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The Summit (2013)

Christine Barnes , Hoselito Bite , Nick Ryan  |  R |  DVD
3.3 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (22 customer reviews)

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The Summit + North Face + Touching the Void
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Product Details

  • Actors: Christine Barnes, Hoselito Bite
  • Directors: Nick Ryan
  • Format: Multiple Formats, Color, NTSC, Widescreen
  • Language: English
  • Region: Region 1 (U.S. and Canada only. Read more about DVD formats.)
  • Aspect Ratio: 1.77:1
  • Number of discs: 1
  • Rated: R (Restricted)
  • Studio: MPI HOME VIDEO
  • DVD Release Date: February 11, 2014
  • Run Time: 102 minutes
  • Average Customer Review: 3.3 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (22 customer reviews)
  • ASIN: B00FYV7WD8
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #58,935 in Movies & TV (See Top 100 in Movies & TV)

Editorial Reviews

In August, 2008, 18 mountain climbers reached the top of K2, the second-highest mountain in the world. 48 hours later, 11 people were dead, making it the deadliest day in modern mountain climbing histroy. While memorials paid tribute to those killed, there were also condemnations about why.' Why do these athletes risk everything to reach a place humans are simply not meant to go? Why do they put their lives and the lives on others on the line in order to satisfy some undefinable need?
With breathtaking cinematography and jaw dropping reenactments based on the testimony of those who survived the climb, THE SUMMIT is a thrilling documentary about the very nature of adventure in the modern world.

Customer Reviews

Most Helpful Customer Reviews
16 of 18 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars 3.5 stars January 21, 2014
A fascinating documentary of the tragedy of 2008 expedition on K2. This movie was engaging in content though poorly organized in terms of presentation.

I love a good mountain climbing and survival movie. Touching the Void is my favorite documentary in the harrowing high altitude category. The Summit, which was apparently produced by the same company, attempts to use a similar approach to telling their story. They interview survivors, use found footage, and film on location and elsewhere a recreation of events. While the story itself is fascinating, the cinematography and found footage excellent, the overall organization and presentation is choppy and often frustrating. The 2008 story is interspliced with the account of Walter Bonatti from a 1954 Italian expedition on K2. Just as one story starts to get interesting the filmmakers cut back to the other. Often in films this has the effect of building suspense and intrigue but here it manages to destroy the momentum of both stories and over time achieve a slightly maddening effect. Furthermore the 2008 story bounces around in time a lot with the same footage getting shown on several occasions. It again draws more attention to the production choices and away from the story itself. A more linear approach to the story telling would have been better.

The movie also lacks the intimacy and depth that Touching the Void was able to achieve. Perhaps because so many people are involved, perhaps because its a different director. I don't know. However, there are a couple real gems of people to be found in this movie. Pemba, the Nepalese climber, who, for his heroism, was later named Adventurer of the Year by National Geographic is one of them.

Overall, the movie kept me interested. I was never bored. I do recommend viewing it if you are interested in such subject matter and are willing to overlook some of its production flaws.
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23 of 32 people found the following review helpful
I am a high altitude mountain climber. These matters are studied by us in the coldest most unemotional way, as indeed they must be, if any instructive lessons are to be drawn from such incidents. This is quite obviously not the motive of this film's makers. Consequently, few if any questions are answered and little to no sense is made of this tragedy.

This movie goes out of its way to be sensitive to the living, and to leave unexplored the most unprofessional and even insane decision making of many who took part in this disaster in the making. It seems far more about allowing bereaved widows mourn their loved ones than an attempt to answer the only really important question, Why? To do this, it ignores an enormous amount of crucial detail, much of which is included even in the Wikipedia article. By the way, you will learn more from Wiki than you will from this film.

Even when examples of clearly bad decision making are exposed, the uninformed viewer will not realize it for the film's makers make no sort of clear declarative statement expressing just how inexplicable said decision was. The makers absolutely refuse to take any kind of a stand. No doubt this would have been controversial, or, it may have hurt people's feelings, and we certainly can't have any of that. There is no attempt to deal honestly and frankly with what happened.

