The Secret Life of Walter Mitty Review

Genre – Inspirational, Dram-edy, Adventure
Director – Ben Stiller
Cast – Ben Stiller, Kristen Wiig, Patton Oswalt, Sean Penn, Shirley MacLaine
Alluring element – Ben Stiller’s comeback, Kristen Wiig, landscape scenes, and wanting to quit your job and jump from a helicopter to a boat
Check it out if you liked –  Up, Forrest Gump, Eat, Pray, Love
Plot – 10
Acting – 8
Representation of Genre – 9  
Cinematography – 9
Effects/Environment – 10
Captivity – 9
Logical consistency – 8
Originality/Creativity – 8 
Soundtrack/Music – 10
Overall awesomeness – 10

If you have ever thought about saving a three-legged chihuahua, fighting your boss in the streets over a Stretch Armstrong toy, or just wanted to quit your job and discover the meaning of your life, then you need to read this review, close your computer, and go see The Secret Life of Walter Mitty. Based on the short story by James Thurber and the film of the same name made in 1947, the new adaptation takes on new life and new meaning in this modern adaptation.


Directed by Ben Stiller, Walter Mitty is a fantastical, feel-good, adventure movie that steers away from cheesy.  Walter Mitty (Ben Stiller) is a man with a mundane life.  As is the case with all versions, Walter escapes a life where others nag him, put him down and trod upon him by daydreaming ways to make his situation go in his favor, but in the newest adaptations, Mitty takes his daydreams to new heights and makes them a reality.  (This is not to say the Danny Kaye version did not expound upon the short story, but seemed to be a little more slap-stick than introspective.)  Walter Mitty works for LIFE Magazine, which is going defunct.  When the most famous photographer’s (Sean Penn) negative meant for the last cover goes missing, Mitty decides to find the photographer and his negative.

sean penn

Walter Mitty is multi-layered with the backdrop of a man who is too afraid to admit his crush on his co-worker Cheryl (Kirsten Wiig) who unknowingly becomes the catalyst for his adventures, real or not, the search for the photo negative, and the motto of LIFE Magazine itself, “To see the world, things dangerous to come to, to see behind walls, to draw closer, to find each other and to feel. That is the purpose of life.”  The motto is multi-layered in itself and encompasses so many feelings the movie allows viewers to experience through Mitty and ponder about oneself.  One piece of the storyline I loved is when Walter talks about his teen years and his leather jacket, mohawk, and sweet skateboarding skills, yet he ended up being a mild-mannered worker-bee who is generally overlooked.  Sometimes life passes us by that we become people who we never aimed to be.  But the thing about being an adult is that we can choose our own happiness; it’s just that we don’t always do this.  And as adventurous as Mitty becomes, jumping out of planes, offering clementine cake to warlords and escaping an erupting volcano in Iceland, life’s pleasures can and should be simpler than the technology and the fast paced life that inundates our everyday lives.  Sometimes, a soccer game with strangers is what’s more important.  And admitting what we want is even more important.

walter mitty plays soccer

The special effects and cinematography blew me away for this type of movie.  The creative way of posting words throughout the film was well beyond expectation.  Text message break through mountains, the LIFE motto appears on signs, and the credits replace street sign postings.  Ben Stiller and Kristen Wiig are impeccable actors who make their characters relatable and Sean Penn’s character is admirably mystical, just as Sean Penn is.  He delivers one of the best lines of the movie, “Beautiful things don’t ask for attention,” which is overwhelmingly taking over Tumblr accounts everywhere. Walter Mitty delivers great humor, as well.  eHarmony Rep, Todd (Patton Oswalt), delivers some great lines.  The idea of online dating at all and how people portray themselves online is a great use of comedy.  And the music is in a realm of its own.  Featuring Of Monsters and Men and David Bowie, “Space Oddity” and Major Tom will never be the same after we see Kristen Wiig sing it with her guitar.  Check out this playlist to hear it, or consider buying the soundtrack itself.  The music added an amazing element to the film and completed how well rounded it really was.

