Director: Baltasar Kormákur
Cast: Jason Clarke, Josh Brolin, Jake Gyllenhaal
Release Date: Now Available on Blu-ray 3D, Blu-ray & DVD
A Review By: Kevin Lovell
Film Rating: 8.5/10
Disc Rating: 8/10
Inspired by the incredible events surrounding an attempt to reach the summit of the world’s highest mountain, Everest documents the awe-inspiring journey of two different expeditions challenged beyond their limits by one of the fiercest snowstorms ever encountered by mankind. Their mettle tested by the harshest elements found on the planet, the climbers will face nearly impossible obstacles as a lifelong obsession becomes a breathtaking struggle for survival.
Based upon the amazing true story ‘Everest’ tells the story of two groups of climbers both progressing their way up the breath stealing Everest mountain with the intention of summiting on the same day. While the film features both groups, it focuses primarily on that of Adventure Consultants operated by Rob Hall (Clarke) and the group of unique individuals that he has the task of seeing safely to the summit and returned. Once the journey begins and the two groups near their final destination, things take a deadly turn as they are unexpectedly assaulted by a brutal storm which they will have to fight with everything in their power if they stand any chance of survival.
Directed by Baltasar Kormákur (Contraband, 2 Guns) from a script by William Nicholson (Gladiator, First Knight) and Simon Beaufoy (127 Hours, Slumdog Millionaire), Kormákur does an impressive job at the helm of ‘Everest’ simultaneously capturing the beauty and terror brilliantly. The film also benefits from a cast comprised of numerous talented individuals including Jason Clarke, Josh Brolin, Keira Knightley, Sam Worthington, Jake Gyllenhaal, Emily Watson, Michael Kelly, John Hawkes, Robin Wright and more, all of whom deliver solid performances in each of their respective roles.
‘Everest’ is a gorgeous, powerful and at times brutal film based on the marvelous true story and it shines with an obvious dedication to capturing the tale with care and respect. While I can’t pretend to be overly familiar with the actual events which occurred, nor the obstacles and terrifying challenges these real life individuals were forced to endure, the love and obvious intention to deliver a realistic and actual portrayal of said events is prominently displayed in a number of the directors selections, including the dangerous choice to shoot on-location which is crucial and beautifully ensconces some of the more uncomfortable elements, while never detracting from their intention or power in a negative manner, to the talented folks selected for each role, all of whom deliver admirably. The 3D video presentation also contributes significantly to the overall viewing experience for those with the capability and provides the viewer a far more accurate representation of the constant beauty and danger present at nearly every moment of the journey.
Overall, ‘Everest’ is a beautiful and riveting film, guided by a talented director and boosted by a cast comprised of talented stars in addition to the breath taking natural beauty constantly on display which in many aspects is the true star of the film. For those who enjoy similar films as well as the fellow 3D fans who won’t want to miss out on one truly amazing 3D experience, I would highly recommend checking out ‘Everest’, it’s certainly worth the cost of a rental at the very least and the 3D nuts who can’t acquire the 3D Blu-ray for rental likely won’t be disappointed by a blind purchase.
The 3D Blu-ray release of ‘Everest’ features a full 1080p High Definition MVC encoded 3D presentation utilizing the film’s original 2.40:1 Cinemascope Aspect Ratio. The 3D video presentation looks magnificent, delivering a consistently sharp, detailed and immersive 3D presentation with some truly impressive depth and edges of mountains and bits of snow flying in all directions. The 3D presentation holds up wonderfully and delivers an impressive presentation from start to finish with no notable faults to be found within. Overall, this is definitely one of the most impressive 3D high definition video presentations in recent memory and it should easily thrill the fellow 3D enthusiasts.
The 2D Blu-ray release which is also included with the Blu-ray 3D Combo Pack features an AVC encoded full high definition video presentation also utilizing the film’s original 2.40:1 Cinemascope Aspect Ratio. The 2D video presentation is as equally impressive as its 3D counterpart, providing a clean, detailed and nearly flawless presentation that should easily please the masses.
Overall, while the 2D presentation is equally phenomenal, there is no question that 3D is the best possible way to experience this powerful film, the notable depth and gorgeous scenery constantly popping out in glorious detail is not to be missed and definitely the viewing method I would select for all subsequent viewings.
The Blu-ray release (Both the 3D & 2D disc) features a Dolby Atmos (Dolby TrueHD 7.1 channel compatible) soundtrack. Please note that this review pertains solely to the lossless Dolby TrueHD 7.1 audio presentation. This lossless multichannel soundtrack is one truly aggressive beast, utilizing all seven available channels on a near constant basis in order to assault the viewer’s aural senses with whipping winds and fluttering snow, in addition to some impressive bass during numerous moments including snow breaking and swarming down the mountain. Even the tamer moments maintain constant wind and other minimal elements overpowering the rear channels, while never resulting in any dialogue which may be occurring simultaneously to become distorted or rendered inaudible. Overall, this is an amazing and surprisingly aggressive Dolby Atmos (TrueHD 7.1 compatible) soundtrack that is sure to satisfy even the most selective audiophiles.
The Blu-ray release of ‘Everest’ includes a few worthwhile extras which are included on both discs although presented solely in 2D. Included on the release is an ‘Audio Commentary with Director Baltasar Kormákur’ in addition to a few relatively short behind the scenes Featurettes that explore different aspects of bringing the film to life and include behind the scenes footage and interviews/comments with members of the cast and crew. The included Featurettes are: ‘Race to the Summit: The Making of Everest’ (running approximately 11 minutes in length), ‘Learning to Climb’ (approximately 5 minutes), ‘A Mountain of Work’ (5 minutes) and ‘Aspiring to Authenticity: The Real Story’ (7 minutes).