The Sisters Brothers by Patrick DeWitt (Book Review)

**Well, this isn’t much of a “review”. This is a re-post of my very brief thoughts when I read this book in December 2017. I thought I’d do a quick post as the movie adaptation is out today. While I couldn’t fully get into the book, I did think at the time that it could make for a good film. We’ll see! I think they’ve chosen the right actors for these roles.

The Sisters Brothers by Patrick DeWitt

What It’s About: (via Amazon)
Hermann Kermit Warm is going to die. The enigmatic and powerful man known only as the Commodore has ordered it, and his henchmen, Eli and Charlie Sisters, will make sure of it. Though Eli doesn’t share his brother’s appetite for whiskey and killing, he’s never known anything else. But their prey isn’t an easy mark, and on the road from Oregon City to Warm’s gold-mining claim outside Sacramento, Eli begins to question what he does for a living-and whom he does it for.

My Thoughts:

This strange Western was interesting. I have to admit that I picked it up (for 50p in a charity shop) based 100% on that cool ass cover up there.

I didn’t love it but it’s not exactly my sort of thing. I did like it, though, and found the story refreshingly original. The characters were also really well developed and I especially liked brother Eli (who will be played by John C. Reilly in the movie and who I think is perfect for the role). The movie will also star Joaquin Phoenix & Jake Gyllenhaal and I think it has the potential to be made into a thoroughly entertaining film. I recommend reading the book first if you like the sound of the movie. It’s probably quite different from anything you’ve read before.

My Rating: 3/5

The Sisters Brothers film was directed by Jacques Audiard & stars John C. Reilly, Joaquin Phoenix, Jake Gyllenhaal, Riz Ahmed & Rutger Hauer.

Here’s the trailer:

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Nightcrawler (2014) Review

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Nightcrawler (2014)

Directed by Dan Gilroy

Starring:
Jake Gyllenhaal
Rene Russo
Riz Ahmed
Bill Paxton

Running time: 117 minutes

Plot Synopsis: (via Wikipedia)
Nightcrawler tells the story of a driven young man who stumbles upon the underground world of Los Angeles freelance crime journalism.

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My Opinion:

I’m not sure how to go about reviewing this one. I did think it was good but, unfortunately, not quite as good as I was expecting. I’ll say this isn’t necessarily my usual “type” of movie plus I’ve never really been a big fan of Jake Gyllenhaal. I think I was just expecting much more of a hard hitting drama and something even darker? This feels like a “movie”. It’s pretty & glossy just like the news shows in the film. So maybe that was the whole point? I don’t know. We all know the issues raised in this film – people who may be willing to go too far in their pursuit of what they want and sensationalist journalism, etc. It’s not really anything new so the concept was totally believable. However, too many things in the film really weren’t very realistic so it made it feel too much like a “movie” as some of these things wouldn’t actually happen in real life. I can’t get specific as I have to avoid spoilers.

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I know a lot of people have praised Gyllenhaal’s performance. He’s definitely very good at playing the subtle creepiness of his character. I think it’s another case of a performance being better than the film itself. Man, why do I always sound so negative in my reviews? Am I too picky?!

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Here’s what I liked: I loved the look of the film and all the shots of the city at night. I’m a small town girl and big cities stress me out but I do love the look of all the city lights at nighttime. I far prefer London after dark! Like I said, Gyllenhaal is very good in this and it was also nice seeing Rene Russo in a movie again plus I really liked Riz Ahmed’s character. Oh, and Bill Paxton! Who doesn’t love Bill Paxton at least a little bit thanks to Aliens and Weird Science?? I also did really like the story overall and thought they did a good job keeping it interesting the whole time. Even though it’s pretty predictable, I was happy with the conclusion of the film and the final half hour is gripping.

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Summary:

Nightcrawler is a good film and if it looks like your type of thing or if you’re a fan of Gyllenhaal, you should definitely check it out despite my lacklustre review. It’s not a perfect film but I think my expectations were just a little too high. It’s thoroughly entertaining and perhaps it’s meant to be slightly shallow as it’s making a statement on our society being this way. Yeah… I probably just missed the point!

My Rating: 7/10

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