Get ready for some Amazing Spiderfacts!

  • After mishearing his character’s name method-acting Brit Andrew Garfield spent 6 months picking pecks of pickled peppers.
  • In one of the film’s most moving scenes, Spiderman finally learns responsibility after his Uncle Ben burns some rice in the microwave.
  • Rhys Ifans actually cut his own arm off to audition for misguided tri-limbed Dr Curt Connors. It was a risk that pulled off! Unlike Rhys’ gloves, with which he now needs help.
  • Martin Sheen’s performance in the film (along with every performance he’s given since 1979) will eventually be edited into the Director’s Cut of Apocalypse Now Redux Redux Redux.
  • The film’s original title was the more honest but less grabby The Latest Spiderman.
  • Director Marc Webb isn’t the only spider-themed crew member. Others include stunt coordinator Justin Tarantula, focus puller Michaela Cloacalchamber, designer Billy ‘8 Legs’ Eightlegs and location caterer Peter T. Amazingspidermanparker.
  • Stan Lee makes his traditional cameo as Peter Parker’s backpack.
  • Aunt May isn’t as annoying in this one.
  • Though a big fan of the Tobey Maguire version, Andrew Garfield decided to approach playing Spiderman a different way. By using his face to act with and varying the tone of his voice to convey thoughts and emotions.
  • Don’t forget to stay until the end of the credits for an extra scene where some guys from Marvel just come right out with it and ask if anyone’s got any crappy old comics at home they can bleed dry, cos frankly they’re running out of shit to reboot.
  • Hugh Hefner’s granddad makes his traditional cameo as Stan Lee.
  • This is the first Spiderman film to properly explain which bit of arachnid DNA makes them so good at sewing and costume design.
  • The Amazing Spiderman is the third film this year where audiences forget to bring one of the millions of bloody 3D glasses they’ve got at home and end up paying an extra pound. Yeah, piracy’s killing cinema.
  • Denis Leary stole the idea of playing a police captain who chases Spiderman but eventually learns to respect him from Bill Hicks.
  • Having appeared in every Marvel comics film adaptation since 2002, Stan Lee is keen to start working on his own projects. Stan Lee: ‘That’s Another Fine Mess, Stan Lee’ is on at the Pleasance Dome from August 6th. He’s also been commissioned to write a treatment for a Radio 4 panel show hosted by Gyles Brandreth. Stan can be contacted through his agent, Vivienne Clore.

GOOFS

  • The characters played by Andrew Garfield and Emma Stone are supposed to 17. Seventeen? Fuck off.
  • Neither Joseph Gordon Levitt nor Emily Blunt appear in the film. There must have been some sort of mix-up.
  • In the film, Andrew Garfield plays a man who is bitten by a spider and given amazing powers. This would never happen.
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Dad’s Army Fanfic

Warmington-On-Sea burns. The butchers shop, the undertakers, the church – its smashed spire still just visible above the smoke. The bank. Oh God, the bank. Mr. Mainwaring will be furious on Monday morning. He likes a neat bank, does Mr. Mainwaring. Except Mr. Mainwaring isn’t ever going to be furious again, is he?

Keep running, boy. Scared boy. Coward boy. Stupid boy.

They were supposed to have come from the sea. Or the air. That’s why they’d spent so long guarding the pier. It stuck out half a mile, perfect for spotting Jerry. Except Jerry had come from behind. Typical Jerry trick, Mr. Mainwaring had said, your Nazi will never play fair. Trick? Play fair? This wasn’t a game anymore – why was the fat idiot still insisting it was a game? No, don’t call him that. It’s not nice. Don’t speak ill of the dead, that’s what Uncle Arthur would say.

Wipe the sick from your mouth, boy; stiff upper lip, whistle while you work. Mum’s going to kill you when she sees the state of your scarf. Run to you mother, boy, tell her what happened. She’ll want to know about Uncle Arthur. She won’t blame you, she’ll keep you safe.

Walker had died first.

‘The fucking thing’s jammed’

 The boy’s shocked. Joe never swears, least not round him, round the platoon. He swears now, stabbing at the Bren gun’s breech with his penknife, cigarette still clamped below the pencil moustache.

‘Get to Mainwaring. No, wait, get to Wilson. Tell him we’re fucked’

‘No, Joe, I want to stay’

Joe chucks the Bren, picks up his rifle, starts banging away.  Black shapes, moving along the tree line. The boy sees one drop.

‘Bullseye, Joe’

‘Piss off, kid – I’m busy’

He runs, runs while the shooting continues behind him. The crack of Joe’s rifle. The ground shakes, the roar of engines. Like the tractor display at the County Fair before the war. When he’d been a boy. A younger boy. Tanks. Panzers. Rolling off his bedroom wall, out of the newspapers and nightmares and over the fields towards him. Joe’s rifle stops.

