127 Hours – Based on a true story, Danny Boyle’s 127 Hours stars James Franco as Aron Ralston — an extreme sports fanatic who ends up with his arm crushed between a boulder and a canyon during a solo mountain climbing expedition in Utah. The film is intense, and Franco really owns the role as someone sizing up their life during what could be their last few remaining days. If you’ve read a newspaper lately you’ll know people have passed out and suffered seizures during the scene where Franco’s character has to cut his own arm off. Personally, I found the isolated feeling of the rest of the movie to be much worse than this specific part, but if a movie can affect people this way it’s definitely something special. **** out of 5 stars. Opening in Toronto at the Varsity Cinema.
Morning Glory – What makes Morning Glory work so well is the always lovely Rachel McAdams and her way to charm the pants off the audience, and her co-stars (in this case Diane Keaton and Harrison Ford). Without her, this behind the scenes look at what goes on at a morning television show would be dead in the water. Instead, it’s a sweet, light-hearted comedy that delivers some hilarious moments. Bottom-line is that if you look at the trailer and think you’ll like it, you most likely will. *** out of 5 stars.
Monsters – After extraterrestrials land in Mexico, the American and Mexican governments corner off the “Infected Zone” in order to quarantine the creatures. When there is an incident outside of the zone, two young American tourists attempt to get back to the U.S. where they believe they will be safe. Getting to the border means entering the “Infected Zone” though and risking their lives even further. While the premise of Monsters is intriguing, the one thing the supposedly $15,000 film is lacking most is actual monsters. And it’s a real bummer if you’re expecting a sci-fi horror and find a drama. Wait for it on DVD and in the meantime watch the much better District 9. *** out of 5 stars.
Also opening this week is the crime-comedy Down Terrace (Toronto), the alien invasion film Skyline, and the Tony Scott action flick Unstoppable, starring Denzel Washington, Chris Pine, and Rosario Dawson.