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16 of 16 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars A truly beautiful cinematic experience
The Secret Life of Walter Mitty features Ben Stiller as the eponymous Walter Mitty, a negative asset manager at Life magazine. He regularly day-dreams about incredible situations where he is the hero, often at the cost of his attention in the real world meaning people treat him as a fantasist. When it actually comes down to filling out his eHarmony account, he actually...
Published 3 months ago by J. Morris

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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars The Modern Walter Mitty
The original story of Walter MItty was first published in The New Yorker magazine in 1939 and has influenced directly and indirectly numerous movies since that time. It tells the story of a man who leads a humble unexciting life but is prone to daydreams where he lives out his fantasies. Somewhat inadvertently he gets drawn into an adventure of his own and finally comes...
Published 1 month ago by Neil Lennon


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16 of 16 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars A truly beautiful cinematic experience, 10 April 2014
By 
J. Morris "Josh" (London) - See all my reviews
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The Secret Life of Walter Mitty features Ben Stiller as the eponymous Walter Mitty, a negative asset manager at Life magazine. He regularly day-dreams about incredible situations where he is the hero, often at the cost of his attention in the real world meaning people treat him as a fantasist. When it actually comes down to filling out his eHarmony account, he actually hasn't done much in life, a point drastically underlined by his empty 'experiences' box. However, when veteran photographer Sean O'Connell sends him a package saying that one of the negatives contains the 'Quintessence of Life' Walter is keen to see it. However, it is the only one missing from the reel. This propels Walter on a quest to track down notoriously hard-to-find adventure-photographer Sean O'Connell (Sean Penn) to get the negative which will grace the cover of the final issue of Life. The pursuit sees him travel to Greenland, Iceland and Afghanistan amongst other places, during which Walter needs fewer and fewer of his fantasies as his life is providing them for him and he is finally living his life and not merely surviving his existence. Will Walter ever find Sean and the negative?

Walter Mitty is a fantastically well shot-experience, this is evident from the get-go as we see the preliminary credits wrapped seamlessly around the locales (graffiti on the wall of his apartment building gives us the director for example) and this stylisation of text really continues into the film (the text message displayed on the mountain by rock-slides) - this really is a great touch and I thought enhanced what was already a well directed experience - credit to director & lead actor Ben Stiller.

We see an initially morose and unremarkable Walter, a man who is constantly down on his luck, brought out of his shell and thrown into the fray - the Icelandic long-boarding scene really made an impression and it really is due to the picturesque scenery & direction that this film is so beautiful. Detractors have pointed out the lack of fidelity to James Thurber's original but I honestly think that the film is richer for the experience of adding a few locales and embellishments to what was originally a short story. Stiller underplays the comedy on a number of occasions (the Benjamin Button scene specifically) but ultimately, it allows the story to be about the character development and coming out of his shell, underscored by the eHarmony profile representative Todd (Patton Oswalt) who is the voice in Mitty's ear filling out his 'experiences' box as he goes - product placement aside. Adam Scott (A.C.O.D.) makes a great appearance as Walter's new and obnoxious boss. The scene where Walter performs incredible skateboard tricks to Cheryl's son, whilst love-interest Cheryl (Kristen Wiig - Bridesmaids) misses every single one just sums up Walter's luck in life so well.

The soundtrack to Walter Mitty is also really notable, with some classics such as 'Don't you want me' & 'Man-eater' from the 1980's as well as David Bowie's 'Space Oddity' supporting the film in pretty intricate ways that are not just merely a song playing over a scene in the film.

