Swanner: James Franco plays a canyoneer that gets caught between a rock and a hard place. After having his right arm trapped by a fallen rock, a man survives over 5 days until he finally makes the ultimate sacrifice. The one thing that kept crossing my mind was why would anyone want to do this? What is the attraction of jumping back a forth between rocks and crevasses? There were many moments that i couldn’t even watch. I’m not saying it wasn’t a good movie I’m just trying to figure out the motivation.
Judd: The beginning of 127 Hours reminded me a lot of The Decent. The dark claustrophobic spaces, the crawling around in tight cramped areas where normal civilized people have no desire to go creates atmosphere of danger and a sense of “get the hell out of there!” It’s a rush; I can think of better ways to get my jollies. 127 Hours, directed by Danny Boyle, is a one man show set in a space 5 foot wide and framed from the shoulders up. Franco really gets a chance to stretch and show us what he’s capable of, and Boyle gets to try his hand at a very intimate drama. I left the theatre with a much higher opinion of Franco, and my firm belief that Boyle can do no wrong reassured.
Swanner: I completely agree with you on Danny Boyle. Millions, Slumdog Millionaire and 28 days are all great movies so I’m not surprised on how good the film was but to make it such a nail biter when i knew the outcome! Considering the last hour is pretty much just Franco on screen, (and it’s never dull) Boyle uses his signature quick edits and flash backs to keep things moving.
Judd: I enjoy Boyle because he is an excellent storyteller. He can take a dead simple plot and turn it into something rich and complex; if he was a chef, his movies would be gourmet meatloaf. It’s something we’re all familiar with, but Boyle is able to make it completely new. I really liked the diptychs and triptychs that Boyle used throughout 127 Hours. It took a static setting and allowed us to simultaneously watch Franco’s emotions and reactions as we’re watching what he’s thinking about. Triptychs are an extremely old gimmick, but again Boyle is taking something that we’ve seen before and never really given much thought to and forcing us to pay attention. While I’m at it, I want to add that the movie is based on actual events and a book written the victim of said events, Aron Ralston. In the end credits they stated that Aron is still hiking and canyon crawling. So apparently, despite having to sever his own limb with a dull knife, he didn’t learn his damn lesson. As my momma used to say, “It’s all fun and games until someone loses and arm.” So while I enjoyed the movie, I know if I were to meet the real Aron Ralston I would want to punch him in his stupid hippie face.