The Secret Life Of Walter Mitty suffers from a sagging middle section, but there are moments of pure magic in this otherwise wonderfully imaginative, visually breathtaking ode to the carpe diem lifestyle. Part of what makes Stiller’s characterization so enjoyable is how he nails the mannerisms of the Everyman. When a prized negative goes missing, Walter finds himself launched into a genuine, globe-trotting adventure, determined to track down the elusive photographer (Sean Penn) behind it. When Walter returns to New York and begins shuffling around his life again, much of the narrative pull evaporates. As the film cycles back through exotic locations, taking Walter from dark and dangerous Icelandic waters to the chilly Himalayas, it regains a little energy, though the final act feels unfortunately hurried. The audio, rendered with a DTS-HD Master Audio 7.1 Track, is just as important to The Secret Life of Walter Mitty as its visual component, and the track definitely does not disappoint. Stiller’s fantasy involving an arctic explorer version of himself is funny for a few minutes, though the extended version here wears on the nerves a little. The Secret Life of Walter Mitty is a wonderfully imaginative adventure perfect for your entire family. The Secret Life Of Walter Mitty Blu-Ray ReviewGreatThe Secret Life Of Walter Mitty suffers from a sagging middle section, but there are moments of pure magic in this otherwise wonderfully imaginative, visually breathtaking ode to the carpe diem lifestyle. The stimulation of the attire has taken from the popular television series named as The Secret Life Of Walter Mitty. Stiller seemed a little embarrassed when I mentioned that his new film "wears its heart on its sleeve" -- something that Stiller has certainly heard before, but wasn't necessarily his intention. I met an engaged and fairly candid Stiller at an Upper West Side hotel room, where we discussed his personal saga with "Mitty," finally getting a good review for "The Cable Guy" in the New York Times and why his short tenure at "Saturday Night Live" didn't work out as he had hoped.
Looking at parallels, nothing against a movie like "The Watch," but I feel you can do that in your sleep. And, yes, I thought, OK, this is not necessarily a slam dunk kind of movie in terms of how you sell it or even people going to it. Yeah, they stop because, to me, in the nature of the story, he starts doing real things and the fantasies go away and they get replaced by real things.
I feel like I'm at a place where I've made some changes -- we moved out of Los Angeles and moved back to New York.
Not to harp too much on nostalgia, but I am curious if you're surprised that people today appreciate "The Cable Guy," considering the original reaction. That was so long ago and it was such a short period of time that I think -- that was 1989 -- I was so focused on wanting to be a director, really, and to make my own short films. Lady Gaga rocked some 80's style while leaving her apartment building in New York City on June 6. Of course, much of the short story is absent from Stiller’s adaptation, but that was always a certainty (beautiful though it is, the original story is hardly enough to fill a short, let alone a major studio tentpole). Working as a negative assets manager for the fictional Life magazine, Walter is quiet and awkward, more inclined to drift off into daydreams than actually look at what’s in front of him. In one of many daydream sequences, Walter imagines himself as a super-spy, pummeling nasty transition manager Ted (Adam Scott) while surfing through concrete in a high-speed battle over a Stretch Armstrong toy. The film was shot on location in Iceland, where director of photography Stuart Dryburgh moves the camera along mountain ranges and green valleys as if caressing them, gently, with the utmost respect and deference. That’s a real shame, because with tighter writing, that hurdle could have been easily side-stepped. Whereas Walter’s first venture into the wild is long enough to savor, his second rushes by far too quickly.
Immersive and wonderfully spacious, the audio track brings Walter’s daydreams to vivid life.
Stiller’s accent is distracting, and the action-packed addition to the scene (in which he holds a rose out to his love as ice cracks beneath his feet) feels forced. Interesting sidenote: Thurber apparently hated the first version of The Secret Life of Walter Mitty, which starred Danny Kaye.


