Movie review: Divergent: Insurgent( 101 % special)

Tris is Divergent.

Not ten percent.
Not forty percent.
She is one hundred percent Divergent according to the Divergent scanner.
We are halfway into Insurgent when this is established for a fact by the bad guys who capture and subsequently scan her. What Divergent exactly is remains a mystery, but it has something to do with the ability to survive a set of trials in a computer generated world whose sole purpose seems to be to kill people when they fail the tests. These trials allow her to unlock the key to a secret power her mother died for. Not that Tris(Shailene Woodley ) volunteers for these tests. Not at all. Tris is forced by the nefarious Jeanine Matthews(Kate Winslet) who makes all Divergent people, mostly young girls on the face of it, go through these trials, thus making her a cold hearted killer.
Whatever Divergent is doesn’t really matter, what is important is that Divergent makes Tris different(and you saw that coming don’t ya?). And 100% Divergent makes her 100% different.

Insurgent is the second installment in a series of three I read afterwards. I just picked it because I wanted to see a movie like this and the picture on the cover looked the most interesting. I happened thus to pick the second one in a trilogy. So I might have missed some important knowledge and unfortunately I cannot find much explanation on the internet. Why, for instance, is almost everyone in this movie twenty something? Even Kate Winslet, playing the head baddie, has her face plastered over so the age gap between her and the rest of the cast and notably Shailene Woodley doesn’t stand out to glaringly.
At first I thought there was a kind of Logan’s run theme underpinning this story but it is not even remarked upon as curious that everyone in the movie is young, with only one or two people looking to be middle-aged. For a while I was fooled in thinking that this movie had a kind of Inception theme:, with the world that Tris thinks is real actually being a virtual full of young people like Second Life is filled with young avatars and as virtual as the computer generated world she undergoes her trials in.

There is actually a case to make for this concept, as almost the whole movie is filled with features that feel trite so to speak(some would say: lame), which made me think that at some moment in the movie it would be revealed that it is all an illusion and Tris is actually hooked up to a machine producing fantasies for her, like happened to humanity in the Matrix.
There is the ‘Amish’ theme, where people are dressed in more simple and rougher clothes. There is the ‘hippy’ theme were the peaceful faction, with long gowns and long hair for them ladies, including flowers in your hair, denounce all violence and ask Tris to leave cause Tris isn’t like them. There are the science guys, cold and arrogant. There are the bad guys, dressed in black leathers and sufficiently cruel. There is a group of factionless on a train headed by a guy with a punk haircut and a leather coat and offensive attitude.
We get dished one run-of-the mill character after the other, all as cardboard thin as the next one. Tris in comparison looks all the more real when surrounded by these staple characters, which make the movie feel like a setup to some grand twist. It never happens.

What is left is a kind of replacement anger for a group of people that apparently thinks so low of their audience as to serve them plot that lacks any originality with characters that are as unoriginal as can be and dialog that is trite. The movie feels like a drag which is compounded by the fact that it is actually longer than your average feature.There is nothing memorable about this movie, hence it is utterly inconsequential. It fades from memory already.

Movie review: American Sniper

american-sniper

Just like Fury isn’t a movie about World War II, American Sniper isn’t about the Iraq wars.
Nor is it about 9/11 and it’s aftermath.
And certainly not about an American Sniper.
This movie is about America.

This is what a hero should look like according to yourself, Eastwood tells us.. Did you not decorate him? Did you not buy his biography in droves. Did you not read the book from cover to cover? Did you not gulp down the story of an all American blond haired, blue-eyed Caucasian guy with a pretty girl-next-door wife, who goes out to protect the greatest country on earth?
A man of duty?
A man of inner nobility?
An all American hero?

This is why it doesn’t matter whether the movie is set in Iraq, the Outer Hebrides or Middle Earth.
This is why it doesn’t matter who the enemy is.
And this is why it doesn’t matter whether the movie contains a truth or not.
The only thing that matters is the larger than life depiction of an unblemished hero.

And Eastwood doesn’t hold back and goes one step further.
The American sniper invades, for it matters not.
The American sniper shoots enemy soldiers, because they are not.
The American sniper takes out women and kids, because they are not.
.
Any unease that an American soldier might have shot a someone in violation of the Geneva-convention is taken away by clearly depicting the enemy for what they are: they are orcs

Is that what really happened, America? Was every civilian death such a clear case of the enemy using any means whatsoever and thus justifying a reaction in kind? Did you really wait for the civilians to show their hostile intent before gunning them down?Did the fog of war not exist? Or did you flatten their houses and mow them down with machine guns before they could become a threat? All to protect the greatest country on earth?

