Review: The Sisters Brothers Limited Edition 4K UHD
4K UHD Blu-ray: The Sisters Brothers (2018)
Based on the book by Patrick deWitt, The Sisters Brothers kind of passed 60MW by on its 2018 release, amazing considering we are huge western fans.
Ah, but I must correct myself dear reader.
The Sister’s Brother’s may sound like a western, it may look like a western, but it’s not really a western. Why it’s not even a Gothic Western or (as it’s billed) a comedy western. No siree, it’s far more than that.
You couldn’t even call it a western for ‘grown ups’ as it’s European (the director and most of the crew are French) and is more about ‘feels’ than gunfights.
In America in 1851, gunfighters and murderers for hire, Eli (John C Reilly) and Charlie (Joachim Phoenix) Sisters are sent by the wealthy ‘Commodore’ (Rutger Hauer in a non-speaking role) to kill a man named Hermann Warm (Riz Ahmed).
John Morris (Jake Gyllenhaal), a private detective, has also been hired by the Commodore to track Warm down and hand him over to the Sister’s brothers so they can torture him for his secret formula, then kill him. Morris finds Warm traveling to California with the Gold Rush and befriends him. They travel together to Jacksonville where Morris has secretly arranged to meet the brothers and hand him over. However, Morris befriends Warm and on finding he’s actually a scientist that’s discovered a way to find gold by pouring his formula into the water, Morris becomes his partner and they plan to evade the brothers, find gold and build a utopia in Dallas.
So why isn’t this a western? Because the plot isn’t very ‘westerny’, also the main theme, the soul of the film, is the brother’s relationship. These are not two ordinary ‘gunfighter’ brothers either. Dressed in black, ready to fire, no one knows or can tell what that gunfighter is thinking, but the brothers have no problem showing the world their inner thoughts and personalities. Charlie (Phoenix), a binge drinking, whoring, murderous Psycho who killed their father isn’t the sharpest tool in the box and tends to look after himself, while Eli (Reilly) is more sympathetic, reflects on what they do and clutches a shawl that may have been given to him by an old flame. They genuinely need each other, while Charlie is cruel, Eli is full of longing and self-doubt. This is juxtaposed with the blossoming, almost loving relationship between Warm and Morris, both hoping for wealth in order to create a better society.
The story itself is surprising (no spoilers, just watch it) where you are sure some characters will get a violent comeuppance and receive quite the opposite.
A very unusual movie, with fabulous acting and a film that if it’s slipped through your film viewing net, it’s definitely time to correct that with this beautiful 4K release from Arrow which looks stunning.
- 4K (2160p) Ultra HD Blu-ray presentation in Dolby Vision (HDR10 compatible)
- Original 5.1 DTS-HD Master Audio sound
- Optional English subtitles for the deaf and hard of hearing
- Brand new audio commentary by authors and critics C. Courtney Joyner and Henry Parke
- Barry Forshaw on The Sisters Brothers, a brand new video essay by film critic Barry Forshaw on The Sisters Brothers and the psychological Western genre
- His Own Private Wild West, archival hour-long making-of documentary featuring interviews with many cast and crew members including director Jacques Audiard, actor John C. Reilly, cinematographer Benoît Debie, Production designer Michel Barthélémy, sound designer Brigitte Taillandier and Patrick DeWitt, author of the novel The Sisters Brothers
- Animated reviews
- Short promotional featurettes
- Reversible sleeve featuring original and newly commissioned artwork by Tommy Pocket
- Double-sided fold-out “Wanted” poster
- Illustrated collector’s booklet featuring new writing on the film by film critic Howard Hughes, academic and Audiard expert Gemma King and original production notes
Review by Tina from a disc kindly supplied by Arrow Films via Fetch Publicity.