Friday, September 07, 2007

3:10 to Yuma

Now I know this may sound hypocritical but I just saw 3:10 to Yuma and I also discovered that--yes this is another re-make. Now in my defense the original 3:10 to Yuma was made in 1957 based on the Elmore Leonard novel. It starred Glenn Ford as Ben Wade and Van Heflin as Dan Evans. Now I like to think of myself as a Western officianado but when I realized this was a re-make of a film I hadn't previously heard of, based on a novel by one of my favorite authors, I was a little surprised. Not to mention that the original film was well received by critics, but again, I had never heard of this movie. I do want to see the original now just to see the changes. I have to admit that I really loved the remake. It was a great cast and the director, James Mangold, seem to have fun shooting this one. It was a little bit High Noon with a mix of Unforgiven. It's a great morality tale, essential for any western.Dan Evans (Christian Bale) is a down-on-his-luck rancher who finds himself involved in the capture and escort of a dangerous criminal named Ben Wade (Russell Crowe). The mission--to get Ben Wade to the train station on time to catch, you guessed it, the 3:10 to Yuma. Where he will be tried, convicted and hung. The real meat of this story is the back and forth between Ben Wade and Dan Evans. The best westerns always seem to ride the fence on good and bad and individual morality. This film is almost a psychological thriller as Mangold seems to enjoy the Sergio Leone style shots and gritty dialogue. Russell Crowe's Ben Wade is affable and hard to read. One minute you think this guy might not be so bad and the next he's a stone cold killer. The action is intense and the character development is as good as Unforgiven or any other western in the last twenty years. I absolutely loved this film and I recommend that you go and check it out before it's gone. Forget Halloween catch the 3:10 to Yuma it's a wild and twisty ride.

Grade: 5 Buckets

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