As my fellow Idol Chatterer Paul O’Donnell recently mentioned, there has been a big marketing push by Motive Entertainment to get faith groups out to theaters to see Sylvester Stallone’s just-released “Rocky Balboa.” As a participant in a recent conference call with Stallone and a number of religious leaders, I listened in as he described his own strengthened faith and talked about Rocky being “reborn.”
“The more I go to church, the more I turn myself over to Jesus,” he said. “Church is the gym of the soul. Pastors are the trainers.”
Obviously, for his role in “Balboa,” Stallone needed to be in peak physical condition–I mean, the guy is 60–but he must have needed some spiritual strength training as well. Anyone would need a steady faith to create a follow up to “Rocky V,” one of the worst ever made. (The movie was dubbed one of the 100 worst films of the 20th century by The Bad Cinema Society.)
During the call, Stallone admitted his failure with “Rocky V,” saying he was self-absorbed at that point in his life and didn’t put his heart and soul into it. “It really hurt me because it was totally my fault,” he said.
Apparently, though, he’s now in a better place in his life and isn’t as narcissistic. “I don’t think I’m any more important than the guy who lights the set because without him, [people] won’t see you,” he joked.
Luckily, the initial reviews are positive, so I don’t think Stallone needs to worry much about making a movie worse than “Rocky V.” Let’s just hope a “Balboa” box office success doesn’t lead him to create sequels to that movie (“Rocky X: A Nursing Home Smackdown”? “Balboa Beyond the Grave”?)