Something For The Weekend: The Ice Harvest

The Ice Harvest

Sure it’s the summer, but there’s always time for a Christmas film!

The Ice Harvest is a black comedy directed by Harold Ramis and starring John Cusack and Billy Bob Thornton.

Cusack plays Charlie, a lawyer for the mob who is estranged from his family, whilst Thornton plays Vic, a porn distributor. The two lowlifes then join forces to steal $2 million from the mob boss. The film is set the evening after the theft so that they can escape when the weather gets better.

Charlie spends most of the film going from strip joint to strip joint, getting drunk and helping other people, which is decidedly out of character.

It is a decidedly dark turn for Ramis, but also works best when it is at it’s darkest. There are some funny moments, the pulpy, noir-style story moves along nicely and the performances from Cusack and Thornton are good.

Despite being adapted from a novel, it is also a remarkably short film, clocking in at around 80 minutes. It has also been referred to as similar to a Coen Brothers style film. Whilst it is nowhere near that quality, it does give a feel for what to expect.

Something For The Weekend: Stripes

Stripes

If your 1980s film project has Bill Murray, Harold Ramis and Ivan Reitman involved you cannot go wrong. That is a SCIENTIFIC FACT.

One of the results of this decade-long experiment saw the release in 1981 of Stripes. John (Bill Murray) and Russell (Harold Ramis), both of whom are dissatisfied with their lives decide to join the army for a laugh. Through an unlikely turn of events they are put in charge of a new weapon, which they subsequently steal and accidently drive into the Soviet Union with hilarious results.

It’s quite a funny film and an almighty anarchic mess. Bill Murray is great, as always and Harold Ramis shows once again he is at his best performing his own work (he adapted the script for Murray and himself as it was originally written as Cheech and Chong Join The Army).

Reitman once again shows himself to be great comedy director and this is a great dry run for their follow-up film, Ghostbusters.

It is a quintessentially 80s comedy with mishaps, mayhem, communism and of course, John Candy titty bar mud wrestling.