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|Index||43 reviews in total|
Before Tuscan Sky, I saw Diane Lane's tender performance in this otherwise lark of a movie. Campers are invited to the camp of their youth and experience it as adults. Each of those that return seem to be looking for something they lost, which makes it so realistic. Maybe you had to be a camper to really get it, but in the words of one character noticing all her clothes were wet "this is so camp!" From the practical jokes and fighting over boyfriends, to the scary lunch lady and the early morning bell ... it's amp. Once exciting activities now seem mundane. A terrific ensemble cast makes the best of one-two dimensional roles and makes them believable. Bill Paxton, Diane, Elizabeth, Mrs. Brad Paisley (probably when he first fell for her!!) The beautiful scenery, bright colors, comical music (including variations of Hello Muddah)and a comic acting turn by noted director Sam Raimi makes this a movie you can pull out again and again like looking up an old friend.
"Hello Mudder; Hello Fadda...here we are at Camp Tamakwa". Mike Binder writes and directs this dramatic comedy about a group of "thirty-something" friends reuniting in hopes of recreating the best summer of their lives. Your emotions will be mixed...from laughing to maybe crying some. You will watch some turning back the hands of time; some trying to act half their age; and some that would just like to forget the past. This film gets better each time you watch it. A very good ensemble cast; I personally was most impressed with Diane Lane, Kimberly Williams and Bill Paxton. Also helping Unca Lou(Alan Arkin) turn back the time are:Kevin Pollak, Elizabeth Perkins, Vincent Spano and Julie Warner. Make the effort once...you'll be back.
The plot and character development are weak here, but there are enough
enjoyable aspects to keep you viewing. The scenery is amazing, the
concept of returning to your childhood camp is appealing, and the cast
is familiar and good looking. Alan Arkin's role does not appear to be
super challenging, but it requires skillful subtlety and he does it
Where are these people from, that they would go to camp in Ontario? The other references are American. But Kimberly Williams is wearing a jacket with Canadian flags. No one seems to mention living in Buffalo or Michigan.
What the heck do they actually do for a living? The Paxton character says what he does, but I don't think the others specify. Diane Lane is technically too young, but I guess you are not supposed to know that. Are we to assume that the Camp owner played by Alan Arkin has been single and alone for 43 years? We know so very little about him.
Does someone have to stay at the camp in the off season? Why? Does the camp bring in enough revenue to support a couple year round?
The human dramas are clichéd and lack imagination. But the acting is good all around. I'm sure they had fun filming this one and it shows. There's a really forced plot device involving a black guy. It doesn't make any sense. Why would the guy want to work there in 1972?
Like other reviewers have said...if you went to camp, you will probably relate to the whole experience better than someone who has never been at camp. I envy the characters their past. They were so alive in their summers as kids.
If I could go back, even as an adult and relive the days of my Summer's spent at camp...I would be there so fast. The Camps I went to weren't even this great. They were in Texas where the mosquitoes actually carry people off but we had horses and fishing. The movie cinematography was astounding, the characters funny and believable especially Perkins, Pollack and Arkin. Sam Raimi's character and sub-antics were priceless. So who ever thought this movie was lame...I have deep pity for because they can't suspend their disbelief long enough to imagine camp life again as an adult or they never went as kids. The whole point was that these people had an opportunity to regress and become juvenile again and so they did at every opportunity. I wish I could. It was funny, intelligent, beautifully scripted, brilliantly cast and the artistry takes me back so I want to watch it over and over just for the scenery even. Sorta like Dances with Wolves and LadyHawk...good movies but the wilderness becomes a character as much as the actors. Rent it, see it, buy it and watch it over and over and over...never gets old. ;0)
I attended Camp Chesapeake. It was located at the head of the Chesapeake bay on the North East River in MD. It was a similar type summer camp with cabins. It was established by the Coatesville, PA YMCA. I started out as a young camper and later became a Junior, Senior counselor and later, the Waterfront director. If the camp had continued, I would have done anything within my power to become the camp director. Alas the powers of the YMCA decided to close down the camp and sell it to the state of MD. I visited the former camp some years later by boat and was dismayed by the neglect of the state of MD and natural destruction by mother nature. The 350 acre site served so many with all the benefits of contact with natures offerings. A black man by the name of Curtis Ford, and his family were residents and caretakers of the property. Mr Curtis was my friend and mentor. I idolized his every being. Even as he could not swim he was a waterman. If I asked him where the fish were biting, he would designate the spot, and I would have a ball. Ther was also a Family camp at the end of the summer. These memories will be with me for eternity.
This plot for this movie is very similar to "The Big Chill", but this film
doesn't come close. The writing is very weak. The plot is very formulaic
and thus the ending is very predictable. All of the characters are based on
archetypes that aren't enhanced to being anything additional to their roles.
These two elements, what I call "lazy writing", make for a very
The acting is well done, but not outstanding. I am fond of Diane Lane and hers is probably the best acted. Her character has the most complex emotions to express and she does a good job.
