Showing posts with label Movies. Show all posts
Showing posts with label Movies. Show all posts

Nat Geo Lists 9 Oscar-Nominated Films to Inspire Adventure

If you're a movie buff like I am, you probably already know that the Academy Awards show takes place this weekend, with golden statues being handed out to the best actor, actress, director, film, and so on. While many of us will be tuning in on Sunday night to see who takes top honors (the odds favor La La Land), others will no doubt be wondering what all of the hoopla is about, and why I'm even talking about it on The Adventure Blog in the first place. Well, the truth is, great films can inspire us in many ways, including sending us off on amazing journeys and seeking real-life adventures of our own. As a kid, I longed to visit some of the far flung places that my favorite actors were traversing through on the big screen, and when I got older I've managed to see some of those locations myself. Now, as we prepare for the Oscars to be handed out this weekend, National Geographic has posted a list of nine films that have received Academy Award nominations that will inspire you to go on an adventure as well.

Some of the places that make the list don't seem particularly adventurous. For instance, the aforementioned La La Land takes place in Los Angeles, while Danzel Washington's Fences is set in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania. Of course, those places still have a lot to offer visitors in terms of culture, history, food, drinks, and even outdoor attractions too. But, some of the other destinations on the list may feed your need for adventure better. For instance, the locations used for shooting the movie Arrival are found near Bozeman, Montana; one of my favorite places on the planet. Similarly, the critically acclaimed Hell or High Water takes place in West Texas, not far from the spectacular, but seldom visited, Big Bend National Park.

As usual with a list of this kind, I won't spoil all of the entires. Needless to say, they offer some interesting places to visit for those who like to travel. In some cases, watching the films alone will inspire you to want to go there. La La Land is lauded for being a visual love letter to LA for instance.

Every one of the films on Nat Geo's list are from this year's crop of Oscar contenders. But, it would also be fun to put together a similar list of classic films from the past as well. For instance, Lawrence of Arabia served as the inspiration for me to visit Jordan, while Raiders of the Lost Ark sparked an interest in Egypt as well. Seeing Rick wander the streets of Casablanca in the film of the same name will certainly lure fans of that movie to Morocco, while Out of Africa is a good way to convince anyone that going on safari might be a good idea.

What are the films that have inspired you to see various parts of the world? What movies have you intrigued about some place you haven't gone yet? Share your thoughts in the comments!

Video: The Best Mountaineering Films of All Time

Looking for some great mountaineering films to watch in your downtime? Then you'll certainly want to give his video a look. It provides a brief glimpse of some of the best mountaineering films ever made, including some top-notch documentaries and Hollywood produced dramas that offer a look at life in the mountains from a perspective that many of us never get the chance to see. I think I've personally seen everything on this list, but if you haven't, you'll find some good suggestions of what to add to you DVD collection or Netflix queue.

DVD Review: Everest Combo Pack

It isn't often that we get a mountaineering film on the big screen in our local theaters, but that is exactly what we got last September when Universal Studios released Everest, a movie that tells the story of the infamous 1996 season on the world's highest peak. For many of us, that story is well known, particularly since it was chronicled so well in Jon Krakauer's Into Thin Air. But a big screen dramatization of those events was a major risk for any Hollywood production house, particularly since mainstream audiences don't really flock to the theater to see this type of film. Critically, Everest did well, but unfortunately that didn't translate to big box office numbers, and the film didn't even manage to make it'd production budget back. That's a real shame, as it really is a well crafted film that I think many people will enjoy, and I said as much when I reviewed it months back. 

If you missed Everest when it was in theaters, now is your chance to make up for it. The movie releases today on DVD and Blu-Ray after having already been available for a few weeks on popular digital streaming services like iTunes. I received an advanced copy of the DVD, and while I will say that there is nothing like seeing this movie on a massive IMAX screen, the translation to our home theaters is a good one as well.

