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Appaloosa [Blu-ray] (2009)

Ed Harris , Viggo Mortensen , Ed Harris  |  R |  Blu-ray
3.9 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (338 customer reviews)

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Product Details

  • Actors: Ed Harris, Viggo Mortensen, Renée Zellweger, Robert Jauregui, Jeremy Irons
  • Directors: Ed Harris
  • Writers: Robert B. Parker, Robert Knott
  • Producers: Caldecot Chubb, Ginger Sledge, Kathryn Himoff
  • Format: Multiple Formats, Blu-ray, Anamorphic, Color, Dolby, Subtitled, Widescreen
  • Language: English (Dolby Digital 5.1), English (Dolby TrueHD 5.1)
  • Subtitles: English, Spanish
  • Region: Region A/1 (Read more about DVD/Blu-ray formats.)
  • Aspect Ratio: 2.40:1
  • Number of discs: 2
  • Rated: R (Restricted)
  • Studio: New Line Home Video
  • DVD Release Date: January 13, 2009
  • Run Time: 116 minutes
  • Average Customer Review: 3.9 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (338 customer reviews)
  • ASIN: B001LRJH0K
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #56,158 in Movies & TV (See Top 100 in Movies & TV)
  • Learn more about "Appaloosa [Blu-ray]" on IMDb

Special Features

  • Commentary by director Ed Harris and screenwriter/producer Robert Knott
  • Additional scenes with selectable Ed Harris/Robert Knott commentary
  • Bringing the Characters of Appaloosa to Life
  • Historic Accuracy of Appaloosa
  • The Town of Appaloosa
  • Dean Semler's Return to the Western

Editorial Reviews

Paired as rivals in A History of Violence, Ed Harris (who also directs, produces and co-scripts) and Viggo Mortensen stand together as friends and for-hire peacekeepers Cole and Hitch in a character-driven, bullet-hard Western based on Robert B. Parkers novel. As the woman who arrives in town with only a dollar and a keen sense of survival, Renée Zellweger adds feelings--things that can get you killed--to a quest to bring murderer Randall Bragg (Jeremy Irons) to justice. Blood will spill in the town called Appaloosa.

Customer Reviews

Most Helpful Customer Reviews
84 of 87 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars They do what they do October 11, 2008
Virgil Cole (Harris) and Everett Hitch (Mortensen) are a pair of traveling lawmen for hire. When they arrive at the town of Appaloosa, the town fathers are more than willing to pay the price and accept that Cole IS the law. They're under the thumb of rich rancher, Randall Bragg (Jeremy Irons) who shot their former sheriff in cold blood.

They get a break in the case when a young former hand of Bragg's agrees to testify. That happens about the time when the widow, Allie French (Renee Zellweger) comes in on the train.

Allie complicates matters a lot. As Hitch so eloquently puts it, "she wants to be with the herd stallion and there can only be one of those at a time." Cole, who claims to not have feelings, actually does care for French. She's not like any woman he's ever been with, she's clean, she's got good manners, etc.

"Appaloosa" has all the elements of a great Western, a little romance, some realistic gun play, excellent characterization, great scenery (principal film site Austin, Texas) and the typical western sense of humor. For example, when a gun battle gets both men injured, Hitch says, "That was quick." Cole's response, "Yeah, everybody could shoot."

Clearly, Harris and Mortensen had a lot of fun making this film. These two are friends in real life and this project was a labor of love for Harris who said in an interview that he's a fan of the author of "Appaloosa," Robert Parker. He usually reads the detective novels, but picked up the Western because he liked the cover and that's how the movie came to be.

If you enjoyed "Pale Rider" and "Unforgiven," this is a film you'll probably want to see. The "R" rating is for a little language, small nudity, and violence, but both my husband and I have seen a lot worse on broadcast television.

Rebecca Kyle, October 2008
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70 of 77 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars A good Western January 1, 2009
Format:Blu-ray|Verified Purchase
The story of Appaloosa is very similar to that of the excellent Warlock. Two mercenary "lawmen" are summoned to a town being terrorized by a local band of cowboys (led by a powerful and particularly ruthless rancher -- in Appaloosa's case, Randall Bragg played by Jeremy Irons). These lawmen are close friends and have worked together for many years, moving from town to town killing bad guys for money. They are called upon when the town's previous sheriff is murdered. They agree to clean up the town, but only if the town agrees to grant them any power they wish to do so.

