127 Hours (2010) Film Review *Spoiler alert*

James Franco plays the self-absorbed adventurer Aron Ralston who, without telling anyone, goes running across a desert and through canyons in Utah only to get his arm trapped under a boulder. He spends 127 hours attempting to free himself, keeping a sporadic video diary, before having an epiphany about his life, cutting off his trapped arm and saving himself.

I say spoiler alerts, but I think almost everyone who sees this film knows in advance that he cuts off his arm. It’s a good film, though I wasn’t totally drawn in. I don’t know if it is just because I knew he was going to be fine, or because I found him really annoying and didn’t really care how he got through. That’s a bit harsh – it was interesting the way his demise was treated, and certainly the way he cut his arm off was fascinating – certainly I couldn’t have even figured out how to do it, much less performing the actual act. But then, I can’t see any situation where I will end up with my arm trapped by a boulder. Touch wood.

127 Hours was nominated for Oscars for Best Motion Picture of the Year, Best Performance by an Actor in a Leading Role (James Franco), Best Writing, Adapted Screenplay (Danny Boyle, Simon Beaufoy), Best Achievement in Film Editing, Best Achievement in Music Written for Motion Pictures, Original Score, best Achievement in Music Written for Motion Pictures, Original Song (If I Rise)

The Beach (2000) Film Review


Richard (Leonardo DiCaprio), a somewhat annoying American backpacker in Thailand meets Daffy (Robert Carlyle), a psychotic Scotsman who gives him a map to a legendary beach. When Richard then finds Daffy has taken his own life, he decides to follow the map, taking a French couple with him. There he finds a hippy colony led by Sal (Tilda Swinton) and they think they have found paradise. But nothing is really what it seems.

I’d heard for years that this was a terrible film, and I disagree. I don’t think it is that great, but it’s not appalling. I didn’t love the plot, I felt as though it was supposed to be really pushing things, but even when horrible things happened, I didn’t feel that connected and so it didn’t seem that bad. Even death. What I did love what the late-ninties music and feel that had hints of Trainspotting and the like, and it reminded me of better things.