February 13th, 2012 (Valentine’s Day edition)

So Saturday night, I was looking to get out and see a movie in the theatre.  The first thought was Mission Impossible but it did not work out.  Then it was Safe House with Denzel Washington, but it ended up being Sold Out!   That does not happen very often these days.   So I ended up seeing The Grey, with Liam Neeson.
Neeson seems to be in every other movie these days.  I guess the loss of your Wife can bring you to dive back deep into your work.
I came out of the theatre here thinking that I cannot remember feeling colder at the end of a film.  Colder, that’s right.  Here is a movie set up in the north.  It’s not specified where.  If you ever watch these reality shows about flying in the north you can relate to Neeson and some collegues flying on their way to Ankorage AK.  On the way, the plane goes down and then the survivors then have to deal with the elements and how to survive.  The largest of the problems seems to be this local band of wolves who takes interest in this group.   That essentially is the story.  It is well told.  You certainly get a sense of the surroundings and the elements and the atmosphere.  I am in the middle of reading the classic sci-fi book Dune, and there you had to deal with the elements of oppressive sun and a lack of water.  But the key was the right equipment and being smart as to how you moved.   Here with few resources from the crashed plane, then you are dealing with your wits.  Query whether ever leaving the semi-shelter of an aircraft is a good idea.
The wind, the snow, the deep snow, the cold, the lack of heat and appropriate clothing all gave this a look and feel like Fargo.  Desolation.  Isolation.  In the face of a natural predator who has no fear of you, and is part of a larger pack that doesn’t have to sleep.   You do.   There are elements here of fighting for a life that on your own you were willing to walk away from.   But ultimately it’s a question of survival and getting through the elements.   It was good to see and Neeson has that toughness and ruggedness that this role demands.   It would have been an exhausting film shoot, especially the on location shots .   Technically sound, a movie that gives you a sense of what it’s like.  The sounds of the aircraft accident are startling.   It seems that Hollywood seems to be perfecting over the years the look and feel of an airplane crash.   This is not Airport ’75.   Nor is it Fearless, which did a good job with Jeff Bridges or even Tom Hanks in Cast Away with his Fed Ex jet.  For me on a plane, I am looking at the flight attendants and when they start to grab on or look nervous then I know something is up.   I have not to date.  But here was a seemingly realistic sight and sound experience of a plane going down.  There are certain moments where characters here do things where you think “you just sealed your fate”.   In the end it killed a couple hours.  It was well filmed.  You don’t get to know the characters all that well, as they are bundled up and bloodied but you will wonder about whether the people who didn’t survive the crash were perhaps a little better off!

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