Rebecca's Movie Blog

“She’s this young, talented klutz who has won an Oscar at such a young age and has the entire world loving her. But she deserves every bit of praise she’s received. I can safely say that she genuinely hasn’t and never will let any of it go to her head. She’s an inspiration to me as much as everyone else and I’ve loved having the opportunity to work with her.” - Sam Claflin

“I just think she’s so great isn’t she? She is so inspiring to me and I am so grateful that she exists in the world, as someone who is authentic and who has not bent to fit any idea of what a woman should be in that kind of position. And she is so talented. I am just so happy she is around for women everywhere. It’s just fantastic.” - Emma Stone

“That’s what makes her so good, I just love the faces she makes.” - Lupita Nyong’o

“She’s amazing. She’s fearless. I’m fearful, but I will do anything except I will do it with a lot of thought. Unless Jennifer is keeping a secret though, she’s completely fearless.” - Amy Adams

Happy  24th Birthday Jennifer Shrader Lawrence! (08.15.1990)

(Source: brandon-starks, via brandon-starks)

Justin Timberlake, Carey Mulligan & Stark Sands

—Five Hundred Miles

Five Hundred Miles- Inside Llewyn Davis

I wanted to tell you, that song “Major Tom” and that beard guy… he doesn’t know what he’s talking about. That song is about courage and going into the unknown. It’s a cool song.

(Source: jamesmcavoid)

Rest in Peace Robin Williams

(Source: msfili)

Hello again, loyal blog readers. Thank you all for reading! I’ve realized over the years that some of the best movie experiences are the ones that genuinely surprise you. In 2011, Rise of the Planet of the Apes was released in theaters and I had very low expectations. Honestly, I expected it to be a mediocre Summer movie with a lot of mindless action sequences and a dull plot. I saw the movie and was completely shocked. This was not a mediocre movie. Instead, it was a gripping sci-fi drama that told its story in an especially intelligent style. 
Needless to say, after such an intelligent Summer blockbuster in 2011, I was very excited to see the follow up film, Dawn of the Planet of the Apes. So did it live up to expectations? 
http://beccasmoviereviews.blogspot.com/2014/07/dawn-of-planet-of-apes_14.html
Hello again, loyal blog readers. Thank you all for reading! I’ve realized over the years that some of the best movie experiences are the ones that genuinely surprise you. In 2011, Rise of the Planet of the Apes was released in theaters and I had very low expectations. Honestly, I expected it to be a mediocre Summer movie with a lot of mindless action sequences and a dull plot. I saw the movie and was completely shocked. This was not a mediocre movie. Instead, it was a gripping sci-fi drama that told its story in an especially intelligent style. 
Needless to say, after such an intelligent Summer blockbuster in 2011, I was very excited to see the follow up film, Dawn of the Planet of the Apes. So did it live up to expectations? 

cub-with-a-k:

Alright I’m gonna talk about this for a second because I think it’s really important. I have heard a lot of people criticize Daisy for being a foolish character; “a bauble of a woman” I think one review called her when the movie came out this summer. And I’ve always felt confused when people say that, because I never thought Daisy was foolish. Vain, selfish, and indecisive, yes, but never foolish, and a lot of my reasoning for that belief came from this line . “I hope she’ll be a fool,” she says, because she is NOT a fool. Daisy sees the world for what it is (which is something Gatsby could never do, by the way) and that’s why everything is so hard for her. She understands what are actually the themes of the novel: that sometimes your dreams die and that those things you value are actually not valuable. That’s what she learned after Gatsby left and she entered a loveless marriage with a horrible man, which is a difficult thing to experience even if you are a fool. But she never wants anyone to have to experience those things the way she’s experienced them, or to learn what she believed was the horrible truth of 1920s America; she’d much rather pretend that everything was okay, so that’s exactly what she does. She just pretends. Daisy is a lot of things, but a fool is not one of them.

YES. This post is fantastic. One of the major elements that makes the novel and film so captivating is the deep characterization of each individual behind their facade.

