January 5, 2014

Odd Thomas (2014)

Odd Thomas has had an odd road to seeing a North American release.

The movie premiered on DVD back in June (in Hungary?), only to find itself the center of a crazy legal battle over financial issues and distribution here in the U.S. market. So there it sat, for months on end, awaiting its proper release.

...and then it quietly showed up on DIRECTV in December, available for its customers to watch it PPV format. Odd move, since the movie is still going to be seeing a Limited Theatrical release in early 2014.

Bottom line is that Odd Thomas, and a majority its fans, have been left out in the cold.

Real world issues aside, Odd Thomas is an odd movie, based off of the popular book series by Dean Koontz, and brought to life by Stephen Sommers, one of our least favorite directors working today.

The movie feels a lot like a mix of Scott Pilgrim (which we hated), The Sixth Sense, and a generic Nancy Drew mystery, which is to say that we should have absolutely loathed it.

Thing is, we actually really liked it.

Odd Thomas (his first name is actually Odd) is a short-order cook who lives in the town of Perfecto Mundo (or some such silly name.) He can see dead people, who come to him to find their killer's and seek release to the next life. Of course he obliges them, because what else can a guy do? "I may see dead people, but then by God, I do something about it." See? He really, really cares.

You can't hit a ghost with a baseball bat, Odd!
He can also see evil spirits named Bodachs, that show up right before a death is about to happen. The more Bodachs, the bigger the death toll will be, so needless to say Odd freaks out whenever he sees them. After seeing a bunch of Bodachs swarming over a guy that Odd has nicknamed Fungus Bob, he goes onto super detective mode, because he knows that there's some sort of major catastrophe about to befall Perfecto Mundo, and only he can stop it.

Super detective mode involves a lot of hiding...
Lucky for him that he has a hot girlfriend and a cool Uncle to help him, because no one else knows about his super secret "gifts" besides them, and saving the world alone is bullshit. With no time to spare, they race to uncover the truth about the pending doom about to befall their hometown, before it's too late! Yes, it all sounds rather lame and cliche', but what isn't these days?

Odd Thomas is luckier than he deserves to be.
Stephen Sommers' movies usually give us fits, mainly because they're shitty CGI-filled garbage, that are big on visual thrills, but almost devoid of any sort of intelligence or heart. With Odd Thomas though, he's made a movie that while uneven, and is at times even clumsy, has plenty of heart to go along with the pretty CGI monsters and such.

Odd Thomas is based off of a series of books by Horror writer Dean Koontz who said that when he read the script, he nearly fell over because it was so perfect. That's a pretty ringing endorsement from a writer, and it's safe to say that fans of the book should be mostly pleased with this effort. The sad part is that with all of its legal and financial issues, we may never see Odd's further adventures on screen.

I know, it bums us out too.
This movie is definitely of the more lighthearted variety. There are some tense scenes to be had here, and a few scares to be found there, but its honestly more of a fun popcorn flick than anything else. We could have done without some of the quick-cut action, and a lot of its quirky visual wackiness, but the rest of the movie worked well enough for us that we let most of those issues go. That's saying a lot for us, because the Scott Pilgrim's and Detention's of the film world usually serve to do nothing more than aggravate the shit out of us.

Anton Yelchin is perfect as Odd, and plays him pretty effortlessly. He's likable, and that's the most that we can ever hope for with any character. Equally likable is Addison Timlin's Stormy; she's Odd's girlfriend, and not only is she as sweet as the ice cream that she serves up to her customers, but she rocks Boyshorts better than do most women on the planet.

Willem Dafoe is Willem Dafoe. The guy is just great in whatever he shows up in.

Boyshorts are honestly one of Mankind's greatest inventions.
For all of its silly quirkiness, we really liked Odd Thomas. The movie should have annoyed us and left us with nothing more than a bitter taste in our mouths, but we fell for its sweet sentimentality and its goofy plot, and loved just about every second of it (the ending killed us.) We'd gladly watch a sequel (which there will probably never be), and we're even curious about the book series now. 

Everybody involved with Odd Thomas did a great job with it, and it's a movie that deserves to be seen, even if it may not be for everyone.


Addison Timlin. She's the girl who un-followed us on Twitter, and yet here we are singing her praises despite her cold-hearted action, because we're fair. Never let it be said that we are biased or vindictive!

*It's also fair to say that she's really hot, and because of that, we feel compelled to celebrate her talents.



  1. I am a fan of the book series and looked forward to seeing this film. I did enjoy it and would cinsider watching it again. However it was like many other book to film situations, there was so much left out, not just minor point but big huge plot points. But hey ho,that is just the way it goes. If they make any more hopefully yjey will be a little bit more faitful to the original series of books.

  2. I love the books and was completely unaware that a movie had been made. Now I just feel dumb for not knowing and disappointed that I haven't seen it yet. I look forward to checking it out

  3. Don't feel dumb, no one really new. This movie has been jerked around and delayed, not to mention hardly promoted at all.

    I haven't read the books, but from what some of the book readers have said, you will most likely dig the movie adaptation. End of the month on VOD.

    1. I've never read any of the books, but somewhat liked the movie. To me the over-the-top quirkyness and nonchalant use of violence in a comedic, teenage romance context, had the feeling of later seasons of BUFFY THE VAMPIRE SLAYER. If you liked those, you will surely enjoy ODD THOMAS.

  4. That's about right, Phil. Buffy is a good compariosn.