My review copy was the DVD "combo pack." That means that it comes with three discs – standard DVD, Blu-Ray, and Blu-Ray 3D – as well as a code to download the digital version as well. As you would expect, watching the move in HD with the Blu-Ray is spectacular, with great picture quality and sound. The epic scope that was conveyed in the theater still comes through here too, albeit on a scale that is designed to fit on your television screen and not a giant theater. 

As great as the scenery is in Everest – and trust me, it's pretty great – the thing that will stay with you long after you've seen the film is the performances by the principle actors. The movie is filled with stars, including Josh Brolin, Kiera Knightly, Jake Gyllenhaal, and Robin Wright. But Jason Clarke, who plays Rob Hall, delivers a stand out portrayal of the famous mountain guide, and his scene near the end of the film with Knightly (you know the one!) is heart wrenching. Those great performances come through just fine on the small screen, keeping me just as captivated in my living room as they did in the theater. 

The DVD comes with some compelling extras, particularly for those of us who are into the whole Everest scene to begin with. There are short documentaries that tell us what the actors had to go through to appear to know what they were doing in the climbing scenes, and others that go into detail on how the film was made, including a look at the great lengths that the crew went to to make it appear as if they were actually on Everest circa the mid-1990's. Director Balthasar Kormákur even provides a commentary track, which I haven't listened to as I watched the film just yet. I'm sure it contains even more interesting facts about the production though. 

If you're a regular reader of this blog, and you haven't seen Everest yet, you probably should rectify that situation soon. Even if you already know the story, it is still worth a watch, as the cinematography, landscapes, and acting are all top notch. Having been to Everest Base Camp myself, I truly enjoyed seeing the scenes that were filmed in Nepal, as it brought back great memories of trekking through the Khumbu Valley a few years back. This movie makes you feel like you are there, even when they are high up on the mountain, struggling to overcome the Hillary Step on their way to the summit. 

Available now, Everest makes a great addition to anyone's personal library of films. That is especially true however if you know what it takes to climb the mountain. I suspect that more than a few of you reading this review fall into that category. Considering the lukewarm reception that the film received at the box-office, it may be awhile before we see another mountaineering film such as this one get made. Enjoy this one to its fullest. 

Reminder: Last Chance to Win a Copy of Everest

Just a quick reminder as we start the new week. Today is the last day to enter to win a copy of the Hollywood blockbuster Everest. Universal Home Entertainment has generously allowed me to give away a copy of the film, which releases tomorrow on DVD and Blu-Ray.

Later today I'll be randomly picking a winner, and passing along that name to Universal, who will ship out a copy to the lucky Adventure Blog reader. But before I do that, you still have time to enter the contest. To do so, all you have to do is send an email to [email protected] with a subject line that reads "Everest." If you win, I'll contact you to get a shipping address, which will be passed along to Universal for sending out the prize.

If you didn't get a chance to see Everest in the theater this past fall, you can read my review of it here. The film tells the story of the infamous 1996 climbing season on the tallest mountain on the planet, during which 8 people lost their lives. Even though this is a dramatization of this events, it does a great job of explaining what its like to climb Everest in an era where it had to be commercialized to the extent that we see today. The actors playing the principle roles are all excellent, and there is a real dramatic punch to the story, even for those of us who know what is coming. All in all, it is a well crafted movie, and one that everyone who reads this blog with regularity should see.

I'll be selecting the winner of the giveaway later in the day, but you still have time to enter. Good luck!

Reminder: Win a Copy of Everest from The Adventure Blog

Just a quick reminder to readers that I'm giving away a copy of the film Everest on The Adventure Blog. The movie is being released on Blu-Ray and DVD next week – January 19 – and to celebrate my friends at Universal Home Entertainment are going to give one lucky winner a combo back that includes the film on both disc formats, as well as in digital HD as well.

If you'd like a shot at winning the prize all you have to do is send an email to [email protected] with "Everest" as your subject line. I'll be accepting submissions through next Monday, at which time I'll randomly select a winner and Universal will ship them a copy of the film.

