3:10 to Yuma
3:10 to Yuma, the title is enough to get my attention and the stars of the film hooked me the first time I saw the trailer, Russell Crowe and Christian Bale. I had the honor and privilege of going to the local theater with a few manly men and watching this western. We all sat center theater, a space a part from each other, and took it all in. There was no disappointment here. Without giving away the story or any of the surprises, I will tell you my thoughts on this western.
Acting - superb. Crowe of course, is sick as the villain. It's amazing how likable he becomes yet he's a despicable person. Through out the whole movie I was going back in forth in my head I like him, I hate him. He finally wins me over. At the end (no spoiler here) he just makes you like him in spite of him. Christian Bale plays the good guy. Bale is becoming one of my acting fav's. He plays the convincing role of a man trying to provide for his family and get approval from his 14 year old son.
Cinematography - this is the first western I have ever seen use the roaming camera effect. Made famous by Saving Private Ryan years ago, this technique is now a staple in action films where blood splatter occasionally becomes a character on the camera lens. It worked well in this movie as it brings a relatively calm, cool and collect genre' of film to life, a different feel from the normal western.
Sets - I felt like the film was a historical documentary at times, taking you back to the wild west as no film has been able to depict before. The towns were realistic. Not too much color and just enough people on the streets of the western towns to make the town seem alive. The town set's were all characters in the film. Someone did their homework, instead of watching another western and putting together similar props and towns, they looked at historical pictures and created from there.
All in all a great movie that represents the genre' well. We all know that there is about 1 western every 5 years that has any significance. This one is significant. Go see it if the wild, wild west is intriguing to you.