Screen Junkies » 127 hours http://www.screenjunkies.com Movie Reviews & TV Show Reviews Tue, 30 Sep 2014 15:58:25 +0000 en hourly 1 http://wordpress.org/?v=3.3.1 The 10 Most Badass Survival Films Ever http://www.screenjunkies.com/movies/the-10-most-badass-survival-films-ever/ http://www.screenjunkies.com/movies/the-10-most-badass-survival-films-ever/#comments Mon, 07 Jul 2014 12:45:42 +0000 bgoldstein http://www.screenjunkies.com/?p=262582 By the ScreenJunkies Staff Survival movies are inherently badass. When you’re faced with zombies, angry mobs, and the cruel forces of nature, you can either lie down and accept your...

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By the ScreenJunkies Staff

Survival movies are inherently badass. When you’re faced with zombies, angry mobs, and the cruel forces of nature, you can either lie down and accept your fate, or look Death in the eyes and say “Not today, buddy.” And so, in honor of The Purge: Anarchy (which hits theaters on July 18th) here are our ten all-time favorite survival flicks, in which ordinary men and women go to heroic lengths to save the most important life of all: their own.


Road Warrior — Mel Gibson reprises his role in this sequel to Mad Max, as the lone former cop tries to survive in a post-apocalyptic world, where gasoline is worth killing and dying over. There was a time when Gibson was one of the coolest movie stars out there and this movie — and it’s legendary climactic chase scene — is one of the reasons why.


Black Hawk Down — Ridley Scott directed an unflinching account of a real-life U.S. Army helicopter mission that turned into a disaster and a fight for survival in war-torn Somalia. Our advice: Don’t get too attached to the characters.


Deliverance It’s too bad the “squeal like a pig” scene is all most people remember about this movie (that and the “Dueling Banjos” scene), because it really is a tense and gripping movie about survival. Burt Reynolds was fantastic in this movie, and so were Jon Voight, Ned Beatty and Ronny Cox, as city boys who take a canoe trip in the Georgia wilderness, and aren’t exactly welcomed by the locals.


127 Hours — Danny Boyle’s 2010 classic is the true story of Aron Ralston (played by James Franco), who becomes trapped in a canyon while adventuring in Utah. When help doesn’t arrive, an increasingly delirious Ralston is forced to cut his own arm off — with a damn pocketknife — to save his own life. A grim but exhilarating tribute to the power of the human spirit.


Dawn of the DeadSurvivors of a zombie apocalypse are holed up in a shopping mall, using whatever they can find to survive. On one hand, it’s a subtle and surprisingly funny critique of unchecked consumerism. On the other hand, that helicopter blade scene is friggin’ sweet.


Warriors This cult-classic from the Seventies follows the efforts of the Warriors crew — wrongly framed for a gang leader’s murder — to get back to Staten Island by daybreak, while fending off attacks from other rival gangs, who all have their own unique visual aesthetics. It’s a guilty pleasure, for sure.


Cast Away Robert Zemeckis directed Tom Hanks in this story of a FedEx executive who lives by the clock and winds up spending years alone on a tiny island in the Pacific Ocean. It’s funny, tense, and will bring you to tears over a lost volleyball.


The Edge As if surviving a plane crash in the Alaskan wilderness weren’t bad enough, Charles Morse (Anthony Hopkins) and Bob Green (Alec Baldwin) are forced to fight a big damn Kodiak bear — and eventually each other. Gruesome maulings ensue. Filled with breathless expanses of the Alaskan wild and two incredible performances by Hopkins and Baldwin, the film is one of the most unforgettable wilderness survival movies ever.


AliveA rugby team crashes in the Andes and does the unthinkable to survive. Like 127 Hours, it’s an incredible true story of human beings who went to almost super-human lengths to stay, well, alive. As John Malkovich puts it in the opening scene, “Many people come up to me and say that had they been there they surely would have died. But it makes no sense, because until you’re in a situation like that, you have no idea how you’ll behave.”


Predator An elite team of commandos, composed of Hollywood hulks like Arnold Schwarzenegger, Jessie Ventura, and Carl Weathers, is stalked in the jungles of Guatemala by a demented alien with the ability to turn invisible and who, apparently, has a jones for skinning people alive and hanging them upside down. As with almost every action movie starring the muscle-bound Schwarzenegger, the Governator is the only one left standing.

Did we leave out any of your favorite survival movies? Let us know on twitter @ScreenJunkies.

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In Honor Of Channing Askew: 9 Gruesome Self-Mutilation Scenes http://www.screenjunkies.com/movies/movie-lists/in-honor-of-channing-askew-9-gruesome-self-mutilation-scenes/ http://www.screenjunkies.com/movies/movie-lists/in-honor-of-channing-askew-9-gruesome-self-mutilation-scenes/#comments Fri, 04 Nov 2011 19:48:14 +0000 Wookie Johnson http://www.screenjunkies.com/?p=235144 Cut. It. Out.

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Chicago’s fatty foods have blood on their hands. In news that seems straight out of an episode of Supernatural, a Chicago man has died after cutting his own pacemaker out of his chest. Channing Askew complained of chest pains and, while waiting for an ambulance to arrive, carved the device out with a screwdriver or knife, or perhaps some kind of hyper-advanced screw-knife hybrid?

