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3:10 To Yuma (4K UHD Blu-ray Review)

Well, what do you know? Just like that, James Mangold’s 3:10 To Yuma is 10 years old this year.  Doesn’t feel like its been that long. Mangold is seeing some of his greatest success (Critical & Box Office) this year, too with the Hugh Jackman-Wolverine sendoff Logan. 3:10 To Yuma is one of his strongest films and one of the best westerns (not the hotel chain) of the 2000s. When people whine and moan about remakes, here is a prime candidate and a more modern one to throw in their faces as to prove their whole false generality of “remakes/reboots/reimaginings suck” tiredness as false. Lionsgate is now bringing it over to the 4K Ultra-HD Blu-ray format alongside the Expendables movies on May 2nd. Check out or revisit this terrific western with a great enhanced picture featuring HDR and an all new DTS:X audio track!

Film 

In Arizona in the late 1800s, infamous outlaw Ben Wade and his vicious gang of thieves and murderers have plagued the Southern Railroad. When Wade is captured, Civil War veteran Dan Evans, 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.

Elmore Leonard’s classic western story through the eyes of James Mangold is a thrilling and compelling story set in the old west that also manages to tackle personal issues at the time. The film features top notch performances and really terrific set pieces to go along with practical stunts and effect work. Both focusing on character and action, its combines both for one hell of a journey. The film also finishes in an exciting shoot out and chase that is worth the price of admission alone.

Its a shame that Christian Bale and Russell Crowe haven’t worked together since this movie. Granted, both seem like they can have their issues from time to time, they still pull off a great chemistry with one another even as two men at odds with one another. That’s sort of the best thing about 3:10 To Yuma. There’s a lot of temptation to and understanding to many of the offers Bale’s Dan Evans is to get out of his situation just find and respectably, but he goes against all the odds for heroics and family. While he is the “nice guy”, he’s got a hardened, beaten character with lust to get his hands dirty and to take on a suicide mission at all costs with no fear of death.  On the other side of the pond, Crowe’s Ben Wade hangs with the suicidal crazies but is quite the softy, man with reason and appears to be very afraid of death. Its a terrific dynamic that really drives the film

Mangold has an excellent rhythm and pacing to go along with this film too. The environments never get old and manage to never feel all same-same as they take a lengthy travel. It also features a really good juggling of character dramatic scenes and action. Said action also does a really solid job of character building and revelations as well. That’s not to mention its also very intense and kick ass. This film does well by making us care and having us make sure everyone possible can make it through the challenges of a firefight. What I like, too, is that it manages to hodge podge modern techniques to go along with classic ones and never fully getting too extravagant or over the top. In other words, its not too new and its not too old either.

I hadn’t seen 3:10 to Yuma in quite some time (Maybe 8 years or so), but the distance made me grow even fonder as it was being revisited. The character work to go along with the action beats is top tier for the western genre. In a top 10 list (Probably moreso 5) of Western films made since the turn of the century, James Mangold’s take on 3:10 To Yuma winds up comfortably hanging out at the very top. Crowe, Bale and the whole ensemble are terrific and are capture with great production design, camera work, effects and directing. The whole kitten caboodle or what have you.

Video 

Encoding: HEVC / H.265

Resolution: 4K (2160p)

Aspect Ratio: 2.40:1

Layers: BD-66

Clarity/Detail:  3:10 To Yuma fare better than the Expendable movies coming to 4K Ultra-HD Blu-ray on the same day. This one features an enhanced crispness and sharpness. Most notable, details are quite astounding and any given distance you can make out just about everything that makes up a person or object. There are also some striking establishing shots of desert and towns form a good distance. When this image is at a hot daylight, with no dust or anything to cloud viewing, its got a wildly clear picture.

Depth:  The film features a good improvement on spacing and free movements, with more dimensions.  Movements, camera and character, are confident, smooth and natural with no sign of jitter or blurring. Skies feel wonderfully detached and play good in tracking shots.

Black Levels:  Blacks are quite terrific as they are deep but still maintain outlines, details and patterns no matter how dark. Good saturation at every turn, night and daytime. No crushing witnessed at all on this viewing of the film for the review.

Color Reproduction:  Some little things here and there pop, but this is a hard western using browns, golds, yellows and the like. All have a strong and bold look. There are some boards on unfinished building frames that give a little glow when close up. Most color is natural here, the HDR primarily stands out with blue skies and such whenever they get a nice clear appearance in the background.

Flesh Tones:  Skin tones are slightly warm with a consistent appearance from scene to scene start to finish of the film. Facial details are outstanding and any given distance you can see dirt, sweat, bruises, dried blood, stubble, freckles, wrinkles and more. Really sharp, clear faces.

