Tag Archives: Film reviews

A Man Called Otto review

A Man Called Otto is an emotional and enthralling journey from director Marc Forster. The film is a remake of A Man Called Ove (2015), which is based on the book of the same name published in 2012 by Fredrik Backman. I saw A Man Called Ove in the fall of 2016 and I loved it. A Man Called Otto has a melancholy, loneliness vibe at its core, but it has moments of joy and happiness and it is very endearing. It’s a film where love and disconnect finds meaning.

A Man Called Otto introduces its audience to Otto Anderson, played by Tom Hanks. Otto is a grouchy widower, and he spends his days getting mad at people for various reasons. He gets annoyed with how people park outside his apartment, he gets mad at store clerks. Otto is a by the book kind of guy. If someone doesn’t follows the rules of Otto’s world, then all bets are off with his attitude.

Tom Hanks’ portrayal of a widower and angry man is stellar, and he really makes us feel his moments of sadness. When Otto visits his wife’s grave and talks to her, his feelings seem so real as he vents and says to her, “Nothing works when you’re not home.”

Otto meets a new neighbor, Marisol, played by Mariana Trevino, and he begins helping her and her family adjust to their new home and the neighborhood. Despite Otto’s ongoing grief, his friendship with Marisol starts to change his life. He still gets annoyed, but his good heart shows. He teaches Marisol how to drive and he helps with her kids, but he also reminds her that the world and life is not the easiest place in the world.

As Otto begins changing, he is still depressed at times when he remembers his wife. The film weaves us through the good and bad times of Otto’s life. Otto’s journey paints a picture of how it feel to be alone. We have compassion for Otto when he does good deeds for Marisol. Otto is only human, and he knows right from wrong, but he struggles to realize how his attitude impacts others.

A Man Called Otto has a lot of the same themes as its predecessor. But A Man Called Ove took place in Sweden, like the book, and A Man Called Otto takes place in the United States. Even though I think I liked the original film more, I have much appreciation for A Man Called Otto. Tom Hanks brings a level of respect and empathy for his character, and he delivers a poetic performance.

When we begin to see Otto finding light amongst his turmoil, it is encouraging. But how much can Otto improve his attitude? Will he continue to choose suffering, or will he actually find happiness again? What does Otto’s future hold? Find out in A Man Called Otto. Three and a half stars.

Corsage Review

When preparing to watch Corsage, I knew I better be ready for historical value. Unfortunately, much of what could have been valuable is frivolous due to a lack of characterization in particular fragments of the film. Corsage is attention-grabbing and even has moments which are spellbinding. The film is also vivid in its presentation of the late 1800s era in Europe. Because the film is based on real events, it suffers from some inaccuracies. Corsage hits a brick wall during scenes that are too complex to interpret. Writer and director Maria Kreutze, tries to stay on point, but even staying on point does not make Corsage a masterpiece. In fact, the film requires a strong attention span with plenty of patience.

Corsage focuses on Empress Elisabeth, played by Vicky Krieps. The year is 1877 in Austria. It is Elizabeth’s 40th birthday and many around her start to refer to her as elderly. With a rich life, critical attention, and her own frustration, Elisabeth becomes determined to prove that she is stronger than many view her. In addition, she is involved in plenty of conflicts with her family and others. Her level of prestige has raised a lot of eyebrows and spurred controversy. However, due to being powerful since the age of 16, she has been able to maintain her level of authority. The film explores questions of her power, authority and wealth. Krieps’ performance is strong and filled with emotion. Her portrayal of Elisabeth’s identity study is where the film will enthrall its audience.

Again, the film is based on real events, but some of the information is fictional. Therefore, I watched this film with an understanding that if certain moments did not add up, it was because the writing failed to effectively juggle fact and fiction. The director focuses on the frustrations in Krieps’ performance more than anything else. Some of the main character’s issues may lead to irreparable consequences as the journey gets dangerously close to destruction. Corsage makes the point that Elisabeth wants her life to change, and it does so by illustrating her choices and through the way she voices her opinions and demonstrates her strength throughout the film.

Where Corsage adds fuel to the fire is in its depiction of the family around Elisabeth. The family appears to be ungrateful. She is an empress with disrespectful people in her life. Corsage shows Elisabeth to be volatile and also reluctant. She struggles to speak up and if she gets vocal, heads roll. Corsage succeeds by showing authority and personality development that is unparalleled.

With all the peril and annoyances in Corsage, I found the historical and political sides intriguing. Elisabeth’s suffering is compounded because she always felt obligated to tolerate issues that bothered her. There are times in the film where one senses a change is possible given the political conflicts. Will Elisabeth be able to improve her situation? Find out in Corsage. Two and a half stars.

M3GAN review

Artificial intelligence comes with a vengeance in M3gan. This film shows that a robot with a mind of its own can do serious damage. M3gan will have its audiences questioning how artificial intelligence will turn out in the coming years. The film also shows that young people using technology as a coping mechanisms can be a disaster for young minds. The film mentions the concept of “attachment theory”, and that theory is only the beginning of the terror the robot in the film brings.

The main character in M3gan is Gemma, played by Allison Williams. She builds new and advanced technologies in very expensive toys. She becomes the legal guardian of her niece Cady, played by Violet McGraw, after Cady loses her parents in a car crash. Gemma creates a robot, M3gan, voiced by Amie Donald and Jenna Davis, to help Cady with her grief and sadness. Cady falls in love with M3gan, but after a few days the robot starts showing some disturbing signs. M3gan is not the cheerful and sweet robot that they believe her to be.

M3gan’s artificial intelligence brings a spiral of suspense, and the robot becomes an unstoppable freak of explosive behavior. Gemma and Cady have little time to put an end to the dangers of M3gan, and the film just gets more and more suspenseful. M3gan will dazzle its audience with the action sequences, which are vast and unexpected.

Although M3gan’s evilness is insane, it is also fun. There are twists and unexpected humor that comes with the damage. M3gan raises the question whether artificial intelligence really can be this dangerous and destructive, and the film will cause audiences to think more carefully about the future of artificial intelligence. Will I want to own a robot many years down the line? Probably not. But this robot will enthrall its audiences with its never-ending rollercoaster of destruction. Three stars for M3gan.