Henry and Kristl observed Last Man Standing

Image8 copy

Image3 copy

“One thing is for sure.. they’re all better of dead..” Kristl repeated the lines.

Kristl and Henry were having a cup of tea in their garage-turned-movie-theater while the movie credits rolled past. They had replayed that last part of the movie because they both liked the movie.

“Yes?” Henry said, looking at Kristl trying to figure out where she was going with those lines, quoted directly from the movie.
“Pity they just forgot to finish the job properly and kill of the whole cast including Bruce Willis.” Kristl said.

“Uhmm” Henry was somewhat distracted by the exit sign that was flickering at the edge of his vision. He suspected that the lightbulb would fail in the near future.

“I mean, there is nothing against remaking a movie. And this is, I heard, the official remake of Yojimbo, the classic movie made by Kurosawa, which was redone some years later as a Fistful of Dollars with Clint Eastwood. But it has turned out to be a completely superfluous movie done by the numbers that does not compare in any way to either movies. There is simply nothing memorable about this movie unless it is the totally ridiculous fighting scenes where Bruce Willis somehow survives getting shot at by ten men armed with guns, shotguns, dual pistols, despite them fellows firing first and firing from distances down to ten paces.” Kristl said.

“Well.. it was a nice try… and was entertaining.. I mean it has Bruce Willis and Christopher Walken. Walken is always a nice bad guy and he does that again, considering that he is only to be seen for a few minutes. And William Sanderson is in it. I always liked William.. He should get better roles.. maybe a main lead in a Coen brothers movie.”

“I just got the feeling his role resembled the one from Blade Runner a bit too much. Like somehow he is good at playing slightly retarded people.. or seemingly retarded people. And it is this role he plays here, again.”

“Heh.”

“When I try very hard, i mean really really hard, then what I can come up with, is that the music at the end is nice and some of the landscape shots, the few there are, are nice. The rest is just.. plain nothing. The whole story line stumbles along and nothing remotely interesting happens.”

“I am sorry.. I can not remember anything else, except it is a decent action film.” Henry shrugged.

“When I try to think of what wrecks the film the most I have to either choose: the utterly ridiculous setting: a mob war in western town set in the mid-twenties, or casting mr smith(nobody) as a film noir guy that talks with an boring overvoice. I mean.. the overvoice simply wrecks the whole character because we know what he is thinking and through this thinking we know what his motives are.. and this is exactly that we do not know in the other two movies because we are left to wonder whether the destruction of both gangs by nobody is either the result of good intentions or bad intentions. This is an anti-hero.. ambiguous.. unknown. The overvoice simply kills that.”

“But what probably undoes the whole movie is that the movie does nothing remarkable with the new angles.. If it has to be a mob movie, then do something with it.. and if the character is a film noir character it is more than drinking whisky, having an overvoice and being beaten up.. and having someone vaguely act as a femme fatale. The dialogue is superior uninteresting.”

“Uhm.” Henry said under the waterfall over sentences.

“But actually it is not surprising because the director, Walter Hill, has never made any remarkable movie. In fact he makes middle-of-the-road-action movies and when he gets the possibility to remake a classic movie and actually show he might be able to do more with the material he gets, he chickens out and makes another middle-of-the-road-action movie.. which is what the last man standing basically is.”

“Quite. You know the music is from Mr.Ry Cooder?”

“Oh.. That explains why I like it.”

“…Say, Kristl?” Henry said after a few moments of silence.

“Yeah?”

“What would you have done if you had been ask to make the movie?”

“Uhm.”

“Well.. considering you never made a movie in your life.. what would you have done?”

“Well you do not need to have made a movie to judge it..”

“Yes, i know.. but what would you have done? I am curious.”

“Well. maybe it would..perhaps.. have taken William Sanderson character as the main or the undertaker.. or maybe… have them merged.. So that the whole story is from a different angle.. perhaps have the mob war really take place in a city.. where the mob is and have cut out the over voice and make the hero Sanderson, a really film noir guy.”

“Ah.”

“And used an expressionistic movie style.. because I like the third man.”

“And have everyone die in the end?”

“Yeah.. “

“Will be an arty movie, I suppose.”

“Probably. Not a middle of the road action movie.”

“No..and probably one that lost money.”

“Yeah.. but it would be memorable.. hah” Kristl said.

Because someone lost a lot of money or because it was arty? Henry thought in over voice.

“Either way..” Krislt said with a smile, “or both..”

Image7 copy

Henry and Kristl held their breath for Thirteen Days

 

Thirteen Days
Thirteen Days
Nuclear wars sort of ruin the day

“Nothing can ruin the carefree  mood of a  football game so much as an  imminent nuclear holocaust.” Henry folded his hands behind his head and stretched his body as to make full use of the couch.

