One of the first few books I read about the Appalachian Trail was a volume written by Bill Bryson entitled A Walk in the Woods: Rediscovering America on the Appalachian Trail. Although it contained some profanity and not appropriate for a dad to read to his young son, the story of this long distance hike of Bill and his friend, Katz, was so humorous and well written that I found myself laughing out loud many times (and I seldom laugh out loud when reading a book). Published in 1998 by HarperCollins Publishers, the 274 page book is filled with adventure and the hilarity of a lack of preparation for such an ambitious trek, and the absence of basic hiking skills.
The book has been made into a feature film starring Robert Redford as Bryson, Nick Nolte as Katz, and Emma Thompson as Bryson’s wife. The film is to be released on Labor Day Weekend. Unfortunately the film is rated R for language and some sexual references. IMDB (internet movie data base) briefly describes the blot of the movie, “After spending two decade in England, Bill Byson returns to the US, where he decided the best way to connect with his homeland is to hike the Appalachian Trail with one of his oldest friends.”
The film is directed by Ken Kwapis and the trailer can be watched on youtube (www.youtube.com/watch?v=cOF2LIAp9bw). I am not that impressed by the trailer or the chemistry between Redford and Nolte – too bad Paul Newman is not still around.
The Sundance Film Review did not offer a stellar rating for the film. The review calls the film, “…mildly amusing…little substance in this tale of two grumpy old men making a predictable hash of their effort to hike the Appalachian Trail.” However the statement made in the review that will motivate me to find a seat in a local theater is this, “It’s pleasant enough cinematic comfort food…. highlighted by some splendid aerial location shots.” I don’t care that much for Nick Nolte but I would love to see the Appalachian Trail on the giant silver screen.
I am busy on Labor Day weekend, but I will be spending some hard earned money to catch the film as soon as possible. I will be reporting back on the blog with my honest take on A Walk in the Woods, the movie.
Movie Poster: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/A_Walk_in_the_Woods_(film)