Wednesday, March 02, 2011


filming the MGM lion

127 Hours

I suppose there's always going to be a problem sitting down to watch a movie when you already know the outcome of the story it's going to portray. What the directors do with that road towards a known finale is the whole reason for sitting there; some succeed with spectacular success, some don't. You know going in that the Titanic is going to sink but Cameron wove a rich tapestry of social drama that dripped with pleasing CGI eye candy that you couldn't get enough of. In 127 Hours you know going in hot boy James Franco is going to cut his arm off to escape his predicament; you wind up thinking well just go ahead and get it over with already.

I honestly don't understand the hype that surrounded this film. Franco does Aaron Ralston, the canyoneer subject, as pretty much an adventurous young man who is also pretty much a cocky asshole. I've come across too many of these types in my travels to get any kind of a good impression from somebody who hikes in wilderness with a set of blaring headphones. Being a dipshit and taking stupid chances does not make a hero IMO, and if because of said dipshittedness a guy gets into a tight situation and has to tough it out somehow, well, good for him and I hope he learns a lesson.

Our dipshit gets trapped fairly early on and here's where it all pretty much failed for me. We're supposed to care so much for this guy that all his dreams and visions and hallucinations are somehow as important to us as they are to him. It literally gets boring in this situation as the director resorts to cliches like using a camera with a seemingly unending battery supply for our boy to narrate to us. Along about then my wife started tapping her fingers and we both had a laugh as we each shared the tedium. And that's the thing - we cared so little and never got emotionally engaged with the dude to the point that when he cut his arm off it was anticlimactic instead of horrifying. Maybe 127 Hours actually means how long the movie feels in reel time.

Canyonlands Park is one of our favorite places and a lot's been said about the beautiful shots. Fair enough but any number of travelogues and docs do far more justice to the awesome scenery, or better yet visiting the place is unforgettable. Our amputee canyon empties into the famous Horseshoe Canyon in a piece of Canyonlands NP east of Hanksville in southern Utah. Horseshoe has the most impressive ancient pictographs on the Colorado Plateau, which were briefly shown at the end of the movie. We've never been to that particular canyon but have been to the area surrounding Moab more times than I can remember. If you've never been to southern Utah you are missing the most spectacular landscapes on the face of the earth, but it can be disarmingly beautiful, so take care.


Anonymous Anonymous said...

Hahaha!!!! "Disarmingly beautiful", very good! And I agree with your movie critique.

2/3/11 2:35 PM  
Blogger nolocontendere said...

Yeah anon, I have no idea what that movie was doing in "Winter's Bone" and "Black Swan" category. It just wasn't that good of a flick, on a variety of levels.

2/3/11 6:40 PM  

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