New York Film Fest: ‘the Secret Life Of Walter Mitty’ Splits Critics, Charms Festivalgoers (analysis)

His wife said he is paralyzed. The other biker who turned himself in, Reginald Chance, is also suspected in the beating of driver Alexian Lien. Police identified the 37-year-old Chance as the man seen in the video pounding his shiny helmet against the SUV. Chance appeared for arraignment Sunday and was charged with first-degree assault and gang assault, both felonies; unlawful imprisonment; criminal possession of a weapon and criminal mischief, according to court papers. His bail was set at $75,000 cash or $100,000 if secured by property, and his next court appearance was set for October 11. Chance’s lawyer, Gregory Watts, said his client didn’t take part in the beating. He said Chance and Mieses are also victims in the case, and he urged prosecutors to call a grand jury to investigate Lien. “We concede the criminal mischief,” Watts said. “It’s obvious that he overreacted. But the law does permit someone who is a victim of an accident to at least attempt to get the identification of the motorist. My client obviously overreacted in that manner, but he is not this thug assaulting someone who’s harmless, contrary to the public opinion that’s being put out there.” Biker: SUV driver ‘was a maniac’ Biker: SUV driver ‘was a maniac’ Lien was in his Range Rover on his way back from an outing to celebrate his wedding anniversary with his wife and their 2-year-old daughter. Dozens of bikers swarmed past him on Manhattan’s West Side Highway. A cycle quickly slowed down in front of Lien, who bumped its rear tire, slightly injuring rider Christopher Cruz. Lien pulled to a stop, and angry bikers surrounded his vehicle, hitting it and spiking its tires, police said.

Bill de Blasio’s student activist at New York University work prepared him for the world of city politics

It’s a moviegoing experience that leaves some viewers cold and others deeply moved. Last year, that film was Ang Lee’s Life of Pi, which went on to score a best picture Oscar nomination, among many others, and won the best director Oscar. This year, it is Ben Stiller’s The Secret Life of Walter Mitty, which might go on to snag a few noms of its own. our editor recommends NYFF REVIEW: The Secret Life of Walter Mitty On Saturday morning, the film’s first press screening generated sharply divided reactions, but the prevailing reaction at its official world premiere Saturday night, as the fest’s centerpiece screening, was much more positive: It received a lengthy standing ovation. Stiller introduced the film at its premiere by saying, tongue-in-cheek, “I want to thank the Film Society of Lincoln Center for having the courage to include a Ben Stiller film in the festival.” Noting that he grew up just 20 blocks from Alice Tully Hall, where the screening took place, he added thatWalter Mitty was a “valentine” to New York, having been shot all across the city. The dramedywas loosely adapted bySteve Conradfrom a 1939 James ThurberNew Yorker short story, which itself was made into a musical-comedy motion picture starring Danny Kaye in 1947. The new film takes place in the present day. It stars Stiller as the title character, a good-hearted but sad-sack loner who has known sadness, sacrificed for others and worked all but invisibly for 16 years in the photo processing department at waning Life magazine. A perpetual daydreamer prone to awkwardness, he develops a crush on a co-worker (Kristen Wiig), but before he can muster the courage to do anything about it he loses a photo from a famous photographer (Sean Penn), prompting his new boss (a heavily bearded Adam Scott) to tell him that he will lose his job if he doesn’t find it. In order to track it down, Walter Mitty must finally go out and experience the world. PHOTOS: New York Film Festival 2013: 13 Movies to Know This sort of a story is not new. It’s a Wonderful Life (1946) is about a man who gave up so much for others that he never had time for himself. The Wizard of Oz (1939) is about a girl who ventures far from home and eventually concludes that there’s no place like it. And Stranger Than Fiction (2006), a film that possesses a tone perhaps most similar to Mitty’s, is about a man whose bland life becomes dangerous and exciting because of the presence of unusual activity in his mind. Films of this sort are generally categorized as “fantasy,” which is not the Academy’s favorite genre, and this year’s awards season is tremendously competitive, so I cannot say with any degree of confidence that this film will be nominated for any major Oscars.

New York AG subpoenas Airbnb in ‘bad actors’ battle

Brian Chesky on "CBS This Morning."

Three decades before he won the Democratic nomination for mayor, Bill de Blasio got a tough lesson in politics as a student activist at New York University. Across the country, the protest movement that roiled colleges in the 1960s and 70s had ended, but de Blasio was undeterred. He demonstrated against tuition hikes. He marched against nuclear proliferation. He demanded that a student be placed on NYUs board of trustees. By end of his time at NYU, however, he experienced a series of reality checks about the limits of activism that culminated with administrators threatening to expel him for a protest that violated school rules. De Blasio arrived at NYU in 1979 as a tuition-free Presidential Scholar. He majored in Metropolitan Studies, a program in urban studies with courses such as Politics of Minority Groups and The Working Class Experience. David Handschuh/New York Daily News De Blasio (pictured with wife Chirlane McCray and daughter Chiara) met with little success as a student activist, but it prepared him for the battleground of New York City politics and this year’s mayoral race. The passion for politics that he showed as a high school student in Cambridge, Mass., quickly emerged at NYU. By his sophomore year he had become a charismatic figure at the university, a 6-foot-5, wild-haired activist known as Bill Wilhelm he would later change his name who regularly confronted school administrators about the cost of something he didnt have to pay for: tuition. He really stood out as one of the brightest students very engaged, wanting to do things, said Ann Meyerson, former director of the Metropolitan Studies program.

Airbnb, which helps people rent out their houses or apartments for a period of time, said last week that it has 225,000 community members in New York. The Attorney General’s office has been investigating Airbnb for more than a month, a person familiar with the investigation told CNET. The investigation stemmed from complaints by lawmakers and housing advocates. Related stories Tampa is the nicest city in America, says Airbnb The crux of the issue appears to be so-called “bad actors” who find short-term rentals and run amok, according to a person familiar with the investigation. Some of those renters could be sidestepping paying taxes, the person indicated. In addition, the attorney general’s office wants to target those who are renting out multiple units in violation of state law or who are renting out their properties for longer than expressly allowed under the state’s tax laws, a person familiar with the investigation said. A person who is simply trying to rent out their units every now and then — a so-called “casual user” — will not be targeted in the investigation, according to the person. In its statement on the matter, Airbnb said that it agrees that “bad actors” are an issue, and indicated that it believes the attorney general’s office “is only seeking to target an incredibly small number of bad actors who abuse the Airbnb platform.” Despite that cooperation, Airbnb bristled a bit at the subpoena, indicating that the attorney general’s office wants access to all New York-based short-term renters on the company’s service, despite plans to go after those bad actors. Airbnb wants to work with the attorney general to weed out the troublesome renters and keep the rest of its data secure and outside the prying eyes of lawmakers. “We are confident we can reach a solution that protects your personal information and cracks down on people who abuse the system,” Airbnb said today in a statement. The Attorney General’s legal action is just the latest issue Airbnb has faced over the last year . The company has been targeted by governments far and wide over its service, which some say, hurts the hotel business.