- View New Content
- Blu-ray, DVD, Streaming Video and Digital Downloads
- Home Theater Hardware
- Theaters, Remotes and Accessories
- Equipment Reviews
- DVD & Blu-ray Reviews
- Other Diversions
- Bargains and Deals
- Feedback and Testing
- Latest Blu-ray Deals
- Shop Amazon & Support HTF
- Theater Photos
DVD & Blu-ray Reviews
- Equipment Reviews
Blu-ray Release Listings
- Shop Amazon
DVD & Blu-ray Deals
Categories See All →
DVD & Blu-ray Reviews
Godzilla 3D Blu-ray Review
Today, 07:47 AM
Hollywood’s latest attempt at making a big-budget kaiju movie is yet another misunderstood stab at bringing the Godzilla franchise to the States. While the r... Read More
The Dogs of War Blu-ray Review
Yesterday, 05:06 PM
A slightly above average mercenary caper film based on an international best seller, John Irvin’s The Dogs of War seems very old school when compared to the... Read More
The Tragedy of Macbeth Blu-ray Review
Yesterday, 01:42 PM
Roman Polanski has brought to the screen a graphically violent if undoubtedly gripping interpretation to the already-soaked-in-blood tragedy that is William... Read More
Bones: The Complete Ninth Season DVD Review
Yesterday, 04:12 AM
The producers of Fox’s Bones had no sooner dispensed with their ridiculously overdrawn, omnipotent serial killer Christopher Pelant (who had hung around for... Read More
The Secret Life of Walter Mitty (2013) Blu-ray ReviewBlu-ray Fox
Apr 16 2014 01:50 PM | Matt Hough in DVD & Blu-ray Reviews
- Studio: Fox
- Distributed By: N/A
- Video Resolution: 1080P/AVC
- Aspect Ratio: 2.40:1
- Audio: English 7.1 DTS-HDMA, Spanish 5.1 DD, French 5.1 DD, Other
- Subtitles: English SDH, Spanish
- Rating: PG
- Run Time: 1 Hr. 54 Min.
- Package Includes: Blu-ray, DVD, Digital Copy, UltraViolet
- Case Type: keep case in slipcover
- Disc Type: BD50 (dual layer)
- Region: A
- Release Date: 04/15/2014
- MSRP: $39.99
The Production Rating: 3/5Milquetoast Life magazine photographic negative asset handler Walter Mitty (Ben Stiller) learns that the magazine is folding its print edition and continuing on as an online service only at the very moment he receives a note from a world class photographer (Sean Penn) that photo #25 in his latest negative roll contains the picture that is the “quintessence of the meaning of life.” Naturally the new boss (Adam Scott) wants to use that picture as the final cover photo, but it’s missing from the reel, so Walter knows he must try to contact the photographer (unreachable by phone and presently in Greenland) to learn what became of the valuable shot. For Walter who’s never left New York, it’s a daunting idea to go globetrotting on this quest to find the photographer, but as his search takes him from Greenland to Iceland to the Himalayas, he finds real life much more satisfying than his frequent daydreams which before were the only things that offered him the chance to be brave, assured, and his own man.
Steven Conrad’s script offers for Walter some early daydreams of valor and glory as the world does its best to beat him down (but in today’s CGI-mad effects world, these daydreams are fairly mild and mildly enjoyable apart from a spot-on but useless parody of The Curious Case of Benjamin Button), but that motif disappears within the first half hour as Walter begins his own real-life heroics, some of them outdoing what he was accomplishing with relish in his dreams. Then we get to see the real Walter at work and play, surprisingly adept at a number of things (which make his milquetoast demeanor at the start hard to take or understand). There are three running subplots that Walter is involved with which transpire simultaneously with his quest for the photographer (whose picture #25 couldn’t be more obviously hidden in plain sight and is thus a big letdown in terms of surprise when its location is revealed): a tentative budding romantic relationship with fellow office worker Cheryl (Kristen Wiig), a running cellphone conversation with a computer dating hotline assistant (Patton Oswalt), and the settling of his mother (Shirley MacLaine) into a new assisted living facility. All of these problematic subplots keep Walter grounded in the real world while offering a smattering of jokes (the Patton Oswalt sequences are the best), but they all feel like padding to the central story of the young man searching for an identity he can claim with surety. Ben Stiller’s direction tends toward overusing the motif of filming Mitty in long shots dwarfed against the awe-inspiring landscapes of the lands where he’s adventuring (Iceland served as the central location for all these scenes, and it’s never looked more majestically beautiful), but a sea adventure has some funny moments, and the travelogue nature of the story takes it far, far away from Thurber’s original tale.
Ben Stiller’s Mitty doesn’t really seem much like the downtrodden, desperate-for-escape loser from the original story, so why the character wasn’t given a name other than the iconic Walter Mitty seems a bit of a puzzle especially since the film’s narrative is going for a completely different set of themes. Kristen Wiig is pleasant but not particularly memorable as the love interest. Adam Scott, on the other hand, is a first-class jerk in all of his scenes even if his climactic comeuppance isn’t quite as satisfying as it might have been. The majority of Patton Oswalt’s performance is delivered over the phone, but he’s still delightful capturing the whimsical quality of the original story better than the film’s star. Shirley MacLaine as Walter’s down-to-earth mother and Kathryn Hahn as his flighty sister do fine within their limited roles.
Video Rating: 4.5/5 3D Rating: NA
The film is presented in its theatrical 2.40:1 aspect ratio in 1080p resolution using the AVC codec. Sharpness is excellent through most of the presentation with lots of visible detail, and contrast is almost completely consistent throughout. Color is richly saturated with flesh tones being perhaps a shade or so too deep. Black levels are very impressive. The film has been divided into 36 chapters.
Audio Rating: 4.5/5The DTS-HD Master Audio 7.1 sound mix makes very good use of the full soundstage with wonderful ambient effects being fed through the fronts and rears and a terrific spread of Theodore Shapiro's background music across the entire soundstage. Dialogue has been excellently recorded and has been placed in the center channel.
Special Features: 4.5/5Deleted Scenes (7:30, HD): five scenes may be viewed individually or in montage.
Extended Scenes (4:33, HD): two scenes may be viewed individually or in montage.
Alternate Scenes (3:42, HD): two alternate scenes from the movie may be viewed in montage or separately.
Behind the Scenes (HD): producer-director-star Ben Stiller, producers John Goldwyn and Samuel Goldwyn, Jr., writer Steven Conrad, production designer Jeff Mann, stunt coordinator Tim Trella, composer Ted Shapiro, cinematographer Stuart Dryburgh, casting director Rachel Tenner, and titles designer Kyle Cooper appear in one or more brief featurettes on the various aspects of the production:
- The History of Walter Mitty (3:39)
- The Look of Life (5:01)
- That’s a Shark (5:57)
- The Music of Mitty (4:01)
- Icelandic Adventure (3:26)
- Nordic Casting (3:51)
- Titles of Walter Mitty (2:49)
- Skateboarding Through Iceland (2:23)
- Ted-Walter Fight (2:48)
Image Gallery: twelve stills used for reference
Music Video (4:22, HD): “Stay Alive” sung by José Gonzales
Theatrical Trailer (1:55, HD)
DVD/Digital Copy/Ultraviolet: disc and code sheet enclosed in the case.