When all this is considered it makes Walter Mitty something more than the sum of it's parts. The story is flat in places, the characters a little too two-dimensional sometimes but the whole feeling of the liberation of a previously-repressed man into something new, set to the backdrop of incredible places in the world playing out to a great soundtrack really is too good to miss. Highly recommended!
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11 of 11 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars surprisingly good, 3 Feb 2014
This review is from: The Secret Life of Walter Mitty [DVD] (DVD)
i really wasnt expecting much from this but in the end i was hooked and for me this is ben stillers best film by far...very moving and heartwarming
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24 of 26 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Beautiful things don't ask for attention, 5 Mar 2014
This review is from: The Secret Life of Walter Mitty [DVD] (DVD)
Ben Stiller’s Walter Mitty of 2013 bears a passing resemblance to Danny Kaye’s of 1947, and none at all to James Thurber’s original creation (in which a hen-pecked husband, who inhabits a short story about five pages long, is sent out to buy overshoes and dog biscuits while his wife has her hair done). So those professional critics who complain (and some have) that Stiller doesn’t capture Thurber’s nuanced social commentary are talking through their hats.

Nor, as far as I know, did Thurber leave behind Tolkienesque appendices of the sort that might underpin the two hour rollercoaster on show. It is a story of derring-do, adversity and high-jinks only matched by the development trajectory of this script. In its decade-long passage through the hands of agents, writers, producers, studios and directors, The Secret Life of Walter Mitty was also dunked in the arctic ocean, shot at by Afghan warlords and abandoned in Himalayan wastelands, before falling for its final release into the loving arms of Ben Stiller who found himself not only leading the cast but directing the film as well.

Usually films with this sort of midwifery are a disaster. This one’s a peach. I’m inclined to give Stiller much of the credit, though I dare say Steve Conrad’s screenplay didn’t write itself.

On a big screen, it is stunning. This is what Hollywood blockbusters should be like: imaginative, inventive, engaging, beautiful, sweeping, clever, well observed, well acted, and fun. Stiller demonstrates himself to be a subtler comic than many of his peers (Jim Carey was associated with this picture at one point) and an outstanding actor: his transition from biro-pocketed nerd in the basement to swashbuckling global explorer is a joy to behold. For a little guy with sticky-outy ears, he is a surprisingly credible leading man. There is real chemistry between Stiller and Kirsten Wiig.

That said, Walter Mitty is made by, features, and speaks to the people of a certain demographic - mine: mid-40s toilers who spend their private moments aghast that their lives are slipping away unremarked, and their public ones putting on brave faces and avoiding the inevitable conclusion that their toils might have been for naught.

This film counsels not just seizure of the day, but also that it hasn’t been in vain: the beautiful, as Sean Penn remarks, don’t ask for attention.

Ironically, Walter Mitty learns of his own beauty only when he flees his gilded cage. Only once he really has leapt from a helicopter into shark-infested water does he realise his life hasn’t been wasted after all. (Special mention, by the way, to that Icelandic bear of a man Ólafur Darri Ólafsson, here the drunken chopper pilot, whose extraordinary performance in the recent Icelandic feature The Deep has to be seen to be believed).

Those not old enough to have acquired the humility to doubt their place in the firmament may find this all a little bit self-involved, but there will a big constituency among the rest of us for whom this film hits its mark. It is relentlessly big and beautiful: Stuart Dryburgh’s sparkling cinematography deserves as big a screen as you can find to see it on, and those receptive to its message will sit there for two hours with a big, dumb grin on their faces.

Olly Buxton
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4 of 4 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Ben Stiller's best film in years., 26 April 2014
Up until now my favorite Ben Stiller film was Night at the museum but after watching this incredible film this is now my favorite.

I was completley surprised by this film as I originally thought it was going to be be a boring drama-comedy without comedy but I was so wrong as I enjoyed practicaly everything in this movie especially the funny dream sequences and the heart warming story.

Praise to Ben Stiller who deserved an Academy Award for both Acting and Directing has created a underated movie masterpeice and praise to the cast for bringing life to great caracters and thums up to José González who has created some great songs for this film, my favorite being stay alive which appears at the end credits and as a music video on the blu-ray.

