Friday, March 27, 2009

3/21/09: 3:10 to Yuma (2007)

Based on an Elmore Leonard short story, 3:10 to Yuma is a remake of a 1957 Western starring Glenn Ford as the villain and Van Heflin as the cowboy charged with escorting him to the titular train that will take him to prison. The 2007 version gives us Russell Crowe and Christian Bale, and they're so perfectly cast that it's hard to imagine anybody else in the roles, including Ford and Heflin. This is normally the kind of story that instantly causes me to lose interest—it's the standard "We Gotta Go From Point A from Point B" Plot. (It's one of the reasons that Lord of the Rings made me squirm and force myself to fall asleep when I wasn't remotely tired.) But 3:10 to Yuma is really a psychological character study, showing how matters of trust and honor sometimes supersede mere good and evil. Throw in a million rifles and a few dozen horses, and you got yourself one action-packed Western. Crowe oozes likability as a morally corrupt bad guy who alternates between being Bale's captive and protector. In an abbreviated role, a grizzled-looking Peter Fonda, 67, looks almost ready to reprise his father Henry's role in On Golden Pond. Rating: 4/5.

And so Connie's Picks Week rounded out with two 5s, three 4s, one 3 and one 2. Average grade: 3.86. Sounds about average.

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