Shapiro also discusses the challenges of managing transitions from daydream sequences to Walter’s life.
All of them appreciated the natural beauty of the country, which was probably a necessity for them to be able to truly capture the magnificence of the scenery on camera.
We see the auditions for the actors who were eventually cast, which are energetic and very fun to watch. There are many interesting early cuts of the title sequences shown, and it’s clear that a great deal of work went into striking the right tone with the title card alone. These play like extra footage, and there’s no narration, which makes them feel very raw but still insightful.
Some of the stuff is so fantastical that it would have been really difficult to shoot, though I wish that Stiller had pulled it off.
The Blu-Ray package is superb, with top-notch video and audio, as well as a comprehensive set of extras, so this film comes highly recommended. There's the actor who is most known for starring in, well, a lot of movies: "There's Something About Mary," the "Night at the Museum" franchise, "Meet the Parents" and its sequels, and many, many others (some good, some not).
Maybe I'm the one reading too much into it, but it's interesting to note the parallels in the lives of both Ben Stiller and his latest onscreen character. I mean, I got very excited when I read Steve Conrad's script for "Walter Mitty" and I had worked with Steve on another project that hasn't gotten made yet -- I just know what he goes for when he's writing. But I felt like if we can make the movie we wanted to make, I felt like there would be a chance that a lot of people could connect with it. I never thought of it in any way as a "feel-good movie." These people are telling me that and I'm like, "Really? I know what it is, I'm used to making movies that are a little more cynical -- or a lot more cynical.
That was a scary moment when at the first couple of screenings when I didn't know how people were going to react. Finally a guy wrote something nice in the New York Times about "The Cable Guy" when we released the Blu-ray. I've enjoyed it when you've come back to host, I just never understood why it didn't work out when you were in the cast. And I didn't think I was great as a live performer and there was an opportunity to direct and do this show that was more doing the kinds of things that I felt comfortable doing. What Stiller does manage to do, however, to my great surprise, is capture the adventurous heart of his title character.
Without alienating the character from the audience, Stiller portrays Walter as a meek man cowed by life’s simple unwillingness to work out. There’s excellent depth in the huge shots of wide-open valleys, but also immaculate detail in those same scenes. If the film had focused at all on Walter’s family, this would have likely made the cut. It’s very impressive to see how game everyone involved was when it came to carrying out risky stunts.
The skating sequences in Iceland and the elevator fight fantasy with Walter and Ted are the only two scenes to get this treatment.
Mitty has a fine job at LIFE magazine, but often daydreams about a more adventurous and meaningful existence.
Except for having done screenings -- I've done a lot of screenings in the editorial process of making the movie. And, to me, that ambition of the script was something that excited me, in terms of trying to do something that wasn't necessarily one specific genre and that it had some different things going on. And as a director, too, except for maybe "Reality Bites," So, for me, this probably connected with something that I inadvertently or subconsciously wanted to do, I guess.
I learned pretty early on that it was actually an opposite sort of situation, in that I had to work on honing down the first part of the movie because people have this natural instinct to follow the story.


We had never experienced something that got that kind of reception -- where it didn't do well at the box office and critically people went after it.
It's not "vindicated," it's more like if you like something that you do and you feel good about it at the time, that's the most important thing.
He misses his dad, can only love the girl of his dreams (Kristen Wiig) from a distance, struggles to make ends meet and, perhaps worst of all, is stuck in a basement looking at photos of adventures he once imagined himself taking.
Credit sharp writing, which pushes the envelope a little for a PG-rated film but also roots this dreamer’s tale in some much-needed realism. It’s inspiring to see such an introvert finally stand up, arms outstretched to embrace life, but the most captivating aspect of the shot is how nonessential Walter actually is. Though the acting support is stellar (Wiig, in particular, fills her barely written part with stirring emotion and heart), it just doesn’t hold up after so much visual spectacle. Its conclusion is predictable, to be sure, but still strikes an appropriately sweet and uplifting note.
Dialogue is crisp throughout, and the soundtrack is especially terrific, integrating gorgeous numbers by Of Monsters and Men, Jose Gonzalez, Rogue Valley and many other talented artists.
Neither is particularly interesting, and Stiller was right to cut the daydream additions (his sister Odessa, played by Kathryn Hahn, becomes a petulant child, and Ted dons a jester outfit), as they seem more like hallucinations of a disturbed man than daydreams of a restless one. Stiller's feature-length debut, "Reality Bites," is considered the quintessential film about Generation X angst.
And it was interesting to see people -- even younger people; maybe your friend not included [laughs] -- but they responded in a different way. And, really, it was taking this story and it's technically a remake of a movie [1947's "The Secret Life of Walter Mitty" with Danny Kaye], but he really was bold enough to sort of put all of that aside and write what he wanted to write -- which related to this idea of getting to a point in your life where you go, "You know what? Seeing how life goes by very quickly -- seeing things happen to people who are friends and people that you love and the impermanence of it all -- is a very real thing for me. But until you get slammed hard, it's like literally like getting hit by a truck where you don't see it. Everyone loves a good underdog, but with his soulful blue eyes and wandering line delivery, Stiller has crafted a truly great underdog. The video dazzles on all fronts, whether in sleepier scenes at the Life offices or adrenaline-pounding action sequences in shark-infested waters. I found some younger people responded to it in the way that it has made them want to somehow have more of a real experience in their life, and go out and travel and do something in a world where, obviously, people of that generation have so many screens in front of them and so much virtual experience. Like, "We've got to get to this ending where everyone is going to walk out of the theater feeling something like that." I was more thinking, I knew it had a "happy ending," but, to me, I didn't even know if people were going to go along for the ride of it once the fantasies stopped. So, wanting to seize that moment a little bit more and learn how to do that -- or even be aware of it -- and realizing that I never was aware. I liked the movie, we felt good about it; then all of a sudden you open up the New York Times and it's like, "Oh my God. This was connecting them in a way that they actually want to go and do something that's actually, you know, tangible and happening.
I think, maybe in the last few years -- it started five, six, seven years ago, maybe -- turning my attention toward saying, "Wait a minute, stop looking down or looking forward.
They hate it." It's a funny thing, in retrospect, and you go through all sorts of different feelings. Pure cotton fabric is the main stuff of the garment which gives you comfortable feeling along with the impressive glance.
But when you say, "You know, I left it all on the floor there and that was my best shot at that moment in time," that's all you can ask for, really.



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