Movie: The Secret Life of Walter Mitty

Along with my new years resolutions to read more classic books and actually read the books I own instead of buying new ones (a feat easier said than done), I also resolved to watch more movies. There are so many that come and go in theaters that I end up missing. And my netflix queue is already novel length from trying to watch the movies I have missed in my lifetime. So I have been trying to get myself up in the morning (not an easy task) in an attempt to watch the cheaper, first theater showing of movies I want to see.

One of those movies ended up being The Secret Life of Walter Mitty starring and directed by Ben Stiller. I remember watching the trailer and being intrigued. I had to see it to find out more. It was definitely a movie I was glad I didn’t miss.

The Secret Life of Walter Mitty

Ben Stiller plays Walter Mitty who works in the film department of LIFE Magazine and dreams of fantastical adventures only in the realm of his mind until he actually goes out and starts living his own adventure. Sean Penn and Kristen Wiig star.

I really enjoyed this movie. It was a great chance to see Ben Stiller play someone who was more real than the comical characters he normally plays. The movie still had funny moments though. It was also visually stunning. I don’t know where he filmed but some of the shots of the landscape were beautiful. It made me miss traveling and wish I had the means to explore more often. Sean Penn was perfectly cast as the brazen, adventurous photographer. Kristen Wiig* was actually enjoyable to watch interact with Ben’s character. Overall, I would rate the movie 5 out of 5.

I felt really inspired after watching this movie. It made me want to go out and do more. I am somewhat of a homebody (as you would expect from a book nerd and TV/movie enthusiast) but I felt I needed to go out and do more fun things. Studying abroad was a big adventure for me 7 years ago, but it didn’t mean that my adventures had to stop even if I was no longer in Europe.

I was also inspired by the LIFE magazine motto which I had never read before. “To see the world, things dangerous to come to, to see behind walls, draw closer, to find each other, and to feel. That is the purpose of life.” I liked the quote so much that I wrote it on my white board which hangs prominently on my wall over my desk.

I didn’t realize until after I had watched the movie that it was a remake of The Secret Life of Walter Mitty starring Danny Kaye** which in turn was based on the short story by James Thurber The Secret Life of Walter Mitty. I’m not sure how this movie compared to the original. It might be one I have to add to the netflix queue.

*I have to say I am not a big fan of Kristen Wiig. I think the SNL characters she played were obnoxious and annoying. It was nice to see her do something different and not rely so heavily on her comedian chops.

**I LOVE Danny Kaye. Probably based on the fact that he is in one of my favorite Christmas movies which I have probably seen 1000 times growing up (mostly because it is also my mother’s favorite movie). 100 awesome points to the person who knows which movie I am talking about.

Classic Book Challenge

It has been over 2 years since I made a resolution for myself.* I wanted to read more classic books. I had the wonderful opportunity to read several of them in school as I pursued my English major. But there are so many other good classics that I never got a chance to read. I was so determined on my new goal that I even bought a few.

Now it is 2 years later and I’m still plodding through my first selection, A Tale of Two Cities. (Why did I have to start with Dickens? I forgot how bloody wordy he is. Get to the point, Charles!)

But Dickens is really not the problem. I learned that the problem is me. I used to read classic books just fine when I was in college, and enjoyed a fair share of them. Although I was plenty busy in college, I was able to focus so much of my energy in my school work (and for the nerd that I am, enjoyed it). I looked forward to reading and being able to discuss it the next day. I will admit there was the off chance that I didn’t read but I ended up only hurting myself by missing out.**

My desire to read and learn has not changed. My focus simply has changed. I went back to school to study American Sign Language and Interpreting. I have a new job that keeps me vested in the Deaf community. After a long day, the last thing I want to do is plow through a classic. I want to enjoy my reading as a leisurely activity, not work.

Oddly, I feel both disappointed and relieved. I feel disappointed, because I’m not in college anymore. I don’t have the energy to devote myself to the written word as much as I used to. Although I had read a great deal of classics that I set out to read, I wish I had read even more. I also feel relieved, because my love for reading has not waned. It simply has adjusted to accommodate my current lifestyle.

I think that I will continue to try reading the classics. I don’t want to give it up. I think my new goal is to still read a classic a year. Between my everyday books, read a chapter or two. If the classic ends up grabbing my attention, then I might finish it faster. Who knows? I’m not going to set impossible goals for myself and fail. Taking it One. Step. At. A. Time.

But damn it, I’m going to finish you Dickens!

*A resolution I make every year is to work on this blog more. Every year I fail miserably.

**Those were also some boring class days. I tended to keep the conversation very lively.

Failure

That’s me. Utter and total failure.

I was determined to start this blog anew over a year ago and utterly failed. Not only that, but I couldn’t even finish “Tale of Two Cities”. I just don’t work well when left to my own devices. I need deadlines, discussions, and assignments to really put forth an effort.

I really want to try again though. Although I enjoy it, I don’t want to limit myself on only discussing book and movie comparisons.

I used to have such a passion for writing. When I was in college, I dreamed to write for pleasure again. Now I have all the time in the world and suddenly I have a reluctance to write. I don’t know where my passion went. It’s as if I dropped it somewhere along the way and have no idea where it has gone to.

I want to try again. At least try to do something monthly. I want to try NanoWriMo again. And I definitely want to write more in my personal journal again, simply for my own sanity.

So, let’s try again. Writing, onward!

For 2012

I cannot believe it is the year 2012. I know it seems cliche, but where has time gone?

I actually started this blog in 2010, and what a shoddy job I have done of it. I had this brilliant idea and simply haven’t followed through. Life got in the way.

I think the problem was that I was so focused on my movie/book comparison, that I didn’t leave room for anything else. Do you know how many books are made into movies? TONS. LOADS. I became overwhelmed by the idea that when I realized a book had been made into a movie, I was compelled to see and read both. Even if the idea or plot did not appeal to me. And then when it got to writing it, I felt uninspired. I’ve decided that I want to change that. I want this blog to be not just reviews, but even thoughts, ideas, and opinions on all books, movies, or anything that simply speaks to me.

I’ve also decided that I am going to read more classic books that I missed in school, and reread some classics that I’ve neglected. I even started “A Tale of Two Cities” by Charles Dickens. Granted, I’m on page 2 but I’m working on it.

I also want to get back to what I miss, which is writing. I’m going to stop re-editing myself a billion times (you should see the number of saved entries that have never been posted). Simply write, and post what I have without critiquing myself.

So welcome to 2012, and hopefully a new chapter for this blog.