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TV show review: CONTINUUM season 4

THE GREY (2012) Blu-ray/ DVD combo

Review by David Blackwell


DETAILS:  118 minutes, audio commentary, 7 deleted scenes, digital copy, DVD

VIDEO:  2.40:1 (Anamorphic Widescreen) 1080p High-Definition

AUDIO:  English 5.1 DTS-MA HD (Blu-ray), English 5.1 Dolby Digital (DVD), English 2.0 Dolby Digital (extras)

Subtitles:  English SDH, French, Spanish


STUDIO:  Open Road Films/ Scott Free/ Liddell Entertainment/ Universal Studios Home Entertainment

Theatrical RELEASE DATE:  1-27-2012

Blu-ray/ DVD RELEASE DATE:  5-15-2012


John Ottway (Liam Nesson) is a hunter in Alaska who protects people working at an oil rig from wolves.  Ottway writes a final letter to his wife Ana before planning to commit suicide.  For whatever reason, he doesn't go through with the act.   He gets on a plane with other people from the oil rig.   On their way back, their plane crashes.  Ottway and six survivors from the crash start a journey across the snow in the middle of the Alaskan wilderness as they must protect themselves from a wolf pack that wants to pick them off one by one.   If they don't make it out, it will be either the weather or the wolves that will get them.


THE GREY is a suspenseful tale of survival with a philosophical bent.  The wilderness is beautiful and yet deadly.   The group has the weather and wolves to protect themselves from.  Liam Nesson digs into the character of Ottway who has given up on life and no hope of a future.  He is a tired man who sees nothing ahead of him.   This latest struggle gives him new life as he wants the other survivors to make it.   We get to know each survivor in what could be their last moments.   Each attack by the weather or the wolves is brief and mainly director Joe Carnahan shows the beginning of an attack to leave the rest to our imaginations.   A poem that Ottway's father wrote reinforces the themes of survival and living life like it is the first and last day.   


The score is beautiful and connects with the quiet moments that Ottway experiences during the film and lets us focus on Ottway.   The film moves back and forth between the memories of his wife and what may be his last moments.   The memory he keeps seeing in his head while awake or dreaming reveals more as the film goes on.  You find out why he can't go back to he rand why they're apart.  THE GREY also raises the question on whether memories of a loved one means you are about to die as they grow more vivid.   THE GREY is a haunting meditation on survival and life and death.   I'm still split on how the movie just stops (and even teases further with a brief scene at the end of the credits).  The trailers even give more of a glimpse into part of the ending not in the final film.  The ending may not satisfy everyone while others say it perfectly reflects the meaning of the poem Ottway recites in the film.   Regardless of your feelings for the ending, THE GREY is near perfect.



The audio commentary with Co-Writer/ Director Joe Carnahan and his two film editors (Roger Barton and Jason Hellman) for the film includes an explanation of why the movie ended the way it did because Joe Carnahan felt the movie should have ended that way despite filming a final confrontation scene in several different ways (which none of those versions are included in the deleted scenes sadly and neither are the trailers which included part of that version of the ending).  


The seven deleted scenes include some additional character bits which are interesting to watch, but their inclusion could have slowed down the film.   Also included is the DVD version of the movie in standard definition and a code to download and stream a digital copy of the film.


FINAL ANALYSIS:   THE GREY is an interesting man against nature in this philosophical survival movie.   The ending still has me on the fence about whether I like it or not, but the extra scene at the end of the credits does make me feel a little bit better.


This review is (c)5-18-2012 David Blackwell and cannot be reprinted without permission.  Send all comments to feedback@enterline-media.com