In memoriam

“So you finally set yourself to it?”  His neighbors voice rumbled. He was a big fellow, with a large beard. He was the kind that roared when he laughed or when he downed too many beers at the pub down the road.

James looked up and took in the solid shape that loomed over the two of them. The last leaves, showing a myriad colors, floated down, released by the wind. One caressed his nose and then continued its way to the mossy ground.

He smelled wet grass and earth. He remembered a rope swing hanging from lowest the big branch. He recalled the laughter of children and a picnic in August in the cool comfort of the shades.

James patted the old worn surface. Felt the irregularities. The  deep groves. Parts of the bark had fallen off, more were giving way under the pressure of his touch. One piece showed the fading shape of a heart. Two names one each side, unreadable, but he knew them anyway.

“It is dead now..”  His voice trembled.

“And one day it will topple over.  A storm will come and  then it falls. It is a danger now..”

“A danger.. I guess it is.”

“I could get my chain saw. It will be easier.”.

“You could,” James nodded. He fingered the lenght of wood in his hand. It felt sturdy, new, and strong. The heavy metal at the end would be unrelenting, “but i want to do it like this.”

“It will take you forever..”

“It is the least I can do…”

The other one peered at him and smiled. “Like burying a loved one, huh?

“Something like that…”

“It is just a piece of wood now, you know. Dead wood.”

James grabbed the handle of the axe with both hands. He felt the weight of the head pulling itself to the ground. He practised a swing.

“It feels sturdy.”

“Better get started then, before you grow roots and someone comes along and cuts down the both of you. “

James took a step forward, braced himself and started the first of his many swings.

The tree did not cry out, but he felt a pain nevertheless.

Henry and Kristl enjoyed Zombieland

“Woody Harrelson is just damn funny.” Henry made as if he was chewing on something,  “Funny, that is right.”

“You are aware he is a man?” Kristl remarked, “Not  a jump-about gun toting woman in a tight suit?”

“He is not a man!”

“Oh god,  we just lost just half our audience.”

“He is a cowboy.”

“Did we get some back or did we loose the other half?”

“That fight in that booth is so funny. Dual wielding guns and shooting all them zombies. Kabang, kabang. “ Henry made gun gestures and with his fingers shooting imaginary zombies.

“Don’t forget the others, that nervous kid, Jesse Eisenberg, and the two girls, Emma Stone and Abigail Breslin. They put in believable performances that make the movie whole: it is not a one man show.”

“Yeah, the movie has a great cast. It pokes fun with the zombie genre, but in a good way,  and it is better than most other zombie movies, even the serious one’s. And that camo of Bill Murray is damn funny too. All in all a  damn good movie.”

“I think you should practice your cowboy some more. You start to repeat yourself.” Kristl interjected.

“And there are some funny running gags that are well, spaced out and given twists to keep them interesting such as the double tap: making sure a zombie is really dead by shooting it twice if necessary. Or the rules of surviving the zombie holocaust. Or the zombie killing of the week. All in all a fun movie. What do you think?”

“You are right. It is a fun movie.” Kristl said, “I just hope one thing..”

“Which is?”

“That they don’t make a sequel. It is unlikely to be better.”

“That’s so right, pardner.” And Henry made as if he spat an imaginary piece of chew on the ground.

 http://www.imdb.com/title/tt1156398/?ref_=fn_al_tt_1

Henry saw Heavy Metal(2000) but Kristl..

The movie had ended. For a few minutes Henry stared at the blank screen

before he became aware of a buzzing noise. The garage-turned-movie-

theater would have been dead silent but for that sound. He looked at

the overhead beamer, but it did not make the sound. He turned his head

from one side to the other to locate the source until he saw Kristl at

the other end of their couch. She was hanging a bit to the side with

her eyes closed. Her relaxed expression and slightly open mouth made

her look peaceful.

‘Look at her.. She has fallen asleep.’ Henry thought.

 

Kristl was dressed in a dark grey sweater, blue faded jeans and

combat boots. Henry tried to imagine her being dressed up like this

Julie character from the movie; in ripped clothes with some metal

plates, adorned with stakes as armor waving a wicked shaped sword. He

imagined her having a wasp like waist and large dangling boobs, with

big nipples and wide hips. He failed to get that picture right.

