Posts Tagged ‘the secret life of walter mitty’

Happy new year. As always, the first post of the month is the review of the previous month and the Movie of the Month award that goes with it:

Saving Mr. Banks: The true story of Walt Disney’s battle to make Mary Poppins despite the objections of author P.L. Travers. Most notable for fantastic acting and less sentimental than you would expect.


Carrie: Remake of Brian De Palma’s classic horror movie based on Stephen King’s novel. Julianne Moore does a good job, Chloë Grace Moretz gives a good performance but is miscast. There is nothing really wrong with it but it’s a shadow of the original movie.Carrie

Kill Your Darlings: Daniel Radcliffe plays Allen Ginsberg in this story of the origins of the “Beat Generation”. Well made and well acted but probably one for fans of beat literature and not casual moviegoers.Kill Your Darlings

Nebraska: Alexander Payne’s family drama disguised as a road movie. Bruce Dern is perfectly cast and gives the performance of a lifetime. Look out for the Oscar nomination.NEBRASKA

Homefront: Jason Statham stars in this revenge action thriller written by his Expendables co star Sylvester Stallone (screenplay). Not a great film but Statham does what Statham does making for a fun film. James Franco, Kate Bosworth and Winona Ryder appear to be having fun. Based on a novel by Chuck Logan, there are another four films in the series, sequel?Homefront

Getaway: Ethan Hawke plays a former race-car driver tasked with driving around an unnamed eastern European city causing traffic chaos in order to save his kidnapped wife. Selena Gomez and a customised Shelby Mustang provide support. It isn’t much good but like Homefront its good fun.GETAWAY

Oldboy: If you saw this movie in isolation you would probably think it was an original and interesting thriller. However Spike Lee’s movie just doesn’t work when compared to Chan-wook Park’s original masterpiece. Josh Brolin, Elizabeth Olsen and Michael Imperioli are all good but Sharlto Copley and Samuel L. Jackson look like they have stepped in from a different movie.Oldboy

The Hobbit: The Desolation of Smaug: after being underwhelmed by The Hobbit: An Unexpected Journey, I was pleasantly surprised by this second outing. Jumping straight into the action and not letting up for most of 161minute runtime.THE HOBBIT: THE DESOLATION OF SMAUG

47 Ronin: A surprisingly good retelling of the legendry tale of the 47 Ronin (as depicted in the 1941 movie of the same name) with the addition of Keanu Reeves. Despite the high fantasy trailer, this is actually a traditional samurai movie with a couple of fantasy elements added for modern taste. It is surprisingly good.47 Ronin

All Is Lost: did you see last months movie of the month Gravity? Imagine the same story set at see instead of in space and you have All Is Lost. It isn’t as good as Gravity, but Robert Redford’s performance is sensational.all is lost

The Secret Life of Walter Mitty: Star/Director Ben Stiller and Writer: Steve Conrad retell James Thurber’s short story in the modern age. Stiller is both unusually restrained and funny. A surprisingly good movie that I enjoyed far more than I thought I would.the secret life of walter mitty

I could have changed my movie over the month with virtually every film I have seen this month. Although not terrible, Carrie and Oldboy were a waste of time and you would be better off watching the original movies. Homefront and Gateway were the most fun and Nebraska was the best film. But those who have read previous examples of this post will know being the best isn’t always enough to be Movie of the Month. The movie of the month is the uplifting and surprisingly good (and funny) The Secret Life of Walter Mitty:The Secret Life of Walter Mitty Poster

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As is often the case, this is not a review, it is just a few of my random thoughts on a movie.

Having missed a secret screening and a preview screening of The Secret Life of Walter Mitty I wasn’t sure if I was going to bother seeing it. I am not a fan of Ben Stiller’s movies and can honestly say Reality Bites (1994) and Tropic Thunder (2008) are the only two of his I have really enjoyed watching (and that I have chosen to see more than once), interestingly they are both movies he directed and appeared in, so maybe I shouldn’t have been too surprised by The Secret Life of Walter Mitty. But, I really was pleasantly surprised by it, in fact I loved it. After all if an actor like Adam Sandler whose films I really dislike can make a movie like Punch-Drunk Love (2002) why can’t Ben Stiller who I normally just find a little annoying and not very funny make a really good film? If you are not convinced by Stiller, Kristen Wiig is always excellent and worth watching as is Shirley MacLaine even in a small part.the secret life of walter mitty

On his Matineecast podcast Ryan always does an “other side” movie. Once he and his guest have talked about a new release they each pick a companion movie. I find myself increasingly thinking about companion movies as I am watching new films these days, possibly because it was fresh in my mind from watching it over Christmas, but I believe Walter Mitty has a perfect “other side”: Billy Wilder’s The Apartment starring Jack Lemmon and Shirley MacLaine (who also appears in The Secret Life of Walter Mitty playing Walter’s mom). Two uplifting stories of hope told through downtrodden people who are only downtrodden because they have let themselves get that way. Characters who find a better life because they choose to, its not a new idea, but it’s a good one.

Walter Mitty

As well as enjoying the movie, I was also taken with the giant LIFE magazine covers that decorate the walls of the publishers offices and would love a couple of them to hang on my walls at home. Clearly the Walter as an astronaut was a fake (based on a real cover of John Glenn) but it actually turns out most of the covers were fake, as described in the current online incarnation of the magazine: “the majority of the LIFE covers one sees in The Secret Life of Walter Mitty were never covers at all. The pictures on the covers in this gallery, for example — the launch of Apollo 11; Jayne Mansfield luxuriating in a swimming pool; a theater audience watching the first-ever 3-D feature-length film — are, indisputably, classic LIFE images. But none of them ever graced the cover of LIFE magazine.” you can read the original article HERE.Walter Mitty fake LIFE covers

If you haven’t already take a look at the movie, you may be pleasantly surprised like me.

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the secret life of walter mittygravityNEBRASKAHBT2-fs-140204.DNGall is lostID_D47_17954.dngSAVING MR BANKSHow I Live NowOldboyEnders Game

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