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|Index||432 reviews in total|
Boyle shows his true talent by directing a film about not much. Franco carries the film very well. It's pretty much just him. It's great to see him also adding layers of interest, by taking him from sympathetic, to just pathetic, and then back again. Boyle livens things up in such a claustrophobic environment, with some truly imaginative and often scary dream sequences. I'll never look at Scooby-Doo the same again. It started off on the wrong foot, with painful editing, jazzing it into some lifeless unfocused trash. I really had trouble liking this at first. It seemed like a first time director, and not someone like Boyle, whom should be confident by now. Things did turn around, even if the music was too intrusive at times. When you get to the climatic scene, it was one where I was grimacing, gritting my teeth, but also hoping for the best.
I try to have as little knowledge about movies I am about to watch as
possible. It was impossible though, to not get the one big incident in
the movie. Everyone was talking about it and he even made a skit for
comedy show (I think it was for Jon Stewarts Show), where it was
obvious what he was going to make.
But if you watch the movie, you will understand that it's not a big secret anyway. It's almost the first thing he does anyway. Though it doesn't happen. Apart from this really big incident, you might wonder what the movie will be about. And how trapped it will feel (remember Buried?). And you will be surprised that while you might feel closed in, there is also quite a few sequences where the mind wanders ... and I have to admit, I never thought he (Danny Boyle, director) would make those bold choices (visually speaking). I'm even more surprised that the Academy would give this more than one nod (though ultimately it didn't win).
Very intense drama, about being trapped and not having a way out. But still having the will to live through it ... But is it enough? Watch and see for yourself
It's no surprise this movie would do well with critics etc., filled with a preachy pretentiousness that is generally seen as epic. I thought the scenery was gorgeous, and the overall filming was definitely unique in it's own right. However, as much as I love James Franco, I thought this movie feel flat and was wwwaayyy over the top with it's "message." The whole, don't know what you got till it's (almost) gone, and the, I'm gonna start living my life for the one's I love, etc. To be honest, came across as super cheese, preachy. What would have been funny, is I bet if this movie had the same message, but that of one with Christianity, it would have been seen as "preachy" from the Hollywood Hipsters. I'd recommend Soul Surfer, way cooler and better scripted.
As I was watching this movie for the first time, I instantly knew it
would find itself on my favorite movies list. "127 Hours" is a movie
about a man named Aron Ralston, an everyday guy with a passion for
mountain climbing and anything outdoors, who winds up stuck on the line
between life and death- or rather, between freedom and a boulder. He is
pinned by his arm against a canyon wall and has to take a stab at
surviving. It is based on a true story.
I have a lot of respect for Danny Boyle. I have always loved his style of directing, so I was keen to see what his next project would be after "Slumdog Millionaire" swept the Oscars in 2008. I had heard this story many times before, so I was instantly interested in how Boyle would turn this tragic story into a big screen movie. He did not disappoint. One of my favorite things about the movie is that Danny Boyle stayed really close to the actual story. The real Aron Ralston said so himself that the movie is as accurate as you can get while still being a drama.
Boyle made the right choice in bringing back A. R. Rahman to score the movie. The music is what completed the movie, in more ways than it would affect other movies because of the situation. There are scenes that portray just plain emotion, and the music adds a whole new level of depth to these scenes. The soundtrack is chilling, yet so beautiful.
Casting-wise, James Franco was perfectly cast as Aron Ralston. I was a fan before, but this movie doubled my respect for him. His performance was astonishing and completely believable.
Before I watched this movie, questions were floating in my head. Will this whole movie take place in the canyon? Will it be boring? Will it be sickening? No, no, and yes. About 70-75% of the movie does take place inside the canyon, but it does not get boring. Flashbacks and hallucinations fill up some time here, but during this portion of the movie (in the canyon), you feel as if you are in there yourself or that Aron is talking to you personally. The movie is very intimate. That even applies to the squeamish moments. There IS a lot of blood. Do not be surprised if you find yourself looking away from the screen at some parts (I could not help it).
While watching this movie, I felt anticipation. I felt fear. I felt. optimism. I laughed. I cried. This movie truly is the whole package. I highly recommend everyone to see this movie at some point in their life. It is eye-opening and will make you wonder...what would you do if you were in Aron's shoes?