 

Getting the picture right was also something he failed to do with this movie

too. It started with this supposed-to-be sexy woman living in

insignificant colony on an off-beat planet who somehow got to be an

expert in guns, lasers, hand weapons, spaceships and whatnot. He liked

sexy women like Selene from Underworld, but her fighting skills seem to

fit with her: she was a vampire death dealer after all.. How the heck

Julie got them went unexplained. But it would not have mattered if it

had been tongue-in-cheek like or over the top or somehow funny. But the

movie tried to be deadly serious, where cheekiness could have saved it.

 

And then this bad guy. An unknown miner finds a key that gives access

to the waters of eternal youth or something and turns him into an evil

dude with fighting skills that would put Rambo to shame.It even gives

him the dual guns he needs to take over the miner ship. And it even

gives him the knowledge to find traces of water of eternal live in

space and the route to the planet holding the waters. And it also gives

him an army of ruthless obedient fighters. It even.. the list goes on

and on.

 

If the animation had been stylish. If the music had been

tolerable and well placed.. If the characters had somehow be believable

or endearing. If the plot had been better. If the adult content had not

been so rubbed into your face. If.. If.. If.

 

It was perhaps lucky that

Kristl had fallen asleep. Her sleep was perhaps the best comment to

this movie she could give.

 

Yet there was something strange. The snoring

sound.. He never knew Kristl to snore, nor had he ever heard Kristl snore.

 

He turned to look at Kristl.

 

The sound did not come from her side of the couch.

 

He looked in to the screen of the computer that controlled the overhead beamer.

 

He saw himself being reflected.

 

He was sleeping.

 

The snoring came from him.

http://www.imdb.com/title/tt0119273/?ref_=fn_al_tt_4

Henry and Kristl take a shot at Silver Bullet

“Stephen King likes to subject midtown USA to terrors.” Kristl said when the credits started to roll, “I recall a mist filled with monsters and vampires in Salem’s lot;  this time around it is a werewolf.”

“That werewolf was disappointing. I found the one in  American Werewolf in London a lot more scarier.” Henry  said. He turned off the beamer.”Or the ones in the underworld series. This was a bad makeup job. Perhaps they should have followed the rule that you don’t show something if you got nothing to show. And there is no reason to show the creature until the very end. The story doesn’t require it.

“The  story follows a certain pattern. We get introduced to a innocent midtown, a happy community with happy families. When there is no pressure everything is ‘nice’. But when the werewolf starts ripping, that happy innocent community falls apart.. The police, representing temporal power, is unable to serve and protect.  The community turns to it’s own ‘justice’ but the  lynch mob proofs even less effective.  And the final security falls with the  priest, who represents divine power, who can not do much more then give a sermon. In some cases the priest is even in league with the evil.. in this one he is the evil.

Of course it is left to the individual, the epitome of worship in the USA, to deal with the threat.

It is a familiar pattern that is used in the Mist, Salem’s Lot and no doubt in many others.” Kristl said. It gets a bit…predictable. But maybe it is unfair because this is one of the older movies and can’t be blamed for a pattern the is followed in the decade’s after it’s appearance.”

“Yet I liked the players: the kid in the wheelchair, his sister and their Uncle Red. That actor was quite good. I even found him so ‘good’ that I thought he would turn werewolf at some point. You know when he wonders how that priest turned werewolf, it sort of gave me the idea he would turn out to be one himself. ”

“I think the actors carried the movie and certainly not the shaky plot.”

“There were great moments, like that moment the kid shoots that fireworks rocket into the werewolfs eye or  he escapes that the priests wrath at the last moment on that wooden bridge..”

“Yet those good moments are offset by awkward moments. Like that sheriff investigating the priest during the night. Why did he do that? There was no reason for him to go into the house alone at night. It was also strange that somehow when the death toll rose nobody seemed to figure out it could not have been a human because  it was something with claws  that killed them. Nor does the FBI show up or anyone else from the federal level. And it is not like there is no time, they even wait a whole month for the next moon to rise.”

“Yet the move has a certain charm. Like that love and hate relationship between the kid in the wheelchair and his sister. Between him and his boozing uncle. Did you notice at the end he stops drinking. I like it, despite the strange story.”

“The werewolf part is perhaps the biggest flaw in the movie. There is no explanation of his motives, except for once, and perhaps you have no idea why that priest suddenly turns into a werewolf. It is just a given fact.”  Kristl said, ”And it is strange that, after a few more citizens are killed, the main characters have a happy-go-lucky dinner on the porch of their house. And the kid goes of in his wheelchair in the night  to set off fireworks, while people have been ripped apart..It is just strange behaviour given the circumstances.”

