Free Solo The Movie

The world is full of exceptional people. These people do things in a way the rest of us think are a little crazy. Some of them are crazy in business, like Bill Gates or Steve Jobs. Some are crazy in science like Einstien or Feynman. Some are crazy athletes like Sean White or Tony Hawk. Alex Honnold is one of those “crazy” people, and he is crazy about his Free Solo climbing.

I climb, but I wouldn’t call myself a climber. Still, I know enough to appreciate what Honnold did here as incredible. I don’t however think of Honnold as insane. He’s accomplishments are audacious, and unbelievable, and in my mind crazy awesome, but he himself does not appear overly crazy to me. In his ted talk he explains how he got the point where he was comfortable attempting the El Cap climb.


Along with epic photography, this movie tells the story of Honnold and how he got the point he was at when he decided to climb Freeride Free Solo. His family dynamic, his relationships, his training and his life. Alex has a very quirky sense of humor, which I find very funny.

This movie is inspirational and well done. Seeing someone go for their exceptional goal has inspired me to rededicate myself to my personal goals. No, I don’t have a crazy free solo goal, and I do have some climbing goals, more of my goals are associated with acro, photography, and sharing more insights here.

While quite awesome, the movie left me with one question: it mentions Freerider as the obvious choice for Honnold’s Free Solo route. I’m naive and just don’t know why it’s the obvious route. Is it because of the name? Is it because it is the easiest route up El Cap? As someone with just enough climbing knowledge, I wish the movie had answered that question.

I wish Honnold the best, and personally hope he sticks to more roped climbs in the future, but I also hope he follows his heart. Can’t wait to see what Jimmy Chin and company shoot next!

Hack Day: Hackers

Today is hack day at work. In honor of that I’ve started listening to a shared playlist on Apple Music containing the original soundtrack from the 1995 film Hackers. This movie changed my life. I remember when I first saw it. I was in my best friend’s house, I was 11 or so. We were in an upstairs room because that was where the TV was. I don’t think I got to see the whole thing, but the little I did see captured me.

My best friend was a super athlete and I was super not.

Hackers was a movie about a bunch of intellectual kids using their intellect for good. This made me believe there was more to this world than just being a good athlete. It made me believe that we all provide value. That I could provide value with my mind.

I don’t know if I would have ended up in this career path in other ways, but Hackers was definitely a motivating factor for choosing engineering in college.

The movie keeps up. I usually watch it at least once a year (which means I’ve probably seen it more than 20 times) and I always enjoy. What I had forgotten about was the soundtrack. Today I put it on while I was coding and it was really great. I forgot about Prodigy and some of the other bands on the album.

If you remember the movie, maybe you should consider picking up the album and re-listening as well!

Review: Fired Up!

This is the new cheerleading movie about two football players who give up football camp for cheerleading camp to try and hook up with cheerleaders. Bottom line, not a great movie, wasn’t expecting much out of it, so wasn’t too disappointed. What frustrates me is that the joke content is very young, but the visual content is somewhat sexually inappropriate. That didn’t make for a great combination for me. That being said, there were a few funny lines and a ton of throwbacks to my childhood cheerleading experiences. The vote 3 on the Tubbs scale.

“Live Free or Die Hard”

I saw the new movie “Live Free or Die Hard” the other day, and I wanted to speak some praise about it. As I’ve gotten older I have become more of an action junkie, and this movie fit that mold perfectly. Bruce Willis was really great. I had been afraid from the commercials that he wasn’t going to act like the same character in the other Die Hard movies, but in the end he played it great.

What a shock Justin Long played a computer guy. He is probably most famous for his appearances in Apple Inc.’s Television commercials. I was very excited to see that he was using an Apple monitor at his apartment (in the beginning). Other than Dodgeball I have not really seen him in a heavy acting roll. I’m quite pleased to say that he was really great at his roll.

One last mention, Timothy Olyphant was the major bad guy. You might remember him from Gone in 60 Seconds. He plays a very computer savvy villian, and he does it well.

Alright, skip this next bit if you haven’t seen the movie and want to be surprised. The technology in the movie was a little far fetched, though it does make you think how much we do invest in our current technology. Why you would bring a PDA to hack a network, or monitor something is beyond me. If you had unlimited resources (which the bad guys clearly did) wouldn’t you just get ultralight laptops? They would be quicker to set up and use. Oh well, I guess it is just a movie.

Conclusion: Good movie, worth the watch. Take a chance if you have the time.