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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. Studio: New Line Home Video Release Date: 01/13/2009 Starring: Ed Harris Jeremy Irons Run time: 116 minutes Rating: R Director: Ed Harris
The Western has been an endangered species, on and off, for something like 40 years now. Welcome to Appaloosa, Ed Harris's film of the Robert B. Parker novel--first because it exists at all, but even more because Harris as star, director, and co-screenwriter (with Robert Knott) has managed to bring it to the screen with no hint of fuss or strain, as if the making of no-nonsense, copiously pleasurable Westerns were still something Hollywood did with regularity. Harris plays Virgil Cole, one of those ace gunfighter-lawmen whose name need only be mentioned to make a saloon go still. Cole and his shotgun-toting partner Everett Hitch (Viggo Mortensen) accept a commission to enforce law and order in the New Mexico town of Appaloosa. That basically means protect it from rapacious rancher Randall Bragg (Jeremy Irons, looking right at home on the range), who murdered the previous town marshal like swatting a fly. Life becomes complicated when, about the time Bragg has been jailed to await trial, a fancy-dressing piano player calling herself Mrs. French (Ren¨¦e Zellweger) steps down off the train. Cole commences to have feelings, and as he ruefully reminds Hitch, "Feelin's can get ya killed."
In his second directorial effort (following the 2000 biopic Pollock), Harris takes his cue from novelist Parker's often deadpan-comic touch, allowing action and character to accumulate in accordance with an overall eccentric rhythm. (The film's main disappointment is that it would benefit from more running time to allow things to stew a bit longer, especially in the second half.) The character work is choice, from the moment Tom Bower, James Gammon, and Timothy Spall step into view as Appaloosa's civic leaders; the director's father Bob Harris contributes a cameo as a mellifluous-tongued circuit judge, and an age-thickened Lance Henriksen turns up midfilm as gunman Ring Shelton, trailing affability and menace. In collaboration with Dances With Wolves cameraman Dean Semler, Harris sets up shots and scenes in such a way that we often see into and out of Appaloosa's various buildings simultaneously, to excellent dramatic and atmospheric effect, and there's a thrillingly vertical dynamics to a scene involving a train at an isolated water stop. The action is lethal when it needs to be, but never dwelt upon. "That was over quick," Hitch observes after one gun battle. Cole's response says it all: "Everybody could shoot." --Richard T. Jameson
- Colt Does Make a Heavy Firearm
I'm a big fan of Westerns and I had already read the book, so this was a no-brainer for me. I was further intrigued when I read that Ed Harris had fallen in love with the book while on vacation and had immediately purchased the rights. In my estimation, Ed Harris is one of the most underrated actors out there and I had high hopes for the movie when I learned of his involvement. I wasn't disappointed.
The story is familiar to most fans of the genre. Rancher Randall Bragg, played with cold charm by Jeremy Irons, believes he and his men are above the law. They take food and supplies from the town of Appaloosa and create a general atmosphere of terror. Enter Virgil Cole and Everett Hitch, travelling lawmen hired by the town to deal with Bragg and his henchman who have disposed of the town's previous sheriff. Ed Harris and Viggo Mortensen are excellent in the roles of Cole and Hitch, capturing perfectly the complex friendship and loyalty between the two men. They institute a new set of laws and proceed to enforce them, much to the chagrin of Bragg, his men, and the town fathers alike.
Complicating matters is the arrival of a piano playing widow, Alison French, played by Renee Zellweger. She takes a fancy to Cole and the feeling is mutual. Alison has issues of her own, however, chiefly the need to be with whatever man she perceives to be the alpha male. This leads to problems later in the film.
The film deftly moves between Cole and Hitch's efforts to bring Bragg to justice and Cole's burgeoning relationship with Ally. The two plots come together in an unexpected fashion and lead directly to the resolution of the film.
The movie is dialog driven and moves slow in places, but it never seems ponderous. The relationship between Cole and Hitch drives the film. Their loyalty and deep bond for one another is something that Robert Parker has always been adept at creating and Harris wisely showcases these elements in his screenplay and direction. Harris's director's eye is impeccable, making use of classic western imagery. The attention to detail is impressive, as weapons, clothing, and setting appear authentic to the times. The violence in the movie comes in quick brutal spurts, very realistically portrayed.
