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3:10 to Yuma (2007)


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Crowe's had a busy schedule recently. Two Ridley Scott films (A Good Year and American Gangster), and now Yuma. Wasn't the original based on a story by Elmore Leonard?

Edited by Baal_T'shuvah

Formerly Baal_T'shuvah

"Everyone has the right to make an ass out of themselves. You just can't let the world judge you too much." - Maude 
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  • 8 months later...

The trailer.

This, No Country for Old Men, American Gangster... it's gonna be a violent autumn.

Watch closely. Alan "Wash" Tudyk is in this film.

Edited by Jeffrey Overstreet

P.S.  I COULD BE WRONG.

 

Takin' 'er easy for all you sinners at lookingcloser.org. Also abiding at Facebook and Twitter.

 

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This, No Country for Old Men, American Gangster... it's gonna be a violent autumn.

Yeah, but this film scares me twice as much as the others ...

because it's set in Yuma. I've BEEN to Yuma!

Edited by mrmando

Let's Carl the whole thing Orff!

Do you know the deep dark secret of the avatars?

It's big. It's fat. It's Greek.

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I'm more excited about this than anything else coming out in the fall. An awesome cast and a talented director taking on a genre that hasn't been treated well since Silverado...it's going to be friggin' sweet.

Crowe's had a busy schedule recently. Two Ridley Scott films (A Good Year and American Gangster), and now Yuma.

Like Leonardo DiCaprio in 2006, I bet Russell Crowe will receive extra Oscar consideration for giving two high profile performances in one season.

-"I... drink... your... milkshake! I drink it up!"

Daniel Plainview, There Will Be Blood

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  • 1 month later...

A couple of early reviews are up. Pretty positive on most accounts, especially as far as performances are concerned.

"3:10 to Yuma" is a tense, rugged redo of a film that was pretty good the first time around. Reinforced by a strong central premise, alert performances, a realistic view of the developing Old West and a satisfying dimensionality in its shadings of good and evil, James Mangold's remake walks a fine line in retaining many of the original's qualities while smartly shaking things up a bit

Complete review here.

Pulling into theaters a full 50 years after the arrival of the original Van Heflin-Glenn Ford classic, James Mangold's expanded take on "3:10 to Yuma" makes for a largely compelling ride on the strength of a powerful cast led by Russell Crowe and Christian Bale.

Complete review here.

Anyone here had a chance to see an advance screening?

Formerly Baal_T'shuvah

"Everyone has the right to make an ass out of themselves. You just can't let the world judge you too much." - Maude 
Harold and Maude
 

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  • 2 weeks later...

Devin Faraci from CHUD liked it...sorta.

James Mangold stages his action with complete competence, but without sizzle. This is a very middle of the road film, one that will never get your heart racing or piss you off too much. The world of cinema needs directors like Mangold, who make movies that are mostly OK, if only so we can pinpoint the people who watch these films and think they
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I saw the original last weekend, and saw the remake last night.

I admire the original a good bit.

I have strong feelings about the remake. Let's just say that David Faraci may have overestimated the film's middle-of-the-roadness.

Edited by SDG

“I write because I don’t know what I think until I read what I say.” — Flannery O'Connor

Writing at the new Decent Films | Follow me on Twitter and Facebook

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I just saw this tonight. I liked it overall (westerns have been and always will be my favorite genre); I've not seen the original, but having read Steven's review I can understand why he didn't like it.

I let out a muffled shout when Alan Tudyk showed up. I basically do that any time any "Firefly" or Serenity cast members appears on a screen.

As the credits were rolling, my girlfriend started laughing after James Mangold's name appeared on the screen. She lived in Chicago for a bit, and quickly told me a story about how Mangold was close friends with the she nannied for. "Jim" would just call and chat to whoever answered the phone; she didn't know he was a director until months later.

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Libertas:

I love the original film, but this one's better. The plotting's smarter, the character's more complicated, and the emotions richer. It takes everything that made the original special and explores it more thoroughly through added subplots and deeper characterizations. . . .