At any rate, that’s horrifying… but it would be cool in a movie. Self-mutilation has been a popular theme in movies. Especially those that aim to creep us out. Like these gory gems.

Evil Dead

One of the most famous scenes in Evil Dead sees Bruce Campbell going to battle with his own demonically-possessed hand. After slapping himself around for awhile, he gets the bright idea to remove it with a chainsaw. Dude. It’s called rope. He could have easily subdued that thing.

Saw

Of all the ways that the Saw films managed to grind, disassemble, and splatter their victims, one of the grisliest scenarios happens in the original film. After awaking to find himself bound by chains in a filthy bathroom, Cary Elwes is faced with a life or death choice. Sit in the room and die. Or saw off his foot and hobble to safety. What’s he really need it for anyway? It’s not like he’s a professional field goal kicker.

Thirteen

Thirteen gives a hot look at the world of cutting. Oh wait. Those girls are actually thirteen? I didn’t mean hot. I meant, thoughtful, raw, and artistic. Yeah.

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Spirit Award Winners Last Oscars Indicator That Isn’t The Oscars http://www.screenjunkies.com/movies/movie-news/the-2011-spirit-award-winners-last-oscars-indicator-that-isnt-the-oscars-themselves/ http://www.screenjunkies.com/movies/movie-news/the-2011-spirit-award-winners-last-oscars-indicator-that-isnt-the-oscars-themselves/#comments Sun, 27 Feb 2011 08:36:52 +0000 Joseph Gibson http://www.screenjunkies.com/?p=30543 More awards, more gift baskets, more crying losers.

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The Independent Spirit Awards are designed to shed light on the lesser, more independent films that are released each year – so of course it makes sense that they also serve as a predictor of the most mainstream awards ceremony in all of Hollywood. Or does it? It could be that since the requirements to be considered an “independent film” are somewhat stringent (see the decreased number of nominated films compared to the Oscars as an example), this isn’t any better a predictor than tea leaves or fortune cookies. Anyway, here’s a list of the major winners:

Best Feature: Black Swan

Best Female Lead: Natalie Portman, Black Swan

Best Male Lead: James Franco, 127 Hours

Best Supporting Female: Dale Dickey, Winter’s Bone

Best Supporting Male: John Hawkes, Winter’s Bone

Best Director: Darren Aronofsky, Black Swan

Interesting stuff — we’ll see if these three movies can do anywhere near as well at the Oscars, given that they have so much more competition. You can get a complete list of all the winners over at IMDb.

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Boyle’s Not Scared Of Werewolves With ‘Sharp Teeth’ http://www.screenjunkies.com/movies/movie-news/boyles-not-scared-of-werewolves-with-sharp-teeth/ http://www.screenjunkies.com/movies/movie-news/boyles-not-scared-of-werewolves-with-sharp-teeth/#comments Mon, 07 Feb 2011 18:15:25 +0000 Dave Horwitz http://www.screenjunkies.com/?p=25184 Director Danny Boyle is thinking of returning to unconventional monster movie territory nine years after his terrifying zombie film '28 Days Later'.

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Director Danny Boyle, fresh off his Oscar-baiting, limb-slicing, Franco-starring biopic 127 Hours, is thinking of returning to unconventional monster territory nine years after his terrifying zombie film 28 Days Later. Boyle is considering teaming up with his Slumdog Millionaire collaborator, writer Simon Beofoy on an adaptation of Toby Barlow’s long form poem “Sharp Teeth.” The poem is about East Los Angeles gang members who are also shape-shifting were-dogs. And they say there are no more original ideas! Says Beaufoy of the potential Boyle collaboration:

“If I write it well enough, he’ll direct it,” Beaufoy told BBC America. “It’s a very extraordinary mix of gangland Los Angeles—Compton, the Watts Towers area—really, really rough, a lot of shootings. And the difference with this particular piece of work is that these gangs can shape-shift at will into packs of dogs. So it’s a police procedural mixed with a werewolf film. If you get it wrong, it’s a disaster. If you get right, it will be extraordinary.”

Sounds like a real gamble, but an interesting one at that. The film has been compared to Boyz in the Hood, so I would like to make the humble casting suggestion of Ice Cube as every single character. And if Boyle really wants to be generous, he’ll cut off his arm at the end. (The Playlist)

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2011 Oscar Noms Are Here! http://www.screenjunkies.com/movies/movie-news/2011-oscar-noms-are-here/ http://www.screenjunkies.com/movies/movie-news/2011-oscar-noms-are-here/#comments Tue, 25 Jan 2011 13:08:24 +0000 Wookie Johnson http://www.screenjunkies.com/?p=22019 It's really just a thrill to be nominated. Unless you're M. Night Shyamalan. Then it's a miracle.

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All of Hollywood woke up early today to find out the nominees for the 2011 Academy Awards. Except for M. Night Shyamalan. He’s going to sleep in. And then eat some waffles that he later discovers are ghosts.

Without further ado, here are the nominees that will have to struggle to keep eye contact with co-host Anne Hathaway.

