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Everest (2015)

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Looks spectacular but I have limited patience with people killing themselves - the one guy saying he wants to impress his kids, they'll be more impressed if you don't become a decorative trail-marker.

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I really loved it, despite knowing the real-life story and therefore dreading some scenes. I thought the cast was great, and even though I'm not typically into seeing stuff in iMAX, this one was spectacular. It really felt like I was on Everest, which is the closest I will ever get to being there. Very impressive effects and scenery. 

 

John Hawkes' character Doug really annoyed me though, so if he got to you in the trailer, just wait. Poor Rob died just because he gave in to that stubborn man. So frustrating!

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I saw the promos for this but I'm sorry, I can't get worked up about dumbasses.  I do feel bad for the sherpas because they need the work, even though it's extremely dangerous.  

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I saw this with a bunch of people last weekend. 

 

I knew it was based on a true story, but I didn't know anything about the true story going in. I really enjoyed it and definitely felt tears coming to my eyes more than once. 

 

I don't feel like these people that climbed Everest (or anyone that attempts it) are idiots. I would never want to do it, especially having watched the movie, but I get why people would. 

 

At the end, I had kind of forgot that the main guy had died after that last phone call to his wife. So, when they all rocked up back in New Zealand without him, it was an extra punch to the gut for me. 

 

One thing I went in expecting, but didn't get, was a Jake Gyllenhaal movie. I didn't know much about the film going in, but what I did know, was that he was in it... Yet, he was far from the star.

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I saw this yesterday and really enjoyed it, but think it helps to have read a book about it, particularly Krakauer's Into Thin Air.  (I strongly recommend this book; it's one of my favorite nonfictions.)  I'm not sure it comes across to the audience how a number of small mistakes (or one huge one, Hall's decision to break his own rule about turning back by 2pm) led to the disaster.  Also, the fact that everyone was bundled up made it difficult to keep track of who we were watching.  I had to explain to my husband who some of the unfortunate people were who didn't make it off the mountain and who lived to tell (and write) about it later.

 

There is a feature on HBO On Demand about the making of the movie that's worth a watch.  Pretty tough conditions since they were filming at altitude to give it more reality.  I've got to hand it to the cast and crew for putting themselves through a grueling experience.  

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I can't seem to watch a movie about people trapped in a snowy climate without thinking about Alive but I'm glad no one had to eat each other.

 

Anyway, this was pretty good. I think some of the action scenes could have had a more compelling sense of urgency. Also it felt weird to have Keira Knightley and Robin Wright there to just play the wives, it felt wrong, they're both way too famous and talented for those nothing roles. Jake Gynllenhaal's character also wasn't as interesting as you would expect from an actor of his caliber. 

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Jake Gynllenhaal's character also wasn't as interesting as you would expect from an actor of his caliber.

I agree, but I'm not sure how much of that was the writing and directing.  I've read Into Thin Air about a gazillion times, so I'm very familiar with the story.  Scott Fischer was portrayed in the movie as almost a pot-head, like he was stoned all the time, but in the book it's pretty clear he didn't indulge when on duty as a guide.

 

I'm not sure why I didn't love this movie.  Maybe I was expecting too much.  It was interesting and very faithful to Krakauer's book, though.

 

Re risking your life to climb Everest:  Personally, I don't understand that getting to the top is worth a person's life.  But the climbers hurt no ones but themselves (and their families, of course), so I guess if they think it's worth it...

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I went in not knowing anything about the real life story. The cinematography was awesome (saw it in IMAX 3D - hate that it had to be 3D for the IMAX, but oh well). I felt like the writing and character development, as others have mentioned, were lacking but it was a still a gripping story. I had a few questions that I had to look up after the movie, like the reason the ropes were not set ahead of time, whether LASIK/eye surgery can really impair your vision at that altitutde, and why Harold thought the O2 canisters were only half full (apparently he had a broken gage). I was also interested to stumble into the backstory of Boukreev - I wish they had kind of touched on his role and that conflict of climbing without oxygen when you're a guide a little more. Mostly, I was more curious about Doug's backstory. How is this mailman/janitor (I forget his other job that he mentioned but Rob said he was working 3 jobs) able to take so much time off of work and also fund, at least in part, this extremely expensive climb? 