(Source: rooneymara)

The Fault In Our Stars Review

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The Fault In Our Stars
Starring: Shailene Woodley, Ansel Elgort, Laura Dern, Willem Dafoe
Directed by: Josh Boone
Rated: PG-13
I honestly did not think this would be my type of movie. I’ve heard about the book for a long time now and I’ve seen the previews for a few months. I knew the basic premise of the film so I thought I knew what to expect: Two people with cancer meet and fall in love. Despite the majority of acclaim, I thought it would be a clichéd, overly emotionally teenage love story with excessively cheesy dialogue. Well, I will be the first to admit that I was wrong. 

The Story: 
The Fault in Our Stars is the story of Hazel Grace Lancaster, a smart 16 year old girl, who has lived with cancer since the age of 13. She is sarcastic and rather cynical, but she doesn’t want pity. Hazel meets Augustus Waters, at a local cancer support group. Augustus is an optimistic and outgoing 18 year old who survived a cancer diagnosis and is currently in remission. Things are looking up for him. The two hit it off pretty quickly and bond over their abnormal circumstances in life, unconventional sense of humor, and deep questions about life. The film follows the relationship of Augustus and Hazel and takes us into some pretty emotional territory along the way. 

The Acting: 
I personally have not ever really been a big fan of Shailene Woodley. Her acting hasn’t been super impressive to me in the past and I haven’t understood the hype surrounding her, until now. I completely get it now. Her performance as Hazel is witty, complex, and deeply emotional. This is fantastic acting. Hazel is a teenager that actually made sense. She isn’t a selfish brat or a lame stereotype. Instead of letting people pity her for what she’s going through, she’s intelligent and sarcastic. 
One of the aspects that I found really fascinating about Hazel is her obsession with her favorite book An Imperial Affliction. This particular book ends mid-sentence leaving her with many questions as to what happens to several supporting characters when it’s all over. She and Augustus get into contact with the author of the book and schedule a trip to meet him to ask him these questions. It’s clear Hazel is not really interested in the characters in the book, rather she is interested in what will happen to those around her when she will die. The book becomes ultimately symbolic for Hazel’s life. 
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Shailene Woodley as Hazel Lancaster
Ansel Elgort plays Augustus Waters. I hadn’t really seen him in much before this, but he does a really great job carrying the male lead in this movie. If the tween girls that squealed excessively throughout our movie screening are any indication, he seems to be pretty popular. What can I say? “Ansel. So hot right now. Ansel.” 
One of my ultimate goals for this blog is to incorporate a Zoolander reference into 1 out of every 3 posts. 
Augustus is an incredibly charming and kind character with a huge personality.  He expresses a profound love of metaphors and a deep fear of oblivion. He strives to lead an important life and to have a substantial impact on the world. His relationship with Hazel helps him realize that he does live an important life and he has a much bigger impact on those around him than he realizes.Watching Hazel and Augustus’ relationship as the film progresses is truly moving. They are actually interested in finding out each other’s hobbies and interests. They connect through similar life experiences and are able to relate to understand one another in a way that no one else can. 
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Ansel Elgort as Augustus Waters
Laura Dern is wonderful as Hazel’s mother, Frannie Lancaster. Side note- There should definitely be more people named Frannie in the world. I have never had a conversation with a person named Frannie and that just makes me sad. Anyway, Frannie wasn’t just a side note parent. In a movie with multiple teenagers, it would be very common for parents to be sidelined. Not here. Frannie refuses to be sidelined. Frannie is always there when her daughter needs her. I appreciated the way the film treated Hazel’s relationship with her parents. They had a loving and positive relationship and they were there for each other no matter the circumstances. 
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Laura Dern as Frannie
Willem Dafoe plays Van Houten, the mysterious and reclusive author of An Imperial Affliction. I can’t say too much about his character without giving away some minor spoilers, but I can say he has a major affinity for Swedish rap music. Who can blame him though? It’s clearly superior to all other forms of rap music. I wish it was more popular. 

Final Thoughts:
Throughout the film, Hazel and Augustus find that “the world is not a wish granting factory” and that life it is not always fair to us. Despite unfairness, suffering, and trials that seem to be insurmountable, we learn to live with the life we have been given and we love along the way. 
It is really refreshing to see a movie with intelligent teenagers asking deep questions and dealing with issues that are not paper-thin. Cancer, death, and oblivion are all very heavy topics. With the wrong balance, this film could’ve easily become too heavy handed and melodramatic. However, it manages to strike the perfect balance of humor and emotion. It would be a disservice to call the Fault in Our Stars just a “cancer movie”. Instead, it is a reminder to live and love deeply even when life’s circumstances seem unbearable. 
My Rating10/10 

“If we assume man has been corrupted by an artificial civilization, what is the natural state? The state of nature from which he has been removed? Imagine wandering up and down the forest, without industry, without speech and without home.” - Jean-Jacques Rousseau

(Source: fassyy)


Stockholm Syndrome: The Movie….Sorry, I meant:Labor DayStarring: Kate Winslet, Josh Brolin, Gattlin Griffith, and Tobey MaguireDirected by: Jason Reitman
I rented this at Redbox so now you don’t have to. 


