Customer Reviews


100 Reviews
5 star:
 (42)
4 star:
 (26)
3 star:
 (18)
2 star:
 (9)
1 star:
 (5)
 
 
 
 
 
Average Customer Review
Share your thoughts with other customers
Create your own review
 
 

The most helpful favourable review
The most helpful critical review


13 of 13 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Great Film
First off, you must watch the extras because there is some really interesting stuff in them, changes to the set, the amount of authenticity etc. The Actors and many of the crew actually gave their time for free or at less than the normal rate because they were so impressed with the script. The director points out some of the stuff that you don't really notice but that...
Published on 1 April 2011 by Brian

versus
3 of 3 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars 'ED HARRIS' BOTH DIRECTS AND STARS IN THIS GRITTY WESTERN-TALE'
'Cole' and 'Hitch' ( Ed Harris and Viggo Mortensen ) are gunmen that apply their trade with total confidence, they specialize in sorting out towns problems, they also make their own rules of engagement.
When they arrive in 'Appaloosa' they find the town has it's problems, the officials are so worried and scared by this they are willing to agree and sign the demands...
Published 4 months ago by rbmusicman


‹ Previous | 1 210 | Next ›
Most Helpful First | Newest First

13 of 13 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Great Film, 1 April 2011
Verified Purchase(What is this?)
This review is from: Appaloosa [DVD] (DVD)
First off, you must watch the extras because there is some really interesting stuff in them, changes to the set, the amount of authenticity etc. The Actors and many of the crew actually gave their time for free or at less than the normal rate because they were so impressed with the script. The director points out some of the stuff that you don't really notice but that adds to the 'feel' of the movie. I was actually prompted to read further about the 'old west' having seen this film.

My only disappointment is that many of the deleted scenes would have actually added a lot to the movie, but pressures on run time meant that they were left out. I do hope that they make a Directors cut of this film, although I don't suppose it's going to happen after 3 years since the original issue.

I bought this along with 'the assassination of Jesse James by the coward, .. etc', which is a truly awful movie in comparison to this one.
Help other customers find the most helpful reviews 
Was this review helpful to you? Yes No


66 of 72 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Authentic, 29 Jan. 2009
By 
PJ Rankine (Wallington, Surrey United Kingdom) - See all my reviews
(VINE VOICE)    (TOP 1000 REVIEWER)    (REAL NAME)   
This review is from: Appaloosa [DVD] (DVD)
This movie is the most authentic looking western I have seen since Clint got down and gritty with the wonderful 'Unforgiven'. Yes the story has probably been done before but so has every story ever written ultimately, but not as well on every occasion as this has been done. Excellent performances all round by an all star cast. I would point out that the picture quality is so good that it isn't worth buying the blu-ray edition.
Help other customers find the most helpful reviews 
Was this review helpful to you? Yes No


3 of 3 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars 'ED HARRIS' BOTH DIRECTS AND STARS IN THIS GRITTY WESTERN-TALE', 11 Jan. 2015
By 
rbmusicman (U.K) - See all my reviews
(TOP 50 REVIEWER)   
This review is from: Appaloosa [Blu-ray] (Blu-ray)
'Cole' and 'Hitch' ( Ed Harris and Viggo Mortensen ) are gunmen that apply their trade with total confidence, they specialize in sorting out towns problems, they also make their own rules of engagement.
When they arrive in 'Appaloosa' they find the town has it's problems, the officials are so worried and scared by this they are willing to agree and sign the demands and rules the two gunmen lay down in return for their services.
Of coarse to have a problem there has to be a Villain in this case it's 'Randall Bragg' ( Jeremy Irons ) who has several gun-handy employee's in tow.
As tradition demands there has to be a damsel to complicate the plot, this is provided by 'Renee Zellweger' ( have seen her in better roles )
Well, the film does have some decent gun-fights along with a pretty good cast list, must be at least worth a watch if your a 'Western' fan.
Help other customers find the most helpful reviews 
Was this review helpful to you? Yes No


28 of 31 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Ed Harris's Labour of Love, 8 Feb. 2009
By 
Bob Salter "Captain Spindrift" (Wiltshire, England) - See all my reviews
(VINE VOICE)    (TOP 500 REVIEWER)   
This review is from: Appaloosa [DVD] (DVD)
"Appaloosa" could in no way be described as a revisionist Western, it is firmly rooted in the old school. And what is wrong with that? The Western has been successful since the silent era and seems to have had a recent mini revival. This film was co directed by Ed Harris who also co wrote the screenplay. He also showed his ability to multi task by taking one of the lead roles. It would certainly appear to be a labour of love for him. This is Harris's second foray into the directors chair after his successful "Pollock" (2000)