 

Though I could see things coming,

I still gasped when Beck didn't go down with the first 3 guys that turned back, saying he had to wait for Rob, and when Doug fell off the cliff. Harold also falling was scary in the way that he was so out of his mind that he was trying to take his clothes off. Towards the end, I was still convinced that Rob was going to make it (again, because I didn't know the true story and was convinced there had to be some sort of silver lining) that I didn't get the emotional payoff of the final goodbye from Jan. Only when Helen was giving Beck a hug did I kind of start to question what the timeline was and realized they weren't going to go back to Rob. 

 

I saw this last night and have been thinking about it all day: what they could have done differently and what must have been going through Rob's mind. Its kind of a sobering thought to put yourself in his shoes in those moments. I'm definitely intrigued to read Into Thin Air

 

On the topic of the idea of climbing Everest: Honestly, before watching this movie, I've always thought it was a very cool, adventurous challenge to aspire to. This movie really put into perspective the danger that is involved with both ascent and descent that I had never really understood. From what I can understand, it's not even a 'difficult' climb from a mountaineering perspective (obviously the altitude is killer, but it doesn't take special athletic ability or skill). Base camp seems like a really cool hike that isn't life-threatening or won't break the bank. But there always is that saying that everyone dies, but not everyone truly lives. While some people may not see standing on the top of Everest as a worthy accomplishment, that shot where Boukreev reaches the summit and lifts his arms in pure joy at the "top of the world" definitely gave me the shivers. 

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Guardian: Mount Everest to be declared off-limits to inexperienced climbers, says Nepal

 

From the article

 

However, there is more support for regulations banning novice climbers.

 

Whereas once Everest only attracted the world’s best and most experienced mountaineers, recent years have seen aspiring summiteers who are using basic equipment such as an ice axe and crampons for the first time.

 

Totally reliant on their paid guides for their safety, and incapable of helping any other climbers who might be in trouble, such people are often a liability, veteran mountaineers have frequently argued.

 

Though one person interviewed for the article said, "I doubt this will be implemented. Earlier such plans were aborted because of pressure from human rights organisations and foreign embassies.”

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I think if wannabe Sir Edmund Hillarys are endangering local guides with their inexperience or disabilities, it's a good idea to enact restrictions. Mountaineering in the Himalayas is dangerous even when everyone is skilled and experienced; I do not think ticking off a checkbox on some yuppie's bucket list is worth other people's lives.

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Just finished watching and I'm a bit torn. I remember being gutted by Into Thin Air but I also haven't read it for some time. Some of the few things I do remember weren't really included or explained very well. I understand time constraints and all, but I do highly suggest reading the book for more detail. I may re-read it myself given there are some things I don't remember happening and seemed a bit too Hollywood to be true, but I don't know if they would completely make something up in a story like this.

Overall they did the best they could. I had zero connection with Beck so the focus on him annoyed me. I did lose track myself at who certain people were.

However, it seems like Kraukaur isn't all that pleased with it which also isn't great - http://www.latimes.com/entertainment/movies/moviesnow/la-et-mn-jon-krakauer-everest-into-thin-air-20150925-story.html

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I knew nothing about the story going in but was interested in the visual spectacle (saw it in IMAX 3D). I really enjoyed it and often felt like I was there. I can't help but feel like IMAX missed out on a golden "4D" opportunity by not dropping the theatre's A/C once they hit the mountain... ;)

 

Perhaps ridiculously, the only thing that annoyed me was that the rich American dude, who pushed on and stuck around against the recommendations of the pros, had connections that got his frostbitten ass helicoptered off the mountain. On the one hand, I was kind of proud of the wife for moving heaven and earth to get her husband home alive, but on the other hand, I felt that it wasn't fair to other less affluent/influential climbers who just had to suck it up and/or die due to lack of political power to get rescued.