Perhaps it was Eastwood’s intent, or perhaps not, but the movie is a mirror to what America is not. The more shinier the American sniper becomes the starker the contrast with reality this picture is.

The American sniper is all what an American soldier should be like..
So unlike reality..

Movie review: Fury

fury

Whenever a Tiger I tank and SS troops appear together in a movie you can bet the federal gold reserve on it that this movie is not about historical accuracy. This doesn’t mean that Fury has no a sense of historicity, but world war II movies are actually never about world war II but about the spirit of the time they are made in. If you don’t believe me, just (re)watch Kelly’s Heroes and compare it to Saving Private Ryan.

The spirit of Fury isn’t a pretty one if we are to take our queues from the crew that operates her. During most of the movie they never display any redeeming quality that would endear them to us, they are a truly sad crew. We have reached the bottom of the well as far as humanity goes. Even Apocalypse Now isn’t as gloomy as this one. These are dark times were the best are the worst or the other way around. Well, not as bad as the enemy perhaps, who even hang their fellow country women for refusing to resist the invaders in a time that resistance is futile, but as bad as can be and only marginally so.

The key scene is one where Brad Pitt together with Rookie invade a house where two German women hide out. it is one long protracted threat scene that screams rape with every frame. If you have seen Der Untergang, or have read the Last Battle by Cornelius Ryan, you will be aware of how these women would have felt. It isn’t a pretty sight to behold.

Fury has a scary anchor point, which is that it doesn’t matter what you do as long as you do it, because you have been told to do it and nothing else matters. It reminds me of a phrase of the game Mafia II: in the war the president pointed the finger at whom to kill, now it is the hand that pays me. This movie is thus about moral bankruptcy.
In a human society there is no place for any of the crewman of Fury with an exception perhaps for the rookie who is the least tainted. Society can not work with the scumbags that war has created, and who have traded in their morals and compassion for the command: go forward and kill regardless.

They are the walking dead.

It just needs a bullet to remind them that they are.

Henry and Kristel prepare for Doomsday

“There are fine lines between referencing something, borrowing from it and beyond that: by duplicating the original.” Kristl said.
“Hm? Where are you going with this?” Henry sort of woke up mid sentence..
“Take this line for instance, it consists of letters.. and these are hardly original..as we only got twenty six of them and virtually nobody adds any new ones to them. So you have seen these letters a trillion times and you will see them again a trillion times.”
“Yeah.. although…I understand some Asian languages have tons of them. Maybe even new ones?”
“For the sake of the argument I stick to the language I know..”
“Ah. Fair enough.”
“So we combine letters into words.. which are not really original in themselves as most are being reused again and again. But sometimes people make up new words, but that is rare.”
“Like fabbleak..” Henry said.
“Fabbleak?”
“Just thought of it.. it sort of expresses a state between being flabbergasted and feeling weak.I added an extra b just so you don’t make a mistake with fableak.. which sounds more like a word you use for a famous person who needs to go.. toiletside.. you know.” Henry made a vague gesture with his right hand.
“Right.. but unless fableak..”
“..fabbleak..”
“..fabbleak takes off as a new word used everywhere, we will not see it being used much. Unlike words as..”
“Much?”
“Much is a wordt that is used much”
“So words are combined into sentences and there you might even get something original. And then there is the next level… where sentences are combined into paragraphs and  the next where paragraphs are turned into stories and bigger stories have even things like chapters or sections or even books.”
“Right. So what?”
“Well.. the whole point is that reusing sentences from someone else does not make a new and original story and neither does the reusing of ideas from other movies make a new original movie unless you add something to it yourself or arrange them into some unique way.”
“Ah.. I see where we are going.”
“Doomsday explores the line between referencing something and just piling other peoples ideas onto each other and adding nothing to it. So this movie borrows from Resident Evil 2, then steals from escape from New York, then is inspired by Aliens then turns into Mad Max, then becomes some kind of knight movie and so on. Actually they even added in V for Vendetta with the government bad guy Canaris looking and acting like that Creedy from V for Vendetta.”
“I guess. It is just a movie to entertain. Not something that should make history..”
“Right.. but it does not even do that very well. You see, the major problem is that you then require some group of charismatic characters spouting one-liners. Maybe these are not people you like, but at least people that catch the attention.. but nobody seems to actually stand out.. I mean McDowell and Hoskins almost seem to reach that point, but the main lead certainly does not. It is as if they are deliberately held back.”
“Well Rhona Mitra stands out: she is attractive and muscled enough to make her fighting believable?”
“But her Eden character simply fails to stand out somehow.. she is not Alice from Resident Evil, nor Snake Plisken from Escape From New York, although they try hard to imply the link with her one eye. Nor does she stand out like Selene from Underworld.. even though her dark complexion and English accent sort of seem to point that way. “
“Well.. I think it was entertaining in some way, but nothing to write home about. Kinda strange that they kill of that weird looking chick that is on the front of the advertisement so soon. I think she was only in it for like five minutes.”
“That perhaps that illustrates the point. When they have something that stands out, they kill it off…just to avoid having something that might raise your interest.”
“I was a bit befuddled about that whole knight scene. Suddenly we were in the middle-ages.. it just needed some grey bearded wizard and a little fellow to turn it into lord of the rings…”
“Yes.. well.. if they had added them, it might have even amounted to something..” Kristl said.
“Also strange that the people turned to cannibalism while the group runs into a enormous herd of cows and well. You can eat cows… ”
“And while they have no gun they do have cars as if getting or making fuel is easier than making gunpowder. Let alone keeping a car operational..”
‘Well, perhaps it is time to stop trying to see reason in this one and just say: another hot chick flick that is pointless…YAY..” Henry said and he laughed at his silly joke.
“Pointless chick flicks!  Let’s hope there won’t be a sequel or at least not one made in the same fashion.” Kristl said, “Pointless chick flicks.. very funny.”
Henry ducked into the corridor to head over to the kitchen to make some coffee. This way he avoided a confrontation over his joke.. for the moment.