I enjoyed the hell out of this movie, just as I had the novel. The characters act and talk the way you wish you could in real life. The casting was great and even Renee Zellweger held her own. (I was especially pleased to find that Lance Henriksen was cast as a hired gun employed by Bragg.) Ed Harris does a remarkable job as Cole, a cold man with few social graces, struggling with his feelings for Ally, driven to defeat Bragg and enforce his law. When he's violent it is without remorse. Mortensen is equally as good as Hitch, a more emotional man, who sees the darkness in Cole, but doesn't have it himself. As I said before, their dynamic makes the film work. This is a western in the tradition of Unforgiven (Two-Disc Special Edition) and Tombstone - The Director's Cut (Vista Series), maybe not quite as good as those two films, but it's damn close. Even though I knew what was coming, it was still stirring to see the action played out on the screen. The movie's ending is elegant, holding true to the code that the two main characters have forged.
- Good Entertaining Western
Appaloosa was a good Western movie. Ed Harris played a great role and I was throughly entertained throughout most of the film.
I believe I expected a bit more, with todays technology in film making. There were some really slow areas where I almost lost interest.
Was it as good at 3:10 to Yuma? No, not quite and I was not all that impressed with that movie either.
Was it as good as Tombstone with Kirt Russell & Val Kilmer? Absolutely not, Tombstone is my all-time favorite Western.
Good movie. My wife and I both enjoyed it. Just sit back and enjoy the movie. Don't expect more from it than it can give....more info
- I Love Westerns
Hollywood has really lost touch with the Western genre in recent years. I believe Ed Harris made a sincere attempt of recreating a Western in the classic vein but the results are very disappointing. Apparently, I'm in a minority among other reviewers here but as much as I had great expectations for this film, it really fell flat. The great cast doesn't jell well together and the script was either poorly adapted from the Robert Parker novel or possibly the direction of Mr. Harris simply wasn't up to the task. Very disappointing....more info
- Great up until the middle...
I started out really liking this movie. I won't spoil it but dang... the middle (when they picked Renee back up) was a killer for me. From there on out, it just seemed to die and turn do something weird. Not a good weird either. My husband is a western man and loves them but he didn't really care for this movie either.
I would suggest Unforgiven over this movie anyday. But then again, almost any of the Clint westerns are far better than this movie was. ...more info
- Walk softly and carry a big shotgun
Appaloosa as directed by Ed Harris, is a western that will appeal to most fans of the genre regardless of one's preference for the traditional vein in the mode of John Wayne or the modern interpretations like 3:10 to Yuma.
Virgil Cole (Harris) and his long-time associate Everett Hitch (Viggo Mortensen) are essentially `cleaners' of a bygone era. Appaloosa is just another dusty town in need of their particular brand of expertise, establishment of a codified rule of law - as defined by the no nonsense Cole - and eradication of the human blight that has plagued the area for the last few years, Randall Bragg (Jeremy Irons) and his despicable crew of trail vermin. While it does not take long to ascertain there will be confrontations on the horizon, the arrival in town of a young attractive widow, Allison French (played by Rene Zellweger) immediately foreshadows complications that may irretrievably alter the dynamic between the complementary partners, Cole and Hitch.
There's plenty enough action and violence for the bloodthirsty viewer and well as refined cynicism for those who appreciate the contemplative portrayal of the new age intellectual cowboy (Mortensen's understated performance is a gem, somewhat reminiscent of Val Kilmer as Doc Holliday in Tombstone, absent the addictiveness) but to the credit of Harris' direction and the screenplay adaptation of Robert B. Parker's novel, the film never seems to meander into the fantastical, where quite often the protagonists are seemingly invincible and infallible. ...more info
- close to the book
I love Robert B. Parker the author of the book Appaloosa. This movie was very close to the book and was well done. I enjoyed this movie very much and will watch it again and again. ...more info
- Out West!.
I saw Appaloosa last night and I thought it was a fantastic western. Whether it is because he is a bit older I don't know, but Ed Harris obviously understands westerns, this one in particular was more subtle and was more of an old fashioned and traditional western kind of like High Noon or some of Eastwood's westerns like Pale Rider. Ed Harris had lot to do with this movie, what with starring, directing, producing and even singing one of the songs during the titles at the end. the story goes along at a pedestrian sort of pace and has little action but the little action there is, is pretty good. The pace was very good, allowing the story and character to develop properly. Even so it could have and should have been shorter - John Ford, or more likely Anthony Mann would have got through this story in about 90 minutes, but very satisfying nevertheless. Set in 1882 New Mexico, Appaloosa follows the fate of the town of the same name, which has fallen into the control of a ruthless outlaw (Jeremy Irons) and the powers that be have hired new hands to take control of the situation (Harris and Viggo Mortensen). However, when a mysterious widow (Renee Zellweger) arrives in town, loyalties will be tested, friendships will be put on trial and guns will be fired.
