Saturday, April 23, 2016

3:10 TO YUMA (2007)

Directed By: James Mangold 
Written By: Hallstead Welles, Michael Brandt & Derek Haas 
Based on a Short Story By: Elmore Leonard 
Cinematography By: Phedon Papamichael 
Editor: Michael McCusker 
Music By: Marco Beltrami 

Cast: Russell Crowe, Christian Bale, Peter Fonda, Logan Lerman, Ben Foster, Dallas Roberts, Vinessa Shaw, Gretchen Mol, Alan Tudyk, Johnny Whitworth, Luke Wilson, Kevin Durand

Rancher Dan Evans heads into Bisbee to clear up issues concerning the sale of his land when he witnesses the closing events of a stagecoach robbery led by famed outlaw Ben Wade. Shortly thereafter, Wade is captured by the law in Bisbee and Evans finds himself one of the escorts who will take Wade to the 3:10 to Yuma train in Contention for the reward of $200. Evans's effort to take Wade to the station is in part an effort to save his land but also part of an inner battle to determine whether he can be more than just a naive rancher in the eyes of his impetuous and gun slinging son William Evans. The transport to Contention is hazardous and filled with ambushes by Indians, pursuits by Wade's vengeful gang and Wade's own conniving and surreptitious demeanor that makes the ride all the more intense.

Studio Filmmaking at it’s finest. Depth, Action and plenty of thrills

This is one of the first Russell Crowe films that I have really enjoyed. I have liked his performances in Other films that showed he has talent and I have liked him as an actor, but the films were never as good as the performances usually. With this film the carpet finally matches the drapes.

His character here, a cold blooded outlaw comes across as such w refined gentleman and warrior you can't help but admire him to a degree. On the other hand you have Christian Bale's character the determined rancher who is being paid to help bring him to jail on the 3:10 train to Yuma prison (hence the title) bale's character is seen initially as weak as he has a disability, but he is also the most moral of all the characters and the bravest. As he stands for what he believes in and never backs down. The film is really their battle of wills against each other. While also being dependent on one another.

This is a male bonding film. One of those films where it's ok for a man to cry by the end or during like The films FREQUENCY, BRIAN'S SONG or XXX (for some people, which might be painful for most of us to watch. hence the reason for crying)

The fact that it seems that the Russell Crowe character admired the rancher for his quiet life and humbleness and that Christian Bale's character would love to do the so called easy thing. Since he has a wife and kids, but he made a promise and is sticking to it, because of his meal center which is high and centered. Admired him too, it's what is not only missing from heroes, but In people today too.

What the film does expertly is gives you the old west violence that is typical for a film such as this, but also gives us a bad guy to root for. Though we constantly question him and how much we can actually trust him. As I. A scene where he gets revenge on a character that is brutally violent it almost seems out of place in a film like this, but shows that for all of his charm. Just how dangerous and blood thirsty Russell Crowe's character can be. He Fares better here, than he did in THE QUICK AND THE DEAD.

At one point, Tom Cruise and Eric Bana were pursuing the starring roles in this film. But when Columbia Pictures put this film in turnaround, the actors left to pursue other projects

The cynical ending of the movie is something to be admired. It plays with the conventions of these type of films (westerns) As this is a remake. Whose original I never saw, but can't imagine it had the same ending.

I really like this film and am surprised it has seemed to become a disposable film. That was a box office winner and well reviewed but seems to be forgotten over the years.

This is certainly one of director James Mangold's better films. He can be hit or miss, but he has a wide range of films that usually turn out ok more then anything, but he does have some that loom larger and are more impressive then others.

It's the first one where his direction doesn't make itself and it's intentions known. Usually his other films seemed more to play to the female demographic of making emotionally sensitive films ( WALK THE LINE, GIRL INTERRUPTED, KATE & LEOPOLD, HEAVY) he also tried before to make a studio pseudo western (COPLAND) that was largely uneven. Which can easily be said of his other films. They were mostly good, but something seemed off or to go off track. Even WALK THE LINE seemed kind of funky. Here he makes up for it by hitting it out of the park. Recently he has seemed to focus more on action films (KNIGHT & DAY, THE WOLVERINE)

Special mention must be made for actor Ben Foster, Hollywood's go to when it comes to deranged, psychopaths, villains or all three. He has one of the best outfits In the film that looks custom made. He shows his range all in one hilarious sequence. He is the bad ass of the film next to Russell Crowe even though considerably smaller. This was just one of the many roles where he showcases that he was a character actor in the making. He is an actor whose career I have followed ever since the Canadian teen show FLASH FORWARD, through films such as HOSTAGE, X-MEN 3, THE MECHANIC, CONTRABAND, THE MESSENGER, SIX FEET UNDER, ALPHA-DOG, GET OVER IT, THE PUNISHER, BIG TROUBLE, BANG BANG YOU'RE DEAD. Yes I am a fan and look forward to his work in the future. Definitely an actor to keep your eyes on and probably a weapon when it comes to his movie roles.

Another cast member worth noting is the magnificent sight of miss Vinessa Shaw who only has one scene, but her beauty not only leaves an impression, but a mental note. As it has been awhile since I have seen her in a film. Since the only really great underrated performance I have seen her in is TWO LOVERS and SIDE EFFECTS. Before this she is best remembered for films such as LADYBUGS, EYES WIDE SHUT and 40 DAYS & 40 NIGHTS unless you were a fan of Disney's HOCUS POCUS With Better Midler. My only complaint when it came to her was that there wasn't enough of her. There was no way to invent scenes for her further involvement or for her to be liberated and join up with his gang and be a female outlaw. That was just me thinking out loud.

Even the score of the film is impressive.

If you start watching the movie at 1:20 PM, the train will arrive at 3:10 PM real time. Exactly ten minutes pass in the movie between the clock striking 3:00 and the arrival of the train.

It's a film where so much is said in nods, glances and undertones of what is really being said. It can also be looked at as a father and son story as well as a loner learning a lesson and camaraderie along with honor. What that all means and what it stand for. --Please go out And see this one. When you can.

It has it all action packed, attention to detail. Compassionate, and funny.

Grade: A

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