Otie has written 15 reviews for films during 2014.

  • Dumb and Dumber To

    Dumb and Dumber To

    ★★★★

    “We now know that an artist's supreme work is not the one in best accord with any tradition–not even his most complete and “finished” work–but his most personal work, the one from which he has stripped all that is not his own, and in which his style reaches its climax.”
    – Andre Malraux

  • Tobacco Road

    Tobacco Road

    ★½

    A hideous inversion of all that is Fordian, The Grapes of Wrath remade as hateful, childish grotesquerie, a nasty indulgence of Ford's worst tendencies, for once distilled into a picture rather than what it should have been, an eight day bender aboard the Araner.

  • Gone Girl

    Gone Girl

    ★★★★

    This review may contain spoilers. I can handle the truth.

    Let's be clear: Amy Elliott Dunne is a Bad Girl, she's a wicked witch, and if you don't enjoy the rare but simple pleasure of a woman being evil, skip it, this isn't for you. But remember, Amy Dunne isn't a woman, she's a men's rights activist's fantasy-nightmare of a woman, a Brothers Grimm fairy tale caricature of woman, the manifestation of what gets imagined when misogyny begets conspiracy theory: pregnancy, rape, and murder faked one after the other, the…

  • A Summer's Tale

    A Summer's Tale

    ★★★½

    Youth is wasted on the young.

  • Jane B. by Agnès V.

    Jane B. by Agnès V.

    ★★★½

    Agnès Varda likes daydreams, not psychology. Her movies jump not from one thing to the next but from one thing to a next, always opening, never closing. One film, a documentary made of fictional parts (Jane B. par Agnès V.), leads to another, a fiction made of documentary (Kung-fu Master!), starring Jane Birkin's daughters, Charlotte Gainsbourg and Lou Doillon, and Varda's son, Mathieu Demy.

    Birkin said she wanted “to make a feature film about how I really am: jeans, old…

  • Saturday Night Fever

    Saturday Night Fever

    ★★★½

    "After seeing Star Wars, after seeing Close Encounters of the Third Kind, they must have put them into a computer and the computer said: 'Listen, you should make a film for ordinary people' and then they made a film like [Saturday Night Fever]." - Godard

  • Titanic

    Titanic

    ★★★★

    An epic of duality, bifurcated between day & night, life & death, female & male, romance & tragedy, and held together by love and close-ups. This is the film of a deep-sea explorer but also that of a matte painter at a time when the technique was dying out; just look at the sunsets! (Even James Cameron, however, felt this one was egregious). All those matte paintings, and yet still Cameron waited a week for the right sky for the actors to kiss under;…

  • La Dolce Vita

    La Dolce Vita

    ★★★★

    “The only thing you’re interested in are women. And you think that’s love.”

    La Dolce Vita is pervaded by De Chirico from its very first frame, fulfilling a promise revealed first by scenes Fellini shot for Rossellini’s Paisà back in 1946. Long primes trained on empty piazzas convey the emptiness that Marcello runs from in life, searching always for its opposite, a feeling so many Fellini films reach towards, here articulated by a woman poet at a late-night soirée:

    “I…

  • The Grapes of Wrath

    The Grapes of Wrath

    ★★★★★

    “Seems like the government's got more interest in a dead man than a live one,” says Tom Joad, the film around him an unwavering attack on bureaucracy that still manages to contain a celebration of the New Deal. Ambivalence made Ford great; he didn't take sides, issues were never black and white, and yet… if ever there was a liberal cinema, a plea for the Good Society, this was it. Dorothea Lange's Migrant Mother damn near haunts its every frame.

    Ford,…

  • Peter Ibbetson

    Peter Ibbetson

    ★★★

    “We begin with gin bitters and barmaids and end up with an aching head.”

  • I'll Do Anything

    I'll Do Anything

    ★★½

    What could've been an earnest look at how people in Hollywood sacrifice their principles to succeed turned into an example of same when Brooks cut all the songs from this would-be musical after one lousy test screening. If Brooks had listened to the film itself, rather than the whims of an ignorant, unimaginative audience, he would've known that to alter his work simply to please others is not only an artistic, but a moral, failure.

    There's a great film in here some place.

  • Mauvais Sang

    Mauvais Sang

    ★★★★★

    All the stars.

    The kind of movie that, even on a third viewing, makes you ashamed of the last 100 movies you watched, the last 100 days you lived (or rather, didn't), your humdrum existence a pathetic placeholder for what should be called living. A film where not being loved is a kind of dying, where loving without loving is a way of killing.

    Transcend life in art and art in life. Jean Cocteau is dead, forever and never. Believe…