Secret Life of Walter Mitty – a short review


I don’t know why critics panned this. No, it’s not exactly like Thurber’s short story and no, it doesn’t have visceral grit, sensuality or angst. It’s a straightforward, well-made, charming movie about overcoming fear and disappointment to venture out and recapture the magic of life. Maybe that’s too sweet and positive for some. It’s essential all the same. Maybe those critics should take a hike or something. Put down the latte and get out of the office.

Well written, superbly acted with solid, almost understated eloquence, featuring some epic landscapes and hilarious daydream sequences, this is a fine, dare I say, family movie. It’s poignant, encouraging, delightful. Well done, Mr. Stiller.

My opinion? Buy it, don’t just rent it.

p.s. the Stretch Armstrong bit had me laughing out loud.

Flailing Skies

SF-junkie and geek that I am, I’ve tried a bunch of times to like Falling Skies. I mean it. Courageous survivors battle an alien invasion in a gritty post-apoc Massachusetts setting. History teacher turned resistance fighter, desperate odds, fugly insectoid xenos, mech walkers, guns, explosions, Steven Spielberg, Robert Rodat of ‘Saving Private Ryan’ fame… It’s even free on Amazon Prime now . What’s not good here?


Couldn’t make it through an entire episode last night. Again.

So we’ve got aliens capable of interstellar travel, laser guns, anti-grav fliers, 15-foot tall mech walkers, mind-controlling symbiotic bio-tech harnesses, yet they can’t locate groups of humans smaller than two-hundred because the ‘heat signature’ is too weak? In Operation Desert Storm, our sats and recon drones could spot individual enemy soldiers in the frickin’ desert at noon. We can read newspaper headlines from orbit. But these xenos… nope.

Poor optics-tech obviously bleeds down to the tactical level as well. Either that or the alien warriors must have graduated from Imperial Stormtrooper Academy, because they can’t hit squat. I’m talking HUNDREDS of rounds expended for naught. They need to get their money back from the carnival target-shooting booth that calibrated their gunsights.

What about these hardened, ‘veteran’ human resistance fighters? The war has raged for years, yet they still clump up in ‘grenade-blast’ formation, exercise zero operational security, blast away full-auto from the hip, and set ambushes an infant could spot. (The same ambush, time and time again. Dude, I thought you were a military history professor.) Paintball teams exercise better tactics.

And can we stop regurgitating one-liners from everyold war movie ever made? John Wayne, Lee Marvin and Jack Palance are spinning in their graves. We could wrap ’em in copper wire and power Hoboken.

I’m also hugely relieved to know while ammo, food, and clean water may be scarce on post-invasion Earth, there’s still plenty of teeth-whitener, Clairol shampoo conditioner and Noxzema around. Artful dirt smudges and rips in your designer tactical-chic wear do not a ragged resistance fighter make. Seriously.

It’s like the producers put every WW II movie trope in a blender, added a tablespoon of alien, then hit ‘Frappe’ a couple times, hoping CGI and low standards will flavor the chunky slop enough to make it palatable.

Enough… I’m going to watch BGS’s “Razor” next time I need some SF distraction.

Here’s hoping SyFy’s “Helix” is up to par. Please God.