3:10 to Yuma-the Removie (2007)
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  • I like westerns very much and am always pleased when Hollywood makes another one with a high budget and good actors
  • I found it believable and superior to the original
  • I'm not sure that I've seen Christian Bale before although I've watched and enjoyed some of the movies this Welsh born actor has done

    • by tfedge

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      I like westerns very much and am always pleased when Hollywood makes another one with a high budget and good actors. I enjoyed “3:10 to Yuma”-the removie very much. I found it believable and superior to the original. “3:10 to Yuma” is a Relativity Media production, a company that has released several top movies in 2007: “3:10 to Yuma,” “Charlie Wilson’s War,” and “Atonement” (look for my reviews of all three movies here on Review Stream. The 122 minute color movie was filmed on location in New Mexico and is rated R for violence and language.

      The story of “3:10 to Yuma” the removie is basically the same as the original. Dan Evans, played by Christian Bale is a cattle rancher trying to survive a draught that has hit the area around Bisbee, Arizona. He and his two sons witness a stagecoach robbery by Ben Wade, Russell Crowe, and his outlaw gang. When Wade stays in Bisbee to seduce a woman he is captured by the local law enforcement. Dan Evans and others are hired to escort Wade to Contention, Arizona where Wade will be put on the 3:10 train to Yuma where he will be tried for robbery. The story of the movie is the interaction between the two main characters as Wade tries to convince Evans to let him go, the difficulty they have traveling to Contention, and the threat of Ben Wade’s gang arriving to rescue him.

      New Zealand born actor Russell Crowe is one of my favorite actors. He won a Best Actor award for “Gladiator,” (2001) a movie I still haven’t been able to watch, but I’m hoping to watch soon. I majored in ancient history will in college and find movie versions of the Ancient World don’t usually work for me. I’ve tried to watch Gladiator a couple of time on television without being able to continue. Crowe sandwiched his Best Actor win with two Best Actor nominations. In 2000 Crowe was nominated for “The Insider” (1999) but lost to Kevin Spacek’s performance in “American Beauty.” With the 2001 “A Beautiful Mind” Crowe was nominated for another Best Actor Oscar in 2002 but lost to Denzel Washington.

      I’m not sure that I’ve seen Christian Bale before although I’ve watched and enjoyed some of the movies this Welsh born actor has done. I loved Kenneth Branagh’s version of “Henry V” where Bale is supposed to have played “Boy,” but I don’t remember him there. I liked the movie “Captain Corelli’s Mandolin,” but again I don’t remember Bale. I enjoyed Bale as Dan Evans and

      think he may one day be an excellent actor. He seems to get involved in cultish movies and sci fi so I may not see him very often.

      Peter Fonda as Byron McElroy, Pinkerton detective, is worth mentioning. He was convincing in his role and helped advanced the plot, all you can ask of an actor. Often stuck in the shadow of his more famous father Henry Fonda and his more outspoken and glamorous sister Jane, Peter has quietly built a career as an actor, director, writer, and producer. He is probably still best remembered as Captain America in “Easy Rider,” one of several movies featuring motorcycles he appeared in during the 1960s and 1970s. He was nominated for Best Original Screenplay for “Easy Writer,” but lost to “Butch Cassidy and the Sundance Kid.” He was also nominated for a Best Actor Oscar for his lead role in “Ulee’s Gold” (1997) but lost to Jack Nicholson for “As Good As It Gets.” There’s a certain irony there since Nicholson was thrust into fame with the role Fonda wrote in “Easy Rider.”

      So far “3:10 to Yuma” has been nominated for several awards. It didn’t receive any Golden Globe nominations but the cast was nominated for a Screen Actors Guild Award. Oddly, given my view of the music (see below), the composer was nominated for a Broadcast Film Critics Association Award.

      Favorite moments include Russell Crowe’s character taking time to sketch throughout the movie. It added a dimension to his character that is often mission from movies. Because of time and interest constraints most characters don’t have time for activities that are extraneous to the main purpose of the movie. I found this a nice touch.

