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180° South: Conquerors of the Useless [Blu-ray] (2010)

Yvon Chouinard , Doug Tomkins , Chris Malloy  |  NR |  Blu-ray
4.4 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (209 customer reviews)

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Product Details

  • Actors: Yvon Chouinard, Doug Tomkins
  • Directors: Chris Malloy
  • Format: Multiple Formats, AC-3, Blu-ray, Closed-captioned, Dolby, NTSC, Subtitled, Widescreen
  • Language: English
  • Subtitles: English
  • Region: Region A/1 (Read more about DVD/Blu-ray formats.)
  • Aspect Ratio: 1.66:1
  • Number of discs: 1
  • Rated: NR (Not Rated)
  • Studio: Magnolia Home Entertainment
  • DVD Release Date: June 8, 2010
  • Run Time: 87 minutes
  • Average Customer Review: 4.4 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (209 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #116,060 in Movies & TV (See Top 100 in Movies & TV)
  • Learn more about "180° South: Conquerors of the Useless [Blu-ray]" on IMDb

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Editorial Reviews

180° SOUTH: CONQUERORS OF THE USELESS follows Jeff Johnson as he retracesthe epic 1968 journey of his heroes Yvon Chouinard and Doug Tompkins to Patagonia. Along the way he gets shipwrecked off Easter Island, surfs the longest wave of his life - and prepares himself for a rare ascent of Cerro Corcovado. Jeff's life takes a turn when he meets up in a rainy hut with Chouinard and Tompkins who, once driven purely by a love of climbing and surfing, now value above all the experience of raw nature - and have come to Patagonia to spend their fortunes to protect it.

Customer Reviews

Most Helpful Customer Reviews
17 of 18 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Wisdom and stunning cinematography combined! September 4, 2011
By Jens
The core conversation for me - the symbolism of walking towards the edge of a cliff. Rather than 'turning back' it's all about making a 180 degree turn and then 'stepping forward'. And this is only one of many jewels of wisdom and cinematography in a wonderfully honest and understated journey of a man who understands that nothing replaces the experience of going to beautiful and wild places. It grounds you and makes you really love a place - and then you feel the need to protect it. I had no idea what I would see when I randomly stumbled over this film, but I watched it twice that very evening only to watch it again.
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57 of 73 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars Gorgeous Cinematography w/Confused Message February 20, 2011
3.5 Stars:

This film is the narrative of one man who is disaffected by the excesses of society and tries to simplify his life by casting himself into the unknown of adventure. With the goal of being the second person to climb Corcovado Volcano in Patagonia, he follows in the footsteps of several men who came before him in the 1960s. The message is a positive one of conservationism, and by just watching the protagonist trek around, you'll wish you were there getting lost with him. It is beautifully shot with an equally great soundtrack of subdued folk songs, including Mason Jennings' recent hit which is featured during the end credits.

But, the film's positive message is easily lost in the narcissism and vainglory of its characters. Through their own terrible self-narration, they come across as overly privileged, preachy, self-righteous, White bourgeois whiners. With their strong anti-corporate and anti-government bias, one is left only to feel that they are arrogant, hypocritical slackers who want the world out of their way so they can have a good time. The protagonist shows none of the modesty inherent to conservationism and spends much time preening around with his shirt off. There is much irony in how he criticizes everyone from city dwellers to video-game players, when it is the indentured condition of these groups which allows him the freedom to be a slacker and explore the natural world.

Also, the film's presentation of the collapse of Easter Island society is one-sided without nuance or context. The film argues that present day civilization is heading towards a similar collapse if we don't change our ways and live like the characters presented in the film.
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23 of 29 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars What's Useless About It? June 14, 2010
Format:Blu-ray|Verified Purchase
This movie is a documentary, but it's a little hard to categorize. I think I'd really call it a POLEMIC- against Western capitalist culture, which is dominating most of the world at present (since even so-called "third world" countries are intent on emulating the successes of capitalism). How DO you describe a movie that encompasses sailing, surfing, mountain-climbing, retracing a climb made in 1968 by world-class climbers, lectures about the evils of dams and environmental destruction, a commercial plug for protecting Patagonia, the history of Easter Island, and philosophical musings and mumblings, all wrapped together and packaged with some of the most idiosyncratic music score I've ever listened to in a movie? [I don't know what to call this music-it's mostly one-voice, accompanied by guitar or other simple instrumentals-it sounds sort of folksy-rustic-country, but nothing that I've ever heard before. Sometimes it was irritating, and sometimes I really enjoyed it].

