I've remained a fan over the years, even during the dark days where it seemed Stallone had lost his way. When was doing films like Over the Top, Rambo III and Judge Dredd, I always knew he would eventually come around and take his rightful place among the icons of cinema. Fortunately, he was finally able to redeem himself by appearing in James Mangold's excellent character study Copland. This film proved that not only could Stallone pick good material if he wanted to, he could take that material and really make something out of it.
And now I'm not alone in feeling that Stallone deserves iconic status in the lore of cinema. NATO (the National Association of Theater Owners -- not the political group) thinks so too. According to a recent article in the Hollywood Reporter, Stallone was honored Tuesday evening by NATO with its Show East Icon Award, which is given once a year to an individual or institution that has achieved "iconic" status in entertainment. Stallone accepted the award while standing in a boxing ring with MGM Chief Rick Sands, who was there to promote MGM's newest slate of films -- including the upcoming Rocky Balboa, which Stallone wrote, directed and stars. After accepting the award, Stallone reportedly dropped it. Not missing a beat, the actor said: "I'm glad this fell down. It's all about getting up again, isn't it?" Yes it is.