A Week In Film #167: Give that man a hand

127 Hours
In bringing canyoneer Aron Ralston’s story to the screen, Danny Boyle’s seems to borrow heavily from producing partner Andrew Macdonald’s director brother Kevin’s own ‘my climbing hell’ picture, Touching The Void. This is not a bad thing.

Boyle, however, dispenses with any of the documentary talking heads sequences threaded through Void, instead sticking to a well-shot, well acted, well-imagined drama. James Franco is excellent.

The American
George Clooney as some sort of an assassin, a gunmaker forced into hiding in some small Italian town. But soon his old life catches up.

Maturely made by Anton Corbijn, with space for the material to breathe.

It’s The Rage
A talky, colliding-lives theatrical transfer, directed by James Stern from a play by Keith Reddin, focusing on the effects of handguns on the lives of a dozen or so Americans.

Irritating jealous husband Jeff Daniels (a less likeable version of the Bill Pullman character in The Last Seduction) kills a man with whom he thinks his wife, Joan Allen, is having an affair. Lawyer Andre Braugher gets him off the hook, but also hooks her up with a job as PA to eccentric geek tycoon Gary Sinise – replacing burned out Josh Brolin, who goes to work in a video rental store, where he meets annoying street urchin Anna Paquin, who begins an affair with the lawyer (who is partner to needy David Schwimmer) whilst winding up her psycho brother Giovanni Ribisi. I think that’s everyone… Oh, and there’s cops Robert Forster and Bokeem Woodbine too.

Basically it’s not great, it’s very stagey – Allen is decent, Forster delivers, Brolin and Sinise do the over-the-top thing fine – and all a bit too try-hard (drumroll, please) Altmanesque.

Ribisi’s repeated paraphrasing of better lines from better films (Taxi Driver, Midnight Cowboy, Dirty Harry), all whilst mugging like he was still on the Friends set, just reminds you of what you are missing by spending time watching this.

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