The Story: 
Adele (Kate Winslet) is a single mom struggling with depression. She is raising her 12 year old son Henry (Gattlin Griffith) in a small town. It is unclear whether or not Adele is Adele Dazeem (the wickedly talented woman that John Travolta introduced at the Oscars) because they never tell us her last name in the movie. I honestly think she is Adele Dazeem.One day, Adele and Henry go to the grocery store where they are met by a strange man named Frank (Josh Brolin). Frank threatens Henry in order to get a ride from Adele. Instead of making a scene in the grocery store where there are lots of people around who could definitely help her, she quietly lets him get in her car and drives him to her house! GREAT IDEA! Then she finds out, Frank is an escaped convict fleeing from prison. In one of the most confusing 10 minute scenes I have ever witnessed in the history of cinema, Frank ties Adele to a chair then goes to the kitchen to make chili. Yes, he just decides he is going to make some chili. He proceeds to kindly feed Adele the chili. I think this scene was meant to be romantic, but honestly it just made me nauseous. After the chili incident, Frank tries to stay hidden from the police and he develops a bond with Adele and Henry. He also teaches them how to make peach pie in a scene that lasts way too long. The film follows their story over the course of one Labor Day weekend.

The Acting:
Kate Winslet is one of my favorite actresses. She is the main reason I rented this movie. If you want to see some great Kate Winslet acting performances watch Titanic, Eternal Sunshine of the Spotless Mind, Finding Neverland or The Holiday. She did well as Adele (Dazeem?), however this character is just not on the same level as most of her previous roles. That’s not due to her acting, that’s just due to the script. Adele has some interesting and emotional moments. Out of everyone in this movie, she’s probably the most complex. However, she does fall in love with Frank after he threatens her son and ties her up. Actually I don’t know if she loves Frank or if it’s Stockholm Syndrome. It kind of seems more like Stockholm Syndrome to me.
Josh Brolin is another good actor and I don’t know why he was in this movie. I’m gonna step out on a limb here and say it was for money and not for the script or acting experience. I think his character, Frank, was meant to be some sort of misunderstood guy who makes peach pies and went to prison for a reason we don’t fully understand, but it just doesn’t work out that way. As the movie unfolds, his characterization fails miserably. His past is supposed to be a big misunderstanding, but it turns out to be extremely disturbing. Frank also controls what Adele says to her neighbors and exhibits violent tendencies at random moments. Neither Adele nor Henry raise questions about these strange and violent reactions, they just see Frank as an awesome houseguest. I think the viewer is supposed to accept his behavior as “necessary as survival” because he’s on the run. I don’t see it as necessary for survival. It’s not ok to go around threatening women and their sons when you need a ride, Frank.
Gattlin Griffith plays Henry, Adele’s 12 year old son. He’s seems like a pretty decent actor. I just couldn’t get over how ridiculous the storyline was and all of the things his character was expected to do for his mother and Frank. Somehow along the way, Frank and Henry start getting along and Henry looks to Frank as a father figure.
That all gets increasingly messed up when Frank decides he needs to get away from his current place of residence and go to Canada with Adele and Henry. Adele is super excited to go to Canada because who isn’t excited to go to Canada with a guy who makes pie? She tells Henry they will be going on the 1st day of school because logic is not needed in this film.This was my favorite part of the movie because they don’t really address the fact that they will be driving from a very well secured town in New Hampshire to Canada chauffeuring the escaped convict that the police are searching for relentlessly. They just let that go. They keep talking about how great life will be in Canada, but it’s kind of ridiculous that they believe they will make it from New Hampshire to Canada without any issues. Yet, the audience is supposed to believe this will happen.Spoiler Alert:The family road trip to Canada never happens. They don’t give up the American dream for the Canadian. How convenient for the plot that they don’t have to address those issues about driving through all of that security!Final Thoughts and My Rating:While watching Labor Day it became increasingly clear that this movie never really found it’s identity. It experimented with several different genres: suspense, coming of age, art house, cooking drama, mystery, and romance: they all failed. It ended up being too convoluted to ever find its footing. It’s being marketed as a romance movie, but it’s not romantic. It’s just really strange. If you want to learn how to make a peach pie though, there is a 10 minute scene on that. Or you could just look up the recipe on the internet.I personally would not recommend Labor Day, it’s not worth the time. It’s a tiresome mess.My Rating:3/10
