The Grey

Hey Everyone!

With my now ample free time, I’ve decided to begin a movie review blog, complete with a rating system and rubric, and comments/suggestions section for those who want to suggest past movies to review. I would prefer if these movies were still in the theater, but I’ll review any film that readers of this blog suggest and give my two cents.

My credentials:

I just graduated from ASU last fall with a degree in Film and Media Production, and am an avid moviegoer and purveyor of film. I hope this blog falls on enough common ground to appeal to everyone, but beyond that, it’s just my voice and opinion anyway.

In Each Review:

Each week I will post at least 1 review of a film that is still in the theaters, and give it a rating based on five different categories.

The categories that I’ll rate the movies in are:

1. Visual (Cinemtography, framing, lighting, etc)
2. Audio (Music, sound effects, quality, and more)
3. Acting (Performance, Chemistry, Range, etc)
4. Effects (Digital and special effects throughout)
5. Story (Plot, development, characters, etc)

Each one of these categories will be awarded either 1, 1/2, or 0 stars, for a grand possible total of… 5 stars!

I will also provide a synopsis of the film, and a brief description of why I decided on each grade, but beyond that, it’s really just a matter of taste, so feel free to disagree with me. In fact, I encourage the inevitable discourse, and will gladly adjust my rating if a reader goes so far as to convince me of their opinion.

So check it out!

This weeks review: THE GREY

This film is both good and bad for a multitude of reasons. The basic plot revolves around a group of oil drilling rough necks who survive a plane crash. They then face the harsh elements of the frozen Alaskan wilderness, and the even more impending peril of being eaten alive by a pack of hungry wolves that hunt and prey on the survivors throughout the remainder of the film. The men attempt to work through their differences and get to know each other as they make their best effort to make it back to civilization, against the odds.

The bottom line is, if you’re not a film student, movie buff, or a HUGE fan of Liam Neeson, who plays the main character John Ottway, you probably won’t enjoy this movie. If you do end up seeing it, you HAVE to stay through the entire credits. I know that seems like a chore to a great many movie goers these days, but it’s worth it if you catch the hidden motif in the beginning of the film. After all that, I gave this movie 3 out of 5 Stars.

Because:

1. Visual: Visually this movie was breathtaking. Every other shot looked like a desktop wallpaper, and I was completely drawn into the plot because of the elaborate use of space and implied depth that the locations provided. The framing and lighting were excellent and added to the believability of the overall story. One full star for Visual!

2. Audio: The music and sound effects were quite good throughout, and a few, more sublte, audio techniques were used to pull the audience in and out of specific moments. Even with all the styized devices, the audio lacked in a few key moments, and inevitablly detracted from the dramatic tension. 1/2 of a star for Audio

3. Acting: The acting and casting was mediocre at best. Beyond the character of Ottway, played by Neeson, no other actor performed convincingly enough for me to believe that they were in harms way. Each character responded to the scenario that they were presented with in a predictable fashion, but a true lack of emotion prevailed, making Ottway the only real person on the set, which was not enough. 1/2 of a star in Acting.

4. Effects: The effects were also of a mid-grade quality.  Many times, watching the wolves attack or hunt the straggling crew, it was obvious that they were computer generated, which took me out of the story somewhat. The effects of the plane crashing were moderately convincing, and earned this film another 1/2 of one star.

5. Story: The structure of the plot was intense and realistic to a fault. Constantly, I found myself rooting for the survival of a crew member that simply could not survive. The reality of this fact added to the impact and message of the film, which was clear and simple in it’s own way: The will to survive is sometimes not enough. As previously mentioned, if you decide to see this movie, it is in your best interest to stay until the final credits have rolled. Although depending on how closely you watch the beginning, you may still be dissapointed.

All in all this film is worth watching, maybe skip the theaters though. Netflix or Red-box it at your leisure, but that’s just my opinion. My favorite part was the plane crash, which had some really well done moments. That was one of the most intensely depicted airplane crashes I’ve ever seen! Awesome stuff. After that the movie drags to an eventual standstill, and is somewhat anti climatic. THE GREY is not for children, not a date movie, and definitely not a film I’ll see again in the theaters.

Thanks for reading this review! Questions, comments, suggestions, and so forth are welcome and encouraged. Follow this blog for a review of SAFE HOUSE with Denzel Washington, coming soon!

-Neal

IMDB Info Available Here: http://www.imdb.com/title/tt1601913/

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