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KSL Movie Club: 4 movies that make us want to explore the great outdoors

By John Clyde, Contributor | Posted - Jul 11th, 2018 @ 3:00pm

THE GREAT OUTDOORS — Sometimes a movie captivates your sense of adventure and makes you want to explore the great outdoors. Just in time for mid-summer and peak hiking season, this month's KSL Movie Club is focusing on just that.

Whether it's globetrotting around the world, facing a dangerous river or trying to survive the New Zealand bush we've got a movie for you on this list.

Curt's pick: "The Secret Life of Walter Mitty"

When you're a cheapskate like me, traveling the world is probably not on your agenda. Have you seen the price of some of those international flights?

Then I watched the "The Secret Life of Walter Mitty" and now I have a desire to travel and explore the world — on a budget of course.

If you haven’t seen the movie, it stars Ben Stiller, who also directed the film, as Water Mitty, a man who lives a boring routine life and works as a negative assets manager for Life Magazine.

He is always daydreaming of fun and wild adventures, but that’s all they are: daydreams. When an important photo from an advent period photographer goes missing, Walter sets off on the adventure of his life to find the photographer.

Walter travels to places like Greenland, Iceland and the Himalayas. Each country has its own adventure. All those experiences help open his eyes to the world and find more confidence in himself.

Stiller proves he has the chops behind the camera as he captures the beauty of all the different countries. The movie is fun, funny and has heart.

After watching this movie you will want to update your passport and start looking for those cheap flights.

Dave's pick: "Into the Wild"

When I read the original article “Death of an Innocent” by Jon Krakauer in the January 1993 issue of Outdoor Magazine, I was captivated by the sad beauty of the story.

“Death of an Innocent” was the true story of a man named Christopher McCandless as he left his world behind and set out for a life of freedom from modern strictures of society in the Alaskan wilderness.

What connected this story to my imagination and heart was the first-hand account taken from McCandless’s personal journal found in an old bus next to his body. Several years later Krakauer wrote the book “Into the Wild,” which expanded on the original article. In 2007 Sean Penn adapted the book to a film starring Emile Hirsch.

The quality storytelling in this film did a great job capturing the excitement and sadness I felt reading the original article. This film kindles the fire of exploration and finding meaning from life free from the expectations of the world. As a bonus, we got a sweet soundtrack from Eddie Vedder that I still listen to to this day.

"Into the Wild" is rated R for language and some nudity.

Last month's KSL Movie Club

John's pick: "The River Wild"

When the idea for this movie club was first mentioned I thought, "Oh, I'm going to do 'Hunt for the Wilderpeople,'" but then Jacob texted and told us he was taking it before I could. Then I thought, "That's OK, I'll do 'The Secret Life of Walter Mitty,'" then my phone blew up again and it was Curt taking that one from me.

After that, I wallowed in self-pity for a while, thought of several movies and decided to go nostalgic and picked "The River Wild."

The 1994 outdoor adventure about a family on a river trip that gets taken hostage by some no-good bank robbers is far from a great film, but it is a pretty fun one.

The movie boasts an incredible cast with Academy Award-winner Meryl Streep, as well as Oscar nominees David Strathairn and John C. Reilly, and Golden Globe winner Kevin Bacon. The movie is tense, outdated and makes you want to get out on the river, sans bad guys of course.

This movie hasn't held up as well as I'd like, but when I watch it I remember being 11 years old and wanting to get outside and have an adventure.

Jacob's pick: "Hunt for the Wilderpeople"

If you’ve seen the “Lord of the Rings” trilogy, you know that New Zealand is breathtakingly beautiful. The trilogy was shot in its entirety on the country’s two islands.

Another New Zealander, Taika Waititi, followed in LOTR director Peter Jackson’s footsteps by filming another story about a group of people trekking across the wild and wondrous landscape.

There’s no ring to destroy or orcs to dodge in “Hunt for the Wilderpeople,” though. Waititi’s quirky dramedy follows juvenile delinquent Ricky Baker (Julian Dennison — who you may know as the fire-wielding kid from “Deadpool 2”) as he avoids the child welfare services agents who want to take him away from his new foster father Hec, played by Sam Neill.

Hec’s wife, Bella, suddenly passes away mere days after Ricky arrives at the couple’s home. To avoid being arrested and taken back into the care of the government, Ricky and Hec embark on a high-stakes game of hide-and-seek, traipsing through the New Zealand backcountry to stay one step ahead of child services.

A national manhunt ensues. If you’ve seen any of Waititi’s other films, such as “Thor: Ragnarok” or “What We Do In The Shadows,” you won’t be surprised by the silly hijinks and zany laugh-out-loud moments that follow.

But Waititi deftly and elegantly films the beautiful locations of his homeland in a way that will make you want to book a plane ticket as soon as the credits roll. Then again, it’s probably hard not to make a beautiful film in New Zealand when you’ve got majestic mountains, sweeping meadows and lush forests as your backdrop.

It’s more of a comedy than a pure adventure film, but if you’re looking for a movie that will make you laugh, cry and want to lace up your hiking boots all in under two hours, “Hunt for the Wilderpeople” is the way to go.

What movies make you want to get out and explore? Let us know in the comments section.

Contributing: Dave Clyde, Curt Linnell, Jacob Klopfenstein

Grant Olsen

About the Author: David Clyde

David comes from a family of "movie people" of which there are actors, screenwriters, a set designer, a director and yes, a couple of movie reviewers. When David isn't busy living in the real world, he is busy living in someone else's version of it on a movie screen. David is a regular on the KSL Popcorn Report podcast. Contact him at and on Twitter at @DC_Reviews.

John Clyde

About the Author: John Clyde

John has grown up around movies and annoys friends and family with his movie facts and knowledge. He also has a passion for sports and pretty much anything awesome, and it just so happens, that these are the three things he writes about. Contact him on Twitter at @johnnypclyde.

Curtis Linnell

About the Author: Curtis Linnell

Curtis Linnell is a movie fanatic/critic who used to frequent the movie theaters on a regular basis. Due to a busy schedule and a family, he now just streams them at home. You can follow him on Twitter @curtislinnell.

John Clyde

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