Uncle Todd’s Movie Review: The Sisters Brothers

I think IMDb has blocked me because of my reaction to them pulling down my review of Holmes & Watson but I submitted a very professional and thoughtful 7-star review of The Sisters Brothers today and it hasn’t shown up on their site yet.  We’ll see what happens.

Let me begin with letting you know that I enjoyed The Sisters Brothers.  I purchased it from Amazon last night for $14.99 because I was eager to give John C. Reilly redemption after declaring that Holmes & Watson was an abortion.  I stuck gold with this movie because John C. Reilly was superb.  The movie also stars Joaquin Phoenix, Jake Gyllenhaal and Riz Ahmed from Venom and Four Lions.

It’s 1851, and Charlie and Eli Sisters, played by Joaquin Phoenix and John C. Reilly, are both brothers and assassins that basically rub out people that cross a rich dude known as “The Commodore”.  The Sisters brothers find themselves on a journey through the Northwest during the Gold Rush to find a chemist, played by Riz Ahmed, that has invented a chemical that makes it easier to find gold.    They’re assisted by a lead agent, played by Jake Gyllenhaal who is hired to find the chemist and then bring in the Sisters Brothers so they can get the recipe out of him through torture and then put a bullet in his brain.

This movie is not for everyone.  I enjoyed it but I enjoyed it in the same way I enjoyed sitting and listening to my grandpa tell old stories about his childhood and the war.  His stories weren’t flashy, no extra color was added to jazz things up but I got a real life account from a period in time I wasn’t alive to see.  

Pat McAfee and Bert Kreischer are 2 of the best story-tellers in the business and they’re each way better at telling stories than my grandpa was.  If either of them tell my grandpa’s stories, most people are going to enjoy their versions more.  However, there will be some people that enjoy my grandpa’s version more because of it’s authenticity.  He was there and the little details he provides don’t necessarily add entertainment value to the masses but they do let the listener feel as he felt and see what he saw when these events actually happened.  That’s an experience that some people want from a period piece.  If you’re one of those people, you’ll enjoy this movie.

That’s how I describe my experience with this movie.  If Quentin Tarantino and Clint Eastwood could’ve helped with a rewrite of this movie it would be a fucking blockbuster.  However, it would definitely lose its charm  for the niche market it was written for.  One example of authenticity in this movie is when scenes were shot outside at night, it was pitch fucking black.  Most westerns add light so we can see what’s going on.  That makes things easier but for me personally, watching a shootout in pitch black darkness and all I can see are muzzle flashes while I hear people screaming in chaos…added something special.  I can’t remember ever seeing that approach in a movie before but I think that’s how it would really go down.  There was no electricity!  How crazy would that be?!  Granted, I didn’t get to see blood packets explode, guys flying through the air and all that good stuff but I did get to feel how confusing and eery it was to have a gunfight at night in 1851.  That worked for me.

The reason I gave this movie 7 stars is because I personally wanted a little more action and violence.  When I sit down to watch a western about two brothers that are assassins I want a fair amount of violence.  I love westerns that are loaded with action and violence, like Django Unchained and Tombstone, but if there is a great story to tell and that is the focus, I don’t mind cutting back on the shootout scenes.  That being said, I do have a minimum threshold.  I thought The Unforgiven had just the right amount of action and violence without interfering with the story that needed told.  I wanted more in this movie.  I also thought there were three good moments in this film where they could’ve written in a big laugh and that would’ve added a little more versatility to the film.  The Sisters Brothers is definitely a drama so don’t let the fact that it stars John C. Reilly fool you.

Overall, this was a great movie featuring great performances from the entire cast.  I don’t feel comfortable telling you to go see it in a movie theater or to buy it on Amazon for $14.99 like I did.  But when it comes out on Netflix or HBO, give it a watch.

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Can We Trust IMDb?

Here’s my review of Holmes & Watson that was published on IMDb on December 26, 2018.

Obviously, this review was given a huge platform and reached a ton of people when Pat McAfee had me read it on The Pat McAfee Show 2.0 podcast.  Pat also shared the review to the millions that follow him on social media as well as the team that works for him.  Then it grew legs as followers of @patmcafeeshow and members of the crew, retweeted and shared the review with their followers and friends.  I’m not sure if it hit enough numbers to be classified as “viral” but it was certainly being seen and appreciated by a lot of people.  Talk Radio shows were reading it on air as content, digital media companies were putting it out on their platforms…it was taking off.

If you went to IMDb and looked up Holmes & Watson, my review was a top the list of all reviews if you sorted by most helpful.  Thousands of people had checked that it was helpful.  The second in the list wasn’t even close.

