Appaloosa

Directed By: Ed Harris Starring: Renée Zellweger Viggo Mortensen

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Product Overview

Two friends hired to police a small town that is suffering under the rule of a rancher find their job complicated by the arrival of a young widow.

Specifications

Studio New Line
SKU 210453505
UPC 794043127816
UPC 14 00794043127816
Format DVD
Release Date 11/9/2010
Rating Rating
Keywords
Action
Corruption
Crime
Death
Friendships
Love Triangle
Romance
Small Towns
Theatrical Release
Editors Note
Note Actor Ed Harris takes only his second stab at directing, following the Oscar-winning feature POLLOCK (2000) with this spirited western. Harris draws on a strong cast, many of whom have acted with him in previous films, to tell the story of two gunfighters attempting to bring peace to the small town of Appaloosa in the late 1800s. Virgil Cole (Harris) and Everett Hitch (Viggo Mortensen) ride into the windswept New Mexico town and are hired to bring vigilante entrepreneur Randall Bragg (Jeremy Irons) to justice. Bragg has imposed a reign of terror over Appaloosa, but his murderous actions are tempered when Cole and Hitch take control. Matters get complicated when widower Allison French (Renee Zellweger) flounces into town and variously woos Cole, Hitch, and Bragg, allowing Harris to throw in a few neat twists as his two principal characters attempt to bring the miscreant entrepreneur to justice.^APPALOOSA is a slow-moving and beautifully shot feature that perfectly translates the dusky New Mexico landscape to celluloid. The film stands shoulder to shoulder with 21st-century westerns such as THE ASSASSINATION OF JESSE JAMES BY THE COWARD ROBERT FORD and THE PROPOSITON, and much like those films Harris's feature draws heavily on deeply affecting performances from his leads. Irons is particularly affecting as the baleful Bragg, who brings a real air of menace to the screen any time he appears on camera. The nuanced turns by Harris and Mortensen play like a master class in subtlety, with the two seasoned actors perfectly delivering two stoic characters who are masking a lifetime of pain and suffering. Harris's feature is a welcome addition to the fold of introspective westerns, effortlessly standing alongside similar efforts such as Clint Eastwood's UNFORGIVEN or James Mangold's 3:10 TO YUMA.
Reviews
Rolling Stone 3.5 stars out of 4 -- "[A] terrific Western, a potently acted powerhouse that sticks in the mind and the heart....There is nothing abstract about Harris' approach to APPALOOSA. Every frame of the movie indicates his bone-deep respect for classic film Westerns..." 09/18/2008 p.117
Los Angeles Times "[I]n Harris and costar Viggo Mortensen, it has two actors who beautifully play the kind of tough, laconic, unflappable men Westerns could not exist without." 09/19/2008
USA Today "The dialogue, based on Robert B. Parker's novel and co-written by director and star Ed Harris, is a major asset....The movie's undeniable highlight is the chemistry between Harris and Viggo Mortenson..." 09/19/2008
New York Times "Mr. Harris can be an imposingly serious actor...but there is often a saving glint of mischief in his eye. And in APPALOOSA, his second feature as director, he leavens the atmosphere of costumed rigidity and somber stoicism with sly, relaxed humor." 09/19/2008
Entertainment Weekly "Irons is enjoyable nasty, enough to make you wonder why no one thought to cast him in a Western before." 09/26/2008 p.68
Total Film 3 stars out of 5 -- "Ed Harris is the latest to Hollywood player to tackle the western genre....The laid-back lawmen supply the main pleasures..." 12/01/2008 p.62
Empire 3 stars out of 5 -- "[T]he film sets about a gutsy collection of brawls, gunfights and getaways to spell out its celebration of John Ford's tall tales..." 12/01/2008 p.86
Directors
Ed Harris
Actors
Renée Zellweger
Viggo Mortensen
Cast & Crew
Jeremy Irons - Star
Renée Zellweger - Star
Ed Harris - Star
Lance Henriksen - Star
Viggo Mortensen - Star
Timothy Spall - Star
Michael London - Executive Producer
Jeff Beal - Composer
Robert Knott - Producer
Robert B. Parker - Source Writer
Caldecot Chubb - Executive Producer
Waldemar Kalinowski - Production Designer
Ed Harris - Producer
Ed Harris - Screenwriter
Dean Semler - Director of Photography
Kathryn Himoff - Editor
Robert Knott - Screenwriter
Ginger Sledge - Producer
Ed Harris - Director
Technical Info
