Review: '127 Hours'

I just finished watching this movie and let me just say this.. THIS FILM IS AMAZING!

It's a simple story really.. you might've even heard of it already.

It's based on a book "Between a Rock and a Hard Place" by Aron Ralston who is famous for cutting his own arm off to free himself from having his arm trapped by a boulder in Robbers Roost, Utah.

James Franco portrays the real life subject and Mr. Franco does an admirable job.

At the beginning of the film, Mr. Ralston is preparing for his destined canyon trip and heads off into the night with gear and his trusty video camera. When he finally reaches the canyon, he begins biking around the canyon, recording the whole ordeal which stalls when his bike loses control and he crashes. Of course, Aron being Aron, he just laughs it off and continues on his way.

After he stops biking and starts walking, he encounters two hikers, Kristi and Megan (played by Kate Mara and Amber Tamblyn), who seem to be lost. Aron offers to help them find their destination proclaiming, "I can show you the way. The cool way!" (at least I think that's what the quote was) He also tells them that he is only a psychopath on the weekdays and today's a Saturday, so...

He and the two hikers find themselves in a tight place as they are inching their way through a small crease between two rocks. Aron tells them all will be fine and then falls under the two hikers. The two girls wonder what just happened. Aron has fallen into a pool of crystal clear water. The girls fall as well and have a good time.

After all the fun has stopped, they go their separate ways. Aron, feeling even MORE adventurous, starts hiking on his own again.

And there lies the trouble. He finds himself in a tight spot and just as he starts getting back into his groove, a boulder gets loose and he and the boulder descend... with Aron's arm being the victim. His arm is caught between a rock and a hard place (see what I did there). With only enough water for maybe 3 days and little food, he is trapped.

Clocking in at a total running time of just over 90 minutes, I'd say about 70 of it is just Aron trying to get himself free from this stupid rock. Aron begins questioning his past and starts a video diary on what he thinks are to be his last days on earth. The film then starts going back and forth on what seem to be either past events or possible hallucinations.

The editing in this film is a master craft and editor Jon Harris uses a side screen style to present it. When the film goes back from seemingly past and present events, you begin to wonder exactly what is actually real and what isn't.

As Aron tries every possible way to free himself, he comes to the conclusion that the only way out is to sacrifice his arm.

Danny Boyle does an amazing job directing this and James Franco carries this film on his shoulders and does an excellent job. James Franco definitely deserved his Oscar nomination.

The cinematography was beautiful in capturing the landscapes of the canyon.

I will go so far as to say that this is my favorite Danny Boyle film from the ones I've seen of his. I believe it's better than 28 Days Later, better than Slumdog Millionaire (which won Best Picture at the Oscars in 2009) better than Sunshine and WAY better than Trainspotting.  Do yourself a favor and watch this film! A triumph in storytelling and the will to live.