SYLVESTER “Sly” Stallone, welcome back to the top.
It's official with “The Expendables 3,” opening today in U.S. theaters, headlined by and co-written by himself.
The film – not high cinema nor aspiring to it – is purely an action flick as is its predecessors. Action film fans will likely be in heaven, too, with this entry that follows the now-familiar group of mercenaries of the film's title.
On this assignment, the specialists are tasked with keeping separated a Somali warlord from bombs he's bought from one of their own – a former co-founder no less, previously thought dead. (See trailer below).
SS and cast have been on the promotional grind the last week or so, burning up the late-night talk show circuit and other venues.
Last night, DuJour magazine cover boy SS ("The Expendables 3" costar Kellan Lutz brightened the door, too) attended the magazine's Summer 2014 issue cover party (read tidbits from the magazine interview interspersed throughout this humble report) at Provocateur, a hotspot in the Meatpacking District section of Gotham.
Yours Truly was in the house, hardpressed to get a decent photo in a crush that included Marla Maples, a former Mrs. Donald Trump, and her daughter, Tiffany Trump.
DuJour dish: SS met action film predecessor the Duke at the 1977 "People Choice Awards." “Here is the guy, coming across to me. Let me introduce myself. My name is John Wayne. Welcome to Hollywood.”
World travelers Marla Maples and Tiffany Trump stop by Sylvester Stallone's Dujour magazine cover party.
“The Expendables 3 is the one that officially gives birth to a franchise, dating to “The Expendables” in 2010. The first two films (Co-written by SS, “The Expendables 2” is the second.) have grossed nearly $600 million worldwide.
DuJour dish: Once upon a time, SS collected weekly unemployment benefits to the tune of … gasp … $30.
With each installment of "The Expendables," an interesting consideration is who will be added to the original cast of SS, Randy Couture, Terry Crews, Jet Li, Dolph Lundgren, Mickey Rourke and Jason Statham.
It is not surprising that “The Expendables” script was not met with a groundswell of enthusiasm. At the time, circumspect suits considered SS, who co-wrote and directed the original, washed up.
DuJour dish: Even Jean-Claude Van Damme initially balked, cautioning SS that the material was beneath him.
J-CVD is right, of course. Much is forgiven in Hollywood, though, if much is profitable.
DuJour dish: “I used to be vain. And very competitive.”
“The Expendables 2” brought onboard the once reluctant J-CVD, as well as Liam Hemsworth, Chuck Norris, Arnold Schwarzenegger and Bruce Willis.
DuJour dish: To this day, SS who displayed Duke benevolence to Johnny Depp and Leonardo DiCaprio with less effusive results, has a photo of the JW meeting on his iPhone.
A first in the history of the franchise, with “The Expendables 3,” a female team member – Ronda Rousey – joins the cast. Others in her class are Robert Davi, Antonio Banderas, Harrison Ford, Mel Gibson, Kelsey Grammer, the aforementioned Kellan Lutz, Victor Ortiz, Glen Powell and Wesley Snipes.
SS has often been viewed as, perhaps, not that bright, this misconception based mainly on his film roles. One must remember, however, that this kid from Hell's Kitchen wrote “Rocky.” Sure, he made some bad films and some bad film choices.
DuJour dish: SS is an avid painter, whose work was featured in a solo show last year at the Russian Museum in St. Petersburg.
Yet SS was never just a dumb actor whose glory days were behind him, though for a spell in the late 90s and early 2000s it appeared thus. The writer and painter were in there, too, a notion he touches on rather philosophically in DuJour.
DuJour dish: “I believe we suffer two deaths,” he begins. “If you feel you're a creative person, you die twice in this life. And the creative death is a horrible one that can linger for 30 years. You realize you're done. And you have no outlet for it. It's a horrible thing."
If SS experienced a death, then “The Expendables” franchise represents his resurrection. There is little doubt that “The Expendables 3” will kill at the box office. And there is to be “The Expendables 4.”
Long live (again), Sylvester “Sly” Stallone!
“The Expendables 3” is rated PG-13 for violence, including intense sustained gun battles and fight scenes, and for language; visit http://www.theexpendables3film.com/hq to learn more about the film. Visit a newsstand or store where magazines are sold for the Summer 2014 issue of Dujour; visit http://www.dujour.com/ to learn more about the magazine.