Like the original, the life-blood of the story is the relationship between Evans and Wade. In a world filled with vicious killers on one side of the law and greedy bankers on the other there is no honor. But in each other they recognize that the other has a code even if it puts them at cross purposes, and a grudging respect develops. As Wade's gang gathers and Evan's help chickens out, the tension comes from wondering which man will bend to the other. Who will give in and change codes? . . .

Don't be surprised, if like the original, the remake's climax divides audiences. It does keep faith with the original's ending, but retells it on a different level. I loved it and bought it completely.
3:10 To Yuma
is about honor. It's about living by a code. The mettle of a man isn't defined by his code as much as how faithfully he sticks to it -- especially when the going gets rough. Within this context, the climax made complete sense. Some excellent writers brought it together with finesse and heart. I still can't get it out of my head. . . .

I liked the film overall, but have to admit I agree with and/or accept some of Jeffrey Wells's criticisms, e.g.:

and sometimes way above average but that ending....
hoowee
.

Crowe blows away his pallies because he's decided to become an entirely different person in the last six minutes? And what was Crowe's horse going to do? Jump onto the train car and unlock the iron cage Crowe was in

? . . .

decide to

seduce Vinessa Shaw's barkeep character in that early, post-stagecoach robbery scene when he knows it's dangerous to hang around? Foster and the other gang members, who take off on their own, are obviously aware of the risk, but Crowe can't be bothered. It just seems like a lazy and stupid thing to do. Crowe's attitude (i.e., not his "Ben Wade" character's) seems to be, "Well, she's definitely pretty and receptive and I know I can nail her despite my stinky whisky breath. My confidence is based upon two factors -- one, I'm Russell Crowe and two, if I don't get caught there won't be any story about putting me on the 3:10 to Yuma, so it's a nice way to spend time until the lawmen get here."

A more satisfying way to go would have been

Crowe trying do her quickly, but with Shaw going cold on the idea because she's not being treated like a lady and a seduction tension starting up between them -- "It's not like you're not the most beautiful woman I've seen in these parts -- you are -- but the law's on my tail and I value my freedom" -- and while this is happening the law busts in anyway and grabs him

. This I would have been cool with.
SDG, I find almost nothing to disagree with in your own review. (Except maybe your use of the word "rape" in the last paragraph.) I have never seen the original film, and I liked certain aspects of the new film, but I did find myself wondering at certain points if the film had weakened the "codes of honour" theme a bit too much, e.g. in the scene where

Christian Bale's character turns down the bribe because he wouldn't be able to explain the sudden wealth

. Actually, the scene felt "real" enough to me, and it seemed plausible to me that

Bale would turn down the bribe

for a higher reason but would only offer the lower reason to Russell Crowe's character; but I still found myself thinking that I might have admired the character more if he had given us the impression that he just wasn't going to do the Wrong Thing for the simple reason that it was Wrong.

"Sympathy must precede belligerence. First I must understand the other, as it were, from the inside; then I can critique it from the outside. So many people skip right to the latter." -- Steven D. Greydanus
Now blogging at Patheos.com. I can also still be found at Facebook, Twitter and Flickr. See also my film journal.

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I liked the new version, though I haven't seen the original to compare the two. I see the film as an exploration of the internal codes of honor each of the two main characters, Wade and Evans. Evans's code of honor is straightforward as

trying to gain dignity in the eyes of himself and his son

. Wade's is more complicated, and to the film's credit, it allows him to be something of a mystery.

I thought the ending made sense as

we know Wade is a cold-blooded killer, so I can see why he would gun down his team, simply because he no longer had any use for them. And if Evans hadn't been killed in the shootout, I don't doubt that Wade would have finished him off himself.

As far as why Wade allowed himself to be captured after his dalliance with the pretty barmaid, I figure he wanted to be captured. Since he had escaped Yuma prison twice before, he probably figured he could do it again, and start over somewhere else.

