Don't believe, despite what some may tell you, that the western is dead. 3:10 To Yuma is one of a handful of films in the genre that have slipped out over the past decade, with this one a fresh take on an Elmore Leonard story that was previously filmed with Glenn Ford in the lead role. This time, the cast is led by Russell Crowe and Christian Bale, and it's a fairly straightforward tale that they tell. Basically, Bale's sheriff vows to bring Crowe's killer to justice, and to make sure that he gets on the prison train of the title. It's pretty much as simple as that.
The film is low on surprises, to be fair, but 3:10 To Yuma is powered by the strong central performances, and the direction of Walk The Line helmer James Mangold, who makes much of the stunning scenery that his camera is often pointed at. Theres clearly a love of the genre here, with the landscapes eaten up by the excellent photography work.
And that's where the Blu-ray comes in. 3:10 To Yuma might not instantly spring to mind as any kind of reference disc, but the picture quality here is just brilliant. The detail of the visuals here is just the kind of material that high definition helps to accentuate, and there's no skimping on the picture quality here at all. It's matched by a diverse and often aggressive audio mix, that'll also give any decent set of speakers a real workout.
3:10 To Yuma isn't, in all honesty, a brilliant film, but it is a fun and entertaining western, and easily warrants a couple of hours from your eyeballs nonetheless. As a workout for a home cinema system? That's where it really comes into its own, far more so than you might expecting. --Jon Foster