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Stallone rips Batman a new one, praises Ahnold


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Sylvester Stallone Blames 'Batman' for Decline of '80s Action Heroes

by Matt McDaniel · July 21, 2010

Back in the 1980s, they were the biggest stars in Hollywood, both in terms of box-office receipts and bicep circumference. But the glory days of the brawny action heroes -- Stallone, Schwarzenegger, Van Damme, and the like -- eventually faded. In their place, a new breed of '90s star took over: younger, leaner, and nowhere near as macho. By decade's end, Keanu Reeves was a huge action star (shudder to think).

Where did it all go wrong? According to an interview with the Los Angeles Times, Sylvester Stallone puts the blame squarely on the caped shoulders of one comic book hero.

"It was the first 'Batman' movie," Stallone told the Times, in reference to the 1989 movie adaptation starring Michael Keaton as the Caped Crusader. He went on to say, "The action movies changed radically when it became possible to Velcro your muscles on," a clear dig at how the trim Keaton was encased in a sculpted Batsuit for the film. Stallone joked, "I wish I had thought of Velcro muscles myself... "I didn't have to go to the gym for all those years."

Stallone adds that the director Tim Burton's stylish take on the superhero story changed what audiences expected from an action flick: "It was the beginning of a new era. The visual took over. The special effects became more important than the single person. That was the beginning of the end."

It's ironic, then, that Stallone will be going to this year's San Diego Comic-Con -- the center for all things geeky -- to promote his upcoming movie, "The Expendables," which is a true throwback to the action hits of the '80s. In the film, Stallone (who also directed) leads a team of mercenaries to overthrow a corrupt South American dictator. It costars Jason Statham, Jet Li, Mickey Rourke, Terry Crews, and even Stallone's "Rocky IV" nemesis, Dolph Lundgren.

"The Expendables" is also notable for being the first time Stallone has appeared on-screen with fellow '80s icons Arnold Schwarzenegger and Bruce Willis. Stallone told the Times that each of them had their own on-screen persona which made set them apart from one another: "Arnold was king of the one-liners. Bruce was witty and talkative... And I was pretty silent." He added that their differences made it impossible for him to see himself in his friend's signature roles. "Arnold was relentless, like this perfect machine. People asked if I could have played the Terminator. Are you kidding? Not a chance, I never could have played the Terminator."

As it happens, Bruce Willis will be at Comic-Con this weekend promoting his upcoming movie "Red," which also is an action flick about an aging team of experts. It stars Oscar-winners Morgan Freeman and Helen Mirren.

Stallone will preview "The Expendables" at Comic-Con on Thursday, and the movie will muscle its way into movie theaters on August 13.

Movie Talk: Sylvester Stallone Blames 'Batman' for Decline of '80s Action Heroes

I kinda agree. Action stars have become kinda pussified the last 10 years. I thought Keaton played the part well, but only Bale has a physique justifiable enough to wear the Bat Suit.
I tolerate Bale because of the current crop of actors, he's the best. But even he really doesn't do batman true justice. The movies are so well made though that it kind of doesn't matter. But Stallone is right, the instant they started trying to make action movies with GQ guys that women could be down with....the genre tanked. Unfortunately there's not to many guys that spend quality time in the gym that can really act though.
Interesting article. That's a pretty honest and realistic opinion Stallone has there.

John Rambo was pretty damn good for us action junkies as far as that goes, tho.

I'd say Jason Statham is the only jacked guy who's had somewhat big time movies following that timeline.

Clive Owen has done well for action films, being a generally big statured dude (not jacked by any means, but big)and can look mean.

You bring science fiction into it (aka Keanu style) and it's still very amusing to me. But I see Stallone's point.
I had such high hopes for the rock, stone cold too. Unfortunately hollywood has elbowed guys like that out of the market for top of the line productions. If you don't get on your knees and suck a little dick you can forget're not getting the high budget parts. It's so cringy for me when I hear about them kicking around movie scripts for video games like Halo or Gears of war. It's like really, you're going to try to make gears of war with the current crop of crap? Hollywood hasn't cultivated ANY real action heroes and then all of a sudden when they need real dudes they don't have em so they make a movie like predators with adrien fucking brody. Assinine. I cannot wait for the dawn of the 20k movies shot on $200 equipment that will compete with 100m epic hollywood fails. If you don't beleive that's yourself a favor and google the half life and modern warfare live action shorts. They are magnificent.
I remember h4e old days, chuck norris, ahnold, stallone, lundgren, bruce lee, etc. Then it became pretty boys and now it's hot chicks and cgi robots.

Butler has yet to impress me. I don't care if these guys do shiite chick flicks on the side just as long as they come correct with the action movies. But the flip side is that writing and directing nowadays is such utter rubbish that what we now have is a shiite storm of a culmination of piss poor actors, writers, producers and directors. Maybe the only guys consistently making decent movies these days are Nolan and jackson.
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