Henry and Kristl were In a lonely place (1950)

inalonelyplace-4
“Dixon Steele is a violent man,” Kristl said..

 

“Dixon Steele is a violent man,” Kristl said while she took a sip from her Rooibos tea.

“Yeah,” Henry nodded slowly. He was drinking hot coffee in a cup filled to the brim . He had made Kristl a tea as at the moment she had sworn off coffee. Just like she had sworn off sugar a few months ago. But Henry knew that this might change tomorrow. It had before.

“That is the key to the story. It is what causes Laurel to doubt him, until it is too late.”

“It isn’t a great leap to think that he might have killed that girl.”

inalonelyplace
Happy times in times smoking was an accepted vice.

“And this suspicion breaks the love affair. “ Kristl nodded.

“He is pretty violent considering that he almost bashes a man’s skull in with a rock. If Laurel hadn’t stopped him, he might have. He gives me the creeps.”

“That is the thing and the sad thing is that he gets more violent when more frustrated and he gets more frustrated because Laurel grows distant and cold because she starts to doubt him.. And of course the police increase the pressure, believing him to be the most likely perpetrator.”

“Like a circle. The suspicion causes the violence and the violence increases the suspicion. And so on. And so on.”

“A sad story and a great one. It is an interesting take on a murder story. Not a regular whodunit because is not really important who committed the murder. What is is important is what it causes. It is a thriller, mixed with a drama and a crime story all wrapped into one movie.”

“So you liked it?”

“Did you? I mean, there isn’t much action. So it might be boring.”

“Well, it was interesting. But I asked first…”

“Alright… I found the story interesting and the acting of Humphrey Bogart and Gloria Grahame is good, but the movie loses big on cinematography. It is just so lackluster and by the book filming that it really brings down the whole movie. There are so many moments that could have been handled better. I would have been interested what a Robert Krasker, the director of photography of the third man, would have done. The only moment something remarkable is done is when Steele enacts with two other people what might have happened. The eager fascination and detailed description of him describing the murder coupled with his expression is unsettling and brought out by having his face light up from the darkness around him. It could have been done much better though. And there are a few moments throughout the movie that seem to mood enhanced, like the moment she talks through bars to a person.. which would have been greater later in the movie signifying her being captured in this love affair but I got the feeling this was just an accident. ”

inalonelyplace-3
Humphrey Bogart as Dixon Steele caught up in enacting the killing.

“Ah yes…Gloria Grahame is pretty isn’t she,” Henry smiled, “even though she has this sad expression for most of the movie.”

“Sure.. There is this one thing at the end that made me wonder about her character. “

“Which is?”

“I find it strange that she finds it more important whether Steele is the murderer or not, than the fact that she is about to marry a violent man.”

“Uhmm.”

