RETURN TO SPACE – Review by Valerie Kalfrin

Say what you will about Elon Musk (and Twitter on any given day has a lot), but NASA loves the mega-billionaire and founder of SpaceX—and the documentary Return to Space makes it easy to understand why, though it isn’t just a bunch of accolades for Musk. Rather, it captures the suspense and wonder of sending humans into space, giving much of the focus to the astronauts whom SpaceX helped launch again in 2020 after nearly a decade on the ground. By taking viewers on their journey, Return to Earth offers a deeply personal look at why some feel drawn to the stars, how protective they feel toward the Earth, and how, as one person says, people rallying around a project can make magic happen.

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THE RESCUE – Review by Diane Carson

Documentarians Elizabeth Chai Vasarhelyi and Jimmy Chin chronicle the spellbinding, two-week plus, white-knuckle effort to maneuver underwater two kilometers from the cave entrance to the remote chamber where the boys are trapped, with more rain threatening. The best, most experienced British cave divers, Royal Thai Navy SEALS, US Special Forces, an Australian diver/doctor, an array of local support staff from the entire Thai community, and more contributors all come together to face this unprecedented challenge, meaning there was no blueprint for success. In fact, every detail argued against accomplishing their objective, cave diving known as among the most technical and dangerous of all elite athletic endeavors.

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FREE SOLO – Review by Diane Carson

Free Solo is breathtaking and terrifying. Elizabeth Chai Vasarhelyi and Jimmy Chin’s documentary Free Solo profiles Alex Honnold, the climber who admits often considering free climbing El Capitan, Earth’s most impressive, 3200-foot granite wall. But, as Alex repeatedly said to himself, “That’s just too scary.” Nevertheless, he knew he had to attempt it, insane as the idea is because there is zero margin for error.

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