Skip to main content

Movie Review: A Man Called Otto (2023) *No Spoilers*

A Man Called Otto One Sheet.

In the tradition of grumpy old man learns a bit of compassion or gains a new lease on life films comes A Man Called Otto with Tom Hanks in the titular role.

Based on an internationally best selling book, after the death of his wife, Otto lives alone on a housing estate complex where he's somewhat taken on the role of unofficial rule enforcer and resident grumpy old man.

A few of the longer term residents seem to tolerate his grouchiness having known both him and his wife in better times. Now he's living his life with one foot in the grave until the arrival of his new neighbors, a young family, that draw him into their world.

Otto is the kind of grumpy most people can relate to. His beef is with life, fools, people who don't follow the rules, and anyone that drives the wrong brand of car (which is about as political as this film gets).

Unsurprisingly Tom Hanks is very good at playing 'grumpy' even if I wouldn't class his Otto as 'the grumpiest man in America'. Chances are you know someone like Otto. You might even be a bit of an Otto yourself.

His new neighbor Marisol (Mariana TreviƱo), the mother of the family that includes her husband, two young girls and one kid on the way, is something of a force of nature. She's completely prepared to see through Otto's gruff and blunt behaviour, recognizing there's probably more to him. Mariana is perfectly cast, giving a great, believable performance opposite Tom Hanks.

Essentially A Man Called Otto is a kind of feelgood movie of a story well told. It doesn't particularly stand out or break any new ground. Even though Tom is playing a little against type for what he's known for, he has played characters with some of Otto's traits before.

The film will make you laugh and also turns up the feels as you learn more about Otto's past. 

Speaking of which, other reviewers have mentioned there are a lot of flashbacks in the film - perhaps too many?

Personally I don't think so. They're kind of in the spirit of 'show, don't tell'. While maybe some flashbacks could have been reduced to exposition by Otto, so we'd get to see more how he recalls his memories, I didn't feel the number was too much.

Overall an enjoyable film. Though, maybe we need some balance with some grumpy old cat lady redemption stories. That could be a thing, right?


Buy Gifts and Apparel featuring art by TET.

Popular posts from this blog

Skateboard Trick Tips: Two Ways to Ollie North (Ollie One foot)

You have to be quick to see my Ollie Norths! Ollie One Foots, otherwise known as the Ollie North, is one of those skateboard tricks you learn and then tend not to do very much as more interesting trick challenges grab your attention. However it does look really cool if you learn how to kick your front foot well past the nose of your skateboard. Still shot from Braille Skateboarding's Ollie North tutorial. I was inspired to make my video below, showing two different techniques to achieve a successful Ollie One Foot, when I not only saw that Braille Skateboarding's Tutorial used a different method to the one I had learned but also, when I looked at various other video tutorials, I discovered yet another technique, with no one using the method I had originally learned. Braille's method is to simply Ollie and drag your front foot past the front of your board. The second method I came across in several video tutorials is to Ollie, drag your front foot and tap your

How to Transfer Any Line Art to Your Griptape - Easy Skateboard Griptape Art Tutorial

Dog Star Griptape Art by TET Griptape art is once again gaining popularity amongst modern skateboarders. For those of us who have tried to create our own griptape art, using paint pens, you'll know reproducing your design onto the grip, without making any mistakes is incredibly challenging. Mostly because you just have to go for it and draw the design freehand, with paint pens, directly onto the griptape. You can make the odd mistake here or there but if you get the proportions of the design completely wrong, it can be very difficult to fix. Often you just have to live with the mistake. To address the problem I've come up with an easy way anyone can transfer a line art design to their griptape, removing almost all the anxiety of getting the proportions wrong. In fact, you could do this with any line art design, even if you have no drawing skill at all. Watch the video below to see my technique in action and/or skip past the video where I highlight the basic steps to get your de

