Upcoming Theatrical Releases
The Secret Life of Walter Mitty
Director: Ben Stiller
PG; 125 mins.
Ben Stiller directs and stars in THE SECRET LIFE OF WALTER MITTY, James Thurber’s classic story of a day-dreamer who escapes his anonymous life by disappearing into a world of fantasies filled with heroism, romance and action. When his job along with that of his co-worker (Kristen Wiig) are threatened, Walter takes action in the real world embarking on a global journey that turns into an adventure more extraordinary than anything he could have ever imagined. (Synopsis by Fox)
The surreal scenery doesn’t quite mask the fact that the film is largely a narcissistic series of events rather than a full story. There are parts that are very well done, but they never add up to a whole picture. More focus on the goofy comedy would have gone a long way. Skip it.
Director: Peter Segal
PG-13; 113 mins.
A pair of aging boxing rivals are coaxed out of retirement to fight one final bout — 30 years after their last match. (Synopsis by Warner Bros.)
Stallone’s one-liners are the high point, and that is a pretty low bar. This was a bad idea that became a worse movie. Skip it.
Director: Carl Rinsch
PG-13, 118 mins.
From ancient Japan’s most enduring tale, the epic 3D fantasy-adventure 47 Ronin is born. Keanu Reeves leads the cast as Kai, an outcast who joins Oishi (Hiroyuki Sanada), the leader of 47 outcast samurai. Together they seek vengeance upon the treacherous overlord who killed their master and banished their kind. To restore honor to their homeland, the warriors embark upon a quest that challenges them with a series of trials that would destroy ordinary warriors. 47 Ronin is helmed by visionary director Carl Erik Rinsch (The Gift). Inspired by styles as diverse as Miyazaki and Hokusai, Rinsch will bring to life the stunning landscapes and enormous battles that will display the timeless Ronin story to global audiences in a way that’s never been seen before. (Synopsis by Universal Pictures)
Accept that this is a fantasy spin on a classic samurai tale and you won’t be disappointed. It’s an enjoyable enough action romp with the style of “300.” Rent it.
The Wolf of Wall Street
Director: Martin Scorsese
R; 179 mins.
In The Wolf of Wall Street, DiCaprio plays Belfort, a Long Island penny stockbroker who served 20 months in prison for defrauding investors in a massive 1990s securities scheme that involved widespread corruption on Wall Street and in the corporate banking world, including shoe designer Steve Madden. (Synopsis by IMDB)
DiCaprio and Scorsese are excellent. The story is told more as a farce than a tragedy, though that may be to the detriment of the story being told. When the decadence appears half-celebrated, the message that was intended can be missed. See it.
Mandela: Long Walk to Freedom
Director: Justin Chadwick
PG-13; 141 mins.
MANDELA: LONG WALK TO FREEDOM is based on South African President Nelson Mandela’s autobiography of the same name, which chronicles his early life, coming of age, education and 27 years in prison before becoming President and working to rebuild the country’s once segregated society. (Synopsis by Weinstein)
The problem with a writing a biopic about a man of Mandela’s stature is you are never going to do him justice. This plays out as little more than a series of events that occurred in his life as opposed to a true celebration of the man. It’s a presentation that isn’t bad, just not that interesting. Rent it.
Upcoming DVD Releases
No releases of note