The subtitle, Conquerors of the Useless, refers principally to the whole activity of mountain-climbing. Risking your very life--for what? To stand for a few minutes or an hour on top of a piece of rock, then climb back down again. Does the world need this activity? Why do some people feel compelled to do it (or so many other extreme things that we seem compelled to do, for no clear gain) That becomes a metaphor for the whole question of what is "useful" and what is "useless"--for the world, for mankind as a species, for our survival.

The narrator solemnly asserts things like, "I'm beginning to think...(you know, differently about the world). I'm rather suspicious that he more or less had these same views before he even set out on his journey, and simply used the journey to reinforce them. But-no matter.
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars 180 degress south March 9, 2011
Format:Blu-ray|Verified Purchase
excellent...outstanding...motivational...a must see for anyone who may have the slightest sense and/or desire for an adventure...screw luck and embrace karma
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars True definition of "Adventure" January 11, 2014
Format:Amazon Instant Video
I have watched many movies on what I believed were adventures. Ones on Everest climbs, K2, but I was mistaken. Wow is all I can say. I loved this movie. I expected less because of some of the negative reviews but I did not see it. Jeff seemed to be such a great character and knows what he is looking This movie definitely defines what a real adventure is about. Doug and Yvon are awesome. They are the epitome of what it's all about and to be giving back in such a way. I love the comment of "what happens when you get to the edge of a cliff? Turn around and step forward" it! I love and use very frequently their founded companies products and it's a good thing to see where it all started but I digress. This movie gives such a great message about the direction the world's heading and it's unfortunate more cannot be done to stop it. I recommend this movie to EVERYONE!
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Most Recent Customer Reviews
5.0 out of 5 stars A must see!
Inspiring story of the heart!
Published 2 days ago by Robert North
5.0 out of 5 stars Best Documentary I have ever seen
This is the best documentary I have ever seen. If you like travel, or adventure, or the outdoors, you have to buy this film This is a gem. Read more
Published 3 days ago by Thomas Williamson
2.0 out of 5 stars Beautifully shot movie in gorgeous locations with interesting...
Beautifully shot movie in gorgeous locations with interesting characters, but not very genuine. The movie presents itself as one mans spontaneous journey outside the confines of... Read more
Published 4 days ago by No Body
5.0 out of 5 stars I loved this film. It is definitely a motivating film if you are...
Awesome adventure. I want to jump in a car and head out right now!
Published 7 days ago by PepperHawk
4.0 out of 5 stars One Mans Journey -- With a Cautionary Twist
Great story! A fascinating mix of one mans journey, of mountaineering and Chile's growth vs environmental issues (sound familiar? Read more
Published 11 days ago by J. Trimble
5.0 out of 5 stars and the adventure is pretty cool. The gem of this film is Yvon ...
Quality of the documentary is okay, and the adventure is pretty cool. The gem of this film is Yvon Chouinard and Doug Tompkins and what they have to say. Read more
Published 15 days ago by eric j mcdonnell
5.0 out of 5 stars This film is just plain cool. I think in all of us
This film is just plain cool. I think in all of us, we wish we could chuck it all to be so free to experience life like this. These guys/and gal "get it. Read more
Published 24 days ago by foodiejane
5.0 out of 5 stars Five Stars
I wish I had the courage to live like these people do.
Published 1 month ago by Ivanthinkin
5.0 out of 5 stars Awesome Movie
Can watch over and over again. Great music and we'll put together.
Published 1 month ago by Michael D. Cox II
5.0 out of 5 stars 180 South
One of the best movies I've seen. Very real and engaging with a great soundtrack!
Published 1 month ago by Tyler Koslofsky
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