Posts Tagged ‘Trainspotting’

One Blonde Goes to a Movie: 127 Hours

November 30, 2010

Jessica says:

The description you might have heard about 127 Hours is probably something along the lines of, “It’s based on a true story about a guy who has to cut his own arm off.”  Let’s just clear something up right off the bat – to say he ‘cut’ off his arm is a bit misleading.  What actually happens is way more horrifyingly awful.

It is based on the true story of Aron Ralston, a 20-something outdoorsman who had an accident while hiking a desert canyon alone.  He fell as a boulder came loose.  That boulder ended up pinning his arm against the canyon wall.  He remained stuck there for the 127 hours of the film’s title.  127 hours.  Just think about that for a second.  Think of how uncomfortable you would be if you just had to stay on your couch for 127 hours, much less be pinned against a canyon wall with no food or water.

Aron does end up cutting off his own arm, but as I said before – ‘cut’ isn’t really the right word there.  He actually hacks his own arm off with a blade the size of a nail file.  I am not typically squeamish in real life, or in movies, but I had to avert my eyes at points.  Bones breaking, cutting nerves, drinking urine – It’s all a bit much after an hour or so.  I actually just looked up the runtime of 127 Hours and was shocked to find that it’s only 94 minutes.  I would have sworn it was closer to two hours.  I was worn out by the end of the movie.  Side note on the drinking of the urine:  I learned from reading Why Do Men Have Nipples? by Mark Leyner and Billy Goldberg that drinking your own urine doesn’t really help you any if you’re dying of thirst.  It doesn’t hurt you because urine is sterile, but it doesn’t help.  I digress…

127 Hours is an emotional workout.  I would be remiss if I didn’t say something about James Franco’s performance.  I expect to see him nominated for a Best Actor Oscar and he deserves the nomination.  If you’ve seen director Danny Boyle’s previous work like Trainspotting or Slumdog Millionaire, then you know his style is a bit frenetic.  I’ll be honest, sometimes I like that franticness exciting and sometimes I find it tedious.  I liked it in Slumdog Millionaire and was irritated by it in Trainspotting.  I ended up on the fence about it in 127 Hours.  The movie did make me question how strong my own desire to live is – would I be willing to break my own bones and slice my own nerves?  Would I have the mental strength to keep myself sane while starving to death?  I hope I never have to find out.

I would recommend seeing this movie, but not if you are prone to fainting, squeamish, etc.  Don’t say I didn’t warn you though.  It’s tough.

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Two Blondes Go to a Movie: Slumdog Millionaire

January 30, 2009

Two Blondes review a movie and mostly ramble about themselves.

JESSICA SAYS:

My mother is known for two constant comments, when it comes to movies:

“Well…it wasn’t what I expected,” and, “You know, I’m just such a Pollyanna…”  So it was no surprise that when I asked Mom what she thought of Slumdog Millionaire, she said, “Well, it wasn’t what I was expecting.  T (one of my other sisters) said it was going to be uplifting and I guess there was just too much abuse of children for me.  You know, I’m just such a Pollyanna…”*

*Please note:  To be accurate, any quotes by my mother need to be read with a strong Midwestern accent.

As it turns out, both Mom and T are right.  There is a lot of horrible abuse of children (and adults) in this film, but it still manages to be uplifting.  I think the beauty of this film is that really horrible things happen to the characters, but the hero doesn’t let it change who he is as a person and in the end (and I don’t think this is giving anything away), he triumphs.

The child actors in the movie (Azharuddin Mohammed Ismail, Ayush Mahesh Khedekar, Rubiana Ali, Tanay Chheda, Ashutosh Lobo Gajiwala, and Tanvi Ganesh Lonkar – and yes, I had to copy and paste those) are fantastic and totally lacking in all the saccharine precociousness most child actors have that makes me squirm.  I listed all their names because each one of them was remarkable.  They will break your heart.

I am fully aware that this might sound a bit corny, but I don’t care.  It’s true.  This film reminded me that movies have the magical ability to transport you to a world you’ve never seen before.  This scenery was rich and beautiful and so much credit must go to Danny Boyle and Loveleen Tandan (directors), Anthony Dod Mantle (cinematographer) and Mark Digby (production designer).

I loved this film.  I recommend you go see this movie right now.  Seriously, go!  Also, if you like this movie I recommend Cidade de Deus (City of God) and Tsotsi – both similar films set in Brazil and South Africa, respectively.

ALISON SAYS:
Some of the reviews make this look like a feel good movie.  And I guess by the end, you do feel good about watching this film and feel uplifted by a tale of triumph over impossible odds and a story of love.  But be warned, this is not an easy film to watch.  The slums of Mumbai is not an easy place to be, either as an orphan on the run (like our main character) or as an audience member viewing a world that is harsh, dirty and dangerous.

I would love to pick Danny Boyle’s brain (the director).  Here’s a man who made Trainspotting and 28 Days Later and now this film.  These are three terrific, riveting films, but all so completely different.  I am happy to see him being showered with accolades, and while he is obviously is responsible for this film being so incredible, I also think a lot of credit should be given to the cinematographer Anthony Dod Mantle and to A.R. Rahman, who composed the music.  The directing and acting in the film is superb, but what stayed with me were the images, the colors of this world I know nothing about.  And the amazing soundtrack.  According to IMDb, A.R Rahman is known as the John Williams of the Indian Film Industry.  I will definitely be (legally) downloading the music from Itunes.

Jessica and I went to see Slumdog Millionaire at the Arclight in the dome with my mom.  We paid full price on a Friday, dealt with huge crowds and it was well worth it to see a film like this on the big screen, especially in such a spectacular theater.  And I must thank Fox Searchlight for putting a film out there that both my mom and I could enjoy.  She tends to love romantic comedies, while I tend to hate them.  And usually any film that I love, she will call “interesting,” (which means she didn’t like it or enjoy it).  So it was nice to bring Mom to a fancy Hollywood theater, to a film that we both really enjoyed.  Mom used the word “exciting” a couple times when asked what she thought about the movie.  She also loved the dancing and said she “would recommend it.”

LA Viewers: It’s worth paying full price at the Grove or Arclight.

Translation for non-LA natives: Find a theater near you on www.moviefone.com

Check out this interesting article on Slumdog Millionaire:  http://www.ew.com/ew/article/0„20254915,00.html