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Top Ten Sylvester Stallone Movies

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Top Ten Sylvester Stallone Movies

Posted on 12 February 2015 by Chris Ford

Sylvester Stallone has made his name in cinema as the ultimate action hero, taking the lead in blockbusters including The Expendables, Rocky and Rambo. This year, he heads up one of the greatest casts ever assembled as COLLECTION bursts onto DVD on 9th February 2015 and digital platforms from 2nd February 2015 courtesy of Signature Entertainment. To celebrate the release, we take a look back at some of his greatest roles over the decades…

collection

Collection (2015)
Stallone is joined by a hugely diverse and exciting cast in this high octane story of a diverse group of people all making big changes on the advice of a reclusive and mysterious writer, Teddy Rayman (Tom Berenger). The dark and enigmatic Teddy reaches out to various people and saves them from their often violent and troubled lives in this fast-paced thriller, which also features Kevin Connolly, Thomas Jane, Kelsey Grammer, Terry Crews and Danny Trejo.

rocky

Rocky (1976)
Considered by many one of the greatest films of all time, Stallone penned this drama and stars in the titular role as Rocky Balboa, a small-time boxer who stumbles into a once-in-a-lifetime chance to fight heavy-weight champion, Apollo Creed (Carl Weathers) – Creed’s managers assume the match will be an easy win (and great publicity) for Creed, but Rocky has other ideas, gearing up for a match that could potentially be his only shot at the big time…

firstblood

First Blood (1982)
The first in a series of films based on the novel by David Morell, First Blood sees Stallone take his first outing as former United States Special Forces soldier Rambo. A recipient of the Congressional Medal of Honour, he is still traumatised by his time in Vietnam. While visiting a friend in Washington, he is insulted by Sheriff William Teasel (Brian Dennehy), goading him until he is arrested and suffers harassment from the sheriffs- triggering memories of his torture in Vietnam. Escaping, his mind regresses back to his days in the war, and he begins a rampage through the forest to escape from the sheriffs determined to kill him…

cobra

Cobra (1986)
This fast-paced, brutal and action-packed drama sees Stallone play renegade cop Lt. Marian Cobretti, who is tasked with tracking down a ruthless cult of serial killers, led by the self-proclaimed ‘Night Slasher’ (Brian Thompson). When model Ingrid (Brigitte Nielsen) witnesses one of their murders, she immediately finds herself in grave danger- and is placed under the protection of Cobretti and his partner Sergeant Gonzalez (Reni Santoni), as they make a last ditch attempt to track down the killers and bring them to justice once and for all…

cliff

Cliffhanger (1993)
This brilliantly tense thriller uses the stunning setting of the inhospitable Rockies, and showcases the talents that originally made Stallone a superstar. He plays Gabe, a once-successful rescue climber who has since left his job after losing his friend in a traumatic accident. A year later, Gabe is asked to go back to the very same mountain range to assist with the rescue of a group of stranded mountaineers… unbeknownst to him however, the stranded group are in fact thieves searching for their heist, and willing to do anything to recover it…

judge

Judge Dredd (1995)
Set in a hyper-violent dystopian future, this sci-fi favourite stars Stallone as Judge Joseph Dredd, a Judge with all three judiciary powers -police, jury and executioner. When he is convicted of a murder he didn’t commit, he sets out to find out who is really responsible- and discovers that corrupt Judge Rico (Armand Assante) is behind it. With help from his colleague Judge Hershey (Diane Lane) and computer hacker Fergie (Rob Schneider), Judge Dredd sets out to bring Rico to justice, and put a stop to his destructive plans…

antz

Antz (1998)
This Dreamworks animation risked being overshadowed by the ensuing feud with Disney (due to similarities between it and Pixar’s A Bug’s Life) – however, the film more than stands up to scrutiny, offering a sharp, wickedly funny and markedly grown up tone to the latter. With a voice cast that included Stallone along with Woody Allen, Dan Aykroyd, Sharon Stone and Anne Bancroft, Antz tells the story of Z (Allen), a deeply neurotic ant desperately trying to break free of his authoritarian society and escape to Insectopia, all while trying to win the affection of Princess Bala (Stone), who he’s fallen in love with following a chance meeting.

