|Robert Redford as Bill Bryson .. plus friend|
"In A Walk in the Woods, directed by Ken Kwapis and based on the popular memoir by Bill Bryson, Redford and a pal leap into the uncertainty of old age while hiking the Appalachian Trail.The film managed to keep my eyes on the screen and off my watch mostly, but never seemed to deliver beyond bland. I have higher hopes for The Martian which we plan to watch next week; Steve Sailer has a review which damns with faint praise.
Redford plays Bryson, who decides well into his career as a travel writer to walk the 1,000 miles from Maine to Georgia – a journey men half his age regularly can’t complete. Fearing for his life, his wife (played by Emma Thompson) forces him take a buddy. The only man he can recruit is a boyhood friend, Katz (Nick Nolte), who he hasn’t spoken to since the pair fell out during a similar trek years back.
Plenty of silly little incidents ensue along the way, with lots of jokes about advancing years. Most of these episodes are far too low-stakes to carry a movie and the bigger picture, about two men past their prime trying to figure out what to do in their dotage, is handled far too simply to have real impact. The result is something that is just fine. It’s pleasant enough to watch, but by no means riveting or revolutionary.
However, the footage of the two of them trudging about is fantastic, all majestic vistas and cute small towns of rural America. For his part, Redford manages to be as charming and winning as he was nearly a half-century back – which goes a long way with such slight stuff. Nolte performs well, but his voice, which sounds like it was taped next to a paper shredder in a tornado, makes for a challenging listen."
Earlier in the day we took a stroll through the nearby Priddy Mineries - what you might call a walk beside the woods - where we topped up on vitamin D on perhaps this last day of summer.
|The Priddy Mineries|