The girlfriend of adventurer Aron Ralston has been cleared of assault after he failed to testify against her in court. Ralston, who was forced to amputate his own arm after becoming trapped by a boulder during a hiking accident in Utah, was arrested in December (13) for allegedly attacking his partner Vita Shannon, but he was cleared later that month (Dec13).
Shannon was charged with assault amid accusations she had punched Ralston in the back of the head, but prosecutors dropped that charged on Wednesday (19Feb14) after Ralston failed to show up in court to give evidence, according to TMZ.com.
Ralston and Shannon have a five-month-old daughter named Elisabetta.
Assault charges against the adventurer James Franco portrayed in 127 Hours have been dropped. Aron Ralston, who was forced to amputate his own arm after becoming trapped by a boulder during a hiking accident in Utah, was arrested on Sunday (08Dec13) on charges of assaulting minors, but in court on Monday (09Dec13) the case against him was dismissed.
Reports suggest prosecutors didn't have the evidence to convict him.
His girlfriend, Vita Shannon, is still facing two criminal charges for allegedly assaulting Aron in front of their eight-month-old child, according to TMZ.com.
The adventurer portrayed by James Franco in 127 Hours has been arrested on a domestic violence charge in Denver, Colorado. Aron Ralston, who was forced to amputate his own arm after becoming trapped by a boulder during a hiking accident in Utah, was arrested on Sunday (08Dec13) on charges of assaulting minors.
Police spokeswoman Raquel Lopez tells The Associated Press she is unable to release any further details. Ralston is scheduled to appear in court on Monday (09Dec13).
The Simpsons is nothing if not wild and silly, but it does adhere to a level of reality, which limits it from getting away with a few more outlandish jokes and spoofs. Once year, however, all hell breaks loose, and The Simpsons disregards any restrictions in one of its many celebrated "Treehouse of Horror" Halloween episodes. This season will feature the twenty-second "Treehouse of Horror," and, in keeping with tradition, will pay homage to some well-known adages of science fiction, horror, and just plain unpleasantness. Films parodied include Avatar and 127 Hours.
The Simpsons "Treehouse of Horror XXII" will air Sunday, Oct. 30 at 8 p.m. ET/PT.
As always, the episode will start with a brief opener that frames three separate stories to come. "Treehouse of Horror XXII" will be threaded by a parody of last year's 127 Hours. While recklessly exploring Candy Peak, Homer will find himself trapped in a cravasse with his arm stuck under a boulder. In an attempt to free himself, Homer (as Fox's Facebook page puts it) "channels Aron Ralston (guest-voicing as himself)." Somehow, this will link to the following three stories:
"The Diving Bell and Butterball"
In a parody of the 1997 memoir -- turned 2007 film by Julian Schnabel -- The Diving Bell and the Butterfly, Homer will become paralyzed after being bitten by a poisonous spider. He is unable to communicate until Lisa figures out a way for him to express himself through "natural gases."
"Dial D for Diddly"
Borrowing its title from the 1954 movie Dial M for Murder, the Simpsons' pious neighbor Ned Flanders will play a "devout preacher by day" and a "cold-blooded vigilante by night."
"In the Na'Vi"
In a long overdue Avatar parody, Bart and Milhouse will travel to a distant planet with the mission of extracting a precious mineral, but they'll need to take the form of the native beings in order to earn their trust. Like his Worthingtonian counterpart, Bart will fall unexpectedly in love with a native of the planet, and could end up defending new friends against old. These natives might be a little more...grotesque than the Pandora citizens. Simpsons fans: think Kang and Kodos.
