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127 Hours

Blu Ray

  • Score
    from 2 reviewers
    Review Date:
  • '127 Hours' shines with Franco's best work, a gripping survival story, and top-notch Blu-ray quality; a must-see film of 2010.

    127 Hours Blu-ray Front Cover

    Disc Release Date:

  • Video
  • The 1080p/AVC 127 Hours transfer shines with vivid, sharp detail and rich colors, maximizing Utah's landscapes while maintaining clarity across diverse film techniques, minimal compression flaws, and immersive depth.

  • Audio
  • 127 Hours' DTS-HD Master Audio 5.1 excels in clarity, detail, immersive music, and subtle sound effects, enhancing the film's intense, spiritual, and emotional impact.

  • Extra
  • While longing for real Ralston footage, the disc thrills with its extras including an insightful commentary, deleted scenes, a captivating documentary on the making of '127 Hours', and more.

  • Movie
  • A gripping tale of survival, '127 Hours' portrays Aron Ralston's harrowing ordeal in Utah's canyons, where his will to live leads him to a desperate act of self-amputation, captured in Danny Boyle's intense film.

    Video: 77

    The Blu-ray presentation of "127 Hours," with its 1080p/AVC-encoded transfer, showcases an exquisite representation of the film's digital origins, offering a visual experience that's both vivid and meticulously detailed. Employing Silicon Imaging SI-2K digital cameras, the same as used in "Slumdog Millionaire," director Danny Boyle and cinematographer Anthony Dod Mantle achieve remarkable clarity and depth in their depiction of the Utah landscape and Aron's harrowing predicament. The precision in revealing every texture, from the rock's surface to the individual threads on Aron Ralston's baseball cap, imparts an almost tactile quality to the visuals. Colors are intensely vibrant, particularly in scenes showcasing the vast deserts and skies, while maintaining natural and rugged aesthetics that accentuate the beauty of the Utah scenery without sacrificing authenticity.

    Notably, the transfer excels in contrast and color reproduction, producing lush hues that bring the barren and dramatic landscapes to life. Sharpness is consistently impressive across scenes, with a special emphasis on the intricate details such as sand granules and water droplets that add to the film’s immersive nature. Black levels remain deep without losing detail, ensuring that both daytime expanses and confined, shadowy spaces are presented with equal finesse. An occasional sight of minor visual imperfections, like slight fuzziness or a rare shimmer, does little to detract from an overall stellar video quality that adeptly supports Boyle's dynamic filming techniques. The use of varying film stocks and fast-motion photography alongside the near absence of digital artifacts confirms the Blu-ray's achievement in delivering a clean, crisp image that effectively conveys the tone and texture of this gripping narrative.

    The handling of digital noise and other potential issues such as banding or edge enhancement is commendable, preserving the film's cinematic integrity. This careful attention to detail ensures that viewers are drawn into the intimate, yet expansive world of "127 Hours" without distraction. The bold contrasts and fluid delineation between light and shadow not only enhance the visual storytelling but also strengthen the connection between the audience and Ralston’s extraordinary tale of survival. In sum, Fox's Blu-ray video presentation of "127 Hours" is an exemplary effort that enhances the viewing experience through its technical proficiency and faithful rendering of the film’s visual splendor.

    Audio: 74

    The DTS-HD Master Audio 5.1 surround track of "127 Hours" exemplifies audio excellence, deftly navigating between the profound silence of desolation and the minute, often overlooked sounds of survival. This balance is achieved through an intricate soundfield that pays meticulous attention to detail—ranging from the subtle click of an ant's feet to the immersive, ambient effects like distant thunder and the peculiar spatial placement of elements, such as a beer being poured just over the shoulder of the audience. The film’s use of music further amplifies this auditory experience, with selections that both harmonize with and juxtapose against the narrative’s tension. From the nostalgic strains of "Lovely Day" to Sigur Ros’s ethereal contributions, each piece is given fullness and depth, enhancing the overall sensory impact. A.R. Rahman's stirring score, particularly during pivotal scenes, escalates the emotional intensity to new heights, backed by a sound design that includes chilling effects like the feedback squall during the amputation scene—a testament to the track’s ability to evoke visceral reactions.

    Quality extends to the clarity and precision with which the track handles dialogue and subtler sounds, ensuring that every element, no matter how seemingly insignificant, is given space to breathe and resonate. The early use of split screens accompanied by distinct audio streams not only showcases the technical prowess of the track but also pulls the viewer deeper into the narrative currents, creating a cohesive and engaging auditory experience. The dynamic range is impressive, providing a robust foundation for both high and low tones without succumbing to distortion, thus maintaining crispness and clarity throughout.

    Overall, this audio presentation is a masterclass in how to complement and elevate a film's narrative through sound. It encapsulates the harrowing solitude of Ralston’s ordeal with an audio palette that is as vast as it is detailed, ensuring that every sound contributes meaningfully to the unfolding drama. The track does not merely recreate the environment; it envelopes the viewer in it, making for an experience that is as unforgettable aurally as it is visually. Enhanced by well-prioritized dialogue and a music score that fills the room without overwhelming, "127 Hours" invites its audience into a profoundly immersive auditory journey.

