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Wednesday, April 28, 2010

Saturday, September 08, 2007
Movie Reviews: 3:10 TO YUMA & SHOOT ’EM UP

3:10 TO YUMA

Notorious outlaw Ben Wade's (Russell Crowe) crime spree across the Old West comes to an end when authorities finally catch him, but putting the bandit on trial may not be such an easy task. Dan Evans (Christian Bale) is a Civil War veteran and a struggling rancher who volunteers to deliver Wade to the train that will take him to the courthouse. But it's not such an easy task when Wade's henchman, the deranged Charlie (Ben Foster), vows to kill everyone in his path to stop his boss from ending up in the hangman's noose.

Cast Russell Crowe, Christian Bale, Peter Fonda, Gretchen Mol, Dallas Roberts, Ben Foster (more)

Director(s) James Mangold

Writer(s) Halstead Welles, Michael Brandt, Derek Haas

Status In theaters (wide)

Genre(s) Western

Release Date Sept. 7, 2007

Running Time 117 minutes

MPAA Rating R - for violence and some language


3:10 to Yuma is an enjoyable throwback to westerns of old. James Mangold (Walk the Line) has a real feel for the old west and it come through vividly via the films look and feel. Mangold really creates an immersive experience that envelops the audience as they watch the plot unfold. It helps a bit that the 2 headliners turn in stellar performances, highlighted by Crowe's turn as Ben Wade. Russell Crowe exudes masculinity and retrained ferocity some packaged in a noble spirit. Crowe is a truly a joy to watch especially when he and Bale interact. Christian Bale continues his string of excellent performances he and here he brings a sense of gravitas to the entire endeavor. Ben Foster also turns in an excellent supporting performance as Ben Wade's cracked right hand man. If there is a fault in the film it's mainly that the movies not as morally complex as say Eastwood's Unforgiven and not as action packed as Tombstone. Still, the nearly two hour run time files by due to excellent performances and wonderful direction.



Mr. Smith (Clive Owen) steps right into a dangerous situation to keep a baby out of the clutches of the ruthless Mr. Hertz (Paul Giamatti). Enlisting the help of an old friend (Monica Belluci), Mr. Smith unloads a lot of bullets at Mr. Hertz's henchmen in his noble quest.

Cast Clive Owen, Paul Giamatti, Monica Bellucci, Stephen McHattie (more)

Director(s) Michael Davis

Writer(s) Michael Davis

Status In theaters (wide)

Genre(s) Drama

Release Date Sept. 7, 2007

Running Time 80 minutes

MPAA Rating R - for pervasive strong bloody violence, sexuality and some language


In the world of Shoot 'Em Up shoot outs happen at any time and often do, even if you are delivering a baby or having sex. If this sounds a bit far fetched then you've got a good idea of the type of movie that this is. Shoot 'Em Up is like a hyperactive even more superficial version of Robert Rodriguez's Desperado. Director Michael Davis keeps the action fast and furious doing his best John Woo impression while doing it with a wink to the audience. It's frenetic and insanely improbable but fun and silly to watch. Clive Owen plays it straight as the carrot loving Mr. Smith doles out one liners that seemed to have come from lost 80's era Schwarzenegger movies. Paul Giamatti clearly relishes being able to ham it up as the oh so sinister villain here and he's plenty of fun to watch as he chews up screen time more so than Owen does with the carrots. Monica Belluci's main duty here is look pretty and run; she does well on both counts. While the movie is a fun little excursion it does lack any depth and its story line is as convoluted as it is silly. The film flies by and it's over before you know it and it probably doesn't do enough to make itself terribly memorable.


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