One Hot, One Cool: Two Flicks

Land ho!

Directed/Written by Aaron Katz & Martha Stephens

Starring: Paul Eenhoorn, Earl Lynn Nelson, Karrie Crouse, Elizabeth McKee, Alice Olivia Clarke, Emmsje Gauti

A refreshing buddy movie, this time doubly so because A, it takes place with two men of a certain age: old-timers taking a breather from retirement, disappointment, and sadness, and B, it unspools in Iceland, and the very venue is a delight in these muggy, Arthur-visited, over-blanketing summer days of stifling mercury.

It’s not a huge mega-production.  We could find nary a stunt man, not one wayward CGI fake animal, bot, or alien.  There were no shocking scenes requiring coverage behind one’s fingers.

Just a wry, whimsical bit of narrative with a crusty retired doctor, Kentuckian/New Orleangian Mitch (Earl Lynn Nelson), and his former brother-in-law, dour-faced Colin (Paul Eenhorn), an Aussie-American mourning the death of his wife, Mitch’s sister.  They go to museums up in Reykjavik (one of our favorite spots, fondly remembered for all sorts of activities), rent out simple beds and one-floor motels, meet Mitch’s younger cousin and her girlfriend up there by happenstance for a few days, go fishing, meet with normal locals, and…talk, grumble, wage folkloric wisdom, or remain tight-mouthed.  There’s gentle humor, naughty references you don’t expect from the benefactor of the trip.  Once or twice, you fear the film might descend into a fright movie. 


The film stays firmly in the provenance wheelhouse of getting older.  They may bristle and butt heads, but each needs the other, and they need the goodwill and fellowship that comes from sallying out in strange venues, after disappointments and failings they bandage over in small bits of revelation.

It’s not Michael Bay or Spielberg.  Tom Cruise and Jason Statham never put in an appearance.

But it is an enjoyable film for the time it takes.  And seeing the bracing scenery and ‘bergs up north, in the midst of humid, sun-baked NY, is recompense all by itself.


Better than 21 JUMP STREET.  More silliness.  More partnership foolery with Jonah Hill and the magnificent Channing Tatum, this time in college to unearth the perp who is selling drugs and may have murdered a co-ed.  An easy-to-digest dessert after anything else you decide to see or do first.