Then today, I went on IMDb and typed in Holmes & Watson and discovered my review had been removed.  This is now the most helpful review for this movie on IMDb.

286 people found this review helpful.  If you do the math, 286 is much less than thousands.  Not only did IMDb remove my review, the list is now full of positive reviews for the movie.  Lots of 7/10 ratings, I even saw a couple 9’s!  There’s no way that many people enjoyed this movie.  Are these fake accounts?  Are these accounts acting on behalf of someone that has a financial interest in the movie?  I’ll let you decide that for yourself.

You might be thinking right now, “Well, they did leave the second most helpful review, which is also negative and you had given it 2 stars, this account gave it 1 star.  So, that would indicate IMDb is still being impartial, right?”

It is a negative review that scored the movie even lower than I did, but let me expand on that.  I gave it 2 stars because a 1 star review for this movie means you’re not taking the rating and review process seriously.  A 2 star review indicates that I recognize it was a big production with a fantastic cast, but it also recognizes the finished product was an epic failure.

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Also, this 1 star review was well done but it hadn’t gone viral, nor does it lend itself to doing so.  My review was spreading at a rate that it was likely to become THE REVIEW of the movie.  Obviously, that isn’t good for those who have a financial interest in the movie.  So, what’s the quickest way to prevent my review from reaching that status?  DELETE!  

Is IMDb acting in the best interest of the backers of Holmes & Watson or are they acting in the best interest of the movie-watching public?  Thousands of people thought my review was helpful, so it’s an interesting question.

I had always relied on IMDb to be the place where I could go see if a movie was worth watching.  I’m not sure I can do that anymore.  I think its possible the integrity of IMDb is being compromised and that’s a damn shame.

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We Finally Have an Answer on Step Brothers 2

John C. Reilly and Will Ferrell have been playing the ‘will we, won’t we’ game anytime they’re asked about a follow up the universally loved movie Step Brothers. 

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Just a few weeks ago Dragon was promoting a film and did a talk show saying he would love to do a sequel and while that may get you all warm and tingly inside, I beg you to reconsider. I wrote a few words back when Dragon initially brought it up about why it’s a BAD idea, you can check that out here.

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Now thanks to Rich Eisen, dear friend of the Pat McAfee Show, we have a definitive answer from both Reilly and Ferrell. 

https://twitter.com/RichEisenShow/status/1073350603038957569

There you have it folks, straight from the NightHawk’s mouth. NO STEP BROTHERS 2. What a refreshing statement to hear in an industry filled with remakes, cheap sequels, and cash grabs. Let’s put it to bed and never speak of this again.

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…At the same time to be honest if they changed their mind a few years down the road and did end up doing a sequel, I would completely understand. It’s hard to resist the temptation of ALL. THAT. MONEY.

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Step Brothers 2? John C. Reilly Would “Love To”

While promoting his new film Ralph Breaks the Internet, John C. Reilly (Dale/Dragon) was asked which of his films he would like to make a sequel to. Of course it’s Step Brothers, because he knew thats what the audience wanted to hear. But should it be? His exact words were “I mean, it requires the cooperation of a few other people, but I would love to do another one of those.”

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Step Brothers is an iconic film. Instantly recognizable and hilariously quotable. Let’s not water it down with a cash grab remake that taints these perfectly crafted characters and gags. It’s so hard to resist this temptation because our thirst for nostalgia (and money) is never ending. Reilly and Ferrell have such great on screen chemistry together they could appear on an episode of The 700 Club and make it charming and entertaining. Their efforts would be best spent collaborating on something new, something fresh! Not rehashing old material.

We should have learned our lessons by now. When a great comedy film like this comes along and captures so many fans, we instinctively always want more. We are always wrong.

Anchorman 2
Zoolander 2
Evan Almighty
MIB II
The Hangover II
Son of the Mask (YIKES)
Deuce Bigalow: European Gigolo
Dumb & Dumberer
and the grand daddy of them all, the one we should have always think of when it comes to trying to recreate classics and recapture the magic, Caddyshack II.

Owen Wilson and Vince Vaughn managed to dance around this problem. They could have just made a sequel to Wedding Crashers, but instead teamed up and kept a similar dynamic but with a different spin for The Internship. It’s not the best movie you’ll ever watch, but it’s farrrrrr from the worst and sits well above most of those sequels mentioned above. 

I don’t think there will ever be a Step Brothers 2. I can only hope after Anchorman 2, Ferrell now gets it. Also with the success they’ve had working together with Talladega Nights then Step Brothers they’ve shown they’re flexible and creative enough to keep making new fresh hits that become cult classics.

Maybe.

Maybe not…

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