Real soldiers. The Germans were real soldiers. Why did we think we could fight them? We shouldn’t have been here. We’re civilians, bank clerks, shopkeepers, retired tailors – who did we think we were kidding?

He stops running. Voices up ahead. He hides, crawls behind a low wall. The stench of piss and sick burns his throat. His trousers are dripping. He must have wet himself.

Nazis, real Nazis. Two of them, a motorcycle and side car. One pulls at a couple of logs, strung out across the road as a barricade. That had been Jones and Fraser’s station. The old Scotsman had moaned about the waste of good wood.

He was right, wasn’t he, boy? You were all doomed.

Fraser’s body is on the verge. Death suits his face, somehow. The flames from a burning cottage dance in his staring eyes. Bloody hell, that’s Godfrey’s place. Well, he wasn’t going to be able to get home for a piss now anyway. Even in his fear, the boy thinks of Godfrey’s sisters. Dolly and Cissy, interchangeable, with all their luggage on the station platform, refusing to believe that the German invasion would interfere with something as important as the railway timetable. Poor bloody cows, they might as well have waited for a ghost train.

One of the Germans shouts. His prisoner babbles incoherently. Jones.

‘Don’t panic. Don’t panic. Don’t panic’

The German slaps him. Like in the movies. The boy stands, shouts.

Stupid boy.

The German turns, his gun snaps up. The boy waits an age. But he doesn’t die. Not yet. The German’s gun barrel flicks upwards.

Hände hoche. You know that much German, boy.

The platoon is all gone. He’s the only one left.

He raises his hands. Steps over the wall, walks slowly towards his captor. The fight is gone from him. He’s crying. Crying in front of the enemy, of adults. He doesn’t care. He just wants to crawl into a hole. Be a child again. Live. Whatever it takes. Whatever he needs to do. Whatever they want to know, just tell them, Pike.

THE FIRST THING I DID WITH MY 2:1 IN DRAMA FROM BRISTOL UNIVERSITY…

… was, apparently, write time-wasting letters to the National Theatre. I recently found copies, which I leave here for the crows who feast on youthful hubris.

19th December 1995

The Chairman,

Royal National Theatre,

South Bank,

London,

SE1 9PX

Dear Sir,

I am writing to you to apply for the position of Richard Eyre advertised in The Guardian, Monday 18th December. As a recent graduate with a 2:1 BA (Hons) in Drama, I have a wide range of experience in all types of theatre, including front of house work. My current job of working in the Cash Office and on the Information Desk of a busy high street chemist has provided me with the administrative and problem-solving skills necessary to be Richard Eyre. I work well under pressure.

I have visited the Royal National Theatre several times, most recently to see ‘An Inspector Calls’ which was quite good, and this has provided me with a good working knowledge of what the job of Richard Eyre would entail. The current Richard Eyre is, I understand, quite old, but I feel a more youthful approach may bring a new slant to the position and I am younger than Sam Mendes. I also own a light cotton safari suit.

In my spare time I enjoy fencing, watching television and socialising. I have good communication skills and I work well both on my own and as part of a team. I was a prefect in my secondary school and was secretary of the University of Bristol Drama Society.

I am required to give my present employers, Boots the Chemists Ltd, one month’s notice but after that time I am available to work every day except Saturday. If I am accepted in the position of the new Richard Eyre I am willing to relocate to London so there will be no need for me to commute.

As I am aware that the Royal National Theatre funds are limited, I have enclosed an SSAE.

Yours faithfully,

Daniel Tetsell, BA(Hons) 

Fair play, they did send me a polite letter, including an application pack. Having nothing better to do than avoid moving back in with my parents, I replied.

29th January 1996

Dear Sir,

APPLICATION FOR APPOINTMENT AS SUCCESSOR TO RICHARD EYRE, DIRECTOR, ROYAL NATIONAL THEATRE

Following your letter of 4th January, I thought I should address each of the points outlined in the ‘Qualifications and Qualities’ section of your infobooklet in order.

1. A commitment to artistic excellence.

Yes, I have a commitment to artistic excellence.

2. A track record of success, preferably at first hand as a director, in the production of British and international drama.

I have first hand experience at directing British drama and have been in a play in Edinburgh written by an American.

3. A clear and distinctive vision of the National as a national theatre.

It is clear to my vision that the National should be distinctly national as indicated by the name. If it catered purely for a minority of London-based artists and critics it would not be held in such high regard by people in Hull or other such places.

4. The gift of communicating that vision, effectively and persuasively, to the staff of the National at every level and to the public.