This is one of the most intense films I have ever watched. I'm not
squeamish, but had my eyes averted perhaps during 10% of the film. I
almost quit watching it and thought about turning off the DVD several
times during the film. I can say this about many films that I have
disliked, but this it the first time I can say that about a film I
really thought was great.
It is so real, almost like a documentary. They wanted to cast Cillian Murphy for their first choice as the lead. All I can say is thank god for that failing, and Franco taking the part. Nothing against Murphy, but this is one of those films where the lead just nails it perfectly. I could not imagine any other actor doing as well as Franco in this role. There are quite a few films where the first choice fell through, and the second or third choice just nailed it. Brando was second choice for The Godfather! They wanted Lawrence Olivier, but he was too old and sick to commit to it.
In any case, this film could not have been done any more brilliantly, honestly and accurately. The first scene with the two girls was "Hollywoodized" but the rest of the film is dead on accurate. Ralston said so himself. The Southwest is amazing, I have lived there and hiked a fair amount of it. The scene with the electrical storm was perfect. I have seen week after week, month after month, of nothing but sunshine, cloudless skies, and beautiful, consistently dry, sunny weather- And then an electrical storm from hell, will form out of nowhere, and hit brutally hard in less than 20 minute's time. Often with golf-ball size hail. It's one of the best scenes in the film.
*** This review may contain spoilers ***
Just a quick summary of the film: A mountain climber becomes trapped
under a boulder while canyoneering alone near Moab, Utah and resorts to
desperate measures in order to survive.
By the way, there are lots of reviews about the amputation scene so please do not expect it in this review. Okay, back to the review. I looked at the trailer and thought "Oh my, this looks seriously amazing" and it was more then that. Danny Boyle is a genius! The cinematography is beautiful, the way it if filmed is fast paced considering it is solely around one actor. Danny Boyle has used camera techniques and angles that thought were impossible. The editing was brilliant, the music was well suited and I loved the touch of the picture in picture sequences. But I cannot exclude Mr James Franco. James Franco performance was just... Wow... One of the greatest performances I have ever seen. Defiantly an Oscar winning performance. Without a shadow of a doubt and if they were two awards for the academy awards, it would go to Colin Firth and James Franco. James Franco gives a tour de force performance and I watched it thinking "is this the green goblin?"... Just from that performance, James Franco is on the Robert De Niro, Al Pacino, Colin Firth, Gary Oldman, Jsck Nicholson and many others bar. A beautiful film. A never forgetting experience. A lesson about the art about surviving.
Movies that are anchored in a single location (in this case, a canyon
in Utah) appeal to me. I love the idea that movies of this nature rely
on the talent of the performer and not so much on action, special
effects, etc. Celebrated filmmaker Danny Boyle adapts the true life
story of adventurous outdoorsman Aron Ralston. Ralston has been quoted
in regards to the accuracy of the film as saying it's as close as you
can get to a documentary while still being a narrative film. Ralston is
known for a disastrous adventure into the canyons of Utah in which he
was doing some hiking and, after a nasty fall, found himself trapped
with a boulder pinning his arm to the canyon wall. For the following
couple of days, Ralston documented his experience with his small video
camera and survived on what little food he'd brought and a dwindling
water supply. The end of the film has become famous for the extreme
lengths Ralston had gone to to free himself from the canyon. I'm sure
everyone knows how the film ends by this point, but in the event that
someone reading this is oblivious, I'll avoid mentioning it. Needless
to say, it's pretty painful to watch.
Before 127 HOURS, I'd only known actor James Franco as Harry Osborn from Sam Raimi's SPIDER-MAN trilogy and a spaced-out pot dealer in PINEAPPLE EXPRESS. I was more than a little skeptical that Franco, who I hadn't seen in any serious sort of role, could pull off carrying a dramatic picture by himself. But I suppose I should've given director Danny Boyle the benefit of the doubt that he knew what he was doing. Franco does a great job. He's a talented man, and his work in 127 HOURS proves it. Over the course of Ralston's time trapped in the canyon, Franco runs the gamut from determined and hopeful to ready for the inevitable and he does such a fine job that he brings the audience along with him. Ralston's constant updates into his camcorder give us some insight into what he's going through, seeing as how he has no one to talk to. Franco is powerful as he reaches out to his parents whom he knows won't receive his message until after he's found (most likely too late). He reminisces back to mistakes he's made and moments he regrets, his entrapment giving him a new view on life.
