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Dallas' independent source of local news and culture. Film Reviews. Amy Nicholson August 14, AM. Land Ho! The writer-directors, Martha Stephens and Aaron Katz, are 30 and 34, respectively, young enough to be their leading men's grandchildren but just old enough to empathize with their wrinkles. Ringleader Mitch Earl Lynn Nelson is a rich, reluctantly retired doctor who fancies himself the Joe Francis of septuagenarians. And his taste in women doesn't skew much older. As for the polite but prickly Colin Paul Eenhoorn, the late-blooming talent of This is Martin Bonner , he's aware that he's merely a freeloading passenger in Mitch's mission but quickly shakes off any guilt about his companionship having been bought.

For much of its running time, Land Ho! In one early sequence, the big-talking lech hopes that he can even use his penis on his much younger cousin-once-removed, a Ph. In our seats, we squirm with agony, in part because we're aware that a sex romp hasn't crossed the ladies' minds, and because we're embarrassed by Mitch's self-delusional belief that he can woo the girls by plying them with new clothes and fancy wine.

But we're also not sure if Stephens and Katz will indulge his fantasies. Thankfully, they don't, and as it swats down our fears of go-get-'em-gramps wish fulfillment, the film settles into an off-kilter rhythm as though it had simply unleashed Nelson and Eenhoorn in the snow to riff their conversational jazz.

While that never-quite-attempted seduction sequence builds like a Champagne bottle that's about to explode — especially during an anxious moment when Mitch tucks his blackout-drunk niece in bed just beyond where we can babysit his behavior — in the end, it, like the rest of the film, is just a gentle fizzle.

Having essentially scrawled "Friendship good, incestuous date rape bad," Stephens and Katz then steer the plot to Pleasantville with only a few awkward detours. There must be two sweet spots of maturity for whom the comedy works: older audiences happy to see their generation living it up on-screen, and the newly middle-aged, who are fearful that they've become too old to be cool. To the latter, Land Ho!

It's a palliative, a calmer, a welcome toast at a celebration of aging — the one event that everyone who lives must attend. As the buttoned-up Colin, the Felix of the relationship, Eenhoorn is such a gift that he almost convinces us that the film has more depth. He holds the screen with an unassuming humility, the kind of power Fred MacMurray used to have, and it's not just his wrinkles that make his performances here and in Martin Bonner feel lived-in — it's how he appears to be so comfortable before a camera that it's as if he has no idea he's being taped.

It's a shame that Eenhoorn is only now becoming an indie cinema name but better late than never. He gets what Land Ho! The film slowly becomes a valentine to Colin — at points, the wound-up Mitch seems to exist only to bathe him in a more forgiving glow. But it's the messiness of Mitch, and Nelson's Foghorn Leghorn portrayal of him, that gets, incidentally perhaps, what the movie should do: Ask uncomfortable questions, even if the directors aren't sure how to answer.

Stephens and Katz can't decide if Mitch's hunger for drugs, booze, girls and nice suits is something to laud or lampoon. Instead, they dismiss his wants as if he were a toddler. He can't even convince people to take a hit off his t. Mitch's aging body isn't the trap — it's his companions. Instead of comic relief, I found these scenes chilling: how ghastly if the reward for living a full life is outliving everyone fun?

If you're keeping score, this is the second time in seven months after The Secret Life of Walter Mitty in which the cinema has shipped a man to Iceland to find himself. It used to postmark them to mainland Europe, where they'd presumably find culture along with a sloe-eyed brunette. But there's something in the Viking nation's raw and impassive landscapes that seems right for readjusting our modern era — all those snow peaks and alien fields, which strip away the headaches of civilization and shrinky-dink whatever's happening on Twitter.

Yet I prefer the uncool charms of Walter Mitty , a film that dared to make big mistakes. Groovy, Grandpa. the Observer community and help support independent local journalism in Dallas. Get the latest updates in news, food, music and culture, and receive special offers direct to your inbox. Support Us Dallas' independent source of local news and culture. I support. Support the independent voice of Dallas and help keep the future of Dallas Observer free. Support Us. Keep Dallas Observer Free. Since we started the Dallas Observer , it has been defined as the free, independent voice of Dallas, and we'd like to keep it that way.

With local media under siege, it's more important than ever for us to rally support behind funding our local journalism. You can help by participating in our "I Support" program, allowing us to keep offering readers access to our incisive coverage of local news, food and culture with no paywalls. Amy Nicholson was chief film critic at LA Weekly from to Don't Miss Out. Today. Up. I Support Learn More. Latest Stories.

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Horny London seniors

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