Learning from my experience at Boots The Chemists Ltd, I would hold weekly ‘team meetings’ every Tuesday morning. This would necessitate opening later, probably about 9.30am but I would communicate the need for this effectively and persuasively to the general public who would be sure to be accommodating.

 5. The ability to be an effective team builder.

 I am an effective team builder.

6. The ability to motivate and to inspire.

I believe the appointment of a relatively inexperienced successor to Richard Eyre, Director, Royal National Theatre, would motivate and inspire the staff to achieve better things.

7. Experience, or understanding, of strategic management, including the management of financial resources (particularly at a time of constrained budgets), as well as project and staff management.

Once again my experience will stand me in good stead in meeting the requirement of this slightly longer paragraph. I am an unemployed Drama graduate and thus have ample experience in the management of financial resources (particularly at a time of constrained budgets).

8. An awareness of the major issues facing the National, British theatre and other major Arts companies.

I know, I know. Just do not talk to me about it. I blame the government. I have recently written an angry and pompous letter to The Guardian about it, which I got 39 of my friends to sign.

9. Practical experience of running a theatre would be highly desirable.

I have built and sold tickets from the Box Office of a busy Edinburgh Fringe venue.

I hope these points will clarify my application and make your choice a bit easier. 

Thank you for your consideration.

Yours faithfully,

Daniel Tetsell, BA(Hons)

I didn’t get the job. Which is lucky as I would probably have passed on Warhorse.

LOW BUDGET INDIE FILM TITLES: A PSYCHOGEOGRAPHY

So, you want to make a low budget indie film.

You’ve booked Laura Linney and/or Mark Ruffalo; you’ve location scouted some really moody wheat fields; you found a Moldy Peaches CD in a bargain bin so the soundtrack’s sorted; you’ve arranged a screening at Sundance and Raindance and Riverdance and are mentally prepared for all the months of adulation and years of disappointment a indie film festival hit can bring. There’s just one problem – your low budget indie film doesn’t have a suitably low budget indie film title. Well, do what I do; take a walk down the street and steal one off a sign. Any street will do. Take for instance Dawes Road, Fulham. After just a ten-minute stroll I had enough low budget indie film titles to fill that snooty independent DVD rental place where all the film studies postgrads work.

How about…?

The Fish Bowl

THE FISH BOWL: Laura Linney and Mark Ruffalo excel in this intense drama about the breakdown of a marriage seen through the eyes of the people who live opposite.

Heritage Ltd

HERITAGE LTD: Mark Ruffalo uncovers corruption in the corridors of the National Trust.

Same Day

SAME DAY: Laura Linney stars as a jaded socialite, trapped in a loveless marriage. Across town her cleaner Rosario (a stunning Mark Ruffalo) tries to catch a bus.

The Fulham Dentist

THE FULHAM DENTIST: Chris O’Dowd, Chewitel Ejiofor, Catherine Tate, Bill Paterson and Gillian Anderson star alongside Laura Linney in Jez Butterworth’s darkly comic thriller.

Single File Traffic

SINGLE FILE TRAFFIC: Sally Hawkins gives an award-nominated performance as a traumatised Territorial Army quartermaster getting back on the dating scene in Bristol. (Dir: Mark Ruffalo)

Curtains and Duvets

CURTAINS & DUVETS: From Annie Griffin, director of ‘Festival’, this new ‘comedy’ takes place over one day in the stock room of a John Lewis. Stars Mark Wooton, Gillian Anderson and Jessica Stevenson Spaced Hynes. “Finally, a comedy for people who don’t like comedy” Time Out

Any of these

Yeah, any of these would make a perfectly servicable indie film title. If NO LOADING was on at the Curzon they’d eat it up.

Homestead Road

HOMESTEAD ROAD: In 1970s Arizona, dying farmer Ed Harris awaits the return of his estranged, gay, Vietnam veteran adopted son (Laura Linney). Contains scenes of mild family secret unearthing.

Tea with Jesus

TEA WITH JESUS: Every  week for twenty years four black women meet at their church to talk about life, love, children and being a black woman. Stars Mark Ruffalo, Chris O’Dowd, Eddie Marsan and Gillian Anderson. “Deceptively racist” Time Out

Sitting Pretty

SITTING PRETTY: Blah blah Mike Leigh blah blah heart-warming comedy blah blah stupid Cockney voice blah blah shocking rape scene blah blah Palm D’or.

Lannoy Point

LANNOY POINT: Twenty years after her daughter drowned on a family holiday, Laura Linney returns to Lannoy Point to confront her ghosts. Not real ghosts, unfortunately. Co-stars Tim Lovejoy in his first film role.

See you in Aspen!