#35 – A Walk In The Woods – by Nick Andersen

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A Walk In The Woods is 2015 R-rated adventure comedy biographical film, directed by Ken Kwapis based on the memoir by the same name by Bill Bryson. The film stars Robert Redford, Nick Nolte and Emma Thompson. It follows Bill Bryson, a successful writer in his 60s deciding to hike the Appalachian trail, with his rotund friend Stephen Katz whom unexpectedly contacted him after many years without seeing each other, asking to tag along. The last film that I laughed so much out loud, must have been Ted (2012) and before that it was Pineapple Express (2008). With Ted it was because the humor was for the first time outrageous, and with Pineapple Express, it was hilarious watching two dumb stoners which James Franco and Seth Rogen nailed. A Walk In The Woods’ comedy is nothing like that. It’s honest and doesn’t force absurd or unlikely situations, which I believe has been the mistake many comedy films have made in the past. Reading and thinking now after watching it that it’s a biography, makes it that much funnier. Robert Redford himself said he had never laughed so much from reading a book.

NO SPOILERS

The film is a fun treat. The long-lost friendship between Redford and Nolte is great and Nolte’s character adds a lot to the story. He is so out of shape and his face is red almost throughout the entire film looking like he’s about to drop dead. He is the opposite type of person to try and hike a 2,000+ mile stretch. The screenplay is the winner here as it is hilariously good! Especially Katz’s remarks and comments to the small moments in each scene. At one point my face literally hurt from laughing so much. This is definitely a feel-good film. Besides the hilarity, the cinematography was stunning. So much forest and for so many miles all over. It was beautiful to see and learn about the Appalachian trail. I will certainly read the book and hope to get a good laugh out of the read as well. I highly recommend this one to anybody who’s looking for a good hour of fun. This biopic film will NOT waste your time.

Thanks for reading my short review!

– Nick Andersen

#31 – Meru – by Nick Andersen

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Meru is an R-rated 2015 documentary about three professional climbers and their journey as they attempt to climb Mount Meru, one of the most dangerous and never-before-reached summits of the Himalayas. Directed by one of the climbers, Jimmy Chin, with Conrad Anker and Renan Ozturk as the other two. Meru is no ordinary climbing documentary; it isn’t a reenacted version of a climb that has already happened. Strapped with GoPro cameras, we get to see and experience firsthand the journey these three men take both physically and mentally, as they prepare and struggle on a mountain that has no conqueror. While most of the film is off of the mountain, it is nevertheless an exciting and impressive story, with glimpses into the obsession of these three famous climbers and their personal battles. Three years in the making, Meru delivers breathtaking visual proof of what we non-climbers can only dream of. Unless you’re a climber, you will never get this close to experiencing the thrill, pain and fears that these extreme athletes go through all for the love of the sport.

Thanks for reading my short review!

– Nick Andersen

#15 – Dances with Wolves – by Nick Andersen

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Dances with Wolves is a 1990 adventure, drama and western film directed by Kevin Costner and written by Michael Blake based off of his novel with the same title. Don’t let the genre, western, make you look away in case you don’t enjoy them. I personally am not interested in the western times, much less films about it. But in Dances with Wolves, it is not centered on the modern day life of the people of that time. It is centered on the way of life of the forgotten Sioux tribe. If you are looking for entertainment, you will not find it in this film. This film teaches many lessons, and is about the bonding of people and the respect towards nature. A simple enough idea to have but ruined by another idea. The idea that one person decides that he/she is superior to others.

!!! SPOILERS AHEAD !!!

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#14 – Up – by Nick Andersen

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Up is a 2009 animated film directed by Pete Docter and co-directed by Bob Peterson. Both of them along with Tom McCarthy wrote the story. Before Inside Out, Up was Pixar’s best movie and even won the award for Best Picture. It tells the story about an elderly man fulfilling a promise to his late wife with the company of a young scout explorer, a house tethered to thousands of balloons, a long-lost explorer, some “talking” dogs and a giant bird named Kevin. It is a beautiful, funny and touching film. Pixar always knows how to make us emotional and in Up, you will most likely cry.

!!! SPOILERS AHEAD !!!

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#10 – Kingsman: The Secret Service – by Nick Andersen

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Kingsman: The Secret Service is a 2014 R-rated comedy film directed and written — alongside Jane Goldman — by Matthew Vaughn based on the comic books The Secret Service. It stars a wide known cast, but the main actors in this story are Colin Firth, Mark Strong, Samuel L. Jackson and Taron Egerton. To get an idea of Vaughn’s directing, think of films Layer Cake (2004), Kick-Ass (2010) and X-men: First Class (2011). If you haven’t seen Layer Cake or Kick-Ass you cannot appreciate this movie for what it is. Kingsman is its own film genre. It’s satirical, bloody, ridiculously funny, foul mouthed and action filled. It’s almost like watching a Tarantino film. I mean, Samuel L. Jackson is even in it!

!!! SPOILERS AHEAD !!!

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#6 – Stand By Me – by Nick Andersen

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Stand By Me is a memorable 1986 coming of age film and an adaptation of Stephen King’s The Body. Directed by Rob Reiner, starring Wil Wheaton, River Phoenix, Corey Feldman and Jerry O’Connell. I was not born in the 80s or late 70s, but I can tell that this is the type of movie kids loved growing up and consider it today a childhood classic. Surprisingly, it’s an R rated one instead of a PG-13 as one could believe.

A few spoilers ahead !

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