Best Picture

‘Black Swan’

‘The Fighter’

‘Inception’

‘The Kids Are All Right’

‘The King’s Speech’

‘127 Hours’

‘The Social Network’

‘Toy Story 3′

‘True Grit’

‘Winter’s Bone’

Best Director

Darren Aronofsky, ‘Black Swan’

David O’Russell, ‘The Fighter’

Tom Hooper, ‘The King’s Speech’

David Fincher, ‘The Social Network’

Joel and Ethan Coen, ‘True Grit’

Best Actor

Javier Bardem, ‘Biutiful’

Jeff Bridges, ‘True Grit’

Jesse Eisenberg, ‘The Social Network’

Colin Firth, ‘The King’s Speech’

James Franco, ‘127 Hours’

Best Actress

Annette Bening, ‘The Kids Are All Right’

Nicole Kidman, ‘Rabbit Hole’

Jennifer Lawrence, ‘Winter’s Bone’

Natalie Portman, ‘Black Swan’

Michelle Williams, ‘Blue Valentine’

Best Supporting Actor

Christian Bale, ‘The Fighter’

John Hawkes, ‘Winter’s Bone’

Jeremy Renner, ‘The Town’

Mark Ruffalo, ‘The Kids Are All Right’

Geoffrey Rush, ‘The King’s Speech’

Best Supporting Actress

Amy Adams, ‘The Fighter’

Helena Bonham Carter, ‘The King’s Speech’

Melissa Leo, ‘The Fighter’

Hailee Steinfeld, ‘True Grit’

Jacki Weaver, ‘Animal Kingdom’

Cinematography

Matthew Libatique,’Black Swan

Wally Pfister, ‘Inception’

Danny Cohen, ‘The King’s Speech’

Jeff Cronenweth,’The Social Network

Roger Deakins,’True Grit

Best Animated Feature Film

‘How to Train Your Dragon’

‘Illusionist’

‘Toy Story 3′

Best Foreign Film

Mexico – ‘Biutiful’

Greece – ‘Dogtooth’

Denmark – ‘In a Better World’

Canada – ‘Incendies’

Algeria – ‘Outside the law’

Best Original Screenplay

‘Another Year’

‘The Fighter’

‘Inception’

‘The Kids Are All Right’

‘The King’s Speech’

Best Adapted Screenplay

‘127 Hours’

‘The Social Network’

‘Toy Story 3′

‘True Grit’

‘Winter’s Bone’

Best Art Direction

‘Alice in Wonderland’

‘Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows Part I’

‘Inception’

‘The King’s Speech’

‘True Grit’

Best Costume Design

‘Alice in Wonderland’

‘I Am Love’

‘The King’s Speech’

‘The Tempest’

‘True Grit’

Best Original Score

‘How to Train Your Dragon’ John Powell

‘Inception’ Hans Zimmer

‘The King’s Speech’ Alexandre Desplat

‘127 Hours’ A.R. Rahman

‘The Social Network’ Trent Reznor and Atticus Ross

Best Documentary

‘Exit through the Gift Shop’ Banksy and Jaimie D’Cruz

‘Gasland’ Josh Fox and Trish Adlesic

‘Inside Job’ Charles Ferguson and Audrey Marrs

‘Restrepo’ Tim Hetherington and Sebastian Junger

‘Waste Land’ Lucy Walker and Angus Aynsley

Best Film Editing

‘Black Swan’

‘The Fighter’

‘The Kings Speech’

‘127 Hours’

‘The Social Network’

Best Makeup

‘Barney’s Version’

‘The Way Back’

‘The Wolfman’

Best Sound Editing

‘Inception’

‘Toy Story 3′

‘TRON: Legacy’

‘True Grit’

‘Unstoppable’

Best Sound Mixing

‘Inception’

‘The King’s Speech’

‘Salt’

‘The Social Network’

‘True Grit’

Animated Short Film

“Day & Night”

“The Gruffalo”

“Let’s Pollute”

“The Lost Thing”

“Madagascar, carnet de voyage (Madagascar, a Jouney Diary)”

Live Action Short Film

“The Confession”

“The Crush”

“God of Love”

“Na Wewe”

“Wish 143″

Visual Effects

Alice in Wonderland

Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows Part 1″

Hereafter

“Inception”

Iron Man 2

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’127 Hours’ Was Almost A Luke Perry Movie http://www.screenjunkies.com/movies/movie-news/127-hours-was-almost-a-luke-perry-movie/ http://www.screenjunkies.com/movies/movie-news/127-hours-was-almost-a-luke-perry-movie/#comments Sat, 22 Jan 2011 19:59:40 +0000 Joseph Gibson http://www.screenjunkies.com/?p=21611 Danny Boyle's 127 Hours earned a lot of critical acclaim for its realistic depiction of hiker Aron Ralston hacking off his own arm with a dull penknife, but it turns out it could have been even more painful to watch.

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Danny Boyle’s 127 Hours earned a lot of critical acclaim for its realistic depiction of hiker Aron Ralston hacking off his own arm with a dull penknife, but it turns out it could have been even more painful to watch. Famous pouter Luke Perry recently revealed to Access Hollywood that he had his gorgeous eyes on the project first. And that wasn’t the end of his vision for the film – he also wanted to cast probable celebrity Brian Austin Green in the lead role that was eventually played by James Franco. Perry adds: “I thought he’d be great in that part, but Danny Boyle, he got it.” Damn it! (Image and info via The AV Club)

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13 Memorable Movie Amputations http://www.screenjunkies.com/movies/movie-news/13-memorable-movie-amputations/ http://www.screenjunkies.com/movies/movie-news/13-memorable-movie-amputations/#comments Thu, 04 Nov 2010 17:30:26 +0000 Jame Gumb Danny Boyle’s new film, 127 Hours, premieres tomorrow. James Franco stars as Aron Ralston, a climber who is forced to amputate his own arm after it is crushed under a rock. In honor of Ralston’s remarkable tale of survival, we here at Screen Junkies came up with a list of other memorable films that feature scenes of amputation. Some of them are disturbing, others are lighthearted, but all of them contain badly mutilated limbs, and that’s the important part. Enjoy!

