Movie Review: Zombieland

That Woody Harrelson can play something else besides the buffoon roles he seems to be condemned to can be gathered from a movies as the People vs Larry Flynt. He does however play the buffoon well, even to the point of being adorable, so he stars like a buffoon in Zombieland. He is joined by a cast of three, Jesse Eisenberg, Emma Stone and Abigail Breslin to make up a group of survivors in a zombie apocalypse that has depopulated the world.

If you are a zombie nut you will be upset by Zombieland, either because you think it hogwash or because you find it hilarious. Zombieland is sheer baloney and that tends to gall people in unpredictable ways, just like it makes people giggle. The keyscene is probably the one in which Bill Murray dies, which makes Emma Stone suddenly giggle, saying; he still makes me laugh. Thus purposely ruining one of the few serious moments in the movie. The movie does at times build up to a serious moment but knocks it down flat a frame later.

The whole thing thrives on the interaction between the cast with the zombie background propelling the plot forward. How inconsequential everything is can be gathered from the fact that they basically travel from nowhere in particular to nowhere in particular. As Harrelson says: some go west, stating it is safer there, some travel east, thinking it is safer there. Hence his drive is not safety, but twinkies. Just as scarce and as important as to endanger himself(and others to boot).

There is a very awkward romantic fling between Eisenberg and Stone who simply have nothing in common, but even that is in tune with the movie that turns everything upside down. The interaction between Breslin and Harrelson is much more believable, the first playing a twelve years old who hasn’t heard of Gandhi and Willy Nelson, much to the astonishment of the Harrelson who in turn has no clue who Hannah Montana is(that will be a bit more dated, I am sure).

While Harrelson plays the buffoon, Eisenberg plays the social misfit and Stone and Breslin play two sisters who make a living cheating others, out of their money before the zombie apocalypse and their cars and guns after the zombies have inherited the world.

The end scenes sees the two girls power up a theme park in the night so Breslin can have some fun. Where the power comes from doesn’t really matter, what does matter is that every zombie from miles around converges on the park, thus requiring the two men to save the girls.

Zombieland is not to be taken seriously really, which is the whole point. If that gets your feathers ruffled you better skip this one. But then you might not like Shaun of the Dead either. Which is really a shame. Perhaps refocus?
(I heard someone planned a spin off or something. I hope they rethink that, for there isn’t much to tell, unless the premise of the movie is changed into something more serious, which means it’s a different thing altogether)

Movie review: Fifty Shades of Grey

Some time ago a friend of my former partner involved herself in writing romance novels for a mass market publishing firm. She never showed any aptitude in writing before, but it was something to do next to running the family, which pinned her to her house for the better part of the day. The writing didn’t ask much imagination as the stories were pretty formulaic. Like painting by numbers she just stayed within predefined boundaries and soon enough she cranked out another cheap novelette under the name of a non-existent writer such as D. J. Barding.

The ingredients were always the same. The main protagonist was a woman aged twenty something to forty, single, and without any kids to tie her down. The man was in the same age range, but always a few years older, single as well, without romantic involvements. A setup to pursue their dalliance. Also the man was usually of a higher social standing and income group. She being a nurse, him being a doctor. She being a maiden, him being a lord. She being a student, him being a billionaire. And finally there was always something to surmount: a troubled past or a social barrier. The end saw the two joined in happy union. Usually.

Sounds familiar?
It is almost verbatim the story outline of fifty shades of grey.

At this point you would expect me to start a long list of this movie’s shortcomings, but I have to disappoint you for I am on the same page with the nostalgia critic in that this movie does the best with what it has got . In fact I will do one better. I find it a hilarious movie and it might be aiming for cult status by making a mockery of itself and of you.

There are preposterous moments such as at the beginning when the female protagonist, Anna, tells to a friend that Grey is so clean. Wait. What did she just say? I checked and, heck, she says it: clean.. Grey is clean. This is her appraisal of a guy she just met. And somewhat further into the movie he pops up in the hardware store she is working in and starts buying things as tie ribs, ropes and chains. And I doubled over laughing. Was this a promise of things to come? Would she, later on, be subjected to what he is buying together with her there and then?

And when he shows her his ‘play room’, a chamber done in black and red with racks filled with whips, floggers and canes – with only the bloody saw missing -, the only valid response would be to judge him batshit crazy and flee the premises, but instead she gapes as if he just revealed his private art collection, while at the same time listening to him telling her how he will use that stuff on her cause it is the only thing that turns him on. It is perfectly clear: they are seriously odd in the head.

