I went to see the new Western 3:10 To Yuma with EPALG. After the movie we had a couple of drinks at the theater lounge and talked for quite a while. I didn't get home until nearly 2:00 a.m. It was a terrific, fun evening, despite the movie's mediocrity.
Although I absolutely love Christian "Psycho Batman" Bale (easily one of the best actors of his generation) and Russell "Don't Call Me Cameron Or I'll Hit You With a Telephone" Crowe is gifted as well, their presence is not enough to save Yuma. It starts off gritty and seems as if it's going --- for better or for worse --- to follow Unforgiven into the realm of the unlikely hero forced into action by the depravity of man. But it quickly degenerates into action-movie fare, getting nearly cartoonish at its climax, an almost absurd parody of High Noon. Actually more like Shanghai Noon. I was thinking at the final chase scene, "This would make a good video game."
Then, abruptly, the film remembers it's supposed to be gritty and dark, and there's a few quick moments that show that this is Real Life, and There Are No Happy Endings. All very forced and artificial.
I went in wanting to like Yuma, and knowing nothing about it. Too bad. Movies that try too hard to be cool or serious, especially when so little thought has gone into their making, don't interest me.