When 127 Hours was first released, I refused to see it. Instead, I filled my time with viewings of Due Date, Megamind, and Black Swan. I even continued to keep my distance after I learned it was nominated for Oscars and Golden Globes. And just this past weekend, I chose to see Take Me Home Tonight when I could have seen 127 Hours at that very same theater at the very same time. My reason for electing to see Take Me Home Tonight wasn’t because I was afraid of how graphic the amputation scene would be (I actually do quite well with gore and I’d already read several accounts of what it was like). But rather, I was turned off because I didn’t want to be put in the situation where I’d have to feel sympathy for a character so self-assured; galloping through canyons, waving around his supreme confidence. I didn’t want to like a person who treated the people around him recklessly. But upon viewing it on DVD this weekend, I realized I was sorry I waited so long to see it.
But let’s back up for a second. Do I need to tell you what 127 Hours is about? Probably not, right? But just in case you’re doing what I was doing and are intentionally blocking it out, it’s the story of Aron Ralston, who was forced to amputate his right arm after it became trapped by a boulder while he was hiking Blue John Canyon in Utah. It’s a miraculous testimonial to resilience, will power, and complete and total triumph over every possible odd, and that includes the odds of those odds. In fact, I liked it so much that once it had ended, I queued it right back up again and played it from the beginning. I admit that by not seeing it in the theaters, I had failed at the whole movie-going experience. And for that I am somewhat ashamed.
Let me try and be more clear about why I decided against seeing 127 Hours for so long. I assume it had a lot to do with how overly cautious I personally am, and the movie was about someone who got himself into a bad situation because he wasn’t cautious. Granted, Ralston was an experienced hiker and he had a clear sense of which events he needed to be prepared for and which events were less likely to occur, but as someone who fears everything and overpacks and must always be near a water supply, the thought of watching a movie about a man who almost dies because he’s trapped and doesn’t have access to what he needed to survive sounded torturous to me. Essentially, it validated all the reasons why I prepare for the unlikely, made even my most irrational fears seem like impending disasters.
I was also acutely aware that if I were to see the movie, I would be forced to confront my limitations. Everyone likes to think that if a boulder was crushing one of their arms and the only way to survive would be to perform an amputation, they could do it. But when the strength and tenacity and complete pain that is involved in that process was portrayed as well and as extreme as I knew it would be in 127 Hours, I believed people would emerge from the theater with the realization that if they were in Aron Ralston’s shoes, they would have died rather than enduring what was needed to if they were going to survive. And I did not want to be one of those people. I would much rather walk out of a theater with pains in my hips from laughing so hard than I would with a bleak outlook on how I’d be incapable of keeping myself alive in a serious situation.
So when I was tired of listening to my boyfriend tell me he was having dreams that he saw 127 Hours (he never saw it because I, basically, wouldn't let him), I finally gave in and brought the DVD to my house so we could watch it. We both had the same reaction: visually, we were blindsided, and by the end we were exhausted -- emotionally (obviously) and also physically because of how tight our muscles and jaws clenched with Franco whenever he tried to lift the boulder off himself. We both realized there was no way we would have ever been able to sit through it in the theater without getting escorted outside for disturbing the people around us shifting by our weight back and forth in our seats out of anxiety. But above everything, I was most surprised by how Ralston wasn't really depicted to be the jerk I thought he would be. For some reason, I had been talked into believing that Ralston was a guy who didn't care about anybody but himself, when that's completely untrue. Franco showed how deeply Ralston cared for his family, and it's just that his unflinching love for being alone in the wilderness can be confused with a man who's aloof and narcissistic. In actuality, Ralston's love for his family is one of the main reasons he's alive.
I guess what I'm saying is what started as me rejecting a movie because I was unwilling to do what I thought it would ask me to do (which was sympathize with Aron Ralston, who again, I had deemed an unlikeable character based on how I had been told he rejected his family and friends in favor of the outdoors) ended up being a huge mistake. I thought that Danny Boyle was going to present to me this horrific accident and expect me to be down on my knees and wailing over Ralston's perseverance when in fact, he was the one who didn't leave a note telling anyone where he was going! And of course when I saw it, I was in awe of Ralston and very conscious of how remarkable of a man he is. I'll be lucky if I can be a fraction of the survivor that he is. So I suppose I regret not considering that when I was avoiding the movie, I was missing out on a really great experience.
