Thursday, January 10, 2008

3:10 to Yuma - 4 stars

I haven't seen the original film this movie was based on, so I can't really compare the two. This review will only talk about the current 2007 version with Russell Crowe and Christian Bale.

If I didn't see the last 10 minutes of this film, I would declare this the best Western since "Unforgiven" and the best movie of 2007. Now, unfortunately, I did see the last ten minutes and it's so far out there...I was left speechless and in awe. To tell you about the ending would ruin the movie for you and that's not what I want to do. I do want you to see the movie and when the two main characters leave the hotel and make a dash for the train...leave! Trust me, leave.

What happens next is so absurd and asinine, you won't believe its the same movie. I had the same feeling when I saw Good Will Hunting but we won't get into that. I'll write a review of that movie if enough of you folks bug me, but let me say this...James Mangold did a hell of a job directing 90% of "3:10 to Yuma". If you don't remember him, he also directed "Walk the Line", "Heavy", "Cop Land with Sly Stallone" and "Identity".

"Identity" was another film where the ending comes out of left field and kicks you in the nuts.

Another thing about James Mangold...he surprises you with his work on this film. Based on his resume, I was taken back by what he did here. The handling of the two leads, and a scene stealing turn by Ben Foster as Russell Crowe's second in command bought a richness to the film that's not seldom seen in Westerns. The look and feel of the film was brilliant...award winning stuff. The acting was superb, picture looked great and I believed...if only for all of 10 minutes but I believed. 4 out of 5 stars.

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