Premise: Set in the near future, a lonely man begins to fall in love with his artificially intelligent operating system. About: Spike Jonze’s (director of Where The Wild Things Are and Being John Malkovich) latest!
Enter Theodore, who writes online letters for people who don’t know the difference between a metaphor and a simile (I admit to being one of these unfortunate souls), a job that allows him to exist smack dab in the middle of this reality-sucks universe.
I liked the discovery of Samantha, their burgeoning relationship, and I liked how relatable it all was.
But you could see the writing on the Facebook Wall before that if you were paying attention. Spike Jonze was, no doubt, aware of this, and he did his best to keep us entertained in other ways.
And there were a few quirky Spike Jonze’isms that kept things fun, such as Paul, Theodore’s co-worker who really really really (like in an unhealthy way) liked Theodore’s letters. I came away from this week a little confused, because I watched three sets of writers take three different approaches to their scripts. I must be that one kid who doesn’t get the Oscar hype swirling around Saving Mr Banks.
Quite frankly, we’ve all seen Mary Poppins, so we know how the present day story ends. I was forced into seeing Grudge Match when The Wolf of Wall Street and American Hustle were sold out.
Why is it that we all want to be one of the lucky few to be featured on Amateur Offerings Weekend, yet when Carson invited EVERYONE to put links to their scripts as a signature in *every* comment, only a tiny fraction of us did? But even with the links in every post, the best scripts would attract the most positive feedback and prompt Carson to review them — pretty much the way it works with AOW. With his newborn son in a coma, a small-time thug is forced back into a world of violence and betrayal when he becomes indebted to the dirtiest cop on the street. He is being pulled in different directions (Nikki, Bobby Golden, Pete, concern for his son) but there doesn’t seem to be that one incident that tells me exactly what this is about. Ritchie is trying to stay out of trouble (for his kid), but everybody keeps pushing him further toward the dark side.
I think if he really wants to turn his life around, he needs to be working on a plan to get out of the game without slaughtering the bad guys. I know his son being in the hospital after his mother is killed is supposed to be that thing, but it happens off-screen so it doesn’t resonate.
Ritchie blames himself of course, this would be the inciting incident for him to change, to find a way not kill Sammy Two Balls and get out from under Pete’s influence and somehow avoid the bad Russians seeking revenge for Gwen.
The last line of dialogue was meant to sum up Ritchie’s character and the movie (The cop delivering it is one of the cops Pete had under his thumb). You’re right Carson, there is no real world equivalent to cheating on you with 600+ people. I haven’t seen the movie, but I have a feeling Jonze was trying to put Theodore into a position to understand where he could come to grips with what his relationship with Samantha really was.
It’s the concept that gets butts in theater seats, then they experience the execution. Here’s an extended clip and another international poster for The Secret Life of Walter Mitty, which opens next month. As we previously reported, Stiller directed the whole thing from a script written by Steve Conrad, and the film is the second adaptation of James Thurber‘s short story of the same name. Stiller plays Walter who, when his job along with that of his co-worker are threatened, takes action in the real world embarking on a global journey that turns into an adventure more extraordinary than anything he could have ever imagined.
Also starring Kristen Wiig, Shirley MacLaine, Adam Scott, Kathryn Hahn and Sean Penn, The Secret Life Of Walter Mitty is set to hit theaters on December 25th, 2013. Take another look at Ben Stiller's fantasy world(s), 'cause we have a brand new international trailer for his upcoming The Secret Life of Walter Mitty.
Check out the latest international poster for The Secret Life of Walter Mitty, which is set to hit theaters next month.
Time for us to take another look at Ben Stiller and Kristen Wiig, 'cause a brand new trailer for their upcoming adventure comedy The Secret Life of Walter Mitty has finally arrived!
Photos & certain artwork used on MovieProNews are copyright protected and are the property of their respective owners. Stiller directed the whole thing from a script written by Steve Conrad, but as you already know, the movie is based on James Thurber‘s 1939 short story of the same name.
It centers on the above mentioned Walter guy who, when his job along with that of his co-worker are threatened, takes action in the real world embarking on a global journey that turns into an adventure more extraordinary than anything he could have ever imagined. Also starring Kristen Wiig, Shirley MacLaine, Adam Scott, Kathryn Hahn and Sean Penn, the movie is set to hit theaters on December 25th, 2013.
A few days ago we shared a brand new (international) poster for Ben Stiller's upcoming comedy The Secret Life of Walter Mitty, today – we're back to add another trailer for the whole thing. The real shame about "The Secret Life of Bees" is that it tries so very, very hard to hit all its marks.
But while Kidd's understated writing style provided her angst-ridden characters room to breathe, director Gina Prince-Bythewood 's script forces the same characters through their paces at breakneck speed, never allowing a moment for reflection, much less an opportunity for anyone to break from their predetermined function.
