Monthly Archives: March 2011

127 Hours, Seemed Like Just a Few Minutes…I Guess it Was!

“127 Hours” is based on the harrowing true events of what happened to Aron Ralston during a hike in canyons in Utah. James Cute-tay Franco plays the real life person of Aron Ralston, who is a young man that loves biking, hiking, and partying.  He heads out one day, journeying across and though some canyons.  He encounters only two young women on the trip. He shows them a very cool place that has an underground pond where they go swimming/skinny-dipping, and then the girls continue their hike back home.  Aron has his camcorder with him and video-blogs his adventure.

 Although a very experienced hiker, Aron slips and falls into a deep crevice as a large boulder dislodges. The boulder lands on his hand and arm, pinning it so tightly against the walls of the crevice, he cannot remove it.  He is stuck at the bottom, far away from civilization.

Over the next few days/minutes, we witness his trying to survive with little water and food with his sanity slipping away at times. Similar to the movie “Castaway,” there are painfully lonely moments where he can only reminisce, or dream or hallucinate. We hear of his regrets of not returning his mother’s phone calls, and voices that haunt him as he recalls his indifferent attitude toward his last girlfriend.  This made me want to cry with my own regrets of things not done or said.  He profoundly concludes, “It’s ME. I CHOSE this. This rock has been waiting for me for me, my whole life, for this moment.” He then has a premonition of having a son. This re-energizes him to want to live and free himself from the boulder-trap.

After contemplating cutting off his arm, he finally does it.  It was sickening but admirable.  I was cooking dinner in my kitchen while watching the movie on Pay-Per-View and it felt so wrong to think about eating anything during this movie.  I wanted to look away, but couldn’t.

Franco was perfectly cast for the part. His acting didn’t seem like acting. It just seemed like real life. I guess that is why he was nominated for an Academy Award as best actor. At the end of the movie, we get to see a final shot of the real Aron with his wife and son. It had a truly happy ending.

I liked it a lot.  Can you tell?


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“The Adjustment Bureau” Needs No Adjusting


The Adjustment Bureau

If a movie stays with you hours later or days later, it had to be, not just good, but great. “The Adjustment Bureau” was THAT kind of movie.  It had romance, action, suspense, and a deeply thought-provoking premise.  It was for EVERYBODY.  I dare to say, it will get a Peoples’ Choice award for sure.  I chose to see it based on the “Yahoo Users” rating of an “A”, and I’m sorry, but those users are right a LOT of the time!  Critics…not so much.  I could never be a critic.  *cheesy smile*

Matt Damon plays the young politician, David Norris, who is on the road to a successful career in politics when he has a, seemingly, chance encounter with a ballet dancer, Elise, played by Emily Blunt.  She is beautiful, witty, and charming AND has a soft British accent. David starts to fall in love with her.  Heck, we ALL do. She is great.  I’m hearing the roar of take-off in Emily’s acting career right NOW.  David is, sexy, smart and driven to succeed. We (us and Elise) love him because he has a NYC bad-boy side to him that is volatile, too.  The scenes take place in New York City.  This had a personal appeal to me, as I recognized parts of the city, and I believe I even rode the same ferry across the Hudson River as they did in one scene. I was captivated and on the edge of my seat. Not literally. I was comfy in my theater seat, with just a Diet Coke, truth be told.

Angels dressed like businessmen, show up to intervene in their lives. The couple is unknowingly changing history that is not supposed to happen that way and “adjustments” have to be made… to put back on track, the future that was written by the “Boss”. They reveal this to David to convince him to choose what is “best” for the world over true love.  Only one angel is on David’s side, Harry, played by Anthony Mackie.  Harry helps David unite with Elise, against the opposition’s orders.  We cheer them on as David has to rush to find Elise and go to THE ONE, who wrote the history book, with the hope of getting it re-written. We see Matt Damon once again running in an action scene like we love to see him do, yet this time it seems it’s for a better cause…for love.

This movie will make you second guess every action in your life, when you start to think how history can change with one small incident. It drives home the butterfly effect, and you will not forget its message.

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Duplicity, shmlicity!

This is my/Susan’s first blog post in an effort to write film reviews! I expect these first efforts to be relatively crude ones, but hope to develop my attention to detail while watching films, refine my note taking skills, and through a writing catharsis, express my views and sentiments on my film-watching experiences.

I randomly picked, “Duplicity” as my first film critique. Maybe it wasn’t SO random.  Julia Roberts and Clive Owen were the stars that grabbed my attention. I expected it would be a good film since I LIKE Julia, and well, Clive is hot, or maybe just his British accent makes him such…nonetheless.

 The main characters in this film, Claire and Ray, were corporate security agents that were also spies/ double agents/ traitors to their employers.  It was confusing to decipher who was on whose corporate team, but the movie had the action packed tension that was exciting to witness. The thrill did indeed speed up one’s heart rate.  Naturally, some sexual tension was sketched in as was some role playing as Claire and Ray flirted and carried on an affair over several months while trying to steal inventions and corporate secrets, with the goal of catching the “big one” to sell to the highest bidder so that they could leave behind a world of deception and retire to a couples’ paradise, all the while undermining each others’ clandestine maneuvers.

The scenes vary from Dubai, to NYC, to Miami, to Cleveland, to Dunwoody, Ga., to Zurich, and San Diego.  Acting skills from the duo were not that expressive, although I did think Julia pulled off the disinterested witch act, pretty well at times. (I’m hoping to pick up that skill).  I can see how that made her character appealing, but even I was feeling like this older couple was too old to think about in terms of having sex. I just didn’t want to have to “go there.”  Not only that, but, the ending was WAY too predictable.  It didn’t have a “feel good ending,” nor was it ironic enough to be amusing.  It simply fizzled out.

 I was pleased to see Paul Giamatti (loved him in “Sideways”) in a new role as he played the obsessive CEO of Ekracrom, but Tom Wilkinson had billing over him, as the corporate competitor, even though this role was much smaller than Paul’s.  It was an unfair billing.

I’m so sorry! This is not a film I’d recommend to other people unless you are a diehard fan of these actors. It gets two thumbs down from me. NEXT!

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