Tags: Anne Openshaw, BD-Live, D-BOX, Dallas Roberts, Dermot Mulroney, Digital Copy, Frank Grillo, James Badge Dale, Joe Anderson, Joe Carnahan, Liam Neeson, Nonso Anozie, pocketBlu, UltraViolet, Universal
has an average rating of 7.0 on IMDb
1080p in AVC MPEG-4 on a 50gb disc
DTS-HD 5.1 Master Audio
short with some physical bonus material
– 118 minutes
This uses 30.7GB for the movie out of 36.0GB total.
Street Date: May 15th, 2012
Overall Verdict – Great Film / Good Presentation
— Review written by: Justin Sluss —
The Movie Itself was co-wrote & directed by Joe Carnahan who’s previous films included “NARC” from 2002, “Smokin’ Aces” from 2006 and the film adaptation of “The A-Team” from 2010.
The story here focuses on a man working in Alaska for an oil company. His job is to sniper wolves as they try to attack his co-workers working on the oil pipeline and such. He starts out the film by reciting a poem that we later learn his father wrote, that serves (the latter part) as the tagline to the film. The poem is as follows:
“Once more into the fray.
Into the last good fight I’ll know.
Live and die on this day.
Live and die on this day.”
The main character is named “John Ottway” (played by Liam Neeson) and he’s absolutely miserable with his job. He has flashbacks of what we assume to be his wife (played by Anne Openshaw) who he says “left” him. We don’t know if she left him or passed away, we just know how he words it. He’s simply depressed and even sits and writes her a letter one night before he is to leave to Anchorage for a relocation — with the rest of the staff. This leads us to Ottway and the rest of the guys he works with boarding a smaller jet on their trip to Anchorage. Ottway sits down in a row of three seats by himself and tries to re-read over the letter he wrote. He’s quickly bumped into, interrupted and joined in the seat next to him by this annoying guy named “Flannery” who won’t shut up. Eventually Ottway just tells him he’d like to get some peace and quiet as he proceeds to try to sit back and goto sleep. The guy is insulted and gets up switching to a different seat further in the back of the plane. This leaves our main character alone in one row of three seats; something that will soon come to his benefit.
We see some of Ottway’s co-workers joking around and such on the plane as he sleeps. The ride starts to get really bumpy and eventually becomes so intense we see the stewardess try to cover up the front of the plane with a cloth divider. This doesn’t seem to work as the divider comes loose in the bumpy turbulence and such. We see the control panels in the cockpit starting to short circuit and spark. The pilots are struggling to keep the plane in the air. This eventually wakes up Ottway and he looks out the window only to see the wing of the plane coming apart. He unlike the rest of the passengers doesn’t panic. He straps himself down into all three seats with the seat belts and braces for the inevitable crash. We see the plane coming apart, things get very terrifying and then go to black. Next thing he knows he’s going from a dream with his wife laying under a white sheet to being pulled straight out of the dream and realizing that he’s been in a plane crash. He wakes up a good ways from the wreckage of the plane. Ottway begins to approach the plane crash and help any survivors he can find. There are a total of less than ten survivors. The five main survivors other than Ottway include “Diaz” (played by Frank Grillo), “Burke” (played by Nonso Anozie), “Hendrick” (played by Dallas Roberts), “Talget” (played by Dermot Mulroney) and lastly the annoying guy from earlier “Flannery” (played by Joe Anderson).
Ottway continues to look for other survivors and finds another rather large piece of wreckage of the plane burning. He hears a woman (we assume to be the stewardess) crying from the wreckage. He attempts to help her but soon discovers she is being eaten alive by a gray wolf. He tries to stop the wolf but ends up being attacked himself. Lucky for him the other group of survivors come to rescue him and scare the wolf away. It’s after this that our main character Ottway takes charge here, explaining that they are very likely in territory that the wolves have claimed. Earlier he had instructed the other survivors to find materials to start a fire. Once he returns from being attacked by the wolf they manage to build a fire which helps to keep the wolves away. They take turns keeping watch as the others try to get rest. Eventually they realize they’re going to have to go look for shelter as it doesn’t appear any rescue plane or helicopter is going to be searching for them. They pack up their small bit of gear they have, as well as some jet fuel to help start fires and venture out into the frozen wasteland that is Alaska. All along the way they are relentlessly stalked by the pack of gray wolves. They try to find ways to fight back and eventually do attack one of the wolves but one thing to remember is that wolves seek revenge; as it’s their nature. That sets up the plot here. The group of survivors, led by Ottway, will have to trek it across the treacherous cold wilderness to try to find safety from the wolves; with hopes of being rescued or finding help.
“The Grey” proves to be a very emotional film with lots of terrifying moments. Be it the plane crash or the group of survivors being basically hunted by the predators that are gray wolves, it’s downright scary at times. You’ll see what happens when human beings are left with basically nothing and have to get by on only their will to survive. All along the way our main character will have his flashbacks (or dream sequences rather) with his wife giving him words of encouragement like “don’t be afraid” as he tries to make it out alive. This is a battle of life-and-death where not only are the wolves a factor but the extreme weather conditions prove to be as well.
