127 Hours

stars] [IMDb Link] [Amazon Link]

Mrs. Salad, knowing some plot details, refused to watch this with me. "But everyone says it's a great movie," I pleaded. "You'll be sorry you missed it."

I was wrong. Almost certainly she would have spent a goodly fraction of the movie with a blanket over her head and fingers in her ears. It's pretty intense. But it's also pretty awesome. Six Oscar nominations, including Best Picture and Best Actor; although it didn't win any, I think James Franco should have gotten something.

The plot is simplicity itself: Franco plays Aron Ralston, a resourceful outdoorsman. Hiking alone in the remote Canyonlands, his arm is pinned by a rock. For… well, you see the title of the movie up there, right?

Along the way there are plenty of flashbacks, monologues, and hallucinations. There are even some laughs as Aron interviews himself on his video camera. The whole thing is absolutely riveting. If you can stand some do-it-yourself surgery lessons, check it out.

Last Modified 2012-09-26 1:07 PM EST

Memoirs of Sherlock Holmes

[Amazon Link]

A second collection of eleven Sherlock Holmes short stories, originally published in the Strand Magazine in 1892 and 1893. I haven't read these since I was a kiddo, decades back.

Among the high points: there's the one and only time Holmes describes one of his deductions to Watson as "elementary"; we meet Holmes' brother Mycroft for the first time; And there's the curious incident of the dog in the night-time. (He did nothing in the night-time; that was the curious incident.)

And the sad final story here is the author's temporary attempt to get out of the Sherlock business, killing off the detective at the evil hands of criminal mastermind Professor Moriarty at Reichenbach Falls. As we know, it didn't take.

Last Modified 2012-09-26 1:08 PM EST