HOLLYWOOD – As the year draws to a close Studio Exec gives his unbelievably brilliant Top Ten of the top ten films of the cinema movie year:
- The Avengers: is my number one movie of 2013. It’s witty and action packed, stuffed with special effects and loads of possibilities for ancillary sales and sequel rights. It might cost a fair bag of coin to make but flipside, we’ll be making other spin-offs with the least expenditure of original thought. And it made $623,357,910.
- The Dark Knight Rises: satisfying end to a movie trilogy that convinced even the most hardened cynics that Christopher Nolan is a great director of Puccini operas. In fact, for all the nit-picking about the film many people seemed to forget that the actual original idea was complete hogwash before Nolan made it convincing. Plus it made $448,139,099.
- The Hunger Games: showed young girls kicking ass in an intelligent piece of dystopian entertainment, which grossed $408,010,692.
- Skyfall: Bond came back and blew everybody away with bangs, bullets and Bardem, not to mention a billion worldwide but domestically $289,600,000.
- The Twilight Saga: Breaking Dawn Part 2: If only because it means we won’t have to put up with any more Twilight films plus it made $286,130,000.
- The Amazing Spiderman: gets especial kudos for being so original even the fans were saying ‘another Spiderman? Really?’ The film was boring and nonsensical and absolutely pointless, but it made $262,030,663.
- Brave: was shit but it made $237,246,988.
- The Hobbit: An Unexpected Journey: was a flaccid waste of everyone’s time and there’s more to come. Having made $222,703,000, who am I to ask for originality, brevity, some sense of innovation!?
- Ted: managed the miracle of having many people use the words Mark Wahlberg and good film in the same sentence without a negative particle. It also made $218,665,740.
- Madagascar 3: Europe’s Most Wanted: I didn’t even see this (after all why would I?) but it did make $216,391,482, coincidentally the 10th biggest box office of the year.
In the final part of his Xmas top ten, Sir Edwin Fluffer writes of his favorite Xmas films and his experience working in the cinema as an ‘actor’:
I enjoyed this movie so much that I spent years trying to track down the preceding 33 Streets only to find that this is actually the first one. They haven’t made the sequel yet either, but I could always find time in my schedule for a cameo. I’d like to play the judge because then you can sit down behind that nice big desk and if you get too warm you can take your trousers off.
When I was cast in The Searchers I wanted to play it with no trousers on, but the saddles on those horses were most uncomfortable. In the end I had to bring a cushion to sit on, but when John Wayne saw it he wanted one too and the whole thing got out of hand. I had to get Natalie Wood to embroider my name on my cushion because Jeffrey Hunter kept stealing it.
Having no trousers backfired quite spectacularly when I was bitten by one of the horses, which resulted in some quite lengthy medical treatment. To this day I can’t think of lovely Natalie Wood without feeling quite uncomfortable. Sadly all of my scenes were cut from the movie because John Ford felt that the subplot I was involved in didn’t really gel with the rest of the picture. Even at the time I felt that having an astronaut with no trousers turn up in the middle of a western was slightly avant garde and once again history has proved me right.
The day I got my star on the Hollywood Walk of Fame I also got a phone call from that lovely young actor Alan Rickman. The poor love was in tears and I could barely understand a word he was saying. I headed straight over to his hotel room and found him in a terrible state. Ally was just about to start filming his role as the lead villain in Die Hard, but couldn’t find the character. It’s every actor’s worst nightmare. With all my years of experience in the business I couldn’t see a fellow performer suffer that way, so I stayed up with him all night long running the lines and trying desperately to find a way for him to get under the skin of that part. It was the early hours of the following morning when I suddenly had a brain wave: why not do it with an accent?
We must’ve tried them all, Mexican, Japanese, Australian, but we got there in the end and the result is one of the most mesmerizing performances in the entire history of the cinema. So if anyone ever asks you ‘who had the bright idea to get Alan Rickman to do a French accent in Die Hard?’ you tell them Sir Edwin Fluffer! Darling Alan was terribly grateful and said he’d tried to get me a credit as dialogue coach.
I don’t know if he remembered or not because when I saw the film I’d had a few drinks and fell asleep long before the end.
As the holiday season approaches actor, raconteur and functioning alcoholic Sir Edwin Fluffer pours himself a large one, and introduces us to his Top Ten Christmas movies.
Dear me, I must have had a snifter too many because I entirely to forgot to put number three in my Top Ten. Here it is now, and be a dear and don’t tell nurse:
3 National Lampoon’s Christmas Vacation
This is quite simply the funniest movie ever made, but when I got my voting form for that year’s Academy Awards I couldn’t believe it hadn’t been nominated for a single Oscar! I’ve never known a worse travesty of justice! I wrote Chevy Chase’s name in every single category and then put a big tick next to it but to no avail, and so I threatened to resign from the Academy in protest.
It was only then my agent told me that if I did they wouldn’t let me have my lifetime achievement award.
In the end I decided it was best to just let it lie.
Dear Chevy was very understanding, and he still sends a card every year.
8 The Shop Around The Corner
This was one of my first jobs in Hollywood! MGM were sure they had another hit on their hands, but they were worried that audiences couldn’t understand what James Stewart was saying. Don’t get me wrong, I think Jimmy was one of the most marvelous actors that the big screen’s been fortunate enough to make rich and famous, but that voice of his could be a bit tricky on the ear.
In the end I was called in to dub all of Mr Stewart’s lines, and I spent hours in a sound booth going through them over and over again. If I do say so myself the end result was quite impressive, but sadly the studio didn’t agree. They felt that having an English man dubbing the voice of an American actor starring in a film set in Hungary was just too confusing.
