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3.2 out of 5 stars38
3.2 out of 5 stars
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on 27 March 2011
Just to clarify, this is a 40-minute American documentary from the 90s, shot in IMAX format. Although this DVD is a Dutch import, there's no problem playing it on standard British DVD players, and all the dialogue is in the original English. It does have Dutch subtitles, but they can be turned off easily enough.

Those who have read any of the books describing the events of 10 May 1996, when eight climbers lost their lives high on Everest in a storm, will already be familiar with this IMAX expedition from the same year. (If you haven't read any of them, you may wish to, as they'll add a lot of background to what you'll see here. While this documentary was never intended to be about the tragedy, the IMAX crew happened to be on the spot at the time, and were deeply involved with events as they unfolded. As far as books go, Into Thin Air by Jon Krakauer is probably the best place to start.)

The resultant documentary seems to stick to its original (rather jolly, squeaky-clean) script, while inevitably having to show some of the darker side of what happened. We witness climber Ed Viesturs urging the dying Rob Hall to keep going, via radio link... also the astonishingly easy-on-the-eye Spanish climber, Araceli Segarra, tearful and almost lost for words. The full horror of the story is kept to a minimum, however, and the documentary quickly gets back on its original track with a successful summit attempt, lots of back-slapping, and fabulous shots of the scenery.

Which brings me to the whole point of the documentary: the scenery. While the rousing orchestral music is dreadful and the climbers' commentaries wooden and unnatural, the scenery really is spectacular. I viewed the DVD on a tiny 6" portable screen. IMAX films are shot at great expense in high resolution, and are intended for screens some 180 times that size, so the bigger the screen you've got, the better! It's not wide screen format, so looks a bit boxy by modern standards, but still looks pretty incredible fifteen years on. And let's face it, it's the closest most of us will ever get to Everest.

Narrated by Liam Neeson, and starring Beck Weathers, Jamling Tenzing Norgay, Araceli Segarra, Ed Viesturs, Paula Viesturs. There's also some British geologist called Roger with the poshest English accent ever.

Incidentally, I've read that the original 1999 Miramax DVD included a 'Making Of' featurette, an extended interview with Beck Weathers, deleted scenes, climber video journals, and a 3D map of Everest. Note that this DVD contains NONE of that... just the documentary.
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on 25 July 2004
Obtained from Canada via Amazon UK as there seems to be no PAL version available, the first test was to see that the DVD would play on multi standard equipment, which it did. Thankfully so, as this high budget production filmed in May 1996 has given us a really top quality programme about Everest. Good scene setting before the climbing starts, and then breathtaking visuals when the climbers were on the mountain. The role that the team who made the film played in helping those caught up in the May 10th disaster comes over well. With that enormous budget at risk it is heartening to see that was put second to trying to help save human life when the chips were really down. The superb quality of the filming continues right up to the summit successes, which is perhaps no surprise as those wonderful Sherpas took not only their usual loads up Everest, but also the 42 pound IMAX camera! For the summit that allowed just one 90 second film cartridge to be shot, every second of which is said to be in the 45 minute programme. There is more than that length of extremely interesting Bonus material which includes an extended interview with Beck Weathers, a survivor from May 10th, who made what may be one of the most miraculous "returns from the dead" seen in any walk of life. Watching that interview it wasn't just Beck who was choking back the tears. Excellent video diaries from the three main climbers are included within the Bonus material as is sufficient material deleted from the main programme to raise the question as to why it wasn't used to extend the 45 minute finished product by a few more minutes. And that is the only possible way I can see this programe could have been improved.
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on 8 April 2010
OK - the dialogue and the music are not the greatest but the IMAX filming makes up for it. Would be better on an IMAX screen but still impressive on normal TV. I've read the book about this expedition and perhaps it doesn't come across how hard it was to lug an IMAX camera and paraphenalia up Everest. An impressive feat made harder by the weather problems they experienced. Many mountaineers died that year and I know some would say they never said too much about what went on in the grim weather but the purpose was to capture the climb in IMAX and that succeeded.
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This was filmed in 1996 during the terrible event on Everest when 8 climbers died in an horrific storm.