“Blimey, we actually saw a movie that was on the good side of the average divide…”  Kristl said and she handed Henry a beer. She had walked into the kitchen that was at the end on the adjoining corridor of their garage-turned-movie-theater.

“Beer…?  Blimey..? A positive mood? What has gotten into you?” Henry quickly secured the offered beer before something sudden would happen, like a nuclear war or a mood swing.  You never knew when Kristls mood would  take another turn.  Women, so Henry thought,  were highly unpredictable.. especially to men..

Another game, with less at stake.

” I really liked the movie. It was a good political thriller. Strange actually, considering that I knew what was going to happen: it still had me on the edge.  I  liked it  that they never showed what the other people were thinking or doing: the Soviets, the Cubans, even their own people: the US military. And although I had to get adjust for a moment, it was a good thing that  Kevin Costner did not play the president but his adviser.  It sort of made it more human.  “

What are they thinking?

“Yeah,  funny… Our military was as much to be trusted as not. I can imagine that some people will not like this image of some military dudes gung ho-ing for a nuclear war.  Perhaps somewhat unfair too? The russians were the bad guys, no?” Henry mused. He savored his beer.

and what is he thinking?

“Soviets. Not Russians. Let’s call them Soviets.  And the answer: maybe.. maybe.. at least they were unknown baddies.. That makes the movie unnerving. You have no idea what they are thinking. Just like the president and his staff must have been experiencing. What are they up to? How far will they go?”

“And what if they don’t stop?”

“Yeah. How did you like the intro.. how it flows from the introduction into the movie.  Other than that the movie was not a cinematographic high movie. Not spectacular shots. But well played and well written.” Kristl added.

“I actually was amazed myself that I liked it.. I mean,…” Henry made a vague gesture.. spilling some beer.

“No damsels in tight suits shooting up legions of evil guys?” Kristl smiled.

“Yeah.,, no action.. yet  the movie scares the shit out of you.  They were so hovering on the brink of a nuclear war. If the Russians had not given in..  If they had not turned those ships around..” Henry made a sudden gesture with his hands making him spill beer all around, “BOOM!”

“That is true.. but than we never know if president Kennedy would have backed down himself. Or that they would have ignored the ships being there. This is of course another thing. That this issue got to be a big issue was because the US made it into a one. They were prepared to go to war over nuclear missiles stationed on Cuba not because it meant that the US could  now be nuked -the Soviets could do that already- but because the US could be nuked far quicker then before.  Not hours.. but minutes. It sort of evened the score in their opinion  because that same threat hung over the heads over everyone else. It sort of give you pause to think why this thing was played up. Why was Kennedy prepared to let it get this far?”

Where do you think you are going?

“Well.  In the end the Russians backed down.. so the US won.” Henry said.

The president and his adviser. Saving the world over a cup of coffee.

Or

The president and his adviser. Endangering the world over a cup of coffee.

“Won?”  Kristls face became thoughtful, “Won. Maybe. But at that point in time I wonder.. was it really necessary to drag the world towards a nuclear war over some missiles placed on Cuba? I mean really.. the Soviets could already nuke the US back into the stone age so placing missiles on Cuba was not actually changing the balance in the world by much. Maybe it was more to save the presidents prestige than anything else. Which makes you wonder… and scared. “

“Let’s not fret over things that are in the past. We are talking about a movie, not about some political historical discussion. I liked the movie even if there was not one action scene in it.”

“Uhmm. Touchy subject no?”

“Let us just say that it ended in a positive mood. Red lost…”

“And blue won?”

“Right.”

“Only not sure who was red and who was blue.”  Kristl said to herself.

That is what beaches are for. Even on Cuba.

Henry and Kristl tried to bury Knight of the Dead

Knight of the Dead 1

“Why don’t we shave your head?” Kristl asked Henry while she made a shaving gesture with her hands.

“What?” Henry backed away from her.

“Bald man are hot these days!”

“You mean bald ugly men.”  Henry gave Kristl a look of revulsion.

“At least he got to do the girl in the cave.” Kristl smiled.
“What has gotten into you! You on too much testosterone pills these days or what?”

“Just saying…”

“Just say it someplace else. Or inaudible.”

“Alright. Just you know.. I thought  that you.., being a man.., would have liked to..”

“Do you think I stand a better chance when I am bald?”
“And surrounded by flesh eating zombies (are there any other kind?)”

“Ah.”

“And in a cave.”

“Right.”

“Cause that is what got them all hot and bothered in the movie.”

“Right.”

“After you see all your fellow knights being shredded by zombies or turn into them and you end up with the only woman in the story your thoughts automatically turn to sex the moment you are alone with her in a cave. Just the right aphrodisiac: zombies and caves.”

“Enough! Let’s get discuss the other parts of the movie. Like the cinematography. Did you like the way they shot it and the color scheme?”

