4 of 7 people found the following review helpful
One of the best of 2011 and a superb BluRay,
This review is from: The Grey [Blu-ray] (Blu-ray)There are plenty of survival movies out there. Some are good, many are bad, but if there's one thing that unites them is that it's an often familiar scenario. Is there much that hasn't been done in this genre? Perhaps not, but The Grey's real strength lies in the fact that whilst the setting isn't anything new, the execution feels unique and fresh which elevates this far beyond the average.
Joe Carnahan is probably best known for The A Team, but don't let that put you off. Look a little further back and you'll see that the fantastic Narc also sits on his CV. And The Grey is very much Narc rather than his recent disposable action-movie fodder.
Liam Neeson is living a depressing existence in an unnamed wilderness, working for a petroleum company and protecting the workers from the local wildlife. Within 10 minutes of the movie opening we see him on a plane shipping out for a break, before all hell breaks loose. Cue a spectacular scene which finds Neeson waking up in sub zero temperatures and covered in snow, surrounded by bleak, cold wilderness and just six other survivors for company.
That's all I'll say on the plot, because I think the less you know the better (in this case). What I will say, however, is that The Grey is a spectacular piece of film-making. The script is excellent as are the performances, and where I initially found myself rolling my eyes at the "stock" extras, this soon changed - the characters really develop as the film moves at a pace. A desperate, haunting atmosphere pervades the whole film, no doubt supported by the amazing cinematography and an equally impressive soundscape, and I found myself on the edge of my seat throughout the duration, constantly thinking "how are they ever going to get out of this?"
In terms of the Blu-Ray...awesome. The video presentation is top notch and while there is a heavy veil of grain in many of the scenes, it's wonderfully cinematic. To pre-empt those reviews which will complain about picture quality, please be aware that this is exactly how the director intended the film to look. It's detailed but rough, but this doesn't make it a poor bluray in any way shape or form!
The real standout on the Blu-Ray is the audio. A reference quality soundtrack through and through, it really puts you in the middle of the film. Surrounds are active and everything is well prioritised. Dialogue is actually slightly recessed meaning you sometimes need to concentrate to hear what the actors are saying, especially when the surrounds are howling with the wind and snow...but I believe this is deliberate and as such it works.
The dynamic range is very wide, and the contrast between quieter moments of reflection are brutally punctured by the harsh environment and events. It's one to make you jump occasionally, and certainly grin that you invested in a surround system :)
So, an accomplished thriller, familiar in scenario but unique in execution. And a first class BluRay to boot. What's not to like? A solid 5 stars...
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Initial post: 21 May 2012 17:48:53 BDT
Just to add - I've read a couple of other reviews on here since writing the above review, and there are comments about the memory interludes with his wife. Far from being boring and unnecessary, I found these moments add immeasurably to the movie. What we're seeing is him retreating into himself, and dealing with his own grief, and in some cases trying to find a tiny bit of peace when reality is threatening to kill him every waking (and sleeping) minute. The audio and video contrast between these interludes and the howling wind is fantastic. Just imho :)
Posted on 24 May 2012 14:12:52 BDT
paul dunford says:
Like you i thought this movie was fantastic and the blu-ray quality is fantastic and on watching it second time at home i actually got to see the litte bit at the end of the credits which made the film even more worthwhile as it just completes what was a really enjoyable tense and atmospheric movie! Do not understand why people claim its boring or cliche having worked at blockbusters for ten years and seeing over 6000 rentals this was the least cliche movie i have seen in ages good review very acurate
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