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Appaloosa
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Customer Reviews:

  • 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 It's clearly a question of the direction of an outdated script.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
  • Cast of characters...
    The only regret I have with this movie is renting instead of buying it. For recent westerns this one was loaded with better known actors who played the characters fittingly. Great directing and cinematography. A good storyline too. It's a 'got-to-see' movie....more info
  • Not good....Spoilers
    This was a big disappointment. The characters actions in this film border on idiotic. Ed Harris is supposed to be a tough gun-for-hire who has only been with prostitutes and a squaw, yet he ends up buying a house for Renee Z within hours of meeting her? Mrs. Zellwegger seems to have had a frightening amount of plastic surgery for any role, let alone a western. Viggo is the most likable character, but he is also dragged down by the horrific script. There were some good lines, hinting that maybe the book was far better.
    I like westerns and I almost turned this off several times.
    And why is there a picture of a marlin fighting on a big game rig on the wall of the sheriffs' office in 1800's New Mexico?...more info
  • Ed Harris shines.
    Of all films I have seen involving Ed Harris, it is this particular film where he showed his mettle and I think that's because he gets more screen time here than ever. This film is very engaging and his character is a complex one, the dialogues are spoken with an accent that takes a bit of time to catch up with. I've always been a big Viggo Mortensen fan and I think he rocked in his performance of the supporting actor. The of-late seldom seen, Renee Zellweger, acted quite well to giving the film an interesting storyline. While Appaloosa is much better than many lukewarm films I've seen in the recent past, it does get slightly weary towards the middle and end. Also, because it is a Western and involves a lot of action, keep your logic in the closet and watch. ...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
  • 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
  • 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.
    ...more info
  • Appaloosa
    Great scenery, storyline seemed a bit light and sometimes awkward but the costuming and scenery was very authentic. Ed Harris does a good job as does Viggo....more info
  • Harris and Mortensen in fine form
    THE FILM: Good on Ed Harris. Not many people make westerns these days, they're just not seen as a commercially viable genre in Hollywood. But Ed Harris is a stubborn man it seems, much like his character in Appaloosa - a slow-burning western with some very fine performances that flesh out some pretty interesting characters. This has the look of a classic western, but it's also very mucha a charactcer piece. And while it won't satisfy the gun-toting western lovers who prefer a little more action and violence in their westerns, this is about the threat of violence from two men and what they're capable of, and that's enough.

    THE DVD: Not the greatest transfer, which is unfortunate for a modern film - the reds are particulary violent and saturated.

    SPECIAL FEATURES: The commentary track by Ed Harris and the Producer is very forgettable, with a lot of "this is so and so, they did a great job etc" which is unfortunate. Ed is obviously a shy, reclusive type who doesn't feel the need to explain everything for the audience. Unfortunately for us, that's the entire purpose of a director's commentary. Perhaps an interviewer to prompt Ed on different aspects of the film would have encouraged him to be more forthcoming about the production. Thankfully, there are some great featurettes (normally the fluff in a dvd but here they provide the meat for the behind-the-scenes effort), featuring sections on the cast, cinematography, authenticity and costume. great stuff.

    Overall, the dvd is worth getting if your a fan of the western and are in the mood for a 'real' western, one where a man's reputation is often enough to stay the gun hand of any challenger. A fine film, not quite done justice by a so-so dvd, but for fans it'll do....more info
  • Free enterprise and service industry move westward
    Ed Harris and Viggo are gunmen who sell their abilities as peacekeepers and make their own laws. Jeremy Irons is more of a traditional capitalist who competes for copper mining rights, has relations higher up, employs hands, ignores the occasional legal obstacle. Zellweger is offering civilized female companionship to the stallion of the herd, whoever that may be at the time.

    Since the story is set over a longer period, one gets to observe the changes in time in the relations of the protagonists. Emotions are considered dangerous, so they are kept low key deliberately. Passions are out, they are bad for business. One can also observe social progress, but Irons' appeal to let bygones be bygones in the interest of mutual wellbeing is hindered by the scarcity of resources. Meaning, there is only one Zellweger around. The West was lacking sophistication.