Here the stories of Warlock and Appaloosa diverge. Warlock makes great use of the idea that fighting outlaws with mercenaries is a morally questionable solution, while Appaloosa features only one scene that ponders the question, even though the setup seems tailor-made for further conflict. Harris' character, Virgil, has been made uncomfortable and embarrassed by a conversation with his romantic interest (played by Renee Zellwegger), so he takes it out on some workers having a drink at the bar. Though drunk, they are doing no harm, and Harris' explosive temper and sense of impunity are first exhibited as he viciously pummels one of them before being restrained by Viggo's character (Everett). One of the town's officials questions this behavior, but beyond that it is never addressed again.

Other story similarities include a confrontation at the jailhouse (though the specifics of the scene were more reminiscent of one in
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74 of 85 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Harris and Mortensen Make The Most of Appaloosa November 23, 2008
Format:DVD
"Appaloosa" combines the best of traditional and modern Westerns. Ed Harris, who directs as well as stars in the film, has created a great combination of the two perpectives in this adaptation of the Robert B. Parker (Spenser For Hire) novel.

Harris plays Virgil Cole, who with his partner Everett Hitch (played by Viggo Mortensen), roams the West as hired guns who come in and tame towns where lawlessness reigns. Such is the case in Appaloosa, which is run by rancher Randall Bragg, who killed the town marshal (an old friend of Cole's) and his two deputies. Cole and Hitch begin the cleanup process straightaway, but everything becomes complicated with the appearance in town of Allison French (played by Renee Zellweger), a young widow who captures the heart of crusty Cole and soon, the hardened lawman moves in on her. But later, she comes on Hitch, setting the stage for issues of life, future, and loyalty to be explored while the lawmen deal with the woman and the wily Bragg, who has a few tricks up his sleeve.

The look, feel, and the tone feels very traditional, but the screenplay and action are more modern in their staging, which means the language is saltier, and the action faster, just as it would be in real life. Harris and Mortensen seem like they have been acting in Westerns their entire career. Zellweger hits the right notes as a woman who does what she has to do to survive.

This is a great film, and one that most Western fans should readily enjoy.
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23 of 25 people found the following review helpful
Format:DVD
Be warned right now - this movie review is mostly one giant spoiler. Here's the non-spoiler parts right up front. This is a movie that strives to look authentic. The two main characters have known each other for years and have no need for a lot of dialogue - they know each other well, they know each other's habits and their conversations are spare.

Many reviewers have missed the whole point of the movie. It was not about two buddies/lawmen bringing peace to a town, although that does happen (mostly) and the gun fights are quick, brutal and ugly. The movie is about what happens when such a partnership is disrupted by a woman. Look at the DVD cover art and you can see it symbolically represented - there is Renee Zellweger standing between Mortensen and Harris.

****Spoiler alert****The rest of the review is just full of spoilers******

In this case, the woman is a pathetic, despicable thing. The movie comes from a Robert B. Parker book and his books are full of people (mostly women, but not always) that claim to be in love but really they are psychologically needy and act out sexually in strange, disruptive ways.

There are four main characters in this story: Marshal Virgil Cole, Deputy Everett Hitch, Bragg (a rancher/hotel owner) and Mrs. French, a pathetic woman that leeches onto powerful men out of some deep seeded need that we never quite have explained. Suffice it to say, Mrs. French is a survivor because she uses sex to endear herself to the most powerful man in her immediate area.

Many have misinterpreted (in my opinion, anyway) the "big" fight scene at the end. Here's my take

Hitch kills Bragg, but not to defend the honor of Zelweger character, Mrs. French, because she has none to defend.
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appaloosa digital copy
This is the first digital copy I've seen that you have to pay for. Normally when you buy the DVD, the code allows you a free download. I wonder if this is how it will be with all digital copies in future.
Mar 1, 2009 by Ink Gypsy |  See all 3 posts
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