Jazz, film, and improvised culture.
14 Minutes from Earth: The Google Executive Who Fell to Earth
Republic Studios’ “Zombies of the Stratosphere” spent more time underwater than
within the second layer of the Earth’s atmosphere, probably because it was
easier to get and stay beneath the ocean. Few people have logged any time to
speak of in the stratosphere, thereby giving it a certain cachet among
daredevils. However, only a google executive could afford the sort
technological breakthroughs required to set a new stratospheric skydive record
and be lucid enough to appreciate doing it. Alan Eustace’s team will pull some
long hours to send him up and bring him back down safely in Adam “Tex” Davis,
Jerry Kolber, Trey Nelson & Erich Sturm’s 14 Minutes from Earth (trailer here), which releases
today on VOD.
in case you did not make the connection, Eustace’s colleagues remind you his
scientifically significant feat of daring reflects google values. Does that
mean he let China censor his team’s websites? Regardless, Eustace had a notion
to break Felix Baumgartner’s record-setting skydive, utilizing a hot air
balloon to take him higher into the stratosphere.
and others argue there is much to be learned observing the stratosphere in the
flesh, but it is never made clear what discoveries Eustace made during his
climatic dive, if any. However, it seems pretty clear the spill-over benefits
of the technology developed for the endeavor are considerable. For instance,
Eustace commissioned the first redesigned American-made space suit in decades.
Eustace’s stratospheric jump represented a mid-life crisis, at least it
employed a lot of people and contributed to our nearly comatose space program.
However, the four-man battery of co-directors have crafted a blandly pedestrian
work of cinema. Frankly, the film looks like cobbled together cable news
channel reports, using a generic radio announcer voice to glue it all together.
The self-serving google shout-outs also get old quickly. Granted, Davis, etc.,
etc., had tremendous access that allowed them to capture some very scary
near-disasters on film. Yet, they are presented in a frustratingly dull
If in the future, we’re all living in floating
apartment buildings in the stratosphere, Eustace will be one of the people we
have to thank. However, very few people will remember his vanilla documentary.
It is just too easy to believe the doc was
produced by a committee of cooks. Only recommended for voracious extreme
skydiving fans, 14 Minutes from Earth is
now available on VOD platforms, including iTunes.
Labels: Documentary, VOD