“Still I like it.” Henry said,“And that is the strength of this movie. It’s a likeable movie with some great moments and a good endearing cast, but the flimsy story and bad werewolf makeup water it down.”

“It lacks that bite that makes you go wow.” Kristl said.

“Wow.” said Henry..

http://www.imdb.com/title/tt0090021/?ref_=sr_1

Freedom 2

In the center of our room.

A screen adorns the wall.

I press the button.

and the black flashes

multi-colored faces,

unknown to me.

Some looked worried.

Others in tears.

No smiles there.

A cavalcade of people,

bring me despair.

 

In the center of our room.

A screen adorns the wall.

I press the button again

Sounds of laughter

Multi-color outfits

Flashing teeth

Shining lights.

An unending stream

of soulless happenings

A cavalcade of people,

bring me exhaustion.

 

In the center of our room.

A screen adorns the wall.

I press the button once more

Grey suits sit

arranged around a table

Their voices talk and talk

but I don’t understand

I only hear a buzz

or a drone.

A cavalcade of people,

bring me blindness

 

In the center of the room.

A screen adorns the wall.

I press  the last time.

The colors went black.

This is freedom(?)

Henry and Kristl witnessed Enemy of The state

“I love Gene Hackman.” Kristl said, “He is a good actor and he plays this grumpy cynical reluctant character so well. Maybe a bit too well. And Will Smith does equally well as the gawking advocate who sees his live fall apart because he happens to be at the wrong place at the wrong time. His ‘what-the-hell! or why-does-this-happen-to-me? expressions are priceless.”

“The ending is hilarious. The way it connects to the start of the movie, that was a nifty trick.I mean that mob involvement at the start seems more like an irrelevant side story to give Will Smith a background and it doesn’t surface back until the end, but then it suddenly shifts back into the story.. ” Henry nodded,”It is also nice how the plot shifts gear gradually, from a spying thriller, to a chase part and then to a ‘fightback’ part, turning the tables on the bad guys.The ending is nice because it is Will Smith who thinks of it. He is grown from a hapless victim into a desperate fighter.”

“This movie shows the skill of Tony Scott in keeping you from losing your suspense of disbelief by grabbing your attention and never letting go.. The whole plot is in itself filled with loopholes, impossibilities and inconsistencies, but because the movie keeps you on the edge of your seat, you never get to think: ‘wait a minute..how…” Kristl said.

Kristl continued. “But there are odd turns. For instance, at first they follow Will Smith via spying devices, but then somewhere along the line they start to following him visibly and shooting at him. Shooting him seems to me an impractical way of getting hold what Will has. And if they wanted to capture him, they could have done it by having the police arrest him. And that the whole thing was staged as a training exercise for the benefit of the other agents might work at first, but those agents must have smelled a rat when people started shooting and dying.”

“I found it a pity that the key scenes are shoddy work. The murder of the congressman in a park in broad daylight is simply impossible to belief. The changes of being spotted are just too high, which of course happens.. And that key scene with the cab where Will Smith gets connected to Gene Hackman is another example of shoddy work. Who was that guy who picked him up? Who did he work for? Gene Hackman? Why did he pull a gun on Will Smith? How come Will just happens to see Gene passing by and recognize him? And why did the people pursue this cab. ” Kristl added, “I never quite understand car chases in thrillers.. The moment someone is aware of you following him and tries to shake you off, the reason to follow that person is gone,. And, in hindsight, that Will is told by a mobster that the FBI is spying on them is too convenient. “

“The shootouts and chases are fun though. And that scene were Gene blows up his house. Hahah. Those agents see that count down and go like.. ^$&$ the place is going to blow.” Henry laughed, “Yet, Tony didn’t quite handle the last fight as well as he could have.. A Tarantino or Sam Peckinpah would have done it a lot better, using slow motion, different angles and tricks like that. “

“You can say Tony is not such an artful director as his brother, but he is skilled at dishing up an action-packed movie and Enemy of the State is a movie you ought to watch because of the action packed thrill. It does not make much sense when you start to think about it and it certainly has no depth or message that you can take home with you.” Kristl said, “A sit-back-and-enjoy-the-ride-while-it-lasts movie?”

“No.. a fire-and-forget movie.” Henry said.

“Hah.”

http://www.imdb.com/title/tt0120660/?ref_=sr_3