“I mean.. he gets creepy under pressure, so he will get violent and one day she might be the target of his violence..Brr. A man to avoid at all cost,” Kristl shivered.

“Well…. I don’t know what to say. Most of the people he was violent against seem to ask for it.. Not that is makes it any less of a nono.. but somehow I am somewhat more lenient when he hits a guy who taps ash off his cigar into Steeles friends glass of brandy. Or this guy who shouts at you not to talk to his wife, while his wife started the conversation.”

“Still violence is violence.”

“Yeah, it is..”

inalonelyplace-2
Laurel Gray behind bars… a missed opportunity?

“Despite that last criticism I think it is a good movie. In fact I wonder why there has never been a remake. Maybe one with say George Clooney and… well…. “

“..Angelina Jolie?”

“Angelina Jolie?!” Kristl grinned.

“Hmm.. maybe not a good idea, she probably hits back..”

“Maybe Cate Blanchett would be better.”

inalonelyplace-5
Gloria Grahame as Laurel Gray.

“Yeah. She has that kind of frailty that Gloria Grahame has.”

“Well, maybe someone will make that remake.”

“You never know.” Henry said and rose to get him another serving of coffee. Halfway down the hall he turned and raised his empty cup indicating if she wanted any. Kristl nodded a yes.   ‘Addict’, he thought. he  had known she would change her mind.

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.

 

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

Henry and Kristl enter the Mists of Avalon (2001)

“So ever read the book?” Henry asked, “Seems like the kind of book you would have read, in your days…”

Kristl frowned, “My days? Sounds like I have outlived my shelf live. “

“Eh.. Well I mean, from when you were younger. When you read these books. Fantasy and such.”

Kristl gave Henry a look, “Gosh, you are starting to scare me.”

“Scare you?”

“Well, you are actually right, I have not read much fantasy for a long time. I got a bit tired with the copy and paste books that flooded the market. And we did not have the internet then to figure out the good from the bad. Or even the mediocre from the bad. You had to read the blurb and page through the book. Hundreds of them.”

“See.. I can listen,” Henry smiled sanguinely.

“Oh.. ah.. Well, we might even make a good woman out of you yet.”

“Let’s not go overboard now.”

“But the answer is no. I picked it up once as it had intriguing coverof a woman riding a horse and holding something up. A staff I think. Like a magic user.”

“And?”

“I gave it a try but never got past the first few pages. Perhaps I had lost interest in the whole Arthur legend at that time. The Arthur legend was another dead horse that was beaten ad nausea.”

“But did you read it , Henry?” Kristl asked.

“Nuu.. Fantasy is not my kind of thing.”

“So what do you think of this women movie.”

“Well.. it is a bit quaint.”

“Quaint?” Kristl said.

“Well it was nice to see eh the woman side of it all, but it was kind

of uneventful.”

“No kick ass girls in this one.”

“And full of ‘functional’ sex and even incest. I mean. It was as if the whole woman side of the Arthur legend consisted of scheming, backstabbing, incest and sex.”

“Apparently.”

“I wonder if it was written by a man.. a misogynistic one, ” Henry said.

Kristl laughed, “I was told Marion Zimmer Bradley was a woman. Perhaps the book gives a more favorable angle on the story. Turning a book into a movie usually means that the story has to be condensed and suffer.”

“Yeah.”

“I wonder if you can follow the story if you do not have some background information. Like it is never quite explained why Lot hates Arthur.”

“Some things are also strange. Like when Uther Pendragon sneaks into the castle of Gorlois, disguised as Gorlois, and beds Igraine she gets knocked up and then marries Pendragon, ” Henry said.

“Hmm,” Kristl said.

“Strange is also the decision of Morgause to spare Mordred. She first wants to kill him when he is a newborn baby but when the delirious Morgaine blurts out he is actually Arthur’s son, she spares him..But why? They say that when Arthur has no sons, they are next in line for the throne. So why let Mordred live?”

“I got the feeling that much what was in the book could not be put into the movie and thus we lack events that probably would make the storymore ‘sensible’,” Kristl said.

“Another strange thing is the passivity of Morgaine. I mean it seems like almost everything is happening to her and she is a bit helpless in the face of it. Like oh, right I am taken away to this Island to become a priestess. Oh right, I have to have sex with this guy in some ancientritual. Oh right, I am to be married off to king Uriens.”