I'm working on a review of the DVD now, but I wrote my thoughts on the film itself when it was released back in September. You can read that review by clicking here. In short, I found it to be well done, very engaging, and packing an emotional punch, even for those of us who already knew the story. There are some nits to pick of course, but for the most part the cast and crew got it right, and delivered a solid mountaineering film.

If you'd like to own a copy of it for yourself, enter the contest for a chance to win the one I'm giving away. Otherwise, look for Everest to hit store shelves next week.

Win a Copy of Everest Courtesy of The Adventure Blog and Universal Home Entertainment

Next Tuesday, January 19, the Hollywood blockbuster Everest will release on DVD, and to celebrate The Adventure Blog is teaming up with Universal Home Entertainment to give away a DVD/Blu-Ray combo pack, as well as a limited edition Everest carabiner.

As you may recall, the film recounts the tragic events of the famous 1996 season, during which eight people died on the mountain. In the movie, some of the principal characters are played by famous actors, including Josh Brolin, Jason Clarke, and Jake Gyllenhaal. You can read my full review of the film here, which I lauded for being accurate in its depiction of the climb, and having great cinematography that highlight the scenery from the Himalaya incredibly well.

Everest is already available on digital streaming platforms such as iTunes and the Google Play Store, but next week it will ship on physical media to traditional outlets as well. The combo pack that I'm giving away includes the full film on DVD and Blu-Ray, as well a redemption code for a digital version as well. It also includes bonus footage on the making of the film, the training that the actors went through to prepare for their roles, and more.

If you'd like to win this copy of the film, you can enter the contest for the giveaway simply by sending an email with subject line of "Everest" to [email protected]. The contest is open to U.S. residents only, and will run through Monday, January 19. At which time, I will randomly draw a winner, and contact them for a shipping address to send the prize to. One entry per person please.

Good luck!

New Film Takes Us on an Iranian River Adventure

Way back in March of this year I told you about a new documentary that was in the works. The film followed the travels of U.K. adventurers Tom Allen and Leon McCarron as they traveled through Iran, following the Karun River from source to sea. The duo traced the origins of the river to the Zard Khu mountains, and then followed its entire length to the Persian Gulf, covering some 720 km (450 miles) on foot, packraft, and bike.

Along the way, they discovered a country that was not at all what they expected. The Iranian people were warm and inviting, greeting Tom and Leon with respect and friendship. This runs counter to the way the country is often portrayed in the media, particularly as Iranian leaders clash with the West on some fundamental political issues. But the Iranian people didn't let those geopolitical conflicts influence how they felt about their visitors from he U.K., and as a result they came to call the country the "friendliest place on Earth."

That film is now complete, and it was just released earlier this week through digital distribution on the Internet. You'll find more about it on the official website at KarunFilm.com. You'll also find a list of screenings for the doc, as well as instructions on how you can host a screening of your own. Tom and Leon are hoping to show the film to as many people as possible, as they would like to use it as a vehicle to inform others about just how welcoming the Iranian people truly are. While they set out on a grand adventure, they discovered that their film was as much about the people of Iran as it was their own expedition.

Below is the trailer for the documentary. If you'd like to watch the entire video, visit the film's official website.

Karun: Misadventures On Iran's Longest River (Official HD Trailer) from Tom Allen on Vimeo.

Video: Trailer for Mountaineering Film Citadel Mountain

Earlier this year, British climbers Matt Helliker and Jon Bracey traveled to Alaska to attempt the first ascent of a peak called The Citadel. This 1988 meter (6522 ft) mountain isn't large by Himalayan – or even Alaskan – standards, but it is in a very remote location where weather conditions are completely unpredictable and the climbing is highly technical.  Acclaimed filmmaker Alastair Lee went along with them to make a film about the expedition, which will be released on December 1. We'll have to wait until the full version is screened to know if they succeeded in their attempt, but judging from the trailer below it looks like it was one hell of a climb. The film looks absolutely stunning, and is reportedly the first mountaineer movie to be shot completely in 4K. After watching this clip, I definitely can't wait to see the final product.