More hilarious moments follow when they come to the contract he so persistently insists upon. So we get a lengthy exposition of all the particulars of the fetish contract and she even calls for a meeting to go point for point through the contract discussing such things as the use vaginal clamps and anal fisting. All things he wants to do to her.

Everything is off kilter in this movie that follows the prescription of a cheap romance flick but fills it with concepts that hail from the fetish world. He keeps on telling her how does not do the romantic thing, but for a large part of the movie he just does that, taking her with him in his helicopter, driving her around in his Lamborghini, taking her out for dinner and wooing her. He says A, but does B. And she believes B and ignores A. No wait she eventually begs him to do A. And when it happens she is really really upset about it.

This movie is a trashy romantic tale that you wouldn’t have wanted to see if it it hadn’t held the promise of kinkiness. The sin of this movie therefore lies not with the movie, but with its detractors. What did you expect? Romeo and Jullia go kinky? Pride and Prejudice in skin tight leathers? Superheroes in latex instead of spandex?  I am looking at you who goes to watch this on Valentine’s day and gets disappointed! What where you thinking?  You knew it is crap. You know crap stays crap because only in nature crap can produce roses. But ultimately what you wanted was PG rated kinky porn. That is by definition impossible. PG is not adult. If you want to see kinky porn go watch kinky porn.

It also gives a big middle finger to those who wanted so see their desire to have a continuous sexual stimulus, cloaked as having a ‘special’ relationship, a joining of spirits, vindicated and branded as a lifestyle. BDSM isn’t. You do it cause it turns you on. Just like using butt-plugs all the time : it is a fetish. And it remains disturbed if you need to hurt someone else for pleasure even if it is with consent and even if you label it differently. And that is what this movie shows you bondage fetishists and that is why you hate it .

 

 

 

 

 

Movie review: Er ist wieder da.

When Hitler wakes up in Berlin in 2014 he is confronted by a thriving
modern Germany that, much to his surprise and regret, has not been destroyed
in the Götterdämmerung that he had staged at the end of World War II
and which he thought was the only thing his country  and people deserved for
failing him, their Fuhrer, and destiny.

Hitler, seen as a satirical comedian, soon rises to national fame as a
freelance reporter sniffs him out and sells him as a gimmick to a
commercial television station who use the mass murderer to prop up
their popularity figures. The internet then does the rest.

The movie is at times slow and, I must say, boring, unlike the
trailers, five of them, that are made with fast edits and snappy
satire. The trailers in no way represent the whole movie, as the
situations are far and in between and only at times, mostly in the
second half, does the movie gain the same speed and snappy witticism
that the trailers have.

The big message in the movie is that if the fear of foreigners gets the
better of the average German, numbed by commercial television,
democracy will give a new Hitler another chance to rise to power again.
This comes a bit towards the end as most of the movie is about Hitler
being seen as a funny figure that nobody takes serious and just laughs
at or makes selfies with.

There are some brilliant moments in this movie. One is were the bunker
scene from der Untergang is replayed scene by scene, but with the staff
of the commercial TV station replacing Hitler and his circle.

Another is where they show how Hitler becomes viral on the internet and
YouTube, which is where the movie shines with fast edits and visual
tricks and  which shows exactly the emptiness of it all as I experience it
nowadays: it doesn’t matter what it is about as long as it gets you the viewers. It is regurgitating words.

A great scene is where Hitler looks at a mountain range, comments on
how beautiful it is and then throws an empty coffee cup into the grass.
He pollutes that which he finds pretty. It is Hitler used as a mirror
for all the people who do the same, but now that Hitler does it it
gets meaning. This has to be placed next to his remark that the only
party he would ally with is the Green Party, because they value nature
and thus they value Germany.

We have some snappy comments on the current day German politicians, but
this is as temporary as anything as most of them will be nobody’s in
ten years time, perhaps with the exception of Merkel.

It also comments on the emptiness of commercial television and
shows us the silly ultra right wing fringe groups who are mostly a sad
bunch and no threat to society except for some of the numskulls being
pretty violent.

