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I guess I just like liking things

The Expendables 2

I don’t care how old any of them are, they could all wipe the floor with me.

In honor of The Expendables 2 hitting home video today, here’s a list of my favorite Sylvester Stallone movies. Please note: I did not say “best” Sylvester Stallone movies. “Best” you can argue with. “Favorite” is unassailable. And, as is becoming my usual, series/sequels only get one entry.

10. Cobra – Listen, I know this one isn’t very good, but for a few weeks after I first saw it, I was chewing on matchsticks.

9. Antz – This came out around the same time as A Bug’s Life, and for a while I liked this one better. It’s essentially an animated Woody Allen movie, and Sly’s ginormous soldier ant is a fun character.

8. Cop Land – Sly packed on the pounds to play a half-deaf policeman across from the likes of Robert DeNiro and Harvey Keitel, and he held his own.

7. Oscar – Goofy as all get out, Sly’s first crack at an all-out comedy is funnier than it gets credit for.

6. Cliffhanger – Watch the first 10 minutes of this, then watch the first five minutes of Ace Ventura 2. John Lithgow was a great villain in this movie, and I’m pretty sure Sly beats up a mountain at one point.

5. Daylight – I don’t normally like disaster flicks, but this one struck a chord with me. Don’t get attached to too many of the characters, and that’s all I’m gonna say.

4. The Expendables I/II – Perhaps I enjoy these because it gives me hope as I grow older, but I seem to easily forget that I never kicked as much butt when I was younger as these guys did.

3. Demolition Man – Rat meat. Taco Bell. The three seashells. An all-out crazy Wesley Snipes. Sandra Bullock. The most enjoyable movie Rob Schneider’s ever been in.

2. Rambo (First Blood / First Blood Part II / III / Rambo) – I often feel like I get these movies in a way no one else does. Rambo gets held up as the stereotypical blow-everything-up action movie character, but he’s way more than that.  He was made into a soldier/warrior/killer and then shoved back into a world that didn’t need him and didn’t know what to do with him. The first movie is him trying to find a place, trying to help himself. The second is him trying to help his country and his fellow soldiers. The third was him trying to help his surrogate father, his family. The fourth was him trying to find some measure of redemption, using his skills and knowledge to help the helpless. Sure, there’s lots of bullets and explosions, but I’ve always appreciated the character.

1. Rocky (I/II/III/IV/V/Rocky Balboa) – Rocky is such an iconic figure that it’s difficult to remember the underdog story hadn’t really been told on film before him.  Sylvester Stallone set a standard with the first movie that has affected pretty much every sports movie story since then. Sure, the series has had some missteps (V, and the robot in IV), but watch that last movie after seeing the first one again and you’ll be surprised by how touching it is.

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