Kickback snoozefest

By now, everyone who reads my column should know that I’m a pretty major movie enthusiast – if that’s a surprise to you, or this is your first time reading the column, this is both your welcoming and your warning. Take it as you will.

And also, bear with me folks – maintaining a pretty icky cold right now as we welcome flaky snow and dipping temperatures this week. Don’t ask me how it always manages to happen right around election season, but it always does. I’ve been old enough to vote for two elections, and so far, I’ve been sick for both of them.

What that says, I have yet to discover.

That aside, it’s a movie review week, and back to my claim about being a movie-buff. Now, I’m the kind of person that gets hyped up to go to the theatre every week, regardless of what movie I’m about to see or however many times I go a month. It is one of my favorite things to do. And, my family can tell you that I watch the clock and get all bent out of shape if I even have the notion I’ll be late.

And my family will also affirm – I haven’t ever slept through a movie, not once.

How could I? Movies are riveting! They transport you to a place where reality ceases to exist and the impossible unfolds like an aged scroll. There is no mountain high enough, no darkness dark enough, or no situation too difficult for a determined hero. It doesn’t matter if I’ve seen the film a hundred times or if I’m two minutes into the movie – I just adore what films can do to the imagination; what relationships we build with characters on their journey.

However, I must recant my claim – I have, since this moment, fallen asleep in a movie.

It’s a new release, too! I was really intrigued when “The Old Man and the Gun” was announced rather suddenly. My dad is a long-time Robert Redford fan (brownie points to you if you’ve enjoyed “Jeremiah Johnson”), and I was pleased that Hollywood would welcome back an old favorite in a farewell film. So, my mother and I decided to make a date while the boys packed off to go hunting last weekend and we settled into the theatre, me with a sniffly nose desperately trying to catch up to my fever.

Based on a true story, I can tell you that while the film was expertly crafted and filmed beautifully, I fell asleep! This is one of those films best enjoyed on a rainy day and not in the evening, simply because there isn’t much stimuli required to enjoy it.

I’ll be honest – this movie put me to sleep.

Following the story of Forest Tucker, an accomplished bank robber, this film highlights some of Tucker’s success as he ventures across the southern states, robbing banks as a 70-year-old man. Sure, the feat is impressive – it took weeks to catch Tucker and his accomplices. However, not much else happens. There is a brief two-minutes (or so) of a car chase, and then that’s it – there is no character development, or moral complexity to grapple with, at least from what I could distinguish. All this film presented to me was that old habits do indeed die hard, especially if you love the adrenaline of thievery.

Truthfully, I accomplished more than this film did – I fell asleep watching a film for the first time.

To be fair, I was under the weather to begin with, and this film wasn’t made out to be one that would keep you pasted to your seat.

I will say that “The Old Man and the Gun” left Robert Redford with a well-acted farewell film. As usual, he brought a caliber of filmmaking that has been left behind for high-tech graphics and six-pack abs with chiseled jawlines.  Redford did an excellent job of portraying a man obsessed with thievery, while his screen partner, Sissy Spacek, did smashingly in her portrayal of a conflicted love interest.

However, I wish something would’ve happened. I suppose, considering that this is based off a true story, I wish Tucker would’ve reformed his ways or had a change of heart, or did something truly spectacular. However, he robbed banks, got arrested, and went back to robbing banks after his release from prison – that was his legacy that we’ve brought to the silver screen.

Maybe it’s your cup of tea – it, obviously, wasn’t mine.

In my defense, I only dozed off for a minute, before my mom nudged me awake with a sharp jab to the ribcage. It would seem that a sniffling nose doesn’t lend well to quiet snoozing.

I’d strongly encourage you to not take your children to this movie, simply because it is a drama with a dry plot that kiddos will get bored with quickly. For what it is and what history it exists to portray, it is a well-filmed movie. The best part about it is that it is filmed to look straight out of the 1970s, with a vintage filter and all.

I give the filmography five stars. The story, I’ll have to give it a low 2.5 – what I call a good time to kickback and catch a few winks. What does that say about my impression of history? That’s left to be determined.

Now, if you’ll excuse me, I need to track down a cough drop.


The Drummer and The Wright County Journal Press

PO Box 159
108 Central Ave.
Buffalo MN 55313

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