Friday, February 17, 2017

A Walk in the Woods (2015)

Directed by: Ken Kwapis
Starring: Robert Redford, Nick Nolte, Emma Thompson

A couple old guys taking a walk on the Appalachian Trail doesn't sound like an award winning motion picture does it? Well, as it turns out, it isn't. The success of similar features usually relies on the chemistry of the two leads, something we notice is a bit lackluster here.

Bryson (Robert Redford), a renowned author, is facing a delayed mid-life crisis and on a whim decides to walk 2100+ miles on the east coast, from Georgia to Maine, via the Appalachian Trail. The problem is: his wife, Catherine (Emma Thompson), won't let him hike it alone. After being rejected by most of his old friends, he is forced to invite the only one with an interest - a man he hasn't seen in decades and with whom he didn't part on the best of terms. By his own admission, Katz hasn't done much with his life and is so out of shape, it looks like he might have trouble walking a mile, let alone 2100+ of them. Nonetheless, the two of them hop on a plane to Georgia and the odyssey begins.

Overall: A Walk in the Woods is a very mediocre adventure flick, if you want a similar film but with better background story my recommendation would be to see Wild. 

Saturday, February 4, 2017

The Company You Keep (2012)

Directed by: Robert Redford
Starring: Robert Redford, Shia LaBeouf, Susan Sarandon, Chris Cooper, Nick Nolte, Terrance Howard, Richard Jenkins, Anna Kendrick, Sam Elliot

For anyone unaware, the Weather Underground Organization, commonly known as the Weathermen, was an American militant radical left-wing organization founded on the Ann Arbor campus of the University of Michigan in protest of the Vietnam War. In Robert Redford's film, The Company You Keep, he imagines what it would be like for some members of the group to still be alive and hiding in America today. They were once branded terrorists and now, the few that remain, have slowed down to blend in as soccer moms or local lawyers in small towns.

The movie begins when a mom, Sharon Solarz (Susan Sarandon) sends her kids off to school and sets to turn herself into the FBI for the crimes she committed while she was a member of The Weathermen. This event triggers a newfound interest in the case and the few others who remain hidden are suddenly being actively hunted again. The primary target is Jim Grant (Redford), a single father just trying to keep his daughter happy after the passing of her mother the year before. He is uncovered by a local journalist (Shia LaBeouf) and from that moment on, he runs, just as he's done for the last thirty years.

Overall: This is a very slow thriller, starring many A-list actors which makes it worth checking out at least once.