Knight of the dead 2

“I liked the landscapes. There were some pretty great sights, but they bled the colors from the scenes too much if you ask me. Grey can be strong mood making color. But all the time? I would have added some colors just for diversity. Like sometimes a colorful plant in a grey landscape can have a strong surreal effect.”

“Yeah.. I liked the sights too. Also I liked the companions of the main guy. like that axe wielding guy. He looks interesting. And the introductory part  of the movie is captivating. What would you call it? An animation?” Henry said.

“It was more like stills, but that part made it interesting for me to.”

“You know what is odd.. I didn’t know it was about zombies. It had this moment of insight when I read the title: knight of the dead. I thought.  ‘of the dead’, that is the way those zombie movies are called.”

“I had not thought of it either. I thought it was more about plague victims being scary. Like the first girl they meet. She is a plague victim, I thought, and they had to put her down because she went crazy because of the illness.”

“In hindsight. Would you have watched it if you had known?”  Henry asked Kristl.

“I am not sure. There are too many zombie movies around. They get a bit lame. And a zombie movie set in the middle ages with knights could provide a new angle if properly handled, but to be honest, there is not much of anything special in this movie and as a zombie flick it lacks the horror and tension to keep it interesting. It is more like a group of knight wander aimlessly through a grey landscape for no apparent reason and get assaulted by very slow moving zombies and some guys that have a pick on them.” Kristl said.

“Yeah.”

“Which brings us to the story and those other people chasing the knights. I really had no idea what it was about or why they chased those knights. In fact, I got the feeling they did not even know themselves.”

“What I found strange is that they kept on fighting each other after they were fully aware that they were being chased and surrounded by zombies. I do not know about you, but I would rather work together to get out than fight you.” Henry said.

“It is a bit of a missed opportunity perhaps? They could have put together a group of unlikely people who have to get together to get out alive. Then the tension in the group between the people could be a factor. ”

“Yeah.. but nothing of that.”

“So, to wrap things up,  what did we like about it?” Henry asked.

“I would say the landscapes and imagery. And some of the fighters looked cool. Even some of the fights were ok.”

“And the bald guy had a nice smile.” Kristl admitted.

“Oh. having cave feelings?”

“You mean, smiling in a cave?”

“Uhuh.” Henry nodded his head, “Sounds like the title of song.”

“Maybe one day..”

“See.”

“When surrounded by zombies… then… who knows.. I can force myself to smile.” Kristl smiled.

And Henry smiled to.

Knight of the dead 3

Pictures taken from the movie in their original color scheme.

http://www.imdb.com/title/tt2798680

Henry and Kristl dwell on Dune(2000)

“So that was Dune.” Henry said with a wry smile. Halfway through the movie they had started a game of backgammon and followed the series in a half hearted way. Then they had enjoyed a Chinese- Indonesian take out diner. Kristl had suggested to order it as it was her time to cook and she had given up on cooking some years ago because she her interpretation of a meal seemed to differ from the tastes of others.
Kristl nodded.
“It was funny. I mean it almost looked like the movie of Lynch, but with lesser actors, lame dialog and fake landscapes. It was funny but because there is already a movie the series seems a bit superfluous.”

“Yes.. it is.” Kristl said.

“But we watched it.” Henry said.

“Some movies are very nice as background imagery. You just can follow the whole thing even if you fail to see parts of it. Dune is like that.” Kristl nodded.

“So what is this?” Henry pointed at a white plastic container.

“It is called babi pangang. Just eat it. I’ll mention what was in it after wards.”

“Not something like monkey flesh or insect bodies?” Henry shuddered.

“No, it’s mundane.” Kristl shook her head.

“Anyway, what was your favorite scene?” Henry asked.

“Not so much a scene.. more I found the clothes the princess was dressed in pretty. She had the proper figure for these fashion dresses. Same with the emperor. So it’s not a particular scene, but more how they were dressed.”

“Strange to hear that from you. I would not have figured looks were something that interested you.” Henry looked Kristl up and down. What he saw was a woman in her mid forties wearing fade jeans trouser, heavy combat boots and a leather jacket that resembled one of those that were the fashion in the eights. Kristl, so Henry thought, has never gone beyond the punk of the eighties.. Fashion wise she was frozen or retro, because everything became retro after a while.

“The fact I look like left over punker from the eighties, does not mean I have no eye for beauty and fashion. I can not wear it, but I can enjoy looking at it.” Kristl laughed, “But what was your memorable scene?”

“The moment the Harkonnen baron was poisoned by that little girl. It was funny to see the surprised look on his face.” Henry laughed and then made gargled sounds.

“It is interesting you mention a girl doing that. Because I was not really impressed with the story and specifically with the role of women in the movie.”

“Ah. Not impressed means usually that you were offended.”

