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A view on Blu-ray by Gary W. Tooze

127 Hours [Blu-ray]

 

(Danny Boyle, 2010)

 

  

  

 

Review by Gary Tooze

 

Production:

Theatrical: HandMade Films International

Video: 20th Century Fox

 

Disc:

Region: FREE! (as verified by the Momitsu region FREE Blu-ray player)

Runtime: 1:33:41.616

Disc Size: 39,343,645,237 bytes

Feature Size: 21,725,601,792 bytes

Video Bitrate: 23.88 Mbps

Chapters: 24

Case: Standard Blu-ray case

Release date: March 1st, 2011

 

Video:

Aspect ratio: 1.85:1

Resolution: 1080p / 23.976 fps

Video codec: MPEG-4 AVC Video

 

Audio:

DTS-HD Master Audio English 3674 kbps 5.1 / 48 kHz / 3674 kbps / 24-bit (DTS Core: 5.1 / 48 kHz / 1509 kbps / 24-bit)
Dolby Digital Audio French 448 kbps 5.1 / 48 kHz / 448 kbps
Dolby Digital Audio Portuguese 448 kbps 5.1 / 48 kHz / 448 kbps
Dolby Digital Audio Spanish 448 kbps 5.1 / 48 kHz / 448 kbps
Dolby Digital Audio English 224 kbps 2.0 / 48 kHz / 224 kbps

 

Subtitles:

English (SDH), French, Portuguese, Spanish, none

 

Extras:

Feature Commentary by Director/Co-Screenwriter Danny Boyle, Producer Christian Colson and Co-Screenwriter Simon Beaufoy
7 Deleted Scenes (34:13 in total - in 1080P)
Search & Rescue: Actual events that aided the search and rescue of Aron Ralston (14:51 in 1080P)
127 Hours: An Extraordinary View - A unique collaboration between the director and actor (35:30 in 1080P)

Short Film: God of Love by Luke Matheny (18:47 in 1080P)
Disc 2: Digital Copy

 

Bitrate:

 

 

Description: From Academy AwardŽ-winning director Danny Boyle (Slumdog Millionaire) comes the powerfully uplifting true story of one man’s struggle to survive against mountainous odds. Aron Ralston (James Franco) has a passion for all things outdoors. But when a falling boulder traps him in a remote Utah canyon, a thrill-seeker’s adventure becomes the challenge of a lifetime. Over the next five days, Ralston embarks on a remarkable personal journey in which he relies on the memories of family and friends--as well as his own courage and ingenuity--to turn adversity into triumph!

***

"127 Hours" is the true story of mountain climber Aron Ralston's remarkable adventure to save himself after a fallen... boulder crashes on his arm and traps him in an isolate canyon in Utah. Over the next five days, Ralston examines his life and survives the elements to finally discover he has the courage and the wherewithal to extricate himself by any means necessary, scale a 65 foot wall and hike over eight miles before he is finally rescued. Throughout his journey, Ralston recalls friends, lovers, family, and the last two people he ever had the chance to meet? A visceral thrilling story that will take an audience on a never before experienced journey and prove what we can do when we choose life.

 

 

The Film:

Franco, who showed his acting chops opposite Sean Penn in the 2008 Harvey Milk biopic, delivers an unforgettable performance as the halted hiker. Reacting to no one but himself and a tiny video camera, he crafts a portrayal of a man for whom pathos and self-pity are a waste of breath. And yet his personality has a human scale. 127 Hours makes us ask that most open-ended and thrilling at-the-movies question: What would I do?

The amputation scene, when it comes, is as intense as anything in the Saw movies. Reports of audience members being overcome at Toronto International Film Festival screenings are true (I saw the ambulances) but shouldn’t scare away any weak-stomached viewers. Nothing shameful in turning one’s head at the visceral moment.

Besides, it’s worth it, even as we cringe at the final, cathartic crack of bone. The stopwatch stops. The man is moving again. Action!

Excerpt from The National Post located HERE

"127 Hours" is like an exercise in conquering the unfilmable. Boyle uses magnificent cinematography by Anthony Dod Mantle and Enrique Chediak, establishing the vastness of the Utah wilderness, and the very specific details of Ralston's small portion of it. His editor, Jon Harris, achieves the delicate task of showing an arm being cut through without ever quite showing it. For the audience the worst moment is not a sight but a sound. Most of us have never heard that sound before, but we know exactly what it is.