But the major flaw of this movie is a serious one: it skirts around all
of the big issues. The problems with Islam gets nary a mention. Only at
the end we suddenly get to see that Islam exists and even Wilders gets
injected and the latter in such a cowardly way it offended me, for even
though I am not a supporter of him and his ideas I think it is unfair
to show him as a kind of new day Hitler.  Also
unmentioned is the fragile economy and the big millstone of the
European financial situation that hangs around the neck of Germany. In
fact Europe and the European Union hardly gets a mention at all.

This is all the more surprising given the fact that Hitler rose to
power partly because of the global financial crisis of 1929. But the
movie doesn’t even mention this, but instead harps on about Germans
with their petty problems with foreigners and the threat that this
might pose to democracy because that is what might get a new Hitler
elected.

But what irks me the most is this totally warped vision of modern
Germany that this movie offers. If there is one country(I can think of
another country: Japan) that is unlikely to ever get a new Hitler
elected it is probably Germany. The Germans of today are vastly more
liberal, vastly more democratic and far less struggling with their past
than they were back in the 30’s where the average German was a
conservative, disliked the Weimar republic(it was more or less
imposed), in fear of both right wing and left wing violence in a
country in turmoil because of a deep financial crisis and suffering
from a post war trauma(a surrender that never truly sprang from a defeat,
unlike World War II: in which it was made sure that it was a real
defeat: hence unconditional surrender).

Hitler wasn’t elected because Germans hated Jews. Hitler was elected
because of the chaos and the promise that he would end it. And he rose
to power not because he was democratically elected, but because key
people, politicians and business men, very anti democratic people at
that, supported him by perverting the democracy they hated in the
misbegotten idea that they could control him, profit from him or
otherwise gain an advantage or even, yes even, replace the republic with a system they preferred.

This is totally at odds with modern day Germany and somehow
arguing that a new Hitler might arise because modern day Germans have
issues with foreigners is a silly notion that insults a country and its
inhabitants and then to compound this by totally ignoring all the big
issues that actually might cause a Hitler to rise makes it a super
silly nonsense movie that has no relevance to anything and can only be
valued as being slightly funny but otherwise… pointless.

 

 

 

 

Movie review: 2 Nekos went Ultraviolet(but remained logical)

“I like to learn from movies,” Jenney folded her hands just after correcting her glasses.
“And?” Krisp smiled. She had already stood up, being unable to sit still for long times.
“What?”
“Did you learn anything from Ultraviolet?”
“That swords make excellent torches.”
“I knew that!”
“It is new to me,” Jenney said.
“Everyone knows.” Krisp gestured wildly with her hands, “You know… like everyone. At least I think they do…”
“Except for me…”
“Uhmmm…Except for you.”
“Like everyone has coffee breaks in the middle of fights?”
“Yes. Priorities. We all need priorities. Ice cream is one, coffee breaks is another. Except that I don’t drink coffee.. but it is the thought that counts!”
“Talking about breaks… is it me or did you find the in between fight bits also rather.. How would I say that politely….”
“Confusing?”
“Good word that. I think someone must have said at some point while they were doing the cool fight scenes: ‘Guys, we need something to tie these scenes together so people know what is going on. Guys, we need a plot. So someone get busy and write one’.”
“What is a plot?” Krisp asked.
“Uhmmm. Let me think..A plot is what makes the movie make sense. You know. So you go like… ‘Oh, now I get it’!”
“I see.”
“So someone wrote one. A plot, that is. During a coffee break,” Jenney said and shifted her glasses a bit.
“That is helpful!”
“And then they fitted the fights scenes to the plot. And then someone said: ‘look these don’t match up. It doesn’t make sense.'”
“Does it have to?”
“That is exactly what the writer of the plot said. And the director agreed. We have a plot and we got some really cool fight scenes. The movie is done!”
“I bet they were glad.”
“Of course they were. For a movie with a plot is always better than without one.”
“Great!” Krisp said.
“But I think they sort of felt uneasy anyway. So they decided to spice the fights and in between bits with CGI.”
“CGI????”
“That is graphics.. it is what you use to make scenery or creatures that don’t exist or are hard to film. Like Gollem, or dragons or science fiction cities. It is like painting, but with a computer.”
“Ah. Fake pictures.”
“Which is okay, until they get noticeable. Then you feel like someone is whispering in your ear: fake.. fake..not real.”
“I thought I ignore that voice. Spoil sport voice!”
“And then they blurred Ultraviolet’s face.”
Krisp nodded.
“Cause, you know.. Ultraviolet is ugly.”
“Is she? Poor Ultraviolet.”
“But you can’t tell, cause they blurred her face.”
“But I don’t think she is ugly,” Krisp shook her head.
“Why not. How can you tell?”
“Because of logic.”
“Logic?”
“She is pretty because the ugly people were not blurred.”
“Oh….”
“Logic!” Krisp held up two fingers close together.
“Yus…Logic.” Jenney said a bit uncertain.