kristen wiig

The Secret Life of Walter Mitty has received mixed reviews from many critics, but I believe it is a solid film.  When a film can make me re-examine my life and how I live it, that is a top notch movie.  I laughed, I felt inspired, I was awed, and I fell in love.  That kind of Secret Life is the kind of life we should all strive for.

written by Adrian Puryear

Monthly Movie Preview: December 2013

december movies

Oh, December.  The month of movies vying for the Oscar, the movies that didn’t fit anywhere else in the year, and the comedy to keep us laughing until the end of the year.  Here is Hush Comic’s movie preview for December:

December 6 – Out of the Furnace

Starring: Christian Bale, Casey Affleck, Woody Harrelson, Willem Dafoe, Forest Whitaker, Sam Shepard, and Zoe Saldana

With such a stellar cast, there isn’t really much else to say about this movie.  Ok, ok, I’ll talk about the plot.  Two brothers are very close.  Then, one goes missing.  The police get involved, but don’t do much.  The other brother takes matters into his own hands like Batman does.  Oh my God, the guy who takes matters into his own hands is Batman!  Crazy.  Written and directed by Scott Carpenter of Crazy Heart fame, and starring a sundry of Academy Award nominated actors, Out of the Furnace is bound to be nothing less of impressive.  – A

December 13 – The Hobbit: The Desolation of Smaug

Starring: Martin Freeman, Ian McKellan, Orlando Bloom, Evangeline Lilly, and Benedict Cumberbatch

Come, don’t be shy… step into the light…err, I mean… The dark movie theater, to watch the second installment of The HobbitDesolation of Smaug. Bilbo (Martin Freeman), Gandalf (Ian McKellen) and the rag tag band of Dwarves continue their adventure to retrieve the Arkenstone from the former Dwarf kingdom and now home of the dangerous and deadly dragon, Smaug. The Hush team is pumped to see Orlando Bloom return as everyone’s favorite archer (sorry Katniss, but you’ve got nothing on Legolas), as well as several other new characters Tolkien-ites will be excited to see on the silver screen. Previews have teased the public with glimpses of the lurking flame giant and come release day hopefully we’ll get a full frontal of the monster. In my personal history, second installments have been my favorite – The Two Towers, The Empire Strikes Back, The Matrix Reloaded (hate on haters) – and Peter Jackson’s most recent go-around is set to please. It’s going to be the best movie on Middle Earth this year – don’t miss it! – T

December 18 – American Hustle

Starring: Christian Bale, Bradley Cooper, Amy Adams, Jennifer Lawrence, Jeremey Renner, and Robert DeNiro

Hunger Games: Catching Fire was great – don’t get me wrong. But do you know what it was missing? Jennifer Lawrence’s boobs. And Amy Adams’ boobs. And a fat Christian Bale. This crime drama set in the late 1970s focuses on the ABSCAM project, a sting operation to help bring down corrupt politicians. Cooper’s FBI character enlists the con talents of Bale and Adams. However, the plot thickens when the grifters start their own side-hustles. This movie boasts an all-star cast and a pretty interesting story loosely based on real events. Jennifer Lawrence’s cry face in The Hunger Games drove us crazy, but she has some real emotional range and acting prowess. I wouldn’t recommend it over the other movies out this weekend, but I definitely think it’s worth checking out. For totally non-boob reasons, too. – S

December 20 – Anchorman 2: The Legend Continues

Starring: Will Ferrell, Paul Rudd, Steve Carell, David Koechner, Vince Vaughn, Christina Applegate, and Baxter

I’m not usually a big fan of sequels to comedies, but I think Anchorman 2 will prove me wrong.  Following the hijinks of the news crew from San Diego, this film takes us to New York City where the gang try become number one again, but this time with “GNN”.  They say and do incredibly stupid things and in general make asses of themselves, as is expected.  Steve Carell stole the show in the preview, so he probably will do the same with the movie, and I am most definitely O.K. with that.  Stay Classy, New York? – A

