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DVD Shopping Bag: The Grey and Neeson

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DVD Shopping Bag: The Grey and Neeson

Exorcising demons

By Robert T. Trate     May 15, 2012
Source: Mania.com

Does Joe Carnahan’s (A-Team) The Grey really constitute as a genre title for Mania? I knew the film was about a man (Liam Neeson) who leads a group of plane crash victims on a trek of survival. They are then hunted by wolves for no other reason than they are in the wolves’ hunting grounds. Does this constitute a genre title? I believe it does. It is a tale of survival and with any movie that has the “what would you do?” scenario it easily makes it a title worthy of Mania’s recognition. 

Neeson plays a professional marksmen and hunter named Ottway. He is hired by a big time oil company to provide protection to oil riggers working the Alaskan pipe line. Ottway’s has his demons which are revealed in a letter he is writing to a woman. Her identity and relationship is not revealed at first. All we know is that she is no longer with Ottway. Indeed his life is so bleak that he rests his hand upon a wolf he just shot merely to feel the creature’s last breath. That evening Ottway sticks his own gun in his mouth. Pulled back from the brink, he doesn’t go through with it. Memories of a poem his father wrote are constantly bring him back from the edge. 

The Poem:
Once more into the fray
Into the last good fight I'll ever know
Live and die on this day
Live and die on this day

On his way back to civilization we see Ottway interact with his co-workers as they get ready for their flight. This a collection of rough and tough men who just survived the brutal winter and harsh working conditions. This isn’t an ill equipped, though in great shape, soccer team. No, it is a collection of rough, tough guys who just worked a bleak winter in northern Alaska. When the plane does go down, we immediately witness one of the most brutal, if not most beautiful (cinematic-wise), plane crashes ever shot. Carnahan takes you right into the heart of the destruction and chaos from Ottway’s point of view. This technique is used again in the film for an entirely different sequence yet delivers all the same. 

Ottway quickly takes charge of the group as the only hunter in the lot. What builds next is a creepy scenario where the wolves start to pick off the survivors one by one. Without ruining the plot or the order in which the characters fall, The Grey delivers on the story it sets out to tell. However, it is Neeson that makes me see the film in a different light. 

It is well known that Liam Neeson lost his wife Natasha Richardson in 2009. Since then his film choices have not been those of the Liam Neeson of old. The Academy Award nominated actor has turned to the likes of the A-Team, Battleship, and Clash of Titans. You could make the argument that he is a working actor and just going where the work is. However, in The Grey I saw something more. This particular film offered more than just a role for Neeson to play. It offered him a chance to exorcise some demons. In watching the film it might have hit very close to home for Neeson. I applaud Carnahan for getting Neeson in this role and Neeson for tackling the subject matter. This is one of those rare movies when an actor can truly draw from within and deliver more than just a performance.  

The Grey is an interesting film that combines many elements that made Alive and Lee Tamahori’s The Edge so appealing. It is Neeson’s show and worth the one-time watch.

Top 5 Picks of the Week:

1. The Grey (Two-Disc Combo Pack: Blu-ray + DVD + Digital Copy + UltraViolet)
2. Butch Cassidy & Sundance Kid / Comancheros [Blu-ray]
3. Spaghetti Western Double Feature - Grand Duel & Keoma - Blu-ray
4. Being John Malkovich (The Criterion Collection) [Blu-ray]
5. Chronicle (Two-Disc Blu-ray/DVD Combo +Digital Copy)

ACTION / ADVENTURE / KUNG FU/ THRILLERS / WESTERNS

Afghan Luke Starring Nick Stahl, Stephen Lobo, Ali Liebert and Nicolas Wright

Butch Cassidy & Sundance Kid / Comancheros [Blu-ray] Starring Robert Redford, Paul Newman, Henry Jones

Chain Reaction / Entrapment / Phone Booth Starring Colin Farrell, Kiefer Sutherland, Forest Whitaker

Chained: Code 207 Starring Tino Struckmann, Jill Headrick, Jack Dimich

Eagle's Wing Starring Martin Sheen, Sam Waterston, Harvey Keitel

The Grey (Two-Disc Combo Pack: Blu-ray + DVD + Digital Copy + UltraViolet) Starring Liam Neeson and Dermot Mulroney

The Grey Starring Liam Neeson and Dermot Mulroney

In the Name of the King / Kingdom of Heaven Starring Orlando Bloom, Eva Green, Liam Neeson and Jason Statham

Max Payne / Hitman Starring Timothy Olyphant, Dougray Scott, Olga Kurylenko

Mercenary for Justice / Death Warrant / Missing Starring Jean-Claude Van Damme, Robert Guillaume, Cynthia Gibb

The Odessa File [Blu-ray] Starring Jon Voight and Maximilian Schell

The Order [Blu-ray] Starring Jean-Claude Van Damme, Charlton Heston and Sofia Milos

Rampart Starring Woody Harrelson, Robin Wright, Steve Buscemi

Rampart [Blu-ray] Starring Woody Harrelson, Robin Wright, Steve Buscemi

Resistance [Blu-ray] (2012)

Riders Of The Desert Starring Bob Steele, Al St John, George Gabby Hayes

Romancing the Stone / Jewel of the Nile [Blu-ray] Starring Michael Douglas

Spaghetti Western Double Feature - Grand Duel & Keoma - Blu-ray Starring Lee Van Cleef and Franco Nero

Terminal Velocity [Blu-ray] Starring Charlie Sheen, Nastassja Kinski and James Gandolfini

Toll Of The Desert Starring Fred Kohler Jr

Transporter / Transporter 2 [Blu-ray] Starring Jason Statham, Qi Shu, Matt Schulze and Amber Valletta

