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Appaloosa (2008)

Director: Ed Harris     Starring: Renée Zellweger Viggo Mortensen
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Learn more about Appaloosa:

Format: DVD
Sku: 210453505
UPC: 794043127816
UPC 14: 00794043127816
Rating: Game Rating Code
See more in Westerns
 
Feelings Get You Killed.
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.

"If you're an actual adult who likes old-school Westerns, this won't disappoint you.  M.E. Russell, Portland Oregonian
"The romantic subplot dovetails wonderfully with Harris' tribute to the genre's golden age.  Matthew Sorrento, Film Threat
"...appropriately gritty and plenty engaging.  Peter Hartlaub, San Francisco Chronicle
"Thunderous action and nail-biting suspense.  Peter Travers, Rolling Stone
"An American classic.  Shawn Edwards, FOX-TV

Editor's 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.

Features

Video Features DVD, Widescreen

Technical Info


Release Information
Video Mfg Name Studio: New Line
Video Release Date Release Date: 11/9/2010
Video Play Time Running Time: 116 minutes
Video Release Year Original Release Date: 2008
Video CategoryId Catalog ID: 1000045162
Video UPC UPC: 00794043127816
Video Number of Discs Number of Discs: 1

Audio & Video
Video Original Language Original Language: English
Video Audio Spec Available Audio Tracks: English
Video Color Spec Video: Color

Aspect Ratio
Video Aspect Ratio Anamorphic Widescreen/Standard  2.40:1/1.33:1 [4:3]
Entertainment Reviews
Expert Review Appaloosa - DVD Review
By: Sean O'Connell filmcritic.com DVD Reviews
Published on: 1/2/2009 4:44 PM
Unlike its immediate predecessors, which have retooled (Unforgiven), remade (3:10 To Yuma), revered (Open Range), and re-imagined (The Proposition) the genre, Ed Harris' Appaloosa is simply content being a good Western. It's unapologetic of its formula, unwilling to waver in its characterizations, and unhurried in its pace. It tells a story you've heard before -- more than once -- but it handles its business with rugged aplomb. That ought to be enough. But for some reason, it isn't....read the full review

Cast & Crew

Video Cast Info Jeremy Irons
Video Cast Info Renée Zellweger
Video Cast Info Ed Harris
Video Cast Info Lance Henriksen
Video Cast Info Viggo Mortensen
Video Cast Info Timothy Spall
Video Cast Info Michael London - Executive Producer
Video Cast Info Jeff Beal - Composer
Video Cast Info Robert Knott - Producer
Video Cast Info Robert B. Parker - Source Writer
Video Cast Info Caldecot Chubb - Executive Producer
Video Cast Info Waldemar Kalinowski - Production Designer
Video Cast Info Ed Harris - Producer
Video Cast Info Ed Harris - Screenwriter
Video Cast Info Dean Semler - Director of Photography
Video Cast Info Kathryn Himoff - Editor
Video Cast Info Robert Knott - Screenwriter
Video Cast Info Ginger Sledge - Producer
Video Cast Info Ed Harris - Director

Professional 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

ReelViews 8 of 10
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. - James Berardinelli

Chicago Sun-Times 8 of 10
"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. - Roger Ebert

Product Attributes

Product attributeActor:   Harris,Ed
Product attributeLabel:   Warner Home Video
Product attributeMusic Format:   DVD
Product attributeVideo Format:   DVD
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