Stockholm Syndrome: The Movie….Sorry, I meant:
Labor Day
Starring: Kate Winslet, Josh Brolin, Gattlin Griffith, and Tobey Maguire
Directed by: Jason Reitman
I rented this at Redbox so now you don’t have to. 
The Story: 
Adele (Kate Winslet) is a single mom struggling with depression. She is raising her 12 year old son Henry (Gattlin Griffith) in a small town. It is unclear whether or not Adele is Adele Dazeem (the wickedly talented woman that John Travolta introduced at the Oscars) because they never tell us her last name in the movie. I honestly think she is Adele Dazeem.
One day, Adele and Henry go to the grocery store where they are met by a strange man named Frank (Josh Brolin). Frank threatens Henry in order to get a ride from Adele. Instead of making a scene in the grocery store where there are lots of people around who could definitely help her, she quietly lets him get in her car and drives him to her house! GREAT IDEA! Then she finds out, Frank is an escaped convict fleeing from prison. In one of the most confusing 10 minute scenes I have ever witnessed in the history of cinema, Frank ties Adele to a chair then goes to the kitchen to make chili. Yes, he just decides he is going to make some chili. He proceeds to kindly feed Adele the chili. I think this scene was meant to be romantic, but honestly it just made me nauseous. After the chili incident, Frank tries to stay hidden from the police and he develops a bond with Adele and Henry. He also teaches them how to make peach pie in a scene that lasts way too long. The film follows their story over the course of one Labor Day weekend.
The Acting:
Kate Winslet is one of my favorite actresses. She is the main reason I rented this movie. If you want to see some great Kate Winslet acting performances watch Titanic, Eternal Sunshine of the Spotless Mind, Finding Neverland or The Holiday. She did well as Adele (Dazeem?), however this character is just not on the same level as most of her previous roles. That’s not due to her acting, that’s just due to the script. Adele has some interesting and emotional moments. Out of everyone in this movie, she’s probably the most complex. However, she does fall in love with Frank after he threatens her son and ties her up. Actually I don’t know if she loves Frank or if it’s Stockholm Syndrome. It kind of seems more like Stockholm Syndrome to me.
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Josh Brolin is another good actor and I don’t know why he was in this movie. I’m gonna step out on a limb here and say it was for money and not for the script or acting experience. I think his character, Frank, was meant to be some sort of misunderstood guy who makes peach pies and went to prison for a reason we don’t fully understand, but it just doesn’t work out that way. As the movie unfolds, his characterization fails miserably. His past is supposed to be a big misunderstanding, but it turns out to be extremely disturbing. Frank also controls what Adele says to her neighbors and exhibits violent tendencies at random moments. Neither Adele nor Henry raise questions about these strange and violent reactions, they just see Frank as an awesome houseguest. I think the viewer is supposed to accept his behavior as “necessary as survival” because he’s on the run. I don’t see it as necessary for survival. It’s not ok to go around threatening women and their sons when you need a ride, Frank.
image
Gattlin Griffith plays Henry, Adele’s 12 year old son. He’s seems like a pretty decent actor. I just couldn’t get over how ridiculous the storyline was and all of the things his character was expected to do for his mother and Frank. Somehow along the way, Frank and Henry start getting along and Henry looks to Frank as a father figure.
image
That all gets increasingly messed up when Frank decides he needs to get away from his current place of residence and go to Canada with Adele and Henry. Adele is super excited to go to Canada because who isn’t excited to go to Canada with a guy who makes pie? She tells Henry they will be going on the 1st day of school because logic is not needed in this film.
This was my favorite part of the movie because they don’t really address the fact that they will be driving from a very well secured town in New Hampshire to Canada chauffeuring the escaped convict that the police are searching for relentlessly. They just let that go. They keep talking about how great life will be in Canada, but it’s kind of ridiculous that they believe they will make it from New Hampshire to Canada without any issues. Yet, the audience is supposed to believe this will happen.
Spoiler Alert:
The family road trip to Canada never happens. They don’t give up the American dream for the Canadian. How convenient for the plot that they don’t have to address those issues about driving through all of that security!