Harris was brilliant as Virgil Cole, he was subtle, nuanced and never out of control. He commands the screen every time he's on it, without yelling or doing anything too crazy. Viggo Mortensen's near silent performance is not short on talent either, they both create the perfect team and both characters were very interesting and this team up obviously elevates the status of this film. To complete the great cast of characters is Jeremy Irons, he is the only guy I can imagine in the role of the film's villain. His freezing stare, mixed with the icy cold voice he is most known for, makes him one of the most memorable villains of the year. Renee Zellweger really didn't add anything to the movie, though her character wasn't too interesting and just serves as a plot device. This is what keeps the film from getting a 5 star rating. However the rest of the supporting cast is really terrific, even though the story really only revolves around a few characters. Appaloosa is an old school western that has everything a fan of the genre could want. Including a suspenseful and tense gunfight and some Native Americans! as well as a train stand off. It's definitely one of the best modern western films I've seen in years, way better than the horrible and incredibly dull Assassination of Jesse James starring Brad Pitt.
- A distinguished existential Western!
"Appaloosa" is a curious Western where the primary plot has to do with the value and significance of the friendship as posthumous homage to a sincere and incorruptible life of a straightforward man - Virgil Cole (Ed Harris), disposed to make the justice prevails no matter how many miles he must to walk to get it.
But through the achievement of his last goal he falls in love with an alluring widow and so after a set of unexpected events the villain of the story becomes a very respectable citizen. But his friend Everett (Viggo Mortensen), has never forgotten the main goal and he will be the executor arm of the natural justice.
The dramatic premise has to do with the thin line between the duty, the moral codes and the ethic. That's why Cole reads Emerson and even discusses with Bragg (Jeremy Irons) ethic issues in a very brief but relevant sequence. Both men are well aware about the holes and fissures of a legal system (including a Presidential blessing who liberates this double moral citizen named Bragg) and every one of them will try to make his mission in the stage of life.
Everett is -if you may- the outlaw personage (no family; no hopes for the recent future) who scrutinizes, watches and nourishes day after day his hidden admiration by Cole. That's why Cole tells him. "The feelings may destroy you and distort your whole perception about the life's role. That's why Everett is not at the same level than Cole."
Ed Harris(after his debut as director with "Pollock")demonstrates outstanding merits at the role of director. A very zealous camera handle with wonderful nocturnal illumination and arresting angles (like the gun duel, the dramatic sequence of the train).
Once more, we are conscious about the Western transcendence simply denies to die because neither more nor less, this is the mythic genre per excellence that wrought the untamed spirit of a nation after the horror of the Civil War.
Truly, a recent Classic Western.
- Good Photography - that's it!
Having lived on a ranch in Montana I will say that outside of the sets and props this movie depicts another urban fantasy on western/cowboy life. The movie consisted of a sequence of stitched together themes and characterizations taken from old school western movies: (a.) Sheriff & partner wander from town to town for hire. (b.) Towns are being victimized by bad guy rancher. (c.) Sheriff falls for local beauty. (d.) Sheriff/partner kill bad rancher. (e.) Sheriff settles down.
What rescues the movie is the silence between the cliched one-liners to allow one to appreciate the good photography. ...more info
- Clunky at Best
After watching Ed Harris's clunky treatment of the Jackson Pollock bio I had reservations with 'Apaloosa'. Unfortunately, my reservations were confirmed. Both he and Mortensen were excellent in 'History of Violence', so there is every reason to anticipate their chemistry will reignite here. They look good in their roles. It's clearly a question of the direction of an outdated script. Betrayal, loyalty, good and evil; the usual tropes are there but insufficiently examined.It was difficult to ascertain in this cliche ridden story whether the actor's lines were ironic or simply leaden; whether the film was a parody of the genre. Take for instance the three clowns chorusing their civic concerns about the power assumed by Jeremy Irons. And given the cinemagraphic benchmark of the recent,'Assasination of Jesse James' I wondered how a formidably 60s aesthetic and attitude would be granted production approval. Then, there are enough reviewers here on Amazon for instance, to indicate that they are willing to put such misgivings aside.Were they wanting development of Harris's violence in the dining room when Mortenson is forced to restrain him? Did they not wonder at the sudden shift from shootout location back to Apaloosa? The magnetic Viggo Mortenson as Harris's 'minder' is the film's centrepiece and earns the few stars I'm alloting. It's he who has something approaching a relationship with his Mexican mistress, that is with honesty and trust, insight or conscience. Yet he muses on alone at the film's squeamish conclusion, probably aware of the paralysed misfits doomed to dwell in Apaloosa, but only faintly removed from their stupour....more info
- This movie was...what's the word I'm looking for?