The film which has no connection with Marlon Brando's 1966 film "The Appaloosa", is set in New Mexico in 1882 in the fictional town of Appaloosa. The local citizens having witnessed the brutal murder of the town Marshall by the evil Randall Bragg played by Jeremy Irons, hire two lawman to bring law and order to the town. Queue Virgil Cole played by Harris and his reticent partner Everett Hitch played by Viggo Mortenson. Both men are fast with their guns, and they need to be for they are quickly called into action. Hitch has an 8 Guage shotgun which goes everywhere he goes, and is almost like a third character. The dynamics are changed by the arrival of Ally French played by an alluring Renee Zellweger who sets her sights on Cole. Of course things head toward an inevitable showdown with Bragg.

The films central concern is the relationship between the films two main characters. This same fierce loyalty bears great similarities to that fine western "Warlock" (1959) where Henry Fonda and Anthony Quinn also play two lawmen brought to a Western town to restore justice. That films central theme was also the strong bond of friendship between the two main protagonists. Mortenson and Harris worked well together on "A History of Violence" and that teamwork shows in the effective way they develop the on screen friendship. There is a lot of amusing interplay between the two. If you are looking for a film with lots of action then you may find this film a little slow going.

Of the very recent Westerns, alongside Brad Pitts "The assassination etc etc", I feel this is the best, resting as it does on character development rather than all out action. "3.10 to Yuma" was fun, but it lost a bit of street cred with Christian Bale's one legged hero, who was so agile that he could have represented China in the gymnastics at the Beijing Olympics. "The Missing" was marred by the silly sorcery bit and "Seraphim Falls" by its bizarre ending. "Appaloosa" deserved a wider release in the UK. It is a very well crafted film which has a consummate eye for period detail even including the glass windows of the period. The cinematography was by the highly respected Australian Dean Semler and it is a credit to him. No it is not a classic in the vein of "The Searchers" or "The Wild Bunch" but it is still a very good film, and I have a feeling it will date better than many of the Oscar and BAFTA winners for this year. We shall see! For lovers of the Western especially this is an excellent addition to your collection. May the revival continue.

A final tip. Let the credits run and listen to firstly "Scare Easy" by the great Tom Petty and Mudcrutch which is a superb song, then listen to "You'll never Leave my Heart" co written and performed by guess who? Yes the versatile Mr Harris. He's no Johnny Cash, but he ain't bad! Enjoy.
Help other customers find the most helpful reviews 
Was this review helpful to you? Yes No


2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars Stellar casting + an extremely banal scenario = a very average albeit watchable film, 21 May 2014
By 
Maciej "Darth Maciek" (Darth Maciek is out there...) - See all my reviews
(TOP 500 REVIEWER)   
This review is from: Appaloosa [DVD] (DVD)
I found this 2008 western watchable, but absolutely nothing more and couple of hours after seeing it I already couldn't remember some details... Below, more of my impressions, with some limited SPOILERS.

In 1882 the town of Appaloosa, New Mexico, is ruled by a local cattle-baron named Randall Bragg (Jeremy Irons), who doesn't hesitate to kill those who oppose him. The people of the town hire then a wandering lawman (a "town-tamer") named Virgil Cole (Ed Harris) and his deputy, Everett Hitch (Viggo Mortensen), to end Bragg's reign of terror... It will not be easy, as Bragg has many cards to play, including but not limited to evil henchmen like Ring Shelton (Lance Henriksen). At one moment also a "femme fatale" (Renée Zellweger) will appear and try to drive a wedge between Cole and Hitch.

This is not a bad film, but it is somehow... banal. The scenario is not very good and dialogs are really lame, with a grand total of ONE good one-liner in a 115 minutes movie... Also shootouts are not very good - don't expect any brilliant action scenes. Soundtrack could as well be absent - nothing here that can be measured against some old western music...

The only reason why this film is even watchable is the cast which is indeed stellar: Ed Harris, Viggo Mortensen, Jeremy Irons (who clearly had the time of his life playing a bad guy in a western!) and Lance Henriksen are always a pleasure to watch, in anything. As for Renée Zellweger, well, I didn't like her much in this film, mostly because I never was a fan of her, in fact quite the contrary - and also here her character is unpleasant and annoying...

Some people suggested that this film is a kind of very distant remake of 1959 "Warlock" with Henry Fonda and Anthony Quinn, but I strongly disagree with that. Not even mentioning many other differences, the crucial point is that in "Warlock" it was clear that one of "town-tamers" (played by Anthony Quinn) was a closeted homosexual totally in love with his boss (played by Henry Fonda). No such thing is perceptible here.

