Friday, February 25, 2011

127 Hours DVD

DVD Review by Kam Williams

Headline: Harrowing True Tale of Survival Available on DVD

Directed by Danny Boyle (Slumdog Millionaire), this harrowing adventure recreates mountain climber Aron Ralston’s (James Franco) real-life ordeal during the spring of 2003 in a desert region of Utah far removed from civilization. While there for a Saturday hike, the young outdoorsman ended up trapped in a ravine when his arm became pinned to a wall by a dislodged boulder.
Because Aron hadn’t informed anyone of his itinerary before setting off alone, he knew there wouldn’t be any rescue party organized to look for him. In fact, no one even noticed his absence until he failed to show up for work after the weekend.
Initially, the desperate 28 year-old hoped that another climber would come along by chance. But neither his prayers nor bloodcurdling screams were to be answered over the next five days, leaving the unfortunate lad simply stuck between a rock and a hard place in the middle of nowhere.
From about the 15-minute mark virtually right up to the conclusion, this 2½ hour saga basically features Franco delivering a protracted soliloquy. The versatile thespian more than meets the challenge of conveying the gradually deteriorating physical, mental and emotional states of a person forced by circumstances to reflect upon his life while resigning himself to an untimely demise.
After running out of food and water, we witness Aron using his free hand to carve his name and date of birth into the rock. He also videotapes heartfelt farewells to his friends and family, before he becomes delirious due to dehydration.
Far be it from me to spoil the ending for anyone who never read the newspaper account as it originally appeared in the papers. Suffice to say that when Aron finds himself facing certain death, his only option lies in a proverbial Hobson’s choice as unthinkable as it is gruesome.
What do you get when you let Danny Boyle put his spin on a fact-based cross of Cast Away and Into the Wild? An exhilarating episode of ‘Who Wants to Be a Slumdog Mountaineer?’

Very Good (3 stars)
Rated R for profanity, violence and disturbing images
Running time: 94 Minutes
Distributor: 20th Century Fox Home Entertainment
DVD Extras: Deleted scenes and a feature commentary by director/co-screenwriter Danny Boyle, producer Christian Colson and co-screenwriter Simon Beaufoy.

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