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Point Comma Missing The: 'The Secret Life of Walter Mitty' Trailer

By Steven Lloyd Wilson | Trailers | October 8, 2013 | Comments ()


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Dustin posted the first trailer for the worrisome adaptation of The Secret Life of Walter Mitty some months ago. The name “Ben Stiller” did not exactly inspire confidence in the project, and Dustin found himself wondering if the appeal of that first trailer might be nothing more than the inescapable pull of the music by Of Monsters and Men. The second trailer is out now, and I think we can say more comfortable:

It’s just the music.

Here’s the trailer, which manages to give away the entire plot of the movie in fine form, and notwithstanding what could be an epic heel turn by Adam Scott, it looks really bad.

See here’s the problem with it. It completely misses the point of the short story. Yeah, I know it seems to draw more on the film adaptation from 1947 that gets put on top 100 lists of movies, but I just don’t care for a couple of reasons. First, it’s been 66 years, stand on your own. Second, the movie missed the point too, and was lambasted by James Thurber, the story’s author. I heartily acknowledge a complete bias towards the author on matters like this.

In the story, the fantasies are not real. This movie give Mitty a real adventure to go along with his fantasy. The point of the story was that he not only made everything up, but that each scenario that plays out does so by spinning the mundane surroundings into the fantastic. He doesn’t look at a fancy picture of the Himalayas and imagine he’s there, no, Walter pulls on gloves and is transported into a hospital, pulling on surgical gloves. He leans against a wall smoking, and is transported to a firing squad, having his last smoke when lined up against the wall. The story’s magic is in the way Mitty transforms the mundane into the fantastic, not that he looks at pictures of the fantastic and pastes himself in there.

And the second part is the heartbreaking irony of the tale: even in his fantasies, Mitty always loses. That’s the real heart to this story, that the escape is not an escape at all.

But you know, staple some thoughtful music on there and it’ll probably get nominated for something.



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Comments Are Welcome, Jerks Will Be Banned


  • It's suffering from World War Z syndrome more than anything I think. It's a good trailer (if overlong and spoiler-y) for a quite possibly very good movie. It happens to share a title and some slight similarities to a popular and well loved story, but in reality, it's not trying to tell that story. The story it is trying to tell could be well worth hearing and the movie that results could be well worth watching, but it's got a long shadow to escape from and going so against the grain of the source isn't doing it any favors.

  • the chaplain

    As a person who doesn't know the story or earlier adaptation, the music is still working for me.

  • I knew this was going to be bad as soon as I heard Ben Stiller was in it, and I don't really know anything about either the story or original movie. The last thing I liked him in was Keeping the Faith, and that was quite a while ago now.

  • Mrs. Julien

    Coreopsis has set in!

  • Guest

    It's all so obvious, isn't it?

  • BWeaves

    I hated the story, I hated the original movie. I won't see the remake, either.

  • Pants_are_a_must

    In yesterday's packed theater for "Gravity," the silence following this trailer was deafening. The only noise after that was an entire audience eye-rolling behind their 3D glasses.

  • TherecanbeonlyoneAdmin

    I had to watch this trailer before Gravity the only redeeming item in it is Adam Scott's wonderfully fake terrible beard.

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