Liam Neeson narrates this film, and his voice is at once calming and stirring. In this expedition, Ed Vesturs and his new bride, Araceli Segerra, a Spanish climber, and Jamling Norgay, son if the famous Norgay who climbed Everest I with Edmund Hillary and were the first to reach the summit in 1953. A remarkable and capable crew.

Everest grows 1/4 inch a year due to the expansion and contraction of the mountain. This group was bringing equipment that would measure earthquake data and assist in the research. They would be climbing the 51/2 mile mountain Everest, 29,000 feet above sea level. Thus mountain gas several snow avalanches a day. At that time 150 people had died on the mountain, 50 of them in avalanches.

The group flew via helicopter into the mountains and then walked 30 miles to base camp. Ed's wife would stay and manage base camp, while the other three with 30 Sherpas would climb the mountain. At Camp one, they acclimated for 6 weeks. It wS at this time the storm descended on the other climbers, and the tragedy of 8 deaths occurred. Beck Wethers survived and he gas a story to tell. These three climbers waited until the storms abated and then took their turn. They made the summit and Jamling Norgay was able to make the same climb as his father before him, 46 years ago.

This visually appealing film us a must see for anyone who loves mountains, climbing and Everest. To see it at an IMAX theatre is best, but however, you see it, you will love this film.

Highly Recommended. prisrob 11-04-13
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on 5 December 2015
I saw this in Futurescope in France in about 2001. I knew nothing about the disaster until then but found the film moving. Of course it's filmed to be screened on a huge IMAX screen, and I'll never forget "Everest" towering over us!
When I saw Everest the movie this year I was sure that this was the same disaster, although everyone I told said it wasn't. But I clearly heard the IMAX crew mentioned in the film. They even helped with the rescue. I now know this IS the same incident.
I never thought I'd see this film again, and am so glad it is available. As it was filmed for an IMAX cinema you are not going to get the impact that was originally intended, but if you want to see this incident actually unfold, watch this! The IMAX crew were on Everest filming a documentary about a team climbing this iconic peak, and much of the film was about that team. They had no way of knowing that this tragedy would occur to Rob Hall's team, also on the mountain at the same time, so don't expect footage to focus exclusively on the build up to the disaster.
I've seen a comment that the film is amateurish. Filming at those altitudes where the human body is not meant to survive, and often doesn't, was pretty amazing. This was climbers filming a place most of us can never reach. This is also not a Hollywood movie, this is real, as it happened, documentary.
For me it provides the perfect companion to the 2015 film Everest, which in itself proved to be very faithful to actual events, in my opinion.
The DVD is an import and has sleeve notes and subtitles in Dutch. Don't let this put you off. The subtitles are easily switched off, and everything else is in English as the original would have been.
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on 27 August 2013
I had great expectation with regards to this documentary but it was a complete waste of time. I have to assume that in an IMAX cinema it would have looked stunning but a part from that is says very little about everest and the expeditions. It takes a very superficial approach, and no aspect is treated or shown in depth. The storytelling does not entice or inspire at all in my opinion. I hope this helps.
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on 3 January 2016
Aaaaaaaarrrrghhh! The BOLD and TRIUMPHANT music! It is just relentless. Like being stuck in an eternal nightmare where you are imprisoned by a mad evil person that plays you Vaughan Williams pastoral string sound-alikes non-stop. Torture.

Bad quality DVD. Very poorly presented in every sense. No depth to the incredible story. Very short.

I am severely peeved. This is a disgrace.

I recommend Everest Beyond The Limit for anyone with an interest in the high mountains of the Himalaya.
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on 29 March 2011
When ordering this video I did not realise that I would be sent the Dutch version of the film. Unfortunately the wonderful views of the mountain are somewhat spoiled by the Dutch subtitles.
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on 6 April 2015
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on 21 September 2014
I was disappointed by the quality of this DVD. Because it was filmed in the IMAX format I was expecting a much higher quality of film, I was also expecting a 16:9 picture ratio not a 4:3 ratio. The whole DVD should be remastered to a BluRay quality in a 16:9 format. Fortunately the price of the DVD is low and so I did not regret the purchase, but had I paid a lot more I would probably have sent the DVD back. It also contains subtitles which need to be switched off otherwise it spoils the viewing, the actual commentary is in English. If you like the high mountains then this is worth adding to your collection but only because of the low price.
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