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127 Hours cuts through 

Danny Boyle stays on the edge with stylistic tension and an adrenaline rushed performance by James Franco.

Danny Boyle takes what is a very simple story---the true account of rock climber Aron Ralston who gets trapped beneath a boulder while spending a weekend in the Utah desert---and squeezes every last drop of tension from it, using all the stylistic arrows in his quiver. That includes split-screen, zooms and jagged spurs of sound. James Franco as Ralston is a coil for the electricity Boyle delivers. Ralston tries everything he possibly can to free himself, succumbing to comforting flashbacks and hallucinations of escape. And when the much-publicized limb-severing takes place, it’s not for those with a tender disposition, nor should claustrophobes invest in a ticket. But for fans of cinema, it’s an adrenalized, impressive 94 minutes.

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Vol 24, No 28
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