R, 1 hr. 33 min. Directed By: Danny Boyle. Release Date: Nov 5, 2010. DVD Release Date: Mar 1, 2011.
This was the last of 2010’s Best Picture nominees that I hadn’t seen, and it’s been in my Netflix queue for, well, I guess forever, or that's what it feels like. Normally, I would have just gone to the Best Picture Showcase at my local AMC, but last year, my local AMC was two hours away, and I would have had to make the drive twice, since the new increased number of nominees (and the limit of human endurance) have made the AMC management split their showings down the middle. And I had to make the choice regarding WHICH of the two showings I would go to, and I hadn't seen more movies on the other showing, so I missed this one.
Unfortunately, by the time I popped this into my DVD player, I already knew how it was going to end. And, I’m guessing the rest of you know how it ends too, so I’m probably going to start there. I actually expected that fateful scene to be more… gruesome than it was. Based on what folks had told me, I was thinking it was going to be more like Hostel. And I’ve seen episodes of House that were more explicit. I’m not complaining, because it was exactly the right amount of gore.
I thought James Franco was pretty amazing in this movie, but his performance here begs the question regarding what bet he lost for his next movie to be Your Highness. I don’t really have any doubts, although this combined with Your Highness has taught me that he’s a really talented goofball, and one I’m hoping to see more work from in the future.
I know that this is a true story, but I have a complaint. It’s totally tragic, but it was also something that could have been prevented. I feel terrible for Aaron, but at the same time, I’m wondering why he felt that he could skip the hiking buddy. I might be reading way too much in to the tale and experiencing a massive burst of 20/20 hindsight, but I’m pretty sure going it solo is strongly un-encouraged, and I’m wondering why such an experienced hiker would have dodged that bullet. I wish the movie would have addressed that a bit more… because I’m sure Aaron would have thought, at least once during his time in that cavern, that he’d brought someone with him. It would have been… satisfyingly responsible.
That stupid little thing is my only complaint. This was a really outstanding movie and is certainly worth checking out if you haven’t seen it yet.