Sunday, April 10, 2011

127 Hours - My Experience, My Adventure.

I like adventure; spur of the moment, flight of fancy type of adventure.  127 Hours was my first trip to the cinema by myself and man what an experience it was!

“Never Hear Surf Music Again” by Free Blood gives a good beat to the intro of the movie, mixed in with images of people living their lives.  Then we get shots of Aron Ralston played by James Franco, up early and getting prepared for a day of adventure, an adventure which ends up much more.  127 hours of pain, emotion and realisation.

Aron’s journey to Blue John Canyon is an adventure in itself, off the beaten track he drives, mountain bikes and hikes to get to his destination. During he is taking photos, encapsulating the moment and his energy for adventure.

A short break into his journey he meets two female hikers, Kristi and Megan.  After some flirting and a little adventure dropping into a subterranean lake, he is back to his journey with music pounding and energy flowing.  Then while descending a narrow opening, a boulder breaks free and falls along with Aron.  In the process trapping his arm between the boulder and the rock face!  The title hits as silence fills the air.

Now a different journey begins, one which is harsh mentally as well as physically.  Trapped we see Aron struggle to break free, to stay warm and hydrated.  We travel with Aron on an odyssey of hallucinations washing over us like sunbeams, defining moments in his life and possibilities of the future; a son which he may never have if he doesn’t get free.  All his life has led to this, like loose threads of the universe all tying together. The score continues to build the levels of suspense and emotion.

After five days of being trapped the realisation arrives that he will have to sever his arm to get free, to live – this decision makes you realise the possibilities and extent of which us as a race would go to, to stay alive.  A bone crunching build up lead by guitar squeals and tension building upon tension, is too much to turn away from.  The sounds will haunt you more than any cheesy horror movie and rather than over do gore and blood the horror comes from the realisation that at that moment a man actually had to endure this and it was of his own doing.

Once free Aron’s journey was still not over, he is then forced to rappel down a rock face and hike several miles exhausted, covered in blood he finally runs into other hikers.  The feeling of elation at that moment even for the viewer is overpowering.  When the rescue helicopter finally arrived, I am not ashamed to say a tear definitely rolled down my face while I breathed a sigh of relief.

Again Danny Boyle strikes, a wonderful masterpiece of cinema containing stunning visuals, an enigmatic soundtrack and some very stylish cinematography. I feel this is James Franco’s best work to date also, upon first hearing it was him in the movie I was unsure, having only seen the likes of Spiderman and Pineapple Express before.  But now I applaud him as he manages to portray one man’s heart pounding journey towards near death and back again very wonderfully. 

Aron Ralston - a true superman, epilogue moments at the end of the movie show his continuing adventures and his now wife & son.

After watching this movie my emotions left raw just sat on a bench in a daze just watching the world go by, every bite or swig of drink I gulped seemed to taste better.  Appreciating life and its beauty and horrors all rolled into one.  This story will stay with me for some time and it’s an adventure that I recommended to one and all.

127 Hours is released on Blu-ray and DVD on the 6th June 2011.
The Soundtrack and Novel are out now.

Thursday, April 07, 2011

Green Lantern [WonderCon Snippet] - Impressions

My first impressions of the original trailer were fearful and unsure; will the bright coloured suits and very alien looking lanterns not fit well on the big screen?  Will Ryan Reynolds be able to shake off the cocky jock character and become something more?

Well I can firmly say the following footage from Wondercon definitely has quelled that fear and replaced it with excitement and wonder.

I feel this gives us more of an insight into the emotional journey that Hal has to take when adopting the power that is being a Green Lantern, from his first encounters with Abin Sur (Temuera Morrison) to discovering himself and what he needs to become.

All the cast seem to fit perfectly; Geoffrey Rush as the voice of Tomar-re and Dennis Haysbert as the voice of Kilowog.  But especially Mark Strong as the complete embodiment of the infamous Sinestro!
I was right with my first impression about everything feeling very alien, but now I feel it all coming together and fitting like fine pieces within a puzzle.  The Green Lantern’s suit that looks like it’s a living thing, adapting for each of its wearers and the immense planet of Oa.  Even the very abnormal lantern itself – they no longer make me fearful, the fan wondering if the movie will fail, instead they make me want to see what more of what this movie has to offer.

One thing that sealed the deal was the moment Hal first spoke the oath.  Starting with a small bit of nervous humour, unsure of what he was doing and finally the power taking over him.  The gradual change of his eyes sent shivers of excitement down my spine, so much so I now remember the Oath where I always forgot it before.

In Brightest Day in Blackest Night,
No evil shall escape my sight,
Let those who worship evil’s might,
Beware my power. . . Green Lantern’s light!!

During the footage we also get to see more of the evolution of Hector Hammond (Peter Sarsgaard) from fearful human to Parallax powered antagonist.  Parallax itself threatens to destroy the balance of power in the Universe.  

Music always plays a massive role in the trailers I watch, some work for, some against.
  The orchestral score in this footage feels like the emotional heartbeat of the movie, pulling you in and increasing the momentum until finally the title logo fills the screen.

Possibilities of a sequel, big summer blockbuster? Highly likely but hopefully that won’t be a bad thing if what I have seen so far is anything to go by.  I have also heard rumours that Guy Gardner may appear and Nick Jones Jr. has been credited as John Stewart so we may be gearing up to see the full set of corps in the future?

Well I will let you decide – full of fear or something else?