The Good Things
*Video/sound quality are quite good. The picture is a little subdued, but still very clear, colorful, and detailed.
*Includes a commentary, additional scenes, and four featurettes. And it includes a digital copy.
*There are a few gunfights, but they are very brief. For the most part, this is an intriguing drama.
*Production design is excellent. Exterior locations are interesting. Interior locations are detailed and colorful. Costumes and props are good. I think much of it is also fairly realistic; the sets look authentic, and there are some parts where people appear to be doing tradescraft in a realistic manner.
*Photography is good.
*Despite the length of the film, it maintains pacing very well. All of the scenes are not too long and to-the-point.
*Characters are good; they are well-developed and compassionate without being to extreme. Acting and writing are excellent.
*There isn't much expository dialogue to describe the story's actions (the dialogue seems more character-driven), but if you pay attention, the storyline is good.
*Music is good.
The Bad Things
*Despite the pacing and occasional violence, the movie is still mostly a long drama. It requires some tolerance; if you're looking for pure action or violence, this may bore you.
*Not for kids; rated R for violence and quite a bit of swearing (and one scene where some unruly characters were urinating on the floor).
It took me a couple of viewings to truly appreciate Ed Harris' directorial debut. But now I can say that I got it, and it is a very interesting story with some very interesting characters. If you have the patience for it, it can be a very rewarding viewing experience. Otherwise, you might fall asleep through it....more info
- missed it by one Zellweger
A top notch understated western in every way, except for the screenplay regarding Zellweger's character and the realization of that character... tends to take the film out of an otherwise excellent rhythm. The movie had every possibility of being great except for that single element. Viggo and Ed are absolutely sensational, along with the collection of low life villians. Beautifully filmed as well.
Looks like voters did not like my Zellweger appraisal. :)...more info
- Will and Grace Meets the Old West?
This was the second of two real stinkers I saw last weekend (the other being The Strangers with Liv Tyler...uggggh)....Can't begin to say how disappointed I was in Appaloosa. Viggo Mortensen was reduced to a mumbler, Ed Harris and Renee Zelwegger (could she have been more unappealing) sounded like they were out of a sitcom or an 80s romantic comedy, and Jeremy Irons...was he a good guy or a bad guy? By the end of the film I had forgotten. If the 3:10 to Yuma allowed for another western to be made in Appaloosa, let's pray for no more Yumas....more info
- Average Western, 2.5 stars
What a shame the story line couldn't have been better for a cast of such talented actors. The entire movie felt like a struggle. It jumps around a bit too. At one point Ed and Viggo get shot. What were their injuries, will they live? Not exactly sure, but the next seen they are sitting having dinner. Ol' Ed got a broken knee from a gunfight...hmmm. Viggo, uh...I guess had a bullet proof vest on. Rene's character was boring and unfitting for her level of acting. This felt like a play, instead of a movie.
Definitely not worth buying.
while it looked awesome in previews, the film did not at any part live up to my expectations. I found the dialogue dry and boring. The actors chemistry was poor, God knows viggo tried. The plot was horribly predictable and action scenes few and far between. I wouldnt even advise renting it. ...more info
A western much like "Shane", with a great set, fine cast, correct clothes, weapon's, the glass in the window's,
even horse dropping in the street. The shootout's are not over done. It has some great acting by more than one actor. It is better than 4 star's and a little short of 5 star's. ...more info
- Fun Viewing
I think the negative reviewers are being far too harsh. This film was a lot of fun and I feel that the actors struck the perfect note between serious and playful. Also the characters have some depth to them evinced by the fact that you don't know what they're going to do next. Very entertaining!...more info
The movie was ok, but not what I expected. I really enjoy western movies and was expecting a true western. This missed the mark, but did have some good parts. I'll give it to someone, it's not one that I'll keep my for video collection....more info
- Bad Casting and Acting
All the characters (except Jeremy Irons) sounded like they were reading to us. Their deliberate pronounciation of every word was annoying, to say the best. Ed Harris' struggling to find the right words was just way overdone and unbelievable. However, I could have just filed this movie anway with a bad 'B' western but Renee Zellweger made the whole movie downright unwatchable. She was totally miscast for this movie and looked and acted ridiculous as a western character. ...more info
This is possibly the worst movie ever made. For a group of such fine actors, this movie was undeveloped, unreal and painfully boring. Ed Harris is NOT director/producer material. Viggo Mortensen did a fair job with the awful script provided, but Rene Zellweger was terrible. She looked like someone had punched her until her face was swollen and bloated like a dead fish. The scripting was laughable throughout. "I've known you a long time, long as you've known me" Total crap. Save your money and time....more info
- Complete waste of time. Boring and made no sense.