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Danny Boyle’s new film, 127 Hours, premieres tomorrow. James Franco stars as Aron Ralston, a climber who is forced to amputate his own arm after it is crushed under a rock. In honor of Ralston’s remarkable tale of survival, we here at Screen Junkies came up with a list of other memorable films that feature scenes of amputation. Some of them are disturbing, others are lighthearted, but all of them contain badly mutilated limbs, and that’s the important part. Enjoy!

The Star Wars Trilogy – Various Characters

Before I started writing this article, I never realized how many arms go missing in the Star Wars trilogy. Sure, everyone remembers Luke losing his hand toward the end of The Empire Strikes Back, but the list goes on. In fact, Luke’s not even the only one to lose a limb in Empire, provided you count the snow monster on Hoth. In A New Hope, Ponda Baba loses his arm to Obi Wan, and in Jedi, Vader loses his hand (again). This doesn’t even count all the limbs that are lost in the prequels, but honestly, who gives a damn about the prequels? However, one thing is for certain: George Lucas has a severed-limb fetish. What a sicko.

Evil Dead 2 – Ash

In Evil Dead 2, Ash’s hand becomes possessed and attacks him in a Stangelove-esque fashion. But as the clip above clearly demonstrates, it’s Ash who has the last laugh…sort of.

Blade – Crease

If you somehow manage to disarm a vampire hunter, it’s not a good idea to play around with his weapons. Just ask Crease from the original Blade movie. After disarming Blade, he ends up getting “disarmed” himself by a booby-trapped sword. Well, it was more of a hand than an arm, but still. That’s no picnic. Although I think limbs grow back for vampires, so in the greater scheme of things, it’s not that big of a deal.

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Why the ’127 Hours’ Amputation Is a Happy Ending http://www.screenjunkies.com/movies/movie-news/why-the-127-hours-amputation-is-a-happy-ending/ http://www.screenjunkies.com/movies/movie-news/why-the-127-hours-amputation-is-a-happy-ending/#comments Wed, 30 Nov -0001 00:00:00 +0000 The press junket for 127 Hours was informative beyond our private interview with Danny Boyle. The real Aron Ralston and the filmmakers discussed the film, already generating controversy for its graphic depiction of a self-amputation. Ralston had to sever his own arm when he was trapped in a canyon for five days. Even Ralston wants everybody to know it’s all good. He was happy to make the sacrifice. “They’re going to walk into this movie thinking it’s the story of the guy who cut his arm off,” Ralston said. “I hope they realize it’s about the guy who was smiling when he cut his arm off. It was a euphoric experience for me because it was going to get me back to what was important in my life. I had a chance to learn about that while I was trapped.” More after the jump...

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The press junket for 127 Hours was informative beyond our private interview with Danny Boyle. The real Aron Ralston and the filmmakers discussed the film, already generating controversy for its graphic depiction of a self-amputation. Ralston had to sever his own arm when he was trapped in a canyon for five days.

Even Ralston wants everybody to know it’s all good. He was happy to make the sacrifice. “They’re going to walk into this movie thinking it’s the story of the guy who cut his arm off,” Ralston said. “I hope they realize it’s about the guy who was smiling when he cut his arm off. It was a euphoric experience for me because it was going to get me back to what was important in my life. I had a chance to learn about that while I was trapped.”

More after the jump…

James Franco plays Ralston in the film version of the five days he spent with his arm pinned under a boulder. “For me that one thing was relationships, love, my past relationships and future ones as embodied in the little boy that appears there most of the way through there,” Ralston continued. “In the end it’s that crowd of people around the couch, that group, those are my real friends, my family, my sisters, my ex-girlfriend, ten of my closest guy friends. My wife and our son on the couch together. That’s what gave me the strength and the courage and the perseverance and everything you can attribute to someone who went through that. To have them there, to be honored in such a way by the film team, we got to be in the movie together. I hope for the audience it makes it a human experience. We’re always somebody’s child or somebody’s family, sometimes both. I couldn’t just stay out there and die.”

Boyle added that the scene is supposed to mean something different to each viewer. So some of you may cringe, but some of you will cheer Aron on. “We want to see drama told in a cathartic way, with power, with emotion where you empathize and then you’re frightened,” Boyle said. “All those feelings charge up in you and you feel for the story. If you tell it well you have a point suddenly where it just focuses into a scene which I guess in this one is the amputation, where people can put all sorts of their feeling in it. Some people are exhilarated in it, shouting, ‘Yes!’ like that and other people can’t look. Other people are almost faint. People are breathless. I sat behind a couple of guys who were humming all the way through it, ‘hmmmmmmmm mmmmm mmmm’ like this. That’s what drama’s about. It’s that power you can get through it, it’s a wonderful opportunity but you have to take your own control of it.”

