127 Hours (2010)

"127 Hours" is a real testament to one's undying free spirit and the will to survive. Directed by Danny Boyle (cue the dramatic music and clever use of flashbacks), it chronicles the true life story of mountain climber/adventurer Aron Ralston, who famously got his arm stuck between a boulder and a canyon due to a freak accident during a climb. Aron (James Franco) finds himself literally stuck between a rock and a hard place in middle of nowhere, miles away from any signs of civilization. Oh, and he didn't tell anyone where he was going.
James Franco delivers a very convincing, powerful performance as the free-spirited Aron Ralston. Now only if he could deliver a convincing performance as an Oscar host (sorry, I just had to do it). As the title suggests, Aron spends 127 hours contemplating about his situation and reflecting back on his life. As he thoughtfully states during one point in the movie, every moment of his life, every decisions he has ever made had been pushing him closer to his unfortunate meeting with the boulder. With his supplies getting low and his health deteriorating, how far is he willing to go to survive? You can watch the movie to find out for yourself. I found "127 hours" very engaging and well worth the viewing. Just like any good life affirming adventure, there are fun, thoughtful, rewarding and even some gruesome moments for everyone to experience.

Rotten Tomatoes- Critics- 93% Audience- 85%
Yong's Rating- 3.5/5 Stars


Waiting for Superman (2010)

'Waiting for Superman' is a documentary examining the state of the public education system in America. Let's just say it's not all rainbows and sunshine. Having gone through the public education system myself (product of Chicago Public School), I was very interested in seeing this documentary. The film presents the harsh reality of where our public educational system is and where it's heading. It gives the big overall picture through fancy charts, graphs, and statistics. And adds a personal touch by focusing on a select group of families stuck right in the heart of the problem. It was disheartening to see the sad state of the public schools around the country. How a child's future can be decided solely on a random pick of a number. The worst part was that everyone knows it's broken, but the system doesn't allow for it to get fixed due to its politics. The film does provides some hope in ways that the system can get repaired, but at the rate things are now, I'm not sure even superman himself can save the children.

Rotten Tomatoes- Critics- 89%, Audience-85%
Yong's Rating- 3/5 Stars