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Ice Harvest

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Product Overview

Based on the novel by Scott Phillips, THE ICE HARVEST is a comic film noir set in very cold and icy Wichita, Kansas. John Cusack turns in another fine performance as Charlie Arglist, a soft-spoken lawyer who works for local mob boss Bill Guerrard (Randy Quaid). Charlie hangs out in strip clubs, pines after femme fatale Renata (Connie Nielsen), rarely sees his kids, and basically watches life happen all around him. Ready for a change, he and the much more hardened Vic Cavanaugh (Billy Bob Thornton) steal $2.1 million from Guerrard and plan to play it cool before leaving town, trying not to create suspicion. All they need to do is make it through Christmas Eve--but that's not going to be easy for Charlie, who spends the long night getting caught up in a series of very funny, very dangerous, and very bloody events that unfold while sweet Christmas carols echo in the background. Reminiscent of such stylish modern noirs as RED ROCK WEST and FARGO, THE ICE HARVEST features a clever script by Oscar-winner Robert Benton and Pulitzer Prize-winner Richard Russo, and was directed by Harold Ramis, the former SCTV star and Ghostbuster who has helmed such successful films as CADDYSHACK, GROUNDHOG DAY, and ANALYZE THIS. The acting is uniformly excellent--including Mike Starr as hit man Roy Gelles, who never shows his face--but Oliver Platt runs away with the film as Pete Van Heuten, an old friend of Charlie's who stole his family and now is an obnoxious, hysterical, pathetic drunken fool with a good heart.


Studio Universal
SKU 202153399
UPC 025192629624
UPC 14 00025192629624
Format DVD
Release Date 2/28/2006
Rating Rating
Aspect Ratio
Anamorphic Widescreen  1.85:1
Name Cusack,John
Link Search Link
Cast & Crew
Alar Kivilo - Cinematographer
Billy Bob Thornton - Actor
Connie Nielsen - Actor
David Kitay - Original Music By
Glenn Williamson - Executive Producer
Harold Ramis - Director
John Cusack - Actor
Lee Percy - Editor
Randy Quaid - Actor
Richard Russo - Executive Producer
Richard Russo - Screenplay
Robert Benton - Screenplay
Scott Phillips - Based On Novel By
ReviewSource Chicago Sun-Times
Review It's a busy Christmas Eve for Charlie Arglist, who visits his former in-laws, steers his drunken buddy out of trouble, buys toys for his kids, waives the stage rental for a stripper at his topless club, and cheats, lies, steals and kills. Perhaps of all actors only John Cusack could play Charlie and still look relatively innocent by Christmas Day. He does look tired, however. Charlie is a mob lawyer in Wichita, Kan. He is in fact the best mob lawyer in all of Kansas. We know this because his friend Pete (Oliver Platt) announces it loudly almost everywhere they go. "I wish you wouldn't do that," Charlie says, but Pete is beyond discretion. Pete is married to Charlie's former wife and has inherited Charlie's former in-laws, a circumstance that inspires in Charlie not jealousy but sympathy. They are fascinated that the woman they have both married is the only adult they know who still sleeps in flannel jammies with sewn-on booties. Charlie's holiday has begun promisingly. He and his associate Vic (Billy Bob Thornton) have stolen $2.2 million belonging to Bill Guerrard (Randy Quaid), the local mob boss. They think they can get away with this. They certainly hope so, anyway, for as Charlie tells Vic, "I sue people for a living. You sell pornography. Bill Guerrard kills people." Charlie also manages a topless bar and is attracted to its manager, Renata (Connie Nielsen), who has suggested that Charlie's Christmas stocking will be filled with more than apples and acorns if certain conditions are met. It is all very complicated. There is the matter of the photograph showing a local councilman in a compromising position with Renata. The problem of Roy Gelles (Mike Starr), a hit man for Bill Guerrard, who has been asking around town for Charlie, probably not to deliver his Christmas bonus. The question of whether good old Vic can be trusted. And the continuing problem of what to do with Pete, who is very drunk and threatens a dinner party with a turkey leg, which in his condition is a more dangerous weapon than a handgun. "The Ice Harvest" follows these developments with the humor of an Elmore Leonard project and the interlocking violence of a "Blood Simple." The movie, directed by Harold Ramis, finds a balance between the goofy and the gruesome, as in a rather brilliant scene in which a mobster who is locked inside a trunk is nevertheless optimistic enough to shout out muffled death threats. For some reason, there is always humor in those crime scenarios where tough guys find it's easy to conceive diabolical acts, exhausting to perform them. It's one thing to lock a man in a trunk, another to get the trunk into the back seat of a Mercedes, still another to push it down a dock and into a lake. If the job ended with locking the trunk, you'd have more people in trunks. The key to the movie's humor is Cusack's calm patience in the face of catastrophe. He has always been curiously angelic -- the last altar boy you'd suspect of having stolen the collection plate
Reviewer Roger Ebert
ReviewRating 8
DVD, Widescreen, Aspect Ratio 1.85:1, Dolby Digital (5.1), English, French, Spanish Subtitled
Product Attributes
Actor Billy Bob Thornton / Connie Nielsen / Cusack,John / John Cusack / Justine Bentley / Oliver Platt / Randy Quaid
Composer David Kitay
Director Alar Kivilo / Harold Ramis
Label Mca Home Video
Video Format DVD
Dean Richards, WB-TV Wickedly hilarious!

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