3:10 to Yuma 4K UHD Blu-ray
Summary: In Arizona in the late 1800s, infamous outlaw Ben Wade (Russell Crowe) and his vicious gang of thieves and murderers have plagued the Southern Railroad. When Wade is captured, Civil War veteran Dan Evans (Christian Bale), struggling to survive on his drought-plagued ranch, volunteers to deliver him alive to the “3:10 to Yuma,” a train that will take the killer to prison. During the grueling expedition, Evans and Wade, each from very different worlds, begin to earn each other’s respect. However, with Wade’s posse on their trail, the mission soon becomes a violent, impossible journey toward each man’s destiny.
Movie Review: Dan Evans is a disabled Civil War veteran who is trying to survive in the west with his family. Behind on payments for his land, he is awoken one night to find them burning his barn as they plan to sell his land to the railroad that wants to cut across it. His oldest son William wonders why his Dad refuses to take up arms to defend himself and thinks of him as weak.
When Dan later is able to help get Ben Wade arrested, he volunteers for the dangerous job of helping to get him to the train to prison. The $200 he asks for will allow him to keep his land, and while the job is only a day or two, trying to avoid Wade’s gang that is out to rescue him is going to make it a very dangerous journey.
While filled with gun fights, it is the dialogue that drives the film. You develop a deeper understanding of the characters and their beliefs, and what is driving them to do what they do. It is a well done western, though I’ve not seen the original, and one that is well worth watching at home.
Technical Review: 3:10 to Yuma was originally shot on 35mm and used a 2K digital intermediate, which it appears this UHD release is based on. The overall quality of the presentation varies with some shots offering lots of clarity and enhanced details. Fine textures of fabrics come across, as do details on faces and hairs. Other times the shots will be soft without much improvement over how the Blu-ray looks, and the shots seemingly out of focus. HDR is utilized in certain images, including the opening scene of a fire at the ranch. This offers an improvement over the Blu-ray but by no means a revelation.
When compared to another recent western on UltraHD that was shot on film with a 2K DI, The Magnificent Seven reboot, you can see where 3:10 to Yuma comes up short. The palette isn’t nearly as vivid, details are lacking, and HDR is not utilized nearly as much. A newer transfer could have certainly improved upon the image here, but we are left with one that only offers smaller improvements over the standard Blu-ray.
The soundtrack is completely upgraded to a DTS:X object-based one which really stands out during the many shootouts in the film. Bullets fly overhead and the additional channels do a great job of putting you front and center into the action. Dialogue remains clear throughout, and the subwoofer also has a few opportunities to shine. The improvements here are easy to hear, and if you have a DTS:X capable system the movie has never sounded better.
Special Features: Director’s commentary, deleted scenes, a making-of documentary, and a number of featurettes provide a good selection of bonus features on the disc.
Review System: Vizio P65-C1 display, Oppo UDP-203 UltraHD Blu-ray Player, KEF Ci5160RL-THX Fronts, Ci3160RL-THX Center, 2x Ci200RR-THX Surrounds, 4x CI200RR-THX Atmos Speakers, Anthem MRX 1120 Receiver.