CINEMA OF THE SKY: FREE SOLO
Kind of a different approach today, as this is a documentary rather than your typical blockbuster. Regardless of technicalities, I saw it in theaters and so it shall be on the plane eventually!
Free Solo was a crazyyyy documentary about Alex Honnold, a free solo rock climber who makes a living out of climbing rock walls all over the world. Free soloing, for those of you who are unfamiliar, is the act of rock climbing out on real rock faces, with no safety rope or harness of any kind. You make the climb, or you die. Literally.
In this film by Jimmy Chin, we follow Alex as he prepares for and attempts to free climb El Capitan in Yosemite National Park. El Capitan is a granite monster of a rock wall that stretches 3000 feet tall; as of filming, it had never been home to a free solo attempt before. The sheer nature of free soloing makes this documentary incredibly intense. Going in, I did not know whether or not Alex makes the climb successfully, or if he dies trying. I will not divulge that information here either, and I will say if you don't know the result, don't look it up. It will only add to the power of the movie.
Jimmy Chin is good friends with Alex in real life, and he made a great film here. Obviously a little different from my normal ratings as there is no acting, it was still a very interesting look into the mind and life of one of the most focused, determined, and debatably insane people on the planet. If you enjoy docs, this is worth a go. Personally I enjoy them, but not as much as a good "normal" movie. Because of that, my rating for THE FILM: 6.1
I don't really see a reason to not watch this on the plane. I wouldn't call it a perfect plane movie, but it isn't a bad one either. If you are a stressful flier, I would ignore this all together, as Alex's story will only drive your stress to new levels. If you aren't a stress flier, and you enjoy documentaries, this could be a good one to watch.
The drawback I personally have for this is that for me, a documentary doesn't transport me to a different world like a greta movie can. On the plane I don't want to be counting the hours until landing, I want to be locked in a vault performing a heist with Danny Ocean, or be rocking on stage with Freddie Mercury. Since a documentary is so real world, it just doesn't captivate me on the same level. Because of that, my rating for THE PLANE: 5.7
This is a very well done documentary that I expect will be recognized come the spring. It is one of the better documentaries I have seen, but in the end it is still a documentary. As discussed above, it can be stressful, and it doesn't quite make time fly (pun intended) like other movies can. If docs are your thing, take this with a grain of salt. I like them, I don't love them, which brings me to THE VERDICT: 5.9
Got a cinema in the sky film we should review? Let us know!