Caesar & Otto (2006) – By Duane L. Martin

 Sometimes you just need to sit down and watch a movie that you can laugh at and not have to think too much about. A while back I saw that a movie was in production that looked like it would be just that type of a film, and I wrote to the director, asking him to send me a copy to review when it was finished. Well he just recently did and I gotta tell you, it was not only exactly what I thought it would be, but it ended up being a hell of a lot more.

Caesar & Otto is the story of two brothers living together in an apartment. Caesar (Dave Campfield) is an over-the-top effeminately gay cab driver who’s extremely pissy and often physically smacks people around, while his brother Otto (Paul Chomicki) is an aspiring artist and a complete and utter slob who’s just recently lost his girlfriend and doesn’t know what to do with himself other than to bury himself in his painting.

Aside from being a cab driver, Caesar is also an aspiring actor. He was on an audition when his brother showed up and interrupted for some stupid reason, and after seeing the loud and pissy exchange between the two, the producers got the idea to secretly turn their lives into a reality show by placing hundreds of hidden cameras basically everywhere they went.

And so this gives us the root of the story, and the story is actually broken down into three "epidodes" of the reality show with the filler in between. There are even some goofy commercials thrown in for good measure. I could go into what was involved with each episode, but that would spoil it for you.

What I love about this movie is that it’s just plain ol’ fun. The characters are all well acted, the stories are tight and nicely scripted, and the humor almost always works. I could see some people being offended by Caesar’s gay character, but you know…so what? If you’re the type of a person who lets yourself get offended by stuff in movies, then read a book or go for a walk, or for Christ’s sake just grow up. Take it as what it’s intended to be…funny. No one’s saying that all gay people act like that, nor does any realistic person think they do. It’s a funny charicature of a stereotype and nothing more, so just enjoy it and have fun.

What really impressed me about this film, aside from the great performances, was the way in which it was shot. The "episode" sections of the film were shot like they were being shot with spy cams. The video is in black and white and the cameras appear to be hidden in various places around the actors. The whole thing was really well done and was edited together quite nicely. The pacing was good throughout the movie, and at no point did I ever feel like things were dragging or becoming uninteresting.

All in all, this is one of those movies that you watch and then say to yourself, "Hey that was cool. Why aren’t there more movies like that?" Any why aren’t there? Probably because too many film makers go into their projects with the intention of putting some kind of a message into it or giving it some sort of a deeper meaning. You’ll find none of that here. Just a fun story, fun characters and a good time that will leave you smiling well after you’re done.

When I first got this movie, I popped it in the player with the intention of watching it for only a minute just to see what it was like. I was planning on watching the whole thing later to do the review. Well one minute turned into two, and so on and so on. I think what really caught my eye was the message at the beginning that was personalized with my name (nice touch!) saying that it was a work in progress and that it only cost them $707 bucks to make it. That really hooked me in right off the bat. I just literally couldn’t stop watching it once I started, and I’m betting that you won’t be able to either.

If you’d like to find out more about this film you can check out the film’s website at http://caesar.davecampfield.com.