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*** Official (2007) 3:10 TO YUMA Review Thread

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#1 of 12 OFFLINE   Haggai



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Posted August 02 2007 - 02:21 AM

Chuck and I saw this last night at a preview screening. I've also seen the original 1957 version. I thought this new version was quite good, although not a great movie like the original, which was elevated by its brilliant direction and cinematography. The basic storyline hasn't changed much, for the most part, although there are some extra stops along the journey in this new one. Christian Bale is solid as Dan Evans, though I prefer Van Heflin in the original. On the other hand, as much as I always like Glenn Ford, especially in the unusual (for him) role of the villain in the original, Russell Crowe really steals the show this time around. He's terrifically charismatic and wicked as Ben Wade, lowering his enemies' defenses with witty small talk while waiting for his chance to bump them off. Crowe also does a great job of showing the strange blend of scorn and admiration that Wade develops for Evans along their journey. Among the supporting cast, Ben Foster plays the second in command of Wade's gang, and he does an OK job, though I'll take Richard Jaeckel any day of the week for a role like that. In this new one, Peter Fonda plays a Pinkerton detective that I don't think directly corresponds with any role in the '57 movie (though maybe I'm just not remembering it right). In any event, his scenes are excellent, especially the vicious interplay between his character and Wade. Overall, I think people looking for a good Western will enjoy this one, even though it doesn't quite measure up to the original. Russell Crowe fans will definitely enjoy his take on a ruthless outlaw who nevertheless sticks to a sort of "warrior code," albeit not one that extends very far beyond saving his own neck. He hasn't had a role quite like this since he became a leading man in Hollywood, and it's a great showcase for his versatility. If anyone wants a comparison of the endings of the two movie versions, I can provide that, with spoilers marked separately for each version.

#2 of 12 OFFLINE   Chuck Mayer

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Posted August 02 2007 - 03:47 AM

Through a bit of good luck, I managed to see two films I listed in my first post yesterday, one right after the other Posted Image I'll leave Sunshine to it's own thread, and discuss the movie at hand here.

I have NOT seen the original, nor am I well-versed in that most American of genres. What's odd is how much I deeply like the westerns I've seen compared with how little of the genre I've actually explored. But again, the time constraints of parenthood and the bounty of Netflix are allowing me to alleviate some of that in the months/years to come (I've got Hitchcock to watch as well, you know Posted Image ). The original will be a film I put near the top of that list.

I enjoyed Mangold's version, and I came with a different touchpoint that Haggai's. One of my favorite guilty pleasures is a Sam Raimi western called The Quick and the Dead. Made in the few years where Sharon Stone could get lead (and only above title) billing, and showcasing her abysmal acting, the film still surrounded her with a who's who of awesome actors. Lance Henrikson, Keith David, Gene Hackman (riffing on Little Bill quite beautifully), a clearly very talented DiCaprio, and a relative unknown Russell Crowe. Crowe played a remarkably deadly reformed badass in Raimi's film, and his few minutes made a very strong impression - his Ken Wade is a flip side to Cort, his character in QATD. But Crowe has become a major leading man, and he's playing off of Bale this time, not Sharon Stone.

I thought 3:10 to Yuma was a very solid piece of entertainment. It's well-made, but principally relies on the two leads, who acquit themselves well. Bale gives a variation on his intense roles of late, but I think he provides an excellent counterpoint to Crowe. Crowe is exceptional as always. When the film moves away from those two (which isn't too often), it does tend to meander a bit. But not for long. Over the course, we are party to a few small discussions regarding the merit of character and integrity, and they well serve the film as a whole. In my greed, I wish there had been a few more (or that they were taken farther). But the interplay is what makes the film works. The action scenes are decent, and the feel of the film is quite right. Without seeing the original, I can confidently say much of the humor is "modern", as are some of the conventions. Some of it seems a little out of place, but nothing too brazen.

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#3 of 12 OFFLINE   Robert Crawford

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Posted August 02 2007 - 08:40 AM

This thread is now the Official Review Thread for "3:10 to Yuma". Please post all HTF member reviews in this thread.

Any other comments, links to other reviews, or discussion items will be deleted from this thread without warning!

If you need to discuss those type of issues then I have designated an Official Discussion Thread.