Henry and Kristl investigated The Caine mutiny (1954)

caine


“Humor me?” Kristl said.

“A six pack of Bogey,” Henry’s barked a laugh, “Isn’t that a bit too much of one thing?”

“I thought it might be educational. Bogart is still quite famous, so I was wondering what substance is there to the icon.”

“True, he is famous. Like Marilyn Monroe or.. Betty Boop.”

“Betty Boop?” Kristl arched an eyebrow.

“Never mind about that.. So six old movies… Why these?”

“It says that they are the great classics…but these are not all the movies that he is known for today. Well, except for the Cain mutiny. You know The African Queen, or the Maltese Falcon or Casablanca.”

“It might be boring,” Henry said.

“It might be interesting.”

“Duh..… six movies. Six old movies. Six very old movies.. Black and white movies. The horror.”

“The horror? That is hardly fitting. I mean, it can not be as bad as all these movies about cutting teens into tiny bits.”

“Hmmppf. Why do we not try one of those.. just to be fair?”

“Only if I can wear a helmet, a blindfold and have something like Rammstein playing over the headphones. Very loud.”

“You’re sissy.”

“If that is what it is called, then that is what I am. And Actually it is five now. We just saw the Caine Mutiny.”

“True.”

“Did you like it?”

“It was entertaining.. And that despite the lack of excitement..”

“You mean violence? Yeah. It is not an action movie and not a romantic comedy either, but a drama movie. I got the feeling there are not that many around much, but maybe there were never that much around anyway.”

“People like to be entertained or amused.”

“It is entertaining for me..”

“So what is entertaining about?”

“Hmm I think it is two things: the curiosity about what is going to happen and how the people deal with the situation. And.. also a third thing.. I feel empathy with the people involved. You can understand their attitudes even if it leads to disaster. You see the collision course, you see people trying to do their best, but still they collide. It is not inevitable.. but it happens, ” Kristl said. “And what I find good was that the movie seems to go one way, then at the end you get an opposite view served. This story has twists like that. At first you think it’s a simple story of a group of men who feel they have no other choice but to depose their captain during a climactic moment when he seems to fall apart. The whole movie works towards it, but at times not everything is as it seems. Some people suddenly show other sides..like people turning out to be cowards when put to the test, while putting up a brave facade when it is not needed. The end is another example of such a twist.”
“Yes, it was quite an twist at the end.”

“And that is what I like about such a movie. You think one way and then suddenly say.. but this is another way of looking at it..”

“So the story is ok.”

“Yes, I liked the story.”

“So how about Bogey?”

“It was Bogey that wasn’t a Bogey. I mean this Queeg role he played was well done. Not the cool, collected, sharp witted, hard boiled bogey, but more like post Bogey..This is a man who is on the edge, but not so far as having buckle under. A nervous wreck.. but not enough. And this is they key to the story and Bogey plays it well.”

“So you like his role.”

“Yes. So what is your opinion?”

“It was okay for an old movie. I didn’t fall asleep.”

“What praise!”

“Don’t take me wrong. It is a good story.. but somehow it would have been nicer with more action.”

“Hmmpff.”

“Just saying what I think.”

“Well, everyone is entitled to their opinions.”

“Sounds like mine isn’t up to scratch.”

“I just feel a good movie does not require action.”

“Yeah, but on the other hand, it should not make a movie worse. Definitely not.”

 

http://www.imdb.com/title/tt0046816/

queeg-copy
Captian Queeg gets nervous in the key courtroom scene.

 

Movie review: Farewell (2009)

poster_farewell

 

 

“That was different,” Henry said. They we lounging in the front seats, as usual. He ruffled his short dark hair, longer on the top and short on the sides. Then Kristl handed him a bottle. He glanced at it. Weltenburger Barock Dunkel, an European beer of some kind. Sounded German.  The beer was something Kristl had brought with her. He had looked at it with a certain wariness. She liked to buy these heavy beers that knocked you out flat after you had taken two. All fun, unless you had a date with Jennifer. He didn’t want to mess up that one.