Citadel Mountain Film Trailer from Posing Productions on Vimeo.

Video: Sherpa: Trouble on Everest Trailer

A new film called Sherpa: Trouble on Everest promises to give viewers a look at the demands and challenges that the Sherpa people face when leading expeditions on the tallest mountain on the planet. This video is a trailer for that film, which not only gives us a very personal account of what these strong and dedicated guides do for a living, but the toll it takes on their family as well. The film centers around the 2014 climbing season in particular, when 16 Sherpas lost their lives when an avalanche struck them while carrying supplies to Camp 1 on Everest. Judging from this preview, it looks like this will be a powerful and emotional film, as well as an important one for those in the mountaineering community to watch.

Sherpa (2015) Official Trailer from Felix Media on Vimeo.

Krakauer Not a Fan of Everest Film

Everest may not have been a massive success at the box office, but it continues to generate headlines with the outdoor community. The latest story revolving the film has Jon Krakauer, author of the seminal book Into Thin Air, sharing his thoughts on the film, and lets just say he isn't a fan.

In an interview with the Los Angeles Times, Krakauer says that the film is "total bull" and says that the film took some liberties with the story. The author was of course on Everest when the events depicted in the film took place back in 1996, and while his book was used a source material for the movie, it isn't based on that best selling account of the story. Instead, the film's producers consulted a number of people who were there – Krakauer wasn't among them – and based their telling of the tale off of a variety of different sources.

If you've seen the film you probably can understand why Krakauer isn't exactly lining up to endorse it. In one scene, Russian guide Anatoli Boukreev asks Krakauer – played by actor Michael Kelly – to help him go back out to search for missing climbers caught in a storm. In the movie, Krakauer says he can't do that because he is suffering from snow blindness. The writer says that the scene isn't only not factual, it never even happened.

In a later scene, Krakauer is heard to say that it will be tough enough for the climbers to descend the mountain on their own, let alone helping others get down safely. As a result of these two moments in the movie, he comes across as being someone who doesn't want to lend a hand during the aftermath of the disaster, and only cares about his own well being.

It should come as no surprise that Krakauer says that if we want a true account of what happened during the 1996 climbing season we should read his book instead, even though it isn't without its controversies as well. Still, it is widely considered to be one of the best accounts of the disaster, and as with all book vs. film comparisons it has the luxury of going into greater detail on the characters and events.

Everest Not Big at the Box Office

This past weekend the film Everest opened wide at the box office, expanding from its limited release in IMAX theaters last week, to more than 3000 screens nationwide this week. There were some predictions that indicated the film would pull in big money, luring in theater goers with its well known cast (Josh Brolin, Kiera Knightly, Jake Gyllenhaal), beautiful cinematography, and compelling story. Unfortunately, that didn't happen and the move ended up underperforming at the box-office.

For the weekend, Everest ended up pulling in just over $13 million, which put it in fourth place overall, and well behind the top grossing film Hotel Transylvania 2, which earned $47.5 million. That bring's Everest's total gross to date to about $23.1 million so far, which is well below what the filmmakers behind the project had hoped for.

The movie had a budget of $55 million, which means after two weekends in theaters it hasn't even reached the halfway point of making that money back yet. Conventional wisdom generally says that a film must make three times its budget to be considered successful. That's because the budget doesn't take into account marketing costs, and theaters showing the film will get a slice of the action too of course. 

That said, Everest is likely to at least break even when you take into account rentals, as well as DVD and digital sales of the film. But sadly, this probably means we won't be seeing Hollywood rush to make any more mountaineering films anytime soon. Despite having a few flaws, this was one of the better movies I've seen in terms of getting the climbing aspects of the film right. After seeing it last week on an IMAX screen, I had hoped that we might see a other mountaineering flicks in the same vein. That is to say, films that told a good story, featured amazing cinematography, and treated the source material with respect. That could still happen, but in the copy-cat world of Hollywood that doesn't seem likely considering the low numbers for Everest at the box office. 

