An international team of climbers ascends Mt. Everest in the spring of 1996. The film depicts their lengthy preparations for the climb, their trek to the summit, and their successful return... See full summary »
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Michael J. Bloomfield
An international team of climbers ascends Mt. Everest in the spring of 1996. The film depicts their lengthy preparations for the climb, their trek to the summit, and their successful return to Base Camp. It also shows many of the challenges the group faced, including avalanches, lack of oxygen, treacherous ice walls, and a deadly blizzard. Written by
Just above the high camp, a climber named Beck Weathers had been out in the snow for over 22 hours. He had been left for dead by other climbers. Then, nearly blind, his hands literally frozen solid, Beck stood up, left his pack... and desperately tried to walk.
All I knew was, that as long as my legs would run, and I could stand up... I was gonna move toward that camp. And if I fell down, I was gonna get up. And if I fell down again, I was gonna keep moving, until I hit that camp... or I walked...
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Some of the camera work in this IMAX feature is absolutely stunning. And the mere fact that the crew was able to lug a bulky, heavy IMAX camera and film to the summit of Everest is a testament to sheer guts and determination. Unfortunately, the end result is somewhat of a mixed bag. There are moments of great emotional intensity (most notably, the miraculous Beck Weathers rescue), but, like a few others here, I got the feeling that much of the potential of the IMAX format simply went to waste. IMAX is, after all, an overwhelmingly visual medium, so why waste so much time on trying to create a Hollywood style `story' out of it? I mean, if I had gone to all the effort of getting that camera to the top, I'd have damned well given the audience some spectacular panoramic shots of the view from the summit instead of wasting valuable footage on two climbers hugging each other (a scene that would have worked just fine if shot on plain old videotape). In summation, this film has some truly amazing moments, but as a whole, it seems the creators failed to use the IMAX format to the maximum potential.
PS: The DVD version contains lots of good supplementary material, in fact, the `making of the film'
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