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Sunday, May 4

Blu-ray Review - The Secret Life of Walter Mitty


The Secret Life of Walter Mitty
Director: Ben Stiller
Starring: Ben Stiller,  Kristen Wiig, Shirley MacLaine, Patton Oswalt, Adam Scott, Kathryn Hahn, Sean Penn
Studio: 20th Century Fox Home Entertainment
Release Date: April 15, 2014
Retail: $39.99
Running Time: 114 minutes
Rating: PG


Available to own on Blu-ray Combo Pack, DVD and Digital HD is The Secret Life of Walter Mitty. The DVD bonus features include Behind-the-Scenes of The Secret of Walter Mitty and a Still Gallery. The special features on the Blu-ray include Pre-viz, The Look of Life, deleted scenes, extended scenes, alternate scenes and the music video "Stay Alive" by Jose Gonzalez.

The Secret Life of Walter Mitty is loosely based on the 1939 short story of the same name written by James Thurber and is a remake of the1947 classic starring Danny Kaye in the lead role. In the 2013 version, Ben Stiller directs and stars as the main character, Walter Mitty, a negative assets manager for Life magazine.

Walter hasn't done much with his life, besides for being a good son to Edna (played by Shirley MacLaine) and a big-brother to wannabe-actress, Odessa (played by Kathryn Hahn). He spends most of his time daydreaming, which in reality to everyone else, he is actually "zoning out" or staring into space. He has a bit of a crush on a fellow employee, Cheryl Melhoff (Kristen Wiig). He even creates a profile on eHarmony, as he had overheard that Cheryl had a profile on there, but he has never gotten around to sending her a "wink."

Life magazine is downsizing and will become an online magazine, so the soon-to-be-released issue will be its last. Photojournalist Sean O'Connell (played by Sean Penn) had sent his latest reel of film for the magazine to Walter, with the negative 25 going to be the cover for the final issue, but there is one little problem - the negative is missing.

Walter must breakout of his comfort zone and travel around the world with the hope of catching up with Sean, so he can retrieve the negative; while at the same time he stops daydreaming and starts living life.

I grew up watching the 1947 version with Danny Kay when it aired on AMC in the 90s; though it was a bit silly, it was still funny; more of a satire of that era. Ben Stiller's version tries to offer a few funny moments during the early dream sequences, but they feel a little forced and awkward, specially The Curious Case of Benjamin Button spoof scene.

The film received mixed-to-negative reviews from critics, who complained of the daydreaming and product placing. I didn't mind that eHarmony, Life magazine, Papa Johns and Cinnabon was used throughout the film. At least there were name brands used that I have heard of before instead of some fake brands.

Out of Ben Stiller's directorial efforts, The Secret Life of Walter Mitty his best, thanks to great locations and beautiful camera work. The script could have used a bit of a touch up, adding more daydreaming sequences that are more coherent with current times and a less predictable ending. Overall, The Secret Life of Walter Mitty is a decent remake, though a tad boring in a few scenes, it still is a good family-friendly movie.

*Disclaimer - I received a complimentary copy in exchange for my honest review. All opinions are my own.

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