    The story is intellectually and politically interesting, but Harris has not quite succeeded in turning it into a gripping movie. It is too ponderous, and its sense of humour is of the gently chuckling kind. If you expect a tough thrilling Western, you will be disappointed, like the majority of the reviewers here have been. ...more info
  • Guns, No Roses
    The version I saw gave you a choice between wide or full screen on the menu.

    In a way, there were similarities that may have been borrowed from the Lonesome Dove pair, Gus and Captain Call. Two taciturn men, of basic good character (mostly), teaming up to become lawmen after discovering a lot about each other to the point they knew they could count on it when chips were down; the uncontrollable rage that Virgil flew into when angered, being stopped by the other.

    But is was a good story in its own right. Virgil Cole, played by Ed Harris and Everett Hitch, portrayed by Viggo Mortensen, bounced well off of each others development of their characters. The two ride into the town southwest town of Appaloosa on invitation to clean it up by the city fathers. The contracts are brought out and hastily put asunder by the committee, as the two already have their own drawn up and very simple: they do things their own way or they don't do them at all. That includes no laws for the lawmen to follow as they sort out the details of the population, and the balance of the laws for the public to follow are simple enough for even the toughest renegade to understand: do it wrong and you're dead. After they are there awhile, they discover that a varmint by the name of Randall Bragg, played slickly by Jeremy Irons, has killed another lawman they had known - and the plot thickens, stirred seductively by Renee Zellweger as she tries, but fails miserably in the attempt to set up a love triangle and drive a wedge between the two. The resulting conversation that settles THAT situation once and for all is also good for a laugh.

    All in all, the story was interesting and entertaining and I enjoyed the trip with them. The stilted cautious conversation that sprung up between Virgil and the newcomer girl (Renee Zellweger) who kept making sure they understood she wasn't a whore started off the unusual meeting between the three of them in the hotel dining room, and exacerbated from there.

    The scenery and photography amounts to one of the best parts of any movie for me, especially in a Western, and this film has a lot going for it in that department; splendid vistas. It's a good movie for those of us who enjoy our villains getting shot one at a time rather than being blown up by the thousands in "special effects" explosions...more info
  • Appaloosa
    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
  • appaloosa
    I just didn't think this was a great movie. The acting was so terrible and choppy. Terribly boring!...more info
  • Appaloosa [Blu-ray]
    Westerns are few and far between anymore. Fortunately most of the ones made now are pretty well done. Appaloosa is in fact, very well done. Ed Harris, Viggo Mortensen, and Renee Zellweger give fine performances along with the rest the cast. The costumes and sets will make you feel more than this is a re-enactment. Harris directs this one with a mixed style. The story is a tale of two lawmen in the old West. Plenty of realistic action in this old John Wayne like story (two lawmen against big corrupt rancher, e.g. El Dorado) with modern hard hitting style like Open Range. This is a movie that should entertain any adult or youngster with adult consent. Other than a little cussing and one brief distant nude scene of the back of Zellwegger I'm not sure I understand an R rating. Parents will have to decide whether they think it is approriate for their kids. If you enjoyed this catch Tombstone.

    CA Luster...more info
  • No good
    I am a fan of Ed Harris and was really looking forward to his first film as a director. The film started off very interesting and exciting but slowly went downhill after that. The story is very simple and nothing about it is unique or very interesting. I am not a fan of Renee Zellweger and her performance in this movie reminded me why. The movie switches back and forth between action and romance. The action isn't bad but the characters often do things that make no sense at all. And the romance is very unbelievable and just seems like an excuse to move the plot along. I really wanted to like this movie but I couldn't find any reason to....more info
  • 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.

    ...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
    "reneofc"
    ...more info
  • APPAPOOOPA
    I usually enjoy the three main actors. Especially, Harris. But the story is bad, poorly presented and the direction is terrible. Harris needs to stick to acting. Westerns need to make a comeback but this one sets them back and would keep younger viewers from ever wanting to see another one. This is an insult to the classic westerns....more info
  • Mild, Mild West
    The older I get, the more a fan of the classic Western I become. There's something nostalgic and simple when dealing with the most basic American film detailing the good guys versus the bad guys. You could always tell who to root for, you could always tell who was going to get the girl, and you could always tell who would be riding off into the sunset.

