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MUSIC & ARTS Edited by Jenny Na (


The Secret Life of Walter Mitty Directed by Ben Stiller

The Wolf of Wall Street Directed by Martin Scorsese



Adventure/Comedy/Drama 114 minutes

In recent years, we’ve seen several comedians go through something of a mid-career crisis. Heavyweights such as Will Ferrell, Adam Sandler and Eddie Murphy have all taken a straight turn: Ferrell was a downon-his-luck alcoholic in “Everything Must Go” (2010). Sandler played a man with psychological issues in Paul Thomas Anderson’s oft-overlooked “Punch-Drunk Love” (2002). And Murphy was nominated for an Oscar for his portrayal of soul singer James Early in “Dreamgirls” (2006). Now it’s Ben Stiller’s turn to play serious for a headlining role in his newest film (and Oscar hopeful): “The Secret Life of Walter Mitty.” The film is a remake of the 1947 original, which in turn was based on the 1939 short story by James Thurber. The title character works for Life magazine but spends most of his time in his own little fantasy world. Walter is a daydreamer, and in these dreams, anything is possible, including winning the affec-



Biography/Crime/Drama 165 minutes

Affectionately dubbed “the New Hollywood era,” the late ‘60s formed a golden period in American cinema, producing some of the greatest films of all time. Arthur Penn, Milos Forman and Francis Ford Coppola directed screen icons like Warren Beatty, Jack Nicholson and Robert De Niro in classics such as “Bonnie and Clyde” (1967), “One Flew Over the Cuckoo’s Nest” (1975) and “The Godfather” (1972). It was a time when the auteur was king and financial gain was put aside in favor of art. All of that changed with the releases of hits like “Jaws” (1975) and “Star Wars” (1977), which gave birth to the summer blockbuster. While many New Hollywood artists continue to make interesting films, it could be argued that the only one who is still at the top of his game is Martin Scorsese. Simply put, the man is a legend and his body of work is unquestioned. “Taxi Driver” (1976), “Raging Bull” (1980) and “Mean Streets” (1973) are American classics, as are “Goodfellas”

84 / January 2014

tions of his coworker Cheryl (Kristen Wiig). When trouble arises during the printing of the magazine’s final issue, Walter undertakes a dangerous adventure that will make him the hero of the hour. Ben Stiller hasn’t directed many films, but both “Tropic Thunder” (2008) and “Zoolander” (2001) were comedic gold. “The Cable Guy” (1996), not so much. The trailers indicate that Stiller’s directing style has been influenced by the likes of Spike Jonze and Michel Gondry, which would make sense given the film’s premise. If you have to take inspiration from anyone, two of the most visually arresting directors working today aren’t a bad place to start. While that may make for an aesthetically pleasing result, I hope Stiller has also kept a keen eye on the film’s pacing and content because, come February, if the film is all style and no substance, all the Oscar talk will be just that — talk.

(1990) and “Casino” (1995). He finally won a best director Oscar in 2007, giving him the recognition he deserves as one of the alltime greats. Now he is back with “The Wolf of Wall Street,” starring Leonardo DiCaprio. Based on the real-life story of Jordan Belfort, “The Wolf of Wall Street” chronicles the rise and fall of the infamous stockbroker as he lies and cheats his way to the top in a drink- and drug-fueled frenzy. The film marks the fifth collaboration between Scorsese and DiCaprio and features a stellar supporting cast that includes Jonah Hill and Matthew McConaughey. As you might expect from a Scorsese picture, the film looks slick and the soundtrack is pumping. With some direct address to the camera by DiCaprio in the trailer, I detected a slight “Goodfellas” vibe, which is a great sign. If “The Wolf of Wall Street” is anywhere near “Goodfellas” in terms of quality, we’re in for a treat.

Groove Korea January 2014  

Groove is Korea's English magazine for Insight, Travel, Culture, Dining and Shopping

Groove Korea January 2014  

Groove is Korea's English magazine for Insight, Travel, Culture, Dining and Shopping