Monday, May 23, 2011

127 Hours

Directed (and co-written) by Danny Boyle, Fox Searchlight Pictures, 2010. Starring James Franco, Amber Tamblyn, Kate Mara, and Treat Williams.

Genre: Adventure, Biography, Drama, Thriller.

Question: We all have had nightmares but you know the ones where you are screaming for help and nothing comes out? No matter what is happening in your dream:  being chased by a monster, falling from a skyscraper, or you just can't open that door -- not being able to get anyone to hear your desperate plead is by far one of the worst nightmares to have. 127 Hours takes that kind of nightmare from a real-life story and totally sucks you in to an unimaginable tale of one man's struggle.

I nearly cried when James Franco, stuck in the canyon on the first day, screams "HELP!" at the top of his lungs. This movie was powerful, emotional almost gut-wrenching at times, and had one of the most cathartic endings in any story on film. We all know the story but if you don't I won't tell you about it. 127 Hours is the true story of Aron Ralston and his survival story. (Based on the book "Between a Rock and a Hard Place", WOW, what literal meaning that has.)

It took me a long time to want to see this movie. Danny Boyle is by far one of the best directors we have today and his previous film, Slumdog Millionaire, is proof of that. But I just had no desire to see this one. Maybe it was the story. I have mentioned I am easily affected by movies and the premise made me feel a little claustrophobic. Also, James Franco is not one of my favorite actors. I know, shocking. I seem to like everyone -- according to my past reviews. There is just something about him that always kind of made me go "eh". Perhaps it is the characters he chooses to play. Who knows?

However, there was no denying 127 Hours was a good movie. All the accolades and awards tossed around did make me think twice. Now that I am reviewing movies I am forcing myself to broaden my horizons and not let any prejudices or preconceived notions get in the way. I am so happy I let me guard down about James Franco. He was fantastic and so was the movie!

The movie started off in an odd way but after you get into the story you soon understand why. We are not alone in this world of six billion people, but when you find yourself in a situation like Aron Ralston did -- it really doesn't matter how over-crowded our world seems.

While I was being totally mesmerized by Franco's performance, I kept wondering why it garnered a R rating. Sure there was an occasional curse word or two, no real nudity or violence against others, but then the scene I was dreading the most happened.  My fingers slowly crept up towards my eyes to help me shield the horror and then I understood the rating choice. How could someone own the ability and courage to do what he did? 127 Hours answers that question -- brilliantly and honestly.

Now if you have not seen this movie yet -- stop reading this review now and go download this or put it on your queue. You won't regret it.

My favorite thing: James Franco. He was truly fantastic in this film.

My least favorite: The urine part. I have a weak stomach.

Did the previews ruin it by showing too much? No!

Random thought: This movie had some wonderful shots of Moab and it reminded me of a friend of mine's Photography: Frank Lee Ruggles. Check out his work on his website or on his fanpage on Facebook. Amazing photographs of America.

Rating: R
Length: 94 minutes

Review: 10 out of 10


Kimberly Gauthier said...

I still can't bring myself to see this movie although I've read and heard so many good things. I'm happy to see him attacking such great roles - I love his range. Spiderman (which didn't do him justice), Pineapple Express then THIS. Wow!

Tired of Previews said...

I know - I had the same thought but I do love seeing an actor take on something that no other has. This was pretty much a one man show. It's pretty inspirational.