Monday, September 21, 2009

a fallacy film review

3:10 to Yuma would have been a much shorter, and yet a much more satisfying movie if I hadn't spent them whole time wishing that a good guy would pull the damn trigger already.

The "hero" (who we later learn was Union Army sharpshooter) looks out a second floor window in the middle of the night, getting a clear view of (and shot at) a man about to throw a burning torch into his barn. The hero is holding a rifle - PULL THE TRIGGER.

The bad guy has a shotgun aimed at the hero. The hero's son sneaks up behind the bad guy and aims a pistol at his head - PULL THE TRIGGER.

The hero and the bad guy are holed up on the second floor of a hotel, waiting for the train. The bad guy's posse arrives and stands down on the street, making all sorts of threats. The hero looks down at them, while holding a rifle - PULL THE TRIGGER.

Anyway, I won't ruin the rest of the movie for you but let's just say that I had a similar, but perhaps not as intense, reaction when I watched the end of No Country for Old Men. It kind of sounded like ,"Gah! Stupid...*grumble* unresolved...*grumble* Argh!" Made me miss John Wayne - westerns shouldn't be psychotherapy.


Aaron said...

It adds to the suspense. I agree, pull the trigger!

Macbrun said...

What are you saying Breda? Kill someone? Without first consulting with a Death Panel?

Matt G said...

That was me during the entire movie of Breakdown, some years back.

I liked No Country For Old Men.

Alan said...

Reality usually doesn't make good movies.

Unfortunately too many people don't realize that movies are not reality.

Mike W. said...

proper application of lead would end these movies far too easily and in a very anti-climactic manner.

It's like the slasher films with large-breasted women shreeking in terror because some old dude with a knive or hook is picking off her hottie friends.

A gun would end things quickly, but then we'd be robbed of the only redeeming thing about such movies. Two hours of some hottie running around barely clothed.

Joanna said...

I call it the "Because that would have made sense" rule. Why didn't they drive past the creepy house and find a pay phone? Because that would have made sense. Why didn't she call the police and go to the neighbor's, instead of checking the basement in her underwear? Because that would have made sense. Why didn't they just nuke it from orbit and call it a day? Because that would have made sense.

If this rule was invoked more often, most feature-length blockbusters would be over in about 15 minutes.

Anna said...

I found myself doing the same thing, grumbling, "Stop talking and just shoot him already!" or yelling at the TV, "Just pull the trigger!"

It's funny, though, how we've all been inculcated in the non-violence crap. The first time I watched Rio Bravo, I was pretty shocked at the scene in the tavern when Dean Martin's character shot the bad guy in the rafters. There was no negotiating or talking; he just turned around and shot him.

Of course that was before I learned to use guns and joined the local gun club. I did go through a phase where, when there's a problem, my suggestion was inevitably, "Why don't we just shoot him?" My husband was not amused.

tjbbpgobIII said...

You want pull the trigger, watch "Appoloosa" the new one about the town not the one with Marlon Brando. I also remember an old episode of gunsmoke where Matt and Festus were on foot after two bad guys when FEstus got a shot of ones back. He took the shot, down one bad guy.

Caleb said...

Yeah, Appaloosa was a lot more "shoot first ask questions uh...sometime" kind of movie than 3:10 to Yuma. That being said, as a lover of the Western genre, 3:10 to Yuma (the remake with Christian Bale) was not just a great western, but a great movie. Bale does a great job of playing a character that struggles with the demands of being a father balanced with the brutality of life on the frontier. It really is a great movie.

Plus it has Wash!

Lorimor said...

The performances in "No Country" were so good and the characters so intriguing that I could forgive the abrupt ending.

It was fairly true to the book as well.

BobG said...

"If you are going to shoot, shoot, don't talk."
Tuco, from The Good, The Bad, and the Ugly.

Weer'd Beard said...

Breda, you might find it well worth your while to track down the original short-story by Elmore Leonard. It's short, to the point, and gets the job done better and cleaner than that crappy film.

Ok Maybe "Crappy" isn't the right word, but no matter how good a movie is, if the ending is head-breakingly stupid like 3:10 was, I don't ever want to see it again.

It's spelled "Three Ten to Yuma" and you should be able to read the whole thing on a halfway slow day in the library.

Lorimor said...

I suggest "Shane." Quite possibly the greatest Western ever. No pussyfootin' around there. Nosiree!

Shane: So you're Jack Wilson? I've heard of you.
Jack Wilson: What have you heard Shane?
Shane: I heard you were a low down Yankee liar.

Beautiful movie. Great story. Legendary ending.

Joanna said...

Shane? Fergit the movie, read the book. It's short, it's to the point, and it's one of the half-dozen books I just don't get tired of, and that's saying something.

Jason Cato said...

It would be a movie like this one.

Holly said...

If I recall correctly, Saw has a scene where a woman has a gun trained on a man who has just broken into her house and threatened to kill her child and all she does is quiver and whimper, because she couldn't possibly pull the trigger, that would be upsetting or something.

Lorimor said...

"Shane" The Book is great but we were talking films.

Yes, I'd highly recommend the book as well.

Walter "Jack" Palance, as the rail thin, hawk faced paid killer "Jack Wilson", was fantastic. As menacing a character as ever graced the silver screen.

After meeting "Jack Wilson" for the first time:

Joe: Whaddya make of him, Shane?
Shane: He's no cowpuncher.

Classic battle between good and bad. And this film was made back when "good" still won.

Glenn B said...

You wathed that movie, the new version, and were able to tell who was the hero! I was sure as hell confused because they sure wanted to make it look like the good guy was unworthy of the moniker and that the bad guy was almost a saving angel of sorts. Much along the lines of the original and a lot of other Hollywood bunk wherein they try to blurs the lines between good and evil.
I figured the only true good guy in that film fantasy was the kid.

All the best,

ExurbanKevin said...

The new version has our heroes traveling from Bisbee, Arizona to Contention in the winter with at least of foot of snow on the ground.

Ain't happening. The southeast part of the state is a bit milder than the central part, but not enough to get snow of any sort, especially the kind that sticks around for days on end.

Oh, and just like Bisbee, Contention was a copper-mining town that clung to a steep hill, not plopped down in the middle of the high plains. They re-used the town from Silverado to save a few bucks, and it cost them.

TCK said...

I thought the cowardice and hesitation of Bale's character was supposed to be one of his defining traits, the movie even drops a hammer on the viewer when we learn how he really got that bad leg.

smith kaich jones said...

Yeah, but, Russell Crowe. All I need. Shallow? Yes. I admit it.


Holly said...

I hated it.

My review from two years ago.