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'Angry Sky' concludes second volume of ESPN's '30 for 30' series

Nick Piantanida, 22, of Brick Township, N.J., poses

Nick Piantanida, 22, of Brick Township, N.J., poses in jumping position on the ground at the Lakewood Sports Parachute Center as he prepares for an attempt to set a world-record high altitude parachute jump from about 130,000 feet, March 30, 1966. Credit: AP

Volume II of ESPN's "30 for 30" documentary series concludes Thursday with the 30th entry in a slate that dates to October of 2012, and also marks the end of HBO-bound Bill Simmons' long association with the franchise.

The honor goes to one of the more unusual films yet: "Angry Sky," which stars a spectacularly stubborn, charismatic, only-in-America New Jersey truck driver named Nick Piantanida.

Piantanida held the record for highest altitude reached in a manned balloon fight for 46 years until Felix Baumgartner surpassed it - and almost broke the Internet in the process - with a spectacular, well-documented skydive in 2012.

Although he did not have access to social media, Piantanida carefully chronicled his efforts as well, giving director Jeff Tremaine plenty of archival footage to work with, supplemented by recreations that range from effective to cheesy.

Piantanida's odyssey moves slowly at times, but stick with it. Nick always did!

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