The Review at a Glance: (max score: 5 )
Audio/Video total rating:
( Max score: 100 )
Studio and Year: 20th Century Fox - 2010
MPAA Rating: R
Feature running time: 94 minutes
Disc Format: BD-50
Encoding: AVC (MPEG-4)
Video Aspect: 1.85:1
Audio Format(s): English DTS-HD 5.1 Master Audio, Spanish/French/Portuguese Dolby Digital 5.1
Subtitles: English SDH, French, Spanish, Portuguese
Starring: James Franco, Kate Mara, Amber Tamblyn, Treat Williams, Lizzy Caplan, Clemence Poesy, Kate Burton
Directed by: Danny Boyle
Music by: A.R. Rahman
Written by: Danny Boyle & Simon Beaufoy based on the book Caught between a rock and a hard place by Aron Ralston
Region Code: A
Blu-ray Disc release Date: March 1, 2011
"There is no force more powerful than the will to live"
Based on true events, 127 Hours follows Aron Ralston, a dare-devil outdoorsman who gets trapped under a boulder while canyoneering alone in the Utah mountains. As hours turn into days, Ralston embarks on a 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!
This truly is an incredible story. I remember when Aron Ralston's harrowing ordeal made headlines in 2003. Six months after his rescue Tom Brokaw interviewed him on Dateline NBC (NBC recently rebroadcast the entire segment on Dateline) and they returned to the accident site. Listening to Aron recount the incident was both disturbing and mesmerizing. I couldn't help but think, WHY would anyone want to place themselves in such perilous situations? I gained an understanding of Aron's motivation as he talked about his love of the outdoors and extreme mountain climbing/canyoneering etc. He has an indomitable spirit and zest for life which along with his experience/training kept him going and ultimately saved his life. I didn't see 127 hours when it was in theaters but looked forward to it coming to Blu-ray. Knowing much of the story already I wondered how well it would translate to the big screen. I will avoid giving away any pertinent details about his ordeal for those who may not be familiar with this story although knowing about it certainly didn't lessen the visceral depiction portrayed in the film. Director Danny Boyle and James Franco do an amazing job recreating the atmosphere as well as the psychological/emotional journey undergone by Aron in the five days he spent trapped and isolated. This is a gripping and well executed film that faithfully captures one of the most compelling human interest stories of all time. Well done!
The rating is for language and some disturbing violent content/bloody images.
AUDIO/VIDEO - By The Numbers:
REFERENCE = 92-100 / EXCELLENT = 83-91 / GOOD = 74-82 / AVERAGE = 65-73 / BELOW AVERAGE = under 65
**My audio/video ratings are based upon a comparative made against other high definition media/blu-ray disc.**
(Each rating is worth 4 points with a max of 5 per category)
- Low frequency extension:
- Surround Sound presentation:
- Dialogue Reproduction:
(Each rating is worth 4 points with a max of 5 per category)
- Black level/Shadow detail:
- Color reproduction:
127 hours comes to Blu-ray Disc from Fox featuring 1080p AVC encoded video that has an average bitrate of 23 Mbps and lossless DTS-HD 5.1 Master Audio sound that has an average bitrate of 3.7 mbps.
This is a reference quality high definition video presentation that features resplendent colors and deep, image penetrating resolution. Images boast transparent imagery, with defining sharpness that highlights fine object detail. The sweeping pans and vista views of the rock covered Utah landscapes offer three dimensional depth, lucid visual acuity and an almost tangible reach out and touch perspective. Contrast is boldly applied which adds punch to colors and crispness to the sun drenched sequences. Blacks and shadow detail are strong which provides dark scenes with excellent dynamic range and depth of field. Colors are rich and vibrant, with deep, beautifully rendered primaries that stand out but appear natural and tonally delineated. The video has a filmic/light grainy texture that rarely calls attention to itself during scenes with plenty of light. In low level scenes it occasionally takes on more prominence but isn't problematic. The sequences that represented Aron's handheld camera's point of view intentionally appear (as you might expect) soft, de-saturated in color and grainy. Everything else, including the split/tri screen shots looked absolutely gorgeous and made for a terrific high definition presentation. Kudos to Fox on this one.
The lossless DTS-HD MA soundtrack has excellent dynamic range, detail rich clarity and makes ample use of the entire surround platform to drive the film's elements. A.R. Rahman's eclectic music score, coupled along with well integrated discrete and ambient sound effects, play an intricate role in the presentation. The detection of subtle background sounds, off camera cues and spatial dimension within the room's acoustic environment is notable. Dynamic range is extended and robust which enriches the authority of low frequency effects contained in the mix. There isn't perpetual use of the rear channels and subwoofer however when applied the effects are both involving and surreal. Try not to jump when a thunder storm rips Aron from his dazed sleep and cascades water throughout the canyon. Dialogue is firmly planted in the center channel and clearly renders voices and effects with appropriate distinction and balance within the front soundstage. I enjoyed this audio presentation and felt that it complimented the film's elements with exacting precision.
- Feature commentary with Danny Boyle, Christian Colson, and Simon Beaufoy
- (HD) 7 Deleted scenes (including a 22 minute alternate ending)
- (HD) Search and rescue - 14 minute documentary on the events that led to Aron's rescue
- (HD) 127 hours: An extraordinary view - 35 minute behind the scenes making of featurette
- (HD) Short film: God of love by Luke Maheny - 18 minutes
- BD Live - Live Extras:
- James Franco in conversation with theater/opera director Peter Sellars
- Blu-ray highlight: An extraordinary view
- Digital Copy Bonus Disc
Based on the book Caught between a rock and a hard place by Aron Ralston, 127 hours recounts Aron's harrowing journey for survival after a canyoneering accident left his arm pinned by a boulder in a remote canyon in Utah in May 2003. A masterful piece of filmmaking that garnered six Academy Award nominations, director Danny Boyle and actor James Franco do a magnificent job recreating the atmosphere as well as the psychological/emotional journey undergone by Aron in the five days he spent trapped and isolated. It comes to Blu-ray Disc from 20th Century Fox featuring reference quality high definition video, excellent DTS-HD Master Audio sound and a decent bonus supplements offering that looks behind the scenes and includes interviews with the cast/crew and the real people involved in this incredible story. In addition Fox has included Luke Matheny's 2011 Academy Award winning short film God of love, exclusive BD-Live Extras and a digital copy of 127 hours. This is a gripping and well executed film that faithfully captures one of the most compelling human interest stories of all time. It comes highly recommended.
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