Kristl waved any remarks away before he could had a chance to say anything, “Only four point seven percent. Enjoy.”

“I thought it would be a movie, but it’s more like a story read out aloud illustrated with footage from the area,” Henry continued.

“I found it interesting nonetheless. It is strangely catchy, even though there isn’t any acting. A love story during a voyage around the world in a zeppelin. And with the footage from 1929 it was interesting to look at.  It created a mood from the time.

“And there was even some excitement and anxiety, for instance when they travelled over the soviet-union or were blown off course when they crossed the pacific.. ”

“I just wonder if we had looked at it if we had known. It wasn’t actually a movie, but more a documentary brought in the form of a related story. I think we would have skipped it, wouldn’t you think.”

“Uhmm well, I did not check if it was a movie. The cover intrigued me, you know. The era is fascinating with flappers, jazz music, experimental cinema, bauhaus, prohibition, zeppelin and such. And perhaps also because shortly after the wall street crash would occur and the economy would take a nose dive. Then hitler would come to power and the world would become a lot more grim.”

“In this case it was okay. I liked the story and the narrator has fitting voice. I could belief she was that female reporter, alone in a zeppelin full of men.”

“Somehow you seem to…”

“I didn’t mean to make it sound like a cheap you-know-what movie.”

“Heh… Nevermind about that. I am happy though that you liked this non-violent story. Did you realize that there was no violence in it at all?”

“No violence? True. It was a love story with no fighting. Strange..”

“You could even label this movie with: absolutely nobody got hurt in this movie,” Kris paused and looked at Henry, “What do you mean with ‘strange’?”

“Usually I like a bit of action and action usually implies…violence or the promise of violence.”

“Maybe you are changing?”

Henry thought about that in the silence in which he finished his beer. Kristl was about to hand him another one, but he shook his head.

“Even more changes?”

“Not at all. I got a date with Jennifer. A dinner date. I like to have my wits about me. ”

“A date? Before you know it you have settled, a mortgage and a score of kids trailing you.”

“Who knows,” Henry said.

“Good luck then.. dad.”

Henry looked at Kristl taking a sip from her second beer.

“I could save you one for later,” Kristl said.

“It wouldn’t mind that.”

“Done.. now off you go. Your destiny awaits.”

And Henry exited the garage-turned-movie theater leaving Kristl behind with three bottles of Weltenburger Barock Dunkel.

 

http://www.imdb.com/title/tt1675307/

Henry and Kristl met The boys from Brazil (1978)

936full-the-boys-from-brazil-poster
For movie posters there is the advantage(or disadvantage) of being able to use imagery from the movie. This one is Spanish.. I thought it was more fitting in relation to the title.

 

 