      At one point, just after the robbery, Crowe’s character tells Fonda’s character, “Y’all spared no expense this time, Byron. I gotta say, though, it’s probably cheaper just to let me rob the damn thing.” Later Butterfield, owner of the stage, says “Twenty-two robberies, over four hundred thousand dollars in losses.” Wade points out what is really important to Butterfield with, “Y’all notice he didn’t mention any of the lives I’ve taken?”

      Original “3:10 to Yuma” (1957) is worth a watch to compare the movies, but I think most people will find the original is inferior to the removie. I like to compare five areas when I’m comparing a movie and a removie. The actors, the script, the sets or scenery, the music, and the atmosphere. Now I realize these aren’t strictly speaking four completely separate areas because they affect each other. Atmosphere in ...

      • particular is affected by the others.

        As far as the actors go, the removie “3:10 to Yuma” is better than the original. In the 1957 version, Glenn Ford played out law Ben Wade and Van Heflin played rancher Dan Evans. I’ve never been much of a fan of either of these actors although they appeared good movies. Ford starred in “Gilda” and Heflin starred in “Shane” (probably my favorite western). Russell Crowe and Christian Bale were far superior than Ford or Heflin. I found myself caring about both the good guy and the bad guy in the removie while I cared about neither in the original movie. Since I’m a big “character” person the weakness in the characters from the original “3:10 to Yuma” was a big weakness in the movie overall. The actors in the removie were better than those in the original.

        As far as script goes there were several differences between the two movies although some of the lines were directly carried over to the removie. There was more tension from the script because of Dan Evan’s having to face a deadline of a weak to repay the loan on his property. William Evans, son of Dan, was more rebellious and played a role throughout the movie instead of just disappearing from the movie early on like he did in the original. Instead of relying just on the threat of the gang throughout the movie there were encounters with Apaches who attacked our hero Dan Evans and the others taking Wade to the Yuma train. A group of men who had personal reasons for hating Wade added additional tension. The script advantage toes to the removie.

        The original “3:10 to Yuma” was one of those Hollywood westerns with overly clean sets and people who were impeccably dressed who never got dirty no matter what happened. The removie is much more realistic. The sets were more realistic. Instead of the carefully constructed buildings of the original the removie had people living in tents and dirt. Point to the removie.

        One area in which the original movie far surpasses the removie is in the theme song. The original movie had the haunting sound of Frankie Laine singing the “3:10 to Yuma” song throughout the movie. I found the music stuck in my head for several days. The removie has, well I don’t know. Even though I just saw the removie I don’t know what the music was or even if there was any.

        At times I think music can get in the way of a movie, and

        I think one of the marks of a great score is that the movie advances the movie without the viewer even being aware of the soundtrack, but I like it when a catchy theme song becomes a part of you for several days after the movie. Recently I watched “I Walk the Line” and still have Johnny Cash songs running through my head. One of my favorite movie songs is “A Town without Pity” sung by Gene Pitney.

        Frankie Laine is probably best known today for singing the theme song of the long-running (that’s a joke) television western “Rawhide.” He also sang the opening song for “Gunfight at OK Corral” (1957). However Laine was more than a singer for Hollywood. In his day he was a well-known jazz and blues singer. In a career that ran from just after the end of World War II he had more than seventy songs that made the charts and twenty-one gold records with world-wide sales of over 250,000,000 records. That may not seem like a huge amount today, but this was in the era before people bought as many records as they do to day. At that time a gold record was a rarity and terms like “shipped platinum” were unheard of. Anyway I loved the song from the original “3:10 to Yuma” and didn’t notice the music from the removie.

        Finally the atmosphere and tone of the original was decidedly inferior to the removie. The supposed tension caused by the arrival of the Ben Wade’s gang in Contention, Arizona to save Wade was lacking. Too much time was spent with just the two men in the bridal suite together. This can be a very effective device, but it just didn’t work for me with the original “3:10 to Yuma”. I felt no tension, probably because I didn’t care about either of the man characters. In the removie there was much more tension. I wouldn’t say it was a movie that put me on the edge of me seat, but it was an improvement over the original. I liked the ending which differed greatly from the original. I particularly liked the possibility of Wade’s escape with the help of his horse.

        Overall I have to put “3:10 to Yuma” into the category that the removie is better than the movie. I rated the original movie with an 82% or a B-. I’m going to jump the original by almost a full grade. I give the movie a 90% or an A-.

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