If you have any interest in seeing the film, I'd urge you to try to catch it soon. Its box-office earnings are only likely to drop off further from here, which means it will start to be removed from screens, and have fewer showings probably as early as next week. The fall movie season is typically a slow one however, so chance are it'll hang around for a bit. Still, the movie industry is a fickle one, and when a film doesn't do well, theaters are quick to cut their losses and move on. 



Reminder: Everest Opens Everywhere This Weekend

Just a quick reminder to everyone that the new film Everest goes into wide release in the U.S. and other parts of the world this weekend. The film, which starts Jason Clarke, Josh Brolin, and Jake Gyllenhaal, tell the story of the infamous 1996 climbing season on the world's highest mountain. The film debuted in IMAX theaters last weekend, but will now be showing on hundreds more screens starting today.

If you haven't read my review on the film yet, you'll find it by clicking here. You can also watch the trailer for it below. If you're still undecided about seeing the film, I'd say that if you are a regular reader of this blog, and enjoy the mountaineering coverage I provide, it is worth it for you to check the movie out in the theater. The cinematography alone make for quite an experience on the big screen.

Movie Review: Everest Gets It Right - Mostly

Hollywood has a along history of making mostly bad movies about climbing and mountaineering. Sure, there have been some entertaining films in the past. Sylvester Stallone's Cliffhanger and Clint Eastwood's The Eiger Sanction come to mind. But for the most part, dramatized climbing films are a poor substitute for a good documentary on sport. For my money, few films can hold a candle to Touching the Void for instance. But now, the big blockbuster production Everest is set to get a wide release in theaters this week, and if you're looking for well made, at times harrowing, film about high altitude climbing, you certainly could do a lot worse.

The film is based on the actual events that took place back in 1996, when one of the biggest disasters in mountaineering history took place. The story is a well known one in mountaineering circles of course, with Jon Krakauer's Into Thin Air most famously telling the tale. I won't spoil the details for those who don't know the story though, suffice as to say the film takes us on an emotional journey at times, some of which is tough to watch unfold on the big screen.

Krakauer himself is a character in the film, although his role is a relatively small one. Played by Michael Kelly of House of Cards fame, you know that he is there to chronicle the event of the climbing season on Everest for Outside magazine, but he really isn't one of the main characters. Instead, the story focuses on New Zealand climbing guide Rob Hall, who pioneered commercial guiding on Everest. Played by Jason Clarke, Hall is portrayed as a strong climber who cares about his clients, sometimes to his own determent. Hall's chief rival – American Scott Fischer (Jake Gyllenhaal), is also a prominent player in the story, although his character is definitely not as fleshed out.

For those who are completely unfamiliar with the story, back in 1996, Hall was leading a team of climbers to the top of Everest. Commercial guiding was in its infancy at that point, and while the mountain was crowded by the standards of the day, it is nothing like it is today. While high up on the mountain, a massive storm hit the area, and as a result 8 people died. The events that led up to that disaster are crux of the film, but again I won't spoil too much of the story. Those who know it however will also know what is coming, which in my case actually made some of the scenes even more difficult to watch.


I saw the film in 3D and on a massive IMAX screen. For me, the 3D added very little to the film, but the size and scope of the IMAX theater did help to convey a sense of the scale of the mountain. This is a film that is beautifully made, and seeing sweeping shots of Everest, and the Khumbu Valley that leads up to it, was breathtaking. Having been there myself, it was a bit like being transported back, as I recognized a number of well known landmarks along the way. The cinematography alone makes this a film worth seeing in the theater.

Everest was shot in Nepal, Italy, and a Hollywood sound stage, and for the most part it looks fairly seamless. There are times when you can definitely tell that the actors are on a set, but for the most part, things look authentic and well filmed. I even got a kick out of the vintage 1990's gear that the actors used in their roles, although there were one of two items that showed up that didn't exist at the time the film takes place in, but I doubt most viewers will even notice those kinds of details.

