THE SECRET LIFE OF WALTER MITTY:
Romantic adventure comedy-drama extravaganza directed by and starring Ben Stiller. The film is the second adaptation of a short story by the inimitable James Thurber. 1947’s stab starred Danny Kaye as a daydreaming proofreader – “an inconsequential guy from Perth Amboy, New Jersey” – getting lost in pulp mag daydreams. It looks to be an infinitely more charming film than Stiller’s, and it has Boris Karloff in it. That said, this new go seems rather amiable in it’s own way. Stiller plays a negative assets manager at Life magazine, a daydreamer, also kinda inconsequential. The film is about him tracking down a missing negative that’s supposed to provide the cover for the last print issue of Life before it goes online only (and it’ll be interesting to see how it treats that shift). It has Kirsten Wiig and Adam Scott in it – good comic eggs (eggs, happy Easter) – and Stiller is usually more enjoyable when he’s directing himself. Parts of the trailer suggest a bit of heart and maybe something closer to Thurber’s wit, other parts look way sugary and blown out. If those qualities are juggled right, this could be a fun one.
KILL YOUR DARLINGS:
Sometime last year, Rob Munday – Video City’s beloved ex, now in prison – gave Kill Your Darlings what is perhaps the best one line put-down I think I’ve been privy to. It was something like, “it’s not even a film”. Not. Even. A. Film. Amazing. Rob’s sage words in mind, I still really want see this not-film. I love a patchy or failed biopic, usually more so than a successful one. People are patchy, and the world’s a failure after all. Also, I don’t even know if the not-film is a failure (here’s hoping). Anyway, it’s about the early interactions of the Beat generation. Centred on Allen Ginsberg (Daniel Radcliffe), it’s only the second narrative film, as far as I’m aware, to represent his relationship with Lucien Carr (Dane DeHaan). That’s one of the more exciting and neglected bits of the Beat story, and if you like this film I really recommend seeking out Gary Walkow’s Beat. Anyway, I think Radcliffe looks cute and convinced, and DeHaan “hot and dangerous”, which coincidentally is also what Entertainment Weekly think. Also, Ben Foster – this guy – is playing William Burroughs. The trailer hints at an entire lack of subtlety compounded by unrelenting over-excitement for the subject matter. But whatever, we’re dealing with youth and heady passion, so that might be cool. In short, feeling good about this non-film.
Well. Honestly, couldn’t be further from what I want to see. But apparently, supposed to be good. Got “British answer to The Hurt Locker” on poster. Just noticed that Soda, usually a cut above, have put it out. Now reading some decent things online. Now, feel bad for dismissing it. Guessed it was tabloid soldier porn, tarted up with a fat film festival credit. Writer and director said some good: “There was initial resistance when I first showed people the script, no one wanted to touch it. I think the reason for that, apart from being a first time writer, is the lack of contemporary British anti-war films and the touchy and heavily political subject. Some readers just didn’t know how to deal with it. Here’s a film that doesn’t portray us in a brave role, it’s not jingoistic and people were very wary of it. I think the Afghan conflict suffers the same problem in the real world: people don’t know how to deal with it, but we know we’ve got to support our troops. Consequently we think we can’t going around asking questions about what they’re doing there because that’s seen as being unsupportive. I found this a lot while making this film.” Well. I don’t support the troops, but I do feel bad about almost writing this off.
KISS THE WATER:
Jerry Seinfeld said that watching Kiss the Water is “like dreaming and eating desert at the same time”. Sold! Director Eric Steel made The Bridge documentary in 2006 – the guy’s got range. Here’s Mark Kermode’s Observer review, pillaged: “lyrical blend of atmospheric Highland footage and expressionist animation … much more than a documentary about the dying art of hand-fashioned fishing hooks … the life of renowned fly-tier Megan Boyd who wound up providing bespoke flies by royal appointment … reflective interviews that unfurl at an unhurried pace … flies fashioned to attract fisherman rather than their prey … Boyd’s hatred of the fact that her creations were used to “kill fish” … Make sure this strange little film isn’t one you let get away.” Okay, Mark, but Jerry had me at “desert”.
ALSO OUT THIS WEEK…
NURSE JACKIE SEASON 5:
Posted by William Goodey