The Grey

Anyone seen The Grey, the new Liam Neeson film?

franktalkwithfrank.wordpress.com/2012/01/30/thoughts-on-the-grey/

Horrible!!! The worst! There is no plot. It’s another version of “10 little Indians and then there were none”! The actors are eaten one by one. The word F__K was used in ALL forms, noun, verb, adj. on an on. I stopped counting after 74 times. No plot. The only substance in the dialogue was to "dis’ the Church and God. This movie is totally worthless. Spend your money elsewhere. Sorry, I really have nothing positive to say about this film. :mad:

Wow, strong words and certainly the most extreme, in terms of being different from the majority, response I have come across to the movie. I thought the film as a whole had a perfectly ‘Catholic-consistent’ message although there are, as always, different interpretations possible. The prevailing themes seemed to me to affirm objective value and meaning in the face of pitiless suffering, an affirmation which, whilst perhaps not initially leading right to the Church can only, if honestly embraced, lead that way in the end.

Where in the film did you see an anti-church message? %between%

I’d like to hear opinions about this movie too. I’m a big Liam Neeson fan but have some reservations about this one. Here’s a review from Catholic News Service: catholicnews.com/data/movies/12mv011.htm

Maybe it’s my puritanical Protestant upbringing, but I find it hard to sit through a movie where every other word is the F-bomb. My brother looked it up on IMDB and found it had 175 instances of that word (more than “Bad Santa”–if you’ve seen that movie, you know this is something of an accomplishment). I like seeing movies with my family but that won’t happen with this one.

If I see it, I guess I’ll have to decide whether to watch it in theaters or wait for the TV-edit.

I didn’t like it either. There was no point to the movie. Really. There was no “lesson”…no “moral”…no resolution. It was basically two hours of my life wasted. I’m not sure what reviews you’ve seen, but according to Fandango, patrons are calling it “So-so”. That’s not a glowing review.

Critics always love this sort of movie.

Edited to add -

SPOILER ALERT

It wasn’t so much an anti-Church problem, it was an anti-God problem. He begs God for a sign. He doesn’t receive one. Then says, “I"m going to do it on my own.” His conclusion is there is no God and he has to do it himself. This wasn’t proved wrong at any point. God not being real was a fairly big theme in the movie with only one person claiming to be a believer. He died shortly after.

Great job Nicolep, you captured the only “message” of the film. In other words, “There is no hope.”

Other lessons learned could be

  1. Cussing convicts in the wilds of Alaska make good wolf food.
  2. Don’t be at the end of the line when hiking in a snowstorm pursued by wolves.
  3. 9 Wolves are capable of eating all of the already dead passengers (at least 80) in two days, and are still hungry enough to want to eat 7 more.
  4. Lighting a fire isn’t going to help you. (Symbolically a light in the darkness is worthless.)
  5. Eating a wolf as an act of revenge and then howling back at them will only make them madder at you.
  6. Don’t use the sound track of Orks from Lord of the Rings superimposed over wolf howls to make them sound scarier.

Just to balance out some of my sarcasm regarding this experience…
Liam is a great actor and one of my favorites. I saw the film because of him. He did his best with what he had. This was an unworthy venue for him.
The photography of Alaska was breathtaking. (I was waiting for Sarah Palin to come paddling around the bend at one point.):eek:
Half way through, feeling a wave of the ridiculous, I thought that perhaps this was black comedy which brought some levity to my thoughts. :stuck_out_tongue:

There’s no accounting for taste but you all completely missed the point of the movie.

Lol. Just because someone doesn’t agree with you doesn’t mean they missed the point. I get that he found a reason to live after he wanted to die.

I’ve been there. My son died. While I never tried or wanted to kill myself, I very much wanted to die. The difference is I found my way by turning to God not rejecting Him.

Hey Nicole, I didn’t mean to sound harsh.

I honestly loved this film though and I suppose I’m taken aback that so far everybody here seems to have interpreted it differently than me :shrug:.

As I wrote in the blog post I linked to, I think the film was very subtle. Yes, most of the characters were ambivalent and sometimes hostile towards God, but the perseverance shown by the lead character belied the surface meaning of his outburst and gave us a better insight into what was in his heart than his words, in a moment of desperation, did. It might surprise you but I actually felt that the composure he found to memorialise the other passengers and fight until the end was his answer from God. He was granted the strength to not despair.

As I also wrote in my blog, only the character who willfully chose despair and scorned the yearning for God was presented as dying in abject fear, despite the initial comfort he drew from the beauty of his ‘death-bed’. It would be very strange if this crept into the film unintentionally; I’m certainly of the view that the filmmakers wanted us to take this point away with us.

I appreciate your thoughts. Most of the critics I follow seemed to advocate for it as well.

