[ Kenny’s Review ] [ Jim’s Review ]
Genre: Adventure| Drama | Thriller Directed by: Baltasar Kormakur Starring: Jason Clarke, Jake Gyllenhaal, Josh Brolin, Keira Knightley Written by: William Nicholson (screenplay), Simon Beaufoy (screenplay)Genre: Adventure| Drama | Thriller
Directed by: Baltasar Kormakur
Starring: Jason Clarke, Jake Gyllenhaal, Josh Brolin, Keira Knightley
Written by: William Nicholson (screenplay), Simon Beaufoy (screenplay)

 

Synopsis: Two expedition groups take on the challenge of getting to the top of Mount Everest. 

 

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Everest is a beautifully shot movie that showcases the imposing and gigantic mountain, but the movie is not about the mountain. What makes Everest (available on Blu-ray/DVD) intriguing is the story of the group of people that join up to conquer the mountain. Based on a true story of two expedition groups that lead a dangerous attempt to get to the top of Mount Everest in 1996. The two groups were lead by Rob Hall (Jason Clarke), and Scott Fischer (Jake Gyllenhaal). Two leaders with two very different approaches. Hall being the cautious and calculated, while Fischer was rebellious and persistent. Hall’s group on men consisted of everyday folks who aren’t professional mountain climbers. Fischer’s group consists of seemingly veteran mountain junkies. The parallels between the two men are vividly distinguishable appearance (Fischer is like a mountain hobo) and personality wise.

 

Friendly rivalryFriendly rivalry

 

The trek to the top of Everest is documented scene by scene. Director Baltasar Kormakur does a really great job of bringing the viewer along on this journey with these two groups. You will know the elevations they embark on, not only as it’s listed on-screen in subtitles, but the groups stop at numerous resting stations along the way to the top. Some of the featured members of the group are Doug Hansen (John Hawkes) and Beck Weathers (Josh Brolin). Upon encountering a life threatening moment crossing a bridge (one of the best and cringing shots of the film) he reveals to Hall that he pain over $60,000 to do this hike. Hansen on the other hand is someone who had to have donations and sponsors helping to get him there, for a consecutive attempt at Everest. What is most endearing about the film is Rob Hall’s relationship with these men and women. He is incredibly patient, but also extremely compassionate and understanding of everyones goals. The core of the movie are the interactions between this band of brothers and sisters. Everyone could use a guy like Rob in their lives.

 

This is a scary moment to watchThis is a scary moment to watch

 

There is no doubt that Everest is one of most picturesque films of the year. Cinematographer Salvatore Totino does a masterful job showcasing the wonder that is Everest, but also it’s surroundings. That mountain is genuinely scary to even look at, much less climb. There is a variety of shots that give you the sense of the depth perception. When the groups are crossing over a mountain on a sideways held ladder, it gave me real chills and goosebumps watching that. The movie really looks like something out of the National Geographic, crisp, clean, and beautiful visuals of imposing nature.

 

Everest is one of those films where it boasts an incredibly talented cast, but no one is the true lead or star. It’s really ensamble at it’s finest, even though if you were to nitpick a lead it would go to Jason Clarke as Rob Hall. Clark does on of his finest work in this film. A really nice role for a very talented guy who has gotten the attention of Hollywood. It was fun to see Josh Brolin play a proud Texan that seems oddly in place with this worldly crew. John Hawkes plays the shy guy, you root for him to make it to the top, an underdog if there is one in the movie. Although his role is more of a supporting kind, Jake Gyllenhaal keeps knocking out every role he has taken the past couple years. Fischer seemed to have been an odd goofball that garnered respect for his fearless and rebellious attitude. Not to be omitted, Keira Knightley is really good as Hall’s wife. She lets you feel and see what a family member goes through when their loved one is attempting to top the mountain.

 

Visually stunning, Everest is a terrifying movie. I couldn’t help but notice that the majority of the IMAX theater (a must see venue for this film) was covering their eyes and mouths throughout the movie. It will be difficult not to have a tense and nervy feelings while watching. Lots of gasps as the audience watched the climax unraveling. The movie gave is hard to watch at times, it’s sad and scary.