“That is a good description. The women in the movie have about two roles. Women either are helpless creatures good for breeding or they are backstabbing schemers not above sleeping with someone just to gain an advancement.“

“Ah.”

“So, no I was not impressed by the whole. But how did you like the story, Henry?” Kristl said
“It was okay, nothing remarkable. I liked the idea of the spice. If I am correct that spice is important because space travel over vast distances at great speed can only be accomplished by using spice because it allows you to see into the future. That is something I remember. It is actually not really mentioned in that series, only that without it you can’t travel in space. What do you think?”

“I think that if the story of the books resembles that of the movie in general outlook then it is a tacky badly written story. Let’s take the overall idea: there is an emperor that for reasons unknown puts the noble house Atreides in charge of the single most important planet in the universe, yet he fears the growing influence of those same Atreides to the point that he helps the Harkonnen in regaining the planet through bloody murder and open warfare. What is even more surprising is that the influence and respect that the Atreides have among the houses seems not to translate itself into any noticeable form of power.

And then this whole Harkonnen plot is visibly condoned by the emperor and secretly supported by him, but that does not seem to have any repercussion for him or for the Harkonnen.
Everything is contrived and would not work in reality. And while I can accept a certainly liberty for a story, it remains reality that determines what is likely to work or not. Fantasy, however pushed it its limits, is limited by reality.”

“But everything is just unbelievable. The good guys are very good and the bad guys are very bad. And then these fremen are so nonsensical with their system of killing each other of to establish a ruler. It is utter nonsense because no system like that can work. There has never been a society like that because such a society would rip itself apart and the fact that someone is good in fighting does not mean that he(it is always a he) is also good in making decisions or in any other skill that you require to lead a community. Therefore it is overall a badly written nonsensical story.”

“Hmm.. Lucky it is just a story.” Henry said

“Yes, it is.”

“And this series is just superfluous?”

“Yes, you can watch the movie instead.. it is a lot shorter and better acted and so on and as nonsensical as this series. “

“Hah”

http://www.imdb.com/title/tt0142032/?ref_=fn_al_tt_2

Henry and Kristl sweat during the Reign of Fire(2002)

“So this movie is about dragons destroying the world..” Kristl sat back
on the couch resting her heavy booted feet on the old worn surface of a
table. Something Henry felt as being very unladylike. He wasn’t quite
sure if he ought to mention it, but from Kristl’s eighties punk look,
with her short hair, sturdy black leather jacket, worn jeans and high
laced army boots, he gathered that she was not going to give a toss.

“That alone should be good for big haul. Who doesn’t want to see
dragons?” Henry said.

“Well, people will be disappointed no doubt. It is not like there are
that many to see. Dragons is plural.. I can’t recall to have seen more
than one up close in any one scene. If they had not killed one to show
there are two, it might as well have been only one dragon. The dragon.”

“But when you get to see one it looks really cool. I know people moan
at cgi, but I liked the way they did those dragons.”

“One dragon. They just made one dragon and then reused it. The big male
one they kill at the end looked just like the female one they killed
earlier in the movie. They did not even bother to give it another
color. Just because it was male.. or something. Or different. Little
lacking details.” Kristl added.

“Anyway there were dragons, cool ferocious dragons. Fire Breathing
dragons.”

“Exploding dragons..And for the rest it awash just hogwash..the story
was just laughable. Somewhere under London sleep dragons and when they
are woken they start destroying life as we know it, just like they had
done before with the dinosaurs for instance, so the over-voice tells
u.. I wonder how people found out about it, did the dragons tell them?”

“I liked the scenes where they try to kill one by throwing a net on
them and use people as bait. Really cool. ”

“Yeah, that was a cool scene. Cool scenes are far in between though,
mostly you see dirty scruffy men in brown-gray rags sneering at each
other. They never get along or develop in any sense. Many movies have a
group of reluctant people who have to team up to solve a problem. They
eventually start to respect each other even if they don’t agree. This
movie has no such development. Nothing changes in the persons
themselves.”

“And eventually everyone dies..Haha.” Henry laughed, “almost everyone,
that is. Only the guy and the girl remain.”

“And not one joke or witty line. I mean a movie like that should have
some relief. Some moments of humor to break the continuous gloom that
pervades, but I can’t remember one intentional joke or witty remark,
Not even sarcasm. Just two guys bickering for the sake of bickering. ”

“Yeah. They could have added some jokes in it.”

“I also can’t say there was exceptionally or interesting scenes in this
one. The only memorable screen moment is when the American dragon
hunter jumped from that two with an axe to attack the main dragon.”

“So basically a grim humorless movie that has nothing working for it
but some cgi dragons that some might like and others might hate.
Especially considering the lack of dragon movies overall”

“That is the gist of it.” Kristl nodded.