Direction is good, but nothing outstanding. The scenery is wonderful.
Time is much better spent watching "The Big Chill" for the second, third or twentieth time rather than watching this one.
I have no idea why anyone likes this movie. It's really just a weak _Big
Chill_ knockoff. Sure, it's got some beautiful fall colors -- it's set in
deciduous forest in southern Canada at the height of fall color, after all.
But the premise is preposterous, the plot is even more preposterous, and --
most egregious of all -- a cast of talented actors is given insipid dialog
and absurd motivation to work with.
If there's one positive aspect to this flick, it's that it demonstrated to me just how good _Big Chill_ really was (even though that film really annoys me, too). At least the characters in Kasdan's flick act like real people and have real lines.
I'll add that it has one of the most absurd "munchies" scenes ever committed to American film. Do NOT waste your time on this, unless you're a sucker for feelgood nonsense.
This kind of film has become old hat by now, hasn't it? The whole thing is
syrupy nostalgia turned in upon itself in some kind of feedback loop.
It sure sounds like a good idea: a great ensemble cast, some good gags, and some human drama about what could have/might have been. Unfortunately, there is no central event that binds them all together, like there was in "The Big Chill", one of those seminal movies that spawned copycat films like this one. You end up wanting to see more of one or two particular people instead of getting short takes on everyone. The superficiality this creates is not just annoying, it's maddening. The below-average script doesn't help.
I still can't figure out why someone would think the premise of this
movie is good enough to make a ninety-minute
movie. Considering it came
from writer/director Mike Binder, the man behind "The Upside of Anger"
and that this was his first film, I was drawn to it even when it was
Matsan (and Tomilon) who rented it.
Take a look at the title, "Indian Summer". Doesn't it sound like one of those movies they show on Fox Kids on a Sunday afternoon? And I'm not talking about the animated ones; I mean live action. Well, in fact, "Indian Summer" looks like one of those films and, even when it's bad, it finds a way to be not as bad.
The issue is that a movie with a title like "Indian Summer", one would assume, should involve little children spending a summer pretending they are members of an Indian tribe or whatever. Guess what? Binder's film is exactly about that, except for one little detail: it involves adults. Adults that, as children, spent their summers pretending there were members of an Indian tribe and did all sorts of activities and played all sorts of games related to that.
The reason why these adults get together for this 'Indian summer' has to do with the fact that Uncle Lou (Alan Arkin) is closing the camp that made them all happy as kids and wants them to join him for a last reunion. They're not a lot and they are written as stereotypes: the bad boy, the innocent guy, the daring girl, the joker; even the assistant of Uncle Lou, who's not in the main group but fulfills the role of the stupid man that can't complete any task and falls into the water in scenes that are everything but funny. As it has to be in a film of this type, some of them share a past: a forbidden love that could never be, an old rivalry Some come with a burden from their present.
Binder puts these adults together and makes this summer function as a 'therapy'. This is where I must assume that "Indian Summer" is highly autobiographical. How else could an original writer like Binder have fallen into the level of predictability and lack of emotion and, more importantly, interesting dialog this movie presents? How else could he have come up with the words and definitions Uncle Lou uses to refer to punishments and the different games and tribe names for that matter?
If you've seen Binder's work, you would question this and try to defend him by saying that you know he could have perfectly invented all this things in an original context; but there's another fact that backs my assumption. During the whole film, the characters appear to be immerse in a world of their own; leaving the viewer completely out of their interaction.
Matsan didn't feel it that way, but I can assure some things: you won't laugh at the jokes they make when they're together, neither you'll laugh with the repetition of some of them; you won't connect with any character because they won't let you. Binder feels so related with the experiences the characters are living, that he completely forgets about including the viewer in them. If you laugh, you'll laugh with images and actions but not with words; if you connect, you'll connect because there's a little of nostalgia inside all of us.
That nostalgic feeling that Binder wants to transmit is the only message that gets through (and gets through the performance of Alan Arkin) and turns "Indian Summer" into something better than a terrible movie. Even if I didn't want to admit it; there's something about the first scene and the very last that you can't deny. That moose is saying something, because this time images and contemplation worked better for Binder than words. It still looks like one of those Fox Kids movies, though.
I watched Indian Summer on DVD a few weeks back and found myself drawn
into it. I spent six or seven summers at a summer camp outside of
Brainerd, Minnesota called Camp Jim. Watching Indian Summer took me
back to those long ago (1975-1980?) days of conducting "raids" on other
cabins, that first kiss at the campfire, waterfront Olympics, the smell
of the woods on a rainy morning, etc. The characters in the movie find
themselves back at the camp they attended 20 years previously with an
old score to settle, a marriage in trouble, a controlling relationship,
and a still grieving widow.
Like many reviewers have said, unless you attended summer camp, you probably won't "get" this movie. If you have, you might find yourself relieving your youth and find yourself pining for those days when watching it.
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