The Ice Harvest

Director: Harold Ramis
Year Released: 2005
Rating: 3.0

Nasty little pseudo-noir with a standard noir plot - John Cusack and Billy Bob Thornton steal money from mobster Randy Quaid, and he's none too pleased - but done with plenty of color and flair, aided to a great extent by the supporting skills of Thornton and Oliver Platt as well as a memorably down-and-out turn by Cusack as an alcoholic lawyer. Remains bitter and unapologetic until the very end, where a pleasant coda surfaces against all odds - one of the great advantages of DVD technology is seeing the different endings Ramis could have gone with, and the one he chose - the most 'hopeful' one - is unmistakably the best. The comedic gunplay is definitely out of Fargo (or the Coens in general); the driving around an icy, quiet town reminds me of co-screenwriter Robert Benton's Nobody's Fool.