Short Story Saturday: Raging Blastoise, Starring Robert De Niro

By Rich Knight 2013-11-09 11:05:59discussion comments
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Take a break from the hectic news of Hollywood with our weekly look into the world of "what if". Fresh fan fiction happens weekly here at Cinema Blend on Short Story Saturday. This is our latest short story entry... "Raging Blastoise, Starring Robert De Niro". It's written by Rich B. Knight whose first book The Darkness of the Womb is now for sale on Amazon.

Robert De Niro stood before a green screen holding a Pokeball. He wore an unzipped, blue, mesh jacket and a backward hat. In front of him was a tennis ball dangling from a string.

"Okay, Robert," Peter Jackson said. He leaned back in his directorís chair and talked with his hands. "Throw the ball as hard as you can, and make sure you say the line with passion this time. Go all out." Mr. De Niro held the ball up high and was about to shout, "Go, Blastoise! I choose you!" but he just couldnít do it. He dropped his arms at his sides and stared at his sneakers.

Has it really come to this? He wondered. This is worse than Rocky and Bullwinkle.

"Cut, cut, cut!" Peter Jackson said. He sliced the air with his arms as he threw them back and forth. "Take five, everybody." He dusted off his pants and walked over to his star.

"Is everything okay, Robert?" Peter Jackson asked. He put his hand on the Academy Award winnerís shoulder and looked at him with cheery eyes.

"Yeah, Mr. Jackson, itís justó"

"Peter," Peter Jackson said. "Or Pete. No need to be formal."

"Iím sorry, Peter. Itís just thatÖwell."

He looked at the dangling tennis ball in the distance.

"I donít know what Iím really supposed to be seeing here. Is Justin Bieber sick or something? Couldnít we just get his understudy to stand in for him?"

"Did you read the script, Robert?"

"Yeah," De Niro said. He squinted, wrinkled his brow, and offered an open-mouthed frown. In other words, he made the De Niro face. "Of course."

"Okay. Then you know that Justin isnít in this scene then. Youíre going up against a mega pterodactyl. Can you visualize that for me, Bob?"

Mr. De Niro didnít like being called "Bob" by anybody but his good friend, Martin Scorsese, but he nodded anyway.

"Sure, sure," he said.

"Good," Peter Jackson said, "Then visualize it." And even though he lost a ton of weight during the filming of King Kong, he still waddled like a penguin back to his directorís seat. Old habits die hard, apparently.

Robert De Niro raised the Pokeball again. He stared a hole into the tennis ball and really tried to envision a "mega pterodactyl" in front of him. But try as he might, he just couldnít see it. He didnít even see the tennis ball anymore. Instead, all he saw was his career going down the toilet. Sure, he had some stinkers behind him, but this might be the very worst. He never thought something like this would be in the cards after he was nominated for Best Supporting Actor in Silver Linings Playbook, but he was back to doing crap again. He just couldnít help himself. Crap was in his blood.

That said, the more crap he did lately, the more he had visions of Orson Welles on his deathbed. Mr. Welles went from making Citizen Kane to playing a voice in an animated Transformers movie at the end of his career.

What if I died tomorrow? Robert De Niro thought. The last role of my life would be in some stupid kidís movie.

"Cut!" Peter Jackson shouted again, startling De Niro. He waddled over to the esteemed actor again, and his eyes werenít so cheery anymore.

"Like it or not, you signed on for this picture. Now, I know what youíre thinking."

De Niro remained silent.

"Youíre second guessing this role because you think youíre too good for it, donít you?"

"Now, I never said that," De Niro said, pushing the air.

"You didnít have to. Itís written all over your face."

De Niro tried to relax his expressions, but it was really hard. He was so used to making "the face" in all of his movies that he really wasnít sure what his real face even looked like anymore.

"Look, you have two options here," Peter Jackson said. "One is to just flat out quit. Doing so would put me in a bind, though. I didnít have anybody else in mind when we were casting for this role. You were my first pick."

De Niro raised an eyebrow.

"And whatís the other option?" He asked.

Peter Jackson held De Niroís shoulder again and shot his index finger at the suspended tennis ball.

"The other option is that you can act the hell out of this scene and get a legion of fresh, new fans to check out your classics. Iím talking Mean Streets, Goodfellas, Raging Bull. Legacy, Mr. De Niro. Legacy. Just think of all the new fans youíre going to get starring in a movie like this."

"Starring?" De Niro asked.

"Of course youíre the bloody star! Whatíd you think? Justin Bieber was the face of this movie? Nobody is going to give two craps about Justin Bieber once they see your performance as Grand Master Saito, leader of the Elite Four. All their tiny, little bug eyes are going to be watching you, Robert, and do you know what youíre going to say when youíre on that screen in front of them?"

Robert De Niro had stars in his eyes by this point. He saw this in a whole new light. He could do nothing but benefit from this role. He knew that now.

"What?" Robert De Niro asked.

"Youíre going to say, ĎGO, BLASTOISE! I CHOOSE YOU!"

And he pointed directly at the tennis ball.

Robert De Niro threw the Pokeball so hard in that direction that he nearly pulled his back out. The red and white circle missed the tennis ball completely and hit the green screen background. It made a "chock!" sound when it hit the wall.

"Great work, Robert," Peter Jackson said, slapping De Niro on the back. "Real capitol stuff."

When he waddled back to his seat, he smiled at De Niro. But internally, he sighed.

Actors, Peter Jackson thought.

"Letís take it from the top again," he said.
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