Tag Archives: survival

Life Below Zero

I’ve had Disney+ for a few months now and I’ve gotten pretty good at it. People ask me what’s worth watching. I’ll tell them the forgotten movies and hidden gems that they should check out. There’s a lot of buzz about Marvel, Pixar, Star Wars and stuff out of Disney’s vault, but not enough attention is paid to their National Geographic section, which is home to The World According to Jeff Goldblum and Free Solo. But the best show I’ve discovered so far is Life Below Zero.

Life Below Zero is a television documentary series about people living in remote areas of Alaska. The show follows their struggles and triumphs as they try to survive the extreme conditions of the Arctic Circle. When the closest store is hundreds of miles away, you have to rely on yourself to get food and water, to fix things that break, to maintain your shelter, all while dealing with deadly weather and dangerous animals trying to eat you.

It’s a great background show. You don’t have to pay too much attention to it. There’s no ongoing plot. You put it on, play around with your phone, and only glance up when something interesting is going on. I used to want to move to Alaska. It’s the last frontier. I went to Anchorage for three weeks in 2014 and I learned that I could never live there full time. But I respect everyone who does because it’s a tough place to live. Now I can live there vicariously through Life Below Zero. Watching other people living their life makes me feel more alive for some reason.

There are a lot of cool and interesting people on the show, but Glenn Villeneuve is by far the best. I can’t talk about the show and not mention him by name. He lives alone and doesn’t rely on any machinery. He doesn’t have a snowmobile or electricity. The most advanced technology he has are guns and hand tools. He truly lives off the land and it’s inspiring to see. He’s a badass and it’s too bad that he’s not in every episode.

Critically Rated at 15/17

Written, Rated, and Reviewed by Brendan H. Young

Leave a comment

Filed under Entertainment

Cast Away (film)

Robert Zemeckis directs Tom Hanks in Cast Away, the story of a FedEx worker who gets stranded on an uninhabited island after a plane crash. The last time they collaborated together they made Forrest Gump, truly a landmark film. Cast Away is a solid film, but is nowhere near a masterpiece. Tom Hanks carries the movie but gets upstaged by a volleyball. Tom Hanks has won multiple Oscars and Golden Globes for Best Actor and a volleyball ends up having the best performance in the movie. Wilson didn’t even have any lines.

Chuck Noland (Tom Hanks) is a systems analyst for FedEx. He’s obsessed with time and making things more efficient. He’s got a girlfriend (Helen Hunt) and life is pretty good. Then he ends up stranded on a deserted island in the South Pacific. He spends the next four years fighting for survival with only a volleyball and a picture of Helen Hunt to keep him going. After four years of isolation he manages to build a raft and escape the island.

He returns home and there’s nothing waiting for him. His girlfriend has moved on, gotten married, and had a kid. He lost Wilson at sea. He doesn’t have a Facebook account. He doesn’t have anything except for some stupid mantra that “tomorrow the sun will rise” so he has to keep going. Then he delivers the FedEx package that he kept for four years and never opened. But he delivers it to the chick that sent it, not to the recipient. He works for FedEx; he should know how deliveries work. The movie ends with Chuck standing at a crossroads wondering which road to take and where life will take him next. If you like deserted island movies, Tom Hanks, or vague and unsatisfying endings, Cast Away is the movie for you.

Critically Rated at 11/17

Written, Rated, and Reviewed by Brendan H. Young

Leave a comment

Filed under Entertainment