The story itself will drive you full speed to its destination if you’re willing to take the ride and by the time the first half hour is over, you should know whether or not if the ride is worth taking. There isn’t one part of the movie that seems out of place or illogical in this world; it all makes sense. That’s due to the writing, which is polished, the razor sharp dialogue and the fully realized characters that, on some level, are totally relatable. You know these people. The typical, modern suburban family complete with a fuck-up little brother, the perfect angel daughter and an emasculated Dad and emasculating Mom. Which brings us to the performances.
The whole premise of the movie, obviously, is built around Otis. Otis is an ASS. A bumbling, clumsy ass. But were it not for the performance of Bostin Christopher, I don’t think this movie could survive. He plays Otis brilliantly as psychotic and menacing and equally as brilliant if not more important, vulnerable. Dare I say, he makes a pedophile come off as sweet. That doesn’t mean I’m some liberal creep ready to petition my governor to pardon all the criminals locked up, but without Otis being vulnerable, the movie just wouldn’t be funny. Daniel Stern as the father of the kidnapped girl reminded me a lot of his character in Very Bad Things and also reminded me: where the hell has he been? He’s one of the great, comedic “straight men” working today. The always lovely, and I do mean LOVELY, Illeana Douglas has graduated into “Mom” type roles now but what she does with the character is what you would expect from her and more. In Otis she comes off as quirky, tough and most of all hilarious. Not the typical Mom role, but Douglas doesn’t normally partake in typical roles. The little brother played by Jared Kusnitz was the perfect pain in the ass little brother and the kidnapped “Kim”, played by Ashley Johnson (the little girl from Growing Pains), made me hurt for her. Ashley’s performance is very “real” and also very subtle, even when she’s getting punched in the face. I think another actress might’ve had a different take on where to go with the character but Ashley played it perfectly. And the show stealer would have to be the FBI Agent played by Jere Burns. From the first scene he was in, the fucker had me rolling. There’s also a little nod (whether deliberate or not) to Pulp Fiction which I enjoyed.
The Twisted World of Otis featurette: Basically gives you the genesis of the story came to be and how on a limited budget, a cast with big names got attached. A very good featurette, I must say.
Alternate Ending: The Birthday Party. It would be hard to describe the scene without spoiling anything but since I loved the movie, I wanted more of it and this didn’t disappoint. I can’t decide which ending I like better but I will give this one an edge due to Illeana Douglas being in a bra. I love that woman. Optional commentary on this track.
Short Film: Suite 16 Earlier when I said Otis was an ass, this proves it. During the movie, Otis has “Kim” watch a movie. This is that movie. Hilarious in so many ways.
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