Saturday, September 22, 2007

3:10 To Yuma: WOW

I went to see "3:10 to Yuma" last night with some friends. My opinion: Movie of the year. It's that damn good.

[It not just me & fancy critics that think it. The movie has been out for weeks, right? Our show was sold out! And it wasn't the only showing of this film that sold out last night.]

Details of the awesomeness below the cut.

Everyone in it is superb. Peter Fonda, Ben Foster, Russell Crowe and Christian Bale are especially stunning. ALL of them are fantastic. Of the four, Ben Foster is the biggest surprise. I vaguely remembered him from his days on "Flash Forward" with Jewel Staite. He was such an astonishingly convincing bad-ass here, it took me several scenes to even recognize him. Peter Fonda played a bounty hunter. His role wasn't as large as I expected but every minute he was on screen was gold. Russell Crowe played a bad guy that was mesmerizing. You were simultaneously repulsed and intrigued by him. And Christian Bale as "Dan Evans"....Where a lesser actor would yell and flail to convey this man's frustrations, he was contained and quiet as the put-down rancher. Paired with Crowe, WOW.

The action is excellent and very realistic. The gun fights especially were staged wonderfully. And the horse chases are filmed in a jarring hand-held style that while dizzying, puts you right there in the saddle. Also, the movie is surprisingly laced with great one-liners. There were several laugh-out-loud moments. The film is also good at setting up this world in a very elegant manner. The West is so far away for most of us culturally and historically that I think it's difficult for us to really understand how hard life was back then. With a line here, a shot of a town there, the audience is reintroduced to a world of stagecoach robberies, railroad agents and defiant Apaches. The Old West is shown as this hard, beautiful and unforgiving place.

This movie is everything an excellent Western should be. Gritty, sparse, unflinching and wonderful. Definitely a must-see. Definitely buy this on DVD. You cannot miss this movie.

No comments: