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Shark Tale Takes over San Marco

“San Marco!, San Marco!” call out the Venetian water boat drivers to this historic boat stop, but after 7 pm tonite no one with be allowed to enter the historic square to see the church and courtyard from the 12th century. A 21st century artefact: Dreamwork’s Shark Tale will be projected to 5000 ticket holders who kicked up a storm in getting the coveted seats that went like gondola rides in a matter of days. No cameras, no cell phones with cameras, no recording devices. Hundreds of security guards will be on hand with metal detectors.

On hand to kick in the show will be Robert de Niro, Michael Imperioli, Angelino Jolie, Will Smith, Dreamworks Jerry Katzenberg and director Vicky Jenson. "Would you face a real Don Lino?" asked a journalist about the killer shark Robert De Niro plays who is out to avenge the death of his son Frankie (Jack Black). "Hell no!" replies De Niro. "Whooooo!" yells Will Smith on several occasions and is recorded by a young Italian who wants the chant for his cell phone ring signal. Michael Imperioli, Christopher on The Soprano’s, jokes that he did a lot of research for his part, the son of Don Lino. Lenny, (Jack Black) the other son of Don Lino is a vegetarian and dolphin cross-dresser.

All actors said that their roles were tutored to them and adjusted for their voices – and that they had fun! Shark Tale is the story of young whale scrubber Oscar (Will Smith) who lies about killing a shark and becomes the town hero. His manager Sykes (Martin Scorsese)then promotes him as a media star. Oscar however risks the admiration and loyalty of Angie (Renée Zellweger) and is then pursued by the “ fish fatale” Lola (Angelina Jolie) - who admits she is shallow and wants to be with a "winner". Jolie said it was fun to play "a naughty girl" but that at times she improvised too much and was embarrassed. Will Smith quipped that he had a voracious desire for sushi while playing opposite Jolie.

In response to his choice of stereotypical Italian American roles, De Niro claimed they were "characters like any other", and is proud of being asked to become an Italian citizen by the government. "I'm Dutch, French and Irish, but my name is Italian and I feel mostly Italian", he said. When asked to choose between Italian women and food he shrugged, "Why discriminate?". Will Smith added that the characters he represents were “distinctly Negro”.

Director Vickie Jenson said that she thought "Shark Tale" was a great story and fell in love with this "reef city that looked like Times Square". The film is complete with typical US products such as "Kelpy Creme doughnuts", "Preparation O" and "Fish King" outlets. When Oscar becomes famous there is the classic rollout of magazines with cover stories of his heroics and his feats are shown on widescreen TV with instant replay. Katie Curic gets a chance to play herself as newsanchorwoman, Katie Current. As the credits roll, the animation remains keeping the audience on hand as MTV, Blockbuster Video and Bob Marley are thanked. The sound track includes "I Can’t Help Myself (Sugar Pie Honey Bunch)". The Dreamworks pic will premiere October 1 in the USA but not in Italy until February 25th so that’s 5000 happy fans that will feast on US icons in San Marco tonite.


Moira Sullivan

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