Ugh, I should have written this sooner.  Much of what I remember has now left me (and I still have two more reviews to write).  I’m wondering how I’m going to keep this up when I start school again (answer: not well, but at least I won’t be seeing as many movies).

So, let’s keep this one brief, even though 127 Hours begs for a lengthy review.  The bullet points please.

Danny Boyle is something fierce with his directing style.  It’s purely visceral, constantly filling the screen with movement and sound and action without distracting from the story.  If anything, it just adds to the experience.  Because, well, seriously, one could easily become bored when watching a man contemplate his life while trapped in a ditch with a rock holding him in place.  (Yes, the memoir is titled “Between A Rock and a Hard Place”.  No, I won’t be using that.  Cliches are cliches, even when, well, it’s literal.)  Of course, the whole style screams pay attention to the ADHD generation of ours, but it works, especially when we’re forced to do so to more than one thing at any given time.  It’s an exciting film, as much as it is gut-wrenching and inspiration (the whole testament to the power of the human spirit and what one man can do to evaluate himself and change his life, and, well, to actually live).

James Franco will get his due, though it may not be this year (Colin Firth is set to win everything for The King’s Speech).  I’ve always maintained his underrated abilities (his major role in Spider-Man notwithstanding), especially in recent years (I mentioned this before in my review of Howl), but this is the role that’ll elevate him further.  It’s his show from beginning to end, and he plays the part perfectly, from fiercely independent mountaineer to the contemplative man on his last bit of strength and will power.

As for that dreaded arm cutting scene, it’s not as bad as it seems.  Okay, it’s somewhat gruesome, but the whole sequence was set to keep the camera away from the actual cutting (there are several shots with all of Franco, and then with Franco’s head).  It’s a precise cut, or as precise as one can be when equipped with a shoddy multi-tool.  The scene maintains the visceral style that’s present throughout (especially when a nerve is literally hit).  It would be a shame not to watch it, since it serves as the final breaking point for a man willing to live instead of die.

Quite good, and a must see.

A-

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