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The Secret Life Of Walter Mitty Blu-ray Review

The Secret Life of Walter Mitty Blu-ray

“The Secret Life of Walter Mitty” is typical Hollywood remake hokum.

Ben Stiller (who pulls triple duties here as a writer, director, and actor) takes on James Thurber’s classic story “The Secret Life of Walter Mitty” with a new big budget film adaptation. The story of this particular version revolves around the seemingly uneventful life of the titular character. Walter, who spends his days as a negative assets manager for Life Magazine, is stuck in a rut. His job is on the line after a corporate acquisition, he has a crush on a co-worker (Cheryl) but is nervous about making a move, and he spends a large majority of time zoning out into fantastical daydreams. Walter gets a chance to turn his life around, however, after he decides to track down a missing negative/future Life Magazine cover from superstar photojournalist Sean O’Connell. Can Walter stop dreaming big adventures and start living big adventures?  Will Walter find love? How does Walter’s mother play into the story? Will you even care what happens? That’s up to you.

While “The Secret Life of Walter Mitty” may be ripe for a reimagining, this isn’t the version we want or deserve. Every frame of Stiller’s ‘Mitty’ feels less about the original story and more about Stiller. Granted, it’s natural to make a project personal, but that personal project has to work for an audience too. ‘Mitty’ tries desperately to be a heartfelt and uplifting movie, but it mercilessly beats you over the head with repetitive CGI ridden fantasies and overdone themes (not to mention constant nauseating product placements for eHarmony, Papa John’s, among others). The whole film simply feels phony and lacks the charm of the 1947 version starring Danny Kaye.

On the subject of Danny Kaye, Ben Stiller certainly doesn’t compare to the late great comedic actor. For the most part, Stiller is a boring lead who writes himself some truly embarrassing and unfunny situations. In fact, there’s very little in the ways of laughs here which is a major flaw throughout. Throughout the entirety of his career, Stiller is at his best when he isn’t trying too hard like with his performance in “The Royal Tenenbaums” or his assured direction in the vastly underrated “The Cable Guy.”

Video/Audio:

Presentation: 2.40:1 1080p. How does it look? The CGI and the striking cinematography by Stuart Dryburgh are all this film has going for it. Naturally then, the hi-def transfer is dazzling.

Audio Track: 7.1 DTS-HD MA. How does it sound? This track delivers like a 7.1 track should. Expect plenty of lively music and speaker shaking fantasy sequences.

Extras:
* Digital HD copy.
* Free Shutterfly photo book code.
* A “Stay Alive” music video by Jose Gonzalez.
* A still gallery of reference photos.
* 5 deleted scenes, 2 alternate scenes, and 2 extended scenes.
* A “The Secret Life of Walter Mitty” theatrical trailer.
* Featurettes on the score (“The Music of Walter Mitty”), casting (“Nordic Casting”), the shark sequence (“That’s A Shark!”) and the opening titles (“Titles of Walter Mitty”).
* A pre-viz of the Ted-Walter fight.
* “Icelandic Adventure”- A featurette on location shooting in Iceland.
* “Sights and Sounds of Production” is comprised of two extras called “Ted-Walter Fight” and “Skateboarding Through Iceland.”
* “The History of Walter Mitty”- A very short featurette that covers the original story, the Danny Kaye film version, and this new 2013 film.
* “The Look of Life”- This extra covers the Life Magazine component of the story/film.

Overall Thoughts: Stick with the original “The Secret Life of Walter Mitty.”

April 24, 2014 - Posted by | Blu-Ray review | , , , , ,

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