Valley Uprising (2014)

Drinking Game

Take a Drink: every time a climber does

Take a Drink: whenever a shot or photograph leaves you breathless… or with vertigo

Take a Drink: for cultural (the 60s!  the 70s!) montages

Take a Drink: whenever somebody pushes the envelope even further

Take a Drink: for the trappings of fame

Do a Shot: for Momma Harding.  Damn, she’s awesome.

Do a Shot: for bolt chopping

Community Review

How many beers do you recommend for this movie?
1 Beer! A Toast! Great Movie!2 Beers! Good Movie!3 Beers! Okay Movie!4 Beers! Mediocre Movie!5 Beers! Awful Movie!6-Pack! Bad movie! Do not be Sober!

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Movie Review

By: Henry J. Fromage (Two Beers) –

This Wednesday, on their 19th day of climbing, Tommy Campbell and Kevin Jorgeson summitted the Dawn Wall of Yosemite’s imposing and iconic El Capitan.  Oh, and they did it free climbing, aka using only the strength of their own hands and feet, with ropes only serving as a safety precaution. The 3,000 feet ascent in this manner was considered impossible by many, and perhaps the most difficult climb ever accomplished by not a few.

El-Capitan-Dawn-Wall

You don’t say…

Valley Uprising tells the story of their forbears, the Yosemite climbers  who’ve paved the trail for them for 60 years, as well as the modern generation who carry that torch and have expanded those boundaries- pushing them in exhilarating and terrifying ways.

A Toast

This documentary is on the surface a history of American rock climbing, particularly in the place where it all began, and which still reigns as the ultimate testing ground for greatness in the sport- Yosemite National Park.  Its sheer granite walls, particularly the iconic Half Dome and the even more imposing El Capitan, have drawn thrill-seekers and visionaries for over half a century, and Valley Uprising interviews almost everyone who was anyone in that scene.

Directors Peter Mortimer, Nick Rosen, and Josh Lowell set an energetic, always engaging pace, tracing the evolution of the movement from Royal Robbins and Warren Harding’s vertical trailblazing and imagination-capturing rivalry to Jim Bridwell’s mountain climbing clan The Stonemasters…

pot-plane-yosemite

Who lived up to that name in a couple of ways.

… to the ways their legacy continues, from contemporary Lynn Hill’s incredible free climb of El Capitan’s nose to how it inspired the modern day Stone Monkeys to redefine the limits of their sport in ways unimaginable to its founders.  Or me, for that matter…

Nononono

The directors bring a fair dash of style to their telling of the tale as well, in particular the interesting, ingeniously editing technique they employ to enliven old photographs, giving them depth and movement.  This, the interviews, and the bevy of source material really give life to these exceptional individuals, and the exceptional cinematography does the same for the extraordinary place that lies at the center of their universe.

Beer Two

Valley Uprising does get a bit broad and cutesy with its “cheeky” visual and a few cheesy photo effects.  Many of these jokes still land on their feet, but others… land flat.  That final FreeBase stunt was totally staged, too (but still pretty badass).

richard-pryor-freebase

It’ll set your fro on fire… metaphorically speaking.

Verdict

Valley Uprising may be a documentary, but it’ll steal your breath quicker than the Hamburglar in a Grade D beef factory.  Stunning film about a group of stunning people in a location that is the very definition of the word.

a2Beers

About Henry J. Fromage

Movieboozer is a humor website and drinking games are intended for entertainment purposes only, please drink responsibly.

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