The Last Hand (1995 or something) from Tuna and Johnny Web (Uncle Scoopy; Greg Wroblewski)
This film is also known as After the Game.
Tuna's comments in white:
The Last Hand (1995, 1997, 2004) was completed and copyrighted in 1995, released on German TV in 1997 as After the Game, and is now in the US on DVD. IMDB scores this 2.0. Interestingly, over half the votes are perfect 10s, and 9% of the 10s are from people who gave no demographics. The median score is actually 10, but IMDb makes a mathematical adjustment for ballot-stuffing.
A man wins big in a Monday night poker game in Elko Nevada. On the way home with the money, he is shot and killed, and the car blows up. His son comes to town to find out what happened. The police have no interest in calling it anything but a drunk driving accident.
The people in the game all figure
prominently in the plot, so let's run through them quickly. The
casino owner, the brother of the murdered man, another casino owner
the owner #1 is deeply in debt to, and that man's wife (Susan
Traylor). Pay close attention to an ugly briefcase, because
each time it is opened, the contents change among women's underwear,
coke, and lots of money. The casino owner's girlfriend, Hudson Leick,
also figures prominently in the story.
But then the son is
picked up by his dead father. We then see the son dead, being put into
the coroner's wagon. Then they see Hudson Leick hitchhiking as well. The son
says, "Again?" The father answers, "The game is never over."
Scoop's comments in yellow:
I love Tuna's review. Oh, Brewster, dude, you are so BUSTED!
The DVD box says:
Well, at least he left Hitchcock and Shakespeare out of that one (how did he miss Tolstoy and Kurosawa?) but Frank Gorshin and Lou Rawls were not exactly "stars". The Riddler was in the opening scene and did a wild overacting gig as the murder victim, after which he was just the dead guy that the plot revolved around, marked most vividly by his total absence until the absurd ending which Tuna mentioned. Poor Lou Rawls, once an A-list singer, seems not to have managed his money when he was making it, because he now seems desperate for any work he can get. If you watch this movie without knowing he is in it, then someone informed you of that a week later, you'd never remember who he was, just a bit player in a minor movie. Bob Dubac was the star, and had some talent, but apparently never worked in films again, so I'm not sure why one would use his name to promote the film.
Tuna's favorite plot gimmick was the confusing suitcase, but my favorite was the ever-present knife.
Scene One: the Evil Dude lynches Our Hero from a barn door, but does not snap his neck, and leaves a knife stuck in the barn, with which Our Hero simply cuts himself down.
Scene Two: just a few hours later, Our Hero ties up the Evil Dude's legs and leaves him in the desert to rot. Having learned absolutely nothing from his own rope-and-knife experience just a short time earlier, Our Hero leaves a knife within reaching distance of Evil Dude. The SAME knife that he himself had just used to cut his own ropes.
Scene Three: now this is weird. See if you can follow me. The Other Evil Dude comes out to where the Evil Dude has been left to die in the desert, and taunts the tied-up Evil Dude before shooting him, delaying just long enough so that Evil Dude, now only pretending to be tied up, uses the magic knife to slit the throat of his tormentor. Apart from the silliness of the whole thing, there are two big loopholes in that logic (1) nobody told Other Evil Dude where Evil Dude was tied up in the desert, or even that he was out there. How the hell did he find him, or even know to look for him? (2) apparently, after Evil Dude freed himself with the magic knife, rather than walking into town, he simply lay in the desert pretending to be tied up, hoping someone would find him so he could use the ol' "pretending to be tied up trick", despite the fact that there was absolutely no reason to expect anyone to come looking for him, let alone find him. Of course, his completely illogical strategy worked, and the Other Evil Dude was kind enough to do a bunch of talking and tormenting before shooting him, or the ol' "pretending to be tied up trick" would have been fatal.
I just have to say that it really takes a dedicated mobster to wear a black suit with a black shirt and gold chains in the desert. (Right. Evil Dude himself.)
|I also have to say that I liked the movie much more than Tuna did. I agree with Tuna about the ending, and I agree with Tuna about the weakness of the confusing and illogical script (we only scratched the surface of plot and continuity problems), but I think ol' Brewmac did show some talent as a director. Several scenes are storyboarded very imaginatively, and he created some nice noir lighting effects. The opening scene is an uninterrupted tracking shot all the way through a casino into the back room where the big-shots are playing. He didn't maintain that quality consistently, but there were some flashes of real pizzazz for such a low budget film. It's too bad Brewmac thought he was a writer. If he had directed someone else's script, he might have made a career for himself.||
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