on July 23, 2016
I have been an Everest sponge ever since watching the Everest Movie (2015 film) and have since read 2, and am currently reading 1, book(s) from the survivors of the 1996 tragedy. Knowing that an Imax team was very involved in the rescue attempts of some survivors and after reading the box of the DVD whish says "The True Story Of The 1996.. Disaster" I was very excited. That excitement faded as I watched the film because it had very little to do with the 1996 disaster and did not offer much, if any, insight into the tragedy. I felt it was positioned as an easy cash-grab rather than show case Mt Everest itself (which is what this movie does). All in all I was pretty disappointed in the film and was tempted to return it until I saw the extra features which included a 30 min interview with Beck Weathers one of the survivors of the 1996 Everest tragedy. This video alone is worth the price of the file and is honestly the only saving grace of the entire DVD.
Worth The Money: Yes
Would I Recommend It: Yes
on June 30, 2004
Since reading "Into Thin Air", I have become a virtual Everest '96 hound, and this is my first quarry. The IMAX team's goal on Everest was to film David Breashear's expedition in that fateful year, focusing primarily on Ed Viesturs, a seasoned climber from the States, and Araceli Segarra, in her quest to be the first Spanish woman to reach the summit. A lot of attention, deservedly so, is paid as well to Jangbu Sherpa, son of Tenzing Sherpa who accompanied Sir Edmund Hilary in his premier trip to the summit.
And watching these climbers was riveting--ascending sheer sheets of ice, yards high, that look as though they are leaning in towards the climber; crossing bottomless chasms by placing an aluminum work ladder from one side to the other, and using it as a bridge; and feeling (in part through the excellent cinematography) the pull the mountain exerts on them to continue on. But I was floored, completely, by the thought of the cinematic team following along, all the way to the top, regardless of the weight and awkwardness of the equipment. For example, in the aforementioned aluminum ladder scene, shots seem to be taken from each side of the chasm. Had they carried that heavy equipment accross that ladder? And, once they came down from such a difficult and draining climb, they still managed to piece together a marvelous film.
The cinematography, once again, is gorgeous. Shots of the mountain convey not only its beauty, but its terrifying danger, as ice and whirling snow tower over the climbers, as a rescue helicopter wavers, uncertainly, as Liam Nelson explains the scientific impossibility of a helicopter to work in such thin air (it does). Seeing the Icefall alone, I think, was worth the price I paid for the video.
Warning: If you get this movie expecting it to be a documentary covering the Adventure Consultants and Mountain Madness Expeditions, chronicled in "Into Thin Air", you will be disappointed. The IMAX expedition was unrelated to the others, and of course the crew could not predict that those expeditions might yield more interesting, if tragic, results. But the teams do interact with each other when it becomes clear that members are facing unexpected danger. I enjoyed "meeting" many of the folks I had read about.
Finally, "Everest", the film, stands on its own. With a terrific story in Araceli Segarra, wonderful images from Utah and Spain as well as Nepal, and a score assisted by George Harrison melodies, it provides a great armchair journey to the top of the world.
on April 6, 2004
I am professional outdoor/aerial photographer from Alaska who has seen grandeur of mother nature which would make most people cry in utter awe. This movie reminds me of spending quality time at Denali (Mt. McKinley) climber's basecamp at 7,300 feet. With 14,000 to 20,320 foot peaks and the constant rumbling of avalanches all around you, you get a sense of "total sensory overload". This DVD is as real as big mountains get when placed onto the big silver screen or your home TV. The "extra" parts to the DVD make it even more worth buying!
This movie is also a godsend for the tourism in Nepal and Himalayan Region. The sheer maginitude of the Himalayas is shown here on this movie is as deep as the human spirt and as tall as the sky. However, to see this visuals from the elevation these climbers see it, you risk AMS, HAPE, HACE, snow blindness, avalanches and/or most certainly death for any small mistake in judgement.
David Breashers deserves a medal of international honour for making such a masterpiece of a documentary. In addition, I wish pay a great tribute to the late George Harrison for making such awe-inspiring and chilling music scores for the backdrop of this movie. If you were moved this movie on DVD, you owe it to yourself to buy the audio CD soundtrack as well. Every you go where Mother Nature shows off her wonders, take the CD with you and get inspired. When you listen to the audio CD, you can visualize the raw beauty of the Everest region and seens from the DVD in your mind.
May the climbers from the 1996 Everest Disaster rest in peace. Also to all potential Everest climbers, you need to learn from these climbers fatal mistakes before you become a statistic yourself. As Ed Viesturs says regarding risk and climbing, "Getting to the top is optional, getting down is mandatory".