The order of the film, I guess you would say the editing, is a confusing jumble of scenes with little order or sense. It jumps all over the place. Strictly from an entertainment perspective, it is bad movie-documentary making and I, a complete sucker for mountain movies, had a very hard time watching it through to the end. Not even its occasional beautiful cinematography can save this utterly disappointing mess of a film.
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars Fascinating story, flawed documentary March 7, 2014
Format:Amazon Instant Video
The Summit is a frustrating film because there is dynamic content on display throughout, but the enterprise is unfocused and flawed, undermining noble intentions and leaving an enormous amount of potential unrealized. It is a documentary concerning a troubled and, in the end, deadly expedition to climb K2, the world's second highest mountain, in the summer of 2008. Through interviews, photographs, and cinematic reenactments, several of the climbers are profiled (they are in turn a bitchy, charming, guarded, and soulful unit) and the lethal downfall of their adventure is depicted and debated. There are several scenes of awe-inspiring excitement and fear, capturing how insignificant human existence becomes in the outsize and unforgiving context of the mountain. In one such scene, an out-of-the-blue piece of falling ice emerges from the silence and the night to end a life of an unsuspecting Norwegian climber. He is there one second and gone forever the next. Ah, if only the film containing these memorable and piercing incidents were not plagued by so many structural and thematic defects.

The nonfiction storyline is presented, for reasons I cannot understand, out of chronological order. The summit is reached around 30 minutes in, then the music turns menacing as the dangerous descent begins. Then, however, the film cuts to several months earlier to show the early steps of the expedition. It is disorienting and grating, and I believe simply tracing point A to point B to point C in a straight line would have maximized the majesty and the suspense. Also unusual is the completely arbitrary inclusion of another story involving the first major bid to climb the mountain by Italians in the 1950s.
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Most Recent Customer Reviews
3.0 out of 5 stars Outstanding Visuals; Hypoxic Storyline
Having read the outstanding book "Buried in the Sky" last year and after following a K2 expedition online this past summer, I finally made the effort to watch this film. Read more
Published 23 days ago by Tim A
5.0 out of 5 stars If you have read the books covering this subject then ...
If you have read the books covering this subject then this film is a must view, and a interesting look at K2 and the climbers that attempt it, when Everest is so well documented.
Published 1 month ago by d.sattler
3.0 out of 5 stars Feels like 4 hours long
When in fact it's an hour and forty three minutes. Which isn't to say that the Summit is boring or that there aren't plenty of captivating, memorable scenes that will leave you... Read more
Published 2 months ago by J Thomas
5.0 out of 5 stars Outstanding Documentary of the dangers of extreme mountain climbing
One of the best Survival/tragedy documentaries available. Great example of Naturalism and Man vs Nature, while showing our innate desire to try and conquer the elements. Read more
Published 3 months ago by Michelle Allen
3.0 out of 5 stars The Tragedy
This documentary started out well, my interest was piqued as we were introduced to the climbers from many nationalities. Read more
Published 3 months ago by prisrob
1.0 out of 5 stars Disappointed
I was really looking forward to seeing this film. I am just a run-of-the-mill backpacker/hiker, but I have been fascinated with K2 and Everest for quite some time. Read more
Published 4 months ago by AlrightyThen
3.0 out of 5 stars crowd control and what happens the night after a warm sunny summit day
For those that have read or followed the accounts of this particular K2 summit year, this documentary will be of interest. Read more
Published 4 months ago by pjf
2.0 out of 5 stars If you're a climber- even a hiker- this movie will probably...
Ah yes. The dreaded two-star rating (nobody reads these). To save time, the best word to describe this movie is confused. Read more
Published 5 months ago by Amory Ross
5.0 out of 5 stars Perfect!
The perfect blend of the actual footage of this horrible time in the Himalayas, interviews and dramatic staging. You cannot ask for a better climbing documentary.
Published 5 months ago by Yukio
4.0 out of 5 stars Good movie, difficulty with streaming
The movie itself was very well done - a combination of actual footage and re-enactment. Editing the two formats together was extremely professional, and the movie pulled me in... Read more
Published 5 months ago by Della Van Hise
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