The Ice Harvest

Release Date: November 23, 2005
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Movie of the Day for Wednesday, October 6, 2004
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He's making me a mix tape.

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Position Staff In Brief
27/166 David Mumpower Clever twists infuse this dark drama with subversive energy. Keeps offering surprises until the very last moment. The Ice Harvest deserved a better fate.

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When Harold Ramis is good, he's very, very good. As proof, I offer up the fact that he's previously directed Greatest Sports Comedy Ever Caddyshack and the utterly charming Groundhog Day. That's not to say Ramis hasn't had his share of misses…Stuart Saves His Family, Bedazzled and Analyze That spring immediately to mind. For his next film, the director will be doing more of an "indie sensibility" sort of project and he already has a fantastic pair of stars to set it apart.

John Cusack, probably the finest 30-something actor in the business, and Billy Bob Thornton topline Ramis's dark comedy The Ice Harvest. Based on a well-received book by Scott Phillips, the story involves organized crime, grouchy bouncers, naked women, a heavy snowstorm and a protagonist with a serious drinking problem. At least no one's ever going to say this plot is clichéd.

Set in Witchita, Kansas, the story's events take place in 1979. Charlie Arglist (Cusack) is a lawyer who has turned shady mobster. He's all set to leave town with a whole big haul of cash; the only trouble is that the money doesn't belong to Charlie. In fact, it happens to be the property of a guy who heads up a much larger regional crime syndicate than the one Charlie is affiliated with. The entire movie basically revolves around Charlie's attempts to escape with the loot, but several unforeseen difficulties happen to fall in his way, up to and including the discovery of a fresh corpse.

Frankly, the film sounds an awful lot like Sam Raimi's A Simple Plan or the Coen Brothers' Fargo, which frankly is just fine with us. For some reason, capers and scams set in a heavy snowfall just seem to work. (Kim Hollis/BOP)

Vital statistics for The Ice Harvest
Main Cast John Cusack, Billy Bob Thornton, Connie Nielsen
Supporting Cast Randy Quaid
Director Harold Ramis
Screenwriter Richard Russo, Robert Benton
Distributor Focus Features
Trailer Click Here for Trailer
Official Site
Rating R
Running Time 88 minutes
Talent in red has entry in The Big Picture



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