The film got off to a bit of a rocky start for me, as it used a bit of cliched dialog and spotty acting in the opening moments of the movie. But some of that was meant to get non-mountaineering viewers up to speed, and before long I found that things settled down nicely, and the story unfolded at a better pace. It wasn't long before I felt my criticism of the acting was a bit unfounded, as the actors settled into their roles and delivered solid performances across the line, including some high profile players in smaller roles.

The one exception to this, at least for me, was Josh Brolin's portrayal of Beck Weathers. In the film, he comes off as very bombastic and over the top, which seems a bit counter to the personality that Beck actually had at the time. While I'm sure he had sense of bravado to a degree, in the film he comes across as loud and obnoxious, yet still likable. It seems to me that those aspects of his character were exaggerated for effect to some degree.

The first half of the movie focuses on building the characters and setting up the task at hand, which is climbing the highest mountain on the planet. There is a lot of ground work set down in the first hour, with the payoff coming later when the climbing action gets underway. The second half of the film focuses on summit day, and the disaster that followed. And since you came to care about these characters early on, it packs a more emotional wallop as a result.

It is hard to walk away from a movie like Everest with good feelings, after all we are watching climbers march to their doom. But I was happy to see that Hollywood had treated the source material with respect, and went to great lengths to try to make it as realistic as possible, while also making it approachable to an audience that doesn't understand mountaineering all that well. Personally, I feel that just about anyone can walk into this movie and know what it is going on, and since they probably won't be as distracted by the climbing aspects as I was, they may even be free to enjoy it more.

Probably my favorite aspect of the film was Jason Clarke's portrayal of Rob Hall. He did a great job of selling the character, and was the centerpiece of the entire movie. The other actors all had an important role to play as well of course, but Clarke was the lynch pin that held it all together for me. If you know Rob's story, you also know how crucial it was to get this aspect of the film right. Thankfully, they were able to do just that.

On Friday, Everest will be available in a much wider release, arriving in theaters across the U.S. and some international territories. If you read this blog with any regularity, you'll probably want to put it on your "must see" list, and make sure you take the time to catch it on the big screen. It is a great effort on the part of Hollywood to make a good mountaineering movie, and I think you'll come away moved by the story and the portrayal of the characters in it. Even you already know what is going to happen, it is still challenging to watch everything unfold. It will also make you think about what these mountaineers go through on their way to the top, and you'll probably come away with a greater appreciation of what they do.

Video: Trailer for The Program a film about Lance Armstrong

A new film that is a dramatization of the Lance Armstrong story is preparing for release in October. It is called The Program, and it promises to give us an inside look at how the former pro cyclist doped while winning seven straight Tour de France titles. The film stars Ben Foster, Chris O'Dowd, and several other recognizable faces, not the least of which is Dustin Hoffman. It is getting fair reviews thus far, and it looks like it will be an intriguing film for cycling fans for sure. Check out the trailer below, which will give you an indication of what to expect when the movie arrives in cinemas in a few weeks.

Mountaineer Beck Weathers Reflects on Everest

If you've read the book Into Thin Air, or know about the events that took place on Everest back 1996, the name Beck Weathers is one that you're no doubt familiar with. Beck was on the team that was led up the mountain by Rob Hall, the same team that Jon Krakauer was a part of. On the way up the mountain, Beck had difficult seeing, and was told to wait on the Balcony at 27,000 feet (8230 meters) for Hall's return. The guide planned to assist him in descending after he had taken his other clients to the top. Rob ended up losing his life high on the mountain, and Beck was later assisted down by another guide, but as a massive storm descended on Everest, he became disoriented and lost, stumbling off into the night. During that time Beck was exposed to the extreme winds and cold, as he bivouacked alone, high on the mountain. His face and hands were exposed, and as a result he suffered severe frostbite that would later claim parts of right arm, his left hand, and both feet, as well as his nose.

