Well well well look who’s back! That’s right AP3X back in the house!!! This week we get a look at the New Line Cinema’s Appaloosa DVD (Valkor’s Notes: Distributed by Warner Home Entertainment... not that TOV is dick ridin or nothin). As always, I pretty much sum up the entire movie, so you’re aware this entire review is one giant spoiler.
Jumping right into it. Appaloosa is the story of two Gunmen, Virgil Cole (played by Ed Harris who also directed the Film) and Everett Hitch (played by Viggo Mortensen), who come to the town of Appaloosa, and are hired to be the town’s peace keepers. The town is beset by thugs in the employ of Rancher Bragg (played by Jeremy Irons). The story starts with the murder of the previous Marshal at the hands of Bragg, after the Marshal and his three deputies come to arrest Bragg. The Marshal charges Bragg and his men with the murder of a townsperson and the raping of said victim’s wife. (I can’t recall the name of this victim’s and it isn’t important at all, as it’s just a way to show Bragg and his men’s evil disposition, and a way to kick start the story.)
In come Virgil and Everett who make a living as hired lawmen. The town’s officials, tired of Bragg and his men terrorizing the townspeople and generally doing whatever the hell they want, decide to hire on the pair. They accept the job on the condition that whatever Virgil says is the law is the law. The three whimpering officials accept. So the pair of gunmen now empowered by the town to be lawmakers go around making trouble for Bragg and his men. Right away we can see Virgil and Everett are true badasses. At this point you’re thinking,” Wow these guys are going to ruin Bragg and his boys’ day in an epic of ass kicking badassery.” Well you’d be wrong…. like I was… Inevitably a woman named Allison (played by Renee Zellweger) comes to town, and fucks it’s all up. Virgil and Allison meet in a restaurant and the flirty flirty starts. Virgil and Allison start seeing more of each other, much to Everett’s obvious discomfort. Some kid that was part of Bragg’s crew decides he wants to testify against Bragg cause “he didn’t sign up for this”. So Virgil and Everett apprehend Bragg in a completely action less scene, and take him to jail. While awaiting for the Judge to come, Virgil and Allison get even closer, and buy a house in town. Allison while showing the house to Everett alone starts making a move on Everett. Everett refuses her and leaves. Everett starts banging a whore, cause hey he needs some too, and the whore lady intimates that Allison is basically a whore too. Tilda (the whore played by Cerris Morgan-Moyer) explains that a girl like Allison likes to be with the Alpha Dog. Since Virgil is the bestest and most badass she’s screwing him.
While Bragg awaits trial two famous gunmen, the Shelton Brothers Ring and Mackie (played by Lance Henriksen and Adam Nelson respectively), Virgil knew earlier in his career show up. They meet Virgil while he’s with Allison and Everett, and ask Everett if he’s as good with a gun as Virgil is. Which is a setup for Everett’s response, “I’ve never seen anyone who’s better with a gun than Virgil.” Which in turn is a setup for a later conversation between Virgil and Everett about how good the Shelton Brothers are. Ring is about as good as Virgil and Mackie is about as good as Everett.
Judge shows up and convicts Bragg. As Bragg is being transported, the Shelton Brothers show up with Allison as a hostage, demanding Bragg’s release. Virgil caves and lets Bragg go, but the Shelton brothers take Allison with them. Virgil and Everett pursue. As they finally catch up and view the enemy camp with a telescope from afar. They can see Allison naked and frolicking around and just being an all around slut with Ring Shelton. As they’re watching Allison whore around, the camp is approached by Indians, who try and take Allison. Breaking from cover our heroes drive off the Indians, and form and unsteady alliance with the Shelton Brothers to work together until they get out of Indian territory and into town. Virgil lets everyone know he saw what Allison was doing.
They finally get to a town and drop Bragg off at the local jailhouse. Virgil and Everett set up a meeting with the Shelton Brothers to settle the score between them. In the meantime Allison has informed Virgil that Everett tried to make a move on her. Virgil doesn’t believe her. Before they go to meet the Shelton brothers they two friends discuss Allison’s sluttyness and Virgil decides he loves her anyway. They go to pick up Bragg and the Shelton Brothers show up there instead and in the ensuing gun fight Bragg escapes.
