Reviews In Short: Rust and Bone, On the Road, Your Sister’s Sister & The Shining 0 40

Reviews In Short Header - Rust and Bone, On the Road, Your Sister's Sister and The Shining

Reviews In Short is a regular feature here on Thoughts On Film which basically consists of short, paragraph-long reviews of movies I have watched recently, old and new alike, which I didn’t get a chance to review in full. As always feel free to comment with your own thoughts and opinions on each of the films.

Rust and Bone

Reviews In Short - Rust and Bone

Director Jacques Audiard had already more than made his mark in previous years with the likes of The Beat That My Heart Skipped and particularly his uncompromising prison drama A Prophet but now he’s back with a similarly uncompromising but altogether more uplifting film with Rust and Bone. Nominated for the Palm d’Or at the Cannes Film Festival and winner of Best Film at the London Film Festival, Audiard’s latest is an undoubtedly powerful, haunting experience with several sequences that had me awe-struck with my jaw on the floor. Having said that, as the film goes on and particularly towards the end it does unfortunately feel the need to pile events one on top of the other, laboring certain points it’s trying to make all the while distracting from others. But two masterful lead performances from Marion Cotillard and Matthias Schoenaerts, along with Audiard’s imaginative direction, more than help to make up for that. 4/5

On the Road

Reviews In Short - On the Road

I can certainly understand why a lot of people would be turned off by Walter Salles latest film, his sprawling adaptation of Jack Kerouac’s seminal novel On the Road. Its characters are arguably all unlikeable, selfish and pretentious, its tone is dry as a bone and those who have read the novel (I haven’t) say it has none of the soul of Kerouac’s work. However, I rather liked its free-wheeling, carefree approach and perhaps in spite of the flawed characters – or thanks to some solid performances from the likes of Sam Riley, Garrett Hedlund and Kristen Stewart – I found myself compelled by their journey, literal and personal. It’s too long and there are more than a few sequences that just feel out of place or completely pointless but once I clued into its style I rather enjoyed the film. 3/5

Your Sister’s Sister

Reviews In Short - Your Sister's Sister

A key filmmaker in the “Mumblecore” movement, Mark Duplass stars in Lynn Shelton’s latest film about a man who, on the instruction of his best friend Iris (Emily Blunt), goes out to a secluded cabin to be alone only to be confronted with Iris’ sister Hannah (Rosemarie Dewitt). Your Sister’s Sister is a seemingly simple film but the end result is anything but, thanks to a whip-smart script that mixes funny and dramatic in a brilliant way. The film proves that sometimes all you need is a few locations, some amazing performances and a good script to make a compelling film. 4/5

The Shining (Re-release)

Reviews In Short - The Shining

Now more than 30 years old, Stanley Kubrick’s horror masterpiece The Shining gets a theatrical re-release in the UK this time in extended form. Some of the added scenes are unnecessary and stifle the pace a little while others are fittingly horrific. Nonetheless the film remains terrifying, with a feeling of pure evil running through its bones and down its hallways making for a deeply unsettling experience. Jack Nicholson’s now legendary performance as a caretaker of an old hotel who slowly goes mad might just be the most compelling he’s ever been, his over-the-top portrayal in-tune with the heightened reality of Kubrick’s nightmarish world. Stephen King famously hated what Kubrick did with his novel and, indeed, Kubrick’s vision differs wildly from his. But crucially the film manages to capture the tone of the book even if it doesn’t follow events to the letter. For anyone who hasn’t seen The Shining before (or even if you have) this is a must-see on the big-screen if you can find it playing anywhere near you. As horror cinema goes it doesn’t get any better than this as far as I’m concerned. 5/5

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That’s it for Reviews In Short – until next time!

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I’m a freelance film reviewer and blogger with over 10 years of experience writing for various different reputable online and print publications. In addition to my running, editing and writing for Thoughts On Film, I am also the film critic for The National, the newspaper that supports an independent Scotland, covering the weekly film releases, film festivals and film-related features.

