Film: The Secret Life of Walter Mitty (PG)
So we have a movie with Ben Stiller in it. Thinking slapstick, along the lines of The Heartbreak Kid? No. Laugh-out-loud funny, à la Meet the Parents? Not quite. But think ‘profound’ and ‘thoughtful’, and you’re on the right track. Directed by Stiller himself, The Secret Life of Walter Mitty is an adaptation of a short story of the same name featuring a character who daydreams. A lot. In his daydreams, Mitty is suave, charming and says all the right things. But his reality is not quite the same until he receives a puzzling letter.
Stiller manages to bring in the funny-man in what is a thought provoking film with such emotional depth—something that undeniably takes effort but he does quite effortlessly.
The movie features stunning scenes of the sea, volcanoes, mountainous regions and Adam Scott’s epic beard. Trust me, you want to check that beard out.
The soundtrack brought together some of the world’s most memorable music acts, namely Arcade Fire, Of Monsters and Men and Swedish psychedelic rock band Junip. I found myself drifting off—much like Walter Mitty—distracted by the music in the background.
If a movie that causes you to dramatically contemplate life decisions is what you’re after, then this is the one. At the end of the screening, I was left with questions; largely peculiar ones about my choices in life, and the path that I am on (i.e. ‘Is this all worth it? Should we all just climb mountains and search for the meaning of life?’).
I guess it is no secret that I really, really liked this movie.
by Divya Balakumar
Film: The Wolf of Wall Street (R)
I’m going to be honest; I had been putting off watching The Wolf of Wall Street for a while purely based on its 180 minute run time.
But let me tell you, The Wolf of Wall Street is worth every minute of your time.
Directed by Martin Scorsese and based on Jordan Belfont’s memoir of the same name, this dark comedy pushes the boundaries and offers up three hours packed with entertainment.
The film follows the life of Jordan Belfort (Leonardo DiCaprio), a sleazy drug addict, stockbroker who isn’t afraid to bend the rules to get more cold hard cash in his wallet.
Throughout the film, Belfont snorts every drug under the sun, battles giant waves in his yacht, crashes his Ferrari, and faces off against FBI Agents. At times it’s hard to believe this film is based on a real-life memoir.
DiCaprio is joined by Jonah Hill who sports (noticeable) prosthetic teeth for his role as Belfont’s right-hand man, Donnie Azof.
Aussie Margot Robbie is a treat as Belfont’s second wife, shedding her Australian accent and developing a Staten Island tongue. She sounds as if she just walked off the set of Mob Wives rather than Neighbours.
Matthew McConaughey and Joanna Lumley also have supporting roles in the film.
The Wolf of Wall Street has broken records for the amount of f-bombs spoken in one film, clocking in at over 500 times (not that I counted), but if you’re not offended by strong profanity, drug use, the mistreatment of little people, and nudity, then I would definitely recommend seeing this film.
by Ben Allison
Review: Frozen (PG)
Disney has succeeded yet again with Frozen, their latest family story adapted from Hans Christian Andersen’s The Snow Queen.
Set in the Scandinavian countryside, the story follows Elsa and Anna, two princesses who lose their parents at a young age. Elsa faces the additional challenge of being cursed—or blessed, depending on your point of view— with the power to create ice and snow. However, her powers grow stronger to the point that anything she touches freezes; an interesting twist on the Midas touch.
At Elsa’s coronation, a confrontation between the two sisters reveals Elsa’s powers and she flees in panic, inadvertently plunging the entire town into an eternal winter. Anna is determined to fix the rift between them and bring back summer. She pursues Elsa with the help of Kristoff, an ice deliverer, and his reindeer, Sven. Along the way they meet Orloff, a snowman that Anna and Elsa built when they were children, who provides most of the comedy and is an endearing, loyal character.
For a change, Disney have diverted from the traditional love story between a man and a woman to foster themes of familial love, loyalty and friendship.
Although I wasn’t a fan of the soundtrack, aside from Elsa’s solo Let it Go, the creators have hit the mark with a compelling, funny, easy to watch film with loveable characters that are entertaining.
While the movie did not have the desired cooling effect during the Adelaide heat wave, it is one I’d happily watch again on a lazy Sunday afternoon.
by Prerna Ashok