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Okay, I have to ask: why do Wade's and Evans' motivations make a hill of beans difference? When a guy gets gut shot a point blank range and not only doesn't die but is riding a horse the next day, and when a frontier town has a veterinarian but no doctor, and when railroad crews lay grades with hillocks, the movie isn't trying to be "realistic" at all. Hence, "realistic" behavior from the characters is rather beside the point.

Edited by Greg Wright

Greg Wright

Managing Editor, Past the Popcorn

Consulting Editor, Hollywood Jesus

Leader of the Uruk-Howdy, Orcs of the West

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Libertas critic writes:

3:10 To Yuma is about honor. It's about living by a code. The mettle of a man isn't defined by his code as much as how faithfully he sticks to it -- especially when the going gets rough.

I don't buy it. I think this is something the Libertas critic brought with him to the theater.

3:10 To Yuma is not about honor or living by a code, or even sticking to it. The original movie is about that, but not the remake. In the original Evans has a speech to his wife where he says, "The town drunk gave his life because he believed that people should be able to live in decency and peace together. Do you think I can do less?" If there was anything in the remake about people being able to live in decency and peace together or not being able to do less than someone else, I don't remember it.

As I see it, the remake is about your life sucks and your son thinks you're a loser, and you want to do something to not be ashamed and have your son not be ashamed of you. But

you cannot do it, because the bad guy is just the better man, and he can kill you any time he wants, and you haven't given him any reason not to, because you didn't get to save his life in this version, so he doesn't owe you a debt of honor, and all you have to appeal to him is pity, because did I mention your life sucks and your son thinks you're a loser, and maybe he will randomly choose to have pity on you, just because he can, and did I mention he is the better man. And then, since he has decided to get on the train in order to give you your moment to look good in front of your son, and his psycho gang member shoots you, messing up the bad guy's plan to have pity on you, in his wrath he will kill all of them, because

his plan was to get on the train in order to make you look good in front of your son, and he gets to do what he wants, and they messed that up. And then he will get on the train, darn it, because he decided to, and you are dead, but for a second there you looked good in front of your son, and your son may even say something nice to you as you die, perhaps partly because you actually made him sort of proud, but also partly because you are dying and he, too, has pity on you. After all, he knows that the real reason the bad guy got on that train is that he really has some good in him -- doesn't he? -- and not because of you.

Clearly, I'm the voice in the wilderness here, to credit my crank position with a flattering metaphor. But darn it, that's the movie I saw, that's my story, and I'm sticking to it.

“I write because I don’t know what I think until I read what I say.” — Flannery O'Connor

Writing at the new Decent Films | Follow me on Twitter and Facebook

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darn it, that's the movie I saw, that's my story, and I'm sticking to it.

I saw exactly the same movie, Steven. And that's the kind of sloppy (and downright silly) character motivation normally delivered by a movie that's more concerned with, say, more screen time for Peter Fonda than with realistic plot devices. This movie is mess for a lot of reasons, yet folks are seeing the movie they want to see rather than the movie that was actually made.

As I note in my review, "I can accept that kind of silly 'action' from a bubblegum-snapping popcorn fluffer. Silverado, for instance, is a great Western with plenty of that kind of terribly convenient bad-and-good aim

Greg Wright

Managing Editor, Past the Popcorn

Consulting Editor, Hollywood Jesus

Leader of the Uruk-Howdy, Orcs of the West

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Oh my, SDG. That spoilered paragraph is just plain brutal. I approve.

"Sympathy must precede belligerence. First I must understand the other, as it were, from the inside; then I can critique it from the outside. So many people skip right to the latter." -- Steven D. Greydanus
Now blogging at Patheos.com. I can also still be found at Facebook, Twitter and Flickr. See also my film journal.

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I saw exactly the same movie, Steven.

Greg, nice to be out in the wilderness with ya. :)

Oh my, SDG. That spoilered paragraph is just plain brutal. I approve.

Thanks, Peter.

FWIW, the word "raped" in my last graf came to me during the final moments of the film, and characterized my initial reaction to the film with sufficient aptness that I felt it belonged in the review (although I pointed it out to my editor at the Register figuring he would want to change it for publication [he did]).

