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The Ice Harvest
Review by Mr. Stinkhead

I decided to check out The Ice Harvest because it was written and directed by Harold "Egon" Ramis. He had a hand in two of my favorite comedies of all time, Caddyshack and Stripes. This movie also stars John Cusack and Billy Bob Thorton.

John Cusack is doing his usual guy too smart for the situation, but not smart enough to change anything about it that he's done in numerous movies. It's not annoying, but if I was a big Cusack fan, I'd like to see him stretch a bit more. Billy Bob was a refreshing surprise however. I loved him in Sling Blade and Bad Santa, he's versatile and his reputation works well in this context, because you try to figure out how smart or conniving he really is as the movie goes on. I enjoyed watching both of these actors work together, and with the various people they crash into.

Firstly, this movie kicks off, and maintains quite a bit of nudity. A lot of the scenes take place in strip clubs. Nice. You get points for that in my book right off the bat.

This is not your everyman's comedy however. The dialogue is very sharp. Here's an example of the opening lines. A bar tender is screaming into a phone "You stupid toothless whore!" —a few seconds later "Hang on a second Mom." It's existential and it's dark. It's refreshing in this age of one track fart joke movies and mindless "thrillers" that don't amount to anything. But if you're watching with other folks, get a feel for their sense of humor first. I definitely have some friends that would not find this to be funny.

I checked out the extra features. There is a full length commentary, two alternate endings (that are darkly funny and definitely end the movie on a different note, but I didn't see how these two were different from each other), and some making-of features. The real gem though is watching Billy Bob launch into some dialogue from the movie in his Carl uhngh- huh Sling Blade voice. That was pretty funny.

If you're into the existential humor, or dig Harold Ramis, John Cusack or Billy Bob Thorton, you'll enjoy this movie. Unfortunately this movie suffers from Oliver Platt syndrome. Meaning he's cast in it. I like the guy fine enough, but he hurts the overall success of most of the endeavors he's in. I think Don't Say A Word with Micheal Douglas did alright, but Diggstown deserved much more success.

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