Plot: What’s it about?
This is a documentary which follows the events that transpire when Alan Hobson and Jamie Clark attempt to climb to the summit of Mount Everest. This journey is not totally unknown to these two men however, since the pair have made their way close to the peak two times before. But those two previous attempts were in vain, as the two never reached the peak of the harsh mountain. The danger and peril are incredible, but the two find themselves compelled to return to the mountain and finally achieve their dream. So, the two assemble a team to join them in their mission, and prepare for the draining and exhausting journey back to Everest. Their hearts and minds are set on reaching the peak, but can they overcome the cold and peril to finally stand on the mountain’s summit?
This release is quite impressive, especially due to the audio, but also due to the powerful tale the documentary tells. This isn’t just the tale of what happens on the actual mission, it also covers the preparation for the journey, and has many interviews with the two men prior to their departure. Then the cameras stay with the team every step of the way, from the trip to base camp all the way to the final stop on this expedition. This is a very in depth look at the entire trek, which offers a wonderful glimpse inside the processes that make up the journey. This release contains interviews with crew members, team members, and features some footage from a conference where the team gave an account of their trips to Everest.
While the climb up the mountain would be impressive for any climber, imagine the difficulty for a climber who is holding the camera, or carrying a two hundred and fifty pound communications package. You wouldn’t know how hard it is was from watching this documentary though, since the camera is very steady and captures some incredible images and shots of the landscapes. If you’re at all interested in what it takes to conquer Everest or just have an interest in mountain climbing, this is a fine release, with impressive visuals, audio, and a wonderful story.
Video: How does it look?
Above All Else: The Everest Dream is presented in the original full frame aspect ratio. Since this is a documentary, not a motion picture, the image is not as sharp as a feature film. The image is very good though, with bright colors and accurate contrast. The transfer is free from compression errors as well.
Audio: How does it sound?
This release contains Dolby Digital 5.1, Dolby surround, and DTS surround tracks, so all bases should be covered on this one. If you aren’t equipped with expansive audio gear, you’ll want to choose the Dolby surround, which has a much richer sound than the 5.1 downmix. As far as the other two, I was hard pressed to find the superior, so I am forced to call this one a draw. The sound is full and enveloping on both tracks, simply amazing. You can’t go wrong with either track here, so if you have the ability to use both formats, sample them both and you make the call.
Supplements: What are the extras?
This release contains no added bonus materials.