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Customer Review

34 of 43 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Good and Evil, September 8, 2007
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This review is from: 3:10 to Yuma [Theatrical Release] (Theatrical Release)
The Western film: a truly American invention and in this new millennium a rare commodity. "Unforgiven" comes to mind and that was 10 years or so ago. There are others, of course but they are few and far between. There are Westerns that glamorize the Old West: "She Wore a Yellow Ribbon" and those that don't: "The Man Who Shot Liberty Valance."
"3:10 to Yuma" is somewhere in between the two mentioned above and it is about the eternal struggle between good and evil, between the have and the have nots, between those that would uphold the family and those that would demolish it and those who would preserve the peace and those that would let chaos rule.
James Mangold ("I Walked the Line") has chosen to remake, revise, re-invent the 1957 Glenn Ford starring "3:10 to Yuma" with a sterling cast of Russell Crowe (as outlaw, train robber, Ben Wade), Christian Bale (erstwhile Batman as Dan Evans: everyman, ranch owner-going broke) whose life is turned upside down when he accidentally comes in contact with Wade while Wade is in the process of robbing a Pinkerton protected stage of all of it's loot.
Crowe dominates the screen as Wade. His Wade is mercurial, slimy, sexy, brutal...seemingly willing to do anything for the thrill of stealing and killing. Crowe plays Wade quietly even sympathetically but always in control even when he physically isn't. Crowe dominates, both physically and cosmically, every scene that he is in: he sucks the oxygen out of a room upon entering and, in the one sex scene of the film, his "prey" has no choice, nor does she struggle by the way, but to comply with his wishes. In fact, she wants it as much as he does.
Bale's Evans is downtrodden, desperate as well as desperately poor. He is days away from losing his farm and more importantly losing the respect of his family: the more important of the two in the world of "3:10." For in this world you are nothing without family and property and less than nothing if you lose it.
On many levels Wade and Evans connect: they look at each other and their expressive eyes tell us something akin to "there but for the grace of God go I." But way down deep inside each man, inside their cores, they are brothers who have merely taken different roads.
There is lots of violence, murder and even a little sex in "3:10" and perhaps it is even a bit long by 20 minutes but ultimately Mangold pulls all the various pieces together into a cohesive whole. But the real magic of this film comes from the premiere acting jobs of Russell Crowe, Christian Bale and a terrific Ben Foster ("6 Feet Under") as Charles Prince: a grotesque killing machine, more "Mad Max" than Jesse James who, against all odds plots to save Wade from destruction.
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Showing 1-10 of 14 posts in this discussion
Initial post: Sep 9, 2007 5:56:45 PM PDT
Last edited by the author on Sep 9, 2007 6:00:58 PM PDT
This is one of the best reviews I've ever read by you. Your style flows so well and the comparisons and background seem professional in content and presentation. You've even discovered alliteration it seems, or at least this effort makes any other reviews with the devise pale in comparison. After 'Chalk,' this is the movie on my "must see" list. Again, great review! JP

Also, noting your list, I hope you've seen 'The Proposition' from last year. They nearly reinvent the Western wheel there. I also liked 'Seraphim Falls' and 'Disappearances,' but the latter two may not be your cup of tea--er--whiskey. 'The Propostion' definitely, and it features a fine performance by Guy Pearce. Cheers!

In reply to an earlier post on Sep 9, 2007 6:25:39 PM PDT
yes, i have seen the proposition but it is really an "australian" isn't it?
peace,
m.
one of my best reviews? thanks, jp but i can;t judge, really.

Posted on Sep 11, 2007 5:40:06 AM PDT
Last edited by the author on Sep 11, 2007 5:41:11 AM PDT
Great review! I can't wait to see this film...as a long standing Crowe fan (GOD) I am just thrilled with all the positive reviews he's been getting for this. With this film and the upcoming 'American Gangster' I'll be in Crowe heaven this year. I'm just praying he gets his fourth Oscar nomination come awards season!

And JP is right, 'The Proposition' is my favorite film of last year...brilliant...but like you said, it is truly Australian! Out of curiousity...which film is better? The Proposition or 3:10?

In reply to an earlier post on Sep 20, 2007 6:26:12 PM PDT
Last edited by the author on Sep 20, 2007 6:27:01 PM PDT
I should let Michael reply, but, now that I've seen '3:10...' I think '3:10...' is better. Respectfully, JP Oh, yes, like I said in my review of 'The Proposition,' '...really an Eastern...". LOL ;>)

In reply to an earlier post on Sep 20, 2007 8:44:02 PM PDT
hey jp:
i'd call it a draw actually.
how goes it?
peace,
michael

In reply to an earlier post on Sep 23, 2007 11:28:07 AM PDT
Last edited by the author on Sep 23, 2007 11:28:57 AM PDT
Calling it a draw! Speaking of Westerns. Good one. Now that I've written my fairly straightforward review, I return to yours and am even more impressed. How you analyze the situations shows depth--you also bring up things many of us take for granted.

I am well. Thanks for asking. I was sad to see the summer sun leave, but the cool, rainy days remind me of how refreshing fall can be. I'm pining to see many more movies. Maybe you've noticed, but I'm not reviewing every movie I see. I feel like I'm behind, but this is supposed to be fun, afterall. I should just let all the assignments go and enjoy the renewal, like the autumn winds that are blowing away the smog of city from the forest fires. I'll start fresh, just like the season.

Wishing you all the best...

JP.

I'll bet 'Eastern Promises' is next. ;>)

In reply to an earlier post on Sep 23, 2007 7:45:38 PM PDT
i have seen eastern promises but i'm trying to get my arms around it so that i can write a review....or maybe i won't. you'e right this should be fun, huh?
peace,
michael

Posted on Sep 24, 2007 7:31:33 PM PDT
Kona says:
What a great review. I can't wait to see it.

In reply to an earlier post on Sep 25, 2007 4:55:53 PM PDT
miss kona!
how are you doing? big brother 8 has come and gone but what did you think of the evil one winning?
peace,
michael

In reply to an earlier post on Sep 27, 2007 8:18:25 PM PDT
Last edited by the author on Sep 27, 2007 8:19:50 PM PDT
Yup! I can't wait to see your review of 'Eastern Promises' if you choose to do one. Now that 'Chalk' is out on DVD, you have a chance to see that. I'm curious to know what you're take on that is on that one. JP
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