Monday, April 24, 2006
The Ice Harvest
The Ice Harvest (Harold Ramis, 2005) 
This is a somewhat begrudging approval for a film that really had the potential to be a lot better. When this was released last holiday season, it was marketed as a black comedy a la Bad Santa. What this film actually is, however, is a modern noir laced with elements of black humor. I think that if Harold Ramis realized this, he could have made a much better film. John Cusack plays the standard noir protagonist, an everyday loser who gets into events way over his head. I liked Cusack’s character for the most part, but felt the film tried to hard at the end to make him a nice guy when he really did some awful things. I didn’t think there was enough humor to consider this a comedy even though Oliver Platt and Billy Bob Thornton do have some funny moments. The whole sequence between Thornton and the trunk are really great. The one real aspect of this film that I give issue to be that the beginning is a little rambling. It goes all over the place before it finally lands on the central action. The scenes where Cusack and Platt are together really seem too long and feel detached from the rest of the story. But I felt it picked itself up enough to recommend it, if just barely.