In the end they had to get Jimmy back in to record all his lines again! He wasn’t very happy about it, although I was delighted! There aren’t many actors who can say they’ve been overdubbed by a star of his calibre, but I’m proud to be one of them. To this day The Shop Around The Corner remains one of my finest performances. It’s just a shame that nobody got to see it. Like when I danced on top of the piano and played the kazoo in Casablanca.
In preparation for the festive season Studio Exec asked resident flaneur and genius Sir Edwin Fluffer for his top ten Xmas movies. This is part 3 of his selection:
Lovely Harry Carey Jr. rang me a few years back to say that he had a part in a new picture they were shooting called Gremlins. I visited him on the set and can’t say I fully understood what was going on, but everyone seemed to be having a lot of fun.
When I arrived they were setting up a shot using a stair lift much like I have at home. The actress who’d be sat in it still hadn’t been called, and I was pleased as punch to be asked to stand in for her! I got into costume and took my position, but then the machine malfunctioned and I was propelled up the stairs at break neck speed! I was travelling so fast that I couldn’t stop and was flung off the end and straight out of a window!
I don’t think I’ve laughed so much in all my life! The director loved it and kept the whole scene in the final cut. He even let me have the dress, which comes in useful whenever dear Mickey Rooney is having one of his parties.
7 Home Alone
The first time I saw this picture I didn’t like it at all, but that’s because I went into the wrong screening and ended up sitting through The Godfather Part 3. The second time I saw it I thought the popcorn was a little overpriced. I believe I paid a dollar for my carton (bear in mind that this was 1990!) and so I expected a dollar’s worth of popcorn. I can’t remember exactly what happened next, but a photograph did appear in the LA Times the next day of yours truly lying on the sidewalk outside the theatre with paramedics in attendance.
I reached an out of court settlement with the staff at the movie theatre and to this day we’re still the best of friends.
In fact I think I may be right in saying that the deputy manager married one of my daughters, but don’t quote me on that. In the end I saw Home Alonemany years later when it was shown on television. It was very funny, but I didn’t like the adverts.
|‘The size of a healthy penis’
As the holiday season approaches actor, raconteur and functioning alcoholic Sir Edwin Fluffer pours himself a large cognac, and introduces us to his Top Ten Christmas movies.
When Frank Capra rang to offer me a role in this Christmas classic I jumped at the chance. Unfortunately I landed awkwardly on top of Lionel Barrymore. Luckily I wasn’t seriously hurt, but poor old Lionel ended up having to film all of his scenes from a wheelchair. It was a simple accident and could’ve happened to anyone after a few large brandies, but I’m afraid that darling Lionel did rather hold it against me. I won’t go as far as to say that he had me fired from the picture, but he certainly wrote a long letter to Frank pointing out my many failings both as an actor and a human being.
In all fairness some of the points he raised were hard to disagree with and as I read on I soon found myself nodding in agreement.
Jimmy Stewart took it a step further by asking the rest of the cast and crew to sign a petition requesting that my services be no longer required and I mistakenly signed it thinking it was a birthday card for Donna Reed! We did laugh about that!
Even to this day I still can’t think about this film without getting a tear in my eye.
I’ve not actually seen this film myself, but the lady who comes in to do my cleaning assures me that it’s very good. The box says it has an all-star cast so there’s every chance that I could be in it. If there’s a smartly dressed gentleman with an eye for the ladies making witty remarks while pretending not to notice the bunch of mistletoe sticking out of his trousers then that’s probably me. People including my lawyer say I’m far too old for that kind of behavior, but try telling that to dear old Ollie Reed or darling Dickie Harris.
Of course Peter O’Toole’s given up on all that sort of thing now, and have you seen the state of him? He looks dreadful!
Wait! I have seen this one!
Has it got Charlton Heston doing the chariot racing? That’s on every Christmas, and very good it is too.
HOLLYWOOD – What are the facts about Man of Steel? Nobody knows.
So here they are. The Facts. About Man of Steel.
Executive Producer Jon Peter’s is the former hairdresser of Barbara Streisand and the inventor of the mullet.
Henry Cavill spent a year on the Planet Krypton in order to prepare for the role of Superman/Clark Kent. During his stay he learnt basic Kryptonese which enabled him to order in restaurants and ask for directions to the train station.
Michael Shannon will play the villainous General Zod, a role formerly played by British actor Terence Stamp. Coincidently both Shannon and Stamp are very fond of Pea and Ham soup.
Adam Sandler, David Spade, Rob Schneider and Kevin James were all considered for the role of Superman in a parallel universe.
Damon Lindelof was originally hired to write the script. In his version Superman is a god who was impregnated by a squid which eventually resulted in the creation of human beings. Warner Brothers CEO Barry Meyer rejected the treatment on the grounds of it being “Bullshit”
Russell Crowe will play the part of Superman’s father Jor-El, a role formerly played by Marlon Brando. Director Zack Snyder wanted Brando to reprise the role but Marlon never returned his calls.
Cavill was so immersed in his character he spent hours staring at frozen microwave meals in Supermarkets trying to cook them with his heat vision.
Zack Snyder agreed to have Christopher Nolan enter his mind and erase all memory of Sucker Punch before he was hired to direct.
Rumour had it that Batman would make a cameo appearance after Christian Bale was spotted in costume on set but according to Snyder, Bale was simply asking the crew if they had any information about the whereabouts of The Riddler.
Brandon Routh was also seen on set which gave rise to speculation he was going to play Superman’s evil twin. Turns out he was just delivering Pizza.
For more FACTS on everything from this to that click HERE!