Like every other Hollywood movie having a sequel, I too feel that this sequel (and my first one even) will fail to live up to the standards of its previous one. Nevertheless, you know the rules of how it goes - first the underdog and then the champion of the same category.
THE UNDERDOG: SYLVESTER STALLONE
Sylvester (Sly) Stallone had a rather humble beginning to his career. So much so that he had to star in a soft-core pornography just to stay alive with the money. He had no place to live and no food back then, yet he somehow did odd roles here and there to keep going. Now we know him as Rambo and Rocky (Italian Stallion) Balboa for his marvellous acting performances, but back in the 70’s it wasn’t so stellar.
On March 24th, 1975 Sly saw the legendary fight between Muhammad Ali (the champion) and Chuck Wepner (the underdog). Chuck refused to give up in the whole bout and even struck down Ali to his feet, once, in the fight. This inspired Sly to go to his home and write down a rough script for the famed movie ‘ROCKY’.
And there has been no turning back since.
Watch: Rocky (I, II, III, IV, V, Balboa), First Blood, RAMBO, The Expendables and Creed.
THE CHAMPION: CLINT EASTWOOD
Eastwood proved to himself, and to the world, countless times that he is a director of the highest stature. His works are compared to the likes of Woody Allen for his immersive storyline and the grand character development. People may know him only for the western spaghetti classics such as ‘For a few dollars more’, ‘The good, the bad and the ugly’ or even for his roles in ‘Dirty Harry’ and ‘Where Eagles Dare’, but I believe that the golden era of his career started much after the 1980s. After when he started directing and writing his own movies, which were later critically-acclaimed and loved by the people all around.
In 1971, he emerged with his first directorial debut, Play Misty for Me. What followed next was High Plains Drifter and Breezy along with Clint Eastwood’s ticket to a successful directorial career, which sprawled for the next 30 years. I am sorry, which is STILL sprawling out even now, with the release of ‘American Sniper’.
Eastwood is a legend and his movies, even more so. So here are some epic recommendations for you.
Watch: Letters from Iwo Jima, Gran Torino, Million Dollar Baby, Invictus, The bridges of Madison County, Mystic River and so much more.
CHAMPION OF THE FUTURE? BEN AFFLECK
Not a lot of people know this, but Ben Affleck won his first Academy award for co-writing ‘Good Will Hunting’ with his fellow friend and actor Matt Damon. Ben is a hell of an actor, but his directorial abilities make him one of the most talented people present in Hollywood. Sure he received some flops in both of his acting/directing careers in the initial days, but he has managed to come up and establish himself as a spectacular actor and a versatile director ever since. Plus he is also playing the new Batman, which I am pretty excited about and I believe that he’ll do justice to the role of Bruce Wayne.
Affleck is a sophisticated director, and a resourceful one too. His craftsmanship in the movie Argo is well-pronounced and the visuals are as crisp as a paper. He’s just 42 now so if given the time, will he achieve a sensational directorial career like these other fellow champions?
I think we ought to wait and watch what happens.
Watch: Argo, Gone Baby Gone, Good Will Hunting, The Town.
Stay tuned for the other editions of the Champions and the Underdogs of Hollywood.