It's too bad you can't put things like my spoilered graf above in reviews...

“I write because I don’t know what I think until I read what I say.” — Flannery O'Connor

Writing at the new Decent Films | Follow me on Twitter and Facebook

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So, Greg found problems from without while Steven found problems from within. Still, I liked it. Next to Anthony Hopkins, there is no actor I'd rather watch than Christian Bale. His strong performance here suggests hidden reserves of strength that contasts his characters's physical handicap. There is also an ambiguity to Dan Evans's motives that I think works in the film's favor. (Hint: there is a point where it's no longer merely about money or impressing his boy.)

It's also rewarding to examine the film from Ben Wade's perspective. Specifically, how he begins as Dan's enemy and ends as his teammate. Yes, he's in control the entire time (it's only a game to him), but as the final scenes show, his fascination with Dan goes beyond pity. The film is flawed, but reviewers who deny that there is a moral issue here aren't giving it enough credit.

Mangold's direction also has its virtues. At first, the relentless use of close-ups made it impossible to get a good look at anything, but it soon became clear that Mangold was simply paying tribute to the architecture of the human face. He denies landscape in favor of character and in doing so avoids showiness.

"A great film is one that to some degree frees the viewer from this passive stupor and engages him or her in a creative process of viewing. The dynamic must be two-way. The great film not only comes at the viewer, it draws the viewer toward it." -Paul Schrader

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The film is flawed, but reviewers who deny that there is a moral issue here aren't giving it enough credit.

Well, as I note in my review, the film works well enough on that level. But do we give films extra credit just because they tackle moral issues? Sure, kudos to Mangold for not being morally shallow (if a bit confused, as SDG's spoiler paragraph demonstrates). But he doesn't have to be sloppy in his technique along the way.

And another thing, as a general observation... This is NOT a "classic" or even "great" Western (as so many reviewers are claiming) precisely because the story could have been told as a 20's gangster picture or a 70's cop feature. There's nothing about this story, or how it's told, that really calls for the setting. That can't be said about any of the truly great Westerns, which are very much about the time and place -- in addition to being mythic in scope.

Greg Wright

Managing Editor, Past the Popcorn

Consulting Editor, Hollywood Jesus

Leader of the Uruk-Howdy, Orcs of the West

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  • 2 weeks later...

Basically, I enjoyed the film, but it required film appreciation on the level of component parts of the film rather than the whole (characters and plot points)... There were numerous gaps in the story.

For example, when Wade's boys stop the coach to rescue him, they discover the 'decoy prisoner' inside and set it on fire -- but what team of horses stands still while the coach to which they are attached is blazing? And, seriously, who would take a ride in that coach as part of a deliberate effort to attract Wade's gang? And seriously, who would DRIVE the coach -- without armed escort? Did the guy really expect to live out the day?

And why does Wade repeatedly try to escape (such as when he tries to get the Chinese woman to cut off his handcuffs), yet he doesn't escape when he's handed a gun during the firefight with Apaches, or during other similar times?

And the whole town seems willing to fire at will at Wade and Evans while they run to catch the train -- but no-one takes a shot when Wade sticks his head out of the hotel window? No-one??

Wade can kill a guard for singing, another for insulting his mother - but he is not summarily executed by one of them? And if Peter Fonda's character is so bad that he killed 3-year old Apaches in his lifetime, what stopped him from killing Wade?

There were enough of these (mostly minor) non-sequiters that I decided fairly early on to overlook them, to just go with the story. That strategy worked for some of the plotholes, but it didn't account for the moral incoherance of the story. It's possible, of course, that Wade is simply insane and consistent behaviors could not be logically expected, but that doesn't seem likely. Instead, we are presented with a protagonist who is bright and Biblically-literate, who passes judgment on his men (and himself), yet kills his friends and enemies with equal cool. And we are to believe that he

willingly co-operates with the charade of getting on the 3:10 -- at great personal risk -- because he's not planning to stay on it

?

