First Looks: James Franco in 127 Hours & Philip Seymour Hoffman in Moneyball

James Franco 127 Hours trailer

Today we've got first looks of Philip Seymour Hall in the baseball movie Moneyball and James Franco in the mountaineering dramatization 127 Hours.

The images appeared online yesterday and give us an early glimpse at the two eagerly-anticipated dramas.

James Franco and Danny Boyle are a team nearly impossible for the unabashed movie geek in me to resist. For a moment allow me to drop the professional distance and tell you that I want to make love to Danny Boyle and give birth to incredible short films. And before you say anything – allow me to correct you – yes, that is the way it works.

I have followed the director's career since Shallow Grave left me simultaneously stunned and electrified. When it comes to Boyle, I don't pick favorites, but he has yet to make a film that I have not enjoyed on some level. Yes, yes I know what you’re going to say – and let’s leave A Life Less Ordinary out of it. I did add the caveat on some level.

Take a look at the first images of Franco in Boyle's 127 Hours. The film is the story of American mountain climber Aaron Ralston’s harrowing five days tapped beneath a bolder near Moab, Utah and his subsequent forced self-amputation.

James Franco 127 Hours trailer

Franco certainly has the same boyish optimism and charisma as Ralston - as evidenced by his turn as the quintessential bad boy with the heart of gold and head of steel in televisions Freaks and Geeks. I am not generally a fan of dramatizations and have some difficulty wrapping my mind around a film where the main character is trapped under a rock for the majority of the time. However the combination of James Franco and Danny Boyle  will likely be enough to put my butt in a seat. Add Lizzy Caplan and stir and they pretty much have my ten dollars.

We've also got the first image of Philip Seymour Hoffman in Moneyball based on the non-fiction book of the same title.

The Playlist uncovered the picture from the film's Facebook page and, judging by what we see, Hoffman will not merely rely on physical similarity for his portrayal of Oakland A's manager Art Howe. The Film takes a look at the Oakland A’s strategy to contend against far more moneyed competitors on a playing field where money became the greatest, and some felt only way, to carve a course to victory.

Though I am not an avid sports fan a good sports movie is impossible to resist. From Bull Durham to The Natural there is something about the purity of the love, even in the face of seemingly insurmountable odds and/or corruption, that gets me every time.  The film has a powerhouse of talent on the roster (pun intended): Capote director Bennett Miller will helm the film with Brad Pitt, Jonah Hill, Hoffman, Robin Wright Penn, Chris Pratt, and Kathryn Morris rounding out the cast.

127 Hours hits theaters in November while Moneyball is set for a 2011 release.

Follow me on Twitter @jrothc and ScreenRant @screenrant

Sources: The Playlist

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