I was extremely disappointed in this movie. I am a fan of both Ed Harris and Vigo Mortensen so, naturally, I had moderately high expectations. While the acting is decent, the story makes no sense and seemingly contradicts itself several times throughout. I get that this is supposed to be a "spaghetti western" but still; the weak plot lines associated with those series of westerns fail to justify the complete lack of a cohesive story in this movie. This may be the fault of the novel this film was adapted from, and if so, why couldn't they modify the screenplay like they do all the time? A majority of the blame I would direct towards Ed Harris, who both starred in and directed. Even the characters contradicted the persona's the film painstakingly develops. And the action scenes were not exciting and there was a general lack of any suspense throughout.
In short, a long and boring movie that seems to drag on with a very weak plot. Ed Harris should stick to acting....more info
I just didn't think this was a great movie. The acting was so terrible and choppy. Terribly boring!...more info
- Terrible Western
I don't normally do this but hopefully it will save someone some time and money.
In my humble opinion this is one of the most disappointing westerns I have ever seen. The first time you hear a gun shot, you will know the quality of the whole movie. It sounds like cap guns going off. The story would be fine if it wasn't for the acting. I don't mean the actors, just their performances. It is way below what they are capable of. If this is Ed Harris' first shot at directing, he should stick to his acting. After all the great movies these actors have performed in, this one should never have been released. I gave my DVD away right after watching it. What a waste of money....more info
- `French' Farce: Western Style: She Had Him at `Hello'
Although as a Western, Appaloosa has its fair share of the usual barren landscapes, quick-on-the-draw shootings and loners traveling about the countryside exacting their own brand of harsh justice, this directorial offering by Ed Harris is really a slyly funny sex comedy with all the trappings of saucy French burlesque.
. . . French, that is as in Mrs. Allie French, the Rene¨¦ Zellweger character who wreaks havoc on the minds of two meandering lawmen--friends Virgil Cole, played by Ed Harris with a somber albeit tongue-in-cheek roguishness and the loyal Everett Hitch, dramatized by Viggo Mortensen with a quiet perfection that endows his character with as much patience for his partner than one could ever wish for in a long-term spouse.
Hired by the Appaloosa locals to contend with the alarmingly bullying Jeremy Irons, Cole and Hitch speedily incorporate their tried and true penal code that wins the West for them until Allie comes along as the attractively guileless fly in the ointment.
Comedic moments abound as the hardened and murderous Cole befuddled by French's attentions turns humorously domesticated--escorting his lady love on a buggy ride that drops the jaws of his colleagues and choosing curtain material for a house he builds for her at the end of the Main Street in town.
Unfortunately, this paragon of womanly virtue is about as unseemly as the rest of the stereotypical ladies typically seen populating the saloon in most Westerns. Harris's Allie can't figure out which man she wants. When she tries her hand at the unassuming Everett, she creates an interesting triangle of companions that although seems to reach a comfortable level of comradeship, sizzles with the same undercurrent of wry amusement shared by the two gunslingers and their increasingly enlightened audience.
Harris and Mortensen dance through their roles with the perfect timing of two pros that enjoy what they are doing and obviously liked what their chemistry together did for the film. Although possessed by intermittent volatility, Harris plays Cole in an almost offhanded way--he wields a mean gun with the accuracy of a heat-seeking missile yet flounders when he fails to call to mind the correct word to finish his often hesitant sentences. Mortensen, on the other hand, provides the perfect foil. With his good looks hidden for the most part by a huge hat and hideous facial hair, he says little, but witnesses much as registered by the twist of his lips and the twinkle in his eyes. He's a leather-booted guardian angel that the other members of the cast perhaps can outshoot but can never fool.
Bottom line? Appaloosa as directed by Ed Harris cattle prods the usual Western into a slick little sex comedy that Ed Harris, Viggo Mortensen and Rene¨¦ Zellweger clearly enjoyed making. The story at times is a little slow, but the chemistry between the actors, especially Mortensen and Harris, make the viewing well worth the price of admission. While the typical Western always features a 19th or early 20th century knight errant wandering the countryside in search of either freedom from civilization or some quest (noble or otherwise), Appaloosa informs its audience that the motivation for its women wasn't all that much different. Recommended.
