Tag: Tom Hanks

Movie Review: ‘A Man Called Otto’


I understand why film buffs get irritated when there is an English-language remake of a well-regarded foreign film. It seems disrespectful to the original, and suggests that American audiences are too lazy to read subtitles. The former is always going to be in the eye of the beholder, although most adaptions are probably done out of affection for the original work. If there are too many changes, it would support that conclusion. The latter is, in part, probably true. It does seem that foreign language films have difficulty reaching American audiences because subtitles are distracting and require a different sort of engagement.

The biggest reality, though, is that you need to adapt to the audience. American audiences are not so much unsophisticated as they are locked in their own paradigms. We relate more to familiar surroundings, to experiences that we are likely to encounter. We are a racially mixed culture, but there are enclaves within the broader culture that have limited experience with some parts of the world. Every writer, speaker, and artist who is trying to reach a particular audience knows that they need to craft their work in a way that the intended audience will respond to.

The source material for this Tom Hanks vehicle is a well-regarded Swedish film that was the highest-grossing foreign language film in the US the year it was released. It was nominated as the Best Non-English film by the Academy Awards that year. It brought in less than $3.5 million at the box office in the States. Assuming an average price of $10 a ticket, that means that it was seen by about 35,000 people in a theater in America. That is a small segment of the potential audience, regardless of why so few got around to seeing it. An English language remake gives the story a second bite of the apple and a chance to let the audience find it. If you want to criticize the film and compare its artistic merit to the original, that is fine, but first evaluate the film you are criticizing, rather than its reason for existence.

Greg and guest host Rob Long discuss CNN calling VP Kamala Harris “cringeworthy” for her terrible answers on when she will visit the border, a possible nuclear disaster unfolding in China, and a New York Times article claiming Tom Hanks is “not racist” but must be “anti-racist.”

This week James reports in from an undisclosed location (his evil genius lair, no doubt) and he and Toby review the week’s doings, from the latest on the Covid lockdowns to the foolishness of the multi-culti wokeness of the BBC and their plans for this year’s Proms.

We get their views on the Biden-Harris ticket (or is that Harris-Biden?) and the prospect of Donald Trump’s re-election, plus our cultural reviews, highlighted by the very disappointing Greyhound with Tom Hanks on AppleTV.

It’s all-crazy and all coronavirus today on the Three Martini Lunch.  Join Jim and Greg as they go through the three key points from President Trump’s Oval Office address that were not consistent with administration policy and needed later clarification.  They also dive into the rapidly growing list of college and professional sports events being cancelled or radically altered, most prominently the NBA suspending its season after Utah Jazz star Rudy Gobert tests positive for coronavirus.  Finally, they comment on movie star Tom Hanks and wife Rita Wilson testing positive in Australia while feeling slightly under the weather and wonder how much patience Americans will have for a long-term quarantine when many patients don’t feel that crummy and a lot of economic livelihoods are on the line.