December 1, 2006, - 8:30 am
By Debbie Schlussel
Last night, I met “Rocky Balboa” star Sylvester Stallone at the Detroit premiere of the movie (my initial, first-glimpse review here). It was a benefit for legendary Detroit boxing gym, Kronk Gym. Tommy “The Hitman” Hearns (a former neighbor of mine, more on that later) was also there, as was Kronk chief and well-known boxing trainer Emanuel Steward.
Seeing the movie again with a crowd of Rocky and boxing fans, I liked it even more. It got a standing ovation and lots of cheers–a big contrast to Wednesday when I saw it with snobby critics and media types, who panned it. It is not a “great!” movie, but it’s not bad, and I liked it.
It’s uplifting, and it’s a classic Rocky deal. It’s also something you can take your whole family to–rare these days. It’s the kind of movie I keep complaining that Hollywood doesn’t give us enough of–politics-free/agenda-free, no sex/violence/obscenity, and a positive story.
I asked Stallone about his upcoming “Rambo” flick, “Rambo IV: In the Serpent’s Eye.” Yes, there is a sequel in the works for Rambo, too. In the movie, he rescues Christian missionaries who’ve been kidnapped. I asked him whether or not the kidnappers are Muslims, and he said, no, that they are Burmese thugs of some sort. Too bad. We know who kidnaps Christian missionaries, these days, and it’s generally Muslim terrorists, like Abu Sayyaf.
Rambo II was ahead of its time, since he portrayed the guys we were fighting with (against the Soviets) in Afghanistan (now, the Taliban) as the bad guys. And decades later, he was right (though not right about our own military operatives there, which he also portrayed as the bad guys).
The one thing I may ask in a future interview–but didn’t get a chance last night (it was crazy there)–is why we have to see Rocky crying and Paulie doing water color painting (two girlie-man behaviors in the same scene!).
I gotta say, Stallone is just not very photogenic. This picture doesn’t show it, but he looked very hot–way better than in the movie (sucks that I got cut off in the pic). A very handsome guy (and with the salt-and-pepper, his hair looked more natural than the Grecian formula look in the flick). Never thought I’d say that about a 60-year-old.
But the man is in great shape and looks like he’s in his late 40s. He put his arm around me for a quick pic and the man is cut rock-solid. Most 30-year-olds are not in this kind of shape. Very hot.
Can’t help it. I’m a fan.
He does have this weird thing going on with his eyebrows (which is even more pronounced in the movie) that looks kind of transvestite-ish. As for the rumors that he’s short, those are false. Unless he’s wearing lifts or elevator shoes (and I couldn’t see his feet–it was crazy and crowded at the event), I’d say he’s between 5’10” and 6′, so taller than the average American male. I’m about 5’1″/5’2″ and was wearing my normal four-inch heels. He was still quite a bit taller as you can see in the pic.
As for “The Hitman” (Hearns), when I was in junior high or high school, one Thanksgiving on the local news, they did a story on how Hearns bought his mother a house for Thanksgiving. It was in our average, middle class suburban Detroit subdivision, and he and his whole family (all his siblings) moved in.
We saw every bizarre expensive car and limo in every pastel color imaginable in front of that house–even a lavender Excalibur. I went to high school with one of the Hitman’s brothers, who was later convicted of murdering his girlfriend. Eventually, the payments stopped being made on the house, and the bank foreclosed. My friend, Mickey and his family now own and live in the Hearns house.
Tags: Abu Sayyaf, Afghanistan, bank, bizarre expensive car, boxing, Debbie Schlussel Last, Detroit, Detroit boxing gym, Emanuel Steward, Hearns, I, Kronk Gym, media types, Mickey, Rambo, Rambo II, Rambo IV, Rocky Balboa, Sylvester Stallone, Taliban, Thanksgiving