Adventurer Aron Ralston, who was forced to hack off his arm after he became trapped by a boulder during a hiking accident in Utah, tackled a series of challenges during a recent taping of the show.
His Minute To Win It heroics will air on Wednesday (23Feb11).
Franco's portrayal of Ralston earned him a Best Actor Oscar nomination. Franco will discover whether or not he's a winner at the Academy Awards next Sunday (27Feb11).
With no new releases from Lars Von Trier, Werner Herzog, David Lynch, David Cronenberg or Richard Kelly, 2010 projected to be a down, if not disastrous year for the WTF Awards – our annual celebration of the most bizarre, baffling, head-scratching and cringe-worthy moments in cinema. Thankfully, the filmmaking community, as it has always done in times of crisis, rallied to fill the void left by the absence of these WTF titans, providing us with an abundance of examples worthy of honor with the Frank Trophy. The Frankie (so named for the beloved character from Donnie Darko) may not be the most prestigious award in Hollywood, but it is undoubtedly the tallest.
This year's winners:
Most Surprising Hit: Alice in Wonderland
That Tim Burton’s CGI confection was a hit is not a surprise; that it grossed over a billion dollars worldwide – enough to rank sixth all-time -- is. Goth and emo kids, it seems, have access to significantly more disposable income than anyone previously thought. And they appear to be multiplying. Time to start building that shelter – and buying Hot Topic stock.
Most Inexplicable Flop: The Tourist
Plenty of films disappointed at the box office last year – 2010’s total tally was the lowest in 12 years – but none boasted the star power (Angelina Jolie and Johnny Depp!) and sexy, exotic locales (Paris! Venice!) of The Tourist. Then again, the same combination also failed Eat Pray Love. Perhaps directing and screenwriting still matter after all.
Best Inadvertent Horror Flick: Tie –
The Nutcracker 3D – A children’s movie that triggers instantaneous terror among most children who see it? Sounds pretty darn hilarious to me. Which is why I don’t have kids.
Sex and the City 2 – Four solipsistic ghouls marauding across the Middle East, leaving dignity, good taste and America’s reputation throughout the Islamic world in their gruesome menopausal wake. Eli Roth can only dream of this kind of revulsion.
Movie Whose Mere Existence May Prompt You to Consider Ending Yours: The Bounty Hunter
On the plus side, whenever someone at a party questions the difficulty of a job that entails watching movies for a living, I can now effectively silence them with just three words.
Most Superbly Crafted Film I Never Want to See Again: Black Swan
So prodigious are director-sadist Darren Aronofsky’s abilities to unnerve that even the presence of a Natalie Portman/Mila Kunis girl-on-girl sex scene fails to inspire repeat viewings of his critically-acclaimed camp freakout. Aronofsky achieved the same feat with his nails-on-blackboard brilliant Requiem for a Dream, in which even a fully nude Jennifer Connelly couldn’t ease the existential dread.
Movie That Could Only Have Come Out of Scandinavia: Rare Exports: A Christmas Tale
Leave it to those freaky Fins to re-imagine Santa Claus as a child-abducting, reindeer-slaughtering monster served by a corps of naked, shriveled elves. Jalmari Helander’s coffee-black comedy is perfect entertainment for tots not sufficiently traumatized by The Nutcracker 3D.
Most Egregious Bait-and-Switch: The American
As much as I enjoyed Anton Corbijn’s avowedly minimalist take on the quintessential “one last job” tale, I couldn’t help but feel for moviegoers who, lured by the film’s somewhat misleading marketing, went to see it expecting a polished popcorn thriller more worthy of an A-lister like George Clooney. Instead they got a spare, melancholy art flick, albeit one with a surfeit of nudity.
