Movie Fact #242 – August 31st, 2013:

In 2005, “Star Wars Episode III: Revenge of the Sith” saw the introduction to the character General Grievous, a computer-generated character that wielded four lightsabers at a time who was voiced by Matthew Wood, who was also the supervising sound editor of the film. However, there was some gossip and news that actor Gary Oldman had been approached to provide the voice of the character.

The rumor was that complications arose during contract negotiations after Oldman learned the film was to be made outside of the Screen Actors Guild, of which he is a member so he backed out of the role rather than violate the union’s rules. However, Wood himself disputed this story at Celebration III that is held in Indianapolis. He says that Oldman is a friend of Rick McCallum who was the producer of the “Star Wars” prequel trilogy and that Oldman, as a favor to McCallum, recorded an audition but was not chosen. Wood, who ultimately got the part, was in charge of the auditions and submitted his audition anonymously in the midst of 30 others, under the initials “A.S.” for Alan Smithee. Alan Smithee is actually an official pseudonym used by film directors who wish to disown a project, coined in 1968. Anyway, days later he received a phone call asking for the full name to the initials “A.S.” and Wood got the part. On a side note, there was an internet hoax going around that said actor John Rhys-Davies was considered for the role as well. 

Sometimes the little guy just gets the part. Wood, not even an actor but a sound engineer, got the part for a rather significant character in what was, at the time, the final “Star Wars” film in the official movie saga to come out. I think that deserves all the applause in the world.

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Published in: on August 31, 2013 at 11:25 PM  Leave a Comment  

Quote #242 – August 31st, 2013:

“You don’t always have to run.  Take good time to watch first, then decide.”

– Will Arnett, “The Secret World of Arrietty”

Published in: on August 31, 2013 at 11:11 PM  Leave a Comment  

Movie Fact #241 – August 30th, 2013:

The 1974 neo-noir film “Chinatown” was inspired by the California Water Wars which was a series of disputes over southern California water at the beginning of the 20th century by which Los Angeles interests secured water rights in the Owens Valley. The film, frequently listed among the greatest films in history, also happened to be director Roman Polanski’s last film in the United States before his legal issues which I will refrain from mentioning on this site to focus on the filmmaking process. The point is the film was powered by truth and truth tends to make the film even harder to turn away from when it hits so close to the real world we ourselves live in.

Published in: on August 30, 2013 at 11:15 PM  Leave a Comment  

Quote #241 – August 30th, 2013:

“Playing music is supposed to be fun. It’s about heart, it’s about feelings, moving people, and something beautiful, and it’s not about notes on a page. I can teach you notes on a page, I can’t teach you that other stuff.”

– Richard Dreyfuss, “Mr. Holland’s Opus”

Published in: on August 30, 2013 at 11:07 PM  Leave a Comment  

Movie Fact #240 – August 29th, 2013:

Some people just have a good couple years in film. Take director Paul Haggis who directed the 2005 film “Crash” that went on to win him Academy Awards for Best Picture and Best Original Screenplay as he also wrote the story. However, did you know he also wrote the screenplay for “Million Dollar Baby” the previous year?

The film, directed by Clint Eastwood went on to also win Best Picture although Haggis didn’t win anything directly even though he was nominated for Best Adapted Screenplay. Still, With “Million Dollar Baby” in 2004 and then “Crash” in 2005, Haggis became the first individual to have written Best Picture Oscar-winners in two consecutive years. Like I said, some people have a good couple years in film. Haggis had a couple of VERY good years in film it would seem.

Published in: on August 29, 2013 at 4:54 PM  Leave a Comment  

Quote #240 – August 29th, 2013:

“Being brilliant is not enough, young man.  You have to work hard.  Intelligence is not a privilege, it’s a gift, and you use it for the good of mankind.”

– Alfred Molina, “Spider-Man 2”

Published in: on August 29, 2013 at 4:47 PM  Comments (4)  

Movie Fact #239 – August 28th, 2013:

A number of the actors in the original 1974 comedy-drama “The Longest Yard” had previously played professional football in real life. Mike Henry (Played the character Rasmussen) played for the Pittsburgh Steelers and the Los Angeles Rams while Joe Kapp (Played the character Walking Boss) played quarterback for the Minnesota Vikings. Ray Nitschke (Played the character Bogdanski) was a middle linebacker for the Green Bay Packers and was even inducted into the Pro Football Hall of Fame in 1978, four years after the movie was released. Pervis Atkins (Played the character Mawabe) played for the Los Angeles Rams, the Washington Redskins and the Oakland Raiders.

Also appearing as prisoners is Ernie Wheelwright, who played with the New York Giants, Atlanta Falcons and the New Orleans Saints. There was also Ray Ogden, who played with the St. Louis Cardinals, the New Orleans Saints, the Atlanta Falcons and the Chicago Bears. Not to mention Sonny Sixkiller (Played the character Indian) was a collegiate star as a quarterback for the University of Washington Huskies from 1970-1972, and briefly played pro in the defunct World Football League. Finally, Burt Reynolds himself had played college football for Florida State University. Reynolds plays the main character Paul Crewe in the film. Sometimes to make a film work and seem more realistic you need actors who have those skills necessary to make it work. And out of that, you get a hit film such as “The Longest Yard”.

Published in: on August 28, 2013 at 8:34 PM  Leave a Comment  

Quote #239 – August 28th, 2013:

“It takes a great deal of courage to stand up to your enemies, but a great deal more to stand up to your friends.”

– Richard Harris, “Harry Potter and the Sorcerer’s Stone”

Published in: on August 28, 2013 at 8:23 PM  Leave a Comment  

Movie Fact #238 – August 27th, 2013:

Some things in the film process don’t end up the way you hope sometimes. Take the 2005 film “Match Point” that was directed by Woody Allen which was originally set in New York but instead was produced and filmed in London after Allen had difficulty finding financial support for the film in New York. Part of the agreement for filming in London was that Allen was obliged to make it there using a cast and crew mostly from the United Kingdom. So Allen quickly re-wrote the script for an English setting.

Considering that “Match Point” was considered one of Allen’s best films in years and a return to form for him, not to mention being nominated for an Oscar for Best Original Screenplay, I think that quick change of setting might have been a blessing in the end.

Published in: on August 27, 2013 at 9:49 PM  Leave a Comment  

Quote #238 – August 27th, 2013:

“Time is chasing after all of us.”

– Eileen Essell, “Finding Neverland”

Published in: on August 27, 2013 at 9:35 PM  Leave a Comment