Weather's survival story is well known in mountaineering circles, and he was lucky to get off the mountain alive. He has also become an integral part of the Into Thin Air story, which will of course be told once again in the upcoming feature film Everest, which will be released in theaters in a few weeks time. In that film, Beck will be played by actor Josh Brolin, and judging from the trailer, he will be integral to the plot.

Recently, Beck sat down with Outside magazine to talk about the film, his Everest experience, and where he is at in his life now. In the interview he talks about the movie which he says is impressive and about as good as any mountaineering film can be. He also weighs in on having Brolin play him on the big screen, the challenges of making a good film about Everest, and some issues he has with the way the story is told.

Perhaps more importantly however, Weathers talks a bit about what the film does right. He points out certain areas of the movie that are moving in a very tragic way. Particularly when Rob Hall's wife gets the phone call from him on the mountain, or Beck's own spouse receives a similar call informing her the had died. He says that those personal moments in the film will leave a mark with audiences, and were done very well.

Like Krakauer said recently, Beck carries the physical, emotional, and psychological scars from that fateful day back in May of 1996. They have shaped him into the person he is today. While that incident has had a dramatic impact on his life, he has also found ways to move on and continue with living it to the fullest. He told Outside that the real story is what happens when you get back home, which is something that is seldom told.

Read the full interview here.

Outside Gives Us an Inside Look at Everest

We're still several weeks off from the release of the major motion picture Everest, but already the hype-train is leaving the station. Over the next few weeks I'm sure we'll see a steady stream of press events, interviews, and sneak previews all leading up to the film's arrival in theaters on September 18.  Outside magazine is already leading the charge however with an interview with cast and crew members from the blockbuster movie that could redefine mountaineering films to come.

The article takes us behind the scenes to get a look at the production of Everest, which reportedly cost $55 million to make. That is relatively small change in Hollywood these days, particularly when you consider the cast of the film. Josh Brolin portrays one of the climbers, with Jason Clarke, Jake Gyllenhaal, Kiera Knightly, Robin Wright, and a host of other notables on playbill.

The film is based upon the 1996 climbing season on Everest, famously chronicled in Jon Krakauer's Into Thin Air. It has been nearly two decades since those events took place, and considering the last two seasons on Everest have been tragic in their own right, it will be interesting to see how the events unfold on the big screen. But the producers spared no expense in filming the movie, with such luminaries as David Breashears, Guy Cotter, and David Morton onboard to provide video footage and advice. They even traveled to Nepal to film some of scenes, although much of the principle photography was done in the Italian Dolomites, which stood in for the Himalaya.

It has taken years to get this film into theaters, and the story of that production is a fascinating one. Outside takes us through the early efforts to convince Hollywood to make the movie, and what it took to get a director, cast, and crew onboard. Those deeply involved with making Everest also share their insights into the characters from the story, challenges of filming on location and much more.

If you're interested in Everest, the 1996 season, or big Hollywood films, this is an interesting article to read to say the least. While I am personally trying to be cautiously optimistic about the film, I am eager to see it for myself and see how it turns out. Considering the talent that is involved with the movie, and the heritage of those who helped produce it, I suspect it could be one of the most realistic mountaineering films we've seen in a long time, if not ever. Judging from the trailer, the scenery alone will probably be worth the price of admission.

We have to wait another month before we know for sure, and advance reviews will probably give us some hints of what to expect. But hopefully the film will be entertaining and insightful. If it educates a larger audience about what happens on Everest each spring, all the better.

Jon Krakauer Calls Climbing Everest "Biggest Mistake of My Life"

Into Thin Air author Jon Krakauer raised eyebrows a few days back when he said that he felt climbing Mt. Everest was the biggest mistake of his life. Krakauer was speaking at a Huffington Post Live event at the time, which was being used to promote the new mountaineering film Meru in which he appears. His response came after receiving a question from a young climber who wanted tips for taking on the world's tallest mountain.