“Which reminds me.” Henry said and he reached down to open a box, “I
wanted to celebrate the movie with this.” He took out a few bottles.
Most were of different sized bottles made out of brownish glass, except
one complete white one, but covered wide variance of of colorful
labels. “Dragon stout, Double Dragon, Red Dragon, St. George & the
dragon, Dragon Troll Ale, Dragon’s milk, Gulden Draak, Dragon Year,
Copper Dragon and finally Green Dragon. A random selection of beers.”
Henry smiled broadly..

“Oh nice.. though, come to think of it, are we supposed to drink them?
You know I sort of stopped drinking alcohol.. well unless there is a
special occasion, that is.”

“Isn’t this a special occasion?”

“Well, it would have been if we had drunk them during the movie, but
since it is done and I don’t want to see it again the moment seems to
have passed.”

“Ah.. but I have thought of that.. We can go and see the hobbit.. that
has a large dragon in it.. at the end, if we ever get to the end.So we
reserve them for that moment”

“Ah.”

“And if you by then still don’t drink alcohol I make sure the beer is
duly replaced with water… or any other non alcoholic beverage you can
think of..” He scratched his head.

“You are my hero.” Kristl said.

“A real dragon hunter.” Henry said.

“A dragon beer hunter you mean.”

“That to.”

http://www.imdb.com/title/tt0253556

Henry and Kristl have a brush with The last stand (2013)

“That was an explosive movie.” Henry gave Kristl a broad smile knowing full well from her face where this review was heading, “Never mind about the plot holes and the lack of anything that resembles a coherent plausible story, but that is the beauty of the thing. Bang away!”
“Is it me or has scrip writing of late become a redundant profession? Like: who needs a script anyway when a movie is nothing more than a series of scenes strung along? Nonsensical scenes actually.” Kristl said.
“It isn’t that bad.” Henry said.
“Not bad in comparison to all the other nonsensical action movies?”
“That is what I mean.”
“It’s actually truly bad.”
“Oh come one.”
“It is an utterly shameful white male supremacist movie.” Kristl said annoyed.
“Huh? You might have to explain that.”
“Well. Note this. The bad guy is latino. The federal agent that is corrupt is latino. The federal agent that is fooled is black. When Arnold and his crew decided to make a last stand at the town the only two who protest are the mexican and the girl. All the white guys are of one mind : they will stop the bad drugs lord even if it means that the whole town is burned down.”
“ The bad guys are mostly white.”
“True, but look at the women in the movie. The only woman cop can not shoot straight and she has to be saved all the time by the men and I can’t recall her ever killing anyone. Why she is handling a sniper rifle in the end battle is beyond me as she never ever hits anything with it but one sniper guy and then she only hits him in his arm. And the only other woman of note is a corrupt cop. Oh and there is this girl who runs across the street just when the last battle commences just to show how perfectly dumb women are.”
“You know, you are just overreacting. I am sure it has not be done on purpose.”
“Either whomever calls the shots in this movie has done this deliberately and then it is utter shameful to portray women and non-whites this way or it has not be done on purpose, which is as much shameful as apparently when people are not thinking they start discriminating people.”
….I still like the mindless actions scenes..Like that scene at the end where a guy is sneaking up the stairs to shoot the women cop and he gets cornered between her and one of the male cops.”
“And who shoots him?”
“Uhmm well.”
“A guy. See!”
“The only thing that really bothered me was Arnold. He is just getting too old to make a believable action hero. And he simply can’t act and should just face the fact that he is getting grey.” Henry said.
“Funny thing is that he reminds me of Clint Eastwood.”
“Uh?”
“They both are more less started out as a kind of action figure and became known by that. Arnie with Conan and Terminator. Eastwood as that no name cowboy and dirty harry.”
“That is a rather strange comparison.”
“Yeah, but the big difference is the Clint Eastwood outgrew those shabby roots and became a great director and finally even played characters that were the opposite of those earlier ones.”
“While Arnie…”
“Is still a shabby actor that never will get any better.” Kristl said.
“No redemption for his poor soul?”
“He is old enough to know better.”
“He is too old to change.”
“Eastwood changed.” Kristl said
“Yeah, he did, but Arnie will not change because he lacks the talent.”
“Right. You know what I liked about this movie the best?”
“No?”
“The end titling. Where they show the images from the movie in a kind of arty way.”
“Well. At least you should be happy to have seen that.” Henry grinned.
“Right.”

http://www.imdb.com/title/tt1549920/

Henry and Kristl trembled before Stalin (1992)

“This Stalin was not a very nice dude.”  Henry remarked. He was having a bud, because he always had budweiser in his fridge, which was  a huge red contraption from the firm Northstar that was a remake of those older refrigerators from the fifties.

Kristl might have also had a bud, but then she felt that the west was already over Americanized, so instead she drunk triple X.