Now yes, Danny Boyle is a great director but I know what's most likely to be the bigger selling point for the film is the final act in which Ralston gets down to business when he realizes what he's going to need to do to survive his predicament. Even those who've been desensitized to violence might have a hard time not flinching. It's not overdone and a lot of it is done off screen, but it's done incredibly well and has the audience grimacing. Keep in mind, this even doesn't happen until the last 10-15 minutes of the movie. So if it's your sole reason for inquiring into the film, you'll want to get comfortable and settle in for one of the best movies of 2010 in the meantime.
*** This review may contain spoilers ***
It's primal fear time.
Betcha when Aron Ralston started his canyon hike that Saturday morning, he didn't think that by 10 a.m. he'd be swimming in a subterranean cavern with two hot chicks, that by Wednesday he'd be drinking his own urine and that by Thursday he'd be carving his own arm off...
127 HOURS is the intense shock-rock account of how young adventure-seeker and canyoneer Ralston (James Franco) got his right hand and forearm trapped under a rock in Blue John Canyon near Moab, Utah in April 2003, having not told anyone where he was going, and of how he survived for five days and ultimately escaped his 800-pound stone cufflink.
127 HOURS is like a gruesome car accident - you don't wanna look, but you can't turn away.
When Ralston falls down a gulch and realizes his arm is trapped under a falling boulder, his dismay is soon overcome by frustration when he can't shift the boulder or pull his arm loose. He screams, "This is insane!" as we all would, because in this modern world, things like this not only don't happen to us, but CAN'T happen to us. Like the abandoned couple in OPEN WATER, we think we're too technological, too evolved, too sophisticated for these menial mishaps. Ralston peers up at the sliver of blue sky above the gulch and sees a faraway plane. It's surreal that in this world overrun by people, not one other soul knows where he is...
He thinks back to his last hours in civilization; how he didn't pick up his mother's call, how he didn't tell his co-worker where he was going, and even how he misplaced his Swiss army knife, saddled instead with a cheap multi-tool, which would have to go above and beyond its call of duty to pull off a gory task.
He starts a filmic commentary on his vidcam, one of his first ruminations that his hand has not had circulation for 24 hours, "It's probably gone." Horrifying thought! Even if you did escape now, that part of your body is destroyed irrevocably. Then the corollary thought: how long can the rest of your body maintain with one part of it slammed off from regular function? The blood is being squeezed through forcibly-created pathways to avoid that dead junction - how long before the machine busts a piston? On the third day, Ralston starts talking of his heart palpitating three times faster than normal.
He starts conserving his food (2 burritos) and water (1 flask); jerry-rigs an ingenious sling to try to shift the rock; chips away at the stone with the multi-tool. He dreams... of his ex-girlfriend, of parties, of being freed - and wakes to stone-cold reality (isn't that the worst, stomach-curdling feeling in the world?); noises in the dark, delirium, wild thoughts...
Director Danny Boyle is intent on making us feel everything Ralston felt, force-feeding us his emotional arc, through periods of sanguinity and desperation, frivolity and fear, and his ultimate descent into insanity and then clarity and then a hybrid of both; after all, how insane/sensible do you have to be to realize your only option is to break both the bones in your forearm and carve it off to escape?
James Franco goes where few actors have been - no, not down a gulch in Utah - into the mind of a man who calmly assessed self-mutilation for survival. And went through with it! Of course, our own primal fears were awakened long before Ralston made the decision. It is WE who are trapped, it is WE who will die slowly or risk brain-searing pain, and ultimately... it is WE whose arms Ralston is cutting into!
Boyle and Franco take us there, capturing not just the mental state, but (with the jolting use of fizzling audio and red meat editing) also capturing that ineffable yet jarringly familiar sensation of electric, teeth-fraying pain, as Ralston cuts through his tendons, nerves exposed. At that point, we would welcome fingernails down a blackboard.
When his arm comes away and he stumbles backwards - that blank look - it's like his brain has fried its last cell trying to process what he has just done. What was going through Ralston's mind at that point in real life? The brain as an organ assessing how to cope with a body part suddenly non-existent on its radar?
