Some links before I get started today. Norma had an author's decision and thoughts on Nine Eleven. Cheryl wrote about lizards. Parsnip had a very late Square Dog Friday at her page. Krisztina had hedgehog decor at her blog, and a recipe for pasta sauce. Shelly wrote about the ego. Whisk asked about baked bread. Lorelei wrote about the state of bookstores. And Mark wrote about making fun of terrorists.
Now then, back to a familiar subject, a certain egomaniac director. By the way, the trilogy of films referred to here, I can see why they're so acclaimed, though I must admit, I've never cared for them personally.
Explosion Prone Director Announces Unlikely Sequel, Revels In His Own Ego
Los Angeles (AP) Reporters gathered yesterday at the digital effects studio Digital Domain, home turf for director Michael Bay and his endless line of movies featuring explosions, fast cars, hot women, and more explosions. Bay, who has already brought literally explosive fare to the theatres like Armageddon, Pearl Harbor, and The Rock, has been busy as of late with a string of other projects. It was a surprise, and an unwelcome one, to learn he had yet another project on the go. To attend a Michael Bay press conference is a form of cruel and unusual punishment, in the opinion of this reporter. The man is full of himself. And yet this reporter, along with other real reporters who had incurred the wrath of their editors, had been subjected to cover the latest Michael Bay meet and greet, along with the usual drooling idiots who fall under the entertainment reporter label. Looking around at the latter, this reporter wondered where a certain cranky Mountie was when you really needed him.
Bay’s presence was announced by one of his staffers. The director came out on stage, dressed as usual, wearing a suit jacket over jeans and a denim shirt, but no tie. His hair was as coiffed as ever (is coiffed a word?) and he had a day or two worth of stubble. This, of course, is the way he always seeks to present himself. He stopped at the podium, where a full length mirror had been propped up, and gave himself a look, seeming to approve of what he saw. Then he waved to the reporters, blowing kisses.
“Thank you for coming out!” he proclaimed. “It’s so wonderful to see you all here today!” He smiled in his usual dazed, self absorbed way. This reporter rolled his eyes, wondering how long his editor would keep him in the purgatory of crap assignments like this. (you know why you’re stuck here, and by god you will remain there as long as I deem it so. Nyah nyah nyah nyah ~ editor). “I’ve got great news about a future film project that I’ve got in mind. I’ll be filming, as soon as I’ve got my other stuff out of the way- it occurs to me that I have a whole lot on my plate right now- a sequel to a great classic trilogy. As it turns out, the director of that trilogy chose not to continue to tell the story, and well, long story short, I’ve acquired the rights. So I’ll be following up things with a new film called The Godfather Part IV: Fredo’s Revenge!”
Reporters gasped in shock. First at the thought of Michael Bay having his hands on The Godfather franchise. Second, at the notion that Fredo Corleone, who met a bad end at the behest of his brother Michael Corleone in the films, could possibly engineer some form of revenge. “Sacrilege!” shouted a reporter with Sight & Sound, the film trade magazine. “A man like you has no right to desecrate classic films!”
Bay shrugged. “Who’s desecrating anything? Besides, I’m busy remaking Casablanca and Gone With The Wind too, and they’ll be a billion times better than the originals. Look, it’s all very simple...”
“No it’s not!” a Reuters correspondent objected. “Fredo Corleone died in The Godfather Part II! He was killed off at the orders of his brother! So how can he take revenge? And frankly sir, you are a hack of a director who should never be allowed to helm any film ever again!”
Bay laughed. “Oh, you must be kidding, and I thank you for the amusement. First of all, before I discuss certain plot details, I must begin by introducing to you Mr. Steven Tyler of Aerosmith!”
Tyler came out on stage, looking as if he’d been beaten by an ugly stick. This reporter then had to concede that Tyler always looks like that. “Hello, Chicago!!!!!” he bellowed at the top of his lungs.
“Steven, we’re in Los Angeles,” Bay reminded him. “Ladies and gentlemen, Aerosmith are going to be extensively involved in the soundtrack. First of all they’ll be giving a rock and roll interpretation of Nina Rota’s original score themes. Second, they’re going to be doing two songs for the soundtrack. One of them is already titled ‘She Made Me An Offer Of Love I Couldn’t Refuse.’ The other one will be called ‘Just When I Think I’m Out, She Drags Me Back Into Love.’ Aren’t those great titles? They’ll be burning up the charts when the movie gets released.”
“Yeaaaaaaaaaaaaahhhhhh!” Tyler bellowed for no reason, hurting the hearing of those reporters with sensitive hearing. He nodded and smiled in a vacant way, making us wonder if he was suffering from brain damage, and took his place near Bay.
Bay continued speaking. “You know, in The Godfather Part III, there are a number of years between the events of the main part of the film coming to a close, and the actual death of Michael Corleone as a very old man. So I decided to fill in some of those blanks and tell a story all my own. I’ve mused on it for a long time, and bear with me, because this is my hook for the movie. What if, instead of being the weak, spineless brother in the Corleone family, old Fredo had really been the most devious, the most ruthless one of the lot? What if instead of dying, he launched an ingenious plan to fake his death, spending years pulling strings from the shadows against his brother? That, my friends, is the essence of where I take things in The Godfather Part IV. Brother versus brother. Blood against blood. Mobster against mobster. Family versus family. It’s going to be epic.”