It has to be that way, because a real person really did it. Boyle wasn’t going to cheat Ralston’s story. “Whether the film was successful or not, or well told or not, inevitably there’d be incredible focus on that scene,” Boyle said. “So we told it as truthfully as we could. It is the section of the movie more than any other where we keep very closely to the book, very, very closely. The time it took him, it took over 40 minutes. The plateaus of pain he went through as he kept going and as I said, the most important thing is that there is a story in there about where he’s going. It’s not about a brutal act. It is brutal but it is about where he’s going, not about the moment itself and that helped him get through it. It helped us get through it I think and it certainly did for Aron. You mustn’t sensationalize that by adding gore or making it too Hammer house of horror, but nor must you trivialize it by making it look too easy or too simple or not painful enough really. So that’s what we tried to do.”

127 Hours opens Friday.
 

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Interview: Danny Boyle http://www.screenjunkies.com/movies/movie-news/interview-danny-boyle/ http://www.screenjunkies.com/movies/movie-news/interview-danny-boyle/#comments Wed, 30 Nov -0001 00:00:00 +0000 Danny Boyle’s latest film is getting a lot of buzz, but not for the heartwarming triumph over adversity. It’s got that, but what people are focusing on is a dude cutting his arm off. 127 Hours is the Aron Ralston story. James Franco plays Ralston, an outdoorsman who gets trapped with his arm pinned under a rock. His escape by self-amputation was documented before, but Boyle’s film makes it visceral.

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Danny Boyle’s latest film is getting a lot of buzz, but not for the heartwarming triumph over adversity. It’s got that, but what people are focusing on is a dude cutting his arm off. 127 Hours is the Aron Ralston story. James Franco plays Ralston, an outdoorsman who gets trapped with his arm pinned under a rock. His escape by self-amputation was documented before, but Boyle’s film makes it visceral.

The stylist of Trainspotting is in full effect capturing Ralston’s epic journey through Blue John Canyon, his survival for five days and his deteriorating state of mind. Boyle gets inside Ralston’s water bottle and camcorder, and plays with his perspective on the scene around him. We’ll see what tricks Boyle has in store when he directs the Winter Olympics.

We got time alone with Boyle at the press junket for 127 Hours. He shared a chocolate bar from the minibar as he revealed his bag of tricks and addressed the reaction of early audiences.

Screen Junkies: People are talking about the arm cutting. Isn’t that a spoiler?

Danny Boyle: Well, obviously in one sense. Although realistically, you’re never going to be able to, because it isn’t a fiction. You’re never going to be able to prevent spoilers on this one. Nor can you in any circumstance these days. There’re too many avenues in which material leaks out. I think people worry too much about spoilers. I think when you go in a cinema, if the acting’s good, I think you anesthetize memory of the real circumstances. So we do it deliberately. They call it suspending disbelief, isn’t it? Clearly, the experience of the film is so intense for people that it doesn’t matter what you know going in. You’re going to go through the journey with James Franco. You’re going to feel it like he feels it and he does feel like he’s going to die and you kind of sympathize with him and emote with him and have empathy with him.

SJ: Are you always looking for ways to push and experiment with the medium of film?

DB: Yeah, I think so. I like to be faithful to a story and organic to it but I also want to try and tell it in a way that’s different, that’s surprising and fresh for people because I think people can both keep a handle on the story and also see it celebrated in the way it’s expressed, that you make the screen dance a bit. So I like to experiment, yeah. I think we go to the cinema and we expect the people who work in the cinema for us to take risks, because we have another medium through which we can see things, the television, that can be a bit safer because it’s so constant, it’s such a part of everyday life. Where cinema is a special trip. I think within that people expect if they made an effort, they expect you to have made an effort for them to go there. So if people ask advice about it, I always say, “Be bold. If you’re going to make a film, if you get a chance to make a film, be bold. It’s better to apologize afterwards than to have had to ask permission beforehand.” I always feel that.

SJ: A lot of your films are very intense, whether it’s 127 Hours or Trainspotting. Do you care if people can’t take it?

DB: I’m not reckless about people. I do care about people in the sense that I don’t want to [hurt people] but I do want to push it. I do think we go to the cinema to see an extreme experience. I want to give James the tools in the way that we made the film that he can really express himself because he has enormous power as an actor and great grace as well. So I don’t want to gross people out. I kind of want to gross people in. I want them to join in. It’ll be a safe place we’ll bring them to in the end but it’ll be an amazing journey on the way there with this actor so that’s what I try and do.

SJ: How did you get the camera to follow James through the canyons so smoothly?

DB: We used a camera called the Silicon Imaging 2K which is a very small flexible camera which is not in a housing. i.e. it’s not in a container which gives it size. All its component parts are separate. So it has a head, which is about the size of my fist, and you can put anything on it you want lens-wise. You can put these huge lenses on it like that which make it that big or you can put small ones on it that makes it double its size. We then had a gyro underneath which smooths out the human movement. So it makes it a mixture of handheld and steadicam, somewhere between the two. The key thing it’s got that’s way better than handheld or steadicam is it’s no bulkier than a human.

SJ: For shots inside the video camera or the water bottle, did you use a computer?

