Showing posts with label Ben Stiller. Show all posts
Showing posts with label Ben Stiller. Show all posts

Wednesday, 1 January 2014

The Secret Life of Walter Mitty

Walter Mitty (Ben Stiller) is an average Joe New Yorker, working for Time Magazine. His life is dull, bland and listless. He lacks the adventure and excitement that he secretly craves and frequently day dreams, putting himself in exhilarating and romantically fulfilling positions. As news is announced that Time Magazine is to close, Walter is sent a roll of film from hunky adventure photographer Sean O’Connell (Sean Penn) who asks Walter to make sure that a particular photograph of his is considered for the final cover. The problem is that Sean’s photo never arrived and inspired by a secret love for a new co-worker, Walter breaks free of the shackles of everyday tedium and sets out to track down the illusive photographer not letting oceans, mountains or implausibility stop him.

It’s no coincidence that The Secret Life of Walter Mitty was released here in the UK on Boxing Day, being as it is the perfect film to uplift its target audience from their overly full, post Christmas slump. Like a bland Christmas turkey, it’s the sort of film that comes around once a year at the festive period and even though it isn’t as exciting as venison or lobster, you eat it because it’s the time of year that you’re meant to. There isn’t lots of nourishment and if you’re honest, it’s quite dry but you let it slide because there’s also cranberry sauce on your plate. But wait a minute, there is no cranberry sauce, there’s Ben Stiller and he’s shoving another fork full of turkey down your throat. Eat the turkey. Eat it.

Monday, 6 May 2013

Night at the Museum

The perfect family film for a Bank Holiday Monday morning, Night at the Museum is a film in which history comes to life. Larry Daley (Ben Stiller) is divorced and unable to hold down a steady job in New York City. His ex-wife believes that the constant uprooting is affecting their ten year old son and pleads with him to settle down and get a steady job. Larry takes a job at the Museum of Natural History as a night watchman but soon discovers that the job is much harder than advertised as the exhibits literally come to life after dark.

I’ve seen this film a few times now but I’m not really sure why. It’s quite fun and passes a couple of hours but it’s by no stretch of the imagination, a classic. Night at the Museum is one of those films that you can put on and turn off the brain, allowing the noises and images to wash over you as your eyes glaze over. What it offers is silly fun and a treat for kids. Unfortunately I watched it alone, in my pyjamas.

Friday, 7 September 2012

The Royal Tenenbaums

I first saw this film when I was about sixteen on one of my frequent trips to the cinema with friends. When one of them told me about it I thought it sounded awful. I was used to seeing action and comedy films on a Friday night and didn’t want to sit through a film about some family and an old man dying. In the end the film completely shocked me and helped to introduce me to the joys of cinema, seeing passed the Friday night popcorn movies to which I was accustomed. It was also the first of many Wes Anderson films that I fell in love with. I often site Martin Scorsese’s Taxi Driver as being the film which opened my eyes to cinema but thinking about it now, this film did the same thing, albeit to a lesser extent, two years earlier.

Royal Tenenbaum (Gene Hackman) is thrown out of his house by his wife (Anjelica Houston) before their three genius children (Ben Stiller, Luke Wilson, Gwyneth Paltrow) reach their teens. This has a far reaching impact on all of their lives and none of the three grow up to fully reach their potential. Playwrite Margot (Paltrow) stops writing, Tennis champion Richie (Wilson) retires ages twenty-six after a breakdown and business guru Chas (Stiller) becomes overly protective of his own children following the untimely death of his wife. After years of being out of the picture, Royal decides he wants to become reacquainted with his quirky children but ends up going about it in all the wrong ways.