We saw 3:10 to Yuma tonight, and may I say that a Western can sometimes be just the thing. In fact, I said to the historian as we departed into the night that they should make more Westerns, if they're good ones like 3:10 to Yuma.
What was so good about it, you ask? Well, let me tell you: it starts with the acting, which was dang good pretty much throughout. You might say that the kid who plays Charlie Prince, Ben Foster, hammed it up pretty good, and I wouldn't disagree, but maybe a good Western needs a preening, preternaturally wide-eyed psychopath, and if that's true, then Ben Foster filled that bill. But Christian Bale and Russell Crowe were stellar. Who delivers the Burt Lancaster-ish big guy charisma better than Russell Crowe these days? I submit to you that the answer is: no one.
The story is good, good enough that the two hours it takes to watch the movie didn't seem one bit long. Is it a guy movie? you ask. Well, probably, but my women: who among us hasn't been thoroughly colonized by patriarchy and its mythos? So you might as well enjoy yourself! Pretend you're an outlaw (Russell Crowe) on the one hand, and a good, principled person (Christian Bale) on the other. You probably wouldn't want to be any of the women in this story, unless you want to be a saloon gal who gets all luvved up by Russell Crowe.
As a bonus, there was a preview for the new Paul Thomas Anderson movie (yes, he is "Paul Thomas" in this movie, and not "P.T."), There Will Be Blood. Oh my goodness, it looks great. A. Daniel Day-Lewis. B. Paul Dano, the silent kid from Little Miss Sunshine. C. A story about Oklahoma oil, a period piece. Don't you just want to find out when it opens and mark it on your calendar? Me, too.
p.s. There was also a preview for a new movie starring Tom Cruise, Meryl Streep, and Robert Redford, where T.C. plays a U.S. Senator trying to hector M.S.'s journalist, sort of, into telling the true story of the war on terror. I am hoping for a rip-snorting piece of propagander out of that one, and I'm not ashamed to admit it.