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Author Topic: Appaloosa (2008)  (Read 14587 times)
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« Reply #30 on: September 19, 2008, 08:21:59 AM »

STARTS TODAY!
No Finnish release date yet Sad I'd expect it to be here by the end of the year if it's coming at all. I really want to see another western at a cinema!

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« Reply #31 on: September 19, 2008, 01:38:09 PM »

No Finnish release date yet Sad I'd expect it to be here by the end of the year if it's coming at all. I really want to see another western at a cinema!

It's playing here! I'll be seeing it this weeked.  Afro

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« Reply #32 on: September 20, 2008, 02:59:33 AM »


Appaloosa: MY REVIEW:

I had the pleasure of seeing the anticipated release of "Appaloosa" starring Ed Harris, Viggo Mortenson, Jeremy Irons, and Renne Zellwigger. Let me first start off by saying I enjoyed the film very much. It's not an instant classic like I was hoping for but it is good none the less.

Let me begin with the positives. The film has a very strong script. The novel which the film is based on, contains great writing and it shows in the adapted screenplay here. There are some classic one-liners sprinkled throughout the film. I seen the film with a packed house and I couldn't hear some of the dialogue at times because people were laughing so hard. The character of Virgil Cole, played by Ed Harris, had some of the best lines. A lot of you talk about loving one-liner's and this film has quite a few classics.

Also, the acting in the film is superb. Ed Harris and Viggo Mortenson prove yet again why they're perfect working with one another. They share some great on screen chemistry. Jeremy Irons turns in a solid performance as usual but I don't think his character was developed as much as he should have been. When the film is over with, you're left wanting more out of this man.

Now to some negatives. The pacing of the film at times seemed a bit off. Before tonight, I read some reviews about Ed Harris direction being a bit amateurish. Well, that just about sums it up. The direction isn't terrible but it's missing something. At times it seems lazy and not well thought out on Mr. Harris's part. I would have liked to see someone with a bit more experience behind the camera take on this project and just let Ed Harris take on his acting duties.

There were also some melo-dramatic moments that didn't quite fit the film. These moments had a lot to do with the Renne Zellwinger character sub-plot. I think a lot of people who are not much of a fan of hers will be disappointed by her presence yet again. Now, I don't think her acting was all that bad but I think at times she brought down the story. I was confused about her actions and what she was striving for most of the time.

The musical score isn't all that memorable particularly but it does enough to move the story along.

All and all, it's a pretty darn good film a bit some flaws. It has quite a few little surprises through out with some good action. I personally think it had much more potential. I kind of shake my head because I think Ed Harris missed an opportunity of greatness. He had all the ingredients in tact. I will be picking up this film when it's released on DVD. It's definitely worth owning.

7/10

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« Reply #33 on: September 21, 2008, 04:46:59 PM »

Thanks, TB. I spent my movie-viewing time on other films (and a Yankee game) this weekend, so I won't get a chance to see this until probably next weekend. But I'm definitely gonna see it . . .

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« Reply #34 on: September 21, 2008, 11:13:21 PM »

Thanks, TB. I spent my movie-viewing time on other films (and a Yankee game) this weekend, so I won't get a chance to see this until probably next weekend. But I'm definitely gonna see it . . .

You're welcome jenkins.  Smiley

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« Reply #35 on: October 03, 2008, 10:34:25 AM »

Saw this and was disappointed. Contains a lot of interesting ideas that never quite come off. I kinda liked the way they handled the love interest; if you've gotta have such in your movie, you might as well go with something like this. Renee Z does a great turn as a kind of demented Shirley MacLaine (wait, MacLaine is already demented, I'm being redundant). So glad they skipped the tart-with-a-heart formula; this was a pretty fresh approach, and comes with some plausible psychology behind it.

The boys are pretty cool, look good, and are plenty bad ass, but I wish they hadn't been portrayed as dimwits. Just because they talk little and move slow doesn't mean they ARE slow. They should be able to think very quickly, if they've survived by their guns for so long. But they don't even question why Lance Henriksen and his brother suddenly arrive in town. These guys are top grade hired guns and Ed and Viggo don't even pause to wonder why they're there or who hired them? I had it figured out immediately, but the boys couldn't catch on until it was rubbed in their faces.

The final showdown doesn't make much sense either. So Viggo surrenders his badge so he can operate as a private citizen. But Ed doesn't surrender his badge, he's still on duty when Viggo does his final deed. Remember, the man he kills is not a wanted man, he's got a pardon and he has the rights of any other citizen. What Viggo does is murder the guy. So, why doesn't Ed arrest him? Out of friendship's sake he's just gonna give the guy a pass? That just means someone else is gonna have to go after him. Wouldn't Ed want to be the guy who brings his friend in, to make sure he gets just treatment? But maybe they're saving that for the sequel (yeah, right).

