Blu-ray Shopping Bag: The Secret Life of Walter Mitty - Mania.com



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Blu-ray Shopping Bag: The Secret Life of Walter Mitty

Can't he do this every time?

By Robert T. Trate     April 22, 2014
Source: Mania.com


The modern Ben Still classic arrives!
© FOX

The first time I saw the trailer for The Secret Life of Walter Mitty (at the bottom), I was all in. I had absolutely no idea what the film was about. My only apprehension was that it was a Ben Stiller movie. I have this thing with Ben Stiller and his films that goes like this: If Stiller acts and directs in his own films, I find them a lot more enjoyable than if he just acts in them. Outside of Zoolander, this theory holds up pretty well. Zoolander, I believe suffers from the Will Ferrell syndrome, which is a whole other theory to boot. The Secret Life of Walter Mitty was directed by Ben Stiller and is by far his best film to date. 

Walter Mitty (Ben Stiller) is a constant day dreamer. His overactive imagination puts him in the most adventurous and creative circumstances, but his real life keeps passing him by. Walter works for Life Magazine, which is about to go completely online meaning the end of the printed edition. As the man in charge of all the photo journalism negatives, Walter was sent the image for the final issue cover, but it has turned up missing. With the push of his co-worker and crush Cheryl Mehloff (Kristen Wiig), Walter is off to find the photographer and the negative. The only problem is that he has no idea where in the world to look.

Stiller captures the essence of the daydreamers very quickly, allowing us to sympathize with the character. What really allows the audience into Walter is his gradual progression into the man he really is deep down. If Stiller was to jump the character right into climbing the Himalayas, it would have been too much of a stretch. Instead, he flies to a Greenland and rents a car. This might not sound like much, but for a character who keeps a perfectly sane and structured life, it is. So when Walter jumps on the helicopter with a drunk pilot and heads out to sea, we can see ourselves taking that leap, too. Why? Inspiration comes in all shapes and sizes. Walter’s comes from Cheryl singing a David Bowie song in his head. 

Everything in The Secret Life of Walter Mitty works really well. We are given just enough of the character understand him and believe in the story that is unfolding. Too often Hollywood rams everything down our throats too quickly so we can be instantly satisfied and witness how much money they have spent. From the other side of the screen, my appreciation for Stiller as a director has grown. I kept looking for stuntmen or body doubles in a majority of the scenes where Walter (ad Stiller) were in danger. The Skateboarding scene, which probably had all kinds of safety precautions, is a wonder. That is definitely Stiller doing the close up and mediums. Part of me was sweating for the studio, because one rock in the road and the whole film was screwed. That scene alone made me never want to watch the special features or making of. I don’t want to know how they did it. I’m fine with believing what I saw. The film is also packed with real wonders that didn’t require tons of special effects or CGI enhancements. The world is a beautiful place. Whether it is seeing a snow leopard, watching a mountain top soccer game, or streaming a video of a kid on skateboard, there is a lot of beauty in the world. We just have to notice it. 

The Secret Life of Walter Mitty was robbed at the Academy Awards this year. Perhaps because its director/star is often seen as a buffoon and not taken seriously. This was by far one of the best pictures to come out of 2013. It is a fine edition to my library and a film I am ready to share with anyone. 

Top 5 Picks of the Week:
1. The Mr. Magoo Theatrical Collection (1949-1959)
2. Spider-Man 2 (Mastered in 4K) (Single-Disc Blu-ray + UltraViolet Digital Copy)
3. Riot in Cell Block 11 (Criterion Collection) (Blu-ray + DVD)
4. Chances Are: 25th Anniversary Edition [Blu-ray]
5. Spectacular Spider-Man - Season 1 / Spectacular Spider-Man - Season 2 - Set [Blu-ray]


ACTION / ADVENTURE / KUNG FU/ THRILLERS / WESTERNS

Big Bad Wolves [Blu-ray] Starring Lior Ashkenazi

Big Bad Wolves Starring Lior Ashkenazi

Conspiracy Theory [Blu-ray] Starring Mel Gibson, Julia Roberts, Patrick Stewart and Cylk Cozart

Evel Knievel: The Last American Daredevil Starring Sue Lyon, Bert Freed, George Hamilton Dub Taylor

Exit Wounds [Blu-ray] Starring Steven Seagal, Dmx, Isaiah Washington and Anthony Anderson

Get Carter [Blu-ray] Starring Sylvester Stallone, Miranda Richardson

Junction Starring David Zayas, Michael O'Keefe, Anthony Rapp and Tom Pelphrey

Outlaw Josey Wales / Pale Rider

Seven Warriors [Blu-ray] Starring Tony Leung Chiu-Wai, Sammo Hung and Jacky Cheung (1989)