DB: No, no, no, absolutely not. I’m shocked to hear you suggest that. The head of the camera, the lens would be there like that. It’s old fashioned skills. The prop guys build a water bottle, cut the bottom off the real bottle, seal on a glass lens or a plastic lens which is perfectly see through and then you can just look. So when he tips it up towards his head, he’s actually tipping the whole camera towards his head for a drink. Because it’s so light, he can do that. He can just sip it. You can see the water slip into him and it’s really important because the water is a god of course. It becomes God basically because it’s life. It’s all life. Once it runs out, he knows he’s about to die more than anything else really in a way.

SJ: I’m glad there are old school techniques to do it for real. What about the camera servos inside the video camera?

DB: [Laughs] I’ll give you away a secret here. What we did is we filmed inside an old VHS machine which of course is basically the same technology but it’s on a bigger scale. So we’d film inside that because you have no reference point. You have no idea what the scale is. We opened up the Canon Elura but it’s so miniscule inside. We looked at then the old VHS machines. We bought some old ones on eBay and of course they’re exactly the same technology except they’re much, much bigger. So we filmed inside those.

SJ: Was boredom something Aron faced in five days? But you can’t let a film be boring.

DB: We tried to deal with it in the tempo of the video messages because the tempo drops in those messages. They’re very slow, quite still and we thought we’ll cover it in them because the opportunity was that James is such a charismatic actor that even when he slows it right down in there, because he’s speaking to you directly, you’ll never get discouraged as an audience but you’ll sense the endless time he had as well.

SJ: Are The Olympics another way you can push and experiment with your craft?

DB: I don’t know. I’ll tell you when I’ve done it. I was very proud to be asked and said yes immediately, didn’t think about it which is always the best way. Because it’s happening about a mile from my own home and I’m a sports fanatic as well, and I like the idea of the Olympics connecting the whole world together. It’s one of those rare things that the whole world can celebrate and get together and celebrate as one. That’s a wonderful thing I think because the might of the Chinese authorities and the resources they were able to use for that were way beyond really any western economy at the moment, certainly Britain’s economy. But notwithstanding that, we’ll try as we did with this film to embrace the limitations and actually make something of them hopefully.  So it will be slightly different, yeah.

SJ: Would it push you to find a way to present a live event?

DB: Yes, that’s interesting. I’ve done theater before. I grew up doing theater so I have done but yeah, it’s obviously tremendously scary in one sense because it is live and it’s a one off event. That’s something I’ve never done because usually theater has a run for a month, two months, three months or whatever. This is a one off performance and it happens to be seen by an awful lot of people one off but that’s cool. That’s the same pressure that the athletes are under. They get one chance to run. They can’t ask for a rerun. It happens once for them. They train for it for years and it happens in 10 seconds or whatever it is. So I’m scared and delighted at the same time.
 

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James Franco Talks ‘Rise of the Apes’ http://www.screenjunkies.com/movies/movie-news/james-franco-talks-rise-of-the-apes/ http://www.screenjunkies.com/movies/movie-news/james-franco-talks-rise-of-the-apes/#comments Wed, 30 Nov -0001 00:00:00 +0000 The original Planet of the Apes rode on the then-groundbreaking makeup effects and a shocker ending. The 2001 “re-imagining” tried to right on action and special effects. The latest version of the Apes story is going to live or die on pure acting. Andy Serkis is playing Caesar, the chimpanzee who learns to talk and may or may not rise to dominate humans. Spoiler alert, the movie’s called Rise of the Apes and it stars James Franco as… the human. (The part he was born to play, baby!) More after the jump...

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The original Planet of the Apes rode on the then-groundbreaking makeup effects and a shocker ending. The 2001 “re-imagining” tried to right on action and special effects. The latest version of the Apes story is going to live or die on pure acting. Andy Serkis is playing Caesar, the chimpanzee who learns to talk and may or may not rise to dominate humans. Spoiler alert, the movie’s called Rise of the Apes and it stars James Franco as… the human. (The part he was born to play, baby!)

More after the jump…

“When I first heard about it I thought, ‘Well, hmm, I don’t know. Those masks have cult value but…’” Franco said while he was promoting his latest movie, 127 Hours. “Then I found out that that’s not how they’re doing it, that it’s actually all of Peter Jackson’s Weta people doing CG and that I’ll be working with Andy Serkis who played Gollum, and it was the DP from Lord of the Rings, Andrew Lesnie. I was such big fan of those movies and I am interested in new ways of performing and new ways of filmmaking so I thought why not? I had this opportunity and try it out. “

Caesar will look like a real chimpanzee, because they don’t have to worry about those pesky human bodies fitting in a costume. Serkis will just play the scenes like he did for Gollum or Kong. Franco says his scenes with Caesar are A-list scene work.

“When I got to do the scenes with Andy Serkis, it was actually really interesting because he plays a chimpanzee, a real chimpanzee. There’s no way we would ever get scenes that we did with a real chimpanzee. Because Andy’s so good at that behavior so it’s like acting opposite a real chimpanzee with great acting instincts. It was cool, it was new, new for me.”
Franco has done the action thing before in Spider-Man Pineapple Express, The Great Raid and Flyboys. So Apes doesn’t require any badass heroics from him. “I play a nerdy scientist in that so I’m not an action hero at all. I saw 127 Hours as an opportunity to have an unusual acting experience and I honestly felt the same way about Rise of the Apes.”