antz

Get Carter (2000)
Stallone is joined by a stellar cast in this remake of the 1971 British crime drama, including Miranda Richardson, Alan Cumming, Michael Caine, Mickey Rourke and Rachel Leigh Cooke. Stallone stars as Jack Carter, a mob enforcer living in Las Vegas, who pays a visit to his hometown of Seattle for his brother’s funeral. During this visit, he discovers that the ‘accidental’ death of his brother was in fact a brutal murder- and sets out to avenge his brother and kill all those responsible…

rambo

Rambo (2008)
Taking place several years after the first Rambo instalment, First Blood, this action thriller sees John Rambo (Stallone) enjoying the quiet life in a rural Thai village near the Burmese border, capturing snakes for local entertainers, and transporting passengers in his boat. After assisting a group of Christian aid workers into Burma, their humanitarian mission takes a drastic turn when the village is attacked and the missionaries are kidnapped. Once again, Rambo is asked to assist in transporting passengers – but this time it’s a group of mercenaries sent on a rescue mission… one which he chooses to join.

expendables

The Expendables (2010)
This hit action franchise finally brought together some (almost all, really) of the biggest names in the genre- led by Stallone, the film’s leading gang also included action veterans Dolph Lundgren, Jet Li, Jason Statham, Terry Crews and Randy Couture. As if that wasn’t awesome enough, the bad guy was played by none other than B-movie action regular Eric Roberts and there were notable cameos by action staples such as Mickey Rourke, Arnold Schwarzenegger and Bruce Willis. Unsurprisingly, the team proved so popular with audiences that it spawned two sequels, adding action stars like Chuck Norris, Jean-Claude Van Damme and Wesley Snipes to the roster.

COLLECTION bursts onto DVD on 9th February 2015 and digital platforms from 2nd February 2015 courtesy of Signature Entertainment.

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Interview with trainer Nuno De Salles

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Interview with trainer Nuno De Salles

Posted on 08 September 2014 by Chris Ford

Nuno gym Photo life fitness 2014

Recently we spoke to Nuno De Salles the personal trainer in charge of getting Kit Haringtion and Keither Sutherland screen fit for their new movie Pompeii.

Can you tell us a bit about what you do?

The entertainment industry will contact me when they are challenged with a dramatic physique transformation. Industry heads have referred to me as sculptor for actors physiques. I will mold an actors body to the requests of the director and also collaborate with other departments like wardrobe and stunt department to fulfill the wishes of all the industry heads.
For example in Pompeii I collaborated with not only the directors’ wishes to have Kit Harington looking like a menacing athletic gladiator. I worked with wardrobe to make sure that his abs were well defined in his costume since his abs would be exposed in a key scene of the movie. I also worked with the Stunt Coordinator very closely since this project was high action. He and I would communicate on practically a daily basis and I would tweak my program so that his workouts would not interfere with his stunt training.

How much in advance of filming do you generally get to work with an actor?

It really depends on the project I am working on.
For Pompeii, I met with the Director (Paul W.S Anderson), producers (Jeremy Bolt & Don Carmody) & stunt coordinator (Jean Frenette) 8 weeks before filming.
We discussed the look that they wanted Kit Harington’s physique to be molded into in a 8 week timeframe. They needed him to look lean and athletic, so I explained that within this short timeframe I will need Kit to train 6x/week and be on a specialized meal plan and to take daily supplementation and only then could I guarantee the results they wanted.
As we got closer to the start date for filming we added a new goal. A shirtless scene. This meant I had to keep a very close eye on his training and nutrition.

Is there a difference between looking good on camera and actually being physically fit / muscular in the real world?

Yes there is.
On camera you need to look lean with almost no body fat because that is what the camera loves.
In the real world keeping such a low body fat is not always a healthy option. In fact you might feel & perform better at a higher body fat percentage.
If your main goal is to feel and look good there is no reason to push your body to that extreme.
The challenging aspect of Kit’s training was that he needed to perform demanding stunts as well as look extremely lean.
So we timed it in a way that he would film the physically demanding work at a different time of the shirtless material…

Kit Harington and Keifer Sutherland have come from fairly action based roles into this film did that make things easier in terms of where they were physically ?

Kit had been promoting his show and had not been training much prior to seeing me. So he had put on some weight and was no where near camera ready.
As for Kiefer I worked with him to prepare him for his role of Jack Bauer in 24 filmed in London at the beginning of 2014. He had not been working out either prior to starting with me.
What does make a huge difference is that they are both hard workers and take their craft very seriously which in turn translates into their intensity in the gym.
They are not afraid of the pain required to achieve the results.

How important is diet to your work?

Diet is 80% of the battle!!
I make sure my clients are being monitored all day if their goal is to be as lean as possible.
With Kit and the rest of the cast of Pompeii I had their meals prepared fresh daily controlling their calories (protein to carbohydrate to fat ratios).
They were “not allowed” to eat anything that I did not approve for them.
I managed to be in complete control of their nutrition and workouts and the results speak for themselves.

