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Movie Review: 127 Hours

Alternate Title: Rock Star

Story: Danny Boyle knows how to make movies. This follow up film to his mega-hit Slumdog Millionaire shares that same energy, creativity and vision. How he made an action movie out of a character that is essentially stationary for most of the film is part of the genius.

If you do not know the story of Aron Ralston then this is a warning that you will be reading a spoiler alert now. It was in 2003 that Ralston set out alone, without letting anyone know where he was going, to bike and hike in Utah's Blue John Canyon. After slipping in a crevace his lower right arm was pinned by a huge boulder against that proverbial rock and a hard place. How he manages to survive and live to tell the tale is gut wrenching stuff.

We get to go inside the mind of this interesting young man. Through the personal diary videos that Ralston made while trapped Boyle and crew were allowed to see and translate this horrifying experience into movie magic. The film is energetic and imaginative and you will be riveted throughout.

Did I flinch and wince when Ralston did the unthinkable in order to escape his dilemma? You bet I did. It is indeed explicit and gory but also fascinating cinema.

The film was of course directed by Danny Boyle and written by Mr. Boyle and Simon Beaufoy and it is based on the book Between a Rock and a Hard Place by Aron Ralston.

Watch the trailer here: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=l0GycqTaXwQ

Acting: James Franco as Aron Ralston gives the best performance of his life. Bravo. This film is essentially a one man show but there is a fine, albeit small supporting cast including: Amber Tamblyn (Megan), Kate Mara (Kristi), Clémence Poésy (Rana), Kate Burton (Aron’s Mom), Treat Williams (Aron’s Dad) and Lizzy Caplan (Sonja).

Trivia: Dirctor Danny Bolyle is one of 7 directors to win the Golden Globe, Director's Guild, BAFTA, and Oscar for the same movie, winning for Slumdog Millionaire (2008). The other directors to achieve this are Mike Nichols for The Graduate (1967), Milos Forman for One Flew Over the Cuckoo's Nest (1975), Richard Attenborough for Gandhi (1982), Oliver Stone for Platoon (1986), Steven Spielberg for Schindler's List (1993), and Ang Lee for Brokeback Mountain (2005).

Predilection: I like Danny Boyle and I also like James Franco.

Critters: A raven, ants and a lizard.

Food: Oranges, Gatorade, some sort of burrito.

Sex Spectrum: Some hallucinations of sexual situations.

Blatant Product Placement: All sorts of Coca Cola products including Coke, Gatorade, Mountain Dew.

Soundtrack: An energetic soundtrack by Oscar winner A. R. Rahman.

Opening Titles: An exciting opening sequence featuring a hectic multitide in triple display with throbbing music. This sequence goes forward as we watch Aron pack his bag, load his car and set off for the hike of a lifetime.

Visual Art: The landscape of Utah is breathtaking.

Theater Audience: Around 12 other poeple.

Sappy Factor: 0

Quirky Meter: 0

Squirm Scale: The squirm factor is high due to what Aron has to do to set himself free.

Drift Factor: I was riveted througout.

Predictability Level: If you know the story there are no surprises.

Tissue Usage: 0

Oscar Worthy: Yes

Big Screen or Rental: Big screen for sure.

Length: 90 minutes