My last words for this review are, "Always respect the power of Mother Nature"....and when out in nature "leave no trace"..
on September 5, 2013
I found this movie to be lacking in the drama I expected considering the circumstances during which this film was made. There was an opportunity to reveal the depth of the calamity , its causes , and ramifications. Rob Hall , Scott Fisher both incredibly gifted guides and climbers perished due to the circumstances that were predictable and foreseen just ignored. Why ? they had access to all the people , live footage , perfect opportunity to show the dangers these inexperienced climbers are exposing them selves to .
on January 28, 2004
I have 7 Everest DVD's and this is definitely at the top end of the collection. All the extras on the DVD also make very interesting viewing and you cannot help but feel total admiration for anyone who attempts the Everest challenge, whether it is being a cook at Base camp or oen of the elite that actually manages to reach the summit. I recommend this to anyone old enough to understand it. Great stuff!!
on March 31, 1999
Having seen Everest at the IMAX theater and being lucky enough to have a 50-inch TV, I can't wait to own a copy of this tremendous story that is as much about a far-off piece of the world as it is about a mountain climbing season that ended in horror. Rather than concentrate on the tragedy of a team, some of whom did not survive, this is a tale of people who live under incredible circumstances. The views from the Russian helicopters taking the IMAX crew to the first base camp, this is an opportunity to see the desolation in which people live, with small huts crouched along the waters of frigid rivers, surrounded by the most beautiful and deadly mountains in the world. It is also a chance to learn about fabled cities from which the trekkers undertake their trip to the wilderness. Rather than worry about the disclaimer at the end, which states that some scenes were recreated, think of why this happened inthe middle of a documentary. The IMAX crew's equipment was dumped to loan life giving supplies to dying climbers. Listening to the words of a man breathing his last as he freezes to death at an altitude most of us could never attain, is as chilling as the layers of snow and ice that begat the glaciers that, thousands of miles downstream, become the source of fabled rivers. Everest is a tremendous undertaking that offers of no-holds-barred look at skill, bravery and daring, available because of improved technology that brings the experience to all arm-chair travelers.
on January 5, 2013
Perhaps it is because this is an IMAX film, but I found it very shallow, and not very interesting. There are many things which don't require sweeping background music, and this music is almost constant in the film. An Everest avalanche, a serious conversation about missing climbers, a shot above the icefall, a storm moving in and enveloping the climbers - none of these needed "help" with intrusive music in the background. You also never really get to know the climbers or get to feel anything of their struggles. At least I didn't feel it. I really wanted to like it, because I enjoy mountain climbing books and films, but I just found it uninteresting and unexciting. I gave it two because the photography is spectacular.
on June 8, 2008
Some priceless images of Everest and its surrounding,
Ironically, the lower visual quality supplemental material (especially how they -- the Sherpas -- lugged that 40+lb camera up the mountain and how the camera was operated 90 seconds -- 10lbs of film -- at a time) is actually more interesting, story-wise.
Worthwhile, overall, but not a must-have.
on February 29, 2004
The images in this film are absolutely stunning--crisp, colorful, and so real that they barely seem one-dimensional. The deadly beauty of Everest comes through loud and clear: sheer ice falls; huge chasms that must be crossed by way of precarious stepladders flung across them; avalanches; blizzards; subzero degree temperatures; sheer drops on either side of narrow, narrow trails. One can feels frozen and short of breath watching this film.
But the beauty notwithstanding, what especially intrigues me about the film is the obsession that the mountaineers have to scale Everest. Part of the story of the film details the multiple deaths in a party trapped in a storm on Everest's slope. The leader of the party had a seven-month pregnant wife; all the other slain climbers had loved ones they left behind; the survivors placed rescuers--helicopter pilots and other mountaineers--in jeopardy. Is so much death and threat of death worthwhile? Isn't there a certain point where responsibility for others trumps a desire to stand on the "top of the world"? The film doesn't explore these questions, nor the issue of why so many people have such a compulsion to scale Everest. I wish it had, because I found myself both captivated by the mountain's beauty and angered by the wanton disregard for life displayed by the climbers.
on July 19, 2003
This movie is about the 1996 Mt. Everest climbing season and it's a visually stunning, beautiful film which has held up marvelously since its release. I originally saw it in the IMAX format on the big screen, but the DVD transfer is stunning. Very little quality has been lost, either visually or in the audio segments. This is a high quality production from beginning to end, and you will not want this film to end!
Though only 44 minutes in length, you can watch it repeatedly and always take something new from the experience. What I most enjoy about this movie is that you get to know the climbers that are profiled. You get to see them training for the gruelling Everest experience months in advance in their home countries. Various climbers are shown bicycling through the Arizona desert or rock climbing in Spain. They are interviewed and you're allowed a little window into their soul, so when they struggle on the mountain, you have empathy and understanding of their plight. The characterizations of the climbers are like getting to know people in novels, it's unusual in a documentary, but very compelling.
The movie is magical in its visual beauty. The vistas are crisp, clear and sharp. The narration by Liam Neesom is understated, elegant and never intrusive. The ending credits play a stunning live version of the Beatles classic 1969 hit, "Here Comes the Sun" sung by George Harrison, recorded in Japan. All in all, this is a film of mastery. I urge everyone to see it and enjoy the stunning spectacle.