Dakota Fanning (looking startlingly and suddenly like a teenager) plays Lily, a lonely budding writer whose life is defined by two realities: She's pretty sure she killed her own mother, who may or may not have loved her. When events in their small South Carolina town threaten them both, Lily and Rosaleen, her one-time nanny (Jennifer Hudson), strike out for Tiburon, where Lily suspects she may find clues to her mother's mysterious life.
Kidd's novel didn't shy from casting these women as archetypes, but the movie doesn't cast as much as it straitjackets.

This set-up -- four black women caring for one white child -- has the potential to be, shall we say, icky. When the real suffering starts, you may find yourself thinking things can't get much worse for these people. Starring Queen Latifah and Dakota Fanning, The Secret Life of Bees is the moving tale of Lily Owens, a 14 year-old girl who is haunted by the memory of her late mother. Chicago Tribune Film Critic Michael Phillips Tasha Robinson Robert Abele serves up his latest movie reviews on video.
In fact, after first arriving on screen in Despicable Me, Minions have pulled in over $1 billion for Illumination, just from the Minions movie alone.
This is only his fourth directing effort in 15 years and his first as both writer and director. Everything’s the way it is today except instead of people being obsessed with their phones 18 hours a day, they’re obsessed with them 23 hours a day. I mean I think most people under 40 have had a relationship by now that began online, and so you’ve been through those experiences, where you’re the one dating “Samantha.” Where you’re questioning how real a person or a relationship is if you’re not physically with that person.
One of the best (and creepiest) scenes was when Samantha got a surrogate woman to have sex with Theodore while she talked to him.
And then there was a cyber-sex scene that had Theodore’s partner (voiced by Kristin Wiig, I later found out) telling him to strangle her with her dead cat while he fucked her.
The Grudge Match writers literally copied and pasted Blake Snyder’s Save The Cat book into their Final Draft document and saved the document as “Grudge Match.” The Walter Mitty writers were a little more ambitious and went off the beaten path, yet lost momentum in their final act as a result (once your main character achieves his goal, as Walter Mitty did at the end of Act 2, it’s hard to keep us interested for another half-hour). But I think Walter Mitty and Her were definitely more interesting movies than Grudge Match, so maybe the lesson here is to err on the side of taking chances rather than going the obvious route. The first half of the film takes exceedingly long to develop because there is no overall story goal, at least not one that we care about anyway.
I’m not advocating that type ending, but I will condone the depth and complexity that seems to encourage it.
To me, the cheating with 600 guys is a great plot twist that fits nicely into the world of a guy getting involved with a computer operating system. I feel like they wanted to overindulge in more of the scandalous topics which may or may not distract from the story. This idea was covered in an episode of The Big Bang where one of the characters fell in love with Siri on his I-phone. Perhaps being selected among the 5 chose feels differently than posting your script openly to a jury of your peers. And his involvment is crucial, and a catalyst to getting our work noticed and us finding success. It was not obvious whether it was intentional or an accident, although later Ritchie claimed it was an accident.
He balks at killing Gwen’s husband for an easy score but has no problem icing Two Balls in the opening scene or the slew of characters he offs in the final pages. Waving the money around at Mike and then later letting Mike see Nikki squatting on top of a quarter of a million dollars was none too bright. It is a big stretch that a clean cop would let Ritchie walk scot free after killing Pete and some Russians.
Generally, you refer to you main characters by their first names — and less familiar characters by their last names.
She’s not human, so what’s the one thing that would make Theodore realize that the relationship was just a bunch of smoke and mirrors?
Surely the 600 figure would serve to greatly compound the hurt Theodore no doubt feels at this reveal.
Directed by Ben Stiller, the movie will tell us a classic story of a day-dreamer who escapes his anonymous life by disappearing into a world of fantasies filled with heroism, romance and action.
Starring Ben Stiller, the movie follows a day-dreamer who escapes his anonymous life by disappearing into a world of fantasies filled with heroism, romance and action.
And her father (Paul Bettany, doing a very convincing impression of an angry, devastated man who has lost everything, including at least some of his mind) wants nothing to do with her. Like the book, the movie does what it can to acknowledge and defuse this tension (Keys delivers several bracingly candid lines).
To escape her lonely life and troubled relationship with her father, Lily flees with Rosaleen, her caregiver and only friend, to a South Carolina town that holds the secret to her mother's past. Columnist Mark Harris classifies Jonze’s career best when he says: “As he begins his third decade as a restless genre-hopper in the public eye, he remains one of the rare film artists who is equally respected in and out of the mainstream. A lot of you pegged this as sucking brass punching bags long before I paid 10 bucks to see it but I thought it looked fun and the casting was genius. Spike Jonze continues to be a hell of an interesting director, and like all good artists, you’re never quite sure what you’re going to get from him. In other words, the future versions of ourselves are tuning out the real world even more than they do now. His wife left him (notated by classic indie over-exposed flashbacks of the two during happier times) and he’s still not over it, still not able to give himself to another woman. That’s what really stood out here, how familiar these experiences felt and how accessible that made the movie.
