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Movie Review: 127 Hours

To make a movie about a man who's stuck in the same place for such an extensive period of time is definitely not easy. Ask the people behind the film, Buried. To some extent, I can't help but compare the two films because they practically have the same concept and scope.

But while the director of Buried managed to keep the entire movie inside the box and never cheated by giving flashbacks or shots of whatever was outside the box, here Danny Boyle used every trick possible to make the visuals more exciting. Yes, he ratchets up the entertainment with a jazzed up, music video style complete with sharp edits and quick cuts that somehow drained the impact of the unfolding drama.

Sure, I never got bored with the film partly because of the stylized direction that kept everything entertaining throughout. But, the frenetic film editing and camera work - though undeniably clever - also somehow removed the focus from the main plot of this film. It suddenly felt a little gimmicky and lost the emotional response that one should have for a story of this kind. So, as far as the direction and editing goes, it's a mixed bag for me.

The scoring, on the other hand, was a totally different story though. I have nothing but good things to say about it. The sound mix was excellent as it made the experience that much more intense. And although some of the music selection felt a little misplaced, it strangely worked pretty well with the film - particularly the juxtaposition of the song Lovely Day to a scene of screaming agony. Brilliant!

But of course, the majority of the film was just about Aron Ralston and thank God he was played by the incredibly talented James Franco. True, the dialogue was limited - maybe save for a couple of scenes - but James Franco never lets up in his performance and did so much with so little, which was really the biggest triumph of the film in its entirety. He was charming, witty and his personality filled the screen with his talent. Plus, his performance was really intense, emotional and yes, never preachy.

Oh, and that controversial scene late in the film that caused a couple of people to faint in theaters was probably one of the most intense experiences I've ever witnessed to this kind of prolonged extent on screen. Seriously.

Ultimately, I was never bored by this film. Danny Boyle's fresh visual flair kept the movie extremely lively the whole way through but that - oddly - seemed to also be my biggest problem with the movie. If he only toned down just a little bit, this would've felt more authentic. Regardless, 127 Hours was still a good film. Riveting story. Lovely cinematography. Good screenplay. Excellent scoring. Unbelievable performance from James Franco.

Movie Review: 127 Hours Reviewed by DAM on 2:48 AM Rating: 5

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