PARIS – Another year, another Cannes Festival and in preparation the Cannes authorities have released a poster which will be hung above the Palais du Cinema in May.

In the past Cannes has gone with icons of cinema history – Paul Newman and Joanne Woodward, Marcello Mastronianni and Ingrid Bergman – as a way of both celebrating the glamour of the movies but also the prestige that they have achieved. This year is no different and the most famous European film festival is paying tribute with an image of Kevin James in Paul Blart Mall Cop.

Thierry Fremaux spoke EXCLUSIVELY about the thinking behind the decision:

There are two cinemas in this world. There is the cinema that existed before 2009 and the cinema that came after 2009. That year was the year of Paul Blart Mall Cop starring Kevin James, the heir of Chaplin, Keaton, Sandler, and directed by Frank Coraci, the American Fellini as he known around these parts. I believe with Paul Blart looking down on the Croisette, this festival will be inspired to ever greater heights and also humbled to some extent about the task of carrying on the great legacy that Coraci and James have left us.

A recently restored version of Paul Blart Mall Cop will also be shown as part of a season of digitally restored Kevin James films, – including Here Comes the Boom and the rediscovered classic Grownups – which will be shown during the festival. Of course Paul Blart has a long history with the festival after Paul Blart 2 opened the festival only last year.

The Cannes Film Festival takes place from 11th of May to the 22nd.

Image courtesy of @ThePixelFactor.


HOLLYWOOD – Paul Blart: Mall Cop 2 will be true to the Saul Bellow novel, star Kevin James has insisted.

Speaking EXCLUSIVELY with the Studio Exec, Here  Comes the Boom star was keen to reassure fans of the Saul Bellow novel:

Although the 2009 film was considered in many circles to be a comic masterpiece, there were noises from academic circles and the fans of the original 1963 novel by Saul Bellow complaining of certain liberties we took.  We updated the book and we added come more contemporary humor. I understood the Bellovians and their criticisms and I wanted when we decided to do the sequel to try and correct some of those mistakes.

What mistakes?

In the original Bellow novel of course Paul is a much more complicated character and his relationship with his daughter is really important to understanding him, so we have concentrated much more on that relationship. And although we have set the new film in Las Vegas, rather than Chicago as in the book, we have given a really dark tone.

Are there any plans to complete the trilogy?

Obviously that would be our dream. Even though Bellow’s final novel, Paul Blart: Child Murderer was considered extremely shocking at the time, I think it would be possible to make it more palatable for modern audiences.

Paul Blart: Mall Cop 2 is out in April, 2015.


HOLLYWOOD – The latest in a series in which guest columnist and Austrian film director Werner Herzog writes about arbitrary moments in his life.

My brother-in-law is an animal obsessed with the immediate fulfillment of his appetites. To watch him eat Chinese takeaway is to witness the the decay of the biomass of the universe in super accelerated time lapse photography on an IMAX. And in 3D. So when Norman said to me, ‘Werner, we must play golf some day’ I was naturally aghast and fled my sister’s home, accidentally punching my niece in the throat in my haste to reach the door. Although I felt my exit an unambivalent response to his request for some reason – if I had to guess I would call it stupidity – the next day Norman turned up at my house with a set of clubs he had borrowed and a grin that was entirely his own.

The golf course was a series of hemoglobin shaped gardens with a small cellular nucleus of tightly trimmed lawn and a flag in the middle guarding the hole. The bunkers were gritty cancers, in this anatomical analogy which Norman and his friends Hunter and Troy did not seem to appreciate. They were – like all Americans – superficially friendly. ‘Oh films,’ said Troy. ‘Did you have anything to do with Here Comes the Boom? Because that was classic!’

Norman managed to grab my wrist as I swung the club at Troy’s skull.

‘Woah there Werner,’ he said. ‘We need to tee your ball up first.’