Final Thoughts and My Rating:
While watching Labor Day it became increasingly clear that this movie never really found it’s identity. It experimented with several different genres: suspense, coming of age, art house, cooking drama, mystery, and romance: they all failed. It ended up being too convoluted to ever find its footing. It’s being marketed as a romance movie, but it’s not romantic. It’s just really strange. If you want to learn how to make a peach pie though, there is a 10 minute scene on that. Or you could just look up the recipe on the internet.
I personally would not recommend Labor Day, it’s not worth the time. It’s a tiresome mess.
My Rating:
3/10

foxsearchlightpictures:

Happy Napoleon Dynamite Day! The cast stopped by today to celebrate the 10th Anniversary of the film, and to unveil this flippin’ sweet bronze statue of Napoleon in all of his glory, moonboots and all! Even Tina the llama (that fat lard) made an appearance. #voteforpedro #NappyD10

When I first saw the previews for The Secret Life of Walter Mitty, I thought that it looked really interesting and even epic at times, yet the film itself has garnered some negative reviews. So I went to see it, hoping for a good movie, but preparing myself in case it was a letdown. 
The Plot: The Secret Life of Walter Mitty is all about Walter (Ben Stiller), a man who lives what we would consider an average life. He gets up, goes to work in the photography branch of Life Magazine and comes back home. Then he starts the day all over again. Walter lives vicariously through his imagination. He has vivid daydreams that let him be the person he wants to be and live out the incredible situations he wishes he could. Walter has a crush on a fellow employee of Life magazine, Cheryl (Kristen Wiig). However, outside of his daydreams, he can’t really garner the courage to talk to her. Walter works in the photography branch of the magazine. Unfortunately, Life Magazine is leaving behind its magazine roots and exclusively changing to an online only company which means there will be downsizing. This company change brings in a powerful and obnoxious corporate CEO named Ted Hendricks (Adam Scott) to decide who will stay with the company and who will go. Before the magazine turns into a website only, it must print out its last issue. A famous photographer named Sean O’Connell (Sean Penn) commonly sends him photographs from his expeditions. He sends Walter a special collection of negatives including one that claims to have the “quintessence of life” attached to it. This is the photograph that should be used for the cover. The only problem is, the photo is missing without a trace. Walter is going to have to step out of his daydreams and into the real world. He’s going to have to go on an epic adventure to find the photo. The acting: Ben Stiller is excellent as Walter. This is his first dramatic role in a long time. It’s a far cry from Zoolander. Although, I do love that movie. In the Secret Life of Walter Mitty, Ben Stiller possesses layers of shyness, dejection, humor, and bold imagination. He starts out as a man whose life is so average he lives through his imagination. He’s so afraid to talk a coworker that he makes an eHarmony account and decides to attempt to talk to her there. When he signs up, he is confronted with the fact that he’s never really been anywhere or done anything especially substantial in his life. It’s interesting to see him go from the comfortable, but lonely guy who doesn’t change his daily routine to a man willing to jump out of a plane into freezing shark infested waters. I thought Walter’s character development in this film was especially impressive. Ben Stiller did a wonderful job showing that he can do more than just be the typical comedic character. He can be a serious actor as well. 

Kristen Wiig plays Cheryl, a single mother who works at Time Magazine with Walter. Again, much like Ben Stiller, I’m used to seeing Kristen Wiig in strictly comedic roles. It was neat to see her expand her acting horizons and play a character with more depth. That’s not to say she isn’t hilarious because I think she is, it’s just good to see comedic actors take on deeper roles and prove they can do any genre. Cheryl was a great supporting character because she motivated Walter to get out of the fantasy world and live his life, even when she had no idea she was doing it. She’s kind, caring and smart. Kristen Wiig was a breath of fresh air in this movie, she did a fantastic job. 

