Creepy Coming-of-Age Flick Explores the Dark Side of Childhood



Film Review by Kam Williams

Creepy Coming-of-Age Flick Explores the Dark Side of Childhood

Inspired by a couple of short stories by James Franco, Yosemite is an eerie bildungsroman exploring some decidedly dark and dangerous sides of childhood. The drama features a trio of discrete tales which ultimately merge in fairly effective fashion.

Yosemite, Film Review, eerie bildungsroman, discrete tales, Yosemite National Park

The action unfolds in Palo Alto in 1985, which is where we find a trio of 5th graders facing different emotional issues. 10 year-old Chris (Everett Meckler) and his younger brother, Alex (Troy Tinnirello), are driving to Yosemite National Park with their father (Franco) who’s recently separated from their mom.

Their plans for quality time are affected, en route, by their dad’s admission that he’s a recovering alcoholic. Upon their arrival. the vacation is all but ruined when the three get lost hiking, followed by Chris’ finding the charred remains of what looks like a human skeleton.

The second chapter of this coming-of-age adventure revolves around the predicament of Joe (Alec Mansky), a product of divorce in dire need of a father figure. Unfortunately, to fill a void, he naively settles on Henry (Henry Hopper), a creepy-looking loner sharing a love of comic books. Against the boy’s better judgment, he even accepts an invitation back to the possible pedophile’s humble abode.

Yosemite, Film Review, eerie bildungsroman, discrete tales, Yosemite National Park

The last segment is about Ted (Calum John), a kid whose beloved cat, Charlie, has gone missing. Trouble is, there’s been a sighting of a mountain lion roaming around town. And since his father’s (Steven Wiig) ostensibly too consumed with Silicon’s Valley burgeoning Computer Revolution  to care about the predator, Ted enlists the assistance of pals Chris and Joe to embark on a big game hunt in the hills just beyond suburbia.

Yosemite was both directed and adapted to the screen by Gabrielle Demeestere (The Color of Time) who employed an admirably understated approach to Franco’s source material. An earnest examination of the loss of innocence this critic could’ve appreciated more if the subject-matter hadn’t be so relentlessly dark and disturbing.

Very Good (2.5 stars)

Rated R for sexuality, nudity and profanity

Running time: 82 minutes

Distributor: Monterey Media


For movies opening October 28, 2016

  OPENING THIS WEEK Kam's Kapsules Weekly Previews That Make Choosing a Film Fun by Kam Williams For movies opening October 28, 2016 BIG BUDGET FILMS Inferno (PG-13 for action, violence, profanity, disturbing images, mature themes and brief sensuality) Third installment of The Da Vinci Code franchise finds symbologist Robert Langdon (Tom Hanks) suffering from amnesia and on the run with his physician (Felicity Jones) from a billionaire geneticist (Ben Foster) with a … [Read More its Good for You...]


Nat Turner’s Mental and Military Motivations

  Nat Turner's Mental and Military Motivations By Ezrah Aharone   Nate Parker's movie  has revived the question: What caused Nat Turner's 1831 uprising? Turner, first of all, was not a deranged misfit who acted outside of a historical context of previous African freedom fighters.  Throughout slavery's duration, resistance was not only constant and fatal, but twofold . . . Africans equally resisted both slavery and … [Read More its Good for You...]


ART EXHIBITION: 150 Years After The Civil War

  Cynthia Groya 150 Years After The Civil War: A Contemporary Perspective January 10 - March 6, 2016 Artist's Reception: Sunday, January 24, 3:00 - 5:00 pm Nassau Club 6 Mercer Street  Princeton, NJ 08540 The ideas reflected in Groya's paintings express a conversation about struggle for equal rights in our culture, in our time. The origin of this struggle can be traced to The Civil War in our country, which ended 150 years ago. The … [Read More its Good for You...]

Real Estate

Castles in America

  Castles in America by Amy Lignor   Robin Leach and his “Lifestyles of the Rich and Famous” taught us all long ago that we absolutely love to sit and view ridiculous luxury (usually owned by people who inherited all of it and didn’t work a day in their lives). See that? We had to complain about something as we were beguiled by the amount of money people would send to own or create the “best of the best.” Even though some things were referred to as the “gaudiest of … [Read More its Good for You...]


It’s Not Your “Grandma’s” Pumpkin Anymore

  It’s Not Your “Grandma’s” Pumpkin Anymore by Amy Lignor   As times move forward, technology expands. However, so does the imagination. No, I’m not talking about a new cell phone or animatronic device that creates pumpkins; I’m talking about some seriously cool ways to carve pumpkins that are popping up all over the internet. Unique, awesome, colorful – people across the U.S. have used their imaginations during the 21st century to create some of the most stunning … [Read More it Good for You...]


Finally, a Boat Shoe You Can Get Wet

  Finally, a boat shoe you can get wet   By Craig Lamb   I am happiest with wet feet. For me, that means wading a shallow saltwater flat, casting for tailing redfish. Or paddling aboard my sit-on-top kayak, cruising a river in search of smallmouth bass. Not my favorite, but when the fish are biting, fishing in the rain.   Yep, I do like getting my feet wet, but it can get downright annoying when my shoes stay wet. Footing is a challenge when shoes … [Read More its Good for You...]


Saying Goodbye to Legends…

    Saying Goodbye to Legends… by Amy Lignor   When someone you admire departs the Earth, it is extremely sad to come to terms with. In the days just passed, people and fans had to deal with the departure of two men from the world of sports. Although one perhaps was not a surprise, seeing as that the gentleman lived a good, long life, the other departure was shocking. One was a legend, while the other was on the road to becoming just that.    When … [Read More its Good for You...]


The Business of “Fear” Brings in $8 Billion a Year

  The Business of “Fear” Brings in $8 Billion a Year by Amy Lignor   There are aspects of Halloween everyone knows about. From the scary boogeyman to the haunted houses set up in cities and counties from sea to shining sea, the world certainly understands that the “frightening” is also the “entertaining” when it comes to All Hallows Eve. What most may not know, however, is the fact that Halloween is a billion (yes, BILLION) dollar industry. People are more than … [Read More its Good for You...]


I Double Dare You!

  I Double Dare You! by Amy Lignor   Haunted houses, zombie-filled corn fields, small towns that like to get together and light up the night with scary-faced pumpkins – there are all different types of Halloween events and haunts you can take the kids to and have a good time. And we’ve researched and reported on the best of them. But if you’re one of those…those who like the macabre…there are places around the globe that offer far more than just a “spooky” … [Read More its Good for You...]