Pain and bloodshed are so common in the movies. They are rarely amped up to the level of reality, because we want to be entertained, not sickened. We and the heroes feel immune. "127 Hours" removes the filters. It implicates us. By identification, we are trapped in the canyon, we are cutting into our own flesh. One element that film can suggest but not evoke is the brutality of the pain involved. I can't even imagine what it felt like. Maybe that made it easier for Ralston, because in one way or another, his decision limited the duration of his suffering.

Excerpt from Roger Ebert at the Chicago Sun-Times located HERE

Image :    NOTE: The below Blu-ray captures were taken directly from the Blu-ray disc.

The Blu-ray image quality of 127 Hours is easy to review; it is approaching demo. Buoyed by Enrique Chediak and Anthony Dod Mantle's exquisite cinematography there are some brilliant and awe-inspiring visuals. Utah's open skies and vast, almost artistic, landscapes are magnificent and even the split-screen modules look pristine. Almost exclusively daylit scenes fill the film with beauty and enhance the storytelling. 127 Hours is a real treat on Blu-ray and I expect others, beside myself, will be showcasing their system to friends with both the opening and closing segments of this film. Contrast, detail and colors are natural and exuberant and supply the 1080P presentation with a immensely impressive appearance.

 

CLICK EACH BLU-RAY CAPTURE TO SEE ALL IMAGES IN FULL 1920X1080 RESOLUTION

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Audio :

The lossless DTS-HD Master 5.1 at 3674 kbps doesn't have any problems supporting the film and there are effects crisply rendered to the rear speakers. There isn't much need for depth but the film has some intricate soundstage requirements that are met with the needed response. A.R. Rahman does the original music and it now appears as a perfect choice - it kind of adds to the Danny Boyle signature of the film. There is also some Chopin and Hoagy Carmichael blending in with the modern music. There are optional subtitles and my Momitsu has identified it as being a region FREE disc playable on Blu-ray machines worldwide.

 

Extras :

Supplements are as excellent as the transfer with a feature commentary from Director/Co-Screenwriter Danny Boyle, producer Christian Colson and co-screenwriter Simon Beaufoy that expands on details of production in multiple areas with focus on the specifics and avenues explored for the overall creation of the film. We get about 1 1/2 hours of HD video supplements in the form of seven 'Deleted Scenes', a piece entitled Search & Rescue showing the actual events that aided the search and rescue of Aron Ralston. Another is called 127 Hours: An Extraordinary View providing an examination of the unique collaboration between the director and actor and we also get as a bonus - an interesting short film: God of Love by Luke Matheny that runs just shy of 20-minutes. Included is a second disc Digital Copy for use on your portable devices.

 

 

BOTTOM LINE:
This is such a fascinating story - and I was a little ambivalent to see it - feeling it would be exploitive-ly voyeuristic but Boyle doesn't venture there at all. This is cinema at its finest with a riveting and suspenseful, true, story detailing some of the most minute nooks and crannies of the ordeal. It is precisely told with solid pacing and I'd say this may be my favorite of Boyle's films. He seems more assured and seasoned and I can't imagine another director approaching 127 Hours in such a gripping and entertaining fashion. This is one of the best Blu-rays of the early year - VERY highly recommended! 

Gary Tooze

February 23rd, 2011

  

  

 

About the Reviewer: Hello, fellow Beavers! I have been interested in film since I viewed a Chaplin festival on PBS when I was around 9 years old. I credit DVD with expanding my horizons to fill an almost ravenous desire to seek out new film experiences. I currently own approximately 9500 DVDs and have reviewed over 3500 myself. I appreciate my discussion Listserv for furthering my film education and inspiring me to continue running DVDBeaver. Plus a healthy thanks to those who donate and use our Amazon links.

Although I never wanted to become one of those guys who focused 'too much' on image and sound quality - I find HD is swiftly pushing me in that direction.

Gary's Home Theatre:

60-Inch Class (59.58” Diagonal) 1080p Pioneer KURO Plasma Flat Panel HDTV PDP6020-FD

Oppo Digital BDP-83 Universal Region FREE Blu-ray/SACD Player
Momitsu - BDP-899 Region FREE Blu-ray player
Marantz SA8001 Super Audio CD Player
Marantz SR7002 THX Select2 Surround Receiver
Tannoy DC6-T (fronts) + Energy (centre, rear, subwoofer) speakers (5.1)

APC AV 1.5 kVA H Type Power Conditioner 120V

Gary W. Tooze

 

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