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(aka 'Three Ten to Yuma')

Directed by James Mangold
USA
2007

 

The classic western holds as one of my favorite genres and I was all fired up and ready to dump all over this new adaptation 50 years (and a few months) hence the Glenn Ford/Van Heflin classic helmed by stalwart Delmer Daves - a stellar example if ever there was one. How dare they tread on this hallowed ground? Well, they did... and I'll get re-fitted for my fire-retardant suit to say it's the overachieving kin, the grandson standing on his patriarch's shoulders, of the original.


Both are based on an Elmore Leonard short story originally published in a 1953 issue of Dime Western magazine (visible on the bedside table in the opening scene of Mangold's film). A small-time rancher agrees to transport a captured outlaw while awaiting a train that will take him to jail in Yuma. It transposes to the rarely sought gem of 'psychological Western'. Desperate men in lean times - some holding to their principles - others brushing aside morality. At the crux of this plot is gaining respect and Christian Bale's Dan Evans and his straight-line ways have given him short shrift in that department. Where Russell Crowe's Ben Wade and his ruthless demeanor have men in his gang that would easily die at his command. The narrative holds the High Noon themes about nobility and justice against-all-odds exceptionally well and director Mangold can't seem to resist overplaying his hand a bit (after all, it's what the machismo-violent desirous public seems to always want) but in the end it's a big winner in my books. Power, courage and fast guns are how the western made its bread-and-butter and 3:10 to Yuma brings that all back with nostalgic, gritty, charm and detailed precision. This film is so good I'll wager it adds another benefit - it should encourage many to see out the stellar 57' original - not to compare but to quench the budding thirst of, hopefully, reviving this endangered species known as the 'Hollywood western'. Let's hope so - especially if they are this good.

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Theatrical Release: September 6th, 2007

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DVD Review: Lions Gate Home Entertainment - Region 1 - NTSC

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Distribution Lions Gate Home Entertainment - Region 1 - NTSC
Runtime 2:02:24 
Video 2.40:1 Aspect Ratio
Average Bitrate: 5.78 mb/s
NTSC 720x480 29.97 f/s

NOTE: The Vertical axis represents the bits transferred per second. The Horizontal is the time in minutes.

Bitrate:

Audio English (Dolby Digital 5.1 EX) 
Subtitles English, Spanish, None
Features

Release Information:
Studio: Lions Gate Home Entertainment Home Video

Aspect Ratio:
Original Aspect Ratio 2.40:1

Edition Details:

• Audio commentary with director Mangold
• Featurette: Destination Yuma
• 
Featurette: Outlaws, Gangs and Posses
• 
Featurette: An Epic explored
• Seven deleted scenes

DVD Release Date: January 8th, 2007

Keep Case inside cardboard box
Chapters: 24

 

Comments:

My exuberance over this film could have something to do with the DVD image quality which looks absolutely fantastic. It's about as good as I have ever seen an SD DVD look. We've also reviewed the Blu-ray HERE.

Detail is crisp, digital noise is limited - even in vast open sky vistas. Colors are bright and true - contrast is stellar. Visually the film has some striking moments and gets full marks in that category. I was immensely impressed.

The 5.1 audio more than does the job with bountiful separation and lively bullet-careening echoes - when called upon. 

The DVD doesn't stop there with the splendid transfer of a 2 hour film - no - we have extensive extras starting with an adept commentary from director Mangold. Not technically stellar but he covers quite a bit of ground. The there are 3 featurettes - dealing with production, history and a quasi 'making of..' . Finally there are 7 short-ish deleted scenes - I was kind of uninterested at the time of viewing these but some may enjoy. In my opinion the included scenes were all the correct choices.

Bottom line is that if you had any reservations about this film, but enjoy westerns - I'd like to encourage you to watch this DVD and I hope you enjoy it as much as I did. It might be the best western film made in the last two decades. 3 hours later I'm still reeling - Wow!

Gary W. Tooze

 

 



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DVD Box Cover

   

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Distribution Lions Gate Home Entertainment - Region 1 - NTSC




 

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