The Secret Life of Walter Mitty
Owing to the New Year's holiday, there are new movies opening today, with another wide release set for the usual day on Thursday.
Ben Stiller takes a self-consciously serious and dramatic turn as the director and star of one of today's new offerings, The Secret Life of Walter Mitty. It's an epic adventure tale blown up from a short story by James Thurber.
Mitty is a lowly photo editor for Life magazine who is given to "zoning out" – daydreams in which he detaches from reality and imagines he's performing a heroic deed and winning the heart of a female co-worker (Kristen Wiig).
But he's off on an adventure for real when he's assigned to track down a missing negative by the magazine's intrepid star photojournalist (Sean Penn).
Though anticipation was high for this passion project by the Zoolander and Tropic Thunder funnyman, critical reception is only mixed. Rated G.
Captain Phillips – Tom Hanks stars in this gripping high-seas adventure that's based on an actual piracy incident. Barkhad Abdi also stars, playing the pirate captain in a much-talked-about performance. He's a newcomer, discovered among a host of Somali immigrants who responded to a casting call in Minneapolis, Minnesota. Directed by Paul "Shakycam" Greengrass, it's among the films frequently tipped for one award or another, and critical reception is mostly positive. This opens in wide release on Thursday after playing in a sneak preview run for the past three weeks. Rated 15+
Free Birds – Owen Wilson, here in Thailand filming a Hollywood drama called The Coup and taking time to hang out at the anti-government protests, stars in this animated talking-turkey comedy, which opens today. He's a Thanksgiving turkey who has been pardoned by the president and is living it up at Camp David when he's abducted by a militant activist turkey (Woody Harrelson). They then travel back in time in a bid to get Americans hooked on something else for Thanksgiving besides turkey. Critical reception is mostly negative, meaning this movie is really a turkey. Rated G.
Alliance Française – The New Year brings a month of family comedies, starting on January 8 with 2010’s Les Petits Ruisseaux (Wandering Streams), in which a retiree (Daniel Prevost) is left rootless by the death of his best friend and sets out on a road trip. The show starts at 7 at the Alliance Française de Bangkok, now located on Wireless Road opposite Lumpini Park in the former location of the Suan Lum Night Bazaar.
There's no Wednesday movie this week at the Alliance Française. As noted above, they start back up next week. Also, the Friese-Greene Club is on a holiday break. It reopens on Saturday, January 4. Please check the Facebook page for further updates. Check back here again on January 9 for more new movies in 2014.