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3:10 to Yuma - 4K Blu-ray Review

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Title: 3:10 to Yuma

Movie: :4stars:
Video: :4stars:
Audio: :5stars:
Extras: :4stars:

HTS Overall Score:87

Annnnnnnnnnd the string of 4K UHD catalog titles continues! This time with a fantastic movie with fantastic specs to boot. I’m actually looking through our list of reviews the other day and realized that we had NEVER reviewed “3:10 to Yuma” when it came out. A crime that I am happily rectifying here as it was the best modern made western since “Unforgiven”. Now the Christian Bale remake here is not going to be as good as the old Glenn Ford 1950s version (one of my personal favorite films of all time and a hallowed place in my Criterion Collection of Blu-rays), but the 2007 remake was still a top-notch film. Directed by James Mangold (the same director who did the recently released “Logan”) has crafted an excellent gritty western with just enough flair and panache to make it a blast as an action film, while retaining enough of the moral quandaries that made the original film so classic.

A beaten down and near bereft of hope rancher named Dan Evans (Christian Bale) is about out of options. His cattle is being robbed by crooks, his water is low, his funds are even lower, and an unscrupulous local magistrate named Glenn Hollander (Lennie Loftin) is trying to get Dan to fail so that he can sell his property out from under him (he’s already burned down Dan’s barn and run off some of his cattle in an attempt to do just that). Dan’s salvation comes in the form of notorious outlaw Ben Wade (Russell Crowe), who is one of the most feared and violent outlaw leaders in the entire territory. After Ben has been captured in town alone, the town sheriff wants to get Ben OUT of town and on the 3:10 O’clock train to Yuma the following day a few towns over. The PROBLEM is that Ben Wade is not alone. He has an entire gang of men who are nowhere to be found and most likely more than willing to get their boss back at any cost.

Dan Evans means to prove to his son William (“Percy Jackson’s” Logan Lerman) that a man’s word is his bond, and that doing the right thing is necessary, so he takes on the job of escorting Ben Wade to the 3:10 train (and the payment for doing so will certainly help their farm). What starts as a nerve racking trip turns out to be just what they feared. A game of cat and mouse as the bandits hot on their trail are going to try their best to break their boss out, even if it means killing each and every one of the men guarding him.

The inspiration for both the 1957 and 2007 versions of “3:10 to Yuma” comes from a short story written by the famous western screenwriter/director Elmore Leonard, and both films are surprisingly similar in structure, although they differ in theme just a little bit. If you’ve watched either version you know why the characters are doing what they are doing. Ben Wade is a dichotomy of a man, portraying himself as a smooth debonair ladies’ man, but also has the ability to turn into a cold-blooded killer at the drop of his hat. Dan Evans is an upright man of honor, and this is where the whole crux of the movie comes from. Dropping a villain off at his train appointment with a pack of killers on your heels makes for a great action movie, but it’s really the relationship and differences between Ben and Dan that make up the core of the film. Dan is honorable, willing to do whatever it takes to fulfill his bond, while Ben is a snake in the grass, easily able to slide in and out of any moral situation and willing to try to be the proverbial snake to Dan’s Adam/Eve, offering them the world for his freedom. Strangely this is kept VERY similar in the 2007 version, but there are slight tweaks to the movie that shift sympathy away from Dan alone to Dan AND Ben. Such as the final scene of the movie where you’re almost rooting for Ben to escape as the two men are almost co-heros by the end of the film. Something which doesn’t COMPLETELY set right with me.

HOWEVER, the action in the film more than makes up for a few postmodern moral shifts that are fairly subtle overall. Ben Foster is absolutely incredible as Ben Wade’s cold blooded second in command, making for a whirlwind shootout in the last 30 minutes of the movie. Christian Bale has always impressed, and this is still when Russell Crowe actually gave a care about acting as a leading man, and the two men’s differing moral views make for some great scenes. Not to mention both men are no stranger to action movies, especially westerns which lends itself towards a smooth sense of authenticity.