Most Disturbing “Love” Scene: Splice
Adrian Brody’s mad genetic scientist enjoys a drunken dalliance with Dren, the androgynous (and uncomfortably hot) offspring of his unholy experiments, in a scene glazed with just enough sensuality by director Vincenzo Natali to make our discomfort visceral. That the creature’s jambalaya genome includes bits of his own DNA as well as that of several other animals, qualifying the act as both incest and bestiality, is the icing on the cringe-cake.
Most Dubious Marketing Tagline: “From the Mind of M. Night Shyamalan” – Devil
Best WTF Cameo: Ed Corbin (The Bear Man), True Grit
In one of the film’s most memorable scenes, Mattie Ross and Rooster Cogburn enjoy an awkward exchange with a hulking figure, clad in a bear suit and towing a corpse, who inquires in a creepy drawl as to whether either of them require medical attention. The scene wasn’t in Charles Portis’ source novel; it’s purely a creation of the Coen Brothers, whose yen for quirky peripheral characters is unmatched.
The George Lucas Award for Achievement in Legacy Dismantling: Kevin Smith
At first heralded as the voice of a generation and an inspiration to aspiring indie auteurs, the Clerks director has since degenerated into a just another Hollywood hack, reaching his creative nadir in 2010 with his buddy-cop flop, Cop Out. As a fan of his early work, I’m sad to see that he’s essentially become the Insane Clown Posse of filmmakers: amateurish, puerile, gimmicky, and a joke to everyone outside his army of inexplicably devoted followers.
Most Disconcerting Movie Trend: The Live-Action Comedy Famine
While animated comedies continued their profitable reign in 2010, their live-action counterparts were rejected en mass by moviegoers. Part of this can be explained by the dearth of quality titles; the rundown of rom-coms in particular -- Leap Year, The Bounty Hunter, Killers, When in Rome, The Switch, How Do You Know, et al -- reads like a to-do list at Guantanamo, and Little Fockers is now routinely invoked in pagan rituals to summon the fertility demon Naberus. But what’s more distressing is that the better comedies, like Easy A, Get Him to the Greek, MacGruber, and Hot Tub Time Machine, struggled to find audiences as well.
WTF Performer of the Year: James Franco
Let’s be honest: Any year in which Nicolas Cage makes a film is a year in which he wins this award. The man owns this category like Wilt Chamberlain owned the paint. As such, like Chamberlain, his dominance has inspired a rule change: In the interest of variety, the award will henceforth be known as the “Nicolas Cage Award for Achievement in WTF Performance.”
In 2010, no other actor dazzled, confused and, indeed, nauseated us as much as James Franco. His artistic output – from creative writing to cross-dressing photo shoots to Funny or Die shorts to big-budget cameos to his continued run on General Hospital -- was nothing short of baffling. And the strangest thing is, it all paid off. Among other accolades, he’s received his first Oscar nomination for his performance as arm-severing bicyclist Aron Ralston in Danny Boyle’s 127 Hours.
Whichever agents negotiated Franco’s pact with Satan have earned their 5%.
WTF Movie of the Year: Splice
Human Centipede’s grotesqueries, while numerous and undoubtedly WTF-worthy, were of a strictly intestinal variety. Splice’s approach was much more holistic: It not only churned your stomach; it skull-f*cked your id. This is the kind of boldly batsh*t filmmaking for which the WTF Awards were invented. Congratulations to director Vincenzo Natali; we hope this helps ease the disappointment of losing out at the Teen Choice Awards.
So maybe you weren't able to watch the scene from 127 Hours in which James Franco's character severs his own arm in order to survive without turning your head away, and if that's the case then today's you're lucky day. Danny Boyle's Oscar-nominated film and Franco's Oscar-nominated performance are slated to hit Blu-ray and DVD on March 1, so you'll finally have a chance to get a better look at that flinch-worthy scene, and if you've got a Blu-ray player, you'll see it in incredible high-definition! Awesome, right?