Noise/Artifacts: The grain up in the sky can look similar to noise, but that’s just how its appearance has been on the 4K Ultra-HD format.

Audio 

Audio Format(s): English DTS:X, English 7.1 DTS-HD MA, English 2.0 Dolby Digital Audio Optimized for Late Night Viewing, French 5.1 Dolby Digital, Spanish 5.1 Dolby Digital

Subtitles: English, English SDH, Spanish

Dynamics: Like the video, the audio features anew with the DTS:X track. Its a rocking good time. The action scenes will have your heart racing and your body jumping from time to time. What’s really groovy too is that the quiet moments are pretty special too, with a whole roomful of sound that makes you feel like you’re there whether it be an empty saloon or just a night in the desert. Video can be subjective here, but I doubt anyone is going to feel this audio isn’t up to snuff. Its quite an immersive experience.

Height: This DTS:X track adds some nice bullets whizzing, and other action bits going overhead. It doesn’t go overboard but it does the trick.

Low Frequency Extension:  Guns pound like a canon, explosions rumble, horses clip clop, punches hit and the train in the 3rd act rocks through the room. The subwoofer gives a wonderfully deep and pounding experience start to finish.

Surround Sound Presentation:  What a fun time. Every little stray bullet and ricochet whizzes by the appropriate speaker. Battles feature an environment that is always on its toes and well aware of where every character or bit of destruction is in a 360s realization. Movements and volume placements are also pinpointed with great accuracy.

Dialogue Reproduction: Vocals are loud, crisp and clear. No matter how loud the firefight, everyone is still plenty audible while feeling true to the nature of the scene.

Extras 

3:10 To Yuma comes with the Blu-ray edition and an UltarViolet digital copy of the film. No new extras were produced or added for this release. They are pretty much identical to the Blu-ray release.

Audio Commentary

  • With Director James Mangold

Destination: Yuma (HD, 20:58) 

Outlaws, Gangs, & Posses (HD, 12:58) 

An Epic Explored (HD, 6:22)

3:10 to Score (HD, 7:38)

From Sea to Shining Sea (HD, 19:39)

A Conversation With Elmore Leonard (HD, 5:24)

The Guns of Yuma (HD, 6:17)

Deleted Scenes (HD, 7:55)

Summary 

3:10 To Yuma unsurprisingly very much holds up. Its a fantastic modern western. Now here’s the question. Is it worth the upgrade? You have all the same extras and the same movie for that matter (ha ha). This 4K Ultra-HD disc features a completely new audio track that friggin rocks the house. And yes, in my summation, the video is a notable enough increase to warrant shelling out the bucks if you like this film for the new release. Plus, Lionsgate has been rather reasonable and surprisingly keeping the costs of the new format down. Very commendable. Chuck your old Blu-ray and move on to this new one.

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Writer/Reviewer, lifelong obsessive film nerd. As eager to educate in the world of film as I am to learn. An avid lover of horror, schlock and trash, Brandon hosts the Cult Cinema Cavalcade podcast on the Creative Zombie Studios Network (www.cultcinemacavalcade.com) You can also find more essays on his blog Naptown Nerd (naptownnerd.blogspot.com).

4 Responses to “3:10 To Yuma (4K UHD Blu-ray Review)”


  1. Aaron Neuwirth

    All that without even mentioning the terrific supporting cast, especially Ben Foster!

  2. Brandon Peters

    It was either/or for me with the Crowe/Bale paragraph or one on just the cast in general. The Crowe/Bale one ended up eating all the space. I did mention the ensemble is terrific. And yeah, Ben Foster is great! I did give him a picture haha!

  3. Damon Barnes

    2 questions I don’t think I’ll never get a satisfactory answer to for the rest of my movie-watching life: 1) why did Mookie throw the garbage can in “Do the Right Thing” and 2) why did Ben Wade lay waste to Charlie Prince and the entire crew

  4. Aaron Neuwirth

    1) The easy answer is saying Mookie didn’t want Sal and his family to get hurt. The more complicated answer is that Mookies was pissed off about Radio Raheed.

    2) Ben makes it clear throughout the film that he values respect and honor more than anything (aside from himself). Despite the bickering and attempts to buy off Dan, Ben saw a man actually willing to do what made sense to him and honor an agreement. Ben could see Dan for the real man he actually was. Ben has no respect for his men, despite seeing them as reliable enough to keep around when needed. Having what he views as terrible people kill an actual person he respected meant killing all of them in return.