Rated R for violence and some language

Video :4stars:
10 years ago when Blu-ray was first coming out, “3:10 to Yuma” was considered a 5 star transfer. I remember it looking AMAZING on my old Epson 8350 projector, and looking back I have to realize that its transfer has been eclipsed many times over with modern Blu-ray release (part of the curse of time and revamped compression techniques). However, that does not mean that the 4K UHD isn’t going to look great. In fact, it is one of the better catalog titles I have seen on the format and takes some great steps forward in improving the very nice looking Blu-ray. The color palate is a bit warmer than the original, and I noticed that some of the overblown highlights in the Blu-ray look a bit earthier and dimmer (which is a good thing I believe). Overall textures and fine detail look incredibly nuanced and the minimal banding and compression artifacts from the Blu-ray are pretty much nonexistent. The only problem that seemed to crop up is the UHD looks slightly filtered in comparison to the Blu-ray. I was hoping that the days of applying DNR to new masters was gone, but for some reason things tend to look a little smooth (not so much in motion, but it's noticeable when I paused the film and freeze framed certain bits

Audio :5stars:
The 7.1 DTS-HD MA track from the Blu-ray was STELLAR back in the day, and it’s still stellar today, but the advancements of the DTS:X are hard to ignore. The whirling chaos of the movie’s final act is incredible, with pinpoint accurate precision with bullets flying from one side of the room to another, and a sense of incredible immersion that just doesn’t let up. LFE is tight and powerful, adding a good low end to many of the horse hooves, gun fights and even simple footsteps over a wooden boardwalk. Dialog is crisp and well maintained in the center of the front soundstage and perfectly balanced despite the WIDE dynamic range employed. Overheads get some great use when your someone’s bootsteps walking above you on the roof, or when cattle stampeding over a downed body. Simply put, the original track was great, but the DTS:X track just improves what was already great and made it even better.

Extras :4stars:

• "Destination 3:10 to Yuma" Making-Of Documentary
• "Outlaws, Gangs, and Posses" Featurette
• "An Epic Explored" Featurette
• "3:10 to Score" Featurette
• "Sea to Shining Sea" Documentary
• "A Conversation with Elmore Leonard" Featurette
• "The Guns of Yuma" Featurette
• Deleted Scenes
• Audio Commentary with Director James Mangold
• Historical Timeline of the West (Blu-ray™ Only)
• Inside Yuma: An Exclusive Blu-ray Disc™ Interactive Experience

Overall: :4.5stars:

After 10 years, the remake of “3:10 to Yuma” is still one of the better post 1960s era western’s made to date. It has a few flaws and some differences to the slightly superior 1957 version, but it is a fun popcorn action/western that can draw me in just as much as it did when I was sitting in the theater with my boots and Stetson 10 years ago. Now the BIG QUESTION you all want to know is “is this version better than my $5 Blu-ray that I still have”? Well, the answer is most definitely yes. I’m a little critical of 4K UHD catalog titles as there usually hasn’t been a lot of effort to make them looks stunning for the format, but in this case “3:10 to Yuma” is VERY good looking on 4K, and the DTS:X track improves upon the already stellar 7.1 DTS-HX MA mix we’ve had for the last decade. Extras are all the same ones that were on the Blu-ray (and are just enclosed ON the Blu-ray in the combo pack really), but the package as a whole is a very healthy upgrade over what we have now. Great Watch and highly recommended.

Additional Information:

Starring: Russell Crowe, Ben Foster, Christian Bale
Directed by: James Mangold
Written by: Halstead Welles, Michael Brandt
Aspect Ratio: 2.40:1 HEVC
Audio: English: DTS:X (DTS-HD MA 7.1 core), French, Spanish DD 5.1, English DD 2.0
Studio: Lionsgate
Rated: R
Runtime: 122 Minutes
Blu-ray Release Date: May 2nd, 2017

Buy 3:10 to Yuma On 4k Blu-ray at Amazon

Recommendation: Great Watch

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