Henry and Kristl observed Last Man Standing

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“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.”


“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.


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


“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.”


“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..”

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Henry and Kristl tried Road to Perdition

“I simple can’t believe this movie.” Kristl said when the credits started to roll. They were lounging on the couch in the garage turned movie theater. It had been isolated to keep it warm and made soundproof. However at times they felt little tremors when heavy traffic rolled past outside.

“Believe? What is there to believe?” Henry said, “It is a movie, not a religion.”

“Hmph.” Kristl said, “It just so overdone sentimental that I simply can’t connect to any of the characters. Even the great Paul Newman fails to touch me. The whole movie keeps on hitting the nostalgia bone without interruption. It invokes the mood of Schindlers List but basically has nothing to show for it. The main character is a killer and that is it. He gets chased by his former compadres because the son of the crime lord wants him dead because the hit-man’s son witnessed killing someone. He hits back. A lot of people get killed. End of story. Standard action flick.”

“You’re just grumpy because there are no women in it.” Henry laughed and he opened a can of Molson’s triple X. Drinking this beer was a sin he liked to indulge in at times.”Actually that is a bit of a pity…I mean Tom Hanks is an nice actor, but well.. A cute woman would have been nice.”

“Well that illustrates part of it. There are no women in it, no police, no humor and no love interests. It is a sentimental serious movie.” Kristl said, “The whole story is forced. Paul Newman who doesn’t to want drop his no good son despite the fact that he is a scumbag. Tom Hanks who doesn’t want to let go, even though he has a son to take care off. And the end was so predictable.”

“Well, it’s a nice action flick and a bit sentimental, but I like the way he outsmarted them all.”

“You know I saw Miller’s Crossing and that is just so much better. For instance in this movie the characters just don’t develop. The interaction between the father and his son are that they exchange some words and his dad learns him how to drive and shoot. And the only thing the kids seems to learn is: ‘thou shalt not kill’. At least not with guns.” Kristl continued.

“Ah well. But you have to say. The movie looked nice with the proper scenes and shots.I recall this shot where the camera is set up so it shows the boy sitting in a room on a bed and the father enters the house. It has almost the quality of a painting.”

“I agree, there are some beautiful scenes.”

“And there is a certain sadness in how the mob boss and hit-man end up as enemies.” Henry said,”The sadness of a father losing his son.”

Kristl nodded. “Well.. in a fashion. That part would have been nice, but it was so underdeveloped in the movie. It would have been a nice to have seen the parallel of the father son relation between Newman and Hanks and Hanks and his son. They could have left out Craig or Jude Law and given more time to the father son relations.”

“But if they leave out Graig it would have knocked out the bottom of the movie. There would be no conflict.” Henry said smartly.

“Well there is always a reason for a conflict. You just think up one.. ”

“And that from you!” Henry laughed and took another swig from his can of beer and then burped.

Pig, Kristl thought.