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The Hit List

May 31, 1987|Patrick Goldstein

Maybe Gary Franklin should just hire a bodyguard. First, Sly Stallone strong-armed the KABC-TV film critic at a recent festivity and entreated him to review his movies, "not my personality." When Franklin responded, "Please don't grab my arm," Stallone returned, "I'll grab more than that."

Now Eddie Murphy has taken up the gauntlet. On "The Tonight Show," the star of "Beverly Hills Cop II" took exception to Franklin's pan--Gary gave it a 3, "a generous 3." Murphy said he'd like to "punch (Franklin) in the eye," later adding "I'd like to kick him in the. . . ."

Franklin called it a "lousy" film: "It really infuriated me--it was hastily put together and completely imitates itself." He also blasted the comic portrayal of a fast-talking, money-hungry Jewish lawyer, saying, "It struck a strong nerve with me. It's an awful caricature right out of Hitler's Der Sturmer (a Nazi propaganda sheet)."

As for Murphy's remarks, Franklin said: "I'm surprised that he takes my reviews so seriously. I wonder why it bothers him so much, though it's flattering in a way. It makes you feel important."

As for hiring a bodyguard: "Nah, these kind of things just come with the territory. I don't worry too much about it."

Anyway, his Sly worries appear to be over. He revealed that he and Stallone recently puffed the peace pipe during a 90-minute non-lunch at Stallone's offices on the Lorimar lot. "I called him to set it up so we could stop all this nonsense," Franklin explained. "It was a very nice get-together, just the two of us. He talked about how he feels about movies and what he wants to do in the future."

How cozy was this chat? "We talked and talked and finally I said, 'Gee, aren't we going to eat?' And Stallone explained that he's on a very strict diet and there wasn't anyone around to cook anything. But he was very gracious. He offered to make me a tuna fish sandwich!"

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