When this film arrived in the mail I felt like an Oscar voter. I was super excited to see it but a little bit hesitant because of “the scene.” This scene already lives in infamy, like the scene when the alien pops out of John Hurt’s chest. Or in the Great Dictator when the Tramp talks, or when Thelma & Louise drive off the cliff. That’s the impact this scene has already had on movie goers. Luckily, I’m up for anything that James Franco is in, because I know that I will get an interesting perspective (this kid can really do anything), and now he is a local boy (he goes to college at the very close by RISD) I have to support the Rhode Islanders.
When the true story it was based on (I usually hate this term) is actually true, the man this happened to have said “the movie is so factually accurate it is as close to a documentary as you can get and still be a drama.” This both scared and intrigued me.
Now time for another synopsis!
127 Hours is the true story of mountain climber Aron Ralston’s remarkable adventure to save himself after a fallen boulder crashes on his arm and traps him in an isolated canyon in Utah. Over the next five days Ralston examines his life and survives the elements to finally discover he has the courage and the wherewithal to extricate himself by any means necessary, scale a 65 foot wall and hike over eight miles before he can be rescued. Throughout his journey, Ralston recalls friends, lovers, family, and the two hikers he met before his accident. Of course, all of this culminates in Aron’s life-or-death determination to hack off his own arm. The dramatic suspense here is not about what is going to happen—you already know if you kept up with the news in 2003—but when and how and whether or not you’ll be able to sit through it without passing out.
This was a good film. And I’m not going to lie and say that was not expecting more, because, I was expecting more. I however was not expecting more gore. I was expecting to be stuck in the cavern a little bit more. Everything thing happened too quickly. I would have really liked a few “Cast Away” sequences so I could really experience a sense of time in the cavern. The flashbacks were a little bit cliché. I really did not understand his relationship with the girlfriend and it really felt forced.
This is easily Franco’s best performance to date, well worthy of the Oscar nomination he received for it this year. He carries the film, not smoothly—that would probably be boring—but with substantial determination, personifying the dichotomy that describes Aron Ralston. On one side, Aron is high off of life, a captivating charmer who gets his kicks trekking off into the rough country alone. On the other, he’s thoughtless, spontaneous, and arrogant—at 28, the reflecting invincibility of adolescence has yet to wear off. Franco kills all of these traits making it one of this year’s best performances. I was hoping for some real footage from Aron Ralston’s adventure but I can understand why Ralston wouldn’t want to make that material public.
Still, there are some great supplements on this disc, especially the audio commentary and making-of documentary.
Overall this was an excellent watch. I really enjoyed it although this is not my favorite film by Franco or Boyle. I should not have gone into the film with such high expectations
127 Hours [Blu-ray] is available in stores now.
Ratings are based on a 5-star scale
Overall: 3.5 severed arms out of 5.
Review by Bro “B” – Ben
We received a copy of this title for our book review. All opinions are our own.