Also incredible value with the blu-ray with the movie in English 7.1 DTS HD Master Audio with English Audio Decription 5.1 Dolby Digital and English Subtitles and with a load of special features which is Deleted,Extended and Alternate Scenes, 7 Behind the Scenes Featurettes, Sights and Sounds of Production, Pre-Viz (Animated Storyboard) - Ted-Walter Fight - Early Version, Gallery: Reference Photography and finally the Music Video: "Stay Alive" by José González

(overall Verdict) If you are a fan of Ben Stiller you'll love this. 10/10 An Emotional pleasant Surprise
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15 of 17 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Excellent, 6 Jan 2014
I'm not sure what I was expecting before seeing this at the cinema. I hadn't read reviews and I'm not exactly Ben Stiller's biggest fan. But I absolutely loved it. It's a nice story about a man trying to make something of his life, and it's just really charming. Some of the scenes are superb and the Icelandic and Himalayan locations are beautiful. Ben Stiller is at his best here, as director, writer and actor; it's great.
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14 of 16 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars best film of 2013?, 29 Jan 2014
This review is from: The Secret Life of Walter Mitty [DVD] (DVD)
Never have I stood up and clapped at the end of a film in a Cinema , I didn't care that it was embarrassing this film was beautiful fantastic acting, wonderful cinematography, A great mix of emotions throughout the film and not to mention the gorgeous soundtrack. This film you will either love or feel a bit odd about there's nothing to dislike or hate! the film is basically a modern Forrest Gump like tale and it's a fantastic one at that.
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Ground control to Walter Mitty, 26 April 2014
By 
Paul Tapner (poole dorset england) - See all my reviews
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This review is from: The Secret Life of Walter Mitty [DVD] (DVD)
A new film version of the James Thurber short story about a man who escapes his humdrum daily life by getting into exciting day dreams.

Like all films of short stories, it bears no resemblance to the original other than taking the main idea and going it's own way with it.

Thus it bears no resemblance to the original film version starring Danny Kaye other than having the same basic plot as that did also.

Ben Stiller stars and directs.

Walter works for life magazine, has a crush on a co-worker [Kristen Wiig] and can't complete an online dating profile properly because he doesn't have much - if anything - he can put on it.

Anything that he's done in reality and not his imagination, that is.

When the magazine faces closure, and the last ever issue is due, a famous photographer [Sean Penn] sends in a photo for the cover. But the negative isn't where it should be. And the quest for it sends Walter on a real life adventure more spectacular than anything he could ever have imagined...

This is a project that was in development for a long time, and went through many potential leads and directors. All of the previous choices, you might expect, would have turned it into an out and out comedy. But Ben Stiller manages something different and far more subtle.

There's occasional character comedy here, all of which arises as it should from character interaction rather than the need for a joke every few minutes. The film starts slowly, but with a purpose. Just to ease you into the reality of Walter's ordinary life, before pushing him off on adventure.

But what catches the eye is the direction. The film jumps from fantasy to reality so seamlessly, with visuals that mesh together perfectly. And the music adds to all this. It's a famous and very subtle score that does enhance the mood.

The aim of which is to inspire and make you relate to the main character. Which it succeeds in doing, because when he finally makes one very brave leap, the moment is cinema magic.

With stunning location photography throughout, this is a treat for the eye. And the writing is clever, managing to let the plot develop nicely with some surprises along the way.

Sometimes in life you get inspired. Something makes you want to break the routine and do something new and different. This film is one of those that will make you feel like that. Not least because it's subtle about the points it's trying to make, so you get them completely.

Superbly directed, very well acted, and an inspiring experience. Watch it. It might just make you change your life. If you dare.

The dvd box says that it only has language and subtitle options in English, but the set up menu on the disc actually gives the following:

Languages: English. Russian. Ukrainian.

Subtitles: English Danish Finnish Norwegian Russian Swedish Estonia Latvian Lithuanian Ukrainian.

The disc doesn't start with any trailers, and goes straight to the main menu when loaded.

