22 MONTROSE VOICE / FEBRUARY 20. 1987
New Stallone Movie Doesn't
Make It 'Over the Top'
Review by Bill O'Rourke
Sylvester Stallone and his friends,
looking for new film sports to conquer, sponsored the first World
That way they helped a fledgling
of Stallone's letters, everything.
Now Michael is graduating from
a military academy. His dying
mother realizes that he's become a
horrible snot and a cold fish. She
arranges for Stallone to pick him up
in Colorado and drive him through
Lincoln Hawk (Sylvester Stallone) congratulates his son Michael
(David Mendenhall) after the boy wins an armwrestling match
with an older opponent in "Over the Top."
the Rockies to California. Gorgeous
sport. Though it has a long tradition, so far only 10,000 enthusiasts
have squared off in tournament
competitions around the country.
The filmmakers also got themselves
some real top-flight armwrestlers
for the staged championships in
their movie, Over the Top.
Stallone is conspicuous as the
only one among the final eight who
doesn't have a body like a Russian
You may have heard that this is a
film where Stallone really acts.
Well, he's almost allowed to. Director Menahem Golan keeps the pace
up, whisking us past those moments
when Stallone nearly makes us cry
so fast that, although they stir our
sympathies, they verge on the
The script, by Stallone and Stirling Silliphant, is predictable. The
two-dimensional rich villain
(played by Robert Loggia) is maneuvered into a position where he will
lose totally (at least for a while) if
Stallone wins the competition.
Meanwhile, at the competition, an
announcer tells us at least six times
before it happpens that Stallone
will lose before he wins.
But I get ahead of myself. That's
so easy to do with this show. The
real find is David Mendenhall. This
handsome young man plays Stallone's son Michael. His rich grandfather has kept them apart since the
boy was four or so. He's blocked all
scenery and beautiful acting as Sly
tames Michael. Mendenhall is
going to go places as an actor.
Film editors Don Zimmerman
say is not a sport for sober spectators. It has been inter-cut with
Michael's exciting escape, meaningful reaction shots and some
really stupid interviews with the
contestants. It was really exciting
This movie left me laughing. It
was partly the laugh of victory with
Stallone, but I was also laughing at
the movie. You won't hate yourself
for loving this movie, but you won't
totally forget that there are better
things you could have been doing.
The deadline for entries to the 11th
Annual San Francisco Lesbian and
Gay Film Festival is April 15,1987.
They accept nearly any format,
except regular 8mm. For info and
entry forms, contact Frameline,
P.O. Box 14792, San Francisco, CA
94114 or call (415) 861-5245.
The Good Wife
Death Before Dishonor—Marines
Billy Galvin (Belair)—Karl
Maiden and Joyce Van Patten in
the story of a turbulent father-son
Home of the Brave (River Oaks,
Sweet Charity and All That Jazz
(Rice Media Center, 20)
La Tosca (MFA, 20)
Le Bal (Rice Media Center, 21 &
22)—following 50 years of French
history by watching dancing in a
Luci del Varieta (MFA, 21)
Claymation (River Oaks)—
festival of shorts
Domenic D'Agosto (MFA, 22)—
"Place of Weeping" addresses the apartheid situation in South
Africa. Here, Joseph's widow (Thoko Ntshinga, left) is distraught
and embittered at the loss of her husband. She is seen with Gracie
(Gcina Mhlophe), the voice of the nation. "Place of Weeping" is
being shown at the Belair.
and James Symons deserve much of
the credit for this film's success.
Rather than keep the camera musing on armwrestling, which I still
Sunday in August
Tosca's Kiss (Rice Media Center,
26)—life in a home for retired opera
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