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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Valerian And The City of A Thousand Planets (2017) Review

Valerian And The City Of A Thousand Planets (2017)
French: Valérian et la Cité des mille planètes

Directed by Luc Besson

Based on Valérian and Laureline
by Pierre Christin & Jean-Claude Mézières

Starring: Dane DeHaan, Cara Delevingne, Clive Owen, Rihanna, Ethan Hawke, Herbie Hancock, Kris Wu, Rutger Hauer

Plot Synopsis: (via IMDB)
A dark force threatens Alpha, a vast metropolis and home to species from a thousand planets. Special operatives Valerian and Laureline must race to identify the marauding menace and safeguard not just Alpha, but the future of the universe.

My Opinion:

I liked this. I didn’t really expect to. I do think I should just go into every movie with low expectations as I often end up far less disappointed that way. I went into this with low expectations as it looked like it could be a disaster. It’s a fun film.

Believe me, this movie is far from perfect. But if you like Besson’s The Fifth Element, I can’t see why you wouldn’t get some enjoyment out of this one as well. It’s visually impressive and I especially liked the gorgeous planet & alien race at the beginning of the film. I’m not sure if it’s really accurate to compare it to Avatar but I couldn’t help comparing them in my mind & I personally enjoyed this “science fiction movie with funny-looking aliens that some people won’t take seriously” film more than that one. The story itself & the look of the whole thing & even the comic relief all worked just fine for me. As I said, it’s a fun film & it kept me entertained throughout its rather long running time. I actually didn’t think it felt overlong, whereas I did feel that way about the film I watched before this one, Spider-Man: Homecoming.

The only thing I can really fault about this film is its casting. Specifically its main stars: Dane DeHaan & Cara Delevingne as Valérian and Laureline. It’s a shame, as I think the lack of true leading character star power hurts the film. I know nothing whatsoever about the source material but they seem like two pretty cool characters and I imagine that they don’t really do them justice in this film. The surprising thing is I think DeHaan was almost weaker than Delevingne (who I really don’t like), although I’ve thought he was pretty good in the past in things such as The Place Beyond The Pines. Even more surprising is that Rihanna was pretty good in a small role but also as one of the better characters in the film overall. I liked her dance routine, which was pretty unique (but a little saucy if you bring your kids to the movie). Well, it’s no more saucy than her videos. But I may be the only one in my cinema who kept picturing the girl from Home every time she talked (my kid really likes that movie so I’ve seen it several times).

So. Where were we? A fun movie with weak stars that let the film down a little but lovely to look at and filled with wacky characters & some comic relief that you’ll either love or hate. The film is definitely not going to be for everyone but, hey – if you’ve seen The Fifth Element, you should know what to expect. If you like this genre (it’s my favorite) and if you’re happy to just enjoy a movie without overthinking things & being too judge-y, you may like this one just fine.

My Rating: 7.5/10

Hobo With A Shotgun (2011) Review

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Hobo With A Shotgun (2011)

Directed by Jason Eisener

Starring:
Rutger Hauer
Molly Dunsworth
Brian Downey
Gregory Smith

Running time: 86 minutes

Plot Synopsis:
A hobo gets pissed off with all the evil scumbags controlling a city so, when he gets hold of a shotgun, he takes matters into his own hands.

From Wikipedia:
Hobo with a Shotgun is a 2011 Canadian exploitation action film based on the winning trailer of the same name from Robert Rodriguez’s South by Southwest Grindhouse trailers contest and received an R rating for strong violence.

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My Opinion:

Umm… Bloody hell, I truly have no clue how to go about reviewing this thing. It wasn’t quite what I was expecting but I liked it more than I thought I would. Especially as it’s very violent & I’m a mega wuss about that.

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Of the movies made from those fake Grindhouse trailers, this one appealed to me more than Machete, which I’ve not bothered watching. I mean, the title of this film alone made me want to watch it. Great title! And who doesn’t like a bit of Rutger Hauer, eh? I actually think he’s great in this.

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This movie is messed up. But I think it works very well as… Whatever it’s meant to be. 70s/early 80s exploitation film? It’s not a genre I have a lot of experience with. But I thought it had the proper gritty feel of a few crappy movies I watched late at night in the 80s. It felt a bit like… Umm… A GOOD Troma movie? That’s probably an insult to this. I don’t know. It also reminded me in a small way of Sin City what with the movie being so full of scumbags (I HATE Sin City. But this, I liked). Again – it’s not a genre I have that much experience with. But I thought some bits of this film were great & very memorable. I’ll forever see that guy’s head in the manhole cover. And the sweatshirt Rutger Hauer puts on. And that giant f*%king octopus. And these guys:

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And… Screw it. Let’s go to the summary.

Summary:

A great example of a film that’s trying very hard to be (70s? 80s? Exploitation??). I didn’t feel like I was watching a 2011 film and, for me, I love that. Hauer is absolutely perfect in this role & I liked the relationship with the prostitute he befriends & tries to protect. Hell, I thought the relationship was quite sweet. This thing is bloody as hell, the baddies are over the top & hamming it up big time, and only a select group of people won’t hate this thing. Probably. I liked it. But I’m not a very normal person so, who knows…

My Rating: 7/10

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