Appaloosa: the Hollywood version
It's the interplay between Viggo Mortensen (Everitt Hitch) and Ed Harris (Virgil Cole) that makes the movie version or Robert Parker's novel work at all. And Jeremy Irons makes a pretty good bad guy. But I'm hoping that seeing the movie will want to make you want to read the book, or at least listen to the excellent audio version read by Titus Welliver. Because, as usual, the book has so much more to offer. Parker's skill as a writer who knows how to create tension and play it out slowly, just can't be outdone on the screen. For one thing, so much of the story is taking place in the mind of Everitt Hitch as he narrates the course of his friendship with Virgil Cole. It seems the best Hollywood can offer is some voice overs by Viggo at the beginning and the end of the film. Or the director makes huge leaps from scene so scene without any of the logical and smooth transitions that are stock and trade techniques for an accomplished writer like Mr. Parker. So, by all means, watch the movie if you are a fan of westerns, like me. Then do yourself a favor and go get the book to see what all you missed!