Jan. 31, 2013 | 6:41 p.m.
In the shoot’em-up action thriller “Bullet to the Head,” which reaches theaters Friday, Sylvester Stallone portrays Jimmy “Bobo” Bonomo, a New Orleans hit man with a perma-scowl, Technicolor sleeve tattoos and an unshakable live-and-let-die moral code. When his murder-for-hire wingman is whacked after a job – part of a setup by the guys who hired them – Bobo enters into a reluctant partnership of convenience with by-the-book police Det. Taylor Kwon (Sung Kang of “Fast Five” and “Live Free or Die Hard” fame) to button-hole the responsible parties – and exact no small amount of gritty street justice in the process. The odd couple’s odyssey across the Crescent City underworld comes locked and loaded with explosive set pieces: a bloody parking garage shoot-out, a honky-tonk knife fight, an exploding bayou ambush and a climactic ax fight scene between Stallone and a […]
July 09, 2012 | 12:39 p.m.
Sly Stallone and Arnold Schwarzenegger. And Terry Crews and Randy Couture. And Dolph Lundgren. And Jean-Claude Van Damme. You can almost smell the cordite, can’t you? That’s the announced panel for “The Expendables 2″; it will convene late Thursday afternoon at Comic-Con International. The panelists will be sitting on the dais in Hall H but, really, shouldn’t this collective gather in a Texas steel cage? Or a bunker with a bare-bones weight room and an oak and brass cigar bar? At right is the first look at the collectors poster that Lionsgate will be handing out (while supplies last) at the San Diego pop culture expo. The original is an oil on canvas piece, which was used to create the poster as well as 250 limited-edition prints on specialty canvas paper, to be distributed at Comic Con and signed by the cast. […]
May 28, 2011 | 10:08 a.m.
A barbarian has needs — a sword, a shield and roughly 56 chicken breasts a week. That’s what Jason Momoa ate while filming “Conan the Barbarian,” this summer’s big-screen reboot of the series that launched Arnold Schwarzenegger’s action movie career in 1982. Over a few months in 2010, Momoa, a 6-foot-4-inch Hawaiian actor and model, added about 30 pounds of muscle to his 205-pound frame to play two high-profile, bare-chested plunderers — Conan and Khal Drogo, the 7-foot-tall warrior-king marauding on HBO’s “Game of Thrones.” Momoa isn’t the only actor whose T-shirts have gotten a lot tighter recently: Dwayne Johnson packed 30 pounds onto his already brawny 6-foot-4-inch frame to grapple as a lawman opposite meaty Vin Diesel in “Fast Five.” Chris Hemsworth gained so much bulk to wield “Thor’s” giant, magic hammer convincingly that his costume didn’t fit. And […]
Jan. 28, 2011 | 4:54 p.m.
Bill Chartoff and David Winkler were knee-high to a grasshopper when their fathers began striking Hollywood gold, producing films as “Raging Bull” and “Rocky.” Though Robert Chartoff’s clan lived in New York and Irwin Winkler’s lived in California, the two families were close — often spending Jewish holidays together, and even vacationing in Africa. Eventually, the sons –- who are about a year apart in age — followed their fathers into Hollywood filmmaking careers of their own, producing and directing movies. Though they’ve pursued solo projects, they are also bound by their fathers’ legacies. In 2006, the second generation teamed up as producers on “Rocky Balboa,” essentially the sixth movie in their fathers’ Sylvester Stallone boxing franchise. But it’s perhaps more fitting that the two men have now teamed up to produce a remake of their fathers’ film “The Mechanic”: […]
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. 11, 2010 | 1:53 p.m.
Sly Stallone’s “The Expendables” opens this week and one of the stars is Terry Crews, the former NFL player who has putting together one of the most unlikely careers in Hollywood. This is a longer version of my recent cover story on him for the Los Angeles Times Calendar section. Former NFL defensive end Terry Crews has made 30 movies in the last decade and he has his own television series now with “Are We There Yet?” on TBS, but as he was munching on a steak salad at a Pasadena diner on a recent afternoon, he explained that fame is a fickle thing. “The people that recognize me, the ones that stop me on the sidewalk, it’s because of that Old Spice commercial. I didn’t know the meaning of viral before those commercials came out. I can’t get away […]
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 23, 2010 | 2:33 p.m.
Over the years, Comic-Con’s movie-centric Hall H has offered some pretty great surprises. Robert Downey Jr. has been involved with a few of them. Hugh Jackman, who unexpectedly turned up at a “Wolverine” panel back in 2008 and sent the crowd into a tizzy, helped make for a classic moment. But lately the Comic-Con surprise has felt about as fresh as your Uncle Murray’s surprise birthday party. The problem? So many of these types of moments have been orchestrated over the years that they’ve ceased to be, well, surprising. Fans now actually expect the unexpected, so if there’s even the slightest hint that something unscheduled may be coming, the eager crowd is primed for something big. Which means that if it doesn’t happen, they’re inevitably disappointed. That disappointment was on display at the San Diego Convention Center on Thursday, as Web buzz […]
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 […]