Rama’s Screen Weekend Pick — 3:10 to Yuma

Welcome to our weekly column by YSN member and movie aficionado Rama Tampubolon. He runs the movie, music and book review website, Rama’s Screen, and was featured in “United 300,” which won for “Best Spoof” at the 2007 MTV Movie Awards. He’ll discuss the latest hot topics and movie reviews every Thursday on Waste Time Wisely. This week he reviews the film “3:1o to Yuma” starring Russell Crowe and Christian Bale, which opens in theaters nationwide tomorrow!

This is a remake, and a good one too. Russell Crowe never had any problem changing his accent from Aussie to American (A Beautiful Mind, Cinderella Man, American Gangster) and Christian Bale also has been known to be very good at doing American accent as if he was born and raised here (Batman Begins, Rescue Dawn). But 3:10 TO YUMA proves that these two foreigners can play just about any role possible. Directed by James Mangold who directed Johnny Cash biopic Walk The Line, this film brings back everything cool about western movies. The gunfights, the trashtalkin’, the rugged terrain, the lack of trust amongst each other mainly because everyone back then literally had the right to bear arms, license or no license.

Dan Evans (Christian Bale) is a civil war veteran whose family is on a brink of starvation. He’s agreed to be paid to make sure Western’s baddest Outlaw, Ben Wade (Russell Crowe) gets on a 3:10 train to Yuma prison. It’s not an easy job from the get-go because Ben Wade’s boys are determined to free their boss.

It’s a very well made remake, if I may say so. It was done with intensity but with enough wit to keep you from becoming too tensed from watching it. The movie has all the western elements that made the movie Tombstone timeless. Ben Foster was excellent as Ben Wade’s evil right hand man Charlie Prince. Ben Foster is usually good at characters like this: insane, borderline psycho character that you can’t reason with (Alpha Dog, Hostage, 30 Days of Night). That’s why I was surprised when he got chosen to play Angel in X-Men 3: The Last Stand. It just didn’t seem to fit his looks.

I find the psychological arguments back and forth between Ben Wade (Russell Crowe) and Dan Evans (Christian Bale) to be very interesting, which goes to show that sometimes it’s difficult to earn respect. One does it with inflicting fear and the other person does it out of fear for his family’s safety, but each holds secret past of their own that finally blurs the line between bad guy and good guy. And in the end, conscience and principle take place.

The grade I give for this film: 5 out of 5

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