The Ice Harvest
John Cusack, Billy Bob Thornton
Connie Nielsen, Oliver Platt, Randy Quaid
Directed by Harold Ramis
Alliance Atlantis 2005
The Ice Harvest gets on your nerves because you know it could have been much better. With stars like John Cusack (Must Love Dogs, Runaway Jury) and the great Billy Bob Thornton, a director like Harold Ramis this could have been a really good dark comedy on DVD. Unfortunately, The Ice Harvest is too episodic for its own good and spins its wheels in search of scenes that work.
At under 90 minutes, The Ice Harvest actually feels like you have been stuck in a log cabin for three ice cold winter months and there's nothing left to eat. The premise here is a mob lawyer, Cusack, and an enforcer, Thornton, have stolen 2 million from a mob boss. For some unknown reason, they decide to stay in town on Christmas day and only escape later. The lawyer goes around town visiting various strip clubs and taking care of Oliver Platt, his best friend. Thornton is basically wasted here though playing the usual Billy Bob Thornton weird dude saying the usual Thonton lines.
Harold Ramis tried to put together a dark comedy a la Coen Brothers but failed miserably. What he believed were interesting twists just end up being yet another scene that stagnates. Even the ending, though it is quite bloody and full of dark irony, fails.
The DVD for The Ice Harvest features alternate endings. It's a shame it does not feature an alternate movie.
Even more annoying on this supposed dark comedy DVD is Alliance Atlantis' insistence of making you sit through previews and a commercial before you can access the menu. You can skip the previews but not the commercial.