Despite my doubts and once I had mastered the art of hitting the ball I surprisingly began to enjoy myself. I hit my first shot into the rough. ‘You’re not too far off the green,’ Hunter told me, encouragingly. But with my second shot I drove the ball further into the rough where some trees had survived the vicious gardening. ‘No, Werner, you’re supposed to aim for the flag.’


‘Because that’s where the hole is. You have to get the ball into the hole in the least strokes possible.’

My next stroke took me ‘out of bounds’. I was beside myself with exhilaration. I had only just begun this increasingly fascinating game and I was already a maverick, breaking all boundaries and experiencing the wilderness beyond the petty confines of this frailly civilized world. I listened to my fellow golfers’ remonstrances and pretended to heed their advice and pointers. On the next hole, I hit the ball directly out of bounds on my first shot. And on the third hole there was a ‘water trap and though a beginner I hit it first time. On the fourth hole, I turned around and hit the little white fellow back to the second. On the fourth I clonked a man riding a ridiculous golf buggy.

I tore off my shirt and wielding my ‘putter’  dived into a sand bunker as the others attempted unsuccessfully to restrain me. I stay here until nightfall, barking like a rabid dog and any one who seeks to approach.

I can say in all honesty ‘I am a golfer’.

For more wisdom from Werner Herzog, Click Here.


NEW YORK –  The hit Kevin James ‘comedy’ Here Comes the Boom was everything cinema can be and more, and so it comes as no surprise that Andrew Lloyd Webber is putting on a major musical/theatrical ‘re-imagining’: Here Comes the Boom: the Musical on Broadway.

John Goodman is to play Scott Voss, a biology teacher who has to become a mixed martial arts fighter in order to raise money to pay for the school’s extra-curricular activities. Mr. Goodman said:

I was drawn to the morality and the social conscience of the piece. Who – after all – is talking about the failing school system in popular entertainment, if not ‘friends of the people’ Frank Coraci and Kevin James? Plus I love the songs.

The Lord Lloyd Webber has completed the score with lyrics by Tim Rice, and the first two songs – ‘I Will, I Will, I Will (Punch Him in the Face)’ and ‘I’m a Biology Teacher (Not A Mixed Martial Arts Fighter)’ – are due for release early next week. Although the award winning writer of Evita and Cats did express some trepidation about the project:

Both the vision of Frank Coraci and the towering brilliance of Mr. Kevin James are difficult to rival. I tremble to even approach the material. And yet when I was watching the film for the fifth or sixth time I began to hum these tunes. And before I knew it, they had almost written themselves.

Nathan Lane will play Marty Strebb and Anne Hathaway takes the role of Bella Flores made famous by Salma Hayek. 

Here Comes the Boom: the Musical will open early in 2014.  


“Does Art mirror Life, or is it the other way around?” is the question framed in one form or another by columnists with a deadline to meet and no cutesey, self-referential anecdotes about how Downton Abbey or something relates to their worthless, parasitic lives.  Let us put this matter to rest – at least as far as this corner of Cyberspace is concerned: ART MIRRORS LIFE.  There; I said it.  

The earliest known art-form – cave-paintings – depicted people hunting and the like: was that the spur that got Homo Sapiens off their hairy arses and picking up spears?  Of course it wasn’t; it was the representation of something that was already going on – and so it goes.  No hominid Moral Majority scratched their heads and expressed concern that these images would inspire a wave of copy-cat mammoth murder; they were simply reflections of about the only noteworthy activity in which our forebears indulged – pictures of people shivering in caves and starving to death might have been awfully poignant, but they wouldn’t put bums on rocks…

The people that make film and TV know this of course; you only need the slightest high-school massacre to have them spewing it at any camera put in front of them; but are the media’s “reflections” always accurate?

In a word: no.  They know that people prefer to see themselves at their very best than as they actually are: clever without being a nerd; concerned and thoughtful, yet not so much so that they don’t enjoy a laugh, now and then; well-rounded, in short – the type of guy or gal than anybody would want to hang out with.  Thus the films and shows that represent these qualities are laden with Oscars and Golden Globes; with Emmys and those lopsided BAFTA faces.

