Apr 24 2014
In blinkbox’s latest film The Secret Life of Walter Mitty, Ben Stiller plays a meek magazine employee who’s never had a real adventure. His life is so dull, he commonly disappears into his own imagination where he fantasizes about being the hero of his own story. But when an important photograph goes missing, Walter is pushed out of his comfort zone and into a real-life adventure that takes him all the way from the barren coast of Greenland to remotest parts of Himalayas.
With its beautiful locations and gorgeous cinematography, Walter Mitty left us with an immediate urge to fly somewhere new and exciting. With that in mind, here are seven other films guaranteed to give you the travel bug.
In Bruges (Belgium)
To paraphrase Brendan Gleeson’s Irish hit man, Bruges is a place where you can strike a fine balance between culture and fun. With cobble stone roads and medieval buildings, it’s like a place right out of a fairy tale. There’s no shortage of Waffles, chocolate and beers. Though Ray (Colin Farrell) insists he’d rather be hiding out somewhere like London, he’s soon won over by the romantic charms of this bucolic Belgian paradise.
The Darjeeling Limited (India)
Wes Anderson is a director who loves to control every aspect of every frame he shoots. In choosing to film his fifth film in India, he must have known he was surrendering a lot of control. With its sheer size and enormously diverse population, it’s a country that’s almost impossible to micromanage.
As a tourist destination, it’s a place that will slap you around if you pack too much (as Jason Schwartzman’s character does); if you’re not careful, you’ll have your shoes stolen (like Owen Wilson’s character); and if your travel companions aren’t the most even-keeled people, India’s mercurial transport system will get the best of you.
But as Schwartzman, Wilson and Adrien Brody soon discover, once you surrender to the pace and rhythms of India, there is a sort of inner peace to be found there. As hippy-dippy as it sounds, there’s no place on Earth quite like it.
Lost in Translation (Japan)
Before Lost in Translation, Tokyo wasn’t seen as a romance destination to folks in the West. The bright lights of Shibuya and the noise of pachinko parlours can be a little oppressive, truth be told. But in the company of Bill Murray and Scarlett Johansson, two American in Tokyo, we discover the thrilling beauty of this city.
As they flit across Shinjuku –ducking into karaoke bars and trying to make themselves understood by locals—they realise two things: there is nothing lonelier than being by yourself in a busy city; and that there are few things in this world more magical than a personal connection made in a strange land.
Vicky Cristina Barcelona (Spain)
“I would like to invite you both to come with me to Oviedo.” So begins the strange weekend that American tourists Rebecca Hall and Scarlett Johansson spend in the company of artist Javier Bardem. As promised, they drink good wine, eat good food and entertain the option of making love to a creepy/charming foreigner.
As with most Woody Allen Characters, Vicky and Cristina spend most of their summer taking leisurely walks, discussing nebulous ideas like love, ambition and inspiration. They’re so wrapped up in their own personal neuroses, they barely recognise the beauty surrounding them: this wondrous and ancient city preserved in permanent dusk.
Eat Pray Love (Italy, India, Indonesia)
If this movie and Vicky Cristina Barcelona are anything to go by, the average Hollywood woman’s deepest fantasy involves being seduced by Javier Bardem in some exotic location (preferably over a glass of red wine). Based on the best-selling memoir of the same name, Eat Pray Love finds Julia Roberts heading across the world in search of meaning.
She discovers the culinary treasures of Italy, gets in touch with her spiritual side in India, before finding love in the tropical climes of Bali. The film is a little on the shallow side and resorts to stereotypes a few times too many, but the sumptuous cinematography and beautiful locations will have you booking a holiday to Bali before long (preferable without the company a whining, over-privileged author).
Shirley Valentine (Greece)
Tired of her predictably dull life as a housewife, Shirley Valentine (Pauline Collins) makes an escape from Liverpool and her inattentive husband. Heading to Mykonos on a free holiday with her best mate, she soon strikes out by herself. With the help of a handsome local (with a terrific moustache), she rediscovers herself over the course of a romantic summer spent under the Mediterranean sun.
She samples great food, sits by the sea, and drinks wine in a country where the grapes are grown. We think you’ll agree there are few things in this world are better than that.
Just looking at Up, your first instinct would be to think that no part of this film is based on reality. After all, it’s about a geriatric man who flies his house to a jungle filled with talking dogs, Zeppelins and giant birds. But before launching into production, a group of Pixar’s artists flew to Venezuela where they spent weeks absorbed the unique spectacle of its vast ridges and rainforests. Carl’s final destination, Angel Falls, is actually a real place. In fact, it’s the world’s highest waterfall and just as beautiful in real life as it is in the film. Adventure is out there, and it can be found right in the heart of South America.
Watch The Secret Life of Walter Mitty now on blinkbox