Gordon & Barbara in Paris

Gordon & Barbara in Paris
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Wednesday, September 9, 2015

A Walk In The Woods (movie)

A Walk In The Woods—directed by Ken Kwapis/Starring Nick Nolte and Robert Redford (everyone else is nice fluff, including Emma Thompson, Mary Steenburgen, and Kristen Schaal and /screenplay written by Rick Kerb Bill Holderman and two others/based on a novel by Bill Bryson /rated R/1hr 44min

Bifocal Reviews written by Ageless1der Barbara Rich & The Other Guy

(BR) This film was about a retired travel writer, played by 70 something Robert Redford, who wants to hike the Appalachian Trail. Even though he’s in reasonably good, Robert Redford shape, because of his advanced years, his wife, played by Emma Thompson thinks he is crazy and pleads with him to take someone along for the adventure. She doesn’t want him to go at all, but she REALLY doesn’t want him to go alone. None of his current or old friends want to join him. However, through the grapevine, an old (strained) college friend—played by Nick Nolte, who is actually not such a friend, since Redford and he had parted under less than positive circumstances--calls and invites himself to tag along. Out of shape Nick Nolte, the most unlikely partner is a walk on the wild side compared to logical, practical Robert Redford. This combination makes for the most entertaining and engaging scenes with constant brilliant banter scattered like pinecones along the trail. I thoroughly enjoyed this movie. By the way, Redford had this project in mind for himself and his dear friend Paul Newman, who worked so well together in the Sting and Butch Cassidy. When Newman died, the project was put on the shelf. I can’t think of anyone who was more suited to the Nolte role. This was my kind of walk in the woods. I give this film four binoculars out of five, with a big chunk going to Nolte, and the scenery—beyond Robert Redford--wasn’t bad either.

(OG) Watching A Walk In The Woods, I laughed out loud, a lot, and so did pretty much everybody else in the completely packed theater. The R rating is probably for a couple of F-bombs, adult situations and perhaps a brief shot of Nick Nolte’s bare backside. Really though, this was pretty tame for today’s R rating. I loved the dialogue and the acting of two absolute pros. Dialogue enhanced no doubt by the delivery of the actors, but when we left the theater, Barbara and I were still laughing and already quoting both Redford and Nolte. I understand that the book itself is filled with quotable quips, many of which did not make it into the film, but the delivery of these two was so natural that I got the impression that it was two quick witty old buddies, not just characters that actors were playing, who were simply riffing off one another. It is to the director and writer’s credits that they just allowed the spontaneity to remain and were smart enough to simply take credit for the very enjoyable result. I so much more enjoyed this film than Academy pick with Witherspoon last year. I hope Nolte is nominated for something. On our scale of five binoculars--where I give credit for both good dialogue and pure enjoyment--I give this film four and a half.  

Tuesday, September 8, 2015

The Man From U.N.C.L.E.

The Man from U.N.C.L.E—Directed by Guy Ritchie/screenplay by Scott Z. Burns, David C. Wilson/Starring Henry Cavill, Armie Hammer, Alicia Vikander, with Eilzabeth Debicki and Hugh Grant/rated PG-13/1hr56min

Bifocal Reviews by Ageless1der Barbara Rich & The Other Guy

(BR): Let me just say as a women, hubba, hubba. Even if this film were terrible, which it is not, it would be worth looking at these two handsome gents. I kind of like the old world espionage, a good pace, not so crammed with unnecessary action, but just the right amount of excitement. Cavill and Hammer had a great chemistry, similar in some ways to other paired teams of old. I was not disappointed in any way. This film earns 3 ½ binoculars from me.

(OG): I liked it. It was fun, witty, charismatic, and most of all entertaining. Guy Ritchie knows how to take the seemingly overworked (such as Sherlock Holmes with Robert Downey Jr.) and kick it up a notch, while remaining true to the character elements which draw us to the title characters in the first place. There are just so many nuclear-bomb-on-a-timer movies that an audience can take at one time. The writing helped make this 1970’s Cold War film seem plausible once more. Hammer and Vikander are no slouches either. This is a fresh, clever and appealing team based upon those originally brought to the small screen by Robert Vaughn, David McCallum and Stefanie Powers. Those are some difficult acting shoes to fill, but I think that Cavill, Hammer and Vikander are more than up to the task. I especially like the fact that director Ritchie decided to beef up the Illya Kuryakin personae to create a role for Armie Hammer worthy of his skills. All in all, I give this movie a solid 3.5 binoculars. This is not Gone With the Wind, but it is not meant to be. Enjoy a night out at the movies like we used to do it in the olden days but better. Instead of staying home, in front of the television, sit in a darkened room with a bunch of like minded people, all in comfortable chairs, looking at a big screen for a brief moment, immersing yourself totally in the drama, just for fun…old school.