Anyone see Appaloosa? Open Spoilers allowed

So, what did you think? I wanted to see it this afternoon, but baseball playoffs took priority. I like Westerns so I don’t see any reason why I wouldn’t like this movie.

Spoilers are OK.

My SO and I just got back from seeing it. Mind you, we generally DON’T like Westerns, but this was quite good!

Interesting storyline, great acting, nice pace, fantastic scenery and wasn’t boring for a single minute. On a scale of 1 to 10, I give it a solid 8, and if you are already a fan of Westerns, I am sure you will give it a 9 or 10!

BTW, it was a huge crowd…we normally go to the first showing of new releases on a Friday and rarely have many people in there, even the blockbusters, but this time the theater was probably 3/4 full! First time we have seen that in a very long time.

That sounds great. One of the reasons I like Westerns is because of the scenery. Even though most of the classics Westerns were shot in California, there is something about the great scenery which can overcome a bad plot.

Well, actually most of the movie is sort of indoors or on the streets of a small town, but when they do go wide for the big shots, they are pretty good.

One other minor nitpick…Rene Zellweger is a fine actress, but I think she might have been somewhat miscast in this film…she was good, don’t get me wrong, but as far as being the femme fatale in this story, well…I guess men way out West back then must have been really hard up, so to speak.

I agree with your comment on Zellweger…I couldn’t decide if the problem was the actress or the character. I thought the rest of the cast did a great job. There’s a lot of humor in the way the main characters interact. Cole and Hitch know each other well, and they well know the game that they’re playing. Their friendship is the core of this story, and that’s what made the movie for me. I came away more satisfied from this than the remake of 3:10 to Yuma.

Is this a remake of the 1966 film?

No. You’re thinking of The Appaloosa with Marlon Brando, but this is based on a 2005 novel by Robert B. Parker.

I agree with everything here. I’ve seen it twice now and I’d give it a solid 8 too. It’d be higher if not for Zellweger. I like her a lot in a lot of movies (such as Chicago!), but I don’t like her at all in this movie. Ed Harris and Viggo Mortensen are worth 10 themselves though. What a great pair they make. A new buddy team is born for those lucky enough to see this movie. Virgil Cole (Harris) and Everett Hitch (Mortensen), characters to remember!

I saw it last night. Unfortunately I was alone, and didn’t get to talk to anyone about it.

While it was slow and drawn out, it was good. I agree about Rene Zellweger. I don’t know if it was supposed to be her character, but I sure didn’t like her one bit.

I thought it was interesting that Virgil (Ed Harris) was proselytizing to Everett (Viggo Mortensen) about how Everett wasn’t one of the top gun fighters because of his feelings. It was the idiot Virgil whose feeling almost cost them everything.

Clearly Everett was the stronger character.

Thanks. I haven’t seen the '60s film since it made its way into the elementary school circuit. (This was back when they showed 16mm films. Later we had VHS.) Marlon Brando? I could have sworn it was a Disney film. Doesn’t seem to be a Marlon Brando vehicle. The only thing I remember of it was a theme song; someone singing, ‘Aaaa-pa-looooosa! Aaaa-pa-looooosa! …’

Since when do we do spoilers on new movies?

I’ve got to be honest, I didn’t get a whole lot out of it.

My girlfriend called me just as I left the theatre and I described it then as, ‘the most mediocre movie ever made’

It looked nice, the acting wasn’t poor per say (although I agree Zellweger was miscast) but I didn’t feel there was much to the plot and I didn’t think there was really enough of a conflict. Renee Zellweger’s character was wholly unlikable. I didn’t like the Ed Harris particularly. They also made some attempts at humour that fell flat for me.

I don’t know, maybe I was expecting 3:10 to Yuma or The Good, The bad, and The Ugly or Unforgiven or something which is unrealistic. Either way if you’re looking for a number I give it 5 out of 10. Unless you’re a western freak I say skip it.

I probably should have written a review right after I saw it as details seem to be escaping me. I notice on Rottentomatoes it’s at 75% or something which completely baffles me but that’s the beauty of opinions I guess.

I put that in my OP because I didn’t want people to have to use spoiler boxes just to describe scenes in the movie. A movie like *Appaloosa *doesn’t real have parts which would ruin the movie if you knew about them ahead of time.

I have to agree. I love westerns, but this one lacked focus and any real dramatic pull, and I would argue that the film is almost uniformly miscast, with one important exception: Viggo steals every scene he’s in, and plays the only believable, 3-dimensional character, which is more difficult since his part has the least dialogue of the four principles (or at least it seems that way). But he’s able to inhabit his character through small modulations in body language, and also those amazing eyes recessed under the hat and in that gaunt face.

Conversely, Zellweger’s a disaster (though the character is stupidly conceived), Irons is given nothing to do, and Harris can play tough guy well enough, but is simply posturing here. One shootout is staged well, and there are some small moments of tension scattered throughout, but the film doesn’t have any cohesive themes nor a story that has any real urgency. No doubt that the comradery between the two lead males plays well (and these are Harris’ best moments), but plot turns are creaky and the romantic chemistry between Harris and Renee is zilochola. And the music score is unbearably bad (but not as bad as Harris’ singing in the closing credits).

The worst part, of course, is that it borrows so much from other westerns without retaining an identity of its own. Compare it to the exceptional Open Range, which is also a buddies-bring-justice-to-an-oppressed-town (w/a romantic subplot and a British villain to boot). That film had genuine sweep, emotion (w/no sentimentality), menace, and authenticity. I can’t even say Appaloosa is as good as something as lunkheaded as Tombstone, which, while by-the-numbers, pushed some predictable buttons effectively. Appaloosa in turn frustrated and bored me–some obviously talented people got together, but had no idea what they were doing, which means the blame has to go with director Harris. Pollack was no great cinematic achievement, but it was obviously a project made with passion and conviction. No such luck here, sadly.

I have seen period photos of hookers from that era/area, and it’s not a pretty sight.

I saw it last night and liked it. On my scale of 1 to 10, I’d give it a solid 7.5.