A Walk in the Woods

I worked on a quiz and reviewed some of my notes. I went over to the theatre to see “A Walk in the Woods.” I was a little upset that the price of a ticket for a matinee showing had gone up to $8.75. The movie had a pretty good cast, with Robert Redford as Bill Bryson and Nick Nolte as Stephen Katz. Emma Thompson, Kristen Schaal, and Mary Steenburgen also had roles. I thought of this movie as being like “Wild,” but for an older age group. There were also echoes of other movies, like “All is Lost” and “The Odd Couple.” I thought of how easily the Robert Redford of “Jeremiah Johnson” would have handled this hiking adventure. It seemed that we should have seen more shots of nature and less of the paved streets and motel rooms. I wondered what this movie would have been like with Paul Newman in the Nick Nolte role. Neither Redford nor Nolte showed the brilliance of younger days. There was too much sitting around talking about things that happened. I would go crazy if I was stuck hiking with either one of them. I hated the scene with the bottle. The reason I was reminded of “All is Lost” was that both movies showed an aging Redford out in an isolated environment risking his safety. I sure didn’t think of him as the writer type. During many of the shots, I kept expecting people to recognize Redford, but maybe he’s just an old man to them now. The movie had humorous scenes with a couple who pick up the hitchhiking Redford and Nolte, a jealous man threatening to beat up Nolte, a bear, and a ledge. It felt mostly stale to me, and a lot of scenes were low on energy. Bryson’s attempts at humor when he was buying camping equipment were weak, and I hoped his book wasn’t like that. I kept wondering how these two men decided what to take with them on this trip. I kept thinking about equivalent scenes in “Wild.” I also thought about how I had to be physically and mentally tougher than these men who are old now. If there is one thing I can do in my poverty, it is walking for long distances. I think that I could walk around the world if I wanted to, well, except for the oceans. This movie did have moments that made me laugh, but I think that there is no real need to see it if you have already seen “Wild.” I hate to admit that something with Reese Witherspoon could have been better than this one. The ending is really something of a letdown. It made me feel like not reading the book. I am reminded of why I don’t like hiking or camping. Redford was late in making this movie. That wouldn’t have happened forty years ago. Emma seemed young to be Redford’s wife. Redford is 79 years old now, Thompson is 56, and Nolte is 71. Bill Bryson is 63 years old now, and his book was published in 1998. Some of the people who died on September 24 include Carl Laemmle (1939), John Bonham (1980), Neil Hamilton (1984), and Dr. Seuss (1991). Today is a birthday for Brad Bird (58) and Joe Greene (69). According to the Brandon Brooks Rewind radio segment for September 24, “Three Days of the Condor,” starring Robert Redford and Faye Dunaway, was released in 1975. In 1982, “Amityville II: The Possession” was released. In 1983, Billy Joel had the Number One single, “Tell Her About It.” In 1991, Nirvana released their “Nevermind” album.

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