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The appearance of a movie in this review journal does not mean that the movie is endorsed by Kim.  He writes reviews of movies that he saw that he recommends people avoid as well as movies that he considers worth seeing.  Aside from just critical approval regarding the film, some movies may not be suitable for you or your family.  You must make that kind of determination on your own, and stay true to your own convictions on what is appropriate to see.  Some movies are well made, but have offensive or difficult subject matter that is questionable to many viewers. Again, the reviews listed here should not be your only filter for whether or not a film is appropriate for you and and your family.

Additionally, Kim has his own view on what movies are and why he thinks they are a worthwhile aspect of current culture to be investigated.  You certainly don't have to agree with Kim on his viewpoints of movies, and he would be surprised if you did.

Kim's thoughts on movies -

Movies are the modern art "experience" of our culture. They are transmitted in many forms, on screens in theatres, DVDs, television and even computers. They are the merge of classical theatrical acting and modern day technical set and experience creation (effects). The reason I enjoy and watch lots of movies is that they not only entertain, they communicate the nuances of our society. Of course, some have nothing to do with culture, its just greedy corporations trying to produce profits. I am a guy, and as such am not the ideal audience for romantic comedies or 'chick fliks'. However I am also a husband, and domestic bliss (as well as common sense) compels me to at least review them...occasionally.  For the most part, you will find I like (and therefor review a lot of ) action, drama, science fiction, suspense and similarly themed movies.

Entries in documentary alex honnold (1)

Free Solo (2018)

Free Solo (Jimmy Chin, Elizabeth Chai Vasarhelyi)- Alex HonnoldThe Height of Reality

Overall Grade: A+
Story: A
Acting: A
Direction: A+
Visuals: A+

Summary: A dizzying documentary with an actual cliff hanger.

"Free Solo" is the documentary film made of one of the most unbelievable feats of mental and physical skill to ever be attempted by a human being. Alex Honnold takes on the monstrous 3,000 ft face of El Capitan in Yosemite National Park.

I'm not a rock climber. I didn't have a lot of interest in seeing a movie about it. But I have a few friends who do rock climb and I've heard about the meticulous care, the hours and hours of preparation, the teamwork, and the years it takes to build the skills to do the most challenging climbs. But my friends climb with ropes, gear and safety equipment. Alex Honnold, and a few people like him around the world, climb without ropes, without the aid of equipment, and without the aid of other climbers. This kind of climbing is called "free solo" climbing.

This film is a documentary. And while it's clear goal is to document the iconic free solo climb up the sheer face of El Capitan, what it does in preamble is no less than perfect. Filmmaker Jimmy Chin unfolds the story of Alex Honnold in a way that allows you to see his life, his mind, his relationships and his unceasing obsession with perfection. An obsession that leads him to challenge himself to free solo the most difficult climbs in the world. But he does not take these challenges with passionate, or reckless abandon. He is an intensely detailed, meticulous athlete. And his accomplishments are brought to dizzying climax with this movie.

As I sat watching this movie, my stomach knotted up and the amazing cinematography left my heart pounding. Seeing this film on the silver screen allows you to be over-awed by the breath-taking photography and scenery only possible from the literal mountain top experiences  that our cast is challenged with. But beyond just the natural beauty of the film, the director carefully exposes the reality of what it is to be a free soloist, to be Alex Honnold, and ultimately to be human. In this context, failure, even momentary or miniscule, means certain death. The essence of this story is about what it means to literally tackle "the mountain"- to face your very real fears. And in facing those fears to let your only response be a complete surrender to accomplishing your goal.

See this film before it leaves the big screen. you won't regret it. The best movie I've seen in 2018.


Review by Kim Gentes