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What grade would you give this film?
A 0%  0%  [ 0 ]
B 63%  63%  [ 5 ]
C 13%  13%  [ 1 ]
D 13%  13%  [ 1 ]
F 13%  13%  [ 1 ]
Total votes : 8

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Joined: Tue Oct 12, 2004 3:41 pm
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Post Appaloosa


Appaloosa is a 2008 American Western film based on the 2005 novel of the same name by crime writer Robert B. Parker. The film was directed by Ed Harris and co-written by Harris and Robert Knott. Appaloosa stars Harris alongside Viggo Mortensen, Renée Zellweger and Jeremy Irons. The film premiered in the 2008 Toronto International Film Festival, was released in select cities on September 19, 2008 and expanded into wide-release on October 3, 2008.

The movie shares some narrative similarities with the 1959 Western Warlock, directed by Edward Dmytryk and starring Henry Fonda, Anthony Quinn and Richard Widmark. There is also a 1966 Western named The Appaloosa which stars Marlon Brando, but the two films are unrelated.

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Sat Oct 04, 2008 2:39 am
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Post Re: Appaloosa
Nice throwback/tribute to the classic western. Harris directs this with the love of westerns in his heart and turns in a solid stoic performance, while Mortensen delivers a strong quite performance. The story is centered on Virgil (Harris) and Everette (Mortensen) and the deep respect, admiration, and friendship they have for each other, showing the lengths they'd go to uphold their bond in the lawless west. Virgil and Everette are lawmen for hire who go from town to town restoring justice and all is good until they come upon the town of Appaloosa. Where the friendship they've developed is tested like no time before by the presence of an outlaw rancher Bragg (Irons) and newly arrived widow Allison (Zellwegger). If you've seen your share of westerns then you'll know how this will end before you get to the end of the first reel. And it drags little in the middle, but Harris and Mortensen play off each other quite well and Irons plays an effective villain. Nice cinematography and an intriguing score help make this a solid film.

Grade B

Top ten of 2008, Updated!

1. Slumdog Millionaire
2. Wall-E
3. Dark Knight
4. In Bruges
5. Tropic Thunder
6. Young @ Heart
7. Mongol
8. The Band's Visit
9. Visitor
10. Iron Man

Sat Oct 04, 2008 7:58 am
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Post Re: Appaloosa

Not bad, but just way too apathetic... C

Tue Oct 07, 2008 4:48 pm
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Post Re: Appaloosa
I agree that it was boring.

As soon as Zellweger appeared, I turned to my friend and said, "Ah shit, this is about to go downhill fast."

the only good part of the movie was Mortenson.



Top Films of 2008:
1) The Dark Knight - 9.5/10
2) Snow Angels - 9.5/10
2) In Bruges - 9.5/10
3) Cloverfield - 9/10
4) Wall-E - 8.5/10
5) Tropic Thunder - 8.5/10
6) The Bank Job - 8.5/10
7) Happy-Go-Lucky - 8/10
8) American Teen - 8/10
9) Speed Racer - 7.5/10

Fri Oct 10, 2008 8:48 pm
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Post Re: Appaloosa
Solid, but not spectacular. To be honest, I find it difficult to pin down the exact reason it falls an inch short of masterful, but it does. A certain element is MIA, a certain 'energy.' The ensemble cast can't be blamed though. Each performance is engaging and smart (the always-excellent Viggo Mortensen is the standout). Ed Harris' direction is fine in a no-frills, old-fashioned way. The dialogue is authentic and often hilarious (loved the banter between Harris and Mortensen's characters). The romantic subplot is interesting and unconventional.

It's not as haunting and elegant as The Assassination of Jesse James... or as exciting and hip as 3:10 to Yuma, but it's still solid and well-crafted. Recommended.



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Fri Oct 10, 2008 11:55 pm
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Post Re: Appaloosa
I could throw out the usual terms like "incompetent" or "inept," but I don't think that would even begin to do justice to this turd. Suffice to say, this film alone makes a serious case for Ed Harris as the worst motion picture director ever.

Seriously. The very basics of directing, even simple blocking, seem beyond his grasp. There are endless scenes with characters sitting around talking; these sequences are completely devoid of clear character motivation or clear action on behalf of the characters and are rendered entirely incoherent. I've truly never seen anything like it. The first time, I was confused but forgiving. But it keeps happening. I am not exaggeration when I say, for example, that I found each and every scene with Renee Zellweger completely impossible to understand or follow. This wasn't an isolated incident occurring in my sleep-deprived or drug-addled brain; the people I was watching it with felt the same way.

How did this turkey slip by without getting mauled by the presumably discerning critical ranks?


Thu Nov 13, 2008 12:19 am
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Quite a good film, but it's terribly slow in parts, and the lack of an intriguing story, exciting characters and some kineticism make this slow paced western hard to bear.

It's nice to watch a good old western, and Everette (Viggo Mortensen) and Virgil (Ed Harris) are great as partners, but this western is a little different than others due to things like the slut lady (Renee Zellweger), Virgil's lack of word knowledge, and the jokes between Everette and Virgil; these things make it quite the atypical cowboy film, but Appaloosa doesn't quite master the age-old art of entertaining an audience. The set design is brilliant and the cinematography is nice, but for example, the score, is left wanting a spark of life. Jeremy Irons and Lance Henriksen complete a great cast, but overall it just didn't excite me. The film actually reminded me a lot of Tommy Lee Jones and how he directed The Three Burials of Melquiades Estrada, so perhaps the tedium is normal with these old boys.

Appaloosa is the film equivalent of sand when you expected gold dust.


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Wed Jan 30, 2013 8:38 am
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Post Re: Appaloosa

Among some great late westerns produced since 2000 - such as The Assassination of Jesse James by the Coward Robert Ford, 3:10 to Yuma or True Grit - this stands out through....well, nothing. It is just incredibly generic and forgettable, which is a shame, given the talent involved. None of it is really bad, but none of it also made me care for any of the characters or the proceedings.

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Fri Jan 02, 2015 10:33 pm
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