trailer). When I sat down with a couple friends at the beginning of the year to do our annual top 10 films of the year podcast, of the roughly 65 movies I saw of 2013 at the time, Walter Mitty ranked in at #2. When mentioning this film to other people, it is usually greeted with a resounding "meh," and on rottentomatoes.com it weighed in at a mediocre 51% rating. Despite its high ranking on my list, I still have a few grievances with it, but enough prefacing, let us get on with the blog to find out what made me give it the benefit of the doubt.
Walter Mitty (Ben Stiller) is a middle aged man starting off his birthday in a horrible way when he discovers his longtime job at Life magazine is at jeopardy when it announces it is shutting down the magazine and will go through significant downsizing as it transitions into an online only platform. He gets the news from new transition manager Ted Hendricks (Adam Scott), who Walter instantly despises. When Walter loses the negative for the final cover of Life that arrives from legendary photographer Sean 'O Connell (Sean Penn), it sends Walter on a journey overseas to track down the iconic photographer with the help of his office crush, Cheryl Melhoff (Kristen Wiig).
I get why Stiller went in this direction however as these fantasies are a character flaw of Walter's getting in the way of standing up to Ted and winning over Cheryl. As the movie proceeds and he ventures overseas to track down Sean, Walter starts to break out of his shy shell and the fantasies happen lesser and lesser until he overcomes them to track down Sean and find what he is looking for. I think Stiller could have got the same message across with a smidge less fantasy scenes, and it looked like he already trimmed down a couple from what made the cutting room floor on the deleted scenes on the disc.
There is about an hour of extras on the disc. Make sure to check out the previously mentioned deleted scenes as there are some extended/alternate takes on the fantasy scenes that did not make the cut worth going out of your way to see. There are several mini behind-the-scenes features totaling just over a half hour. The more entertaining extras touch on the production of the fantasy scenes, while others provide insight on what it was like casting and filming in Iceland. Also make sure to check out The History of Walter Mitty as it goes into the 1939 origin for this film off a short story from a 1939 issue of The New Yorker I previously had no idea about. I am a little bummed there is no commentary track from Ben Stiller, but this is still a pretty decent smattering of extras all around.
Other Random Backlog Movie Blogs
21 Jump Street
Captain America: The First Avenger
Field of Dreams
Running Films Part 1
Running Films Part 2