I also appreciate your sensitive and romantic impression of this film. I am certain that you are sincere, but I can hardly believe that we went to the same film. Liam Neeson does a thorough study of his character, carrying much throughout the length of the film. “The Grey” is not a noble film for me. The profanity was just offensive. I don’t think that the producers of this film were thinking in religious terms in an uplifting and positive way. It does you credit to read your impression into what was happening on the screen. And to be truthful. I wish that the film had been able to give the audience food for thought to take home. Let’s just agree to disagree and leave it at that.:shrug:

Saw it last night with husband and an adult son and we all thought it was incredible.Very moving

Actually, lighting the fire did help them. The problems happened when they weren’t paying attention or got distracted (which a totally different problem). The fire helped them keep warm (the one guy died of altitude sickness; certain people are indeed sensitive to altitudes like that) and helped keep the wolves from all attacking them at once,

Correction: The photography of inner British Columbia was breathtaking (it was filmed near Smithers, BC).

I think you’re getting the impression that the profanity was put in there to make it seem “manly” or something like that. The truth is that that is actually how oil riggers/workers talk. You can’t have a film featuring oil workers where they talk like Church-ladies, it just doesn’t work.

(warning: spoilers ahead!)

I agree with you that it was a well-made film, and I didn’t expect it to be as good as it was.
While I have trouble seeing a lot of violence and suffering on screen, I thought, as you said, that this film rose above the cliche formula…that the screenwriter managed to weave in lyrical, poetic dialogue that was original.
That early scene when Neeson helps that first guy pass away…was beautiful and honest. I was shocked. It set the tone. The scene where the men are talking around the campfire and the father talks about his daughter’s hair?
Beautiful again. Pure, simple love.
No matter how many times those guys swore, they were expressing a strong desire to live and love and even, in a dire situation, bond together…this motley, unlikely crew showed love for each other…even the dude you hate you end up liking in the end–you see his ego break down until he surrenders into a state of peace.
Also, the cinematography is excellent.
I don’t look at the ending as negative, I look at it as positive…that no matter what, even when it looks like he’s done for, he’s going to fight to live. He never gave up hope.
Most of them were like that. It was a test of wills, a test of the human struggle, a test of one’s desire to survive.
And I like how the ending is left open, sort of (do you agree it was an open ending? or no?)

PS–i wouldn’t have lasted five minutes in that freezing cold with those wolves.:blush:

In a way it’s good that the film has had a polarizing effect. I hope Steven Greydanus covers it on ‘Catholic Answers Live’, I’d be interested to see what camp he falls into.

The ending was most certainly an open ending. This was thoroughly in keeping with the tone of the film and, in a large part due to the use of the poem and the score, represented a real emotional high-point, even though I still had some small initial disappointment and not being granted a more traditional (clichéd?) payoff at the end.

NB. There is actually a post-credits scene which most people would probably have missed. It doesn’t change anything thematically; the story remains open ended and the extra scene doesn’t resolve anything plot-wise.

Aaaargh!!!
I missed a post-credits scene???
I usually stay until all the credits have run, but this time I had to rush out.
Can you say what it is here??? I gotta know!

SPOILER____SPOILER____SPOILER

Sure, there’s a post about it here:

mediastinger.com/the-grey-2012-extra-scene-after-the-credits/

It does nothing to clear up Ottway’s ultimate fate although it suggests the alpha wolf got served.

Sounds like it could be a decent action flick at the most. I kind of like Liam Neesen though I won’t be seeing it because of the heavy use of language. Probably not a huge loss :D.

From an action/suspense movie lover’s perspective the movie was entertaining for me in terms of the way the action scenes were filmed and acted out. From a moral Catholic perspective this movie fails on several levels.

I think there was in fact too much profanity for me to endorse it as appropriate viewing. There were clear elements of atheism and suggestions of secular humanism as well which carried through to the end of the film. The theme that kept reappearing throughout the movie was justifiable hopelessness. In classic hollywood style those who believed in God were not saved and the disbelievers were the ones who “seemed” to escape. While there is nothing untruthful about that the message is sent to the viewer even at the end that faith is useless and you need to rely on yourself to get out of trouble.

The heart felt sharing of the group about love and life was touching and the deepest part of the film. The renewed passion to survive of Neeson’s character smacked of a redemptive aspect to the movie. The movie reminded me of Anthony Hopkins 1997 survival flick The Edge alot but the plot was not as deep as The Edge although the acting of Neeson was almost on par with Hopkin’s performance in my opinion.

The movie would have taken on a lamentation-like tone if after the Lead’s internal torment and crying out he actually received a divinely inspired comfort which would be illustrated to the viewer. Similar to those found in the book of Psalms. Crying out followed by a comfort and faith and hope in God’s deliverance brought on by a “sign”.

Yes I know it is not a Catholic film so sue me for wanting something more than the atheistic and hedonistic drivel that passes for depth in Hollywood.:frowning:

Thanks for the good insight.

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