“I confess that I am prejudiced,” Kristl said as she turned to Henry.
She had to blink a few times before she refocused, because the lights had flooded the theater and temporarily blinded them. Henry had yet to fix that. He meant for the light to gradually increase in strength with the music, but instead it suddenly bathed in a blinding white light. He had however managed that the music would start softly and then rise to an acceptable level. Acceptable meant that they both could hear each other. Normally they would start talking when the credits started to roll, but on request of Kristl they had sat in silence until the black at the end of the credit roll would show.
“Why is that? Because it is an old movie?”
“No… It is because it got some of the best actors from around that time in it. Laurence Olivier, James Mason and Gregory Peck. I can not help to like movies which contain the latter two. I am a bit so-so on Olivier, but he is considered by most to be one of the best actors to date.”
“Is it insulting when I say that it’s an old men movie?”
“It depends on what you intend. Is an old man movie, something bad? It is true, that it is a remarkable movie in that way. It stars people who are well into the sixties.”
“Yeah. That fight at the end had something funny. Those two old men beating each other up. ”
“Oddly enough, I found that struggle quite unsettling. Shocked me more than fights from action movies. Maybe because I had not expect it.”
“And bloody to.”
“So.. no scantily clad ladies waving swords about.. did you like it?”
“It was okay. The story has an interesting angle. Actually you know what the bad guys are doing and how, but you don’t know why. And you follow Lieberman, Olivier that is, trying to figure it out. I bet a lot of people figured it out halfway through..I didn’t. Although it wasn’t much of a surprise in the end..”
“Only an very implausible plot. It is impossible to recreate the same conditions that shaped the people in the early twenty century, in the second half. The world was just completely different. Just to name a few important changes: you got cars, airplanes and television. This alone changed the world. Totally impossible.”
“Yeah, but fun.Besides, maybe they thought: let’s give it a try.”
“If you are a fanatic you do not even to think that. You just do it..”
“Right. And Nazis are fanatics… just look at Raiders of the Lost Ark…”
“Yes.. or you can be a scientist obsessed with a project.”
“Like Mengele.”
“A fanatic and a scientist.. a dangerous combination. They can make the world go boom just because they want to.”
“And it is fun just seeing them old actors act. Peck seems very there in every scene he is in. And his boisterous overbearing personality contrasts with the down on his luck old Olivier. Yet these nazis can not touch the vulnerable Olivier because then other people will get on to them. Publicity has its advantage,” Krisl said.
Henry nodded.
“It is a nice movie.. based on a story of Ira Levin. Yet again.”
“And there was this German guy in it.”
“You noticed?”
“Yeah.. that guy from that German movie we once saw. Der himmel uber Berlin.. and the one that played Hitler in Downfall.”
“Bruno Ganz.”
“Ah, that is his name?”
“Yes.”
“Another movie about Nazis and that Hitler guy.”
“It is an infinite source for stories,” Kristl nodded.
“Yeah.. he sure casts a long shadow over Germany.”
“It is a sad thing… It sure is.” Kristl sighed.
“We call that..FUBAR!” Henry said.

 

http://www.imdb.com/title/tt0077269/

https://www.goodreads.com/book/show/99894.The_Boys_from_Brazil

 

The-Boys-From-Brazil
One of the many book covers.. Most of the book covers are more abstract and stylized than the movie posters.

Henry and Kristl travelled to Solaris(2002)

——

 

“It’s a George Clooney movie, so I bet we get lots of women wanting to see this,” Henry grinned, “Clooney smiling; Clooney sleeping; Clooney talking; Clooney looking hurt..Women will get a meltdown watching this movie.”

 

“Unless you’re a hardcore lesbian, I guess.” Henry continued and then glanced at Kristl, with her short cut spiky white hair, her firmly built frame, roughened black leather jacket, covered with buttons from demised eighties punk bands, worn black jeans, a tank top with some anti-establishment shout written across it and battered high laced combat boots., “Or a nun.”

 

“All this because of Clooney? Like you like to watch kickass babes in scanty clothes waving swords about?,” Kristal turned towards Henry, raising an eyebrow.

 

“You know, Kristl,  a movie is eye candy, why else watch a movie?  If it’s not eye candy, you better of reading a book, or listening to an audio play. Make up your own images. Have your own Clooney version.”

 

“It is not all about eye candy.. I mean it has to have something going for it, like a gripping story and characters that you care for, or at least are interested in. What is the expression: to root for?”

 

“Sure, but movies have a huge eye candy factor built in to them. Just like television series like CSI, filled with these eye blinding pretty people. Not one ugly, fat, old or decrepit  person around.  Who wants to see ugly people if you can watch pretty people. You suffer though, knowing you  never be as pretty as they are.”

 

“Like the female lead, Natascha McElhone. Eye candy too? With her vaguely British accent, her slender frame and her bedroom eyes. Although aloof and distant at the same time.”

 

“I was guessing you would mention her ,” Henry smiled.

 

“Well, there aren’t that many people in the movie. About four and two are women. ”

 

“It’s why it’s a George Clooney movie. You can see it even on the poster: George Clooney’s name is above the title, almost in the same large and bold letters as the title. Heck, they could have scrapped the title and called it Clooney.”

 

“ Would that work? I wouldn’t go to a movie just because Clooney is in it. Although, I would also not not go because Clooney is in it.”

 

“Not not go?”

 

“Stay away.”

 

“Right…”

 

“But maybe you are right, maybe it’s a Clooney movie, for it hasn’t got much else going for it. I vaguely recalled having seen the first movie and even read the book and these were things filled with mystery and longing. Like they attempt in this movie, but the actions of the people are so odd,” Kristl said.

 

“Like killing his  wife?,” Henry said.

