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Sunday, November 2, 2014

'Land Ho!' DVD and BD: Grumpy Old Men on a Trip to Iceland

Product Details
Despite any indications regarding its name, "Land  Ho!" is not about someone's undue interest in real estate. The very witting and charming film, which Sony Pictures Classics and Sony Home Entertainment are bringing to Blu-ray (BD) and DVD on November 4 2014, tells the tale of unrepentantly bawdy retired surgeon Mitch taking former brother-in-law (and low-key gentleman) Colin on the trip of a lifetime to Iceland.

Any doubt regarding whether "Land" is BD worthy dissipates on watching the first scenes of truly beautiful downtown Reykjavik and disappears complete on seeing the breathtaking spectacular wilderness scenery.

The following clip, courtesy of YouTube, of the trailer for "Land" does its job well in that it provides a spoiler-free look at the themes, humor, and incredible setting in the film.

Another uber-cool thing regarding "Land" is that the hand-held camera and natural deliveries by Paul Eenhorn and Earl Lynn Nelson (who are great actors but not household faces) as Colin and Mitch respectively make you feel as if you are watching a documentary, rather than a fictional film. These two truly seem like long-time friends/brothers-in-law.

Brits and anglophiles will especially get a vibe of the Unreal TV reviewed trilogy of BBC travel series in which U.K. television personalities James May and Oz Clarke take extended road trips in France, the U.K., and California learning about wine, beer, and each other.

Audiences on this side of the pond will more likely associate "Land" with the documentaries "The Trip" and the "The Trip to Italy" that have actors Steve Coogan and Rob Brydon, who are long-time friends journeying around and sampling local fare. 

Mitch initiates the trip out of both a personal need to come to terms with his retirement and a more altruistic desire to get Colin to loosen up; for his part, Colin largely considers the trip a chance to visit a country regarding which he is interested.

Mitch predictably is the catalyst for the scripted adventures in which the pair becomes involved during their luxurious journey. This includes spending time with two girls who are several decades younger than them and developing a friendship with a nature photographer.

A must-see scene has our boys having to decide whether to risk driving their rented SUV through a large puddle of unknown depth; these few minutes are among the most hilarious in any recent film.

The only criticism of this well-deserved Sundance and other indie film festivals favorite is that the unduly crude Mitch become a bit tiresome; his predictable comments that include a geyser being Satan's ejaculation and a lighthouse having a phallic nature are designed to show that he is a free-spirited senior who enjoys life but makes both Colin and the audience cringe in anticipation of an innocent comment prompting a sexual comment.

On a better note, Mitch is inherently a decent and very caring individual; he also excuses himself without any innuendo on recognizing an opportunity for Colin to experience romance.

This creative blend of travelogue, reality show, and buddy flick earns a solid 10 for having exceptional cinematography of some of the best scenery ever, two leads who really seem that they are playing themselves and who are as close in reality as their characters, and a story that Mitch would describe as depicting as supporting the central theory from "Risky Business" that you sometime just have to say "What the f**k."

Anyone with questions or comments regarding "Land" is encouraged to email me; you can also connect on Twitter via @tvdvdguy.