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On Saturday, April 26, 2003, Aron Ralston decided to go on a weekend trip hiking and mountain biking in the Utah Canyonlands outside Moab. Other than telling his co worker that he was headed to Utah, he didn't let anyone else know where he was going. In the afternoon, after meeting up with two other hikers, he climbed solo into Blue John Canyon, which is a narrow slot canyon. While climbing down into the canyon, he accidentally dislodged a boulder and it fell down the couple foot wide canyon. Aron put his hands up to stop it from hitting his face, and it crushed and pinned his right hand between the boulder and the wall of the canyon. He then realizes that he has three options: wait for rescue and probably starve to death, move the boulder off of his hand, or amputate his hand. After days of trying to move the rock to free his hand, he comes to the conclusion that if he wants to have any chance of living, he has to cut his hand off. Aron Ralston tells his own amazing story of amputating his arm in "Between a Rock and a Hard Place," which has become a movie this year, "127 Hours."
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In adapting this true story into a movie, Danny Boyle cut and added scenes. Ralston put many flashbacks to previous adventures that he had had, such as climbing many of the 14,000 foot peaks in Colorado, solo and in winter. He also told stories of many times he had had with friends skiing and mountaineering. Boyle cut all of these scenes from the movie, which I thought took away from developing Aron as a character. There was the problem making the book into a movie that much of the book is Aron's thoughts. Obviously thoughts can't be in a movie, so to avoid this problem Danny Boyle added a scene where Aron was talking to himself, pretending to be on a game show where he was the host and participant. I thought this scene worked well as a way to get around having his thoughts. It worked because it was funny and gave you a sense of him as a person. It also made you realize just how alone he was for so long that he started talking to himself. Ralston wrote that he made long videos with the camera he had to his friends and family, so if he died he could say some last goodbyes and tell his family what to do with his belongings. In the movie Aron made these videos but they were shortened. This was another good way for to get Aron's thoughts out that didn't seem unnatural. Overall the scenes that were added worked well for the movie because they were things that were not unreasonable to happen. I did think however, that cutting out all of his flashbacks to previous times did not work for the movie. In the book they helped to show you what kind of person Aron was, and in the movie you didn't have as good a sense of what Aron was like.

Music and cinematography added greatly to 127 Hours, Boyle's adaptation of Between a Rock and a Hard Place. Ralston listened to music in many parts of his ordeal, and having music in the movie gave you a better sense of what he was feeling at the time. Boyle chose to not use music in some parts of the movie, which added to what it must have actually been like for Ralston while he was trapped. Although music added to 127 Hours in a positive way, cinematography was far more important to the feel of Aron's experience. In the beginning of the movie, when Aron heads into the canyonlands of Utah, you realize how remote and rugged the terrain is where Aron goes. The place where I felt that the cinematography added the most to Boyle's movie was when Ralston first got trapped, and the camera started close in above him, and then panned out until the canyon Aron was stuck in was just a tiny crack in a huge dessert landscape. It gave you a feel of how remote and far from anything Aron was trapped. In the book it is hard to picture, but the visuals of the landscape in the movie helped greatly. There was another shot where Ralston was screaming for help and at first his screams were close and loud, then the camera moved farther and farther away until they couldn't even be heard. It was scary to see just how little humans are in this massive landscape. It made any hope you had for him instantly go away. An interesting thing that was done in 127 Hours was switching between professional filming with good quality, and Aron filming himself with the video camera he brought with him. These switches made it more interesting to watch, and it was very sad while he was just talking to the camera himself. Cinematography and music made the you appreciate the desperateness of Aron's situation, and how sad it was for him to think he was going to die.

Danny Boyle's choice of casting James Franco as Aron Ralston was interesting, and had good, but also bad aspects. He did a very good job of portraying emotion and sadness when he realizes that he is not going to be able to get free easily. It was a very hard role to play because he has no supporting actors most of the time, and all the attention is always on him. However well he played the part of Aron, I felt that he was not the actor for the movie. While reading the book, there is the sense that Aron Ralston is extremely competent, and stayed calm and rational most of the time. He was always analyzing options and calculating time vs. the amount of water he had left and how long he could stay alive for. James Franco made Aron seem way more desperate and incompetent. Danny Boyle tried to make him funnier and more likeable, which made him come off stupider when Aron Ralston was very smart and good at dealing with many situations. The movie may not have been as entertaining, which was it's goal but it would have been more realistic if James Franco hadn't been casted.

If I had to reccomend either the the book or the movie, I would definitely pick the book because it does a better job telling the story in more detail. I actually thought that the book was more entertaining to read than watching the movie because it was more detailed and you related to Aron more. I really felt connected to Aron while reading the book, and because i knew about him and his previous adventures, I viewed him as very competent. In the movie, you never really got a sense of who he was as a person. I liked the overall style of the movie, how it was filmed, and the music used in it. I also liked it because while it may have cut scenes, it didn't alter the story very much. The book goes into much greater detail than the movie and i felt like the movie made the whole experience feel fairly short, while the book did a good job of making it seem as long as it was. The movie feels like it is targeted at a broader audience and anyone would enjoy watching it, while the book feels more targeted toward people who read adventure books, and are into outdoorsy things.