Wages Of Sin Starring Travis Quentin Young, Lauren Martin and Katharine Everett

Walking Tall: The Trilogy [Blu-ray] Starring Joe Don Baker and Bo Svenson

The Walking Tall Trilogy Starring Joe Don Baker and Bo Svenson

The Woman Knight of Mirror Lake (Blu-ray/DVD Combo) Starring Kevin Cheng, Pat Ha and Huang Yi

ANIME

Book of Bantorra Collection 1 (2012)

Cat Planet Cuties (Asobi Ni Iku Yo!) - Complete Series (Blu-ray/DVD Combo) Starring Tia Ballard, Aaron Dismuke, Jamie Marchi

D Grayman - The Complete Second Season S.A.V.E. Starring Todd Haberkorn, Luci Christian and Travis Willingham

Fantastic Adventures of Unico (2012)

Unico in the Island of Magic (2012)

CARTOONS

Aaahh!!! Real Monsters: Season Two Starring Charles Adler, Christine Cavanaugh and David Eccles

Scooby-Doo: 13 Spooky Tales Around the World

CLASSICS

Grey Vulture (Silent) (1926) / California In '49 (Silent) (1924) Starring Ken Maynard, Neva Gerber and Edmund Cobb

Romance in Manhattan Starring Ginger Rogers, Francis Lederer and Arthur Hohl

Patton / Longest Day / Sand Pebbles / Tora Tora [Blu-ray] Starring Joseph Cotten, E.G. Marshall, Martin Balsam and So Yamamura

COMEDY AND LOVE Mania Style

Kevin Smith Triple Feature (Clerks / Chasing Amy / Jay and Silent Bob Strike Back) [Blu-ray] (2012)

Kevin Smith Triple Feature (Clerks / Chasing Amy / Jay and Silent Bob Strike Back) Starring Jason Mewes, Ben Affleck and Joey Lauren Adams

Criterion Collection

Being John Malkovich (The Criterion Collection) [Blu-ray] Starring John Malkovich, John Cusack, Cameron Diaz

Being John Malkovich (Criterion Collection) Starring John Malkovich, Cameron Diaz, John Cusack

HORROR

The Devil Inside Starring Fernanda Andrade and Simon Quarterman

Mortuary Starring Christopher George, Bill Paxton and Katarina Leigh Waters

MODERN CLASSICS on BLU-RAY

1900 (Three-Disc Collector's Edition) [Blu-ray] Starring Robert De Niro, Gerard Depardieu, Dominique Sanda

D.O.A. [Blu-ray] Starring Dennis Quaid, Meg Ryan and Daniel Stern

New York Stories [Blu-ray] Starring Woody Allen, Rosanna Arquette, Mia Farrow and Nick Nolte

White Squall [Blu-ray] Starring Jeff Bridges, Caroline Goodall and John Savage

SCIENCE FICTION / FANTASY

Chronicle Starring Michael B. Jordan and Michael Kelly

Chronicle (Two-Disc Blu-ray/DVD Combo +Digital Copy) Starring Michael B. Jordan and Michael Kelly

Day After Tomorrow / Jumper Starring Dennis Quaid, Jake Gyllenhaal, Emmy Rossum and Dash Mihok

Fantastic Four / Fantastic Four: Rise of Silver [Blu-ray] Starring Ioan Gruffudd, Michael Chiklis, Chris Evans

Independence Day / Day the Earth Stood Still Starring Will Smith, Bill Pullman, Jeff Goldblum and Mary McDonnell

Predator / Predator 2 [Blu-ray] Starring Arnold Schwarzenegger, Carl Weathers, Kevin Peter Hall

TV LAND

Flashpoint: The Fourth Season Starring Mark Taylor, Hugh Dillon, Amy Jo Johnson

Hell On Wheels - The Complete First Season Starring Anson Mount, Common, Colm Meaney and Wes Studi

Riverboat: The Complete Series - 44 Episodes! Starring Darren McGavin, Burt Reynolds, Noah Beery Jr.


Robert Trate writes three weekly columns for Mania: the DVD Shopping Bag, the Toy Maniac, and The Geek Life. Follow Robert on Twitter for his for Geek ramblings, Cosplay photos and film criticisms.

COMMENTS AND RESPONSES

Showing items 1 - 4 of 4
1 
jedibanner 5/15/2012 5:16:53 AM

Super great film The Grey....until the last 3 minutes of the movie: Crap Crap Crap.

jppintar326 5/15/2012 5:47:25 AM

It is very possible that Liam Neeson needs to work because if he stays home, he will be reminded of the fact that his wife is dead.  I don't think it is a coincidence that he has been working nonstop since his wife died.  Hopefully, he will be able to eventually move on from his loss and start to live again.

Wiseguy 5/15/2012 6:21:09 AM

Good point as far as Liam's personal life and the movie, never really thought about it.

jppintar  good point too, it seems like he's been working non-stop since that freak accident claimed his wife. Hopefully it isn't related but he wouldn't be the first actor to stay busy. I remeber the great Gene Hackman before retiring and SL Jackson is another that just stays busy

With The Grey I have a moral dilemma so it'll never be in my dvd collection

Wyldstaar 5/16/2012 8:07:54 PM

I hadn't heard about Neeson's wife.  Very sad, but he shouldn't have any trouble attracting the ladies.  The impressive size of Liam Neeson's c0ck is the worst kept secret in Hollywood.  There is even a tumblr site dedicated to jokes regarding it, originating from a regular segment on Kevin Smith's Hollywood Babble-On weekly podcast.  Every week they end the podcast with a dozen or so of them.  If people are going to tell jokes about you on a weekly basis no matter what, this is the way to go.

Example: 

Liam Neeson’s cock is so big. George Lucas came up with the THX sound after a drunk Liam pulled down his pants at a party.

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