gaming since 1997

Ice Harvest, The

Charlie Arglist is a sneaky lawyer who works for mob boss Bill Guerrard who rules over Whichita Kansas. On Christmas eve, Charlie and strip club owner Vic Cavanaugh manage to steal 2 million dollars from Guerrard but before they head off with the loot, they have to act normal for a couple of hours and tie up some loose ends including Charlie’s love for Renata, an extremely beautiful stripper. As time progresses, it becomes clear that Guerrard may very well know what has happened as suddenly his best killer arrives in town and starts asking questions.

Sound and Vision:
The Ice Harvest is from 2005 and distributed by Universal which leads to the obvious conclusion that image and sound quality are superb. No problems with compression errors, good contrast and amount of detail and although most of the movie plays at night you don’t miss a thing.

The sound comes even with a DTS track, something we can only applaud as it does a great job with clear dialogues and a perfectly balanced use of all channels.

Extras:
– Beneath The Harvest: electronic press kit featurette that doesn’t contain much depth.
– Cracking The Story: interview with the scenario writers and the author of the novel. However, again all comments are overly positive about each other, something we’re fed up with.
– Cracking The Ice: a feature that shows how the scene on the frozen lake was created.
– Alternative Ending: two of them
– Outtake: Billy Bob Thornton plays a scene as the main character from Sling Blade

Conclusion:
The Ice Harvest is based on the novel by Scott Phillips and tries to get to the same level as Fargo with the black comedy, tons of snow and crime. Unfortunately, the pace is extremely slow and never does the movie manage to keep you interested enough which the Coen brothers did manage to do with the previously named Fargo (or even Sam Raimi’s “A Simple Plan”). This is mostly due to the fact that there’s little originality to be found in the story and John Cusack looks like he’s running around with too many tranquillizers in his system. Only at the very ending does he manage to wake up and do something he should have done about 1,5 hours before. The rest of the cast suffers from a pretty similar problem: they’re clearly typecasted and do most of their stuff on auto-pilot.

The dvd itself is presented very nicely with good image and sound quality and although the extras are again quite promotional and the interviewees tend to be overly positive about each other, things could have been worse. All in all, The Ice Harvest isn’t dark enough to be a film noir, doesn’t contain enough decent jokes to be a comeday, and never manages to rise above average on all fronts.

Our Score:
5.0

posted in: DVD, Reviews, Universal
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