I don't know if anyone else is planning on seeing this, but even if you do, don't stay after the first set of credits at the end. Over the second set of credits you have to listen to Ed Harris sing one of his original songs, and it's a painful thing to endure. You've been warned.

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« Reply #36 on: October 12, 2008, 11:40:50 AM »

Thanks for the film, Ed; shame about the song . . .

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Ed Harris on 'Appaloosa': 'You just go for it'

    * Story Highlights
    * Ed Harris produced, directed, co-wrote "Appaloosa"; he even sings song
    * Tale adapted from a Robert B. Parker novel set in Old West
    * Taking on so many tasks not something Harris does often, but "you dive in"

TORONTO, Ontario (AP) -- Ed Harris took Old West self-sufficiency to heart with his latest film.

First, Harris secured the rights to Robert B. Parker's Western novel "Appaloosa" and pitched it to buddy Viggo Mortensen, who agreed to co-star with him in the saga of two upright pals aiming to clean up a lawless town.

Then Harris co-wrote the screenplay, produced and directed the film and put in 10-hour days to help edit it.

Harris even followed the singing-cowboy trail, co-writing and crooning a rootsy song for the end credits.

Appropriately, Harris was on a horseback-riding trip with his family in Ireland in 2005 when he read Parker's book. Harris said he had read some of Parker's "Spenser" mysteries and picked up "Appaloosa" because it "had a cool cover and looked like a neat book.

"Then I just started reading this thing and was totally delighted with the relationship between these two guys," Harris said in an interview at the Toronto International Film Festival, where "Appaloosa" premiered.

"I read the first couple scenes, literally, probably read 35 pages of the book or less and called my agent and said, `Find out if this is available,' because it just tickled me."

The movie rights were open, and soon after, Harris passed the book on to Mortensen while they were promoting their film "A History of Violence" at the Toronto festival that same year. After Mortensen signed on, Harris got to work on the screenplay with his friend Robert Knott.

Harris stars as the close-lipped Virgil Cole, who arrives in Appaloosa as the new marshal along with longtime trail partner Everett Hitch (Mortensen). Bold, supremely capable and unshakably loyal, the two implement an iron-fisted rule over the town, taking on a gang led by a murderous rancher (Jeremy Irons).

Complicating matters is Virgil's romance with a widow (Renee Zellweger), a woman prone to indiscretion and indelicate behavior.

"Appaloosa," which has played two weekends in narrow release and expanded to more theaters Friday, marks Harris' return to directing after his acclaimed filmmaking debut "Pollock," which earned him the third of his four acting Academy Award nominations and won the supporting actress Oscar for Marcia Gay Harden.

While "Pollock" was a labor of love shot on a tiny budget, "Appaloosa" was a much bigger production loaded with action and period design, a test of Harris' filmmaking chops.

"It makes you trust yourself. It makes you be much more decisive than I am normally in life, because you can't afford to hem and haw," Harris said. "You've got to make decisions, and also, it's great in terms of your relationships with people and delegating responsibility. ...

"The doing of it, it's kind of thrilling. It's a moment-to-moment proposition. I don't really live like that on a normal day. I'm not that consumed. It's fun. I like it. I couldn't do it 365 days of the year, but basically, you dive in, you know some day you're going to be done with it, and you just go for it."

Harris began his career in theater and television before earning early big-screen acclaim as astronaut John Glenn in "The Right Stuff." He has taken on occasional lead roles but mostly has built a film career in standout supporting gigs in such movies as "Apollo 13," "The Truman Show," "The Hours" and "Gone Baby Gone."

It was tough lining up the money for "Appaloosa," because Westerns generally have been out of favor in Hollywood in recent decades. Westerns do not sell well overseas, where financial backers hope to recoup much of their investment, Harris said.

He ultimately managed to raise a modest budget of about $20 million for the production, which was largely shot in New Mexico.

Harris had to fight to keep in sequences aboard an old steam train that are pivotal to the action, along with a shootout that was filmed in Texas.

"I said, 'If you start taking away these elements, the production value of this thing is not going to be what it's supposed to be. It's not going to have the visual impact it needs. It's part of the story,' " Harris said. "Anyway, we finally got it set up and going. It wasn't a luxurious shoot by any means, but we did have the means to do it."

