127 hours (2010)
Boyle's been a favorite since successfully adding new flair to some tired genres with 28 Days Later, Millions and Sunshine. However, with 2008's Slumdog Millionaire the Boyle love bus hit a major pothole. While the box office responded well to his exuberant, celebratory take on starving orphans and gameshows, I couldn't help but feel a disconnect like Boyle had directed the film with his fucking iPod on. The jubilation onscreen couldn't begin to distract from the fact that nothing interesting was happening at all. The problems only get worse with this year's flick, 127 Hours. This time Boyle does away with big clunky casts and sets and pits James Franco in the classic lone man vs. rock scenario. Based on a true story, Boyle envisions the ordeal of cutting one's own limb off as a crazy bmx video. Franco does what he can with what he's given, but what could have been an intense chamber play keeps getting interrupted by dream-like visions of Franco making out with 2 girls he met while hiking. We get the feeling Franco is not contemplating his own mortality but rather bored because he can't jump around on rocks and play video games. Being stuck in a life threatening situation is such a fucking drag man, total buzzkill. Early on in the film Boyle plays around with split screen, giving us anywhere from 2 - 4 angles of what's occuring. What an interesting experiment if this had been done for the entire film, but as opening credits flair it comes off as cheap. The film's last act show some improvements, but too little, too late. So yeah, gonna keep these much shorter now, that's where we'll end. Don't spend $12 on this you'll be sorry. Maybe netflix? maybe Boyle's next movie? smarter choice, or just watch Sunshine instead.