Adam Scott plays Walter’s extremely rude and obnoxious boss, Ted Hendricks. Ted is the main antagonist of the story. He publicly humiliates Walter on several occasions and acts like a middle school bully in the corporate world. It was quite surprising to see Adam Scott playing a role like this. I’m a big fan of the TV show Parks and Recreation. If you watch Parks and Rec, you know he plays Ben Wyatt, a serious but kind city manager who will do anything for Leslie Knope. That’s why it’s so strange to see him play a bad character in any movie. He’s completely obnoxious to everyone in this movie. Basically, he is the definition of a terrible boss. It was hard for me to watch Parks and Recreation the next day because he was such a jerk in this movie. 

Sean Penn plays free-spirited, bohemian, adventurous photographer, Sean O’Connell. If you took away the photographer aspect of this character, I honestly think Sean Penn might just be portraying himself. There may not have been a ton of acting involved here. His character was a neat addition to the movie because he helped Walter see the importance of day to day life and encouraged him to live in the real world. 

Final thoughts and My Rating:
On Walter’s journey to find Sean O’ Connell and the missing 25th photo, he sees some amazing things. We get to see Greenland and Iceland in this movie. How many movies have footage of Greenland and Iceland? Not many. I can’t think of another one at the moment. It’s great to view these beautiful areas of the world as such a major part of a Hollywood movie. 
You also get to hear about and see Papa John’s several times because who DOESN’T love some good old fashioned product placement? I know I do. Remember the days that we watched movies and a Coke bottle was blatantly placed in front of a character with the logo facing the screen like so: 
2003 Product Placement Techniques. So subtle. 
No longer my friends! That is a thing of the past. Welcome to 2014. We’ve moved on to new techniques. Product Placement is now a part of the character’s story. I was very skeptical when Papa John’s was name dropped the first few times, because I really hate product placement. You see, at the young age of 6, I tried to understand why characters always had the bottles or a product turned in the exact angle that the camera was pointing. It was then that my Mom explained what product placement was to me. I have loathed that concept every since. However, I will say, in this movie, they did a pretty good job of making it a legitimate part of Walter’s story. Granted, I’m probably ok with it because Papa John’s has such great pizza. 

I really loved the way this movie started with Walter living though his elaborate daydreams. Anything that seemed impossible or crazy, he dreamed up in a scenario in his mind. Then, as the film progresses, he starts to live out an actual adventure and finds that real life can be even better than living in your mind. The daydreaming becomes less and less frequent as his journey keeps going because he’s finally enjoying his life. 
The music accompanies this movie wonderfully and fills the scene with Walter’s newly adopted adventurous spirit. 

I would definitely recommend The Secret Life of Walter Mitty. It’s got a gripping adventure, well thought out character development, beautiful cinematography, comedy, drama, and romance. There’s something for everyone in this movie. 
My rating: 9/10
When I first saw the previews for The Secret Life of Walter Mitty, I thought that it looked really interesting and even epic at times, yet the film itself has garnered some negative reviews. So I went to see it, hoping for a good movie, but preparing myself in case it was a letdown. 


The Plot: 
The Secret Life of Walter Mitty is all about Walter (Ben Stiller), a man who lives what we would consider an average life. He gets up, goes to work in the photography branch of Life Magazine and comes back home. Then he starts the day all over again. Walter lives vicariously through his imagination. He has vivid daydreams that let him be the person he wants to be and live out the incredible situations he wishes he could. Walter has a crush on a fellow employee of Life magazine, Cheryl (Kristen Wiig). However, outside of his daydreams, he can’t really garner the courage to talk to her. Walter works in the photography branch of the magazine. Unfortunately, Life Magazine is leaving behind its magazine roots and exclusively changing to an online only company which means there will be downsizing. This company change brings in a powerful and obnoxious corporate CEO named Ted Hendricks (Adam Scott) to decide who will stay with the company and who will go. Before the magazine turns into a website only, it must print out its last issue. A famous photographer named Sean O’Connell (Sean Penn) commonly sends him photographs from his expeditions. He sends Walter a special collection of negatives including one that claims to have the “quintessence of life” attached to it. This is the photograph that should be used for the cover. The only problem is, the photo is missing without a trace. Walter is going to have to step out of his daydreams and into the real world. He’s going to have to go on an epic adventure to find the photo. 