 

Hard to look downHard to look down

 

I was hoping the movie would elaborate much more as to why these common folks were paying their life’s earnings to take part in this, and the answers never came. This question was teased during the movie, but there were no concrete individual answers provided. I sort of feel the director was teasing the audience with no concrete reasons and answers being gives as to why do this?  I sure would not put myself anywhere near the vicinity of Everest. Those same moments that make you cringe and intimidate, are the same that make you appreciate what you are seeing. I sure as hell would never want to do this battle against Everest. I call it a battle as it’s mentioned in the film that 1 in 4 die attempting to clim this beast. So why do it?!

 

As frigid as the setting was portrayed, I wish they had more focus on the cold. It could have answered a lot of questions regarding the real science of what kind of immense factor did temperature  play in this expedition. One omission the movie had was not mentioning what sort of mission to Everest this was. It was fairly evident they did little actual mountain climbing, it was more of a hike and march. That’s important, Some of these important questions were dismissed in the movie.

 

Overall, Everest is a visually stunning piece of work. The filmmakers do a great job making you feel like you are there with the group every step of the way through their journey. I was conflicted as to whether respect these people following their dreams and doing something so rare, yet senselessly life threatening. Ultimately it’s the relationships that carry this movie, rightfully so, it’s the most relatable thing about the setting. It’s about personal challenges and setting out to accomplish a sense of pride and purpose in ones life. Everest has a little bit of everything in it. Chills, thrills, sorrow, joy, and awe inspiring visuals. This mountain might be impossible to conquer, but coming along and looking back at this amazing story and the journey these people had is memorable. A true story worth getting to know.

 

Rating: PG-13

Runtime: 121 minutes

Release Date: January 19, 2016 (Blu-ray/DVD)

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TMB Gives Everest a score of 6.5 out of 10
[ Kenny’s Review ] [ Jim’s Review ]

[ Kenny’s Review ] [ Jim’s Review ]

 

Genre: Adventure| Drama | Thriller Directed by: Baltasar Kormakur Starring: Jason Clarke, Jake Gyllenhaal, Josh Brolin, Keira Knightley Written by: William Nicholson (screenplay), Simon Beaufoy (screenplay)Genre: Adventure| Drama | Thriller
Directed by: Baltasar Kormakur
Starring: Jason Clarke, Jake Gyllenhaal, Josh Brolin, Keira Knightley
Written by: William Nicholson (screenplay), Simon Beaufoy (screenplay)

 

Synopsis: Two expedition groups take on the challenge of getting to the top of Mount Everest. 

 

 

Everest arrives in theaters just in time for thrill seeking audiences to scale the multiplex again after a fantastic action packed summer of Mad Max: Fury Road and Mission Impossible Rogue Nation. Though September begins the soft launch into awards seasons, Everest aims to be at that level of pedigree filmmaking with its high quality technical aspects and star studded cast. After all, The Towering Inferno received a Best Picture nomination. Everest isn’t on par with classic disaster movies nor worthy to be remembered beyond the escape viewers take. This over-promises and under delivers.
Everest_posterA major fault with Everest is it doesn’t accomplish a lot with its two hour running time. The first half is slow and didn’t really hold my attention. We meet the characters, but this is just going through the motions of setting up the scenario of the climbers. Bob Dole t-shirts and Sheryl Crow songs try to set the 1990’s mood! For all the time spent with the characters and plot progression (I dare not call it development), we don’t really understand what is happening nor really care who survives and who doesn’t. Like those glorious 1970’s disaster movies, the peril outshine the acting, characters, and pretty much everything else. The mountainous terrain is the main focal point. That’s why we came to the theater after all.

 

The cast was adequate but nothing to get really excited about. The performances are fine, but not extraordinary or awards buzz worthy. Kiera Knightley has some moments at home crying over the phone eager for her husband to make it out alive. Josh Brolin was decent in his role and Jake Gyllenhaal was barely in the movie. The scenes with Emily Watson at base camp were rather flat and tried to foreshadow intensity. Sometimes this succeeded in doing so but other times do not. The adrenaline kicks in during the third act when you are on the edge of your seat.

 

Everest movie

 

If you must, watch it on a very large and legitimate IMAX screen. The visuals and sound grabs you during key moments. Universal was smart to open this exclusively on IMAX for the opening week to offer audiences the way it should be seen.

 

TMB Gives Everest a score of 6.5 out of 10

 

[ Kenny’s Review ] [ Jim’s Review ]

1 COMMENT

  1. I’ve read the Richie, and it definitely does give good coverage of silents from the 20s and 30s, not so much before that ,although it does mention a few (and there probably isn’t much surviving from the teens).

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