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 105: Secret In Their Eyes (2015)

twitter_shareOne of the things I look for when picking a movie to watch is whether the film has a great cast that catches my eye. The other thing that would attract me to a film is whether or not I liked the story. That was definitely the case with today’s film Secret In Their Eyes, the crime drama directed by Billy Ray (Breach). The film stars Chiwetelu Ejiofor (12 Years A Slave) as Ray Kasten, a former FBI investigator whose been hell bent on solving a murder case for the last 13 years of his life. Ray’s best friend and fellow colleague Jess (Julia Roberts) discover the body of her daughter in a dumpster next to a mosque that they are investigating. Unfortunately, the killer remained at large and Ray hasn’t been able to let it go until he could solve it or will he? The film also stars Nicole Kidman (Moulin Rouge!) as Claire Sloan, Dean Norris (Breaking Bad) as Bumpy, Alfred Molina (Spider-Man 2) as Morales, Joe Cole (Offender) as Marzin, Michael Kelly (Now You See Me) as Reg Siefert, Zoe Graham (Boyhood) as Carolyn Cobb, Lyndon Smith (The Forger) as Kit, and Don Harvey (Die Hard 2: Die Harder) as Fierro.

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What is funny is when the film came out in the cinemas, I had no desire to see this movie at the time. I don’t know what made me change my mind when I was in front of the Redbox kiosk, but I chose the film. I have to say that I don’t regret the decision to watch the film because it was one heck of a cast first of all. The twist at the end of the film is also when that you won’t see coming, but you’ll finally understand the title of the film. Going into this film, I did not realize that this was the American adaptation (or remake) of the 2009 Oscar winning best foreign film El secreto de sus ojos. I love how during the film, it switches from being in the present one minute and into the past for a little while and vice versa. It’s like it’s giving you the backstory with the current story to keep you intrigued and see how badly the characters have aged because of it. That was definitely a great selling point for me was to see how desperate one is to solve the case while others either want it buried or it’s just too hard to bring up after so many years. Chiwetelu Ejiofor is by far one of the stars of the film, his performance is absolutely superb, but Nicole Kidman also deserves some kudos. The two of them had some great on screen chemistry which made the film work. For me, I think that is the appealing part of the film is the actors because without them, I don’t know how good this film would have been. That is why I am going to give the film an B+ for a final grade. Check it out for yourselves today.