“Oh wow, that was one of the dumbest scene ever. Arthur discussing with Uriens to arrange for a wedding and then when they ask Morgaine if she wants to marry this ‘royal person’ from Wales, they forget to mention

that is was the father Uriens they meant and not his son. That was solame. As if such political decisions were done in such a offhand manner. I would grant that Morgaine would probably have had no choice, but the movie suggests it was a mistake and that she could not back out after it had been arranged for fear of Uriens losing face.”

“So?” Henry said.

“To wrap it up?” Krisl queried.

“Still a reasonable movie to watch, I think. Just for the story line.”

“And the acting is decent. Not very good, but passable.”

“Yeah. But the fighting and magic is lame. It is as if people are afraid of hurting each other. And that absurd way of fighting of Mordred. Did he travel to China to learn that tactic?” Henry said and continued, “And did it not strike you as odd that Morgaine at one time suddenly became this killer fighter? Throughout the whole movie we see her never touch a sword and then when she gets ambushed she kills half a dozen of these Saxon raiders. Wow. Way to go girl.”

“I think fighting came natural to women in those days. Men had to work hard for it,” Kristl smiled.

“Yeah.. right. As ‘natural’ as in that women always hit something when they park their cars backwards.”

“Not much of a ‘skill’. And not true at all. A fable. A persistent recurring one. I wonder if we are still claimed to bump into things while parking when flying spacecrafts.”

“Well fables tend to linger on.. so I guess you are stuck with it one way or another. It just morphs into something new.”

“And no doubt we will be seeing another Arthur legend.. maybe next time it will be about gay relations.”

“Or aliens.”

“Or gay aliens.”

“Now there is an idea…”

 http://www.imdb.com/title/tt0244353/

Henry and Kristl did not last to see 13 Assassins

“Gosh,” said Henry.

He and Kristl were both gaping at the large screen that adorned one
side of the wall and which had, mercifully, gone black. A soft sound of
static emitted from the screen. It was the only sound in the otherwise
silent room.

Kristl pressed a button on her wrist watch and glanced at the display.

“Fifteen minutes.”

“That long?” Henry gasped.

Kristl nodded.

“Maybe we can skip to the fight, you know the one that is claimed to be
the best since.. Kill Bill?”, Henry said.

“I somehow got the feeling that it will be as brutal, sadistic,
gruesome and otherwise revolting as the part of the movie that we have
seen up till now. In fact; I would not want to chance it, even if there
was a small chance that it will turn out to be otherwise.”

“Uhm?”

“You think it will?” Kristl stared at him.

“I lost you there… Yet, you know, Kill Bill. It was a great fight
scene. I assume that they mean the fight between the bride and the 99.”

“Well the suggestion is there. Assumption and all that.”

“It makes me so curious. Just to see if it is really that great.”

“The filmmakers would be happy then. They got you hooked by just
alluding to Kill Bill. You immediately draw comparisons. It creates
expectations without actually promising much and thus you want to watch
the movie.Smart advertising.”

Henry nodded.

“But just think of this. How many of the movies we have seen started
out one way and then turned into something completely different along
the way?”

“Well.. not that many.”

“So what is the likelihood that a movie starting out with one sickening
scene after the other, done in drab colors, populated with
interchangeable characters, done in an unremarkable style and devoid of
humor, will become the opposite in the end? Will become to resemble
Kill Bill?”

“Not very likely…”

“So why should I want to suffer all that just in the forlorn hope that
it might turn out to be different?”

“Eh.. because maybe it will?”

“Okay.. I can not stop you from trying, but I rather watch something
that I like to watch and I think might be watchable till the end. Let’s
pop in another movie?”

“We got Azumi and Azumi 2?,” Henry smiled at Kristl.

“More Japanese swordplay?”

“Yes. Was that not the reason we actually wanted to watch this one in
the first place: to compare them?”

“That is true.”

“Besides.. it has a girl as the lead and..”

“…you like kick-ass girls..” Kristl sighed.

“Nothing wrong with that.”

“Only that it is sexist.”

“At least it is not grisly.”

“As if the one precludes the other.”

“Uh? What do you mean?”

“There are some twisted people out there.”

“Yeah.”

“I hope they remain out there and out of my mind. I find those twisted
images and thoughts disturbing.”

“Right.”

“One more reason not to watch this movie.”

“If you think so. I wish it had a sassy fighter girl..I would have
watched it.. In a skirt that is almost to short.. Like Azumi.”

“Pervert.”

“Thanks sooo much.”

“You are welcome.”

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http://www.imdb.com/title/tt1436045/

 

Henry and Kristl spaced out on The Road(2009)

sun

“Bleak, bleaker, bleakest. Is there a word that would top bleakest?”