 

“That scene is strange. You meet your long dead wife and the first thing you come up with is putting her in escape pod and ejecting her into space. Like who would ever do such a thing? You must be a complete cold hearted bastard to do that. Maybe that is why he is called Kelvin in the movie: as in cold? It is like someone remaking Solaris, but with some action movie in mind. Instead of wondering, you kill, cause it must be malevolent. Ejecting her into space.. is kinda cruel, ” Kristl said.

 

“Whatever floats your boat, eh,” Henry grinned.

 

“And the reason why they send Clooney to Solaris is so contrived. We need you to go to the space station at some planet called Solaris, because we lost contact with it and the military team we send, but we know that you have special skills to deal with the situation. So we send you, one guy, off to take charge of a situation that  a group of scientists and a group of soldiers could not handle. One wonders what those special skills are.”

 

“Well, he is a looker, that is what he is.”

 

“And then they ruined the movie at the end. Of course, they couldn’t let a mistery be a mystery, they had to put in some kind of closure.  So in very blunt scene George is absolved of all he has done towards the fake Rhye and the real.. Do not worry George, all is forgiven.”

 

“Why is that bad? I mean..”

 

“Because it’s totally at odds at the idea. Solaris is a mystery, nobody knows what is going on. Solaris does something to the people, for good or bad. It puts our humanity in the front, it is not something specific to absolve people of their sins..  Soderberg basically took the idea, twisted it about and then made something that resembled the previous movie and the book, but diverted from the essence by trying to take away the mystery, the strangeness. And he finally kills it by having the Solaris created Rhye expressing forgiveness.”

 

“I still liked the movie, actually.”

 

“Well, it’s not a bad movie, really. I think that it is just not a good remake. Had it been called Clooney, a movie inspired by Solaris, it would have been a good movie, but now it’s something like: Solaris, a lost love found in space: having nothing much to do with the original and the book at all.”

 

“Hmm.”

 

“You know, you resemble Clooney a bit,” Kristl said.

 

“Really?”

 

“If you build up some muscle, add some weight to that wiry frame of yours, shaved properly – instead of running around half shaven, and cut your hair shorter, then you do.”

 

“I shall take that as a compliment.”

 

“Whatever makes your boat float.”

 

“You were waiting to say that.”

 

“I bet I do.”

 

“No worries though. I won’t hold it against you..”

 

“Thanks. Want to take a look at my brand new escape pod?”

 

“Offering me a free ride?”

 

“A grande tour de l‘espace.”

 

“Sounds sophisticated.”

 

“It is, but it’s no trouble at all. Just have to find the eject button.”

 

http://www.imdb.com/title/tt0307479/

Henry and Kristl tucked in for The Big Sleep(1946)

“You know.. I just love these film noir movies. I can not help myself,” Kristl said.

“Well..it’s an old movie,” Henry said.

“And don’t you find Lauren Bacall marvelous! I mean. Remember she was very young at the time and she easily dominates every scene she is in. She is born to be an actress. An amazing person on the level of say Katherine Hepburn.”

“Yes.. I know, but the movie is a bit slow on the action.”

“And it’s just about as great a movie as it is as great a film noir,”Kristl did not let herself stop and continued, “Don’t you see it.. I mean.. In a hundred years.. when the like of a Steven Seagal and Charles Bronson have been nearly forgotten, this is one of those movies

people will still like to watch. It is like head and shoulders above the likes of a Seagal or a Bronson.”

“I mean really there is no comparison. It is better acted, better written, better shot, better whatever,” Kristl said enigmatically, “This is how you make movies…”

“Yeah… still slow and a bit..boring. Except for these girls who play around with Bogie. I mean the librarian is really.. cute. Even without glasses.”

“Gosh.. it has to be about sex.”

“Like you do not get all bothered by Lauren Bacall?”

“That’s because she is a great actress!”

“Yeah… Right.”

“Listen.. this is a an great movie both as a movie and as a film noir movie. Both Humprey Bogart and Lauren Bacall are at their best here. I mean the combination of them makes this movie. Of course some of the cast helped.. but it was their interaction that makes this movie.”

“Okay.. still it’s a slow movie… kinda boring,” Henry repeated.

“I grant you that.. it is slow for nowadays.. but.. if..”

“.. you are as old as you?” Henry grinned.

“Okay.. as old as me.. you start to find these movies great for what they are. For the story, the acting and what not.”

“But not for their speed.”

“No.”

“Good we agree on that,” Henry said.