Harris approaches filmmaking with workmanlike facility, his co-stars said.

"He's generally pretty efficient," Mortensen said. "He had to be because of the budget and wanting to put so much of it on the screen in terms of the production values."

"He's not a man of many words, you know. He shows up and says what he's hoping for, sets it up and puts it to film," Zellweger said. "Everything was just so comfortable and easy. Maybe that says more than any anecdote I might come up with. He's confident and he's pretty clear about he wants, and it just kind of falls into place."

Harris did some musicals in his college acting days and has played guitar and piano, the latter for his 2006 turn as the composer in "Copying Beethoven."

But the song he sings over the closing credits, "You'll Never Leave My Heart," came about as a bit of a fluke, Harris writing the lyrics and Jeff Beal, who did the movie's musical score, coming up with the tune.

"I was up late one night just fooling around, you know. I showed it to him, he goes, 'Let me try to write some music for it,' " Harris said. "Anyway, it was fun. We had a good time recording it."

Harris' song is an earthy, angry romantic reproach sounding like something a lonely cowboy could have concocted around a campfire back in Old West times.

Preceding it over the end credits is a modern country-rock tune from Tom Petty and his band Mudcrutch, "Scare Easy." Harris initially resisted the Petty song, finding the tone too contemporary for his 19th-century tale.

"The first time I listened to it, I went, 'No, this is not right,' " Harris said. "But then I kept listening to it and we tried it over the credits, and it was like, 'Yeah, man, the film's over. ... Let's rock.' "

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« Reply #37 on: October 15, 2008, 09:31:04 AM »

The movie was about 20 minutes too long. It should have closed at the logical closing point

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Just after the gunfight the boys have with Henrikson (Ring) where they lay on the street dying

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« Reply #38 on: October 15, 2008, 02:05:52 PM »

That would have worked for me.

You could have also finished with a coda showing the Renee Z character taking up with her next sponsor.

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« Reply #39 on: October 15, 2008, 03:58:11 PM »


I enjoyed the film even though it was flawed in some areas. I just wish Jeremy Irons character was developed a lot more. He could have been a great villain.

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« Reply #40 on: November 15, 2008, 08:01:52 PM »

We saw this tonight, I thought it was definitely worthwhile, pretty good, significantly better than 3:10 to Yuma where the gus had the drop on the bad guys from that hotel room but never fired, or didn't think to meet the train up-route.  What also was cool that the trailer for the film Australia absolutely contained the Ecstacy of Gold music.

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« Reply #41 on: December 03, 2008, 12:23:00 PM »

A heads-up via the digitalbits.com:

Quote
In release news today, Warner Home Video has just announced the DVD and Blu-ray release of Appaloosa on 1/13/09. Extras will include commentary by director Ed Harris and screenwriter/producer Robert Knott, deleted scenes and 4 featurettes (Bringing the Characters of Appaloosa to Life, Historic Accuracy of Appaloosa, The Town of Appaloosa and Dean Semler's Return to the Western).

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« Reply #42 on: February 07, 2009, 09:02:06 PM »

Well I finally got a chance to see this today thanks to netflix. It was entertaining but it did have some amateurish problems as many above have noted. We didn't get any Iconic characters though,  and you just get the feeling that if a John Wayne or Jimmy Sewart made an appearance they would just blow everyone else away with just their presence, but its worth a look.  I basically saw it back to back with an encore viewing of China 9 Liberty 37, and concerning the Rene Zellweger's turn as Alison French I'll use a line from Warren Oates' character Matthew Sebanek in that film that fits her pretty good.

"If they didn't have cunts there'd be a bounty on them".

The landscapes were good, the townset though was a bit too deserted looking, not much in the way of wagon traffic or rutted streets and it had a "new dime" sort of look to it rather than a lived in appearance.  The train used in the film looked like a Disneyland tourist train it seemed a bit off. The engine & the passanger cars were pretty dinky looking, rather than a real road engine and pullman cars, like what we are used to in Golden Age Westerns. It was probably the same engine & cars used in 3:10 to Yuma, I made that same comment in the thread on that film.

Soundtrack was OK.

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« Reply #43 on: February 14, 2009, 04:13:32 PM »

my three cents.

Good script and acting!
the film was too long by at least 10 minutes.
dialog very hard to hear
direction lacked style
a worthy entry in the western genre!!!

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« Reply #44 on: February 14, 2009, 04:43:52 PM »

Somebody mentioned on IMDB that Hitch should have just shot Ally with the 8 guage, lol, just think how it would have possibly reached cult status with that turn of events.

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