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#4 of 12 OFFLINE   Robert Crawford

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Posted September 07 2007 - 09:12 AM

Okay, I'm a big fan of the original film and have watched it many times with yesterday being the latest time. In comparison to that film, this newer version is a good western, but the original is shorter and more concise with a lot less violence and more uplifting to me. I do perfer the Van Heflin performance in comparison to Bale. However, I think the performances of Ford versus Crowe were equal in their effectiveness. This version allowed more background information about Ben Wade and gives you more of an opportunity as to how the character of Wade came to admire and like Dan Evans. In regard to the Charlie Prince character, I thought both, Foster and Jaeckel played their version of that character very well. Of course, Jaeckel has always been one of my favorite character actors and thought the humor he brought to that role more satisfying. Though, the premise of the story stays the same there are some major changes in this latest version with only about 20% of the original dialogue kept in this film. Crawdaddy



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#5 of 12 OFFLINE   Pete York

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Posted September 07 2007 - 11:57 AM

3:10 to Yuma (2007) Dir: James Mangold

I'll keep it simple: If this heralds the return of the Western, then sign me up. Very much a traditional Western, despite the amped up action. Some surprising light moments (got a number of laughs in the theater). Crowe is awesome, Bale and Fonda are terrific. Foster is just vile, he's great. Gretchen Mol is marginalized unfortunately. In comparison, I may slightly prefer the economy of the original, but this is a very fine film on its own.

Posted Image Posted Image Posted Image out of 4

#6 of 12 OFFLINE   Phil Florian

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Posted September 08 2007 - 02:50 AM

I really have started to appreciate Westerns and have caught more and more on TCM, AMC and even some in HD on Dish. I am catching up with some classics that I hadn't seen like Winchester '73, Stagecoach and the Searchers (badass, all of them) and some I had never heard of but they are also cool like Vera Cruz and Ride the High Country. I hadn't seen the original 3:10 to Yuma, though now I am intrigued because of the differences. Evidently the original is almost a one-room drama of tension and verbal interplay. The new one has this as well but it is more about the journey to get to this one room. It is a great journey, though and one with some wonderful dialogue, action sequences and cool music and unobtrusive yet evocative cinematography. This is great stuff and a fine return to the Western movie form, a genre that is always thought to be dead but always revived in one way or another every so often with a movie like this. I don't think it is a dead genre, just one that can't sustain large numbers of viewers like your typical police procedure, torture-porn or gross-out comedy. Still, if there were more like 3:10..., with great characters, solid acting and wonderful reflections on heroism, fatherhood, inevitability of progress, the power of money, the power of myth, and so on, then I think the genre will be just fine. I don't think the movie answers many questions but does present a bunch to think about. I would gladly see one new Western a year if they kept up this quality. I recommend this to fans of action, Westerns, and interesting takes on characters. Check it out.

#7 of 12 OFFLINE   Patrick Sun

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Posted September 08 2007 - 12:55 PM

I enjoyed this remake, mainly on the strength of the 2 lead performances by Russell Crowe and Christian Bale, and a screenplay that allowed actions to define the characters, and not just dialogue. I also liked Logan Lerman's performance as William, and Ben Foster steals every scene he's in, but I was actively rooting for him to get his comeuppance, so I guess his performance as Prince got under my skin as written in the script. Director Mangold makes most of the right choices, though the film itself could have been trimmed up a little bit, but overall a satisfying western, a genre sorely in need of some solidly crafted and acted films to remind us that there's life in the genre. I give it 3 stars, or a grade of B.
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#8 of 12 OFFLINE   Josh.C


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Posted September 10 2007 - 03:03 AM

Another positive review on the way.....

I agree that this was a very solid film. Bale and Crowe had great chemistry and were very believable in their roles as Evans and Wade. I continue to be amazed by Russell Crowe. This guy is the perfect example of someone who seems to be a jerk by all accounts in the media (although I've never met the man personally to judge), but can make you love him on the big screen. I can't think of a role the guy can't do. He has perfect timing. If there were a fantasy actor draft (forgive me, it's the first week of football Posted Image), Crowe would be gone by no later than number 3, and possibly the number 1 pick.

Bale wasn't far behind him. I too need to see the original, but without having it to build expection into my viewing experience, I really thought he played the Evans character to perfection.

There were other very good performances, but you need not look past the 2 leads to make the movie.

I thought a few of the scenes were a little choppy and jumped to the next scene before it had a chance to mature. I forgave most of it due to the power of the final sequence. I'd love to see an additional 15 or 20 minutes on an Extended DVD.