Extras are:

The look of life.
The music of Walter Mitty.

Two featurettes, both running no more than five minutes [approx.]. about the look of the life magazine set and the score of the film. Both are very interesting but a bit too short to have as much impact as they could.

However Skateboarding through Iceland, a two minute long compilation of film of a key sequence being filmed, is a quite interesting look at how it was done.

There's also a short section of reference photographs that the film used for some of the key scenes, which can be navigated through via the menu keys on the dvd remote.
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars A Secret Little Gem, 22 April 2014
A modernization of the short story, Stiller's adaptation tells the tale of quiet daydreamer Walter Mitty (also Stiller), stuck in a meager existence as a negatives manager for Life magazine. One day, he receives the last batch from an acclaimed photographer (Penn), only to find one of the photos, dubbed 'the best', missing. This sets Mitty on a journey away from his normal surroundings, and into the wider world, letting him have real adventures while also growing confidence to woo a fellow worker (Whig).

A feel-good epic, Stiller's 'Mitty' is the sort of film that is rare nowadays; imaginative, but also cheeky with a good sense of heart. Stiller and Whig make fine and charming leads, Adam Scott is a hammily fun villain as the takeover manager, and there's ear and eye candy aplenty, whether it be the rather humourous daydreams of Mitty himself, from saving pets from a burning building to having a concrete surf battle with Scott on the streets of New York, or just the gorgeous and lush landscapes of Greenland, Iceland and Afghanistan. Shapiro's score is similar whimsical yet also reserved and soothing at points, and the song choices all fit the 'life is an adventure' theme very well and don't overstay their welcome.

Honestly, I was having such a good time that I couldn't notice much in the way of flaws. Really, aside from Stiller's daydreaming never being properly explained save for a throwaway line from his mom (played by the always lovely Shirley Maclaine), the only other issue is sometimes, the story will move along just to move along, and it can feel a little too drastic at times. Example, when Stiller has to go to Greenland to find Penn's character, after one 'What?', he just pulls together and strides confidently onto the next flight out. You could make the argument that Penn's little mantra about life, which also Life's slogan, entices him, and he's sort of in a daydream state, but before, he was just shy and nervous, and the daydreams are established as being in his mind, so he doesn't actually move. Why now?

But frankly, the film's combination of charisma and scope won me over, and was able to smooth out any rough patches in the plot. It's a simple 'get out and live life' tale and executed rather well. Dare I say, it's one of the more likeable films I've seen in a good long while, in an age often oversaturated with dark, edgy blockbusters. Most refreshing.
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Great film, with a message, 12 April 2014
This review is from: The Secret Life of Walter Mitty [DVD] (DVD)
This was the first film I saw in 2014. I had seen the trailer and the film looked quite good.

(SPOILERS)

The film starts with ''normal life'' Walter Mitty in front of his pc. He tries to send a ''wink'' to a girl, but it doesn't work. Appararently he did not fill in enough ''experiences'' in his profile. As an audience you come to the conclusion that Walter is a boring man.

I immediately noticed that the film has an amazing soundtrack, that really fits the film and makes you think. Everything fits together and in the end it leaves you with message.

It made me think about my life,
and am I also the ''boring'' Walter Mitty? What can you do with life and what makes you happy?

''To see the world, things dangerous to come to, to see behind walls, draw closer,to find each other and to feel. That is the purpose of life'' - See the film to find out where this quote comes from ;)
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars This film is awesome, 23 Jun 2014
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Whilst the trailer probably didn't meet satisfaction, the film itself is a gem! I watched this on the plane to Nepal and the film featured there as well.
I think the character Walter Mitty is like us all who have a bit of imagination & it's certainly an eye opener for those who stand still.
Watch this film, have a laugh, take Ben Stillers advice and go travelling!!!
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The Secret Life of Walter Mitty [DVD]
The Secret Life of Walter Mitty [DVD] by Ben Stiller (DVD - 2014)
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