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Rampart (Blu-Ray/DVD/Digital Combo Pack)

2.6 out of 5 stars 176 customer reviews

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Editorial Reviews

Product Description

At the heart of Oren Moverman s Rampart is a riveting parable about what happens to a man who refuses to change, even when change is the only thing that can save him. That man is Dave Brown, played by two-time Academy Award® nominee Woody Harrelson. Though the film is set in the 1990s, when scandal rocked the LAPD s Rampart division, the film hones in on a single fictional cop: Dave Brown, a man who has taken the no guts, no glory American mythos to heart, without questioning what it is doing to him and those he holds dear. He is a cop whose personal life is propelled into a dizzying downward spiral when he comes under suspicion for roughing up a suspect. More than just a police officer who plays things fast and loose, Brown exposes the inner workings of a certain type of personality everyone recognizes around them, a personality very much part of American culture, yet not often examined. He is the kind of man inexorably drawn to authority and power, yet seems destined to abuse it; a man who has dreams of being a great masculine hero, yet is beholden to women; who has undeniable charm, yet whose stubborn refusal to take responsibility for his actions becomes a destructive force against family, community and ultimately himself.

Review

4 STARS!! Woody Harrelson is leaner in Rampart, the skin tight over the skull, the jawline defiant. His eyes are busy. He is a cop in the Los Angeles police district that became notorious in 1999 as a cesspool of corruption, but this man takes corruption with him wherever he goes. The movie is co-written by the unsurpassed crime writer James Ellroy, who no doubt knows enough stories about Rampart to write a dozen movies, but his inspiration here is to make this cop a stand-alone character study, isolated within himself. He doesn't require the reprehensible environment of Rampart. He's self-fueled. Harrelson is an ideal actor for the role. Especially in tensely wound-up movies like this, he implies that he's looking at everything and then watching himself looking. His character, Dave Brown, has no moral center, but he has the survival instincts of a rat, and I say that with all due respect for rats. He always likes to know the way out of a tight corner. He knows an angle he can play or a squirm he can call on. Why is he this way? That question helps explain why the movie is so absorbing, because there is no answer. Rampart lacks the usual plot engines behind crime films, in which motivation comes from money, lust or revenge. Brown behaves in this film primarily just to do bad things. He reminds me of one of the most evil characters in American fiction, Judge Holden in Cormac McCarthy's Blood Meridian, a man who likes to torture and kill for no other reason than simply to cause pain. The Harrelson of Rampart could play Judge Holden, and not many actors could. He is an overt racist. He has such contempt for women he cannot always be bothered to use them sexually. He was married to two women (Anne Heche and Cynthia Nixon) who are sisters, and apparently this meant so little to all of them that they live in houses next to one another. There was no emotional commitment there for them to engage. He has a daughter by each and is said to have once murdered a rapist because of his feelings for his daughters. Only with a man like Brown would you suspect that was an excuse; more likely, he got started killing the man and didn't feel like stopping. It's that feeling that seems to empower Brown when he does the last thing Rampart district needs in 1999. Eight years after the brutality against Rodney King, Brown is videotaped while beating a suspect. He seems to approach this task like a skilled workman performing a job he loves. Recently there's been a movement to make videotaping of police officers illegal. That would get Dave Brown's vote. This time he doesn't seem to have an escape route ready. The district attorney's office sees him as an ideal target, and Sigourney Weaver is finely focused as an assistant DA who has him in her sights. He also makes the error of trying to pick up a defense attorney (Robin Wright) in just the wrong way at just the wrong time. And he casually insults a black investigator for Internal Affairs (Ice Cube). Rampart is deeply embedded in Los Angeles in the summertime, every day a reminder of the desert that waits patiently to take back the land stolen from it by sprinkler systems. It is hot, the sun is blinding, Brown is sweating, he feels rotten. You cannot live forever with amorality and sadism eating away at you. Even other immoral people around you stand back, because they recognize themselves and fear to go that far. Rampart was directed and co-written with Ellroy by Oren Moverman, whose directorial debut was The Messenger(2009). It also starred Woody Harrelson, In that film, Harrelson's character turns out to have feelings after all. He's such a versatile actor, able to point one way and act in another. Maybe that's why he's so fascinating in Rampart. --Roger Ebert, Sun Times

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

Special Features

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Product Details

  • Actors: Woody Harrelson, Robin Wright, Steve Buscemi, Sigourney Weaver, Ben Foster
  • Directors: Oren Moverman
  • Format: Multiple Formats, Blu-ray, Dolby, NTSC, Subtitled, Widescreen
  • Language: English
  • Subtitles: Spanish
  • Region: Region A/1 (Read more about DVD/Blu-ray formats.)
  • Number of discs: 2
  • Rated:
    R
    Restricted
  • Studio: Millennium Entertainment
  • DVD Release Date: May 15, 2012
  • Run Time: 107 minutes
  • Average Customer Review: 2.6 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (176 customer reviews)
  • ASIN: B007AJMBJ2
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #97,950 in Movies & TV (See Top 100 in Movies & TV)

Customer Reviews

Top Customer Reviews

By Paul Allaer TOP 500 REVIEWERVINE VOICE on March 3, 2012
Format: DVD
"Rampart" (105 min.) brings the story of Dave Brown, an LA cop going off the tracks, played by Woody Harrelson in an outstanding perfomance. In the beginning of the movie, Brown tries to keep his personal life together, as complicated as it is with 2 kids he has from 2 women who happen to be sisters, and they are all living together. At a certain point, Brown gets involved in a car accident (accidental? set up?) and after the other driver tries to get away, he beats the driver exessively and just happens to get caught on tape.

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!
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Format: Blu-ray
The tagline for Rampart reads "The most corrupt cop you've ever seen on screen," a statement which can only be true if you don't watch too many movies. Dave Brown (Woody Harrelson) is certainly a corrupt cop, but he's far from the most corrupt cop. Cops much more corrupt, more sympathetic and more compelling have been seen onscreen before. Chalk this up to a failure of marketing.

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.
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Format: Blu-ray Verified Purchase
In an East L. A. barrio known as the Rampart district, Officer Dave Brown (Woody Harrelson) is a brutal and corrupt cop. Set in 1999, a Viet Nam vet and law school wash out, Brown has an unusual lifestyle (2 daughters conceived with 2 sisters, all living together) to go with his bias, booze, broads and bravado. Brown is caught on camera, clubbing a Hispanic man within an inch of his life. This isn't the first incident for Brown and brings back all the negative images of the L. A. police force at the time.

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.
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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, whatever...sucked. Sad, because I like Woody Harrelson.
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