I wish Hollywood would produce more quality Westerns. I cherish John Waye's classics like: Rio Bravo, The Sons of Katy Elder, and Big Jake, and they had nowhere near the ability to make a Western like we do today. Clint Eastwood's early films are another great example. There is something about that good guy vs. bad guy stuff they put in Westerns that pull us in. Not to mention that the "good guy" usually ain't all that good, and has a rough past that follows him.

I love the genre, and as shown with Yuma, there is still an audience for Westerns. You could just about make 2 a year on remakes alone!

Glad I went to see this. 8.5 of 10 & maybe a 9 of 10 if I get a second viewing in.

#9 of 12 OFFLINE   Brett_M



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Posted September 16 2007 - 08:04 AM

I caught this a moderately full matinee yesterday. I watched the original today. I enjoyed the two leads in the remake and that's about it. The characterizations were good -- as I said, Bale and Crowe are excellent in their roles and I enjoyed their performances. After watching the original, I see the main problem with this remake. Making William a bigger part of the story was a mistake. We know Dan is destitute, a simple rancher who doesn't want to get into any more trouble than he can deal with. He has a family and doesn't want them hurt. maybe he's even a little weak. He sees a chance to change his situation and perhaps become a man his family could remember fondly as a hero. We don't need the son joining the posse. I hated the kid. His transformation was useless for me. I wanted to see Bale's redemption only. As I see it, there are two archetypes leads: you either have a lead that undergoes a life-change through his arc (type 1) or the lead is steadfast and makes those around him have life-changing arcs (type 2). Crowe is type 1. Bale is both and it doesn't work. We don't need the son. It serves nothing. Also, Gretchen Mol was completely under-used. He counterpart in the original played a larger role and led to a much better conclusion than the remake. Lastly, I'm tired of films that try to build empathy with a villain by making those around him treat him in such a way as to make us in the audience hate them more than the villain. When he strikes out violently against them, we are supposed to enjoy it. He's a villain -- I hate him. I don't want to empathize with him. Let him be a coiled snake throughout. Crowe for the most part did this, being both charismatic and evil at the same time. The rest (the added portions) are window dressing, and frankly, I expected more from Mangold. The real sticking point for me was the action. The shootouts were dull and not well choreographed. I was left wanting more. Recent westerns like Unforgiven and Open Range were mainly character pieces with exciting climactic shootouts. These films are excellent examples of how to build suspense to a fever pitch, unleashing it with style and excitement onscreen. Again, another missed opportunity on this end for me. A perfect set-up wasted. Perhaps filmed differently, it would have played better. The leads in both of those films fit the archetypes I described above and those films avoided the pitfalls that this remake did not. Overall, I'm left thinking "what could have been?" I don't mind remakes in general, provided they bring something to the table. The new bits in 3:10 to Yuma did not work for me. The film is utterly forgettable and that's a shame. I would recommend it for Bale and Crowe fans only. **/*****
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#10 of 12 OFFLINE   SteveGon


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Posted January 10 2008 - 11:18 AM

Wow. Just...wow. Unnecessary remakes aren't necessarily bad - they can be entertaining. But this one? A solid beginning but then it careens sloppily towards a howlingly bad ending. I mean, I'm just fucking dumbfounded.
Are we really supposed to believe it when Crowe's psychopathic character has a moral epiphany, guns down his own (evil but loyal) men and then surrenders himself? Talk about your audience-pleasing bullshit.

#11 of 12 OFFLINE   JohnRice


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Posted January 13 2008 - 07:23 AM

Once again, I agree with Steve, to a point. This time, unlike Sunshine, the latter parts didn't kill the movie, probably because the problematic portion was (comparatively) small, and I had become engrossed enough to almost let them pass. What I can accept is...
Wade letting himself go to prison, since he makes it clear he believes he can escape.

What absolutely doesn't float is...
killing all his men. This isn't a Bond movie.

This was a mild disappointment, but will probably prompt me to see the original.

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#12 of 12 OFFLINE   Marianne


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Posted January 14 2008 - 02:01 AM

My take on the ending is that Wade had respect for Evans and wanted the boy to believe that his father got Wade on the train. He killed his men because they would have killed the boy, and because he wanted a clean start. He might still have gone on being a "bad man" but he didn't want the old gang around. It is obvious that he was going to escape from the train and go his own way (to Mexico?).

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