I have a passion for all types of cinema, and have a particular love for foreign language film, especially South Korean and Japanese cinema. Favourite films include The Big Lebowski, Pulp Fiction and 2001: A Space Odyssey.

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Disorder Movie Review 0 84


The always magnetic Matthias Schoenaerts stars in this character study/paranoia-stricken home invasion thriller from acclaimed French director Alice Winocour (Augustine, Home).

He plays Vincent, a veteran Afghanistan soldier who is eager to get back out into the thick of things despite a heavy dose of PTSD and hearing loss. As a way to keep himself sharp, he takes on a seemingly straightforward job at his friend’s security firm in which he is assigned to be a bodyguard for the trophy wife (Diane Kruger) and young son of a rich businessman.

But when the husband’s shady business dealings cause his lavish estate and unsuspecting family to be targeted, Vincent must do everything he can to protect them from harm.

Schoenaerts is impressive here as always, furthering his tough but still sensitive persona for which he’s become known over the last few years, whether it’s in sweeping romances like Far From the Madding Crowd or gritty crime dramas like Bullhead. He lends dramatic weight and alluring charisma to a quite thinly written central character.

There are, quite awkwardly, two films at play here. Firstly, there’s the character study of an army vet doing his best to cope – taking too many prescription drugs included – to maintain his macho exterior as a tough guy able to handle any situation. All the while dealing with the fact that he’s falling in love with the married woman and caring mother he’s assigned to protect.

Then there’s the home invasion thriller, the eruption point of which the film steadily drives towards for much of its runtime. Unfortunately, however, the film is never quite able to gel the two things into a cohesive whole, being far more effective as the character study than the wannabe Hollywood thriller its ultimately shoehorned into being.

There’s much to admire, from its keenly sustained sense of unease and paranoia to its humane feeling found in the film’s quieter, more character driven-scenes. And Winocour certainly exhibits a stylish directorial panache, often lighting her action in the kind of neon hue usually reserved for the work of Nicolas Winding Refn.

But it’s just a shame the film doesn’t stick to its more unique guns when it morphs into a Hollywoodised thriller that fizzles out rather than makes any sort of lasting impact.

First Look at Michael Fassbender as New Character in ‘Assassin’s Creed’ Movie 0 47


Historically video game-based movies haven’t worked out so well. But that needn’t always be the case! One of the most promising upcoming projects is Assassin’s Creed, which has Michael Fassbender and Marion Cotillard set to star under the direction of their Macbeth helmer Justin Kurzel.

We haven’t really seen anything from the movie yet, with the most recent news being that woman-of-the-moment Alicia Vikander has joined the cast. However, now we have our first official look at the movie in the form of a promo pic of Fassbender in the iconic hooded costume.

Take a look at it below, thanks to Yahoo:


An interesting tidbit of news about the film version of the popular and long-running video game series is that it’s not going to be following the exact plot or the same characters of that but rather introducing new characters into the overall world. Fassbender is playing someone called Callum Lynch. Yahoo also has the plot:

Lynch discovers he is a descendant of the secret Assassins society through unlocked genetic memories that allow him to relive the adventures of his ancestor, Aguilar, in 15th Century Spain. After gaining incredible knowledge and skills he’s poised to take on the oppressive Knights Templar in the present day.

Now the idea of it not being identical to the game in terms of character or plot might get some die hard fans up in the arms, so to speak, but as long as they get the spirit and feel of the source material right but morphed to be truly cinematic then I think it’ll end up being pretty damn good. I also think Fassbender just looks badass in that image, how about you?

Also starring Michael Kenneth Williams (The Wire, Boardwalk Empire) and Ariane Labed (The Lobster), Assassin’s Creed is set for release on December 21st, 2016. You can see Fassbender next in the Danny Boyle-directed Steve Jobs biopic.

Source: Yahoo