The film follows the true story of Aron Ralston, an adventurer who gets trapped under a boulder in the Utah mountains when he ventures out by himself. Boyle follows his solitary journey as he endures the unthinkable situation in which Ralston finds himself. The DVD will offer up the usual commentary and deleted scenes, but the Blu-ray ups the ante a bit by including featurettes about the relationship between Franco and Boyle as they filmed 127 Hours and the actual events that aided Ralston's eventual rescue in Utah. From the looks of these special features, you can take a look at how closely Boyle was to the story that inspired his acclaimed film.
Source: Coming Soon
Perry reveals he wanted to make the film about Ralston's five-day battle for life trapped by a boulder in a Utah canyon with former Beverly Hills, 90210 castmate Brian Austin Green.
The actor says, "I tried to acquire the rights to that story and I wanted to do it with Brian Green... I thought he'd be great in that part, but Danny Boyle got it."
But Perry insists he's desperate to do something with Green after recently shooting TV western movie Goodnight For Justice with another old castmate, Jason Priestley.
He tells Access Hollywood, "Brian's a great actor and I've always wanted to find something to do with him."
If you're anything like us, you quote movie dialogue to your friends around the clock. Our historical favorites include lines from The Big Lebowski, Grosse Pointe Blank and misquoting Sunset Blvd. and Casablanca. Thankfully, 2010 had a few quotable moments that deserve some recognition. Here's the top ten utterances you can break out at a party, video included where available.
From: Despicable Me
Explanation: The cutest moment of the year, from the cutest character of the year, little Agnes. This scene occurs once Gru turns the corner and wins the little girls a unicorn from the fair.
"If you guys were the inventors of Facebook, you'd have invented Facebook."
From: The Social Network
Explanation: This chestnut was but one example of the tremendous dialogue Aaron Sorkin brought to the table. It also hammered home what Jesse Eisenberg's portrayal of Mark Zuckerberg was all about: brutal logic.
"I bought the airline. It seemed neater."
Explanation: You can watch the scene here, it's where we finally figured out what Saito brought to the table. A "can do" spirit!
The Lion vs. Tuna Rant
From: The Other Guys
Explanation: This feels like an ad lib improv that went waaaaaaay too long. Still, both Wahlberg and Ferrell stick with the bit, the result is comedy gold.
"I'm putting this whole town in my reahview."
From: The Town
Explanation: The accents in The Town were completely over the top. They were also eminently quotable, and anytime you need to a leave a gathering I suggest a boisterous version of this Ben Affleck declaration (quote is at 1:25 on the trailer).
"Where are you? Im'ma kill you. :)"
From: Get Him to The Greek
Explanation: The funniest moment in a very funny film comes in the form of a text message. Luckily, P. Diddy gives us a voice over version too.
From: 127 Hours
Explanation: James Franco's (as Aron Ralston) moment of realization comes when he realizes it will be days before people start looking for him. It's the ultimate understatement for the ultimate predicament.
"I partake not in the meat, nor the breast milk, nor the ovum, of any creature with a face."
From: Scott Pilgrim vs. The World
Explanation: This Edgar Wright film is loaded with great dialogue. But "hardcore Vegan" angle awesomeness can't be denied, because I've had people say this sort of thing to me when explaining their dietary choices. Thankfully, we didn't fight afterward.
"If these men wanted a decent burial they should have got themselves killed in summer."
From: True Grit
Explanation: Jeff Bridges brought the ornery with his take on Rooster Cogburn. It's with this quote that he breaks down for his teen employer why exactly they won't be honoring any last requests. Classy, very classy.
"Not you, not you, and not you!"
From: The Fighter
Explanation: The second great Boston quote is more understated, but it contains just enough of the "Say hello to your mother for me" Wahlberg vibe to be hilarious. I should also note that one "not you" would have stood for the whole group. Why point out everyone who won't be in the ring? I'll tell you why. Because it wouldn't be as fun to say (quote is at 2:00 on the trailer).
How say you? Any quotes I missed? Lay ‘em on me, don’t be shy.
Check out last week's Movie Musings here.
Laremy is the lead critic and senior producer for a website named Film.com. He's also available on Twitter.