Original Release Date 2008
Catalog ID 1000045162
UPC 00794043127816
Number of Discs 1
Running Time 116 minutes
Color Color
Original Language English
Available Audio Tracks English
Aspect Ratio
Anamorphic Widescreen/Standard  2.40:1/1.33:1 [4:3]
Reviews
ReviewSource ReelViews
Review One of the most evident signs of the shift in movie-goers' tastes over the years has been the decline of the Western...If there's a benefit to this downturn, it's that modern Westerns rarely go into production unless they possess a complex or challenging quality. In many ways, Ed Harris' Appaloosa is one of the most traditional examples we have seen since the genre underwent a shift during the early 1990s with Oscar wins by Dances with Wolves and Unforgiven. It is not as compelling as three recent Westerns -- The Proposition, Open Range, and 3:10 to Yuma -- but there's enough quality material to be found bookended between the opening and closing credits to make this compulsory viewing for those who retain a fondness for what the Western can bring to the screen...Westerns often take themselves seriously and, while Appaloosa is no Blazing Saddles, there's a refreshing vein of understated humor running throughout the production. It's neither forced nor unnatural and it keeps things from becoming too somber, even when the bullets start flying. There are some pacing problems associated with the structure. One could argue that the movie's climax comes too early and the last half hour requires a little too much retrenching and meandering before the conclusion is reached. I found Appaloosa to be gripping and dramatically satisfying for its first 90 minutes, but I wasn't as pleased with the final act, which feels more tacked-on than organic. Flaws aside, Appaloosa remains a valid reason to be thankful that, while Westerns may no longer be as victorious at the box office as their gunslinger protagonists, they are not dead. As long as there are productions like these, the specter of Boot Hill will remain at bay.
ReviewDate
ReviewPage
Reviewer James Berardinelli
ReviewRating 8
ReviewSource Chicago Sun-Times
Review "Appaloosa" started out making me feel the same as I did during the opening chapters of Larry McMurtry's "Lonesome Dove," and its TV miniseries. At its center is a friendship of many years between two men who have seen a lot together and wish they had seen less. This has been called a Buddy Movie. Not at all. A buddy is someone you acquire largely through juxtaposition. A friend is someone you make over the years. Some friends know you better than you know yourself...Virgil and Everett reminded me immediately of Gus McCrae and Woodrow Call in "Lonesome Dove," not only in their long-practiced camaraderie, but also in their conversations about women...What is seductive about "Appaloosa" is its easygoing rhythm. Yes, we know there will be a shoot-out; it can't be avoided...The film has been directed by Ed Harris and bears absolutely no similarity, as you might have anticipated, to his "Pollock" (2000), the story of an alcoholic abstract expressionist. Harris as a director allows the actors screen time to live. They're not always scurrying around to fulfill the requirements of the plot. They are people before the plot happens to them -- and afterward too, those who survive. He has something to say here about hard men of the Old West and their naive, shy, idolatry of "good" women...Harris comes ready for the gunplay. He just doesn't think it's the whole point. The shootin' scenes are handled with economy. Everett observes that one shootout is over lickety-split, and Virgil tells him: "That's because we're good shots." At the end of the day, everything works out as I suppose it had to, and we're not all tied in emotional knots or existential dread.
ReviewDate
ReviewPage
Reviewer Roger Ebert
ReviewRating 8
Features
DVD, Widescreen
Product Attributes
Actor Harris,Ed
Label Warner Home Video
Music Format DVD
Video Format DVD
Quotes
M.E. Russell, Portland Oregonian If you're an actual adult who likes old-school Westerns, this won't disappoint you.
Matthew Sorrento, Film Threat The romantic subplot dovetails wonderfully with Harris' tribute to the genre's golden age.
Peter Hartlaub, San Francisco Chronicle ...appropriately gritty and plenty engaging.
Peter Travers, Rolling Stone Thunderous action and nail-biting suspense.
Shawn Edwards, FOX-TV An American classic.

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