Sunday, November 30, 2008

3:10 to Yuma

Fifty years after the original, this remake of the western classic 3:10 to Yuma hit theaters. Christian Bale plays a humble rancher by the name of Dan Evans struggling to get by as his land is likely to be taken from him to make way for the railroad. While out rounding up his scattered herd Dan and his sons stumble upon a stage coach robbery perpetrated by Ben Wade, an outlaw with a ruthless reputation, and his gang. Wade manages to get captured in the next town and a posse is put together to bring him to the not-so-nearby train station to be put on the... have you guessed it?... 3:10 to Yuma ("Yuma" being a wild west prison of some sort). Dan offers to partake in this posse in exchange for the money he needs to keep his farm, and the adventure continues as Wade's gang come after them to free their fearless leader.

Original Release: 2007
Running Time: 122 minutes
Death - $1
Don't get me wrong here... there is a good amount of death. But, there's also a lot of movie time without death. They dedicate the time necessary to have a good story with great acting, but the body count suffers a bit because of that. If I were to give quarter-level ratings here Yuma would easily earn closer to two bucks than the one it is getting but I just can't get myself to round up and give them a full score.

Acting - $2
Bale and Crowe deliver as you would expect here and that is definitely worth high marks. The ace in the hole, however, is Ben Foster. Playing the second in command of Wade's gang - and therefore the one leading the rescue efforts - Foster pulls off the hardcore killer cowboy with a special psycho style that steals the movie.

Repeat Play - $1
I don't watch a lot of westerns (and I think this is one of only two that I own) because they are generally either way too campy or try to take themselves a too seriously even though they are hyper-Hollywooded ("Hollywoodized"?). Yuma is a pretty good cowboy flick though and one that I can watch multiple times whether I give it undivided attention or throw it in while ironing or taking a nap.

Shock Value - $1
There's a little bit of a somewhat unexpected bit at the end but I have to say that I sort of saw it coming. I won't say more so as not to ruin anything... so I guess that's that. Moving on...

Action and Ass-Kickery - $2
Much like the "Death" category above, there was a decent amount of action but not an abundance. I think there was enough action here though - if only for the heist and the final shootout - to earn a couple bucks. Maybe I am making up for the average rating up top, but what the hell... this is my freakin blog so I will do what I want when I want.
Total Rating: $7

Not having seen the original, I can't really say how this remake compares in terms of story or all-around quality. But the second go for this film is definitely worth the watch in my eyes. Also, I just had a thought. Like I said before, I think I only own two "westerns" and they both have Russel Crowe as one of the main characters. Does that seem odd to anyone else? I think I might have to go buy Young Guns to put an end to this little statistic. While I'm doing that, feel free to leave a comment!

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