You are here:  Ronen Recommends

Ronen's Rating System:

***** A must watch
**** Worth seeing
*** If you must watch a movie and there is nothing else out there
** Don’t bother
* It’s so bad its almost good... not... These are films I walked out on, or just fell asleep
(K: stars) Rating by my children. As they are easy to please, would typically be higher than mine...


127 Hours (2010) ****

127 HoursStepping out of the movie theater, after the film’s screening was over, I overheard a father of two teenagers, who left just before me, telling his sons: “a lesson learned – the power of will.” Is that really the film’s conclusion? Probably, though the beauty of this true story is that the lessons that can be learned from it are many, and yet none. I have to admit I had a very hard time rating this film. I went to see it with great expectations – Danny Boyle, the director, is usually unique in his daring approach, and with a story like this literary at hand, a true story which supersedes fiction as is usually the case, I expected marvels. Yet when the movie was over, I felt the film, though avoiding some pitfalls better than Aron Ralston, its true-life hero, did not even start scratching the surface of possibilities. Boyle dares and applies some of his magic on several scenes, but all in all its James Franco’s terrific acting that saves the day.
Boyle skillfully avoids melodrama and over-analyzing. As a director telling a story, he is facing a couple of major challenges: he is telling a story that has a known beginning, climax and ending (for those of us who remember the happening back from 2003). He is also stuck with a hero that is hardly mobile for a good portion of the film, a film Boyle needs to make interesting all the same. Boyle chooses not to share much of Ralston’s life outside the story with us. He also keeps us, much like Ralston would have felt, disconnected from the outside world while entrapped. Yet, here we are, stuck with this character for whom we need to feel sympathy. It is where James Franco shines with an inspiring performance. Boyle could have filled a good portion of the 127 hours, compressed into 95 minutes, with more subtle lessons. Granted, he is an intelligent director and he brushes through many elements, but not in a way that left me satisfied. I dislike melodrama but there is still a great distance between light brushing and the other extreme. For example, better tackling the sense youth has of being invincible. It is hinted in the theme but not much explored; rather its being confused with arrogance which is not one and the same. Nor did I get a satisfied answer as to what made Ralston finally go ahead and cut his arm, after seemingly being aware of the option a couple of days into the ordeal. It is easy to speculate but I was not placed close enough in the mind of a person actually facing this traumatic experience. Close but not close enough was the sense of the trapped animal who chews at its paw in order to get released from a probable death.
What I craved was more of 'This rock has been waiting for me my entire life' - a sentence voiced by the Ralston that stays with you. A perfect 4 star this film is not, but closer to 4 than 3 stars it is. 127 Hours is a worthy film, superbly acted and capably directed, featuring a story that will resonate with you long after you leave the theater.

Currently rated 0.0 by 0 people


Got something to say? Join the discussion »

Leave a Reply

 [Quick Submit with Ctrl+Enter]

Remember my details
Notify me of followup comments via e-mail



Bookmark and Share


Get the latest film recommendations by email! (we NEVER share or sell emails to marketers)

Featured Entries

Game Night (2018) ****

Directed by John Francis Daley and Jonathan Goldstein, to a screenplay by Mark Perez, Game Night is a comedy-action thriller, that delivers jokes while...

The Last Jedi (2017) ****

If I had to sum-up the experience of watching this film in one word, it would be: impressive. Although, not without hiccups. The Last Jedi counts as ...

Professor Marston and the Wonder Women (2017) ***

A bio-drama, Professor Marston and the Wonder Women tells the story of psychologist William Moulton Marston, and the two women in his life. Martson, a...

American Made (2017) ****

Life is stranger than fiction; this paraphrase of a Mark Twain’s famous quote may come in mind, when watching American Made. It is a film based on true...

Far Western (2016, Japan, USA) ****

Who would have guessed that in Japan, especially post-WWII, American country music, including Bluegrass, will have not just fans, but actual talented ...

Blade Runner 2049 (2017) ****

Blade Runner 2049, or BR 2049 for short,  is a 2017 neo-noir sci-fi film, directed by Denis Villeneuve to a screenplay by Hampton Fancher and Michael ...

Maudie (2016) ****

An indie bio-drama, Maudie follows the life of Nova Scotia painter Maud Lewis. The film, a Canadian-Irish production, shot to a small budget of $5.6mm...

Guardians of the Galaxy Vol. 2 (2017) ****

The Guardians Vol. 2's storyline is as thin and infantile as a young twig, yet it serves one purpose – delivering perfect punchlines. And yes, the special...

Frantz (2016, France-Germany) ****

Franz tells the story of a German woman named Anna, beautifully portrayed by Paula Beer, who, in post-WWI Germany of 1919, while grieving Franz, her fianc...

Logan (2017) ***

Directed by James Mangold, who co-wrote the screenplay with Scott Frank and Michael Green, Logan is based on a story by Mangold. Logan introduces us to...


Latest Comments

    Re: Logan (2017) ***

    I agree about the relationship with Logan and Charles - added a lot of depth, especially with the next...

    -- ed

    Re: Eye in the Sky (2015, UK) *****

    Great Review Ronen!

    -- Scott

    Re: Top Five (2014) ***

    wonderfully expressed review and very accurately describing the movie...

    -- Zoes mom

    Re: Begin Again (2014) ***

    such great performers - would have expected more of.... very disappointing to hear....

    -- mother of four

    Re: Waltz with Bashir (2008) *****

    Stunned. Speechless. This is a powerful movie. Its objectivity and lack of judgment IS its power, and...

    -- Monroe Movie Lover

    Re: Inception (2010) ***

    Special effects are more than ever present even in drama movies, its almost normal that an action thriller...

    -- Alvaro

    Re: The Real Dirt On Farmer John (2005) ***

    Interesting though i was expecting more of the film.

    -- rondnor

    Re: Midnight Run (1988) *****

    great movie indeed

    -- rondnor

    Re: The Bounty Hunter (2010) *

    wont bother then

    -- superair

    Re: Stardust (2007) *****

    LOVE, LOVE, LOVE this movie :-)watching Robert De Niro in a dress what could be better.Enjoy

    -- YRD

© 2024, All Rights Reserved. Site Developed and Maintained by Progressive Element, Inc.