FORUMS: list search recent posts

The Secret Life of Walter Mitty

COW Forums : TV & Movie Appreciation

<< PREVIOUS   •   VIEW ALL   •   PRINT   •   NEXT >>
Scott Roberts
The Secret Life of Walter Mitty
on Jan 11, 2014 at 12:01:14 am







Premise: LIFE Magazine is about to publish its last print issue, and the photo they need to use for the cover is missing! Uh oh! The man whose job it is to manage photo negatives, Walter Mitty (Ben Stiller), now must go on a quest to find the photo by tracking the elusive photographer who sent it to him (played by Sean Penn). The problem is, Walter constantly goes into deep fantasy day dreams to escape his normal mundane life, and now he must actually experience that fantasy for real. This is basically like a live action feature film episode of the Nickelodeon show Doug.



Pros:

-It has some great cinematography, which is undoubtedly assisted by the fact that much of the movie takes place in some beautiful environments.

-There are a handful of great music choices, most of which are incorporated into the visual action, and not just subtle background noise. In other words, when the movie wants you to hear an Arcade Fire song, it MAKES you listen to an Arcade Fire song. Decent soundtrack overall.

-I love him as a nice-guy nerd on Parks & Rec, but let's face facts here, folks... Adam Scott is the perfect sarcastic jerk with a punchable smile. He just has that down to a science.

-Sean Penn's mysterious photographer character really drives the film home for me, and when we finally get to meet him, it didn't disappoint. I at least thought his twist/joke was pretty good and fitting as an ironic twist to the extravagant journey it took to get there.

-Patton Oswalt.



Cons:

-At its most bare-boned, it's a story about a guy trying to track down a lost photograph. At its most introspective, it's about a guy learning to seize every moment of his mundane life. At its most realistic, it's a really simple plot that gets escalated through often inconsequential fantasy sequences.

-It really picks up a nice flow in the second and third act, but I was legitimately bored in the first act. I didn't really get truly interested until he got on the boat in the ocean.

-I hope Adam Scott didn't actually grow that terrible beard.

-Ben Stiller's best directorial effort has been, and forever will be The Cable Guy.



Final Thoughts: I saw this movie about a week ago, and when I tried to think about the entire film, I was only able to remember each scene as its own little moment. Because that's what this movie felt like to me; just a series of unconnected moments. Almost like short films within a film. Granted, some moments are legitimately entertaining, while others aren't so much. I kind of hate the use of dream sequences as a narrative device, because it always feels cheap and unneccessary. And when the whole movie like this is made up of them, I start to really think about what this movie would have been without those sequences, and it really boils down to a kind of unspectacular set of events. Don't get me wrong, I got enjoyment out of Walter Mitty, but I don't think I'd ever pay to watch it again. The fantasy sequences are almost representative of the film as a whole, as they make the final product seem interesting than it actually is.

6.5 out of 10


Return to posts index

Mark Suszko
Re: The Secret Life of Walter Mitty
on Jan 13, 2014 at 3:47:08 pm

Seems that the thing you don't like in your review is the crux of the Mitty tale: imaginative temporary escape from a criminally humdrum life. Maybe the direction was *too* good, in that you got too big a dose of the boringness he's constantly trying to escape from?


Return to posts index

Stephen Smith
Re: The Secret Life of Walter Mitty
on Jan 13, 2014 at 4:26:39 pm

I went into the movie know that it only had about a 50% critics ratting on Rotten Tomatoes so I didn't have high expectations. I thought the film was really cool. I loved the music, it was fantastic and really worked well in driving the film. The graphics where super cool as well. In his final journey the journal entries where fun, I love how parts of the song appeared on the plane ride to Greenland which leads to another thing. Those transitions where fun. Where the plane takes off, goes to night then starts to land in Greenland. Lots of really cool transition in this film like the end of the Stretch guy fight scene.

I loved the action in the dream scenes like where he jumped into the building, they looked really good. I thought the funniest line was about the toner cartridge. All in all it was a good movie, not the best and not a bad one like a lot of the critics felt. I enjoyed it.

By the way, I tried to find the real last cover of Life magazine and couldn't.

Spoiler----



I tried to find the image of the las cover that was in the movie and can't. My question, the photos Ben is holding up, do they have the missing photo in slot 25? If it does that happened after he was delivered the photos. Which means the hole thing was a dream or they screwed up or the Sean Penn came back and took the photo and then put it in the wallet after the fact. If anyone sees it again look for that and let me know.

Stephen Smith

Utah Video Productions

Check out my Motion Training DVD

Check out my Vimeo page


Return to posts index


Tim Wilson
Re: The Secret Life of Walter Mitty
on Jan 13, 2014 at 4:48:57 pm

[Stephen Smith] "By the way, I tried to find the real last cover of Life magazine and couldn't."

The filmmakers played around with this: Life folded in 1972.

They also played around with covers. The majority of photos SHOWN as covers in the movie were never actually COVER photos. There were dozens of photos in every issue that would have been the best picture in any other magazine, and some of the specific fictionalized covers were chosen to tell the story in the movie, rather than a rigidly accurate depiction of Life covers per se.

Very cool article about the specifics at, of all places, the Life blog at Time's website, including pictures of a dozen or so of the fake covers. Make sure you have some free time when you visit, because you'll definitely want to hang around for a while. One of the most engaging photography sites on the web.


Return to posts index

Stephen Smith
Re: The Secret Life of Walter Mitty
on Jan 13, 2014 at 5:23:10 pm

Thanks Tim, I'll check it out.

By the way, this film felt like a really big ad for e-Harmony, Papa Johns and Cinnabon. I wonder how much they paid. It got to the point where the Cinnabon part felt like to much of how great Cinnabon was and deviated from the story.

Stephen Smith

Utah Video Productions

Check out my Motion Training DVD

Check out my Vimeo page


Return to posts index

Scott Roberts
Re: The Secret Life of Walter Mitty
on Jan 14, 2014 at 5:56:52 pm

[Mark Suszko] "Seems that the thing you don't like in your review is the crux of the Mitty tale: imaginative temporary escape from a criminally humdrum life. Maybe the direction was *too* good, in that you got too big a dose of the boringness he's constantly trying to escape from?"

That's definitely the case in the beginning. And then probably the opposite in the end, in the fact that the sole premise of the film (escaping to imagination) doesn't quite go imaginative enough.



[Stephen Smith] "It got to the point where the Cinnabon part felt like to much of how great Cinnabon was and deviated from the story."

Well, Cinnabon is kind of awesome.


Return to posts index

<< PREVIOUS   •   VIEW ALL   •   PRINT   •   NEXT >>
© 2017 CreativeCOW.net All Rights Reserved
[TOP]