“Why on earth would you drink an Australian beer as a German?” Henry had remarked, when Kristl ordered the six pack via the internet.

“Austrian.” Kristl corrected.

“Eh.. Triple X is Australian. Oh wait. Sorry. You meant you are Austrian.” he grinned, “Don’t they have Ger.. eh. Austrian beers?”

“Yes, but I like Triple X.” Kristl had said.

“No, he wasn’t even though the movie is more focused on his private life than I would have expected. It seems to sort of make him look more favorable than I imagine him to be, but even then he remains a scary individual. The way he can be very jolly with you and then suddenly have you ordered to death. Like that moment when one of his old friends is about to be arrested by secret police and Stalin ‘happens’ to call at that very moment and orders them to leave.The sadist laughs at it. It just pictures him as madman.”

“Yeah. I think everyone he knew ended up dead eventually. And when he tosses his burning cigar down his wives shirt: what a nasty thing to do. ”

“There a lot of things that they had to skip it seems. Like there is a part missing at the beginning of World War II where the Sovjet-Union invade Finland, had a kind of shadow war with the Japanese and signed a pact with Hitler that gave him control over the baltic nations and the eastern part of Poland. Also skipped is the part where a thousands of polish officers were massacred on his order. The list could be extended. Like the way the west tried to dispose of the communist regime at the end of the first world war. Like in the twenties there was a kind of alliance with Germany. Or the Ukrainian uprising at the end of the Second World War. All things that must have influenced this man and his decisions. “

“Yeah.”

“The pity with this movie is that you somehow does not get to grips with the person of Stalin.. Even though Stalin is the subject of the movie, it feels like you are watching him from the outside, but never get in his inside.Never find his motivation or his side of the story.  In that I find the move somewhat sterile. You never get to know what moved this man and what possessed him. Why he did those things?“

“I think that might be because of the makeup. It looks like Duvalls is wearing a mask. His facial expression is almost non-existent.”

“I like Robert Duvall, he is a good actor, but they hamstrung him with that mask and thus the movie suffers. You are watching a statue.Still even then Duvall is marvelous because he tries to invoke emotions with that part of his face that is not cloaked with wax.”

“Yeah, I am left with the feeling that Stalin was a homicidal nutcase surrounded by nutcases, most of whom were as Homicidal as he was..” Henry said.

“And it leaves me with questions. Like how can a nutcase rule a big country like that for decades on end. It seems to beyond belief. Too simple an explanation to assume he is just a nutcase.”

“Also the movie suffers a bit because his wife  kills herself halfway. Basically the story is told by following her and then she dies  and that leaves the story suddenly without a focus and it never gets a focus again even though the story is told by his daughter..”

Kristl nodded.

“So leaves you a bit unfulfilled?”

“Yes.”

“That is why we have beer.” Henry grinned and he opened another bud.

“Oh, to get fulfilled?” Kristl said.

“Yes and to forget we are not.” Henry burped.

“And forget about him.”

“That too.”

http://www.imdb.com/title/tt0105462/

Henry and Kristl felt equal after seeing G.I.Jane

“I am wrong.” Henry said.

Henry and Kristl were sitting on a couch in their garage turned Cinema. The garage was not the kind that comes with a house, with small windows and just one way to get in from the outside. Actually it was a workshop with large windows and no less than three sliding doors that was part of a petrol station. This petrol station had been abandoned some years ago. They, Henry and Kristl, could rent it for an agreeable price, because  the ground was polluted by oil and other fluids associated with cars that had spilled onto the floor and fouled the soil underneath. Unless the ground was cleaned, the place could not be used to live in nor for commercial purposes.

“We could make it into a public restroom.”  Henry had said.

“We were going to make it into a private cinema?”  Kristl answered.

“We could make some money on the side to cover our expenses.” Henry said.

“And who is going to clean this restroom?” Kristl‘s gaze made Henry think of a snake about to strike.

“We could make it automatic, perhaps. ” Henry sweated a bit and felt like he had just discovered he was walking in a minefield.

“A Henry O’Matic.”  Kristl said with a flat voice..

“Uhmm.”

“Just wrong. A fool. A romantic fool. “ Henry continued, “That is why I never get any girl friends.”

“But I am your friend?” Kristl said.

“Yes, but I don’t mean a friend friend, but a girl friend friend.”

“Ah.”

“A fool like me would do something like this.” Henry produced out of nowhere a small white round dish on which was placed a chocolate éclair with dark chocolate of such fine color that it made Kristl’s mouth water. Next to it was a fine silver spoon, that shone green in the light of the exit sign.

Kristl was staring transfixed at the chocolate éclair.

“You see.. I would have the notion that you give this to someone you like and that she, the she being you in this case, would like me for it. Just to be nice.”

“Who do you want to have killed for that?” Kristl licked her lips.

