The Ice Harvest

[Amazon Link] [3.5 stars] [IMDb Link]

This movie has a lot of talent behind it: Richard Russo and Robert Benton on the screenplay, Harold Ramis directing. And a couple of solid leading men in Billy Bob Thornton and John Cusack. Although this movie is funny in parts, don't go in expecting a wacky laff riot. The comedy is as dark as … it's very dark, OK? And it's mainly a film noir, with all the violence, deception, cynicism, and betrayal that incurs.

Thornton and Cusack play a couple guys on the outskirts of organized crime in Wichita, Kansas. They get the bright idea to rip off a couple million from the local mob boss, and that's a done deal right at the movie's start. But (for some reason) they can't leave town right away, and the rest of the movie describes Cusack's increasingly convoluted efforts to escape. Bodies start piling up about halfway through.

The DVD extras include a funny outtake where Billy Bob slips into his Karl voice from Sling Blade. Also there's a pretentious filmed conversation between Benton, Russo, and the author of the novel on which the screenplay's based, Scott Phillips. So I found out that a brief bit where Oliver Platt drunkenly talks about What It Means To Be A Man In America, wasn't actually meant to reflect his stupid self-absorbtion; Russo apparently put it into the script in all earnest seriousness. Here I thought it was one of the jokes.

I found myself wondering afterwards: is it credible that they're lugging around over $2 million in currency in a medium-size bag? If it's entirely in $100 bills, that's probably doable: extrapolating from this page, such a boodle would weigh between 40-50 pounds. This one roughly concurs.


Last Modified 2012-10-24 4:20 AM EDT