I watched this movie while comparing it to other films the whole time which really lessened its effect. 127 Hours was one of the 10 films nominated for Best Picture and it's the last one I saw in that company; therefore, I spent a good amount of time likening it to Black Swan, The King's Speech, and the Social Network. Bad idea. Just let the movie stand by itself and you can get to comparisons later. Also, I started comparing it to other films with similar story arcs (action in the beginning, action in the end, long dry spell in the middle). I thought of the Shawshank Redemption. Both of these films have long dry spells in the middle which serve to advance time in a methodical manner. Unfortunately, not an effective movie watching method.
Overall, it is a very good film. A.R. Rahman wrote great music and the visual effects were realistic and effective. When you think about cutting off your arm, you don't really consider the mechanics involved in such an action. It is not just an arm. There are nerves, tendons, and bones. In fact, you would have to consider that breaking the bones would be more effective than just sawing through them. I never planned to put so much thought in this process, but it appears there are times when these follow through actions are really important. Here's hoping the next movie I watch I can just sit back and soak it in rather than sizing it up against its peers.