Niagara Gazette

Night & Day

April 30, 2013

CALLERI: New movie 'Arthur Newman' rides down an oft-traveled road

Niagara Gazette — It’s said that everyone has a little bit of Walter Mitty in their heart, Mitty being the character who dreamt rich fantasies about himself in the short story written by James Thurber. The fellow even has its own movie, “The Secret Life Of Walter Mitty,” from 1947, with Danny Kaye as the good-natured Walter, a sweet and unassuming sort who in his reveries fought in wars, appeared in courtrooms, and practiced surgery. The huge popularity of Thurber’s dreamer even led to a word being coined: Mittyesque.

And Hollywood, true to its unoriginal self, is releasing a remake of the “The Secret Life Of Walter Mitty” this Christmas, with Ben Stiller directing and starring.

The key to the success of Mitty as a tall tale and a beloved character is his mild-mannered demeanor, his conflicted personality notwithstanding. When dealing with simple souls, motion picture directors and screenwriters need to tread lightly. They need to keep the comedy soft and the melodrama relatable.

A character similar to Mitty exists in the new comedy-drama “Arthur Newman,” which stars Colin Firth as Wallace Avery, an unhappy guy who dreams of a different life. Why the smooth, controlled, and richly talented Firth chose to play a miserable middle-class American failure is anyone’s guess. He not very good at it.

In the film, Wallace will abandon his rocky world in Florida. He’s a disgruntled shipping company manager, with a son who hates him, as well as an ex-wife and a current girlfriend. Wallace fakes his own death, purchases a new identity (Arthur Newman), and heads for Indiana where he wants to be a country club golf pro.

On he road, he meets a dangerously bizarre kleptomaniac named Michaela, who goes by the name of Mike. She’s a throwback to that classic movie character: the zany female kook. She’s played by another Brit, the usually reliable Emily Blunt, who is also not so good here. The two become traveling companions, a step toward assuaging their loneliness.

Text Only | Photo Reprints
Night & Day
  • NAD Cover 042414 White Party set to celebrate the Falls It's a white party -- which means all the people in attendance should be wearing white. But a pair of white bermuda shorts will work just as well as a white-feathered boa. Really, any color clothing is welcome, organizers said, but, white is the color of the day.

    April 24, 2014 3 Photos

  • NAD Jennings column art 042414 JENNINGS: Lou Gramm teaming up with BPO for show We are just days away from Artpark announcing the rest of their summer lineup, but in the meantime organizers of the three-day Latitude 43 Music Festival rolled out their lineup for their music festival at Artpark. Latitude 43 runs from June 13-15, and each day is themed, the 13th features blues artists, the 14th rock and the 15th country.

    April 24, 2014 1 Photo

  • Buffalo Niagara International Film Festival offers variety of movies When the earliest motion pictures were shown, in newly built "cinema auditoriums" and repurposed vaudeville houses, folks on the Niagara Frontier were quick to jump on the bandwagon.

    April 24, 2014

  • NAD Calleri review art 042414 CALLERI: Something remembered is the theme of two new movies "The Railway Man" and "Finding Vivian Maier" both touch upon what memories mean to individuals. One is a documentary, and the other is based on a true story, that of an Englishman whose obsession with trains serves to act as his salvation.

    April 22, 2014 1 Photo

  • NAD civisca art 2 041714 Falls native Michael Civisca returns to stage April 24 for fundraiser

    Niagara Falls native and American standards crooner Michael Civisca will join some of New York City's top nightclub entertainers for "Life is a Cabaret," a show celebrating the Buffalo Community Music School's 90th anniversary. The event will be held at 7:30 p.m. on April 24 in the Mary Seaton Room at Kleinhans Music Hall, 3 Symphony Circle.

    April 17, 2014 2 Photos

  • NAD Jennings column art 041714 JENNINGS: One of two Queensrÿche's in town this weekend The summer concert scene is filling in its final pieces, North Tonawanda's Niagara River Rocks series should be announcing details of their series soon, and Artpark has announced they will reveal the rest of what is already the best lineup in Western New York, on April 28. Tickets for their remaining shows going on sale May 3.

    April 17, 2014 1 Photo

  • NAD Raising Matt Christian art 3 041714 'Raising Matty Christian' examines struggles of boy without limbs

    A movie profiling the life of a young man born without full limbs or a tongue will be part of a film festival being held by an organization created to highlight the abilities of people with disabilities. 

    The film “Raising Matty Christian,’ will be shown by the Museum of disABILITY History and People Inc. as part of the Spring 2014 Annual disABILITIES Film Festival and Speaker Series. The movie will be shown twice on April 25. The showings will be at 3 p.m. and 7 p.m. at Dipson Amherst Theatre, 3500 Main St., Buffalo. A reception will be held at 5 p.m. at the museum at 3826 Main St. in Buffalo

    The purpose of the event is to educate attendees, challenge stereotypes and celebrate the contributions of people with disabilities.

    April 17, 2014 3 Photos

  • NAD Calleri review art 041714 CALLERI: From Britain with a warning, and a lot of style and talent Two new movies visit frightening aspects of the human condition. Both are from Great Britain, which may tell us something about the nature of creativity there.

    April 15, 2014 1 Photo

  • 3 Doors Down 3 Doors Down latest Artpark concert announcement

    Another addition to the Wednesday concert series at Artpark was announced Monday.

    April 15, 2014 1 Photo

  • NIA Biz column art 041414 Intimate Goo Goo Dolls show a real treat for fans There is at least one person who will not be reading this review -- Johnny Rzeznik -- who told an intimate crowd at Seneca Niagara's Bear's Den on Saturday that he is "too neurotic" to read reviews.

    April 13, 2014 1 Photo

Featured Ads
House Ads
AP Video
Opinion
House Ads
Night & Day
Twitter News
Follow us on twitter
Hyperlocal Search
Premier Guide
Find a business

Walking Fingers
Maps, Menus, Store hours, Coupons, and more...
Premier Guide
Front page