Subject: I have found a DVD that I think you would enjoy
Actors: Ed Harris, Viggo Mortensen, Renée Zellweger, Robert Jauregui, Jeremy Irons
Director: Ed Harris
Genres: Action & Adventure, Westerns, Drama, Mystery & Suspense
In Marshal Virgil Cole and deputy Everett Hitchs line of work, you shoot quick, you shoot clean, and you reload straightaway. No remorse. No looking back. No feelings. Feelings get you killed. Paired as rivals in A History... more »
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Member Movie Reviews
John P. (AvraValleyJohn) from MARANA, AZ
Reviewed on 9/29/2011...
If you love a good old fashioned western, Appaloosa is it! Ed Harris and Viggo Mortensen are perfectly cast as a mercenary lawman and his partner. Casting the incomparable Jeremy Irons as the villain was a masterstroke. The only cast member I didn't care for was Renee Zellweger. I felt her chemistry between herself and Harris was lukewarm at best. Other than that I HUGELY enjoyed this picture and you will too.
4 of 4 member(s) found this review helpful.
Rhonda P. (rhonnie40) from CHARLES CITY, IA
Reviewed on 7/5/2011...
Thanks so much for this, love it.
1 of 3 member(s) found this review helpful.
Edgar R. (edgarshoe) from CALEXICO, CA
Reviewed on 12/22/2010...
I expected much, much more from a movie with these two actors. Actually the acting is ok, I am a big fan of Viggo Mortensen, but the movie overall was missing something. It's ok, but there are tons of better "new" westerns out there. I was left wanting more.
5 of 5 member(s) found this review helpful.
Mary G. from CHOPIN, LA
Reviewed on 12/18/2010...
Good western, good action film. Viggo is tough and rough and oh so bad. Ed is handsome as always so is Jeremy. Renee is sweet and squinty as always.
3 of 3 member(s) found this review helpful.
Harris and Mortensen Make The Most of Appaloosa
Terence Allen | Atlanta, GA USA | 11/24/2008
(4 out of 5 stars)
""Appaloosa" combines the best of traditional and modern Westerns. Ed Harris, who directs as well as stars in the film, has created a great combination of the two perpectives in this adaptation of the Robert B. Parker (Spenser For Hire) novel.
Harris plays Virgil Cole, who with his partner Everett Hitch (played by Viggo Mortensen), roams the West as hired guns who come in and tame towns where lawlessness reigns. Such is the case in Appaloosa, which is run by rancher Randall Bragg, who killed the town marshal (an old friend of Cole's) and his two deputies. Cole and Hitch begin the cleanup process straightaway, but everything becomes complicated with the appearance in town of Allison French (played by Renee Zellweger), a young widow who captures the heart of crusty Cole and soon, the hardened lawman moves in on her. But later, she comes on Hitch, setting the stage for issues of life, future, and loyalty to be explored while the lawmen deal with the woman and the wily Bragg, who has a few tricks up his sleeve.
The look, feel, and the tone feels very traditional, but the screenplay and action are more modern in their staging, which means the language is saltier, and the action faster, just as it would be in real life. Harris and Mortensen seem like they have been acting in Westerns their entire career. Zellweger hits the right notes as a woman who does what she has to do to survive.
This is a great film, and one that most Western fans should readily enjoy."
They do what they do
R. Kyle | USA | 10/11/2008
(5 out of 5 stars)
"Virgil Cole (Harris) and Everett Hitch (Mortensen) are a pair of traveling lawmen for hire. When they arrive at the town of Appaloosa, the town fathers are more than willing to pay the price and accept that Cole IS the law. They're under the thumb of rich rancher, Randall Bragg (Jeremy Irons) who shot their former sheriff in cold blood.
They get a break in the case when a young former hand of Bragg's agrees to testify. That happens about the time when the widow, Allie French (Renee Zellweger) comes in on the train.
Allie complicates matters a lot. As Hitch so eloquently puts it, "she wants to be with the herd stallion and there can only be one of those at a time." Cole, who claims to not have feelings, actually does care for French. She's not like any woman he's ever been with, she's clean, she's got good manners, etc.
"Appaloosa" has all the elements of a great Western, a little romance, some realistic gun play, excellent characterization, great scenery (principal film site Austin, Texas) and the typical western sense of humor. For example, when a gun battle gets both men injured, Hitch says, "That was quick." Cole's response, "Yeah, everybody could shoot."
Clearly, Harris and Mortensen had a lot of fun making this film. These two are friends in real life and this project was a labor of love for Harris who said in an interview that he's a fan of the author of "Appaloosa," Robert Parker. He usually reads the detective novels, but picked up the Western because he liked the cover and that's how the movie came to be.
If you enjoyed "Pale Rider" and "Unforgiven," this is a film you'll probably want to see. The "R" rating is for a little language, small nudity, and violence, but both my husband and I have seen a lot worse on broadcast television.
