Thursday, December 2, 2010

Movie/Book: 127 Hours/Between a Rock and a Hard Place

Summary: "127 Hours" is the true story of mountain climber Aron Ralston's remarkable adventure to save himself after a fallen boulder crashes on his arm and traps him in an isolate canyon in Utah. Over the next five days, Ralston examines his life and survives the elements to finally discover he has the courage and the wherewithal to extricate himself by any means necessary, scale a 65 foot wall and hike over eight miles before he is finally rescued. Throughout his journey, Ralston recalls friends, lovers, family, and the last two people he ever had the chance to meet? A visceral thrilling story that will take an audience on a never before experienced journey and prove what we can do when we choose life.

I ashamed to say that I haven't read the book...I saw the movie.

Yes,I saw the movie first. Normally, I don't do this...I read the book because, let's face it, the book is always better. In this case, I had never heard of the book (arg. I'm ashamed) but was intrigued by the idea of someone...well, doing what he did to save himself. (I imagine you all know what I'm referring to but I'm attempting to keep this somewhat spoiler free). When I did learn that it was based on the book, I still threw caution to the wind and schlepped to the theater because I'm not necessarily big on reading survival stories. Call me superficial, but I like to keep my rose-colored glasses on when it comes to my books. So, while I decided to go see it first, I didn't think it was going to be that great.

Boy, was I wrong.

It's very hard an actor to be the only focal point of an ENTIRE MOVIE and keep you engaged. Especially with a subject like this, because it's very easy to play it one sad, "I'm going to die", grim note. In this case, James Franco more than succeeds. He's funny, he's charming, he's CRAZY. In the first few minutes of the film, you like him. So when he gets stuck LITERALLY between a rock and a hard place, you panic for him, wondering how he's going to get out (or at least I did...OY). Then you spend an hour of some change watching him try.

This is the first time I've watched a movie & then run out to buy the book (slightly annoyed that everyone has switched to the film cover now...) but it was such a good story via film that I can't imagine disliking the book. Part of this was Franco, finding the humor in this story while still managing to convey the panic/terror. Part of it was Danny Boyle, who directs this visually stunning film. The main part, though? This guy's story is incredible and extremely moving. It's an incredibly inspirational film. (Seriously, when I left the movie I was convinced I needed to learn how to swim, to rock climb, to ride a mountain bike 50 miles...I needed to learn how to be a survivor in case I was ever stuck in a canyon!)

So the book is now sitting on my shelf, ready to be devoured. In the meantime, I highly recommend watching this movie!

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