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Ice Harvest [DVD] [2006] [Region 1] [US Import] [NTSC]

John Cusack , Billy Bob Thornton , Harold Ramis    DVD
3.8 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (16 customer reviews)
Price: £6.13
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Ice Harvest [DVD] [2006] [Region 1] [US Import] [NTSC] + Pushing Tin [1999] [DVD] + Grosse Pointe Blank [DVD] [1997]
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Product details

  • Actors: John Cusack, Billy Bob Thornton, Connie Nielsen, Lara Phillips, Bill Noble
  • Directors: Harold Ramis
  • Writers: Richard Russo, Robert Benton, Scott Phillips
  • Producers: Albert Berger, Glenn Williamson, Jim Fishman, Laurel A. Ward
  • Format: AC-3, Colour, Dolby, Dubbed, DVD-Video, Subtitled, Widescreen, NTSC
  • Language: English
  • Subtitles: English, Spanish, French
  • Dubbed: French
  • Region: Region 1 (US and Canada DVD formats.)
  • Aspect Ratio: 16:9 - 1.85:1
  • Number of discs: 1
  • Classification: R (Restricted) (US MPAA rating. See details.)
  • Studio: Focus Features
  • DVD Release Date: 28 Feb 2006
  • Run Time: 88 minutes
  • Average Customer Review: 3.8 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (16 customer reviews)
  • ASIN: B000DZ7YN8
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 139,243 in DVD & Blu-ray (See Top 100 in DVD & Blu-ray)


Product Description

Cusack/Thornton ~ Ice Harvest


Holiday movies don’t get much darker, or more darkly humourous, than The Ice Harvest, an offbeat comedy that defies expectations. The involvement of director Harold Ramis might lead some to expect a straight-up comedy like Groundhog Day or Analyze This, but despite Ramis’s fine and atypically subdued work here, it’s the writers (Robert Benton and Richard Russo) who put a stronger stamp on their adaptation of the novel by Scott Phillips. Benton and Russo previously collaborated on Nobody’s Fool and Twilight (with Benton also directing), and those films are similar in tone and spirit to this quirky, modern-day film noir, set on a freezing Christmas Eve in Wichita, Kansas, where mob lawyer Charlie Arglist (John Cusack) has a lot on his mind. He’s just stolen $2 million from his boss (Randy Quaid), he can’t trust his partner Vic (Billy Bob Thornton), he’s secretly in love with the manager (Connie Nielsen) of the strip bar he owns, and his best friend (Oliver Platt, giving yet another terrific performance) is married to his ex-wife. Before the night’s over, several murders will complicate matters even further, and throughout it all, The Ice Harvest is anchored by Cusack’s good-natured presence in a bad-natured story that dares to combine double-crosses and bloodshed with elusive yuletide cheer. It’s a strange but oddly appealing combination, not for all tastes but refreshing for that very same reason. --Jeff Shannon --This text refers to an alternate DVD edition.

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Customer Reviews

3.8 out of 5 stars
3.8 out of 5 stars
Most Helpful Customer Reviews
4 of 4 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars As Wichita Falls Falls, So Falls Wichita Falls 20 Mar 2008
Nicely understated, this movie eventually gets around to doubling crosses and femme fatalities, but for much of the running time it is more concerned with the businesss of melancholy middle aged men drinking too much in bars, cars and Strip Joints. The Ice Harvest is a worthy investment for its throwaway wit and bruised, rueful cyncicism.

John Cusack plays an everyman, a lawyer who has sold out to the values of corporate corruption. With mixed feelings, he steals over two million dollars from the local mob on Christmas Eve, then plans with Billy Bob Thornton to make a break for it later on Christmas Day. The mob boss (Randy Quaid) finds out and sends a hit man to get his money back, and the movie plot is about John Cusack trying to avoid getting killed by them.

The movie has been pretty much panned by almost every critic to review it, although Roger Ebert praised it enough for three stars. I loved it and loved the book before it. I realize that I am in a small minority in this regard. What makes THE ICE HARVEST work for me is its noir blend of saltiness and satire, its mixture of comedy and karma. The comedy here is based upon the hypocrisy of Christmas in this era of corruption and greed. All of the liars and killers and thieves in this movie talk about Christmas, about being home opening up presents with their kids. If you don't get that, I guess you won't see the comedy.

John Cusack is endearing as an everyman who has gone too far with a fantasy and now is just trying to survive. Billy Bob Thornton is menacing as Vic. His idea of winning is the American way, giving lip-service to religion and humanist values while embracing ruthless materialism.
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6 of 7 people found the following review helpful
2.0 out of 5 stars Little cheer in sight... 1 Dec 2008
I bought this film second-hand on the off-chance: director Ramis has, of course, done the fantastic Groundhog Day, and having read the brief synopsis, it sounded like a darkly comic 'christmas crime noir' (and there's a genre we need more of!)