Rebecca Kyle, October 2008"
A good Western
Ryan Agadoni | Whittier, CA USA | 01/01/2009
(4 out of 5 stars)
"The story of Appaloosa is very similar to that of the excellent Warlock. Two mercenary "lawmen" are summoned to a town being terrorized by a local band of cowboys (led by a powerful and particularly ruthless rancher -- in Appaloosa's case, Randall Bragg played by Jeremy Irons). These lawmen are close friends and have worked together for many years, moving from town to town killing bad guys for money. They are called upon when the town's previous sheriff is murdered. They agree to clean up the town, but only if the town agrees to grant them any power they wish to do so.
Here the stories of Warlock and Appaloosa diverge. Warlock makes great use of the idea that fighting outlaws with mercenaries is a morally questionable solution, while Appaloosa features only one scene that ponders the question, even though the setup seems tailor-made for further conflict. Harris' character, Virgil, has been made uncomfortable and embarrassed by a conversation with his romantic interest (played by Renee Zellwegger), so he takes it out on some workers having a drink at the bar. Though drunk, they are doing no harm, and Harris' explosive temper and sense of impunity are first exhibited as he viciously pummels one of them before being restrained by Viggo's character (Everett). One of the town's officials questions this behavior, but beyond that it is never addressed again.
Other story similarities include a confrontation at the jailhouse (though the specifics of the scene were more reminiscent of one in Rio Bravo), a love interest that may lead to the retirement of one of the characters and the dissolution of their partnership, a final shoot-out that ends the partnership and that the title of each movie is simply the name of the town in which the action takes place.
Beyond those the story plays out in a very different fashion. There is no character equivalent in Appaloosa to Richard Widmark's outlaw-turned-lawman, Everett doesn't have any of the shadiness that Anthony Quinn's "Doc Holiday" had, and there is no betrayal among the old friends. The romantic interest also plays out very differently in Appaloosa.
Overall, the story is good, but there did seem to be a few too many Acts. I didn't mind that much, because I enjoyed all the possibly extraneous scenes, but it did feel a little long, a little less tight, even though the movie ran just under two hours. And there was one bone-headed decision that you see coming from a mile away. If you're a smart guy who has been cleaning out towns of bad guys for years now, what's the dumbest thing you can do? Very publicly fall in love with a girl who now lives in the town. I said out loud "liability and leverage" as soon as I saw Virgil go after her.
Other good points: Harris demonstrates a talent for writing (and delivering) comfortable, funny, and natural sounding dialogue. (A friend of mine said the dialogue at the beginning was bad, but I don't remember.) The relationship between Everett and Virgil is great. They effectively demonstrate respect, loyalty and love in subtle believable ways. Renee Zellwegger's character surprises you several times and turns out to be as interesting as the two leads. Irons' character doesn't have much substance to him other than "I'm a jerk," but he does have some good moments of interaction with the Virgil and Everett.
Harris, along with his DP, has a good eye for the scenery. Everything is shot on location, and it looks great. He also shoots within these locales well; I always knew where the characters were in relation to one another (which sounds simplistic, but I'm thinking of the scene on the river with the Indians where Everett rides up to meet them). I appreciated the unique camera work in the scene on the train where Allison is brought out from underneath the bridge.
Of course, I have to comment on the action and perpetrators there-of. This isn't 3:10 to Yuma (2007) or Tombstone, so the gunplay is pretty sparse. But when it happens, it's well-staged, and often unique in consequence. Virgil and Everett rescuing the kidnappers from the Indians, for example, plays out differently than you might expect. Allison has been kidnapped in order to secure Bragg's release, and Virgil and Everett have tracked them to a canyon. Before they can act, they notice a party of Indians about to raid them. They allow this until the Indians start to take Allison. Rather than shooting the Indians, Virgil and Everett shoot the pack-horse that Allison is on, and fire up into the air to scatter the raiding party. Later, Everett offers the group Bragg's horse to make up for the one they shot. Another unique scene is the shoot-out in the Mexican town. It's close-quarters and over in seconds. It also leads to one of the funniest lines in the movie.
Virgil and Everett lie on the ground, wounded but alive.
Everett: That was quick.
Virgil: Yeah, everybody could shoot.
The sound design is excellent, right up there with Open Range in terms of power and realism.
And the guns! Well, The Gun, anyway.
As you may have read, Everett carries a very unique item: an 8-gauge double-barreled shotgun. Until Appaloosa, I didn't even know 8 was a possible gauge. I'd heard of 10-gauges, and only seen one or two at all the gun auctions I've been to. For those unfamiliar with the gauge system, the smaller the number, the larger the bore. 12-gauge is the most popular. My double-barrel is 12. So the 8-gauge that Everett wields is HUGE, and is mentioned specifically about five times in the beginning of the movie. There are only one or two scenes where Everett is without it, too. He lugs that honkin' thing around everywhere he goes. And you only get to see him use it twice! The other guns are all pretty standard, though I noticed Everett's sidearm is a Colt open-top conversion, which is also unique.
I recommend Appaloosa to Western fans and fans of Viggo & Ed.
The Blu-ray edition of this film sports a nice transfer, great sound, and a few decent supplements."