Free Solo

Director: Jimmy Chin and Elizabeth Chai Vasarhelyi
Year Released: 2018
Rating: 2.5

Or, Almost Committing Suicide. Alex Honnold, a professional climber who lives out of a van and keeps a vegan diet (!), is determined to climb El Capitan, a formidable monolith in Yosemite National Park (one of my favorite places on Earth) without the use of safety equipment (!!) - there to try to stay out of his way (but get great footage) are director Chin, his wife Vasarhelyi and a lot of other camerapersons (who have to be careful not to disrupt Alex). National Geographic always provides the most crisp outdoor footage and this doesn't disappoint in that area - it's imperative to watch this on as big a screen as you can - and as incredibly dangerous as what Alex is trying to do (and does!), the documentary itself is very drawn out: the material with Alex's girlfriend Sanni feels like outtakes from ABC's The Bachelor (they argue, they cry, they buy a refrigerator) and the participants keep repeating over and over how dangerous it is (one slip and you're done! it's like the Olympics, gold or death!) - trust me when I say I know when a paper is padded for length. It's also the least helpful "Pursue Your Dreams, Kids!" special I can recall ... if you have a functioning amygdala.