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Review: 127 Hours http://www.screenjunkies.com/movies/movie-review/review-127-hours/ http://www.screenjunkies.com/movies/movie-review/review-127-hours/#comments Mon, 25 Oct 2010 15:42:32 +0000 Defy Media Here it is, folks: the arm cutting movie. You’ve heard about it. It’s true. There’s a lot to this story, but you know it as the arm cutting movie. Personally, I think they should do a double feature of 27 Dresses and 127 Hours. In either order. More after the jump...

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Here it is, folks: the arm cutting movie. You’ve heard about it. It’s true. There’s a lot to this story, but you know it as the arm cutting movie. Personally, I think they should do a double feature of 27 Dresses and 127 Hours. In either order.

More after the jump…

Aron Ralston’s (James Franco) true story comes to life in Danny Boyle style. Even before Aron goes climbing, Boyle cuts together split screen shots of his preparation. He gets shots from inside a water bottle or inside the video camera as the servos spin. Even the adjustment of music volume adds an exciting layer to the editing.

There are awesome shots of Aron biking the canyon. This movie will certainly look great on Blu Ray. As Aron guides novice hikers Kristi (Kate Mara) and Megan (Amber Tamblyn) squeezing through a crevice, it’s more suspenseful than any action movie. The way Boyle has a camera follow Aron is amazing. It’s fast and smooth. He doesn’t even resort to shaky handheld.

Aron is charming with women, playing somewhere between a rugged savior and a scary mountain man. He’s not incompetent at all. Aron practically owns nature. It’s a total fluke that he gets pinned under a rock and he’s more surprised than anyone.

Here’s where the style really kicks in. The rest of the movie is going to be just Aron by himself dealing with the situation, trying everything he can until the inevitable solution, and somehow keeping us entertained for another 70 or so minutes.

First Aron lays out all of his supplies so we know exactly what he’s working with. Everything he tries to do is all visual, conveyed through the camera. He creates some of his own problems too, like when he drops the knife. Spoiler alert, the knife comes back in the end.

The way he finds a way to sleep is brilliant. That didn’t even occur to me. My mind was on the bathroom issues, which he addresses also. There are more issues to Aron’s situation than would immediately come to mind, so there’s plenty of excitement for the whole movie.

The film explores Aron’s dreams, which would seem like a cheat in some stories, but not here. I don’t think there was any shortage of real world drama to portray, but the way 127 Hours represents his dreams gives us a clear visual look into Aron’s mind. There are some beautiful, surreal visual effects.

It also avoids the inner monologue trap. When Aron finally devolves into a self dialogue, Boyle portrays three distinct personalities with a unique camera angle and footage style for each one.

Then it happens. There’s one particular detail that makes it extra squirmy, but it’s just realistic. It had to be done (in real life) and it has to be shown, otherwise the whole movie is B.S. You don’t get the triumph of human survival without the brutal reality of Aron’s sacrifice. Don’t be afraid to look. It’s good for you.

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’127 Hours’ Trailer Adds Visual Flair to Utter Misery http://www.screenjunkies.com/video/127-hours-trailer-adds-visual-flair-to-utter-misery/ http://www.screenjunkies.com/video/127-hours-trailer-adds-visual-flair-to-utter-misery/#comments Thu, 07 Oct 2010 20:27:09 +0000 Reza F. “This suuuuuuuuuuuuuuucks!” Fox Searchlight has dropped the new trailer for Danny Boyle‘s 127 hours. The film stars James Franco as Aron Ralston, the mountain climber who didn’t tell anyone he...

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“This suuuuuuuuuuuuuuucks!”

Fox Searchlight has dropped the new trailer for Danny Boyle‘s 127 hours. The film stars James Franco as Aron Ralston, the mountain climber who didn’t tell anyone he was going out into the wilderness and then got his arm caught inbetween rocks for 127 hours before cutting it off. As Aron says in the trailer, “Oops.”

The new trailer shows how the story jumps around from Aron documenting his experience and memories into his camcorder and flashbacks that illustrate those memories. The visuals are very Danny Boyle. I just hope they’re enough to sustain a movie about a guy trapped in a crevice.

Check out the trailer after the jump…


127 Hours – Full Trailer – Watch more Movie Trailers

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No Arms Get Cut Off In This ’127 Hours’ Clip http://www.screenjunkies.com/movies/movie-news/no-arms-get-cut-off-in-this-127-hours-clip/ http://www.screenjunkies.com/movies/movie-news/no-arms-get-cut-off-in-this-127-hours-clip/#comments Wed, 30 Nov -0001 00:00:00 +0000 Warning: This clip from Danny Boyle's 127 Hours doesn't contain any of James Franco's arms getting cut off. Warning: It does contain Kate Mara getting wet. If you believe the latter might make you faint or nauseous I suggest you go no further. Audience members at the Telluride and the Toronto Film Festivals have been passing out and seizing do to the graphic nature of 127 Hours. The movie is about a dude who has to cut off his own arm after it gets really REALLY stuck in crevice **resists urge to make crevice joke**. If you know you can't handle that, why would you go see it?! Stay for the first half with the swimming and laughing, and leave once the screaming starts.  Check out the clip after the jump...

