What he said:
Danny Boyle has quietly built himself a nice resume over
the last decade or so. He first burst onto the scene with the
crime/drama Trainspotting. Despite gaining a fair
amount of critical reception, he didn’t get any significant
work as a result of the film.
After that came the psychological-themed drama, The
Beach. Despite having a new successful director and a
very young, up-and-coming Leonardo DiCaprio, the movie was
panned by most critics.
Then came the sci fi/horror movie 28 Days Later,
which revolutionized the “zombie” genre. Followed by that is
the criminally underrated – but well received – science
fiction movie Sunshine and the 2009 Best Picture
winner Slumdog Millionaire.
Boyle also has his own unique style. Intense musical
montages and a very surrealistic way of telling a story are
just some of his trademarks. It was both this style and his
impressive resume that had me excited to see this film.
127 Hours is based on a true story. Adrenaline junkie Aron Ralston
(played by James Franco) sets out on his latest adventure; a
completely isolated excursion in a national park in Utah.
One Friday evening – without telling anyone of his location
– Ralston drives to Canyonlands National Park and sets up camp
for the night. The next morning, he takes out his bike, throws
on some headphones, and begins a 4 hours bike ride into prime
hiking territory. Along the way he meets two young women whom
he briefly helps get back on their desired trail (while
showing them some breathtaking sights along the way).
Once departed from the young women, he began to set out on
his lone trek in Blue John Canton. Shortly into his trek, he
becomes trapped when a boulder falls on his forearm.
What transpires next is a psychological adventure of his
next 127 hours.. It was what I expected of Danny Boyle’s
version of this movie; the problem is it simply didn’t
I can only imagine the insane thoughts that would go
through someone’s mind while dealing this truly horrific
situation. There is no doubt in my mind some crazy stuff goes
through your mind. I just didn’t feel it was done in a way
that was compelling. In fact, I found it kind of boring. The
surreal sequence of events distracted me from the story. I
became disinterested and actually started to nod off a bit.
I have to say, I don’t agree with all the hype this movie
has received. I don’t even think it’s the best movie if it’s
kind I’ve seen lately. In fact, having recently seen another
similar type of movie, I found Buried (staring Ryan
Reynolds) to be much more compelling.
Diagnosis: A very unexpected thumbs down. I was truly
disappointed in this movie.
This movie review was given the seal approval by “the He”
on March 13, 2011.
What she said:
How would you act in the face of certain death? Danny
Boyle’s latest offering, 127 Hours, asks that very
question, as James Franc o is forced to consider his options
after becoming pinned in a Utah desert crevice. At first he
takes things in stride, trying to problem solve a way out, his
hand pinned by a large immovable boulder. Then his situation
becomes more desperate, as time ticks away and his water
supply becomes short. Franco documents his experience via
video, I’m assuming for his family (kinda morbid I know).
I could certainly feel the Danny Boyle in this movie. He
made it very much a sensory experience for the viewer, even
though the actual plot and dialogue could be a little slow. I
appreciated that. Overall, though, things did get a little
grueling. Even the soundtrack couldn’t add a ton of zest to
this. That said, I acknowledge that not every film needs to be
edge of your seat thrilling to be a good. There’s a lot of
value in how this is filmed and the story is told, and you can
certainly tell that Boyle thought everything out in great
Franco does a pretty good job, possibly his best work,
although compare it to Spiderman 3 and I think that
tells you a lot. I wish I had hands down loved this movie, but
I also didn’t think it was too bad. It wasn’t a complete waste
of time, but I think I’d rather watch Sunshine or
28 Days Later again.
Diagnosis: Thumbs half up.