During the exchange Krakauer revealed that since climbing Everest back in 1996, the now-infamous season that was chronicled so famously in his book, he has suffered from bouts of PTSD, and continues to struggle with the events that too place there. You may recall that in 1996 eight climbers lost their lives on the mountain, including legendary guide Rob Hall. Into Thin Air is also he basis of the new film Everest that will be released to theaters on September 18.

Krakauer became famous thanks to the book, which was a bestseller at the time and is considered one of the top mountaineering books of all time. But, he told the HuffPo Live crowd "if I could go back and relive my life, I would never have climbed Everest."

Those are strong words from a guy who is so closely associated with the mountain. But they also show you how much of an impact the events that took place there have impacted his life, and he's probably not alone. A lot of people climb Everest for many different reasons, and the experience means different things to each of them. But when something as dreadful as the 1996 season goes down (or the 2014 and 2015 seasons for that matter), it is going to stick with you for the rest of your life.

The author went on to advise the 11-year old climber who initially asked the question about climbing Everest to think long and hard about his decision to do so. Krakauer told him "It's a serious, serious choice," adding, "If you do it, if you go for it, you'll be making really important decisions where your brain isn't functioning because of hypoxia or you haven't had enough to eat. Meru is a much harder mountain to climb, but in some ways Everest is much more dangerous. The dangers are more insidious. They're not as obvious."

Strong words indeed from a man who knows what he is talking about.

Video: Watch the Second Trailer for Everest

Next month, the big Hollywood adaptation of Jon Krakauer's Into Thin Air will hit theaters at long last. Simply entitled Everest, this film features an all-star cast with the likes of Josh Brolin, Jake Gyllenhaal, Kiera Knightly, Robin Wright, and many more. Last week, the second trailer for the film was released, giving us more of a glimpse of what to expect from the movie. This trailer includes more climbing shots than we've seen in the previous clips, including some nerve-wracking scenes of climbers passing through the Khumbu Icefall. It also gives viewers a better sense of the scope of the story as well, which most of us know inside and out by now.

When the first trailer for the film was released, I was a bit skeptical. Now, I remain cautiously optimistic. There is still some cringe-worthy dialog at times, but the climbing scenes look top notch, and cinematography is breathtaking. I think it is safe to say that we probably haven't seen a mountaineering film of this kind before, and I am now eager to see it on the big screen. Hopefully it meets expectations. Checkout the second trailer below.

Video: Trailer for Hollywood Blockbuster Everest

I've known for sometime that Hollywood was making a movie that based around the events that took place on Everest back in 1996. The all-star cast that includes Josh Brolin, Jake Gyllenhaal, Robin Wright, and Keira Knightley was announced ages ago. Yesterday, the first trailer for the film was released, allowing us to get our first look at the film which is set for release on September 18. You'll find that trailer below.

I will admit that the film looks intriguing, and I've got my fingers crossed that Hollywood may have made a good mountaineering film for a change. Some of the dialogue in the trailer is a bit clichéd however, and there are a lot of overly dramatic scenes too. Hopefully those are just being played up to hype the film, and the full movie will offer a good look at the events that took place on the mountain. Either way, you know I'll be headed to the theater to catch this one. The scenery and cinematography alone look like they will be worth it. We'll find out in a few months. Meanwhile, take a look for yourself.

Video: Official Trailer for Meru - Climbing the Shark Fin

If you only watch one video today, make it this one. It is the official trailer for the film Meru, the film that documents the 2008 ascent of Meru Peak along the Shark's Fin that was completed by Conrad Anker, Jimmy Chin, and Renan Ozturk. The trio spent days moving up the 6660 meter (21,850 ft) peak located in Himalaya of India. Their expedition has become the stuff of legends, and now the full story will be told. The trailer looks fantastic, with some images that are both incredibly beautiful and tension-inducing all at the same time. This was one of the most difficult climbs attempted, and the film will bring us all of the details directly from the men who did it themselves. I can't wait to see this.

MERU Official Trailer from Jimmy Chin on Vimeo.