“It’s not bad to take time..”

“Maybe.. but it’s more fun when it all goes in a rush and has some cool but kicking guys or girls in them.”

Kristl snapped her mouth shut.

Then Henry grinned at her and said, “I liked it. That Bacall girl is one sassy broad.”

“What?”

“Just teasing you.”

“So you liked it too?”

“Sure.. there is this amazing woman in it.. why should I not like it?”

“Ehm..”

“Exact..”

“Just wanted to say one thing..”

“Which is?”

“I like this movie.. but I still like the Maltese Falcon better,” Kristl said.

“Really?”

“Yeah. Marlowe/Bogart seems to be much more cynical in that movie, which seem to be at odds with the romantic overtones in this movie. I sort of feel it’s not quite right.”

“Hold on.. are you now saying you did not like the romantic relation between Marlowe and Vivian Sternwood? Eh Bacall and Bogart?”

“Well.. I did like it, but it was a bit too romantic..”

“Oh I see.. Damned by love..”

“More or less.. I think it should not be that happy for a film noir,” Kristl said.

“It has to be a negative thing..”

“Well not exact.. it can be a happy thing, just with a dark edge,” Kristl said.

“Hmm,” Henry said, “Why can’t it just end with love?”

“Well.. it can.. but it’s not film noir to me.”

“Ah well. As long as it ends nice,” Henry said.

“Quite.”


http://www.imdb.com/title/tt0038355

Henry and Kristl witnessed The Trial (1962)

“Nowadays you can hardly say anything against Orson Welles without invoking scorn and ridicule,” Kristl mused.

“You were going to?”

“Not on purpose, but I feel a bit apprehensive about it. I mean you have a certain amount of leeway towards almost any other director,

except for Welles.. You have to say he was a great guy..”

“Pff..” Henry said.

“Yeah.”

“You do not have to, with me,” Henry said.

“Thanks.”

“So, I think it is an old boring slow moving that is a bit confusing, to say the least,” Henry said.

“You think so?”

“I mean, black and white in 1962,” Henry said.

“Uh, well..is that such a big thing?”

“Yeah.. and no action.”

“Okay..I feel compelled to come to the defense of this movie.”

Henry smiled, but he hid his smile behind his hand and pretended to

take sip from his tea, “Hot,” he remarked.

“Regardless of anything it’s at least a decent film, although it seems to be all over the place,” Kristl said.

“It looks like someone pasted a lot of ‘scenes’ together without much sense and pawned it off as a coherent movie,” Henry said.

“Really?”

“Yeah.”

“It seems to be quite true to the book.. which means that any coherence in the movie, or any incoherence for that matter, must stem from the

book,” Kristl said.

“Then the books must be a bit of a confusing mess,” Henry said.

“Maybe, but I liked the movie, you know. It was surreal, strange and unsettling. Which seems appropriate to me..”

“Right.”

“For the Kafka story, that is.”

“Oh, did you read it?”

“No,” Kristl shook her head.

“Me neither.”

“I think that goes for most of the audience,” Kristl said.

“Yeah. So how you know?”

“Well, other people say so..except for the ending. Which was thought off by Orson Welles. He felt it to be more appropriate.”

“Yeah. Too old a movie for me really,” Henry said.

“I think it’s a good movie, but not astounding. Perkins is such a dubious choice. At times he is really excellent, but at other times he

seems to be a poor choice. He constantly hovers between assertive and dejected. It’s just odd how he swings from one attitude to the opposite

demeanor.”

“Heh.”

“And there seems to be no development in his character. He just seems to swing between one mood or the other depending on what is fitting

towards the scene. So there seems to be no human reason that drives him.”

“Ah.”

“It is just a bit to fabricated. A very nice fabrication, but a fabrication nevertheless.”

“Ok.. the movie looks like it contains a fabricated story,” Henry said.

“Did you know someone made a sequel to the trial?”

“Yes. Ik know.. Will Eisner made a sequel  called the Appeal. In it justice is done.”

“So.. .”

“I think it was Eisner responding to Kafka. While Kafka painted a surreal world in which a man was the victim of an surreal and merciless

bureaucracy, Eisner seems to say that in a democratic society ‘they’ would not get away with it.”

“Maybe someone should make a movie about that?” Henry said.

“Maybe someone will.”

http://www.meritcoba.com

 

http://www.imdb.com/title/tt0057427