Bottom line, this is a film slightly disappointing and rather banal, but still watchable, mostly for the performance of the four main male actors. It is just a pity that dialogs and action scenes are so LAME - with just a little more effort it could have been a really solid, good western. Recommended for renting rather than buying.
Help other customers find the most helpful reviews 
Was this review helpful to you? Yes No


46 of 51 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars A very good classic western, 24 Jan. 2009
By 
L. Pedersen (Denmark) - See all my reviews
(REAL NAME)   
This review is from: Appaloosa [DVD] (DVD)
Saw this a week ago, and i was not expecting too much going in, but i was
very impressed by this western, it had a classic feel to it, which is great as some westerns are too action biased, and have little story or feel to them.
Very pleasantly surprised, if you like westerns, you have to see this.
(and i agree it really deserves more than a one star review)
Help other customers find the most helpful reviews 
Was this review helpful to you? Yes No


39 of 45 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Ignore the one star rating..., 17 Jan. 2009
Verified Purchase(What is this?)
This review is from: Appaloosa [DVD] (DVD)
Having recently watched "3:10 from Yuma", I rented this film while being in the mood for good old fashioned entertainment.
The dialogue between the two main characters is great and worth watching alone. Ignore the one star review, this is a real treat for fans of westerns.
Help other customers find the most helpful reviews 
Was this review helpful to you? Yes No


28 of 33 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Good Traditional Western, 17 Jan. 2009
By 
V. Morgan "A Sad Boring Pedant ..." (York, England) - See all my reviews
(REAL NAME)   
Verified Purchase(What is this?)
This review is from: Appaloosa [DVD] (DVD)
Taken from Robert Parkers novel of the same name this film pretty well touches all the bases that a good western should.Mortenson and Harris do sterling jobs and catch the laconic friendship of Parker's characters well... even Rene wotsherface who usually annoys the hell out of me turns in a decent performance as do the other character actors who populate all the usual traditional western roles.

Its not to Ford or Eastwood standards but its a good enjoyable film with some 'knowing' humour running through it and good solid performances to it as well. The film knows what its doing and works just fine and I'm happy to reccomend it without overstating its case.

Good enjoyable stuff ...
Help other customers find the most helpful reviews 
Was this review helpful to you? Yes No


5 of 6 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars We can't have our law officers beatin' people half to death for no reason., 30 Jan. 2011
By 
Spike Owen "John Rouse Merriott Chard" (Birmingham, England.) - See all my reviews
(TOP 500 REVIEWER)   
Verified Purchase(What is this?)
This review is from: Appaloosa [DVD] (DVD)
Appaloosa is based on the 2005 novel of the same name written by Robert B. Parker. It's directed by Ed Harris, who also co-writes the story with Robert Knott. Harris also stars alongside Viggo Mortensen, Renée Zellweger, Jeremy Irons & Lance Henriksen. Music is by Jeff Beal and Dean Semler provides cinematography on location in Albuquerque, Austin and Santa Fe.

Appaloosa is in the grip of bully boy rancher Randall Bragg (Irons), who finally oversteps the mark when the latest Marshall and his deputies are killed in cold blood. The townsfolk decide enough is enough and hire no nonsense travelling lawmen Virgil Cole (Harris) and his sidekick Everett Hitch (Mortensen) to protect and serve the town. Ruling with a rod of iron, Cole & Hitch start to bring order to Appaloosa, but the arrival in town of pretty Allie French (Zellweger) causes quite a stir between the two men. Bad timing too since the guys are trying to get Bragg to his rightful execution.

In the modern era the Western has been the hardest genre for film makers to tackle. You can probably count on one hand the number of great or agreeable ones that have surfaced post Costner and Eastwood's efforts of 1990 and 1992 respectively. Enter Ed Harris, who undaunted by the long odds of getting a Western to be successful; and suffering worrying overtures from his backers at New Line Cinema, got Appaloosa made. Well made as it happens.

Since the story itself is etched like the Wyatt Earp legend, there's really no fresh perspective on offer here. In fact, anyone familiar with Edward Dmytryk's excellent Warlock from 1959 will feel some narrative déjà vu. But Appaloosa does have strong performances and lush landscapes to see it successfully home. Slotting in a good helping of action, romance and humour also goes some way to making Harris' movie a worthy modern day Oater. True, the clichés are many, but Harris wasn't after revisionism, he wanted (and got) old fashioned Oater values. A film that follows those old beloved B movie Western conventions, but one that still retains a topical criminal thread.