    Extra: 49

    The Blu-ray extras for "127 Hours" offer a comprehensive behind-the-scenes look at the making of this intense drama, despite the absence of actual footage from Aron Ralston's harrowing experience. The standout features include a detailed audio commentary where director Danny Boyle, producer Christian Colson, and co-writer Simon Beaufoy dive into the filmmaking process, the adaptation of Ralston's memoir, and the creative decisions made during production. A set of deleted scenes provides further depth to the narrative and characters, including an extended alternate ending. The making-of documentary and the "Search & Rescue" featurette offer fascinating insights into the story's real-life background and the film's production challenges. Additionally, the inclusion of the Oscar-winning short film "The God of Love" adds an unexpected but welcome touch to the collection.

    Extras included in this disc:

    • Audio Commentary: A spirited discussion with director Danny Boyle, producer Christian Colson, and co-writer Simon Beaufoy covering various aspects of the film's production.
    • Deleted Scenes: Several scenes not featured in the final cut, including an extended alternate ending.
    • Search & Rescue: Insights from the real-life rescue team and others involved in Ralston's story.
    • 127 Hours: An Extraordinary View: A making-of documentary that provides an in-depth look at how the film was brought to life.
    • Short Film - The God of Love: Luke Matheny's Oscar-winning short film.
    • BD-Live Exclusive - James Franco in Conversation with Theatre/Opera Director Peter Sellars: A brief but engaging conversation captured at the Telluride Film Festival.
    • Theatrical Trailers: Includes trailers for several films and a promotional spot for the FX cable channel.

    Movie: 72

    Danny Boyle's film adaptation of Aron Ralston's harrowing survival story, '127 Hours,' is a cinematic triumph that manages to capture both the visceral intensity and profound subtleties of human resilience. James Franco delivers what is perhaps his career's defining performance as Ralston, the young adventurer whose canyoneering mishap in Utah's remote Blue John Canyon led to a life-or-death struggle. The movie distills Ralston's five-day ordeal of entrapment by a dislodged boulder into 94 minutes of gripping, poignant cinema that transcends the limits of its one-man, one-location narrative to explore broad themes of courage, desperation, and the indomitable human spirit.

    Boyle's direction is meticulous, skillfully blending moments of high tension with introspective sequences that delve into Ralston's psyche. Utilizing innovative camera work and the raw beauty of the canyon itself, the film immerses viewers in the physical and emotional confines of Ralston's predicament. The narrative, enhanced by Anthony Dod Mantle and Enrique Chediak’s arresting cinematography, shifts seamlessly between the adrenaline-fueled excitement of Aron's pre-accident life and the stark reality of his doomed fate in the canyon. This storytelling choice amplifies the impact of Ralston’s eventual decision to amputate his own arm—a scene that, while intensely graphic, is necessary for conveying the unconquerable urgency of his situation.

    Critical to '127 Hours' success is Franco's multifaceted portrayal of Ralston, capturing both his reckless enthusiasm for adventure and his profound self-realization in the face of mortal peril. The performance stands as a testament to Franco’s skill, sensitively guiding the audience through a spectrum of emotions and ensuring that Ralston’s story of survival resonates not just as an extraordinary feat, but also as a deeply human experience. Despite the uncomfortable realism of its climax, the film doesn't linger on the gore but rather on the triumph of human will and the new appreciation for life that adversity can bring. '127 Hours' is more than just a survival movie; it is a moving testament to human endurance and a reminder of our vulnerability in the face of nature's majestic terrains.

    Total: 72

    127 Hours," despite not securing Oscars in categories such as Best Picture, Best Actor, and Best Adapted Screenplay among others, unmistakably stands out as one of the year's cinematic triumphs. Its gripping narrative of survival, masterfully brought to life by James Franco's exceptional performance, cements the film's status as a distinguished piece of cinema. The Blu-ray release by Fox Searchlight is equally commendable, featuring an impeccable high-definition transfer that captures the film's visual splendor. Accompanied by a robust audio track, the overall home viewing experience is elevated, making this release a must-have for aficionados of significant cinematic works.

    The film not only showcases a stirring tale of resilience and determination but does so with a profound sense of optimism and vitality that has become characteristic of Danny Boyle's directorial approach. Following the success of "Slumdog Millionaire," Boyle continues to explore themes of human endurance and the will to survive in "127 Hours," making it a noteworthy addition to his filmography. The Blu-ray edition further enhances this experience with its superior video and audio quality, along with a selection of meaningful supplements that provide deeper insight into the film's production and thematic essence. This blend of narrative excellence and technical prowess results in a highly recommended package for viewers.

    In conclusion, "127 Hours" on Blu-ray transcends being a mere cinematic experience, offering a rich, multifaceted exploration of the human spirit's capacity to overcome. With James Franco's career-best performance, Danny Boyle's inspired direction, and a technically flawless Blu-ray presentation, this release warrants its place in the collection of discerning cinephiles. Its compelling story of survival, backed by outstanding visuals and sound, make it a pivotal addition to the modern film landscape, and thus, it comes highly recommended for those seeking films that combine intense storytelling with exceptional technical quality.