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Warning: This clip from Danny Boyle‘s 127 Hours doesn’t contain any of James Franco’s arms getting cut off. Warning: It does contain Kate Mara getting wet. If you believe the latter might make you faint or nauseous I suggest you go no further.

Audience members at the Telluride and the Toronto Film Festivals have been passing out and seizing do to the graphic nature of 127 Hours. The movie is about a dude who has to cut off his own arm after it gets really REALLY stuck in crevice **resists urge to make crevice joke**. If you know you can’t handle that, why would you go see it?! Stay for the first half with the swimming and laughing, and leave once the screaming starts. 

Check out the clip after the jump…

 

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’127 Hours’ Teaser Trailer Quickly Goes from Laughs to Screams http://www.screenjunkies.com/movies/movie-news/127-hours-teaser-trailer-quickly-goes-from-laughs-to-screams/ http://www.screenjunkies.com/movies/movie-news/127-hours-teaser-trailer-quickly-goes-from-laughs-to-screams/#comments Wed, 30 Nov -0001 00:00:00 +0000 "F**********************CK!" Fox Searchlight has dropped the trailer for Danny Boyle's 127 Hours. James Franco stars as Aron Ralston, the climber who amputated his own arm after bring trapped between rocks for almost five days. It's one of those feel good movies. At least the parts with Kata Mara. Simon Beaufoy, who also worked with Boyle on Slumdog Millionaire, wrote the screenplay, and has said that there is no dialogue for an entire hour of the story. Psssshhhh, nice job "writing," Simon. Can we get serious for a second though? I'm excited to see this film. I love the energy and unique storytelling of Slumdog, and I hope 127 Hours brings the same entertainment value without inducing too many cringes. Crushed appendages are just plain yucky. But fortitude in dire straits is yummy. 127 Hours hits theaters November 5, 2010. Check out the trailer after the jump...

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"F**********************CK!"

Fox Searchlight has dropped the trailer for Danny Boyle‘s 127 Hours. James Franco stars as Aron Ralston, the climber who amputated his own arm after bring trapped between rocks for almost five days. It’s one of those feel good movies. At least the parts with Kata Mara.

Simon Beaufoy, who also worked with Boyle on Slumdog Millionaire, wrote the screenplay, and has said that there is no dialogue for an entire hour of the story. Psssshhhh, nice job "writing," Simon. Can we get serious for a second though? I’m excited to see this film. I love the energy and unique storytelling of Slumdog, and I hope 127 Hours brings the same entertainment value without inducing too many cringes. Crushed appendages are just plain yucky. But fortitude in dire straits is yummy.

127 Hours hits theaters November 5, 2010.

Check out the trailer after the jump…


127 Hours Trailer – Watch more Movie Trailers

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Kate Mara (and Amber Tamblyn) Add Sexiness to ’127 Hours’ http://www.screenjunkies.com/movies/movie-news/kate-mara-and-amber-tamblyn-add-sexiness-to-127-hours/ http://www.screenjunkies.com/movies/movie-news/kate-mara-and-amber-tamblyn-add-sexiness-to-127-hours/#comments Wed, 30 Nov -0001 00:00:00 +0000 Uber spicy redhead Kata Mara, and that girl who dies in the beginning of The Ring (Amber Tamblyn), are in talks to co-star alongside James Franco in 127 Hours, Danny Boyle's follow-up to Slumdog Millionaire. The film tells the story of Aron Ralston, a cautionary tale for anyone who plans to go out in the unforgiving wilderness alone and refuses to entertain the possibility they might have to cut their arm off after a boulder claims it for five hours straight. Mara and Tamblyn would play two hikers Aron meets before the antagonist (a large rock) has his way with the adventurer. If only Aron's quest involved finding his way home to Mara. Hell, I'd give my right arm to run the fingers of my left hand through her flowing locks. I think she'd find my insensitivity extremely attractive. (/Film)

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Uber spicy redhead Kata Mara, and that girl who dies in the beginning of The Ring (Amber Tamblyn), are in talks to co-star alongside James Franco in 127 Hours, Danny Boyle‘s follow-up to Slumdog Millionaire. The film tells the story of Aron Ralston, a cautionary tale for anyone who plans to go out in the unforgiving wilderness alone and refuses to entertain the possibility they might have to cut their arm off after a boulder claims it for five hours straight. Mara and Tamblyn would play two hikers Aron meets before the antagonist (a large rock) has his way with the adventurer. If only Aron’s quest involved finding his way home to Mara. Hell, I’d give my right arm to run the fingers of my left hand through her flowing locks. I think she’d find my insensitivity extremely attractive. (/Film)

 

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127 Hours http://www.screenjunkies.com/movies/films/127-hours/ http://www.screenjunkies.com/movies/films/127-hours/#comments Fri, 12 Feb 2010 19:04:26 +0000 Defy Media DIRECTOR: Danny Boyle CAST: James Franco; Amber Tamblyn; Kate Mara SYNOPSIS: A mountain climber becomes trapped under a boulder while canyoneering alone near Moab, Utah and cuts off his f&*^ing...

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DIRECTOR: Danny Boyle

CAST: James Franco; Amber Tamblyn; Kate Mara

SYNOPSIS: A mountain climber becomes trapped under a boulder while canyoneering alone near Moab, Utah and cuts off his f&*^ing arm in order to survive.

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