There’s no denying that Academy Award winning director Danny Boyle is not an everyday predictable moviemaker.
He proved it at the last Oscar ceremony when his SLUMDOG MILLIONAIRE was crowned Best Picture.
So what’s Boyle’s follow-up act? Try 127 HOURS on for size.
It’s his gripping adaptation of Aron Rolston’s heart-pounding book ‘Between a Rock and a Hard Place’ starring James Franco, Boyle documents Rolston’s incredible perseverance and ultimate shattering action that, in the end, saved his life.
Rolston was an established mountain climber. An athlete. A cocky kinda guy.One of his outings in 2003 to Canyonland National Park in Utah would alter his life forever.
Jumping between rocks and valleys suddenly resulted in his arm being trapped by a boulder while stuck in a narrow canyon.
A bad situation that turned increasingly worse!
For five long days and nights, Rolston tried everything humanly possible to free himself.
His water supply ran out and as his body weakened, he came to the realization that there was only one way out.
To amputate his arm if he was going to live.
Mind you, all the while, Rolston was using his small camcorder to document his probable final days and leaving messages to family and friends.
The camcorder also videotaped the unthinkable.
Viewing the actual arm amputation sequence, for which he used a small dull kife, is not easy to watch. Matter of fact, I kept my eyes focused mostly to the ground during the ordeal.
But I guess today’s hardened slasher fans who have no problem with the gory SAW offerings will surely find the arm-cutting scene here through veins and bone just run-of-the-mill material.
Of course there’s more to 127 HOURS than described thus far. There are the flashbacks and free spirit encounters he has with two girls on the trail – his playful demeanor before the mind-blowing event that would alter his life forever.
But most of all, 127 HOURS is another diamond in James Franco’s fast rising stardom as an acting force to be reckoned with.
He single handedly delivers a portrayal of Aron Rolston that can only be described as stunning while keeping us glued to the screen. And never in a boring way…telling himself not to lose it while yelling to himself (and to nature) "…move this fucking rock!"
127 HOURS is excruciating cinema at times. It’s a true story that will make you squirm in your seat. It did me!
It also provides a good shot for Franco to be nominated for Best Actor in the upcoming Oscar race.
127 HOURS opens this holiday week as a ‘limited engagement’ in Kansas City, then adds additional theaters on December 3.
4 out of 5 fingers for this extraordinary film and performance.
Catch JACK GOES TO THE MOVIES—Friday mornings on KMBZ / KUDL / and KXTR.
And anytime on Time-Warner Cable’s K.C. ON DEMAND-Channel 113.