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Stallone Hates ‘Rhinestone’; ‘Crazy’ Songwriter: Hollywood Buzz

Sylvester Stallone
Sylvester Stallone in "The Expendables." In addition to starring, Stallone wrote and directed the film. Photographer: Karen Ballard/Lion's Gate Entertainment via Bloomberg

Sylvester Stallone doesn’t blame you for hating some of his movies. There are a few he despises himself.

Stallone considers “Rhinestone,” about a cab driver who tries to become a country singer, among the worst films ever made. He also says his ego turned “Rambo III” into a disaster.

“You do become a megalomaniac,” Stallone, 64, said during a retrospective of his career at the Los Angeles Film Festival. “Especially when you do action films.”

Stallone, best known for playing a mumbling boxer in the “Rocky” series, has been a writer and director as well as an actor. He combines all three roles in “The Expendables,” an action thriller about a team of mercenaries in South America.

The movie, which opens Aug. 13, co-stars Mickey Rourke, Bruce Willis and Jason Statham, and features a cameo by California Governor Arnold Schwarzenegger. Stallone’s character reassesses his profession after working with a freedom fighter.

“There’s a damsel in distress and she has a lot more morality than I do, and it starts to get to me,” Stallone said. “We realize we’re very successful, but at what price? We sold our souls for gold.”

Rocky Career

“Rocky,” released in 1976, won three Oscars, including best picture, and was nominated for seven more. None of Stallone’s movies since then has achieved that kind of critical acclaim.

“Rhinestone” (1984) was conceived as a modest film about a down-and-out cab driver’s encounter with a country music star, but script changes turned it into a bloated unfunny comedy, Stallone said.

“Rambo III” (1988), set during the Soviet Union’s occupation of Afghanistan, became little more than a series of action stunts. Stallone blames himself for relating too much to his fictional character.

“You get a sense, maybe I can do this stuff and you can’t,” he said. “I hold myself totally responsible.”

‘Crazy’ Songwriter

Singer Ryan Bingham will release a new album called “Junky Star” in September, his first since winning an Oscar for co-writing “The Weary Kind” for the Oscar-winning movie “Crazy Heart.”

Bingham and his band, The Dead Horses, have been playing songs from the album at small clubs before starting a tour with Willie Nelson. Produced by T-Bone Burnett, it’s scheduled for release on Sept. 7.

Like “The Weary Kind,” songs from “Junky Star” focus on hard times and lost opportunities. The music was inspired by the band’s travels through towns hit hard by the recession, Bingham said following a show at The Mint in Los Angeles.

“All of the songs I write come from traveling around and seeing things firsthand and meeting people,” said Bingham, a 29-year-old New Mexico native. “It makes you open your eyes.”

“Crazy Heart” stars Jeff Bridges as an aging country singer who gets a second chance after meeting a young journalist played by Maggie Gyllenhaal. Bingham and Burnett shared the songwriting Oscar and Bridges won the award for best actor.

Bingham worked construction and tried to make it as a rodeo bull rider before turning to music.

“I could make 50 bucks playing guitar at night and it took me all day to make that digging holes for somebody,” Bingham said.

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