December 20 – Saving Mr. Banks

Starring: Tom Hanks, Emma Thompson, Colin Farrell, Paul Giamatti, and Jason Schwarztman

Disney’s newest film, Saving Mr. Banks, is actually about Walt Disney (Tom Hanks), who tries, and obviously succeeds, to convince P.L. Travers (Emma Thompson), the author of Mary Poppins, to give the rights to make a film version of her novel.   Mr. Banks refers to Travers father, and the main inspiration for the father in Mary Poppins.  With two of the best actors to live starring, the heart-warming plot and the light humor, Saving Mr. Banks is sure to be one of the best holiday time movies to come out and will be one I definitely see this year. – A

December 25 – 47 Ronin

Starring: Keanu Reeves, Hiroyuki Sanada, Kô Shibasaki, and Cary-Hiroyuki Tagawa

Keanu Reeves is back this holiday season in the awesome new samurai flick, 47 Ronin. The story follows Reeves as Kai and his 46 fellow samurai sword slingers as they work to avenge the death of their master who was taken down by a military shogun (fun fact – Ronin translates to “leaderless samurai” in Japan). This story has been told and retold for quite some time now – dating back as far as the 18 century as a playwright and a most recent rendition of a 1941 film. I’m excited to see Reeves back on the big screen – his first since The Day the Earth Stood Still remake. While that experience left the average sci-fi buff wanting more, I have much higher expectations for 47 Ronin. Released film footages tout glorious landscapes, vibrant characters, badass creatures of lore and – of course – plenty of sword fights. 47 Ronin promises to deliver flashy, action-packed samurai goodness into my Christmas week and I recommended you get it in yours as well. And don’t forget fans – this story is based on true events. So when you see Rinko Kikuchi transform into a flame spitting dragon, remember that it actually happened. – T

December 25 – The Secret Life of Walter Mitty

Starring: Ben Stiller, Kristen Wiig, Sean Penn

Based off the original story published in The New Yorker in 1939 (the same year Batman first appeared in Detective Comics…. totally unrelated, but I had to…), The Secret Life of Water Mitty is my pick for best dramatic film of the year. It was actually made into a comedy movie in 1947 and starred Danny Kaye, but this is one case where I can fully endorse the remake. Starring and directed by Ben Stiller (who is in desperate need of a comeback), Mitty has been in production for nearly a decade, with names such as Mike Myers, Jim Carrey, Johnny Depp and Sacha Baron Cohen attached to it. Judging from the trailer, Stiller was a great choice. The story follows a Life magazine reporter on a journey to find a missing photo, but is really about the journey to get out and experience life. Taking on a much more inspirational mood than the original, this film is sure to make you quit your job! – S

December 25 – The Wolf of Wall Street

Starring: Leonardo DiCaprio, Jonah Hill, Matthew McConaughey, Jon Favreau

“You can dis me all you want on a blog, or write whatever you want in this magazine and I’ll just be like, ‘Whatever, man. Scorsese thinks I’m awesome,” – Jonah Hill. Telling the story of Jordan Belford, a New York stockbroker who was BALLIN out of control. Literally, he was out of control. There was FBI fraud investigations and the mob got involved. It may seem outlandish, but it’s just the type of character that Leo knocks out of the park. Jay Gatsby, J. Edgar Hoover, Howard Hughes, Calvin Candie – all very powerful men who see everything go up in flames around them (alright, Candie was a joke). The film was pushed back to Christmas Day so that Scorsese could kill some babies to decrease the run time 30 minutes and to try to get it from an NC-17 rating down to an R rating. Should be a great showing, and do a lot to remind you of how broke and crappy you are at life. Because no matter what you got for Christmas, you didn’t get to throw midgets at a Velcro board at the office. – S

Written by Adrian PuryearSherif Elkhatib and Taylor Lowe