Do some actors struggle with your program?

I have been working with actors on different movie sets for 12 years and never have I had someone not give me 100%.
I am there to encourage & work with them. Not to make their lives harder…
On top of that the individuals I have worked with have an incredible work ethic & if anything, the problem is that they sometimes work too hard….

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Would you have any advice for the average reader looking to get in shape?

Set goals!!
You need to work towards a goal if you want to be successful in the gym. Once you have a “destination” in mind give yourself a time frame to achieve it. Design the best program and nutritional plan and go for it!! Goals are essential they keep you motivated and on track.
Once you reach that specific goal set another goal! Keep challenging yourself!
Keep in mind that the goal must be important to you whatever it might be….Gain muscle or running a marathon or powerlifting competition etc…
If a large goal is to difficult to visualize then set smaller goals and once you achieve that goal set another more challenging goal that competes against the last. In essence, competing against yourself.

What are you working on right now?

At the moment, I am working with my core clientele at my Toronto gym.
However, I have been contacted for several exciting new Film & TV projects starting in 2015 so I am diligently working on designing different exercise & meal programs for those casts.

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Pompeii is out on DVD and Blu-Ray on September 15th and can be pre-ordered here now.

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Top 10 Michael Keaton Films

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Top 10 Michael Keaton Films

Posted on 26 May 2014 by Chris Ford

Michaelkeat

Hes often forgotten but Michael Keaton was a massive deal in the late 80s and early 90s and has appeared in some absolute classics movies, if you are younger than thirty some of these may of passed you by so with his role in the new Robocop sparking our interests in all things Keaton again we thought we would bring you a list of our all time top Michael Keaton movies

Night Shift (1982)
It was Keaton’s work alongside James Belushi in Working Stiffs which led to a co-starring role in Ron Howard’s comedy film Night Shift. Playing the fast-talking schemer Bill “Blaze Blazejowski alongside Henry Winkler, Keaton’s was the acclaimed role and this subsequently led to further comedic performances in films including Johnny Dangerously and Gung Ho.

Beetlejuice (1988)
His seminal performance in Tim Burton’s horror-comedy classic Beetlejuice, alongside Geena Davis, Alec Baldwin and Winona Ryder, was the film which truly pushed Keaton to Hollywood’s A-list. Originally turning down the role, the actor now deems Beetlejuice to be the favourite film he has done perhaps realising that he provided the world with a character for the ages. A confirmed sequel is in the works, with Keaton in talks to reprise the role.

Batman (1989)
Re-teaming with Tim Burton to star as Bruce Wayne/Batman, Keaton’s career was given a further boost. Burton cast the actor due to thinking he was the only actor who could portray somebody with the darkly obsessive personality that the character demands, his casting was met with hostility from the die- hard fans, preferring somebody who fit the physicality displayed in the comic books. Eventually, Keaton won audiences around, as well as critics, leading Batman to become the biggest hit of the year.

Pacific Heights (1990)
Here, Keaton played Carter Hayes, a tenant in the exclusive Pacific Heights neighbourhood who turns nasty when he is asked to leave by a newly-married couple (Matthew Modine and Melanie Griffith). In this role, Keaton displayed a disturbingly tense side he had yet to show audiences he could play with ease.

Batman Returns (1992)
A sequel to Tim Burton’s Batman was inevitable, as was the opportunity for Keaton to don the cape and cowl once more. Met by even more critical acclaim despite its darker undertones, Keaton did well to stand firmly amidst more memorable turns from the supporting cast, including Danny DeVito as The Penguin, Michelle Pfeiffer as Selena ‘Catwoman’ Kyle and Christopher Walken as millionaire industrialist Max Shreck. When Burton departed the franchise ahead of the third outing, Keaton also left the juggernaut franchise, a sign of respect to the director who had guided him to superstardom.

Jackie Brown (1997)
Another role in which the actor has reprised, Keaton starred in the Quentin Tarantino film Jackie Brown, as Agent Ray Nicolette, a beloved character who crops up in Elmore Leonard novels. With orders to intercept Pam Grier’s Jackie Brown in order to capture criminal Ordell Robbie (Samuel L. Jackson), Keaton also popped up as Ray Nicolette for a cameo in Steven Soderbergh’s critically-acclaimed Out of Sight in 2000.

Jack Frost (1998)
Turning in a performance in festive family film Jack Frost was next on the list, starring as a family man who dies in a car crash and comes back to life as a snowman. Despite not being well-received, it was a film which showcased the actor’s willingness to broaden his horizons having starred in comedies, blockbusters and thrillers.

