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Movies: Franco Falls and Cher Rises (...Again)


127hours_franco
 Better take that last pee break before the movie starts.

NATHANIEL ROGERS

Guestblogger...watches trailers through fingers (too many spoilers) and waits impatiently for the feature. He blogs daily at the Film Experience. Follow him on Twitter @nathanielr.


YOUR FEATURE PRESENTATION
If Danny Boyle was feeling any pressure about following up his biggest hit, Slumdog Millionaire (2008), it doesn't show. If anything the first minutes of 127 HOURS gleefully remind the audience of the exuberance of that Best Picture winner, as if this were its western cousin, complete with a similarly super-saturated color palette and a split screen homage to globalism. It's not immediately clear then or even by the end of the film, what large celebratory crowds all over the world have to do with the true story of adventurous rock climbing loner Aron Ralston (James Franco). But then, Boyle is less a cerebral filmmaker than a physical one; like Ralston, he's an adrenaline junkie.

Franco_swims 127 Hours moves at such breakneck speed, with such joy of performance (Franco is sensational) and with such love of tricked up camera work, that when it does tumble with Aron down into a crevice, famously pinning his arm under a boulder where it would forever remain, the moment doesn't just play as terror. It plays like a weirdly hilarious affront to the very joy of movement, both human and cinematic.

There have been plentiful reports of people fainting at screenings of 127 Hours but I wouldn't worry. (I'm a wuss and I only had to cover my eyes once.) For a story that sounds grim in the summarizing -- man meets boulder is only carrying a bit of water, a video camera and a dull knife --  it's very funny in the telling.

More 127 Hours, new releases and Cher, AFTER THE JUMP...

If there's anything to say against the film it's that Boyle is such a busy filmmaker that he is awfully afraid of confronting the terror of immobility that the story is actually supposed to be confronting. In his desperation not to bore us --he doesn't-- he sacrifices some of the existential terror that might have made this an all time classic, rather than just a gripping adventure. But few will complain. Especially not James Franco who is on his way to an Oscar nomination with the kind of casual grinning confidence that Aron Ralston bikes and hikes through Utah... at least until he meets that boulder.

Also Opening: Writer director Tyler Perry collects eight of our best black actresses for the movie version of the acclaimed play For Colored Girls Who Have Considered Suicide When the Rainbow is Enuf (shortened for the screen to FOR COLORED GIRLS); Naomi Watts stars as outed CIA operative Valerie Plame in the biographical political drama FAIR GAME; Robert Downey Jr. and Zack Galifianikis take a 'Plains, Trains and Automobiles' style road trip in DUE DATE; the animated film MEGAMIND features the voices of Will Ferrell as a supervillain becoming heroic (think Despicable Me) and Brad Pitt as a retiring superhero; the terrorism satire FOUR LIONS, which won awards attention in the UK last week hits US theaters; and the Algerian Oscar hopeful called OUTSIDE THE LAW arrives in select cities.

BONUS SCENE

Ooh, look. Cher is taking over Soho.

Burlesque_crosby

That's actually painted right on the brick at the corner of Crosby and Prince Street right here in New York City. If you rode a bike, wouldn't you park it right there just so Cher could loom over you as you chained it up?

Cher is now 64 years old and probably wouldn't be plastered all over buildings again if she weren't Cher (quick name a celebrity with as many "acts" in their career!) or if BURLESQUE weren't on the way for Thanksgiving.

Cher_filmcollect If you want to party like it's 1999 1988, when Cher was on top of the world with a major comeback that brought her the Oscar and new hit singles, you can pick up the dvd set CHER: The Film Collection that's just been released. The gems of the collection are her deservedly Oscar nominated roles in Silkwood (1983) and Moonstruck (1987) "snap out of it!". But there's also the delightful Mermaids (1990) which captured that super brief moment in time when we didn't know Cher was about to leave the movies, Christina Ricci was a brand new face (so adorable) and Winona Ryder was all the rage. The collection also includes Cher's last major film role Tea With Mussollini (1999) and her first two late 60s features (Good Times and Chastity). In the first of those, she played... herself. Hey, it is her best role.

