Tuesday, November 04, 2008


When you think of Ed Harris making his directorial debut with POLLOCK the choice to adapt Robert B. Parker's APPALOOSA for the screen seems an odd one. Thankfully the decision was a good one. Like POLLLOCK, Harris once again stars in his own film and this is what makes APPALOOSA so special...Harris is Virgil Cole...through and through. In many interviews when this ran at the Toronto Film Festival, Harris was adament about the authenticity of this film, the cast had to look like they belonged in their cowboy hats, the sets had to look like they belonged in the old West and here is an added bonus to this one...the pacing is such that you feel you are there....everything moves slowly. Viggo Mortensen is no surprise here and truth be told neither is Jeremy Irons. Much was made of him taking the role of the bad guy in a Western but the character is such it's not a far stretch from many he's played. Sadly the weak link here is Renee Zellweger and it isn't at all because of her acting skills...no.......she works hard and well, problem is she looks wrong for the part. Still, APPALOOSA is faithful to Parker's printed vision and while the ending may seem a bit off to some be aware it is the set up for a second part which with any luck Harris will also direct though I must say it would be interesting to see if Mortensen himself could pull it off. One last thought on this one, if at all possible see it on the big screen as Harris blocks many of the shots in such a way as to exibit the space of the West which will no doubt be lost on even the largest of home theatre systems.


Blogger mister anchovy said...

Tuffy and I saw this one and were very disappointed. We liked the landscape/train shots though.

5:32 PM  

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