The best reward in the film comes from spending time with Harris & Mortensen. Their characters are nicely drawn and not over cooked by the script. Cole & Hitch are devoted to each other, lots of straight love and respect exists between the two men. Their bond is believably brought to life by Harris & Mortensen, who formed a friendship when making A History Of Violence for David Cronenberg in 2005. Zellweger and Irons too are not without high merit value. She (stepping in when Diane Lane walked over delays), is pleasing and captivates in what is the critical glue role. While he is dandy dastardly supreme, a well spoken villain of much intelligence and crafty as a cat.

Appaloosa is a subtle film, both in story and as a technical production. Beal's score is unobtrusive, while Semler's photography manages to deliver that old fashioned feel that Harris was after (the low lighting for the interiors is particularly on the money) . Harris' direction is smooth and unhurried in pace, with the odd inspired bit thrown in for good measure (check out the up-tilt camera work during a train on a bridge sequence). While the production design can't be faulted. All that and you got the likes of Henriksen and Timothy Spall in the support cast too. A lovely film that is as tight as the friendship at its core. 7.5/10
Help other customers find the most helpful reviews 
Was this review helpful to you? Yes No


4.0 out of 5 stars an unusual and engaging character-driven Western, 2 Jan. 2015
By 
This review is from: Appaloosa [DVD] (DVD)
There's the novelty of seeing an Academy Award-winning British actor and another British actor who might well win one this year (2014) in a Western?!? Jeremy Irons ("Reversal of Fortune," 1990) and Timothy Spall ("Mr Turner," 2014) team up here with Ed Harris and Viggo Mortensen (AND Renee Zellweger, another Academy Award winner) in this odd Western, directed and co-written by Ed Harris and based on a novel by Robert Parker. Is it only a novelty? Fortunately, no. It's a thoughtful, sometimes funny, sometimes touching story of friendship, respect, and love played out within the genre of a typical Western plot: bad guy Randall Bragg (Irons) terrorizes a town, and the town hires two gunslingers, Virgil Cole and Everett Hitch (Harris and Mortensen), to be their marshals and put the bad guy in his place. That place is the gallows, since Bragg has killed the previous marshal in cold blood, but people are in general terrified to testify against him, for he's a rich landowner with a very mean group of gunmen at his disposal. We learn early on that Cole and Hitch have developed a reputation for being honest and very effective gunmen. They are aware of that and take professional pride in the fact that they have worked out a way of doing what they are good at -- i. e. shooting people -- lawfully.

I'll avoid plot details in the interest of avoiding spoilers and concentrate more on what's unusual about the movie (although, to be fair, some of the plot elements are surprising too). Cole and Hitch have been working together as lawmen-for-hire for a dozen years, and the largely unspoken trust and respect between them are unusual in a movie. A good lot of humor is found in Cole's inarticulateness; many times he can't think of the appropriate word, and Hitch supplies it, without any comment or indication of discomfort with Cole's inarticulacy. It's just one thing that Hitch does for Cole, just like watching out for him in gunfights and in relationships. The relationship isn't like that of Butch and Sundance, nor are there the homo-erotic notes of "Brokeback Mountain": it just has a unique texture of its own and it has nothing to do with what Cole can or can't verbalize. Likewise Cole's feelings for Allie French (Zellweger) is something that he accepts without rationalizing and that he holds to even when Allie's insecurities seem to tempt her to take up with men who seem stronger or more powerful than Cole. The most Cole will say about her is, "I never met anyone like her." Hitch is protective of Cole in the relationship, but he doesn't try to destroy it, and he is nothing but considerate and even courtly to Allie. The texture of their interactions gives the movie much of its unique (especially for a Western) tone, and that texture is abetted by the quality of the writing, which is unusually fresh and free from the standard cliches of the genre. The brief jailhouse discussion of Emerson is just one example of the peculiar tone of the movie.

Bragg isn't a conventional villain either, for all that he has some ugly followers at his disposal. He can be ruthless, but he seems to develop an aspiration to be accepted as a pillar of society by the town he has terrorized, and there's the strong implication that his observations of and interactions with Cole and Hitch have had something to do with that aspiration -- which seems sincere. In the meantime, the plot plays out with a kidnapping and shootouts, and there's a fair amount of suspense generated at times, but at the end it's the characters and their relationship and the unspoken bonds that one remembers from this unusual and engaging film.
Help other customers find the most helpful reviews 
Was this review helpful to you? Yes No


‹ Previous | 1 210 | Next ›
Most Helpful First | Newest First

This product

Appaloosa [DVD]
Appaloosa [DVD] by Ed Harris (DVD - 2009)
£4.19
In stock
Add to basket Add to wishlist
Only search this product's reviews