Sunday, February 12, 2012

Carnahan's The Grey

Dr Desert Flower and I saw Joe Carnahan's  "The Grey" last night, in a teeny, tiny, little theater that was part of the multiplex in the Scottsdale Fashion Square. The theater might have held 50 people (about 8 rows of 6 seats each, with a few handicapped ADA seating areas in the 'crank your neck WAY BACK' front).  The small "Theater 7" was bout 50% full, mostly couples and families with one or two teenage children.  I'd wanted to see this film from the deluge of previews that Open Road Films blanketed Comedy Central throughout the month of January, as well as Liam Neeson's excellent interview on The Daily Show..  So after a fantastic happy hour at Sophie's Bistro, we headed first to the Biltmore AMC Esplande theaters on Camelback in Eastern Phoenix. 

The AMC Esplande movie complex is silly fiasco we will not attempt gain.  Parking options are Valet, across the street, where you have to then walk through a tunnel under an 8 lane street (Camelback), being accosted by aggressive street musicians and beggars, or parking in a pay garage under the theater ($1 for the first 20 minutes, and another dollar per 20 minutes thereafter), for the privilege of paying $15 a ticket in a theater setting where you can order food and drinks which are served at fatly inflated prices.  Lucky for us, the 6:15pm show for "The Grey" was already sold out when we arrived at 6:19pm, and it cost us a dollar to park, and 20 minutes (and a $1 to park, ugh!) of an otherwise perfect evening, once we navigated down the convoluted scheme of escalators and elevators to get back to the parking garage.

Dr Desert Flower's efficient Job's Device promptly found a 6:45 show at the Scottsdale Mall, about 5 miles away, so we headed directly there with Celeste's top down, got rock star parking, bought Kiosk tickets for $9 each, (instead of waiting in a 50 person line with the rest of Idiocracy at the mall who didn't know how to use Kiosks) and sat down one minute prior to the start of the trailers in the tiny theater.

Now, from the many, many, commercials, you know that this is a movie about a group of people who experience a plane crash in the middle of no-where Alaska, and how they band together to try and survive the frozen arctic environment and the threats posed there.  Carnahan's writing and directing created a powerful story.  Neeson's acting, again superb.  The scenery (filmed around Smither's British Columbia) was breath-taking, and best seen on a LARGE Screen.  Very well done.  Dramatic.  Tense.  Gripping.  Intense.  Driven. Raw.  Desperate.  The ending, at first, left me initially disappointed, but the more I thought about it today, the more I liked it.

This film is not for small children, who will not be able to separate the fictional depiction of wolves from the dramatic story (Prudhoe Bay has no wolves, nor do real North American wolves typically behave in the ways they've been depicted in this film (factual link here), though some Russian Wolves have been documented with similar behaviours).  There were several scenes where I was on the edge of my seat, which rarely happens in movies anymore for me.  An audible SIGH & Groan could be heard around throughout the theater when the details of Ottway's wife's fate are so poignantly yet subtly revealed. 

If you get a chance to see it in the theater, on a large screen, seize the opportunity.  Live or die on this day.


  1. Did you stay to see the last shot after the credits?

  2. No, we left about a minute into the credits. Email me to let me know what it was please.

    1. I found it on youtube... but it doesn't Show what the Spoilers said it shows.. or at least the 3 hand held clips I watched did not have enough resolution to show much of anything.

    2. Was just a couple seconds, the back of the wolf, lying on the ground, and the top of Liam's head, lying on the wolf, both breathing slowly, as with the dying wolf he'd shot near the beginning.

    3. I used the interwebs and found it. He'd either freeze to death there after (being wet), be eaten by the rest of the pack, or, (in character for Liam) become the new alpha wolf & ruler of the arctic tundra! LOL!


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