Review: FP Footwear FINO Skate Shoes

FP Footwear FINO Skate Shoes I first saw FP's FINO skate shoes in a video by YouTube channel, Braille Skateboarding, titled, THE FIRST EVER NON NEWTONIAN FLUID SKATE SHOES!? As someone whose feet hurt and bruise relatively easily just from the basic tricks of skateboarding (Ollies, Pop Shuv-its etc.) the 90% absorption of impact energy selling point seemed like an ideal solution for minimizing my injuries. A day later I placed an order through FP's website . ​​ Ordinarily I wouldn't mention Customer Service but I can't let the lack of communication on my order slide. FP's website says to expect delivery within 7-14 days of your order. After close to two weeks, my order was still marked as being processed. I sent an email asking for any kind of update, to no response. A day or two later my order was marked as completed but still no signs of shoes in my mail? About two weeks later (just over a full month of placing my order) the shoes arrived. I'm sur

Can You Learn Skateboarding Basics on a Cheap Skateboard?

$20, Mambo 31" x 8", Department Store Skateboard. Over the years I've watched many high profile YouTube skateboarders repeatedly create videos where they purchase a cheap, department store skateboard, ride it like they would their regular professional skateboard, until it breaks (usually within an hour or so), and claim that as a reason for steering clear of these products. ​Inadvertently what they're doing is creating less demand for cheap skateboards, meaning it's less likely department stores will stock them, resulting in no easy way for first time skaters to 'test the waters' to see if skating is really for them. Even worse, parents looking to get their children into a new sport, may not even see skateboarding as an option as they browse through the department store sports section. At the time of writing, Australian department stores have shelves filled with many different brands of scooters, alongside a small shelf or two of skateboards (and

Movie Review: Air (2023) Amazon Prime *No Spoilers*

I imagine the general story of how the world's greatest basketballer, Michael Jordan, was signed to Nike doesn't sound all that compelling on a surface level. From his point of view it was a few meetings and making the right choice of which shoe company to sign with. However Air fleshes the story out by finding the key players at Nike and showing the behind the scenes drama that enabled them to take a risk on, what was then an exciting, up and coming rookie, who already had a choice of two leading shoe companies to sign with. Matt Damon plays Sonny Vaccaro, the visionary at Nike who saw the future potential of Michael Jordan as a sure thing. He knew Michael wasn't just a great basket ball player but had to find a way to convince his CEO, Phil Knight (Ben Affleck), to make a winning pitch to the Jordan family, and particularly Jordan's mother (Viola Davis), that Nike had their son's best interests at heart. From what I understand both Ben Affleck and Matt Damon did

Movie Review: Guardians of the Galaxy Volume 3 (2023) *No Spoilers*

If you've enjoyed Guardians of the Galaxy Volume 1 and Volume 2 then  Guardians of the Galaxy Volume 3  will not disappoint. I would almost go so far as to call it the best in the series... except seeing the first movie for the first time is still one of my best memories of the MCU. While it's not essential to the story if you didn't see the Guardians of the Galaxy Holiday Special on Disney+ it does kind of lead into and set up where the Guardians are at in Volume 3 quite nicely. In this installment Peter Quill (Chris Pratt) is still not coping with the loss of his timeline's Gamora (Zoe Saldada) when suddenly the team is attacked leaving Rocket (Bradley Cooper) in a very bad way. From then on it's a race to save Rocket as we learn quite a bit about his origin in the process. This movie is slightly darker than the first two and, if you're concerned about the animal cruelty that is causing some people to not want to see the film again, keep in mind, it's j

How I Lost Rock-to-Fakies (and Tried to Get Them Back) - A Skateboard Story

TET, Rock-to-Fakie attempt No# 43 (maybe?) Rock-to-Fakies, the act of riding your skateboard up a ramp, hanging half your board over the lip, then lifting your board back into the ramp, and riding out backwards, is one of the most basic ramp tricks. Bored Monkey Classic Popsicle Skateboard . See more deck shapes . Yet I can't do them anymore. At one time I could, without giving it any thought - even on my home 5' high mini ramp with an extra foot of vert extension added to the top of the transition. But as my skating got less, and skateboard spots with ramps diminished through the mid to late 1990s, I got out of practice. I did have a two foot tall, driveway mini, quarter pipe (with coping) I used to practice my mini ramp tricks on. Then one fateful day (I say that because this is scarred into my brain) I tried a rock-to-fakie and the tail of my skateboard dug into the pave stones at the base of the ramp as I came down, throwing me, hard, back into the ground