MOVIE: ****1/2 (out of 5)
BLU-RAY EXPERIENCE: **** (out of 5)
BY KEVIN CARR
WHAT IT’S ABOUT
On a weekend getaway in the middle of the desert, Aron Ralston gets trapped under a boulder. With no one knowing where he was or where he had even intended to go, Ralston faces dehydration, starvation and eventual death as he is trapped for more than five days.
WHAT I LIKED
I have been a huge Danny Boyle fan for years, and I’ve seen most of his films. He has yet to really disappoint me, and this follow-up to his Oscar-winning “Slumdog Millionaire” is a great step forward in his career. Rather than being burdened by the weight of an ultimate award winner, Boyle uses it as a jumping-off point to do something totally different without fear.
Not only is “127 Hours” a triumph for Boyle, but it’s also a huge success for its star James Franco. There was a time when Franco was a joke in my mind. With terrible performances in films like “Tristan + Isolde,” “Annapolis” and the “Spider-Man” series, he was a hack… a good-looking hack, but a hack nonetheless. However, after “Spider-Man 3,” Franco gave some fantastic performances in films like “Pineapple Express” and “Milk.” He continued this winning streak in 2010 with his memorable roles in “Howl,” “Date Night” and of course “127 Hours.”
Together, Boyle and Franco bring the audience into the cave and make us feel like we’re trapped for days with Aron Ralston. At the same time, Boyle’s direction takes us out of that cave through the conduit of Ralston’s mind to examine his own being.
“127 Hours” is a beautifully constructed film worthy of the praise it has received during its award season run. It’s a powerful movie that brought me to tears multiple times over multiple viewings. One of the best offerings of 2010, “127 Hours” is a rare film that hits practically every emotion possible, while it manages to be intimate and epic at the same time.
WHAT I DIDN’T LIKE
Nothing, really. This made my Top 10 Films of 2010 list with no complaints.
The two-disc set includes the high definition Blu-ray along with a second disc for digital copy. The Blu-ray includes a feature commentary with Boyle, producer Christian Colson and writer Simon Beaufoy. There are several deleted scenes, which are actually worth watching to see some interesting artistic choices from Boyle as well as some more depth in the character. There’s also a spotlight on the collaboration between Boyle and Franco called “127 Hours: An Extraordinary View.”
However, the most fascinating featurettes is “Search & Rescue,” a look at the actual events that inspired the film and how Ralston’s family and friends went to extraordinary measures to find him once he went missing.
WHO’S GOING TO LIKE THIS MOVIE
People who love a powerful film… but you’ll need a strong stomach at times.