Sunday, September 20, 2015

A Walk in the Woods

Book jacket photo from Amazon.

We have to have a good memory to recall when movies told a great story with a good plot that was informative, uplifting, and motivating, and developed wonderful characters.  Values, morals, the struggles between right and wrong were all explored, and we left the theater feeling good, challenged, encouraged, even somehow better for the two-hour experience.  Now movies are all aimed at thirteen-year-olds with anti-social sentiments who need to be shocked and propelled to the edge of sanity.  It has to start with a 737 loaded with orphans and tons of deadly toxins and pathogens, a fiery crash through a children’s hospital with the debris sliding and exploding in a packed NFL stadium.  There appear to be no survivors, but wait, hundreds, no, thousands of zombies and walking dead begin trooping from the apocalyptic scene (there always has to be an apocalypse) to begin either consuming or invading the bodies of the living.  Rubbish!  Well, I have good news.

I longed to see “A Walk In The Woods” from the moment I saw the first preview.  Robert Redford, Nick Nolte, and Emma Thompson and a long list of casting successes bring the true story by Bill Bryson to life.  Redford plays Bryson, Thompson is his wife, and Nolte is the intentionally long-lost friend, Katz.  You don’t want to miss this film.  There is a great story, and it is hilarious while frequently stepping a bit too close to some of life’s challenges.  Unlike many ticket costs, this is an investment in great entertainment that will send you from the theater with a smile on your face and leave you retelling scenes and jokes from the movie for days to come.  Best of all, it is a story dear to all our hearts, spending time in nature recharging our souls, and maybe even reclaiming our lives by stepping out to do something bold, even noteworthy.

I knew a visit to our daughter and son-in-law’s would coincide with the movie’s release, so seeing the movie immediately upon reaching Pennsylvania was top on my agenda.  We quickly put together a foursome with our daughter, son-in-law, our grandson who was home from his first semester of college, and myself.  I loved the movie, and was determined to see it again, but suddenly everyone was too busy to accompany me, so I went by myself for the second visit.  Then, Jean was finally available after watching the grandkids during my first trip, so I took her to walk in the woods.  That made three trips to the theater for this movie in a week.  Did I say it is a great movie? 

With some of the mature subject matter and language, I will say that I’d rate the movie PG-18, rather than 13, but you can see them as fitting between two old men facing struggles with nature, as well as with their own pasts and the courses their lives have taken.  Also, forget reading the reviews by a bunch of condescending pinheads that make a living by snootily and jealously looking down their noses at everyone else’s work.  One said the movie was a predictable rehash of their efforts to walk the Appalachian Trail.  Here’s a shocker for a reviewer that obviously hasn’t lived long enough to understand this:  when you reach a certain age, waking up every morning is a predictable rehash of all your efforts.   For those of us that are long-time patrons of the Last Chance CafĂ©, the challenge becomes finding something about life worth rehashing.  I don’t get paid for my opinion, but I say it’s a movie worth your time.  I wonder when the DVD will be available? 

P.S. - The DVD will be released in Jan '16.

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