More people might have watched Here Comes The Boom than watched Black Mirror – but you can be damned sure that Charlie Brooker is going to get more wear out of his tux than Kevin James will (sweaty girth notwithstanding) when gong-time rolls around.  Similarly, while Skyfall continues to have millions queueing for vicarious, misogynistic crypto-Fascism, it looks like Lincoln and Les Mis will do rather better* in terms of trophies.

Yes; Art might mirror Life, but the Arts/Entertainment establishment don’t want us to have to really see ourselves for what we are: instead, the Awards shows’ glass shows us as good-humoured, compassionate connoisseurs of the best and brightest the Arts have to offer rather than a bloodthirsty mob of sentiment-drenched, viscerally-guided cretins with the unshaven face and yellowed eyes of somebody who’s been up all night trying to imagine what Megan Fox looks like while taking a shit. Ultimately, the baubles are unimportant: thanks to their shameless pandering, we are always the real winners.

*The Adele theme-song’s success illustrates this perfectly: it’s “classier” than pure pop, without being “difficult” like Opera or Classical.

Words by The Silver Fox


NEW YORK – Austrian film maker Michael Haneke’s austere masterpiece Amour has been picking up nominations and awards every since it premièred at Cannes earlier this year and won the coveted Palme d’Or. But there is one award it won’t be getting: Best Comedy Film 2012.
The story of an elderly couple facing up to their own mortality and disintegration with dignity and stoicism was deemed ‘Just not funny enough’ by Alvin Mayers the chief judge of the Comedy Awards, hosted at the BinBin Club Times Square, NYC.

There was one scene with like a pigeon that had some potential but it just didn’t come off. I’m not saying Haneke needs to go gross out, but come on man, make a goddam effort. 

When Studio Exec  met up with his glumness earlier today, Michael Haneke said ‘It was typical’ and shook his head miserably:

I’ve been trying for years. I mean Funny Games I made twice because I thought they’d missed the joke the first time around as I’d stupidly made it in German. But alas, nothing. Everything is just falling apart and miserable and we die. We all die. Not now but later. Even that is depressing. We don’t die now. We have to wait.

Now with the competition effectively eliminated, the field looks clear for Here Comes the Boom to make a clean sweep. 


HOLLYWOOD – The word spread quickly: first a murmur, then a whisper, evolving to muted conversation, then louder talking and now shouting from the roof tops, the Kevin James ‘comedy’ Here Comes the Boom is a shoe-in for Best Picture, Best Director and Best Actor nominations at the Academy Awards – or ‘Oscars’ as they prefer to be known – early next year.

Director Frank Coraci is a name listed alongside Orson Welles, Alfred Hitchcock and Charlie Chaplin as the kind of visionary maverick yet to be recognised by the Academy. Coraci first made a splash with The Wedding Singer  in 1998, a film which led Roger Ebert to dub Coraci the ‘American Tarkovsky’. It came as a huge shock when The Wedding Singer didn’t receive a single nomination and James Cameron’s Titanic  went on to win. Many believed a conspiracy might be afoot, when The Waterboy – unbelievably made the same year and also starring Adam Sandler – also drew blanks. Almost a decade later, Frank again working with Sandler – ‘my DeNiro’ – on Click a film the New York Times said ‘rivalled Fellini at his best’ would only get a nod for Best Achievement in Make Up, which roughly translates as: Fuck You, Frank. Coraci changed tack, employing Kevin James in Zookeeper but alas with no luck on the awards front.

Things however are about to change with Here Comes the Boom, a film about a slob of a teacher who tries to raise money for his school by participating in Mixed Martial Arts fighting competitions. The buzz is that Coraci and James have created something ‘which is light years away from anything being done right now in American cinema’, Anthony Lane The New Yorker. Talk is that not only will statuettes be assured for Kevin James and Frank Coraci, but also Salma Hayek has pulled off a career best performance as a woman.