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Just finished watching and I'm a bit torn. I remember being gutted by Into Thin Air but I also haven't read it for some time. Some of the few things I do remember weren't really included or explained very well. I understand time constraints and all, but I do highly suggest reading the book for more detail. I may re-read it myself given there are some things I don't remember happening and seemed a bit too Hollywood to be true, but I don't know if they would completely make something up in a story like this.

Overall they did the best they could. I had zero connection with Beck so the focus on him annoyed me. I did lose track myself at who certain people were.

However, it seems like Kraukaur isn't all that pleased with it which also isn't great - http://www.latimes.com/entertainment/movies/moviesnow/la-et-mn-jon-krakauer-everest-into-thin-air-20150925-story.html

While I really enjoyed Krakauer's book back when I read it, a lot of the other people involved didn't like the way he protrayed a lot of things, and weren't happy with it being the definitive take on the situation. And so multiple other people involved have written books on the topic. My understanding is that the movie was based more on those other accounts, as the Krakauer account is so well known, so I get why he's not happy. His character doesn't come off that well.

 

I really enjoyed the cinematography of the movie and enjoyed the visual experience of it. Knowing what was going to happen didn't make those moments any less hard to take, or the impressiveness of Beck comign too and lifting himself (and his frozen stuck face) off the mountain.

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Perhaps ridiculously, the only thing that annoyed me was that the rich American dude, who pushed on and stuck around against the recommendations of the pros, had connections that got his frostbitten ass helicoptered off the mountain. On the one hand, I was kind of proud of the wife for moving heaven and earth to get her husband home alive, but on the other hand, I felt that it wasn't fair to other less affluent/influential climbers who just had to suck it up and/or die due to lack of political power to get rescued.

Did they show both helicopter rescues in the movie? Beck may have been arrogant and brash, but he won me over when his family paid for the helicopter, found a pilot crazy enough to try a rescue with the understanding there might be only one try, and he gave the first spot to the other victim. I remember an interview and he was the most humble when he was asked about being asked to let the other person go first. He choked up a little and said, "You want to live, but you want to live with honor". I can deal with brashness if that is his core character.

My understanding is that the movie was based more on those other accounts, as the Krakauer account is so well known, so I get why he's not happy. His character doesn't come off that well.

I recall thinking he was pretty harsh on himself in his own book.

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Did they show both helicopter rescues in the movie? Beck may have been arrogant and brash, but he won me over when his family paid for the helicopter, found a pilot crazy enough to try a rescue with the understanding there might be only one try, and he gave the first spot to the other victim. I remember an interview and he was the most humble when he was asked about being asked to let the other person go first. He choked up a little and said, "You want to live, but you want to live with honor". I can deal with brashness if that is his core character.

 

 

 

If I recall correctly, there was only one helicopter in the movie and he was the only person who was loaded onto it. I remember thinking "why can't they take some of the other sick/wounded too?" 

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If I recall correctly, there was only one helicopter in the movie and he was the only person who was loaded onto it. I remember thinking "why can't they take some of the other sick/wounded too?" 

 

The reason is explained much better in all of the various book accounts of the incident.  The helicopter rescue was extremely risky at that altitude, not only because the air was too thin for the blades to provide the necessary lift, but also because of the potential effect of too little oxygen on the pilot.  Because the pilot didn't go through the same altitude adjustment period as the climbers, he had mere minutes to get in and get out.  Since Beck was, by far, in the worst shape of anyone (i.e. the dude was left twice for dead and his body was literally frozen to the ground), he was the one who got priority.  My understanding is that the risk was so great that no one even wanted the pilot to attempt the rescue, but he was crazy enough to make the attempt in order to save a life.

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Was Makalu Gau in the movie? She was the person Beck said should be taken by the helicopter first. It is really too bad if they left that moment out because it was an incredible show of character and strength.

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