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Movie Review: 3:10 to Yuma

Alternate Title: High Noon Meets Gunfight at the OK Corral

Story: Run, drive or take the A train to see the engrossing, entertaining and terrific film, 3:10 to Yuma. I don't know what I was waiting for but I am glad that I conquered my distaste for westerns and went to see this movie. This is not your 1950's version of what the old west was like. The good guys and the bad guys are not as black and white as they used to be. There are many shades of pale here.

This is a remake of the 1957 version starring Glenn Ford and Van Heflin and is based on the Elmore Leonard short story. Director James Mangold (Walk the Line) updated the look, the pace and dialogue for current mature audiences (written by Halsted Welles, Michael Brandt and Derek Haas).

The story revolves around getting outlaw Ben Wade onto the 3:10 to Yuma to get him tried, convicted and hung for his many crimes. The rode to Contention (love the name of the town) is quite a bumpy ride. Down on his luck rancher Dan Evans needs the $200 payment to get this family off of the road to homelessness so he takes the thankless job of escorting Wade to the train.

The character development, the moral dilemmas, the wit, the charm and the action kept me riveted throughout. The story is simple, the characters are not. I cared about every single one of them.

Saddle up and git to the theater for this fine film.

Acting: When Russell Crowe (Ben Wade) is in a good movie he is phenomenal. He obviously loved this part and his nuanced performance is wonderful. Kudos to Christian Bale (Dan Evans) who holds his own against the mighty talent of Crowe. Ben Foster (Charlie Prince) is terrific as the psycho member of Wade's gang. He is one scary dude. Peter Fonda, Gretchen Mol, Dallas Roberts, Alan Tudyk, Vinessa Shaw, and Logan Lerman were also great. .

Predilection: None

Critters: A hawk, cattle and horses.

Food: Campfire goodies.

Sex Spectrum: A short and powerful seduction scene with Russell Crowe, but no sex seen.

Soundtrack: A fine accompanying score.

Opening Titles: Simple black background with only the name of the movie.

Visual Art: The landscape of new Mexico needs no sprucing up. One beautiful are indeed.

Theater Audience: About 50 satisfied folks.

Weather: The weather was nice on the road to the train.

Sappy Factor: 0

Quirky Meter: 0

Squirm Scale: There is a scene where a bullet is removed but if you have seen CSI it will not make you squirm.

Drift Factor: I did not drift for a second.

Predictability Level: High

Tissue Usage: 0

Oscar Worthy: Yes

Big Screen or Rental: The big screen for sure. Here are some of my favorite westerns for you to rent: High Noon, The Magnificent Seven, Butch Cassidy and the Sundance Kid, The Good, the Bad, and the Ugly, Little Big Man, Dances with Wolves, Silverado, The Misfits, McCabe and Mrs. Miller, Bad Day at Black Rock

Length: Two hours