127 Hours Blu-Ray Review

The Movie: 8/10
We are extraordinarily sturdy creatures, and yet so delicate at the same time. Most of us never have to test our bodies and mind to either extreme. We think we are stressed out about everyday stuff, and the ocassional personal tragedy, illness, death of a loved one, etc. These are all  hard to cope with, but then when it comes down to it, those are common, shared, generic kinds of events in all humans’ lives. What about trapping your hand under a rock in a desolate place where no one will ever find you? Ahhh, that’s not common, but it’s a true story of one dude and that’s what this movie is about.

There are always certain liberties with “based on a true story” movies that writers and directors take to make the whole thing movie friendly. I can accept that. In this film I am not thinking about the Hollywood touches, and that’s quite an accomplishment. I was there with that dude every minute from the time he takes off on his dessert caverning adventure until he’s trapped, and on and on. I won’t discuss much about his experiences. It’s something you need to watch and soak up on your own. What I will say is that Between Danny Boyle and James Franco, they made one of my favorite movies so far this year.

Boyle, well, come on…he’s awesome. I have been a fan since my pre-husband sent me the litmus test list of movies to watch. Secretly I think he was judging me based on my fondness of his favorites, and well, 11 years later we are still married so that movie list must have worked. Anyway, Boyle has a style that’s just intoxicating for me. The action isn’t always just action. The dialog isn’t just dialog. The emotions are high, and the music is always just right.

127 Hours certainly stands out as unique amongst the Boyle list of movies. It’s got a more isolated, more potentially grim view of things. The thing about Boyle that has always been interesting and comforting in my movie love affair, is that he’s got a certain hopefulness about the way he tells stories that is uplifting just when you think humans can sink no deeper into being wretched beasts. He finds a way to make you perk up and maybe, if you are looking for a bit of an inspiration, his might be the body of movies to make a weekend marathon. Um, you might want to leave out Shallow Grave, I think the title says it all.

James Franco is compelling and riveting. I am pretty sure those words have been used by someone else already, but it’s so true. He’s got a commitment to this character that goes beyond the “oh I’m watching James Franco” feeling. He’s trapped. He’s stuck. He’s the one trying to escape, to cope, to not lose his mind. He’s there and we are watching it happen. That’s some kickass combination of directing, set design, and about 96.7% performance from the leading man. I’m not gaga over the dude, it’s just that when that feeling of being consumed by a movie comes over me I appreciate it and I always want to find it again and again. That’s not to say that if I watch some other Franco flick it will be the same, but the combination of an incredible story, a wild-eyed director with a style I just can’t get enough of, a set director and cinematographer who both understand how to bring an audience along for the ride…well, it’s movie magic people. There is no other explanation.

I highly recommend 127 hours for a lot of reasons, not least of all the boost of human spirit juice it might just give ya.

Features: 9/10

  • Director & Co Writer Commentary – Boyle is great fun to listen to, I mean, that accent…it’s sexy.
  • Deleted Scenes – These are best left out, and at the same time I’m glad they are available to see just that much more of the story and more scenes with Franco:)
  • Search & Rescue: Actual Events That Aided The Search & Rescue Of Aron Ralston – Absolutely a perfect extra. If all DVD’s were this smart, I would be swimming in them. This is a true grit story of human endurance. I wanted to hear from the real people, and that’s what they gave us. From the mom of the actual dude, to the actual dude, and the rescue people, and ordinary people who were all vital in the process. It’s got the truth behind it and then you add in the well produced segments with interviews, it’s just excellent.
  • 127 Hours An Extraordinary View – How did they make it look like a dude stuck in a crack in the Earth? Made a crack in the Earth…and put James Franco in it. 🙂 Another excellent extra that truly adds to the whole movie and true story experience. Cheers to the people who made this DVD.
  • Digital Copy – I might actually want this on my laptop, so this time, rah rah rah the extra copy.

Cover Art and Menus: 9.7/10
I really do dig this cover. It’s bold and interesting, and not just a pretty face smashed up to the camera to attract the idiots who only watch movies based on the star power on the cover…end of complaint….. If they had taken off all the words, I would have given it a 10/10, but as it is I will actually seek out this as a poster to hang in our movie room. That would be awesome! The menu is just normal, but the cover makes up for it’s normalness.

Audio & Video: 9/10
Blu-Ray was practically invented to showcase dynamic visuals, luckily Danny Boyle is one of the most visually dynamic directors around and 127 Hours looks and sounds superb on the shiny HD disc. Most of the movie is filmed in stark daylight and looks as sharp as you could imagine. The movie uses a mix of HD and Super-35 sources and even when looking through the handheld cam looks sharp and clean. Shadow detail is spectacular and no signs of edge enhancement were apparent.

The audio is where director Danny Boyle shows his magic touch, you would think a movie about a guy trapped under a rock would not have that interesting a sound scape, but that couldn’t be further from the truth. Like Trainspotting the movie uses music and strange audio cues to bring the movie to life. If you are listening to this movie on anything less than a 5.1 system you are doing yourself a disservice.

Overall great Blu-Ray presentation and an even better movie. I am looking forward to seeing what one of the most diverse directors of this generation comes up with next.

Value: 10/10
Great movie, great extras, great value. I don’t know what else to say. $15 is fine and dandy with me to have this on my shelf and to share it with people who come around my house who bitch and complain about how slow their cell phones are at downloading stupid videos….yea people, you could be trapped in a big crevase in the Earth’s surface, deal with your crappy phone!!

Overall Score 9/10