Bay paused now, looking at himself in a mirror for a moment before continuing. “Michael Corleone, devastated by the death of his daughter at the hands of his enemies. He finds himself back in charge of the family business, because, well, his nephew Vincent gets whacked in a car bombing. And we’re talking a huge car bombing. They’ll be seeing the explosion in Philadelphia. It turns out Andy Garcia didn’t want to reprise his role as Vincent. He told me to go to hell and stay there. I don’t know why, I mean, I’m a great director. So we have to shoot a body double in the shadows, write out Vincent early on, and have him whacked in a big way. So like I’m saying, there’s Michael, all alone, drawn back into the criminal world, and he finds out the guy who’s been behind more than he realizes is the brother he thought he had whacked. Fredo’s back, baby, and he’s thoroughly pissed off at Michael. The rest of the story tells itself. We’re talking explosions. And babes. And explosions. And family drama. And rock music score. And explosions. In case it’s not obvious, I love explosions. They’re my kind of orgasm.”
The members of the assembled press looked at each other uneasily; this reporter wrote down in his notebook: too much information. Bay, oblivious to it all, kept speaking. “And now, the cast. Michael Corleone has been the central figure of this whole saga. Now, Al Pacino would have been reprising his role in this picture if things had been different, but for some reason when I asked him to do so, he told me to ****myself, and then launched into a lot of expletives and questioning if I was born in a barn, among other things. I’m sure he was just kidding around, but in case he wasn’t, I had to go with another actor. Ladies and gentlemen, playing the Godfather, Michael Corleone, I give you...”
“Shia LaBeouf?” the Reuters correspondent asked with disgust.
“No, though Shia is in the cast,” Bay admitted. “Patience, patience. No, it’s a member of the Coppola clan, and a good friend of mine. Ladies and gentlemen, Nicolas Cage!”
Cage came out on stage, smiling in that goofy way of his. Reporters gasped in horror. “Hi, everyone. It’s a pleasure to be playing one of the iconic roles in movie history.”
Cage stood with Bay and Tyler, while the director continued to speak. “I wanted Diane Keaton to reprise her role as Kay for the film, but she said she wouldn’t work for me for any salary in the world. And in the way she said it, I wondered if she’d spent a lot of time around sailors, because her vocabulary was quite colourful. Anyway, I thought about it, and I decided to go with a more unconventional choice for the role. I’ve gone and recast the role with someone who I think would be great for the job. Ladies and gentlemen, say hello to Fran Drescher!”
The actress best known for the sitcom The Nanny stepped out on stage. Reporters gasped in a stunned way yet again. Could someone with her unique voice be taken seriously in such a role? Even if she wasn’t being directed by the biggest hack of all time? She waved to the crowd as she joined the others, speaking in her nasal tone. “Isn’t it sweet you’ve all come to see us?”
Bay carried on. “Another major character we’re bringing back is Fredo Corleone, back from the dead and looking to get even. The actor playing our villain has been in a number of my films, and I’ve talked him into coming back once again. Say hello to Steve Buscemi!”
Buscemi came out on stage, looking sheepish. “Look, I’m really sorry, but I’m under contract to this idiot, and I can’t break it. All I can say is, don’t go to see this movie when the time comes.”
Bay laughed. “That Steve! Such a joker! Also in the cast, playing the key role of Michael’s son Anthony Corleone, the former opera singer who wants no part of the business, I must give you one of my favourite actors, my go-to guy, Shia LaBeouf!”
LaBeouf stepped out on stage, waving. “Hello! Shia is happy to see all of you basking in Shia’s glorious triumph!” he proclaimed. This reporter rolled his eyes. The little waste of space was still speaking in the third person. This reporter made a mental note to check his contract and find a way to get out of being in journalistic hell all because of an editor who can’t take a joke (can’t take a joke? You broke out laughing at my mother-in-law’s funeral, you punk! You deserve all of this and worse! ~ editor) LaBeouf kept speaking. “Now, Michael, will Shia’s name be first above the movie title in the credits?”
“We’ll get to that later, Shia,” Bay promised. “Ladies and gentlemen, I also have parts in mind for other regular Michael Bay cast members who can’t be here today. Megan Fox will be playing Antony Corleone’s love interest, because you have to have a love interest in among all the explosions and who else is going to wax those sports cars wearing next to nothing? And Jon Voight will be playing one of Michael’s advisors. He sends his regrets, but he had to spend some time today yelling at a Democrat.” Bay smiled. “I give you the cast of The Godfather Part IV: Fredo’s Revenge! We’re going to clean up at the Oscars, because we’ll make them an offer they can’t refuse. It all starts with making sure there are plenty of horse heads in the beds of every Oscar voter.”
With that, the room exploded into ranting and roaring, accusations and outrage, a few vacant minded questions about what designer which actor was wearing, and a self absorbed director walking off stage, smiling in oblivious disregard to the contempt in which he was held. This reporter opened his right palm, applied it to his face, and shook his head in dismay. What had I done to deser... (do you want to be relegated to reporting on reality television? ~ editor)