Tuesday, February 5, 2008

3:10 to Yuma

MUST-SEE: (James Mangold) There is not anything negative to say about this film. It is nothing short of incredible. Keeping you on the edge of your seat, 3:10 to Yuma showcases brilliant acting, illustrates flawless story telling and shows off cinematography set upon the dry and red backdrop of the wild west that dares you to overlook it. In 3:10 to Yuma, the infmaous Ben Wade (played by Russell Crowe) is captured and dragged from city to city along the way to Yuma, where he will board the 3:10 train to prison, granting his captor (played by a lisp-free Christian Bale) the $200 reward he needs to keep his family alive on a dried out homefront. Traditional emotions of despair and hard times appear in this seemingly common good guy-bad guy story, but 3:10 adds deep motifs of respect and regret, blurring the lines right down to the end, capturing your heart and your mind between gunshots. Crowe and Bale find perfect chemistry as a hate-respect relationship blossoms across the desert, prodded with Indians, outlaws and stereotypical tumbleweeds. Director Mangold meshes surafce elements with raw emotion so well that the film ends up a successful portrait of merciless Western life as educational entertainment. Whether the story takes a turn to be sad or happy, whether the good guy or the bad guy wins, the end of the line in 3:10 is that the different walks of life are what make living interesting. He teaches us that lessons learned don't just come from the good guys, and that respect isn't just for a job well done. 3:10 is about conditioned lives, love lost, and old wounds revisited. Don't be deterred by the violence in this film. It never distracts from the overarching emotional pull throughout, and simply serves as a prop to convince audiences of the Western landscape. As a bonus, look forward to incredible performances beyond our co-stars. Ben Foster, again proving he can play the creepiest villians known on screen. He is phenomenal. Bravo.

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