The problem this film has is a lack of ANY sympathetic characters. Even John Cusak's character - who is obviously meant to be the (very weak) moral centre of things just isn't generating enough on-screen empathy: he is, at best, neutral, and that's not enough.

The black humour is fleeting and largely flat, but most of all there's no SPARK: the setting and set-up ought to deliver great moment after great moment, but sadly not.
I didn't expect to see Santa every two minutes or a Capra-esque ending, but a big part of the pitch for this was the festive setting which is hardly referenced at all. Also, and this is a rare one for me to moan about: I didn't like the general tone towards women in the story as a whole. Usually, I'm your standard ignorant-bloke on this type of thing, but even I became a little tired of the uniformaly negative and/or weak role-call of female characters - it only really hit me when I was pondering it all in the days following.

I can't fault the DVD package (commentary, alternate endings - proper ones too, not the usual attempts at that where someone says or does something slightly differently, so as to just meet the dictionary definition of 'alternative') so perhaps in the end it just wasn't my cup of tea. John Cusak is always worth a watch, but I think here everyone is struggling to find their places in the story, and so much seems to happen off-screen or be simply referred to by characters rather than shown, it all came off very flat.

NO ho ho!
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars The Ice Harvest - underrated at the time 27 Dec 2012
Format:DVD|Verified Purchase
This was a real surprise to me as I love John Cusack movies and I hadn't heard of this one. I don't think it got much press in Europe. Good plot and an excellent cast. Billy Bob Thornton is always very watchable - this movie was a good "surprise" find.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
Screen 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...
This is a little gem of a movie.
Billy Bob Thornton and John Cusack team up in an Elmore Leonard-esque adaptation of a Scott Phillips novel. Thornton and Cusack both have enough panache, cool and grit to pull off this "heist-gone-wrong" caper into a memorable experience.With a great comedic performance from Platt his character is drunk through the movie,
plus There's the beautiful Renata (Connie Nielson),who runs the Sweet Cage strip club
plus the powerful mobster Bill Guerrard (Randy Quaid)
directed by Harold Ramis (Analyze This & That, and Groundhog Day).
Thornton and Cusack decide to rip of their bosses the biggest Mafia guys in Wichita Falls, and almost as soon as they do, it starts to go wrong.
Thornton plays it cool.
Cusack loses his nerve.
The rest of the movie plays out the sequence of very funny events until the next day...
The Ice Harvest
its a Great Comedy
its a great Thriller,
its "Wickedly hilarious!"..
its also what you call ?
(((( Thick Thieves. ON Thin Ice.....))))
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Most Recent Customer Reviews
5.0 out of 5 stars a good man should not get involved with bad people
a good man should not get involved with bad people
clever script
feels basic but brilliant at times
contains the funniest moment in film for me - involves the word... Read more
Published 2 months ago by R.Potter
5.0 out of 5 stars Five Stars
good film
Published 3 months ago by bretthayes
4.0 out of 5 stars Four Stars
good film, always been a Cusack fan worth a watch if ur not
Published 3 months ago by Danny Boy
2.0 out of 5 stars 2 and half stars
Borders on the verge of don't like-just like. Really only the anticipation of Connie Nielson kept me watching. Read more
Published 14 months ago by Steve
5.0 out of 5 stars 5 stars for this one
Let me just add my vote - highly entertaining - well acted and directed - clever script and clever
dialog - enjoyable all the way.
Published on 17 Sep 2010 by Filmfan
5.0 out of 5 stars Bloody Christmas
I was skeptical about buying this, due to the reviews i had seen.

When i watched it, it made me think all those reviewers obviously have some chemical imbalance. Read more
Published on 27 Oct 2009 by Liam O'Shea
2.0 out of 5 stars John Cusack does his best
A tedious, plodding film, that tries to be a quirky noirish thriller, but just isn't very good.
Published on 29 Jun 2008 by shpadoinkle
4.0 out of 5 stars Black comedy
Good acting and cinematography combine in a stylish crime noir tale set on Christmas Eve in Wichita, Kansas during an ice storm. Read more
Published on 29 Feb 2008 by Bren Ray Cyrus
2.0 out of 5 stars a slow film and a plain tedious film
If you like a film with very dark but not too funny humour where people are constantly nasty to one another and the story plods along very slowly,
you'll like the Ice... Read more
Published on 6 Nov 2007 by Amazon Customer
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