Thursday, February 21, 2008

DVD REVIEW : Missing the "3:10 to Yuma"

I guess, for me, the western never really left. I got into film as Eastwood's phenomenal "Unforgiven" hit theaters - I watched "Wild Wild West" as a kid - hell, I've seen "Silverado" about a dozen times! I grew up watching contemporary westerns, then in college, I discovered John Ford and John Wayne. Then some Anthony Mann and the amazing Sergio Leone.

So when the marketing team behind "3:10 to Yuma" decided to proclaim that the western had finally returned... I did not feel the need to trumpet it. And after watching the film, I am glad I didn't.

The film is definitely sloppy - with some bland direction and an annoying amount of ADR work (I hate that fake empty voice that should be echoing throughout the lands!!). There is some truly flat moments (Doc's death) and some ridiculous casting (LUKE - FREAKING - WILSON IN A CAMEO?!?!?) and some really failed editing throughout the film (Bale gets zero, and I mean absolutely ZERO, love from the editor - in every scene with Crowe, it is obvious Bale is only cut in to remind you someone is with Crowe!).

The ending that the critics yelled about is not really good - in fact, it is the final moments that really sell the film out.

But I did have a little fun - the opening titles got me excited for the film. I loved the initial cut to Crowe and a bunch of his little moments (talking with Gretchen Mol, Bale's wife).

I did particularly like a line from the "boss" obsessed Ben Foster - "I hate posse's." After killing a group of men who wanted Wade (Crowe's character). Foster is feminized throughout the film and the line doubled as a declaration of his sexual oddness. That was fun.

Frankly though, I did not see much to enjoy here. Bale struggled and was given nothing in the editing room - Crowe never balances good and evil (though he comes close in telling the story of his mother leaving him) - characters die off and it means nothing (Fonda)... overall, just sloppy and disappointing.

I need to watch "Unforgiven" again.

"3:10 to Yuma" : C+


1 comment:

Sheriff officer Greg the Bunny said...

"Unforgiven" in all of its HD-DVD glory is sitting in my house waiting to be viewed....