Tuesday, September 7, 2010

Review Tuesday: 'Appaloosa'

Today’s ‘Review Tuesday’. Ed Harris directed, produced, co-wrote and starred in the 2008 Western, Appaloosa [1, 2, 3]. He also co-wrote one of its songs. So he’s its major influence. Any film starring Harris, Viggo Mortensen, Jeremy Irons and Renee Zellweger must have a better than even chance of being a good ’un. Appaloosa exceeds that. It’s a classic Western. One of the best I’ve seen. It has it all: good guys, bad guys, beautiful women, Indians, vast vistas, grand music. Plus dust. Clouds of it. Also the mandatory train scene. Based on a novel and set in the mythical town of Appaloosa in 1882, it’s a tale of Appaloosa’s new marshall Virgil Cole (played by Harris) and his deputy Everett Hitch (Viggensen) who aim to rid Appaloosa of the nasty Randall Bragg (Irons) because he’s killed three lawmen though he assiduously denies it. The female interest’s Allison French (Zellwegger) throws herself at each of the three men and ends up with…guess who? Not Bragg, as predictably the bad guy doesn’t survive to watch the credits. Another plus for Appaloosa is that Dean Semler’s its director of photography. An Aussie, Semler sure knows how to film Westerns: he won an Academy Award for Dancing with Wolves. Back to Harris. As I’ve written, in a movie of my life I’d want him to play me [4, 5]. Now, based on Appaloosa, I’d want him to direct and produce it too. And write its songs. If you like Westerns, don’t miss Appaloosa.

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