So accepting it as a film that wore plot holes on its sleeve, it was all right. I appreciated some of the characters within the film (esp. Evans); but I have to agree with those who say that it was not great, by a wide margin.

Edited by Tim Willson

"Could we ever know each other in the slightest without the arts?"

« Nous connaîtrions-nous seulement un peu nous-mêmes, sans les arts? »

Quoted on Canada's $20 bill; from Gabrielle Roy's novel La montagne secrète. The English translation, The Hidden Mountain, is by Harry L. Binsse.

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I really liked the film in spite of plot holes. I wouldn't put it on a list of greatest films of all time or anything, but I found it enjoyable. I'd probably even watch it again. I thought the filming and cinematography was great -- a lot of beautiful shots that made the film fun to look at.

I don't see Ben Wade as being inconsistent with himself. I see him as being a guy who doesn't really care whether he lives or dies

and therefore is willing to "risk" his life to get on the train. In the end, he isn't overly interested in spending time in prison, so we see his intent to escape.

I thought the film was excellent from a moral standpoint. There was a lot I'd love to explore in a group. One of my favorite lines was "immorality ain't got nothin' to do with it." I think that was the question of the film -- what role does morality play when you are dealing with those who are immoral. Interesting thoughts to explore.

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  • 1 month later...

There are things in this story that had me laughing out loud at their implausibility.

But nevertheless, I think I have just seen Christian Bale's finest performance. Seriously.

Sure, he's had more challenging roles... but for me, Bale's performances have always been slightly hindered by his intense drive.

Since EotS, I have always had the sense that he's trying to prove himself, as if he was haunted by all the attention he got as a boy, and felt compelled to show that he has what it takes to play men. Having proven many times over that he'll go the distance, starve himself, or whatever... it seems Bale is finally starting to find what's been missing all these years: soul. He's relaxing into his character, instead of leaning forward.

And this character, while he has all of the hard edges of Bale's other characters, shows a softness, a warmth of heart that means he's had some experience being a loving husband and a good father. And this one has a warmer sense of humor too.

I was moved by Bale's performance, and I felt a strange sort of relief... a sense that, yeah, Bale is still growing as an actor, and that his best work is still ahead of him, if people will write him great characters.

I've been rooting for Bale. I've been a fan ever since Empire of the Sun, and I've hoped he would find a way to fill out that missing piece. (In fact, it's a piece that seems to be hard for even Daniel Day-Lewis to find... that piece that allows them to play warm-hearted, good guys.)

Anyway, that is what made 3:10 to Yuma satisfying for me... watching a great actor take another step forward. In spite of that ludicrous run through an endless barrage of bullets in the last ten minutes, I was enthralled by this cast.

Three more cheers for the excellent work by Russell Crowe and Alan Tudyk and Ben Foster.

Crowe: Just a joy to watch here.

Tudyk: What the heck?! Why does this great actor keep getting cast in roles

that end up having him say something funny right before he is shockingly killed off!! Tudyk should NOT play expendable characters, people!! What's wrong with you?!

Foster: Well, this was a heckuva lot more interesting than his turn as Angel in X-Men 3!!

Edited by Jeffrey Overstreet

P.S.  I COULD BE WRONG.

 

Takin' 'er easy for all you sinners at lookingcloser.org. Also abiding at Facebook and Twitter.

 

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SDG, I just read your spoilerish paragraph and had to laugh. You basically gunned down the movie in six quick blasts, just like... oh, well, never mind.

Edited by Jeffrey Overstreet

P.S.  I COULD BE WRONG.

 

Takin' 'er easy for all you sinners at lookingcloser.org. Also abiding at Facebook and Twitter.

 

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Foster: Well, this was a heckuva lot more interesting than his turn as Angel in X-Men 3!!

Ben Foster is quickly becoming my new favorite "Hey, isn't that ....?" actor. He was completely wasted in X-Men 3 (I'm just gonna go ahead and blame Rattner.) But I can't think of any other film I've recognized him in that he wasn't at least interesting. He's great in an over the top kind of way in Alpha Dog, 30 Days of Night, and as a guest on My Name is Earl.

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