    Enter APPALOOSA, and you'll find that this is NOT your father's West. John Wayne has given way to the metrosexual gunfighter, here named Virgil Cole (played by the underappreciated Ed Harris). He's made his way across the wild plains with his partner Hitch (Viggo Mortensen), and they've gone from town to town hiring out their services as lawmen. But, in Appaloosa, Virgil suddenly decides he wants to settle down with the recently arrived school-marmish type (played by the ever reliable Renee Zellweger). However, the local bad guy Bragg (played with admirable screenchewer Jeremy Irons in a remarkably subdued performance) has different things in mind for the town, leaving Cole and Hitch to step up and let the law -- this time out, the court system -- find the bad guy guilty of murdering the previous sheriff so that he can do time behind bars ... which, of course, just ain't gonna happen ...

    Throw in a few hired gunmen along for the ride (Lance Henricksen in a solid supporting role), and you've got the Mild, Mild West as you've never seen it before through the eyes of the gunslinging metrosexual. All of these men are still trying to find themselves in some unusual or obtruse way -- Cole wants to settle down, Hitch wants to keep carrying on, Bragg wants to become the town businessman (which he does after receiving a Presidential pardon from Pres. Chester A Arthur), Ellie (Zellweger) wants to essentially jump in the sack with one Alpha Male after another, and the townsfolk? Well, they're essentially reduced to stock players barely reaching two dimensions.

    Come the end of this sad affair (the inevitable High Noon moment), you'll be glad that this Western trying to be far more introspective than the story deserves has come to an end. Oh, someone will go riding off into the sunset as has happened in Westerns throughout the years, but you'll probably not much care what happens next due to the leisurely stroll through what came before.

    This isn't to say that APPALOOSA is a bad film. It's just indifferent, never really making a statement or a judgment on anything from the law-abiding folks to the lawless ones. And that's the curse of metrosexualism anyway ... not so much standing for anything but making darn sure you go the emotional mile that is the search for one's contemporary identity. There's plenty of searching here ... there just could've been a bit more destination for the rest of us....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
  • Tiring western
    I like westerns, and wish the studios made more. But not like this one. I hope this western format is never copied even on TV. This movie drags, much too long and ruins opportunities for meaningful action scenes. I wasted 20 bucks. By the way, badly writtened.
    ...more info
  • Disappointing...
    Appaloosa
    I wanted to view an exciting western, but found this to be very disappointing. The acting was okay, but I didn't like the plot....more info
  • Exquisite
    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
  • 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
  • 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.
    ...more info
  • One of the worst movies I've seen in awhile
    First off, I like Ed Harris, so I had high hopes. I can't stand Renee Zellweger though, so I figure she'd pretty much be a black hole for any talent. Well, she succeeded. This movie is slow, boring, with a plot that seemed to be a "Little House on the Prairie" reject. I want my money back for this waste of plastic....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
  • very good
    This movie dissapointed many people because it was not very romantic in its veiws. It shows the tough life on the frontier for both women and men and the reasons for their choices. I found it very believable and just a great story overall. I pondered what the two friends said and shared and also their interactions with the women. Although I claim to be no genious, I thought the movie to be very deep. I think it could be discussed for many hours in any sociology class. ...more info
  • 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.
    ...more info
  • shocked
    I love westerns ,I like Ed Harris ,I like Rene Zellweger.What happened.The rolling stone reviewer who thought it was thunderous with action and nail biting suspense,must have just gotten out of a coma and never saw a western in his life.this was an embarrassment to watch.I usually do not write comments about films but this was BAD. ...more info
  • waste of time
    This was a terrible movie. The story was slow and the plot was boring. I kept waiting for something to happen, and then when it did, it was uneventful and kinda stupid. My husband loves westerns and he hated it....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