White Noise (2004)
..and next on the list was horror, with White Noise referring to the electronic voice phenomena (EVP) where voices from ‘the other side’ can be heard on audio recordings. Keaton played architect Jonathan Rivers who, upon his wife’s disappearance, discovers recorded messages from Anna through EVP. Despite poor reviews, the film was a sleeper hit.

Toy Story 3 (2010)
After a slew of performances in family film Herbie: Fully Loaded (2005), Chick Hicks in Cars (2006) and a rumoured appearance in a little TV series called LOST (he was originally slated to play Jack Shephard for one episode before the writer’s decided they wanted Jack to a regular…), Keaton provided the voice work for Ken in the long-awaited and much-loved trilogy closer, Toy Story 3 – a hilarious role which inevitably led to another comedy role (akin to those which launched his career) in The Other Guys (2010)

Need for Speed (2014)

Car-racing thriller Need for Speed featured an eccentric performance from Keaton as Monarch, a reclusive and crazed host of an underground supercar race competition which features the main cast (including Breaking Bad’s Aaron Paul). Drawing on many of his past influences, Keaton takes something that appeared miniscule on the page, but turns in a hugely memorable role. All in a day’s work.

RoboCop (2014)
Keaton plays the role of Raymond Sellars in an off-kilter and reserved manner, the CEO of OmniCorp covering up the corruption that is infesting the company which comprises most of America. Taking his marketing team, as well as scientist Dr. Dennett Norton (Gary Oldman), with the creation of this new law enforcement product – a robotic policeman comprised of cop Alex Murphy, killed in the line of duty. Pushed to the edge and willing to do anything to prevent his corporation from crashing down around him. Keaton plays Sellars with an air of unpredictability and ruthlessness, remind audiences why the actor is always a welcome presence in films.

RoboCop
is released on Limited Edition Blu-ray Steelbook, Blu-ray and DVD on June 9th 2014 from STUDIOCANAL

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5 Best Poker Movies of All Time

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5 Best Poker Movies of All Time

Posted on 29 September 2013 by Chris Ford

 

If you are an enthusiastic poker player and you spend your time playing poker with other people, watching poker games on TV, or if you often play poker online on sites like Pokermira.com you surely love watching poker movies too. Keep on reading this article to learn about some of the best poker movies of all time. There is no specific order, as they are all really great.</p>

 cincinnati-kid

1. The Cincinnati Kid (1965), directed by Norman Jewison and starring Steve McQueen and Edward G Robinson. It’s a young kid versus an old pro kind of film, where the young up coming poker player takes on the long-time master in a classic game of Five Card Stud. The movie shows the pressure rising around the Cincinnati Kid as he’s getting closer to the big game. And, as Lancey Howard known as “the Man” says at the end of the movie, “it’s about making the wrong move at the right time”.

 

Rounders2. Rounders (1998), directed by John Dahl and starring Matt Damon, Edward Norton and John Malkovich. The film portrays New York’s underground poker scene before many of its participants became famous. The movie talks about a young guy who goes back to playing high stake poker to help his friend to pay back to loan sharks.

 

maverick3. Maverick (1994), directed by Richard Donner and starring Mel Gibson, James Garner and Jodie Foster. The movie is set in the Far West and is based on the US TV series “Maverick”, broadcasted between 1957 and 1961. It’s a funny, snarky comedy, but a rather distant portrayal of the main character from the 1960s TV show.

 

the-sting4. The Sting (1973), directed by George Roy Hill and starring Paul Newman, Robert Redford and Robert Shaw. The film has won seven Academy Awards, among which Best Picture and Best Directing. Even though this classic movie doesn’t display the strategies and skills involved in nowadays poker games, it shows the long forgotten side of poker – cheating. The movie tells a story about two con men that are planning to revenge the murder of their friend by winning a fortune from the mob boss.

 

high-roller-the-stu-ungar-story-20035. High Roller: The Stu Ungar Story (2003), directed by A. W. Vidmer and starring Michael Imperioli in the role of Stu “The Kid” Ungar. The movie is also known as “Stuey” and it’s abiographical film about the life of the professional poker player Stu Ungar from the US. He was the youngest poker player to win the World Series of Poker Main Event in 1980, until Phil Hellmuth took this title from him nine years later. He also holds the unbroken record of being the winner of the Main Event three times during his lifetime.

 

These five movies are some of the greatest poker movies of all time, many of which are both classics and incredible sources of inspiration when it comes to poker game and cinema.

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