Diana Faillace Von Behren
- Friends 'til the End
Ed Harris and Viggo Mortensen work well together. Now where have I seen their camaraderie before??? Hmmmm.... No, it wasn't A History of Violence...they were enemies in THAT movie.
Ah, yes, it was Lonesome Dove! You see, in Appaloosa Ed Harris is doing his best Gus McCrae (Robert Duvall) and Viggo Mortensen is doing his best Woodrow Call (Tommy Lee Jones). While the chemistry is certainly there, the imitation is almost blatant. Not a bad thing I guess, but it took away a lot of the originality that Appaloosa had the potential for. Harris and Mortensen could have created a unique, memorable pair seen in "buddy movies" like the aforementioned Lonesome Dove or Lethal Weapon (Mel Gibson and Danny Glover); but instead the Harris Directed Appaloosa chose to imitate rather than create, and will result in my mind as a forgettable duo.
The story isn't anything new either. Basically (very basically) there are some bad guys in town and the townspeople can't deal with them themselves. So they bring in hired guns Harris and Mortensen to uphold the law. The bad guys take offense, and Harris and Mortensen go to work.
There's some fun action in Appaloosa, but the film is more of a buddy movie with buddy interactions than it is a rompin' stompin' Western. The cast is full of familiar faces, and they all do a good job being "Westerners". (On the unfamiliar side there's a glimpse of Ren¨¦e Zellweger sans clothing...let's just say that she looks better with cloths ON, so a glimpse was more than enough.)
Overall, I was entertained. Appaloosa's a good one for your rental queue when there's slim pickins.
I loved the Parker novel on which the film is based and the film is worthy of the novel. Harris' direction is superb; the period details are spot-on and the script is lean and Parkeresque. It is a story of friendship, of friendship between men. As such, more is left unsaid than is said. The fact that things need not be said is the whole point. Everyone will think of Spenser and Hawk and that is fair, but I think as well of the laconic Jesse Stone, another Parker creation which has resulted in excellent film adaptations. Remember always that Parker is an English Ph.D., one who understands genre at the deepest level. Thus, this is a western in the purest sense. The story is relatively familiar (as western stories always are) and the experience of watching it is one that borders on ritual and sacrament. We know that we are entering a certain ethos and we know what will happen there. We pray that we won't be disappointed. Here, we are not disappointed. It is not as operatic as the Sergio Leone films can be, but it is respectful, almost worshipful, of the world which the genre celebrates. This is first-rate work, an exquisite film....more info
- They're a good team
I very much enjoyed the way Viggo Mortensen and Ed Harris played off each other in A History of Violence. So when Ed Harris created his own well written and told western, Appaloosa, they brought back the chemistry they had before but this time as friends instead of ex-friends.
This is a buddy movie that breaks all the cliches and finally brings turns and twists that build and yet complete the way they really should....more info
- THIS COULD'VE BEEN GOOD!!!
The problem with this movie was quite simply- YOU SHOULD'VE HAD A DIRECTOR!.
This cast would have worked... If it had another director. I love many westerns, like "The Proposition", "The Good, The Bad and the Ugly", and "Once upon a time in the West" etc.. And I love Vito and Ed. But this was more like a couple of buddies trying to make a movie together, and it came out really immature and boring. The character flaws were just pathetically high....Sorry guys, 3 strikes. I really didn't care about who lived or died.
I'm sure it will appeal to people who think that "Smokey and the Bandit" was celluloid magic....more info
- Best Western I have seen since ...
"Open Range" - and, maybe "Broken Trail" in between - at least because Boss Spearman - sorry, Robert Duvall, repeats in the later.
Reasons because I liked this movie other reviewers wrote about them already.
Just want to point that I happened to have watched Vigo's "Capitan Alatriste" just few weeks before and I can't help it but to think that the great actor Vigo brought to "Appaloosa" a couple of things from the Captain Alatriste character. The way he walks carrying the big rifle, the high boots, the hat, even his pointing beard, all of that resembles the XVII century Spanish "Arcabucero" - arquebusier, sort of musketeer - character he develops in that movie.
And, in the final gun duel against Jeremy Irons, Vigo definitely stands with great style, looking more a gentleman ready for a pistol duel in old Europe than a late XIX century american gunman. ...more info