Video Quality on this release is in full 1080p using the AVC MPEG-4 codec on a BD-50 (50 gigabyte dual-layered Blu-ray Disc) in the 2.40:1 aspect ratio. According to IMDb‘s technical specifications for the aspect ratio this was shot primarily on Super 35MM film on the Arriflex 235, Panavision Panaflex Millennium XL2 and Panavision Panaflex Platinum cameras. Things (aside from those dream/flashback sequences) are in a cool tone, a very gritty visual style with lots of film grain present if not almost overly emphasized perhaps in post-production. The film starts out really dark in the opening shot of the mountains, the sequence of the main character walking through the factory and such. They brighten up in the dream/flashback sequences and seem to have a bit more of almost a warm tone with less grit but some obvious bit of film grain. This does a great job of setting the two apart — the dreams and the real world. The black level here is very solid. Fleshtones for the most part are accurate and the color palette is subdued to deliver a very “washed out” visual style, which goes good with the gritty appearance mentioned earlier. There’s a good amount of detail in close-ups but in some of the darker conditions it seems a bit fuzzy because of the excessive amount of grain. Still, there is a definite amount of detail here regardless of it seeming gritty (or “fuzzy”). It’s not the most impressive material to see in Hi-Def, let that be said, however it looks great for what the DP (director of photography) was going for in terms of visual style. This earns itself a solid “4 Star Rating” for overall video quality.
Audio Quality on this release is presented in DTS-HD 5.1 Master Audio. Things in the film start up with the sound of both wind and wolves howling in the background, which have nice rear channel presence; leaving you feeling (appropriately enough) surrounded. Next you have Liam Neeson‘s character (“Ottway“) giving the opening narration where he is describing his job. This is delivered very distinctly through the front center channel, as the sounds of the factory and such will be coming through in the background. Roughly 2 minutes in things will get extremely “over-the-top” loud as the main character walks into the bar; only to quickly turn to silence once he sits down and orders a drink. Here you get the obvious impression which is represented by audio that the main character is drowning things out. This is a very cool effect. His narration continues into the first of the flashbacks of his (we presume) wife. Around 4 minutes in you’ll start to notice the original Score (music) composed by Marc Streitenfeld getting a very nice rear channel and decent LFE (bass) presence. Around 5 minutes in when “Ottway” pulls out his rifle to shoot a wolf you’ll be somewhat startled by the sound of the gunshot. It’s pretty intense but the real highlight of this 5.1 lossless mix is yet to come and it defines the word intensity. Before that though you’ll have a few other little highlights that showcase the mix. Roughly 7 minutes in the sound of a wolf howling will be carrying (reverberating) in a pan from what feels like the front left to the rear left surround; then filling all the front and rear channels — with the exception of the center channel.
Now, the most intense scene in the film that I had mentioned earlier comes soon after but I won’t give you the exact timestamp as to not spoil the surprise. However it is in no way a “spoiler” to tell you there is a plane crash and you’re in for one hell of a bit of lossless 5.1 at its finest. The LFE (bass) during the plane crash is downright so intense you’ll be feeling it literally. The rear channels here get some serious play and will leave you feeling like you’re onboard this plane as it’s going down in the cold Alaskan wilderness. This bit is downright amazing and very terrifying at the very same time. From here on out you’ll hear a great deal of sound effects and eventually dialogue delivered over top of the massive amount of wind. Dialogue here is delivered distinct (just as the case with the opening narration) and never once is drowned out by the extreme weather conditions in the background. All and all this mix definitely is impressive and earns itself a “4.5 Star Rating” overall for audio quality.
Bonus Materials on this release are ALL presented in full 1080p Hi-Def (HD) video quality with Dolby Digital 2.0 Stereo @256kbps sound.
- BD-Live is included on this Universal Blu-ray Disc release. This allows you to access online content from the studio to watch the latest trailers and more. BD-Live requires you to first have a Blu-ray Disc Player that is “Profile 1.1″ capable and secondly to have Internet connectivity (on the player as well).
- pocketBLU is a feature that uses BD-Live to let you use your smartphone or tablet such as iPhone or iPad to control the film as a remote control as well as access (stream) special features for the film to said device. This is not just restricted to iOS devices, it also works with Android smartphones and tablets.
- Deleted Scenes (22:56 – HD) include six total.
- Audio Commentary with co-writer/Director Joe Carnahan and Editors Roger Barton and Jason Hellmann
- A DVD of the film in standard definition is included with Dolby Digital 5.1 sound.
- A Digital Copy of the film is included via a URL and redemption code on a paper insert included in the packaging. This digital copy is ONLY compatible with iTunes portable media devices as well as both Mac and PC computers.
- An UltraViolet digital copy of the film is included which can be downloaded and streamed online. This is acquired via a URL and redemption code included on the very same paper insert included in the packaging mentioned above for the normal digital copy.
- D-BOX motion code is included for those with the equipment to decode it.
Overall the bonus materials here are way too short but prove to be somewhat worthwhile if you enjoyed the film and are looking for more. D-BOX is nice to see included for those rich enough to actually be able to experience the film with it. For the real general public though, the physical bonus materials such as the DVD, Digital Copy and UltraViolet digital copy all are nice additions that should leave them a bit less upset the short length of the supplemental materials.
Blu-ray Disc packaging:
NOTE: The full-sized 1920×1080 files are in a .PNG file format and uncompressed. Please be patient with the slow loading times, keep in mind these files are at least 1MB (1 megabyte) in size each.