Day 186: Everest (2015)

everestI want to start off by wishing everyone a happy and safe fourth of July. While yesterday’s film was loosely based on a true story, today’s film Everest claims to be based on a true story of the 1996 tragedy. Ever since the first person to successfully climb Mount Everest, the tallest mountain in the world, Tenzing Norgay and Edmund Hillary in 1953, people have been obsessed by making the climb which is 29,000 plus feet in the air. In 1996, Rob Hall (Jason Clarke) led an expedition to the top of Mount Everest, but what was supposed to be a triumphant occasion quickly went south. While up at the top of the summit, a wild and crazy storm hits the mountain forcing all the men to fight for their lives as they try to make the trek back down the mountain. The film also stars Josh Brolin (No Country For Old Men) as Beck Weathers, Jake Gyllenhaal (Zodiac) as Scott Fischer, Sam Worthington (Terminator: Salvation) as Guy Cotter, Emily Watson (Red Dragon) as Helen Wilton, Tim Dantay (Summer) as John Taske, Michael Kelly (Now You See Me) as John Krakauer, Naoko Mori (Spice World) as Yasuko Namba, John Hawkes (Lincoln) as Doug Hansen, Martin Henderson (The Ring) as Andy Harris, Keira Knightley (Domino) as Jan Hall, and the film was directed by Baltasar Kormákur (2 Guns).

everest 2Before I get into what is fact and what is fiction about a film that clearly says that it’d BASED on a true story, I wanted to say that I really loved the film. There were way too many names to list in the above paragraph, but this was just an excellent film with excellent performances all around. Jason Clarke is a superstar and is becoming one of my favorites in the business and you can’t go wrong with the performances from Jake Gyllenhaal or Josh Brolin. It was truly an all star cast in my opinion in a film that could have gone one or two ways. This could have been a boring film about mountain climbing, but it ended up being a story about the power of belief and the will of man. These men faced unbelievable odds while climbing the mountain and while I said what was supposed to be a day of triumph turned into tragedy. Apparently John Krakauer has said this about the film, “It’s total bull … Anyone who goes to that movie and wants a fact-based account should read Into Thin Air.” After watching the film, he was annoyed at the notion that he never attempted to help anyone on the rescue mission, he says, “I never had that conversation. Anatoli came to several tents, and not even Sherpas could go out. I’m not saying I could have, or would have. What I’m saying is, no one came to my tent and asked.” To read the rest of the article, click here. There is always going to be differentiating opinions on what really happened in a film, you just have to take it or leave it. I shed some tears at certain parts of the film that I won’t give away, but it has to do with Rob and his wife Jan. Check out the film on HBO or HBOGO right now. I am going to give the film an A- for a final grade.

Day 68: Equilibrium (2002)

equilibriumFor today’s film, I picked one from one of my favorite actors of the 21ST Century in Christian Bale (The Dark Knight, The Machinist). The film I chose for today is Equilibrium which is a Sci-Fi, action, drama film. It is sometime in the future after the third world war and we know live in a fascist society where feelings are being monitored to prevent war, greed, and uprising. Christian Bale plays John Preston, an agent who is in charge of destroying artifacts that invoke feelings and destroy anyone who violates the law and feels. After missing a dose that prevents him from feeling, he starts to realize why his dead partner (Sean Bean) and a prisoner (Emily Watson) would sacrifice their lives for feelings. Preston then goes on a crusade to protect the resistance and correct all of the wrongs in the world. The film also stars Taye Diggs (The Wood) as Brandt, Dominic Purcell (Prison Break) as Seamus, Sean Pertwee (Dog Soldiers) as Father, Angus Macfadyen (Braveheart) as Dupont, William Fichtner (The Dark Knight) as Jurgen, Maria Pia Calzone (Gomorrah) as Preston’s Wife, Matthew Harbour (I’m Not There) as Robbie Preston, and the film was directed by Kurt Wimmer (Law Abiding Citizen).

baleFirst of all, I have to say that I loved the concept of the film, but I have a couple of issues with it. My one problem with the idea is despite being given a dose to try and prevent you from feeling, how is it that you don’t feel anything? There are a couple of instances where Taye Diggs’s character cracks a smile at Bale during the film and you are meaning to tell me that is not a violation? I do however understand that the drug makes you a mindless drone who carries on with a mundane life in a world where everything is mundane including the color of cars (all cars are completely white with no details). There are instances in films that you see an actors performance and you instantly see similarities in other roles. For example, much of the way he carries himself in this film is very similar to the way he portrayed Bruce Wayne in The Dark Knight trilogy. I am not saying that is a bad thing because this is definitely one of my top Bale films besides American Psycho and The Machinist. The action in the film is something else that I wanted to talk about because I wish I saved this for Ass Whoopin Wednesday it is so bad ass. Christian Bale is a total bad ass and the action sequences are truly amazing. The whole film overall is amazing from top to bottom and check out what happens to Taye Diggs in the film. The film is currently on Netflix as we speak, but I have no idea for how long. I am going to give the film an A for a final grade because it’s special effects, acting, and action sequences are all amazing.