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"Prince Avalanche" has some amazing cinematography. The film opens with fires damaging acres and acres of land as you helplessly witness a sea of trees burn to the ground. As you're watching it, you can't help but feel the devastation of the fire, the extreme loss, and the severe sense of hopelessness. At the same time, it's kind of beautiful in a sorrowful kind of way. Little things become extraordinary with fantastic camera work: pushing a wheelbarrow over a hill as dawn breaks, water trickling through rocks in a stream, a caterpillar slowly crawling towards its destination, and close-ups of paint staining the asphalt and rain adding moisture to various surfaces.
As you watch Alvin and Lance paint lines on the asphalt, hammer poles into the side of the road, and glue down street reflectors, you begin to realize how lonely it must be and yet how absolutely liberating it can feel at the same time. The two men camp out under the stars every night, live in a tent, and eat and drink at the cusp of nature at all times. They're alone out in the middle of nowhere and only have each other to keep one another company.Read more ›
After completing the movie I found the old woman to be the one character that ties together the whole movie and she wasn't even added until they began filming and found her going through the remains of her old house (her role is completely true, authentic and she's not even an actress!)
I myself enjoy solitude and would probably love a job that involved camping out every night. To see Alvin (Paul Rudd) running into solitude supposedly to financially support his girlfriend Madison (Lance's sister) gave the first clue to who he is (or was!) as a person. Lance (Hirsch) on the other hand is the complete opposite; he's obnoxious, loves to talk, listens to loud music, etc. You also meet a fourth character, an old man driving a truck on this desolate road. Come to think of it, he is the *only* person you see driving on this road.
After reading a review by Thomas Lewry on Letterboxd for this film, it becomes apparent who these characters represent (or who they might represent): the four people who lost their lives during the wildfires back in '88.Read more ›
Now very little actually happens, they paint the road, erect some signs , meet an aged truck driver and an elderly woman who is searching her burnt out home to salvage memories . This lady was really doing that and was asked if her story could be put into the film - which is a nice touch. The idea was that this would be an absurdist, minimalist tale where the two main characters would slowly reveal their real characters - both strengths and weaknesses by just being together or alone with their own thoughts, and some alcohol and heart ache.
So does it work? Well a lot of people seem to think so with a 6.4 rating on IMDB this is certainly no turkey. It is also supposed to be a 'hilarious' comedy; well I felt amused a couple of times but this is not even in the foothills of being funny. The characterisation is good and some of the absurd themes sort of work, but overall I felt under whelmed by this film. It is only 90 minutes long and the scenery is often beautiful. The score is from `Explosions in the Sky' and `Loosley Tight' and that also really works, I would give 6 out of ten which roughly equates with 3 stars. That is not meant to be harsh but to ignore the areas where this does not work would, I feel, be disingenuous. Still if you like absurdist, minimalism then this could be one you will want to see.
Most Recent Customer Reviews
Beautiful movie: great acting, gorgeous surroundings and good story telling. There are a lot of hidden stories and developments in a movie that shows how two men grow closer... Read morePublished 10 months ago by D R.
A peaceful movie, but not great. Okay. Not something I'd recommend to friends as a must see.Published 13 months ago by L. Gillespie
This is a movie for which you have to be in the right mood. It is a slow story of two drifters that discover friendship from doing a monotonous job day after day. Read morePublished 13 months ago by reader54
I thought this movie would be hysterical, but it's actually pretty terrible. On the bright side, it showed up very quickly after I ordered it!Published 14 months ago by Erin Archuleta
My expectations were not high for this quirky little film, but it was fine. I enjoyed the setting of my beloved burned Bastrop park.Published 14 months ago by popcorn
This is the type of film Paul Rudd used to do before he hooked up with Judd Apatow. He owes Apatow a thank you. What a snoozefest of a film.Published 16 months ago by IntoMoYouKnow