Thursday, September 24, 2015

Everest features stunning cinematography

Movie  Everest

Rating: PG-13, 2 hours 1 minutes

Grade:   B

In a Nutshell:    This is an impressive movie to watch on IMAX and in 3D.  The cinematography and sound design will surely win some awards.   While the dialogue isn’t stellar, the cast is.  This true story is a memorial to all of those who climb mountains in their life, whether literally or figuratively.

The movie begins with some sobering information: “Edmund Hillary and Tenzing Norgay were the first mountain climbers to get to the top of Mount Everest.  During the next 40 years, mountain climbers attempted the same feat.  One in every four died.”   It’s not called the Death Zone for nothing. 

Uplifting Theme:
·         Friendship, loyalty, determination, hope.
·         Why climb Everest?  As the characters in the movie say, “Because it’s there!”  Dream the impossible.

Things I liked:
·         You get to see stunning images of Mount Everest and beautiful Nepal.  Some of the shooting was also done in the gorgeous Italian Alps.
·         The film does a good job of explaining the risks as the movie goes along, usually by way of a trail guide or the doctor who is teaching the climbers.
·         The cast is very good: Jake Gyllenhaal, Jason Clarke, Josh Brolin.  I’ve loved Robin Wright ever since I first saw her in The Princess Bride .  She doesn’t quite look herself in this film, but it’s always a pleasure to see her.  Sam Worthington from Avatar gets to use his real Australian accent in the flick.  You get to hear Kiera Knightly with a New Zealand accent.
·         Every movie I’ve ever seen about Mount Everest includes terrible deaths, so this one wasn’t any different.  As beautiful as Mount Everest is, I have absolutely no desire to summit.  I am kind of fond of breathing.  Not on the old Bucket List.  Nope.  But I admit I’m fascinated with people who do want to climb it.  Director Baltasar Kormakur does a good job showing that it’s a different breed of person who dreams of Everest.

Things I didn’t like:
·         There are some stormy night scenes where it’s hard to tell what’s going on.
·         You pretty much know people are going to die, so the only surprise is who.
·         It’s a little bit hard to keep the characters straight once they’re covered in snow and dying off.  I would have liked more character development so that I could cry when they died.  I mean, I was sad, just not heart-broken, ya know?
·         It’s hard to imagine how the climbers must have felt.  They should blast the air conditioning in the theaters that play this movie so that you start to shiver.  Right?!

Interesting lines:
·         “It’s one thing to make it on top, but you pay me to bring you down safely.  Remember that.” – Rob Hall (played by Jason Clarke)
·         “We don’t need competition between the people.  There is already competition with the mountain.  The last word always belongs to the mountain.” – Ed Viesturs (played by Clive Standen)
·         “It’s not the altitude, it’s the attitude.” –  Doug Hansen (played by John Hawkes)

Tips for Parents:
·         Young children may get bored.
·         I’m assuming the facts mentioned in the film about Everest are true.   Nature lovers of all ages will be mesmerized by the beauty.
·         Some profanity, dead bodies, intense peril.

Want to see the original Everest with the awesome Liam Neeson? Check this out!


Want to learn more about Mount Everest?  You can start with these:

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