The Secret Life of Walter Mitty – Mini Review

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The Secret Life of Walter Mitty is a touching little film that appeals to the dreamer in all of us. I’m sure everyone can recall at least one occasion where they’ve escaped into fantasy to avoid boredom at the office, or to imagine a far better version of an encounter with a potential partner.

While the film does a good job of slotting Walter’s fantasies into the story, his real world adventures feel a bit too easy. It’s nice to imagine that we could pick up and leave our lives to go skateboarding across Greenland or hiking in Afghanistan, but there doesn’t really seem to be any real consequences that Walter has to deal with. The ending also feels a little too easy, but this is Hollywood after all.

Visually, the film is a treat; perfectly capturing the beauty of the various lands that Walter has to journey through. This adds a great deal to the film, and allows us to feel as if we are on the journey along with him. The supporting cast puts in some great performances in the little time they have, but Ben Stiller really carries this film, and carries it well.

Overall, this is a nice way to spend a couple of hours.

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Paranoia Review

An entry-level employee at a powerful corporation finds himself occupying a corner office, but at a dangerous price: he must spy on his boss’s old mentor to secure for him a multi-billion dollar advantage.

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Paranoia has to be one of the most poorly titled films to come out in recent memory. The trailer promises all sort of intrigue and betrayal – and with a cast including Harrison Ford, Gary Oldman, and Richard Dreyfuss – it looked like we were getting an interesting thriller to tide us over until the Christmas release season. What we get instead is a dull, predictable, paint-by-numbers movie that fails to deliver on any of the promises made by the film’s marketing department. Continue reading

Film Review – Hitchcock

A love story about one of the most influential filmmakers of the last century, Alfred Hitchcock and his wife and partner Alma Reville. The film takes place during the making of Hitchcock’s seminal movie Psycho.

Hitchcock_BannerAlfred Hitchcock. Even people who aren’t into film have usually heard of him; and you can bet they’ve heard of his most popular film Psycho. But despite what you may have heard, Hitchcock is not really about the making of Psycho. It is instead a look into the psyche of the great director, and the sometimes tumultuous relationship he has with his wife Alma. This is a movie that looks at the price of fame on Alfred Hitchcock, and those around him. An incredibly personal tale of obsession and the darker nature of the human psyche, as well as how often we take those around us for granted.

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Film Review – The Avengers

Nick Fury of S.H.I.E.L.D. brings together a team of super humans to form The Avengers to help save the Earth from Loki and his army.

The AvengersMarvel’s experiment with a shared movie universe has been defying the odds for a while; the various Iron Man, Captain America and Thor movies have each been successful in their own right, and even the less than stellar Hulk movies have pulled in a reasonable income. But the real question on everyone’s mind was whether anyone could pull off a movie that featured all of these characters without feeling like a complete mess. Happily, Joss Whedon is up to the task; delivering a solid movie that doesn’t quite live up to the hype (could anything?) but never fails to entertain throughout. Continue reading

Film Review – Mission Impossible: Ghost Protocol

The IMF is shut down when it’s implicated in the bombing of the Kremlin, causing Ethan Hunt and his new team to go rogue to clear their organization’s name.

Going by the example of the Mission: Impossible series, it would seem that a secret agent can only succeed when they go rogue from their agency. This is a tried and true trope of the genre, but it would be nice to see at least one of the four movies in the franchise move away from this setup. In Ethan Hunt’s latest outing, it would seem that the whole agency has been disavowed by the government after a particularly bad screw up at the Kremlin. It is up to Ethan, along with his prerequisite team of Tech Nerd (Simon Pegg), Hot Girl (Paula Patton) and Mysterious Guy (Jeremy Renner) to save the world once again from the bad guys through a series of thrilling chases, death-defying stunts and last-minute luck. Continue reading

Film Review – The Hunger Games

Set in a future where the Capitol selects a boy and girl from the twelve districts to fight to the death on live television, Katniss Everdeen volunteers to take her younger sister’s place for the latest match.

Given the enormous success of the Harry Potter franchise and the fact that the Twilight films are about to wrap up, it was inevitable that Hollywood would find another young adult novel franchise to mine in the hopes of continuing the gravy train. While Suzanne Collins’ Hunger Games trilogy doesn’t have the high-profile of its predecessors, there is still a massive inbuilt audience for any film adaptation and the studio has banked on that with a reported $100 million+ budget. Unfortunately, the filmmakers have relied far too much on the source material; leaving the film a confusingly mediocre experience that feels like it should have been so much more. Continue reading

Film Review – Ghost Rider: Spirit of Vengeance

As Johnny Blaze hides out in Eastern Europe, he is called upon to stop the devil, who is trying to take human form.

Year: 2012

Directors: Mark Neveldine, Brian Taylor, Nic Cage’s Crazy Eyes

Writers: Scott M. Gimple, Seth Hoffman, David S. Goyer

Starring: Nicolas Cage, Nicolas Cage’s Crazy Eyes, Ciarán Hinds, Idris Elba, Violante Placido, Johnny Whitworth

How the hell did this movie get made? Did anyone involved see the first Ghost Rider? Continue reading