But that you make sure the things your characters are going through are relatable to real world people.
Putting people face-to-face is always better because it’s more interesting to see people duke it out in person.
And then there’s Her, which took a bunch of chances, and was really the antithesis to Save The Cat screenwriting.

Keep your characters and the experiences they’re going through universal so we can relate to them. Which might explain why the third act was too long and felt to Carson like it was losing steam.
The revenge stuff does not come until the end,and in fact his brother does not disappear until late. But it finally gets there and when it does it’s pretty much worth the time you put in.
I suspect my generation would have been too cynical to appreciate that kind of story when we were teens.
Part of it relates to what I mentioned earlier, Ritchie’s arc and fitting it into a proper 3 act structure.
I cant even say I fully understood it, other than Ringo was such a great porn director that the girls became big stars and left Pink Money Studios?
I wanted him to see this kid as his way out and pursue this faint light at the end of the tunnel and realize the only way to reach it is with a ton of blood on his hands. A real person wouldn’t cheat on you with that many people, but a sentient computer could.
But unlike Kidd's work, the film is too beholden to advancing the plot line -- and preparing for the looming emotional tsunami -- to allow most of its characters to advance beyond caricatures.
Taken in by the intelligent and independent Boatwright sisters, Lily finds solace in their mesmerizing world of beekeeping, honey and the Black Madonna. Based on all the memes and pet-shaming posts out there, this is a pretty hilarious prospect, but The Secret Life of Pets also has a bit more substance to it.
He’s never been tagged a sellout, and—amazingly, given the accelerated pace of public taste and Internet mood swings—he has never not been cool.” You can read the rest of Harris’s article here.
I love coming-of-age movies wrapped inside higher concepts and this looked ambitious and imaginative from the trailer. But those moments couldn’t prop up a film that probably would’ve worked best as an extended short, as opposed to a 125 minute feature (125 pages for a script where your character is going to be on the phone 80% of the time?? When Samantha represented our own online relationships, we identified with Theodore and cared about what happened.
But the acting was strong,and what I really loved was the location shots, which gave this film a real post-industrial feel, with the decaying steel factories, rusting bridges, and monstrous industrial remnants. And I look forward to seeing Scarlett Johanssen’s performance that has been getting rave reviews.
Acting was good, I guess, but with such a weak story they felt like performances in a vacuum. So if we all find a way to give each other’s script 20 pages and find the one that is worth reading further, maybe we can recommend it to one another, and if we find that gem we all decide is great, not just good, maybe we can give Carson a collective referal and he may review it.
So far it’s been a series of events (pretty well played out) but as yet there is no real urgency. I just think the story needs a little more focus…one event needs to serve as a catalyst for Ritchie trying to clean up his life. Basically just using stuff you already had in there but rearranging it so we find a way to like Ritchie more. The kind we run home and tweet about, or the kind that makes us want to throw away our indie-loving Netflix Instant account?
He begins telling his friends, like depressed documentarian Amy (played by Amy Adams) and is surprised when they actually accept the relationship. If the phone calls are built into the plot (in something like “The Call” which was about a 9-1-1 Call Center – obviously, phone calls will be needed there), it can work. Once she started seeing 600 other guys, because we have no real-world equivalent for that, we began to feel disconnected from the story. It’s just kind of a warm, human movie about learning to not be a bystander watching the world go by.
He’s a stone cold killer in the first scene (although he could argue self-defense), as well at the end. I know u probably see him as an anti-hero but he is comes off mostly as a thug who has an occasional soft touch.
But for every Facebook, there’s a Myspace, and the more Samantha learns, the more she outgrows Theodore. This will probably be how it happens in the future when you have Artificial Intelligence able to communicate with thousands of people simultaneously. Maybe Ritchie doesn’t want to kill Two Balls so easily, regards him as a friend (honor among thieves). He goes off to meet Nikki, maybe lay in wait for Dmitri to come home…make it look like a robbery gone bad.
In that respect, it maybe lacks some originality, but that’s not to say Illumination hasn’t firmly placed their own stamp on the movie and created some really lovable and, indeed, laughable new characters for adults and kids alike to enjoy.Certainly Snowball and Duke look to be great comic creations, and the visual gags relating to the differences in size between the various pets will bring a lot of laughs. Of course, seeing as it came from the writer of “First Kid” (starring Sinbad), I shouldn’t have been surprised. Just shoot that character in the head, sweep up the mess and move on to the next theater in the multiplex and hope the writer gives us a protag we can root for. I haven’t seen Her, but from where I sit it sure sounds more heart-warning than heart-warming.

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