Tuesday, December 31, 2013



Thursday, December 19, 2013


THE SECRET LIFE OF WALTER MITTY (2013) is the remake of the James Thurber short story.  The original stared Danny Kay in 1947. This version was directed and starred Ben Stiller. The story is about an average man Walter Mitty who has never lived life. He has an uneventful existence in an average job. He has never fell in love or done anything worthwhile. During this humdrum subsistence a situation comes up where Mitty must journey outside his comfort zone and into the real world. 

I really had no opinion of this movie before I received my sneak preview passes. I hate remakes.  The only reason I went to see this was that it was free. Ben Stiller as Walter Mitty was a non entity. Even during his growth in the film I found I still could not connect with this character. By the end of this feature I still did not care about Mitty. I did not care about his job, his family life, or his love life. Mitty’s day dreams were few and few between. They added nothing to the story. If the hallucinations added anything it was a reminder of what the show could have been. The majority of the time I was bored off my ass. It felt like an eternity.  If you would have asked me the night of the showing I would has said the movie was well over two hours long. I was shocked to find that it only ran 74 minutes.

Product placement is rampant in this movie. I do not mind product placement but this movie was an hour long E Harmony and Papa John’s commercial. I was really getting tired of hearing about these companies every 10 minutes.

What I liked in THE SECRET LIFE OF WALTER MITTY was the cinema photography.  There are several scenes that were just beautiful.  I was really drawn into the skateboard ride through Iceland.

The acting was nothing special until Sean Penn gets his 5 minutes on screen. Penn plays photographer Sean O’Connell and stole the movie. After his scene I felt ripped off. Here was an interesting person I could have enjoyed watching for 74 minutes. 

All and all this was not a bad movie just not very good movie. I would never pay to see this film. I would suggest waiting for the TV broadcast. THE SECRET LIFE OF WALTER MITTY is being advertised as a feel good movie and to be honest I was pissed when I left the theater.  It was not funny, heartfelt, or life changing.

Mitty in Iceland
Thanks to 20th Century Fox for the sneak Preview passes and kudos for making the dreams of an audience member come true by paying for her college education. That was a classy move.

Thursday, December 5, 2013


A meteor lands in the Wild West. It is discovered by prospectors and hauled into town. The meteor is broken open and it releases spoors that turn a frontier town’s population into blood thirsty mutant zombies.  The Dead and the Damned star David Lockhart as Mortimer the bounty hunter, Camille Montgomery as Rhiannon the bought woman, and Rick Mora as the Apache Indian Brother Wolf.

Rick --- I am a big fan of horror movies and I have always had a soft spot for the zombie genre. George Romero is a celluloid hero of mine and his movie DAWN OF THE DEAD was my introduction to the walking dead world.

I am also a big fan of spaghetti westerns. I am not sure way but the westerns from Europe specifically Italy, Spain, and surprising Germany are my favorites. Maybe it is the grittiness or unchecked violence but they just seem more real to me than their American counterparts.

THE DEAD AND THE DAMNED is a western and it is a zombie movie. Written and directed by Rene Perez and shot for a reportedly $30,000. I understood this was going to be a low budget affair so the production weaknesses could be overlooked.  The only negative I have on the movie production was the choice of music. The main soundtrack kept pulling me out of the film. The music just did not match the action portrayed by the motion picture. The acting at times was a bit forced but mainly by the secondary cast. I did wish that we could have seen the meteor fall to earth, the Perez would have said no to the CGI blood effects, and that the movie had an ending. I hate when films don’t have an ending.

That all said I liked THE DEAD AND THE DAMNED. This independent movie kept me watching. There was enough story, gun play, zombies, gore, and nudity to satisfy my peculiar tastes. This was entertainment that was shot for $30,000!  My favorite scene was when a blind zombie saloon girl chases Rhiannon around the tavern. This was nicely done.

The Zombies were a treat and this looks like where the majority of the movie budget went. Every zombie was different and every zombie was a gory mess. Ed Martinez and Jeff Wehenkel did a wonderful job.

This one is a perfect movie for a late night watch.