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The Walk

I love seeing movies at the real IMAX. For this particular theater, it's not just the giant screen (although that's the main draw), but the one I go to is within a furniture store, so the temperpedic seats are usually worth the trip themselves. Add in the state of the art screen (which just got upgraded) and sound (included speakers in the seats) and this theater is my absolute favorite. I don't go as often as I used to (time was, I'd go to the midnight showings here for all the big movies), but I do like to find excuses to do so every now and then. The excuse this time was simply because my movie buddy and I used to go there all the time, and it had been a while since the last one. Plus, the timing worked out perfectly. From all the movies I've seen there, this is possibly the one that was best suited for the format. If you take away nothing else from this post, it's that if you want to see this movie, you should try to see it in IMAX 3D if possible.

Joseph Gordon-Levitt (who I've been a fan of for ages) stars as Philipe Petit, a real life tightrope walker who in the 70's strung a high wire between the twin towers, and walked it. This was also the subject of the Oscar winning documentary Man on Wire a couple years back. I'll admit, that I was skeptical about how it'd work as a feature (not that I've seen the doc, although now I'm kinda interested...as I pause to quickly add it to my wish list). The subject seemed to narrow to me. I just didn't realize what a HUGE undertaking it all was for Petit.

You see, the movie isn't just about the walk itself. That's just the payoff for all the hard work. We see him first fall in love with the high wire, and all the sacrifices he made for his training. He has a couple of smaller scale, but still epic, stunt events before he sets his eyes on the towers. Once he does, that's what his life revolves around. There was so much planning that went into it, since before he could walk the wire, he had to first install it. No easy task. He worked for months trying to get all the pieces in place, and that ordeal fascinated me. Making it even better, Gordon-Levitt wasn't just giving voice over narration. We'd cut back and forth from the story to him addressing the camera and the audience as he told his story. It added a tone of playfulness that brought so much joy.

And oh my God, the effects were awesome. The reason I say that you should experience it in IMAX 3D if at all possible was because it really pulled you into Petit's perspective. The camera would race up and down the sides of the towers, and I swear it gave me vertigo at times. Director Robert Zemeckis' goal was to make you feel like you're taking that walk with him, and on that front, it was a success. Plus, there was a little of the gimmicky 3D effects that I love and rarely get to see anymore, where objects would jump out at you. Several times I gave a slight scream while ducking down in my seat before realizing what had happened. You just don't get such an immersive film experience that often.

So needless to say, this movie surprised me in so many happy ways that I would not have expected. JGL has such a natural charisma that just elevated everything. I don't often leave a film with such an uplifting bouncy joy, but that's exactly what happened. The perfect mood for singing along with the ipod on the long drive back.

The Walk - \m/ \m/ \m/ \m/
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