A MAN CALLED OTTO is an American remake of a vastly superior Swedish movie called A MAN CALLED OVE which was on the film festival circuit many years ago. This American remake is from the Tom Hanks/Rita Wilson Playtone and a lot has changed in this American restyling. For the most part I am completely fine
Instead of Ove, we have Hanks as Otto who we first meet in a Hardware store having an argument with staff over pricing. We find out he lives alone on a small street block. Everything changes when a small family moves into his block and they go out of their way to befriend Otto. A unique relationship comes out of this making Otto possibly see there is more to his life than he thought.
Tom Hanks is America’s Dad and is a beloved actor, but I really felt he was totally mis-cast here. Otto should be a lot more angry and less “misunderstood” in the way that Hanks humanizes him. The family as well feels too over-written to push into Otto’s life in this way, and it does tend to push a lot of manipulative buttons and some politically correct updates to make the story even harder to believe at times.
Ultimately, I wanted to like A MAN CALLED OTTO a lot more but its weaknesses kept nagging at me throughout. I recommend checking out the original A MAN CALLED OVE on which this movie is based for a much superior story and a lead that is much better cast.
About the Blu Ray:
I will say something very positive in that this a VERY nice Blu Ray presentation from Sony, who has a great track record in the last few years with 4k and Blu Ray releases. Originally announced as a 4k disc but scrapped for an unknown reason, this Blu Ray is pretty close to the digitally-shot presentation I saw in theatres earlier this year. The movie just has a few settings and is set in the winter with a lot of overcast and snow-bound sequences and the Blu Ray nicely shows this. The sound is DTS Master Audio 5.1 and nothing really stands out here except for a few music cues that make some light use of the surrounds.
There are a few light bonus features here including some featurettes with Hanks and Wilson along with a deleted scene. A Digital Copy is also here and it redeems to HD in Google Play. From what I can tell there is a 4k edition available on digital platforms but to be honest, with the design of the movie I don’t think we would really see much of a difference.
If you saw and liked this movie in theatres this is a nice Blu Ray to add to the collection. I was hoping for a lot more from the movie itself but overall it’s a nice release.
A MAN CALLED OTTO is now available on Blu Ray as well as available on digital platforms. Our thanks to Sony/Columbia Home Video for sending along a copy for review.