127 Days

So this movie starts up with this outdoorsy guy in his apartment packing up outdoorsy stuff in the middle of the night all high energy style. He's grabbing supplies and snatching drinks and stuffing a backpack-- and then he speeds off into the nowherevilles and falls asleep in the back of his truck to get a jumpstart on hiking first thing in the morning. And my first thought was, 'Man, that guy just isn't me...' And as I watched him skip off into the crazy beautiful smooth rocked landscape soaking in the extreme awesomeness and aloneness-- he became even less me. I'm the kind of guy who would never hike alone. Not only because I'd be afraid that I'd fall down in a thing and get all super stuck (or get munched by a bear). But I'd also fear that I'd see something super coolio and not be able to share it. That's what amazes me both about the intentionally 'alone' sporty people-- that they don't feel the need to share. The bikers and hikers that go solo. They have such a strong selfish sense of self that they're able to see and experience things without feeling a sense of loss if they're alone while doing it. In fact, they seem to like it more. Over the years, I've done some fairly coolio stuff-- but the things that I've experienced that chalk up to "cool" always felt diminished if I was doing it alone. Kind of like seeing a UFO or something. So as I watched this character run off into the... (I'm not even sure what that landscape called... what's that like rocky/valley-ey/climby/bumpy desert stuff called?) I don't know. All I know is I ain't never been motivated to go run off in there by myself. Not one drop. And after this movie I'm motivated to it far less than that...

Anyway, I'm not going to sit here and type about how awesome the director Danny Boyle is. How his triperfecta crazy range of 28 Days Later, Slumdog, and 127 Hours now places him as the number one director in terms of wanting to see anything he'll put out. There's only a few 'must see' directors out there for me. Tarandtino is always must see. Scorsecsee etc. But when those guys put out a new movie-- there's always a feeling of hesitation. Like I secretly think I'm gonna hate it. With Boyle now there's only anticipation. Especially for a guy who decides after making the (admittedly rapidly aging) Slumdog thinks he can pull off a whole movie involving a guy who falls down and gets stuck. It's just ballsy and I dig it. And I dug this movie from start to finish.

It did take me a bit of time to get used to James Franklin as the star. He is attached to Spiderman so I first had to shrug off that whole Goblin world. Plus, there's something distractingly interesting about his face. Like at certain times he's good looking. At other times his face looks like a guy doing a DeNiro impression of 'You talkin to me?' Sometimes his skin looks wrinkly. Other times it looks smooth. It's constantly morphing so until I accepted that he's a subtle shapeshifter in the face-- that was a constant slight 'What's up with his face'? It also took me a little time to settle into the style of this flick. Freeballing with video snippets and tripdick screens and sound effects slapped a style all over this movie-- and I feared it would be overused and eyerolly. But that soon settled into just being coolio and appreciated because when you're doing a movie based on a guy who gets stuck... you gotta add some bells and whistles unless you wanna go all chin-on-chest Gus Van Sant snoozish.

So whatever, the thing people are going walk out talking about is the gore time in this movie. Still may be a spoiler for people so I won't blab but at some point... dude has to do what dude had to do. And as I watched him do whatever that is-- I literally was biting my own arm to soak in some of his pain. And snarfing laughs into my bite because the whole scene was so jarringly graphic. Literally, I just thought about that scene as I typed this and the thought (the nerve!) sent a chill right up and down my back and I jolted. I think it will always pull some physical jolt out of me. And up until that point I wasn't even totally aware of how much I was digging this flick. I was just in it. Happy to be watching. Sitting still in my seat. Getting dazzled on the dl. Imagining how I'd feel. What I'd do. What I'd be capable of. And happy to know-- no matter how badly I screw up down the road... the odds of me ending up in a similar situation are chances slim to none.

And as this movie staggered to the out, I was caught off guard by the emotional relief. It all built to my finally streaming tears as the guy yelled, 'I need help!' In the same way, I got a physical jolt when thinking about the physical-- I just got an emotional jolt thinking about that moment. Because it set me off crying in a movie that hasn't had that level of impact in a long time. The reality is I haven't felt this emotionally strongly about a movie since Slumdog. So that's coolio. But the thing that I realized is underneath all the various plots and styles of Danny Boyle there is a working theme in all these flicks that he just friggin nails nothing but net. And I see the pattern! Here tis: He gets people stuck in horrible situations (zombies, poor India, stuck), they struggle, and then he gloriously sets them free. That's it! I see what you're doing Boyle! I see your tricky shenanigans! I'm on to you! See you next time!

Three Good Things about this Movie

- The nerve.
- James Franklin finally made me get what people say they like. (oscar lock btw)
- It's different.

Three Bad Things about this Movie

- It seemed a bit panicked of becoming boring. It could have used some quiet time.
- At times I felt like I was being tricked into liking it more than it deserved.
- It would have been such a cake job for Spiderman!!!

All in all, so far this runs hard at the (rapidly aging) Inception for best movie of the year. And it did a nice job of scratching 'Hiking alone!' onto my 'To-Never-Do' list. It's just not for me. I like doing stuff with people. And I like doing things that don't run the risk of a big rock landing on me. I'm not crazy about bugs crawling on me and I don't like the idea of drinking my own urine to survive. I'm more of an indoors guy. Where my disasters involved stubbing my toe and spilling a bowl of cereal all over my carpet. Or not getting my shoes on in time to keep my dog from making diarrhea on my carpet. Those are the kind of disasters I feel equipped for-- and capable of doing them absolutely alone.


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