Apparently my wife and I are the only people that were very disappointed
with this "movie". I like rock music, but the music by Queen simply did
not work for us, given the scenery. Some Alpine yodeling would have been
a lot more appropriate!
As for the video content, given the short length, we were surprised by how
much time was spent away from the Alps themselves. I wanted to see non-stop
footage of the Alps - period. Not trains, villages, family scenes, etc.
The educational value seemed to be aimed for a 10 year old. I already know
about tectonic plates, erosion, etc.
The story line was really shallow. "A man, haunted by the shadow of his
father's death on a mountain, feels he must climb this mountain (40 years
later), and risk never seeing his wife or daughter again". The death of his
father is drummed into our heads every minute. His psychoanalysis of himself
was trite, forced, thoroughly obvious, and should have been cut out.
There is extremely little shown of the actual climbing. I would really have
liked to have seen either more aerial views of the Alps, and/or more views of the
climbing. Oddly enough, the movie "Into Thin Air" was far more interesting -
and I have that only on VHS! The climb itself did look difficult, but so little
is shown that there is no appreciation of that. At one point I thought they were
perhaps halfway up. In the next cut they are at the top. Wow - that was easy.
Three days of climbing condensed into perhaps 20 minutes.
Somehow, in the rush to show us high definition images, people forgot about
the story, editing, a good musical score, and interesting educational content.
My wife, who has seen other IMAX movies, said this was by far the worst IMAX
movie she has ever watched. The only part I liked was the "human made" avalanche,
when I turned on my subwoofer and got a good feeling for the power. Too bad it was
a distraction from the main point of the movie.
If/when we watch this again, it will be with the sound off, and we'll simply
wander by once in a while to see some pretty scenery.
I find myself thinking fondly of Mutual of Ohama's Wild Kingdom and realizing
how I enjoyed that old "low def" stuff so much more.