“Sunshine,” Henry said.

“Sunshine?” Kristl’s jaw dropped and she gave Henry a look of incredulity.

“Yes. It certainly would top bleakest.”

“I am somehow missing…”

“After the rain comes sunshine. Every dark cloud has silver lining. Come winter, come summer. So despair will inevitably result in..?”

“I am not sure that..”

“Sure you are sure.. look at yourself,” Henry beamed

“What?”

“Well, you are not hesitant to point out that you do not like war, while having spent a lot of time reading about it, watching war movies and writing about it. What would you say would be the lesson from all of that?”

“That war is hell and a waste of time and lives?”

“Sure.”

“So what does that say about this movie?”

“That bleak movies suck, can be turned of f and one goes to watch a bunch of nice movies that have uplifting nice endings and then you suddenly feel a lot better about watching films like,” Henry paused for a moment, “like…romantic comedies.”

“Those would top bleakest to,” Kristl shivered and then continued, “They make me feel down. Like this movie does.”

Henry suddenly rose, walked out of the viewing room and returned a few minutes later with a cup of tea which he handed to Kristl, “Have this yourself a nice cup of tea.”

Tea, Henry knew, was something handy to hand out. Even the most dedicated addict would not turn down a cup of tea and it gave you a nice feel to drink something warm.

“How come you are so..”

“Undepressed?”

“Yes, I mean. Geez,  this movie is.. I mean, well the world turns to shit and everyone is dead or dying and the only livestock that is left to eat are other humans. And even when they are not trying to have you for dinner they want to rob you or profit in another way from you.  And this in a landscape drained of color except for sepia and grim gray. The only thing that is positive is the dedication of the father to the son.  But that is even more depressing as it is either naive or totally at odds with what is happening. So what is the point ? At some they finally end up at a place where we hear the father says that at the other side of the ocean a father and a boy, just like them, are probably sitting and wondering if there is a better place to go? If there is no hope, why not take the gun and shoot your son and yourself before you run out of bullets? If you love him, would you not do that to spare him the suffering that lies ahead? I do not even understand why they would drag on when..,” Kristl swallowed hard.

Henry sat down next to Kristl and put his arm around her and for once she did not stiffen the first few seconds, “Gosh, Kristl it is just a movie.”

“A well acted movie. Well shot. I mean.. look at the cinematography, but in the end it is  not much different from say a movie like…. ‘The hobbit, the desolation of Smaug.’ Or one of the Lord of the Rings movie  for that matter,” Henry said.

“WHAT?”

“Well, it is about a make believe world, with make believe people, undergoing make believe experiences and acting in a make believe manner.”

Kristl smiled thinly at that, “You can not compare…this to.. It is in a whole different category.”

“Or say.. ‘Go west’, by the Marx Brothers,” Henry continued.

“But that is even… I mean that is an absurd movie.. With absurd people in it..totally wacky.. That is what a Marx brothers movie is..”

“Remember the train station scene you showed me once? It is from that movie”

“Yes.. That is very funny, but…”

“Totally silly over the top nonsense.”

“Yes.. but…”

“Did it make you laugh?”

“Well.. yes.. it..”

“Does it make you feel better thinking about it?”

“Yes..”

“Some people have that with romantic comedies.”

“Yes..but…”

“And so… wait.. Listen to this little story?”

“What..”

“A guy is hitting himself on the head with a hammer and in comes another guy who asks him.. why do you do that? Well.. he says, it feels so nice when I stop doing it.”

“That is absurd.”

“So there is your answer.”

“Huh?”

“I feel so undepressed because the movie ended. Somewhat cheerfully than expected. But it is done.”

“Uh.”

“In one movie one actor concludes a process by throwing a ring into the fires of the mountain after being beset upon by evil beings while wandering through a desolate landscape. In this movie they do the same, more or less, except the ring is now a boy and they do not throw him into the fires.. well not literally.”

“That is some comparison.”

“Yup, except this movie is more bleak because no doubt we are in a depression, so movies like these get made, just like we had this upsurge of disasters movie in the seventies of the last century, with earthquakes, meteors and global nuclear war threatening earth. And now we have that again. As sign of the times. But it’s just as much nonsense as any other movie.. including ‘Go West.”

“That one is at least funny.”

“So let’s watch that as an antidote to the bleakness of movies like The Road.”

“Let’s..”

http://www.imdb.com/title/tt0898367/