bruce Willis, Dolph Lundgren and Mickey Rourke (along with the more youthful Jason Statham and Randy Couture) are plotting a coup when an unexpected face suddenly materializes. Arnold Schwarzenegger, apparently taking a break from the budgetary troubles that have dogged him during his governorship, appears on screen with Willis and Stallone, utters a crisply satirical line (“Give this job to my friend here — he loves playing in the jungle,” he says about the “Rambo” star) and, as quickly […]
July 02, 2009 | 3:27 p.m.
The great Karl Malden died Wednesday at age 97 in Brentwood and leaves behind a filmography dotted with classics such as “A Streetcar Named Desire” (for which he won an Oscar), “On the Waterfront,” “Patton,” “Birdman of Alcatraz,” “One-Eyed Jacks” and “The Cincinnati Kid.” He, uh, also was in “Meteor.” A disaster film in every way, “Meteor” brought together the talent of Sean Connery, Natalie Wood, Henry Fonda, Martin Landau, Malden and many others (too many in fact) to create a piece of inert space junk. Think “Deep Impact“ but even more shallow; imagine ”Armageddon” without the special effects or the slow-motion astronaut strut. This year marks the 30th anniversary of the film and, well, nobody cares. We now bring you the trailer for purely scientific reasons. Malden is one of my favorite character actors. I loved “The Streets of San Francisco” too, with the killer theme song and the […]
May 05, 2009 | 11:42 p.m.
I dropped by the Sunset Boulevard office of director McG yesterday to chat about “Terminator Salvation.” I asked him about the late addition of a digitial-image cameo by Arnold Schwarzenegger in the movie but he just grinned. “I can’t give away all of the surprises.” He told me he was headed to the Lakers’ playoff game against Houston with the California governor in a few hours (that didn’t end so well for the home team) a tidbit that left me wondering if the politician is already sizing up his post-Sacramento prospects in Hollywood, although it’s not entirely clear that’s his next career aspiration. Whether the old star is back on board for good, I see big things ahead for “Terminator.” You can read about my visit to the set in this extended version of a story that appeared in last Sunday’s Summer Sneaks issue of the Los Angeles […]
Jan. 03, 2009 | 12:14 a.m.
The Library of Congress has added 25 more films to the National Film Registry, bringing the 20-year-old preservation list up to 500 films. Instead of being picked solely on the basis of lofty cinematic virtue, the movies on this list have been placed in the archive for their time-capsule value, which is why the sometimes jarring list can start with "Abbott & Costello Meet Frankenstein" and finish with the Zapruder footage of the JFK assassination on that infamous November day in Dallas. This year’s 25 new entries include some classics — "The Pawnbroker," "Sergeant York," "The Invisible Man" and, one of my personal favorites, "A Face in the Crowd," Elia Kazan’s startling media fable from 1957. But the movie that is getting the most press coverage (including a tongue-in-cheek editorial published prominently in today’s Los Angeles Times) is director James […]
Oct. 06, 2008 | 1:30 p.m.
(Note: There’s also a tidbit here about the "Green Lantern" film project, check after the jump.) The creature creators at Stan Winston Studio specialize in Hollywood miracles — they brought dinosaurs to life for "Jurassic Park" and turned metal men into movie history with "Iron Man" and "The Terminator" — but their next trick will be their toughest. The illustrious special-effects shop will try to hold on to its history even as it sheds its late founder’s name and abandons his storied workshop. Stan Winston, (at right) a four-time Oscar winner, died in June in Malibu at age 62 after a seven-year battle with multiple myeloma, a cancer of the plasma cells in bone marrow. He was universally eulogized as one of the true wizards of Hollywood. "The entertainment industry has lost a genius," Gov. Arnold Schwarzenegger said at the […]