“I don’t want anything for it, you just get it for free because you are my friend. Not a girl friend kinda friend, but a friend friend.”

“Gracias.” Kristl took hold of the dish with a slightly trembling hand.

“But I am a fool really, because  women want to be tough cookies that like to be trounced so you get respect from them and you get trounced by them so they respect you.. And then the greatest praise you can get from them is: ‘suck my dick.’”

Kristl was eyeing her éclair in a way that clearly showed she had not yet made up her mind to swallow it whole or eat it in small bits. She decided on the latter.

“I  am overjoyed that US finest troops are in reality dumb gung ho halfwits that are trained to a sharp killer edge by humiliation and torture. Guess that makes a good soldier.”

“Suck my dick?” Henry said, “What does that mean?”

“Well, she wants to be man really, so that guy can suck hers or his. I am getting a bit confused.”

“I was a bit embarrassed when that one guy walks up to her and stammers ‘yuuuu aaare okaj’ to her like he was lurch from the Addams Family. I thought well, Seals, aren’t they the finest of our men? Somehow Lurch doesn’t quite fit in with that picture..”

“It actually makes me happy. Would be scary to think they were serious experienced intelligent men with a professional attitude. They could be effective and deadly..brr.  “ Kristl said and continued, “I was a bit annoyed when it was suggested it was bad that she might be  a lesbian. OH MY GOD SHE IS A LESBIAN. We have to put up with blacks, women, gays and now with lesbians. So what does that say: you can be a woman in the army but not when you are a  lesbian?.”

“Imagine being a black lesbian.”  Henry laughed. “But how do you feel about the whole movie?”

“I have to say it was an exceptionally run-of-the-mill movie. I didn’t like any of the people in it. They were an amalgam of faces in dark surroundings. Then the movie used all the cliches. The politicians who can’t be trusted and sell you out if it suits their fancy. The lone hero Jane who, having no experience whatsoever in politics, manipulates that woman, with decades of experience in politics. The cigar crunching commander with the I-don’t-like-politics attitude. The drill sergeant who is tough on her but finally grudgingly starts to respect her. The boys who first look down on her and then become her buddies.”

“Yes, but I think that was all you could do with the story.” Henry nodded,

“G. I. Jane has proven that us women can be beaten, humiliated and badly treated as any other man in the army. But isn’t this sad? How great is it that such fine intelligent people are wasting their lives on something so utterly needless as the act of waging war? There are people who can contribute something of value to the progress of humanity, but the only thing they learn is ‘how to blow shit up.. The movie is a hallmark of utter waste: now we women can be as useless as any men because we have equal access to all the branches of the army.”

“Hurrah for equality.” Henry said.

“Any more of those éclairs?”  Kristl smiled.

“A whole box of them.” Henry winked and then grinned, as he showed her the box,“Come and get them.”

After chasing Henry for five minutes around the couch, Henry gave in and handed her the box.

“All for equality.” Henry said.

“Jummy.” Said Kristl.

http://www.imdb.com/title/tt0119173/

Henry and Kristl took Die Brucke(1959)

“The irony about bridges is that they actually connect things and that makes them interesting to capture. However, that also makes them points of conflict. Like the bridge at Remagen, A bridge too far or the bridge in Saving Private Ryan.” Henry tapped a large map on the wall of the garage turned movie theater. He was wearing a bucket for a helmet.

“You might call this one the final  bridge.” Kristl said. She had refused to wear any silly items, but then she hardly needed to as she was already dressed in army gear with her combat boots and leather jacket.

“So how is it to have things reversed?”  Said Henry.

“You mean that this movie does not center around Americans?” Kristl said.

“US as baddies?”

“I got the feeling those Americans were not actually portrayed as bad. More as opponents really. They were a bit miffed that they were shot at and shooting at kids.”

“Nazi kids.”

“Uhm…they were more like regulars. Not nazi’s.”

“Ah.”

“And they kicked ass. Almost wiped out a whole unit of Americans that hightailed it outta there.”  Kristl said gleefully.

“Hmm.. They acted kind of silly. Driving headlong at a bridge. I think they wouldn’t have done that in reality.”

“You mean.. it might not be very historical?”  Kristl said. Her smile was just a tad too wide.,”Like say… an unit of ss armored vehicles frontally assaulting dug in US airborne troops in a village without any infantry support?”

“I know what you are getting at.” Henry said, “So it was fun.”

“Yeah. It was fun having things reversed.”

“So that is what the movie is all about for you?”

“Not all. The movie is another one that shows the futility of war. Kids play at soldiers defending a bridge that did not need defending at the end of the war. I think it was well acted. It breathes the revulsion of war that Germany in those days felt. Pointless killing in a pointless act of war.”

“The actual fight didn’t really last long.”

“No. It was a small part of the movie.”

“I must say I had a hard time connecting to the kids though. With them speaking German and all.”