Seven Warriors Starring Tony Leung Chiu-Wai, Sammo Hung and Jacky Cheung (1989)

Suspect, The Starring Mekhi Phifer, William Sadler and Sterling K. Brown

Suspect, The [Blu-ray] Starring Mekhi Phifer, William Sadler and Sterling K. Brown

Torque [Blu-ray] Starring Jamie Pressly, Martin Henderson, Ice Cube and Monet Mazur

ANIME

Eureka Seven: The Movie Starring Johnny Yong Bosch, Stephanie Sheh, Crispin Freeman

Eureka Seven: Part One (Blu-ray) (Limited Edition) Starring Johnny Yong Bosch, Stephanie Sheh, Crispin Freeman

Eureka Seven: Part One Starring Johnny Yong Bosch, Stephanie Sheh, Crispin Freeman

Eureka Seven: Good Night, Sleep Tight, Young Lovers (Movie) (Blu-ray/DVD Combo) Starring Johnny Yong Bosch, Stephanie Sheh, Crispin Freeman

Eureka Seven: Part Two [Blu-ray] Starring Johnny Yong Bosch, Crispin Freeman and Stephanie Sheh

Hidamari Sketch X 365: Season 2 [Blu-ray]

Little Busters: Collection 2 [Blu-ray]

Little Busters: Collection 2

No-Rin 1 [Blu-ray]

No-Rin 1

CARTOONS

Ben 10 & Friends Starring Various

The Mr. Magoo Theatrical Collection (1949-1959) Starring Jim Backus

Spectacular Spider-Man - Season 1 / Spectacular Spider-Man - Season 2 - Set [Blu-ray]

CLASSICS

Four Fast Guns (1960)

Get Carter [Blu-ray] Starring Michael Caine, Ian Hendry, John Osborne and Britt Ekland

Hellgate (1952)

Hit the Deck (1955) [Blu-ray] Starring Debbie Reynolds, Walter Pidgeon and Vic Damone

Ride A Crooked Trail (Great Western Collection) [Non USA PAL Format] Starring Audie Murphy, Walter Matthau and Gia Scala

Shotgun (1955)

CRITERION COLLECTION

Master of the House (Blu-ray + DVD) Starring Johannes Meyer, Astrid Holm and Mathilde Nielsen

Master of the House Starring Johannes Meyer, Astrid Holm and Mathilde Nielsen (1925)

Riot in Cell Block 11 (Criterion Collection) (Blu-ray + DVD) Starring Neville Brand, Emile Meyer and Frank Faylen (1954)

HORROR

Ancient Demon Succubi Starring Melanie Denholme

Cottage Country Starring Malin Akerman, Tyler Labine and Lucy Punch

Dark Satanic Magick Starring Melanie Denholme

House of Good and Evil Starring Marietta Marich, Rachel Marie Lewis and Christian Oliver

House on Sorority Row [Blu-ray] (widescreen, remastered) Starring Kate McNeil, Eileen Davidson and Harley Jane Kozak

Insane Starring Lars Bethke, Johanna Leamo and David Lenneman

Legend of the Psychotic Forest Ranger Starring Michael G MacDonald, Samuel MacDonald LeMoine

Making Off Starring Nathalie Van Tongelen, Céline Berti, Mickael Collart

Unseen Evil Starring Tim Thomerson, Cindi Braun Richard Hatch

MODERN CLASSICS on BLU-RAY

Chances Are: 25th Anniversary Edition [Blu-ray] Starring Cybill Shepherd, Robert Downey Jr., Ryan O'Neal

Pawnbroker [Blu-ray] (1964)

SCIENCE FICTION / FANTASY / SUPERHERO

Apokalips X (Blu-Ray) Starring Farid Kamil and Jehan Miskin

Apokalips X Starring Farid Kamil and Jehan Miskin

Doctor Who: The Web of Fear Starring Patrick Troughton, Frazer Hines, Deborah Watling

Empire Of The Apes Starring Steve Diasparra, DeLorenzo, Elizabeth V. Costanzo, Jeff Kirkendall Danielle Donahue

Gila! Starring Madeline Voges, Terrence Knox, Jesse Janzen, Christina DeRosa, Kelli Maroney, Gerald Pauwels Brian Gross

Spider-Man 2 (Mastered in 4K) (Single-Disc Blu-ray + UltraViolet Digital Copy)

Sorcerer [Blu-ray] Starring Roy Scheider, Bruno Cremer, Francisco Rabal and Amidou

TV LAND

Murder, She Wrote: Season 7 Starring Angela Lansbury

Murder, She Wrote: Season 8 Starring Angela Lansbury

Newhart: Season 3 Starring Bob Newhart

BOX SETS

Spider-Man (2002) / Spider-Man 2 (2004) / Spider-Man 3 (2007) - Set [Blu-ray]

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