Sadly the collection does not include The Witches of Eastwick or Mask but you can't have everything. It's still 10.5 Hours of Cher if you aren't able to spend 127 with James Franco this weekend.

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Comments

  1. I would rather watch the fatolds at the gay club jiggle to Donna Summer songs than endure the new Cher/Christina film.

    Posted by: ClubBoi | Nov 4, 2010 6:55:35 PM


  2. I thought this was a lovely spot on Cher, one of my all time favorite performers. I hate to hear the "bitchy" comments by so many bitter queens about Cher! Just enjoy her!

    Posted by: Jim | Nov 4, 2010 7:00:18 PM


  3. “Prop. 200”, “House Bill 2013″ and “SB1070″

    0 = Arizona
    3 = USA/ Our Constitution/ We the People of the United States

    We are a country that is ruled by the Constitution (with all Amendments), and the Declaration of Independence, not by the majority of the day. When the uneducated do not know the principles in these documents, therein lays the problem in losing, so no one should be surprised when the dullards lose in court after being smartly challenged.

    Last month of October 2010, our Ninth Circuit Court of Appeals overturned Arizona’s requirement that people show proof of citizenship to register to vote or the 2004, “Prop. 200”. In the month of July 2010, our U.S. Federal courts have found the so called State of Arizona hate filled legislation namely “House Bill 2013″ and “SB1070″ Un-constitution (So much for the intellect of Jan Brewer, “Did you read the bills you signed?”). But we all know that they will go crying to the Supreme Court of the United States, please, please, please go. We will fight you in Arizona, any other state, and yes in Washington DC. We will not tire, we will not be silent and we will persevere, I promise you.

    In my opinion the Republican Party has been taken over the most extreme of clans; the Baggers, Birthers and Blowhards (people who love to push their beliefs and hate on others while trying to take away the rights of those they just hate) and that’s who they need to extract from their party if they real want to win in November. Good Luck, because as they said in WACO, “We Ain’t Coming Out”.

    I know the proponents of this law say that the majority approves of these laws, but the majority is not always right. Would women or non-whites have the vote if we listen to the majority of the day, would the non-whites have equal rights (and equal access to churches, housing, restaurants, hotels, retail stores, schools, colleges and yes water fountains) if we listen to the majority of the day? We all know the answer, a resounding, NO! You were all wrong then and you are wrong now!

    I hope that every American, regardless of where he lives, will stop and examine his conscience about this and other related incidents. This Nation was founded by men of many nations and backgrounds. It was founded on the principle that all men are created equal, and that the rights of every man are diminished when the rights of one man are threatened. All of us ought to have the right to be treated as he would wish to be treated, as one would wish his children to be treated, but this is not the case.

    Today we are committed to a worldwide struggle to promote and protect the rights of all who wish to be free. In a time of domestic crisis men of good will and generosity should be able to unite regardless of party or politics and do what is right, not what is just popular with the majority. Some men comprehend discrimination by never have experiencing it in their lives, but the majority will only understand after it happens to them.

    Posted by: Montana | Nov 4, 2010 11:38:15 PM


  4. Wow, I never expected to read, "weirdly hilarious" in a description of a scene that leads someone to amputate his own arm!

    @Montana, I think you may have gotten confused about the section where you were posting. And while I agree with your points and am not some PC zealot, the editor in me feels compelled to point out that "men" and "man" should (except in occasional historical contexts) be replaced by "people" or "person." It may sound petty, but it's an easy fix for someone who clearly wants to be as inclusive as possible. It's also easy to avoid awkward constructions like "he/she" by simply making them plural. But again, this discussion has no point on a movie comments section! Best to you, and continue to avoid the hellhole that is Arizona.

    Posted by: Paul R | Nov 5, 2010 12:39:27 AM


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