Tag Archives: Patton Oswalt

The Secret Life of Walter Mitty Review

Living life to the fullest is a novel concept primarily because of how infused it is and consumed it has become by fusty people who think climbing a big hill or championing your fears is the fullest they can get. When surrounded by those who have not quite reached for the sun, it is easy to minimalize expectations and take comfort in the smallest of achievements. That is what The Secret Life of Walter Mitty explores. A man whose greatest accomplishment is ringing up a dating agency and asking why his account isn’t working. It is because his profile has not been filled with experiences, and that leads Walter Mitty (Ben Stiller, who also directs this piece) to try new things to impress a new employee at his office. Big changes are pushed not by a willingness to better oneself, but to trick and convince someone to fall for them.

Continue reading The Secret Life of Walter Mitty Review

A.P. Bio and the 20-minute turnaround

Shortness, pace and style. The three core desires of A.P. Bio. Creator Mike O’Brien messes with the premeditated sitcom tones. Its light and loose development is a façade. But that is the beauty of the show. It is what makes A.P. Bio and the 20-minute turnaround not just a rare perfection, but an essential one that will drive the genre of television comedy to the next level.  

But what is that next level? It is not the ultra-meta structure of It’s Always Sunny in Philadelphia or the highbrow satisfaction of that either. Both star Glenn Howerton, though, and the ego-maniacal structure of his character is intact for both shows. He is the focus of each show, but what O’Brien focuses on, more often than not, is the reciprocation that comes after realising egomania is not the path to satisfaction. It’s Always Sunny in Philadelphia offers the ego unchecked, but A.P. Bio gives Howerton a strange, exciting challenge. What if his ego were actually applied properly, and the impact of such is felt well throughout the four seasons.  

Continue reading A.P. Bio and the 20-minute turnaround

Magnolia Review

With such a promising ensemble, it’s hard to see how Magnolia could be anything other than a superbly layered character study of intertwining lives. Like Desperate Housewives, but over the course of two and a half hours, rather than an aeon. Paul Thomas Anderson’s dramatic titan sees a collection of stories, the highs and lows of a rough handful of individuals connected by chance, flimsy narratives or shady dealings. Whether it works or not, it’s hard not to appreciate how big of an ask Anderson proposes to his cast, a project that has to have the right amount of connection between roles, enough to engage an audience, but not enough to incite obvious cliché.

Continue reading Magnolia Review

Ratatouille (2007) Review

I’ve said countless times before that I couldn’t care less for Disney or the work they wish to output. Nothing but fancy princess tales that excrete happiness out of every available opening or fluffy worlds created to reel in the braindead masses of kids who are too scared to watch Coraline and too young to watch Chicken Run. I hate it, I’m not sure why millions are driven to love Disney products, and it’s something I’ll possibly never understand. Somewhat hypocritically, I find myself with a complete adoration for Ratatouille, and I find myself in the same camp that I placed all the other rejects who love Disney animated pieces into. Not a single person I know can understand why I have such a love for the 2007 Pixar/Disney collaboration where a talking rat learns to cook in the harsh understudy of a dead chef in the heart of Paris. Yet Ratatouille was one of my favourite films growing up, and now that I’ve hit the old age of twenty, I thought I’d head back and see if the film can hold its own over a decade later. 

Continue reading Ratatouille (2007) Review