The acting: 
Ben Stiller is excellent as Walter. This is his first dramatic role in a long time. It’s a far cry from Zoolander. Although, I do love that movie. 
In the Secret Life of Walter Mitty, Ben Stiller possesses layers of shyness, dejection, humor, and bold imagination. He starts out as a man whose life is so average he lives through his imagination. He’s so afraid to talk a coworker that he makes an eHarmony account and decides to attempt to talk to her there. When he signs up, he is confronted with the fact that he’s never really been anywhere or done anything especially substantial in his life. It’s interesting to see him go from the comfortable, but lonely guy who doesn’t change his daily routine to a man willing to jump out of a plane into freezing shark infested waters. I thought Walter’s character development in this film was especially impressive. Ben Stiller did a wonderful job showing that he can do more than just be the typical comedic character. He can be a serious actor as well. 

image

Kristen Wiig plays Cheryl, a single mother who works at Time Magazine with Walter. Again, much like Ben Stiller, I’m used to seeing Kristen Wiig in strictly comedic roles. It was neat to see her expand her acting horizons and play a character with more depth. That’s not to say she isn’t hilarious because I think she is, it’s just good to see comedic actors take on deeper roles and prove they can do any genre. Cheryl was a great supporting character because she motivated Walter to get out of the fantasy world and live his life, even when she had no idea she was doing it. She’s kind, caring and smart. Kristen Wiig was a breath of fresh air in this movie, she did a fantastic job. 

image

Adam Scott plays Walter’s extremely rude and obnoxious boss, Ted Hendricks. Ted is the main antagonist of the story. He publicly humiliates Walter on several occasions and acts like a middle school bully in the corporate world. It was quite surprising to see Adam Scott playing a role like this. I’m a big fan of the TV show Parks and Recreation. If you watch Parks and Rec, you know he plays Ben Wyatt, a serious but kind city manager who will do anything for Leslie Knope. That’s why it’s so strange to see him play a bad character in any movie. He’s completely obnoxious to everyone in this movie. Basically, he is the definition of a terrible boss. It was hard for me to watch Parks and Recreation the next day because he was such a jerk in this movie. 

image

Sean Penn plays free-spirited, bohemian, adventurous photographer, Sean O’Connell. If you took away the photographer aspect of this character, I honestly think Sean Penn might just be portraying himself. There may not have been a ton of acting involved here. His character was a neat addition to the movie because he helped Walter see the importance of day to day life and encouraged him to live in the real world. 

image

Final thoughts and My Rating:
On Walter’s journey to find Sean O’ Connell and the missing 25th photo, he sees some amazing things. We get to see Greenland and Iceland in this movie. How many movies have footage of Greenland and Iceland? Not many. I can’t think of another one at the moment. It’s great to view these beautiful areas of the world as such a major part of a Hollywood movie. 
You also get to hear about and see Papa John’s several times because who DOESN’T love some good old fashioned product placement? I know I do. Remember the days that we watched movies and a Coke bottle was blatantly placed in front of a character with the logo facing the screen like so: 

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2003 Product Placement Techniques. So subtle. 

No longer my friends! That is a thing of the past. Welcome to 2014. We’ve moved on to new techniques. Product Placement is now a part of the character’s story. I was very skeptical when Papa John’s was name dropped the first few times, because I really hate product placement. You see, at the young age of 6, I tried to understand why characters always had the bottles or a product turned in the exact angle that the camera was pointing. It was then that my Mom explained what product placement was to me. I have loathed that concept every since. However, I will say, in this movie, they did a pretty good job of making it a legitimate part of Walter’s story. Granted, I’m probably ok with it because Papa John’s has such great pizza. 
I really loved the way this movie started with Walter living though his elaborate daydreams. Anything that seemed impossible or crazy, he dreamed up in a scenario in his mind. Then, as the film progresses, he starts to live out an actual adventure and finds that real life can be even better than living in your mind. The daydreaming becomes less and less frequent as his journey keeps going because he’s finally enjoying his life. 
The music accompanies this movie wonderfully and fills the scene with Walter’s newly adopted adventurous spirit. 
I would definitely recommend The Secret Life of Walter Mitty. It’s got a gripping adventure, well thought out character development, beautiful cinematography, comedy, drama, and romance. There’s something for everyone in this movie. 
My rating: 9/10