55 of 61 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Authentic
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...
Published on 29 Jan 2009 by PJ Rankine
3.0 out of 5 stars Not a good film
But, Good service and good price, arrived promptly and well packed. Product was exactly as described all in all ok.
Published 23 days ago by Sheila Rowbottom
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55 of 61 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Authentic,
32 of 36 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Ignore the one star rating...,
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.
38 of 43 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars A very good classic western,
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)
22 of 25 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Ed Harris's Labour of Love,
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.
2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Great 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.
28 of 33 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Good Traditional Western,
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 ...
16 of 19 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars IMPRESSED !!,
(One star review - agreed with the others - pls.just skip it&don't read it !)
5 of 6 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Caution! Leaded but not Leaden.,
This is a western authentic in its presentation (Read primary sources and factual books which deal with the era) and which mirrors the real pace of life in late 19th century frontier America.
Here is a motion picture cast in the Film Noir mould, dark and disturbing. There are no heroes, nor outright villains, as such. Each character has their own inner demons which occasionally rise to the surface creating a tangled skein of numerous sub-plots, none of which, thankfully, remain unresolved at the film's culmination.
Ed Harris is perfectly cast as 'Vergil Cole' the laconic,occasionally inarticulate, bipolar lawman , Viggo Mortensen as the urbane and educated 'Everett Hitch',is Cole's alter-ego, two men on the border between right and wrong, lawful and unlawful.
Jeremy Irons' 'Randall Bragg', a mysteriously wealthy rancher, is played to perfection, a man ostensibly on the wrong side of the law, deeply disturbing and sinister, yet not wholly unsympathetic.
Renee Zellweiger well cast as the apparently strait-laced (Occasionally unlaced), down on her luck (Amongst other things)widow 'Allison French' with an eye for the main chance, an unashamed social-climber driven by a deep-seated lust (Met her before, just can't remember when).
The town has the feel of an up and coming settlement on the verge of becoming civilsed (With a railhead an all), with all the trappings that suggests - prissy self-important civic dignitaries, families, Chinese workers, and whores. Oh! and some authentic horse dung in the main street.
Admittedly the flow seemed to falter occasionally, but doesn't that happen in real life? I know it does in mine.
For those who require a faster pace in their westerns may I recommend: 'Three Amigos', 'Blazing Saddles' or even 'Back to the Future Part III'.
4 of 5 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.,
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
9 of 12 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Appaloosa,
Appaloosa is set in 19th Century America/Mexico border and the town, (which is called Appaloosa) is home to the villanous Randall Bragg (Jeremy Irons) and his gang of thugs. So statesman Phil Olson (Timothy Spall) hires city marshall, Virgil Cole (Ed Harris) and his deputy Everett Hitch (Viggo Mortenson) to clean up the streets and bring the town back to the right side of the law. But a woman named Allison French (Renee Zellweger) arrives in town, she is nothing but a spanner in the works because Cole falls in love with her and from there on in, things get a bit more complicated. Especially when Gun-For-Hire Ring Shelton realises he can use Mrs. French to get what he wants.
The film is directed, co-written and produced by Ed Harris who also, somehow finds the time to play the lead role. Much like The Assassination of Jesse James, this Western is a character driven film, that lacks (although is better because of it) in the non-stop action of films such as 3:10 to Yuma.
Cole and Hitch have a respect for each other and at points during the film they communicate without speaking, knowing what they mean by their facial expressions (Mr Mortenson being especially good at this). Harris and Mortenson have worked together before in A History of Violence and it seems that they have the respect and friendship that their characters have because of this.
Lance Henrikson and Timothy Spall carry out their small parts well. Henrikson is the Gun-For-Hire who Bragg hires to bust him out of jail and Spall is the statesman who hires the marshall to lock Bragg up. They do not have big parts but carry them out well and help the story along.
Renee Zellweger plays the lady of the story. She has been criticised for being weak but that is only because she is next to some five star acting by Harris, Mortenson and Irons. She holds her own agaisnt the men of the film and her performance might not win any awards but it is by no means poor.
This is probably the best Western since Clint Eastwoods stormer Unforgiven and is defiantely worth watching. It has been a spark of life in a dying genre and Harris has created a wonderful film that can be watched a number of times. A brilliant film! Please watch it.
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Appaloosa (Ws) (US Import) [Blu-ray]  by Ed Harris (Blu-ray - 2009)