Rampart (Blu-Ray/DVD/Digital Combo Pack)
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Time's TOP 10 Movie Performances of 2011. #3 Woody Harrelson in Rampart. For eight years the blithely innocent bartender on Cheers, Woody Harrelson has matured into an actor of wide, weird range. As a media-savvy psycho in Oliver Stone's Natural Born Killers, a porn king fighting for the First Amendment in The People vs. Larry Flynt, a Twinkies-addicted survivor in Zombieland and a bounty hunter in No Country for Old Men, Harrelson put a swagger in every scene, carving out a stark and engaging character: the wild American cowboy riding into the present on a stallion of lunatic machismo. His career topper may be playing Dave Date Rape Brown, an LAPD detective in director Oren Moverman's dark adaptation of a James Ellroy story. A dinosaur among the city's younger men and women in blue, Dave uses brutal methods to enforce the law; now he's under an investigation for beating a motorist, but he won't go down without a fatal fight. Harrelson, who's as worth watching at rest as when he detonates in calculated rage, pours such power into his character that viewers find themselves rooting for Dave even as they move to shield themselves from the imminent immolation. They become Dave's partners in crime, and Harrelson's willing, eager pawns. --Time Magazine
Top Customer Reviews
Things get worse from there, and I don't want to give away much more from the plot, but suffice to say, Brown gets more and more isolated, even as he meets other women in his life. The whole movie is pretty much downbeat, and exposes the utter loniless of the Woody Harrelson character, leading eventually towards the open-ended conclusion of the movie.
The first hour was sorta long in the build-up, but the last 45 min. really shine. This movie has an incredible all-star cast besides Harrelson, with juice performances from Robin Wright, Ned Beatty, Sigourney Weaver, Anne Heche, and Ice Cube. But special mention in my book goes to Brie Larson in the role of Harrelson's troubled teenage daughter. In all, quite a movie, although certainly not for everyone. Still, "Rampart" is highly recommended!
Rampart is the second film by Oren Moverman, following his brilliant 2009 film The Messenger. That film also starred Woody Harrelson, among several others in this cast, and scored him an Oscar nomination. This nomination likely arose from his strengths as an actor, as well as the strengths of the film. Had Rampart been a stronger film he may have gotten a deserved nomination for his work here too. Moverman co-wrote the screenplay with James Ellroy, the well-regarded crime novelist who knows his way around police-driven Los Angeles stories. The film succeeds in presenting its main character as an amoral cop without reason. Dave Brown is not driven by the typical conventions of a corrupt cop movie, existing as he is for no discernible reason. That's certainly an interesting twist, but not everything else falls together so perfectly.
The setting is Los Angeles, circa 1999. Dave Brown is a controversial figure around the police department, having allegedly murdered a serial date rapist years earlier, earning him the nickname "Date Rape Dave." His home life isn't any more conventional. He has two daughters, born to two sisters (Cynthia Nixon and Anne Heche) who regard him passively. Things begin to implode when Dave beats a motorist who has wrecked into his car and is caught on tape. An investigation is launched which threatens Dave's entire way of living.Read more ›
In addition to the sisters (Cynthia Nixon and Anne Heche), Brown seems to hit it off with the ladies in general, especially an attorney named Linda (Robin Wright) who he meets in a bar. Brown need money to help his defense against charges the city is about to bring, so works with an ex-cop (Ned Beatty) to get the low down on a high stakes card game. Brown doesn't go there to play cards however. Due to bad luck or targeted action by unknown people, Brown's plan goes haywire and he's in even more hot water. While Brown is cool and quick on his feet and with his words, his predicament combined with his unraveling relationship with his daughters moves him toward deeper despair.
Director and co-writer (with James Ellroy) Oren Moverman has his second outing with Harrelson in the lead. As in "The Messenger," Moverman has recognized the acting talent he has with Harrelson and pretty much just lets him roll. The cast is buoyed by Sigourney Weaver as one of the civilians in charge of the investigation, Ben Foster, unrecognizable as homeless man and Ice Cube as the police investigator charged with bringing Brown down. Unfortunately, there seemed to be only one way out for Brown, but Moverman's conclusion left me cold.
The Blu ray version I have is the single disc.Read more ›
Most Recent Customer Reviews
This movie gets 4 stars because it has strong performances by all its main characters. The story is also well told. Read morePublished 4 hours ago by Amazon Customer
if you like to watch a person lighting a cig 100 different ways you may give it 3 starsPublished 17 hours ago by norman j ferrero
horrible movie....no plot or storyline...hated it....wouldn't even give it one star if I could post.Published 2 months ago by JLRD
I'm surprised that I sat all the way through this movie, just not one of Woody's best and kind of confusing as to what the actual plot was.Published 3 months ago by Elizabeth
Terrible film. Drawn out. Is not a good depiction of what was happening with LA Rampart Division. This was an after effect event and the story, directing, cinematography,... Read morePublished 3 months ago by Luci