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With the global population soaring towards 9 billion people by 2050 current levels of meat and dairy consumption are not sustainable on our limited earth. Ryan Gosling's gift of physical comedy, combined with his fantastic chemistry with Russell Crowe, makes "The Nice Guys" worth a look.
Patrice Leconte's "Monsieur Hire" is a tragedy about loneliness and erotomania, told about two solitary people who have nothing else in common. Laura Poitras's "Risk," on WikiLeaks, and Paul Schrader's "Dog Eat Dog," a noir, have their premieres at the 2016 Cannes Film Festival. When I began as a film critic, Jean-Luc Godard was widely thought to have reinvented the cinema with "Breathless" (1960). From Ben Stiller's pantomimes of romantic hesitation in its opening moments as Walter Mitty goes all J. Ben Stiller’s The Secret Life of Walter Mitty is a common, oft-heard message masquerading as an insight. To be fair, the message is a sound one — one we’ve all heard countless times — but one that few of us heed: Live. Again, while the sentiment is worthy, I fretted our culture has cultivated an audience for material that feels pithy, but is anything but.
That said, the impetus for Mitty’s action concerns the demise of Life Magazine (get it?), and in a subliminal context, print media.



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In short, the suggestion that they’ve experienced something deep and enriching is enough to make them believe they actually have. This subject matter, in better hands with a different agenda, could make for a potent film.
Sean Penn appears as a reclusive photographer — an artiste — which borders on an exaggerated take on his real-life perception as a pretentious blowhard. For all that, I'm giving the movie two stars, which, in star speak, translates to "fair." I'm not doing this as a sop to anyone who might end up charmed by the sometimes winsome and always self-help-book-like particulars of Stiller's romantic fable, which is can-do optimistic in rather stark contrast to Thurber's highly pessimistic mini-parable.
From the muted response at the screening I attended, he blew it, giving his character gravitas that was never there. In order to remind us of that message, superimposed text graphics that feel like they’re from a “Just Do It” Nike commercial, are peppered throughout.
In "Tropic Thunder," that privilege was articulated via biting the Hollywood hand that fed him and telling the audience that it was getting what it deserved; here, the privilege manifests itself in Stiller's ability to take a big film crew to Greenland, Iceland, and a relatively safe stand-in for Afghanistan to impart some vague, semi-earnest be-here-now bromides to the paying customers. Stiller plays the title character, a daydreamer so focused that even as he learns that he's likely to lose his job as a "negative assets handler" in the photo department of the real-life photo-driven Life (which ceased publication as a separate magazine in 2000, and was re-created as a newspaper supplement), he can't stop constructing fantasy scenarios involving the co-worker on whom he's crushing. A missing negative from the magazine's star globe-trotting photog (Sean Penn) sets Mitty on his own real-life globe-trotting adventure in search of the photog, who can tell him where the missing shot is.


Along the way he makes the Very Important Discovery that, while his fantasies might in some ways exercise his imagination, they are in a certain sense holding him back.
While everything Stiller attempts here has a real professional polish, what "Mitty" lacks is any sense of what life might actually be like for the kind of "ordinary man" Mitty represents. Adam Scott's dismissive, ignorant bean-counter, a company man who's overseeing the shutdown of Life, comes off more like a nasty CAA agent than a publishing executive. And every now and then a Mitty fantasy will show its snide hand: there's an entirely beside-any-point "Benjamin Button" parody here that wouldn't pass muster as an MTV Movie Awards sketch.
These sorts of incidental irritations, I began to notice, led me to some possible overpicking of nits, as in "I was in Iceland last winter, and everyone there speaks English almost perfectly, Stiller!"So again, there's a real question as to how reliable my assessment of "Mitty" as a weak-tea bunch of insincere pandering might be. On the other hand, your ability to swallow the movie's nth fake epiphany scored to the nth contrived-crescendo concoction by Arcade Fire or some other camouflaged emoting pomp rock outfit might not necessarily make you a better person than I.




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