image from opposingviews.com
RANT: Wish that some of the best movies would have wider releases. Black Swan, Monsters and others are out, but nowhere close enough for me to view and review. Even 127 Hours is much more scarce than I would have liked. I understand that the studios and distributors have to forecast the popularity of all of the films they release, but for fans like me, it is always a hunt to find some of the better films.
SYNOPSIS: Aron Ralston becomes trapped under a boulder in a canyon crevasse while canyoneering alone near Moab, Utah and must resort to desperate measures in order to live.
Slumdog Millionaire writers and director reteam to bring the harrowing and heroic story of mountain climber Aron Ralston to the screen. Director Danny Boyle of films such as Sunshine, Trainspotting and 28 Days Later crafts a screenplay with writing partner Simon Beaufoy, also known for his screenplay for The Full Monty.
James Franco stars as canyoneer Aron Ralston, an engineer with a sweet spot for all things extreme. More at home in the canyons then in the confines of urban living, Aron treks out almost every weekend to enjoy the solitude that the open outdoors brings. As he makes his way along the deep slots of the Blue John Canyon, he comes across a pair of other trekkers looking for The Dome. After showing Kristi and Megan some of the coolest spots, he leaves them to continue his own adventure. While Aron traverses one of the slots, a boulder wedged between the walls dislodges, causing Aron to fall to the bottom and causing the boulder to jam his hand between it and the canyon wall. The moment the hand and boulder come in close connect is the moment the film actually starts in earnest.
The film reflects on the cattle culture that the majority of us live in on a daily basis. As we push along on subways and expressways during the rush hours of our lives, Aron lives for the isolation of the open expanse of the world that has been left behind. The majestic vistas, although still plentiful across this nation, retreat into the background all but forgotten. We can sympathize with Aron for his pursuit of the wide open and his escape from the closed in.
But as with all irony, Aron finds that he is once again a victim of confinement. And as he uses all of his equipment and know how in his attempt for freedom, his failures and frustrations serve to remind him of what he may be forced to live behind - family and a meaningful future. Aron is forced to recognize that he could have opened wider his heart to those who were the closest to him, regardless of his fear of commitment and crowds.
Danny Boyle shoots 127 Hours to showcase the grandeur of our land, letting us know that we are somewhat insignificant. Aron's plight and its eventual outcome, however, are also a testament of the strength of the human spirit against seemingly insurmountable odds. Aron's attempts at freedom are fascinating and his resourcefulness of survival are admirable. The actual escape scene is difficult to watch, but serves as a question as to how far would any of us go to live.
Worth: Matinee or Netflix
I am also trying out a new rating system shown below based on reader reaction to my somewhat complex monetary rating scale. I will give both ratings and see what kind of reaction I muster. A movie can receive up to 5 popcorn buckets. Why popcorn buckets? Because I am a slave to the thousand + calorie delight! Enjoy!