Sometime later Bragg comes back to town with a pardon from the President, and buys the hotel. Virgil and Everett are super pissed off they can’t bring Bragg to justice, and Virgil goes so far as to not even go into the hotel Bragg owns. Allison eventually gets a job and a piano player, and personal Bragg knob polisher if you know what I mean. Everett seeing what Allison does and the fact that he can’t legally do anything to Bragg decides to leave. Super pissed he goes into the hotel unpins his star and puts it on the counter with a gun, telling the bartender the gun is for Bragg, and to inform Bragg to come outside. Bragg takes the gun and goes outside. Virgil sees what’s going on and goes over. Everett pleads with him to let him do this one thing, as a favor to him. Then Everett shoots Bragg and rides of into the sunset.
Whew. That was long.
I never realized how much of a bad ass Ed Harris can be. Seriously after watching this movie, I think he’s the quintessential badass in my book. I haven’t seen anyone do it better. When he’s doing his thing, man I seriously believe that he will do exactly as he says regardless of how outnumbered or outgunned he is. If Ed Harris was at the Alamo they would have won.
Viggo Mortensen really did some superb acting here. It’s funny because his character isn’t really a talker, and he doesn’t really share his emotions, but you feel his pain all the same. It’s never said that Everett is pissed off that his friend is in love with a floozy, but you can tell that it bothers him. You can tell even in the beginning that he doesn’t really like the idea of Virgil seeing Allison. He tries to do the right thing and support his friend. He never once says he doesn’t like or trust her, but you can tell he does just the same. Superb acting on Viggo’s part.
The pacing of this movie is terrible. The movie comes in five minutes short of two hours. When you’re watching it it will feel at least two and a half hours long. Jeremy Irons was only good in two movies, and Appaloosa is not one of them. The two movies, in case you’re wondering, are The Man in the Iron Mask and Kingdom of Heaven. He’s just not believable in this movie. His accent and acting took me out of the movie every time he was onscreen. The accent might not have been so bad except they point out that he’s from New York in the movie.
Renee Zellweger. Man she was just straight up ugly in this movie. This is one of those times that “The Ugly” actually stands for Ugly. It looked to me like she had some type of makeup on her face of something for this movie. It looked like her and then again not. The character Allison French. Fucking slutty whore that she was ruined what could’ve been a good western shoot em up movie. Especially considering how cool Ed Harris as Virgil Cole was. I realize she was kinda central to the pair’s character development, but well I just didn’t like her. I guess that was the point of her though. Still they didn’t have to make her such a whore.
A new section I made for DVDs where I will talk about….The Extras.
- This DVD comes with Commentary by Director Ed Harris and Screenwriter/Producer Robert Knott, Deleted Scenes, Bringing Characters of Appaloosa to Life feature, Historic Accuracy of Appaloosa feature, Town of Appaloosa feature, and Dean Semler’s Return to Western feature.
- Deleted Scenes-This is kind of weird for me because while I felt this movie was too long, I think all of the deleted scenes should’ve stayed in the movie. They were all very relevant to the film. The film length wasn’t bad it was just the pacing of it.
- Bringing the Characters of Appaloosa to Life- Here you learn that the film is based on a book (if you didn’t know already), and how the characters were what drew Ed Harris to making this a film. I almost died laughing when he starts to talk about Allison’s character and how she’s not a bad person.
- Historic Accuracy of Appaloosa- They talk for a bit about how they tried to get everything as historically accurate as possible, and the way they did that……yawn…..
- Town of Appaloosa-Basically the same as the above, but they give you a layout of the town…..zzzzzzzzz……
- Dean Semler’s Return to Western- Dean Semler (the cinematographer) talks about returning to using film vs. digital, and how for a Western you need digital. Blah Blah Blah……boring……
It’s not a bad movie, the actors (other than Jeremy Irons) give good performances. The extras certainly don’t help. I’m a big extras person. Whenever I watch a movie on DVD I always watch the extras. They give you a better insight into the movie. These extras were pretty boring and, with the exception of the deleted scenes, could’ve been left of the DVD for all the use they are. Overall I give this movie a 2.5 out of 5.