The Crash Reel doc profiles pro snowboarder Kevin Pearce

The Crash Reel

Professional snowboarder Kevin Pearce’s near death fall while training for the Olympics was another thunderous blow to the myth that sports like snowboarding, mountain biking, free soloing or base jumping are merely the adrenaline-driven, P.O.V. content around which YouTube sells ads. No one posts videos of their crashes. Not often enough, anyway.

“The Crash Reel” is a documentary that follows Pearce’s personal pilgrimage back to the slopes after the crash that stunned his brain and nearly crippled him. It looks extremely well done and the subject matter seems to be given much more respect than the Saturday afternoon ratings filler we’re left with when these kinds of outdoor pursuits are presented to the mainstream.

Just in time for the start of the season, too. Be careful out there.

“The Summit” brings 2008 K2 tragedy to vivid life

Like giant waves, giant mountains frighten me. I have no problem face climbing or approaching cruxy roofs a few hundred feet above where my feet are most comfortable. However, throw in crumbling snow, creaky ice slabs, an unpredictable forecast and little chance of rescue and something in my man parts cowers inward and runs for cover. In short, I stand in awe of big-time alpine climbers.

K2 has long-earned its reputation as the world’s most dangerous mountain. In 2008, it chose to remind us just how seriously it takes that moniker. This is what the movie is about.


1996 Everest disaster getting big-time Hollywood treatment

We can all agree that most movies about mountaineering¬†for the most part blow. At least “Cliffhanger” had Michael Rooker.

And primarily it’s because of crappy backdrops and less-than-Sharknado realism of the on-mountain drama.

Maybe “Everest” (working title) will be different. I say that only because of the sheer star power involved, which tends to force studios into making good decisions. (“Lone Ranger” notwithstanding.)

The film, set to begin shooting soon, will feature Josh Brolin and Jake Gyllenhall. Perhaps lesser known in name but not in ability to emote, John Hawkes and Jason Clarke will also be roping up for the movie. Bruce Wayne Christian Bale was originally slated to have a role, as well.

The movie is about the very ill-fated and highly debated expedition of the 1996 disaster on Everest, as covered most popularly in John Krakauer’s “Into Thin Air.”