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The Crash Reel. Wish everyone could have his attitude

The Crash Reel

$7.99


The Crash Reel opens in theaters on December 13.

It's clear that the household names we see plastered across TV screens, clothing, and video game covers face a unique interior struggle, one compounded by industry pressure and an intensified training regime. And in the first few minutes of Lucy Walker's HBO documentary, "The Crash Reel," we watch the formation on two of those thrill-seekers—snowboarders Kevin Pearce and —in a stunning mosaic of event, cellphone, and home video footage.

It's clear that the household names we see plastered across TV screens, clothing, and video game covers face a unique interior struggle, one compounded by industry pressure and an intensified training regime. And in the first few minutes of Lucy Walker's HBO documentary, "The Crash Reel," we watch the formation on two of those thrill-seekers—snowboarders Kevin Pearce and —in a stunning mosaic of event, cellphone, and home video footage.

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"The Crash Reel" is not an arduous day-to-day account of Kevin's recovery, which slowly progresses over the course of years in movement and speech; nor is it tethered to the minutiae of snowboarders' lives and their medical battles. Instead, the film succeeds by honing in on questions of independence, safety, and familial support: Should Kevin's family stand behind him as his motor abilities return along with his passion to compete? Or should they side against their son with the doctors, who continually exhibit scans of Kevin's brain and warn against another fall?

"The Crash Reel" is not an arduous day-to-day account of Kevin's recovery, which slowly progresses over the course of years in movement and speech; nor is it tethered to the minutiae of snowboarders' lives and their medical battles. Instead, the film succeeds by honing in on questions of independence, safety, and familial support: Should Kevin's family stand behind him as his motor abilities return along with his passion to compete? Or should they side against their son with the doctors, who continually exhibit scans of Kevin's brain and warn against another fall?