Ralston retained enough peace of mind to apply a tourniquet before the cutting got too deep, retained enough sanity to take one last picture of his cut-off arm; had enough strength to then rappel down a cliff face and walk in the direction of his car before coming across hikers and being rescued.
Astonishingly, Ralston retained consciousness through his rescue and hardly even had to be helped walking; a testament to the human body's resilience, that's how fit and/or adrenalized he was. Ralston made it because he was in peak human condition from his extreme sports escapades. It's got nothing to do with his "soul" or fighting spirit or that stupid "premonition" of his future son.
From Ralston's book, Between a Rock and a Hard Place, 127 HOURS is pure visceral emotion. It will leave you spent, if you haven't fainted first. The film's coda shows us the real Aron Ralston with wife Jessica - sitting in the sun, relaxed, quiet. A welcome relief from the foregoing intensity. Ralston continues to climb and trek; we see a prosthetic climbing apparatus attached to his missing limb.
Still, the most incredible, inspirational thing I took from Ralston was how he kept his three-day growth as a three-day growth over five days. If I could do that, I would be soooo sexy.
*** This review may contain spoilers ***
I really enjoyed this film as a whole. I thought that the situation that eventuated was shown in a realistic gripping fashion, and several times in the film you wondered "Is he going to get out this time?" James Franco played the role very very well. The start of the film was a little strange in that it was difficult to understand why it was there. I understand it's supposed to represent Aron Ralston's frenetic lifestyle. Aron Ralston's story is pretty well known. He only gets out of his predicament by 'hacking his arm off with a penknife'. Danny Boyle (director) shows this in graphic detail. I couldn't watch it. It was just too bloody for me, so be prepared to close your eyes through this part if you are squeamish. Despite this, it was a really good film. It kept me entertained, and did turn me from going - 'duh, leave a note you idiot' to having some sympathy for Ralston.
The movie was well done, the cinematography was excellent and James
Franco's performance was a tour-de-force. The movie fills out it's
running time quite well, considering you find Aron stuck in the crevice
canyon only 30 minutes into the film. The following hour consists first
of his struggles to get free, and then, as the elements, and lack of
food and water begin to take it's toll, hallucinatory sequences
predominate. Much as you'd expect. The "scene" where he finally frees
himself was suitably gruesome and rather hard to watch. Sound effects
added greatly to the tense and visceral nature of the scene. After he
frees himself, the rest of the movie is kind of anticlimactic. If you
read accounts of the real life event this movie was based on, you know
he makes it, and the rest of the movie deflates like a released balloon
for that reason.
The problem I had with the film was not in the film itself, but in the almost staggering arrogance and stupidity of the hero the story is based on. I am a caver, and it is a sport or outdoor activity as it were that is similar in one sense to mountain biking or rappeling in the desert. You don't go ANYWHERE without letting someone know where you will be going to, and when you will be back. Just in case. It is (or should be) engraved in your soul. If you don't take that one simple rule to heart, you are an accident waiting to happen. As a result, the whole premise of what an intrepid explorer and resourceful person the hero is was kind of lost on me. The film tries hard to paint him as a heroic figure with an almost superhuman endurance and a man far more resourceful than MacGyver ever dreamed of being on his best day. But.
If only he had a brain.
The good news is, he has one now, as the information on the end credits help to illustrate. Too many kids think of themselves as ten feet tall and bulletproof. Perhaps that's where the film's true value lies. Perhaps it will help to show them they are not.
The only problem is most all of those kids will never see this movie. They'll all be too busy watching the latest Transformer epic, or movies of its ilk. Shallow, superficial crap. Too bad....
I was too busy marvelling how a young man so obviously intelligent could be so stupid at the same time, and so his adventures stuck in the crevice just played for me like a cheap Darwin Awards episode in a desert milleu. Only drug out for an hour. A long, interminable hour. You knew what was coming, only you just wanted for them to get on with it. For that reason, I could not truly enjoy it on its own merits fully. That took the edge off the movie for me, because of its subject matter.
But I'm weird like that. One thing for sure, it is not a movie for all tastes. But for those who go in for survivalist movies, it is a hidden gem. James Franco should have gotten an Oscar for this, and this role should open some doors for him.
I just hope he plays someone I like more next time.
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