“I had some problems with that too. Not because of them talking German, but it felt like I was watching a story from a distance. I think it is because the movie is over fifty years old and we have seen many  with the same message. But we should not forget that this was one of the first. We often forget that.”

“Maybe. For action lovers not the best of movies I think.”

“No. This is not Rambo.. or the Bridge at Remagen. It is slower and less violent overall. Still very watchable.”

“For a German…”

“I am not German..” Kristl said.

“I never said that you were. So make it: for an European.”

“Sounds like that is something bad.”

“It is not American.”

“Well, next time you get invaded, you get to make a movie about the futile defense of a bridge of your choice.”

“That is never going to happen. Who is going to invade us.. Let alone succeed?”

“North-Korea?”

“Ha.”

“Or aliens.”

“Double Ha.”

“Or zombies.”

“Hmm. Yeah. They might stand a chance. American zombies of course.”

“Your patriotism is commendable.”

“Yeah.”  And Henry sang the first couplet of the star spangled banner.

And Kristl thought that no power,   temporal or spiritual, on earth or beyond, could face off Henry’s singing prowess and survive.

http://www.imdb.com/title/tt0052654/

Henry and Kristl survived Resident Evil: Apocalypse

“You might say bigger, but can we say better? What do you think?”  Henry turned to Kristl.

 

Kristl was  hanging slack jawed in the corner of the couch. She was wearing grungy  jeans, tank top, sleeveless jacket everything in dark grey, black and white colors. Her Jacket was adorned with button pins of music bands from the eighties:The Cure , Violent Femmes, New wave, London Calling,Beastie Boys. He felt awkward because under the angle she was lying he noticed the shape of a breast. .

“Hey, wake up!” He shook Kristl’s arm.

“Hmmm?”

“So?”

“What?”

“Resident Evil. Apocalypse? You know the movie we have been watching?”

“Oh yes”,  Kristl veered up, “I bet a lot of people will make funny jokes with that.. Like Apocalypse for the senses. Or Apocalypse for the brain.”

“So you didn’t like it?”

“It tries very hard to be unliked. As much as it tries to be liked.”

“I thought the more bangs and babes worked well. That female cop was a cool and hot chick. Also I liked the supporting cast more. That soldier Carlos with his russian sidekick. They seemed to have a little bit more personality. Albeit that black american was too much cast as the comic relief. ”

“But the whole movie is ramshackle in it’s consistency. The plot is a major problem.  They know about the t-virus, but they open the hive with a few armed guards. The SUV gets hit by a truck without any explanation, so the kid is stuck in the city. It was just a weird accident. The dead in the graveyard animate. How? And why exactly at that moment they are there? The whole church scene. The zombie dogs in the school. The wall around the city.

The worst is the epilogue. Umbrella detonates a nuclear missile above the city and passes that off as a nuclear meltdown. You can’t pass one off for the other because the explosion pattern is completely different.  And if they want people to believe it was a nuclear meltdown of a power plant, there had to be one there, so why did they not blow that one up?”

“Basically. the movie is sequence of action scenes. Personally I liked those and that is why people should watch them,but it simply lacks everything that makes the matrix good: a well developed plot and characters you care about. Even underworld has more likeable characters and a better plot.”

“Yeah, the plot and the acting was just put in as an afterthought. A shame really as the games actually seemed to have much more consistency. At least from what I read.” Kristl said, “Maybe they should just stick to those plot lines instead of making their own.”

“You know. That Jill Valentine. I liked her better than Alice. Not because she is prettier but because she is a human that can be hurt unlike Alice. The thing is I liked everyone more: Carlos L. J. the news person.  They are all humans and all lose people and all can be hurt. Unlike Alice.”

“Personally I have had it with all the cool chicks that have hardly any personality. This includes Jill Valentine. What person walks into a police station and starts blowing away people like that.. People might have thought that was cool. I thought it was cringeworthy.

And I am tired of the same old tricks: like whenever someone approaches a person from behind that person is ALWAYS a monster that turns around suddenly and lunges at you. And always when they kill one monster after a desperate struggle and you think it is over, the next one or two appear.” Kristl said.

“So you didn’t  like Alice?”

“Nope. I didn’t care for her one bit and I was baffled those people, Carlos, Jill and L. J. came to save her. I could not believe why they would do so. And even more: how come that umbrella organisation that is so highly effective in covering up the zombie outbreak, is unable to stop three people that are wanted from taking Alice away. And don’t say Umbrella wanted that, because this is only shown when they leave. And why? No explanation given.”

“Curiously.  I somehow feel you are right. If she had a little bit more personality and was less the super being that is cool. Then maybe, yeah.“

“That is probably the best way to describe the movie.”

“Huh?”

“Maybe, yeah.”

http://www.imdb.com/title/tt0318627/