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Thread: Lord Rahl's Cinematic Review Repository

  1. #81
    Hobbes's Avatar Vicarius Provinciae
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    Default Re: Lord Rahl's Cinematic Review Repository

    I liked Black Swan, Natalie Portman shed her innocence in that one. She is a great actress in my opinion.

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    Black Swan made me rethink both Portman and Kunis. After the Star Wars prequels I didn't want to see Portman in anything else. I guess it did to her in my eyes what Titanic did to DiCaprio. I just couldn't watch them anymore after those movies. But DiCaprio began to play some good roles and now has my respect back. I liked Portman in Closer but Black Swan took it to another level. All the performances felt so organic, so real. I'll no go further into it since I want to review the movie at some point. And I had only seen Kunis in That 70s Show. I thought she was attractive but it's hard to tell if someone is actually a good actor if they're in a sitcom, but she was great in Black Swan.

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  3. #83
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    I beg you, LR, please review Scorpion King 3 I want to see you tear it apart piece by piece

    Romans, ninjas, Egyptians, Indians, Thai people, huge African boxers (Kimbo Slice is in this lol hahaha)...
    There's only one thing done right: the elephants and that's because the director and crew had nothing to do with it.

    One of the worst I've ever seen, but slightly better than its horrendous predecessor Scorpion King 2, which had Randy Couture at his absolute worst.
    The total failure of a wrestler becoming an actor has been repeated in this one, but at least good old Kimbo hardly has any lines.

    EDIT: totally loved the Roman light infantry carrying broad iron claymores while protecting a caucasian king in Thailand...
    Last edited by Boustrophedon; December 26, 2011 at 06:05 PM.

  4. #84
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    I have not seen that movie. I might have seen the one with Couture...but I'm sure if I did I was insanely drunk and don't remember it. I recently saw Fast Five (drunk) and it wasn't as bad as I thought it'd be. I mean, it was bad, but it wasn't terrible. But it's hard to hate on a movie that has The Rock in it. He sweats so much in it... It's hilariously awesome.

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    Titanic (1997)


    Now, I'm going to try and keep this review as objective as possible...but also know that goal will be impossible. It just recently came on TV and was the first time I'd seen it since junior high so I decided to watch it and find out what I think of it 13 years later after having seen it. I remember when my mother asked me if I wanted to see it. Honestly, I didn't but since I heard there were boobs in it and I'd not seen boobs in the theater before, I accepted the offer and went. Little did I know the movie would have me loathing radio for what seemed like years after its release as well as have me hating DiCaprio for years after. I'll get to all of that later.


    Pan to the right, please.

    Titanic, the movie, to me is much like the RMS Titanic, the ship. It's huge, it's epic, it's magnificent, and yet it fails to live up to its expectations. Why is it huge? Well, just look at the numbers. At the time it was the most expensive movie ever made with a budget of $200 million. It was the first movie ever to reach $1 billion in sales and remained the highest grossing movie of all time until James Cameron's next movie, Avatar, which I have already reviewed here. Why is it epic? Because it's a story of romance set at the time of Titanic's launch and sinking. It's also over three hours in length. Why is it magnificent? All you have to do is look at the production, especially those of the set design and costumes, and you'll understand why. The CGI used for many shots of the ship were also top notch at the time. Overall they still hold up pretty well today. Where Titanic fails is in its cliched romance story and its shallow and uninteresting main characters.

    Titanic starts off interesting enough. You have Bill Paxton, a regular in Cameron movies, as a sort of treasure hunter who's looking for a jeweled necklace called the "Heart of the Ocean" that he believes is in the wreck of the Titanic. You see, in that point of the movie I understood. Cameron likes history and he also loves shipwrecks. I could understand the passion he had for both and that he wanted to tell a story with something as well known as the Titanic as a backdrop. That makes sense. There were over 2,000 passengers on the Titanic of different social classes, nationalities, professions, etc. It would be easy to come up with a story with interesting characters. But like Paxton's failure to find the "Heart of the Ocean", it seems that Cameron failed to come up with characters interesting enough, at least for me, to care about or sympathize with.


    I'm sure that Paxton was going to use the massive blue diamond to make an even more glamorous earring.

    First we're introduced to Rose (Kate Winslet), her mother, and Rose's fiance Caledon Hockley (Billy Zane). They're upper class and snobby, as they should be, right? Next we're shown Jack (DiCaprio) and his Italian buddy. They're both lower class but aren't depressed or discouraged by their lack of money. In fact, they're full of spirit and are the young spunky men the audience is supposed to attach to right off the bat. This is where I have the biggest problem with the movie, in that the main characters are under-developed and because of that the story falters. You see, once you're introduced to characters that are too familiar in the world of cinema and you already know what their story arc will be, it makes the characters uninteresting and thus the movie becomes uninteresting as well. Once we're introduced to Rose and Jack, two people living different lives but happen to meet in the movie, we already know, or at least those knowledgeable enough should, that they will get together despite their differences and figure out they're meant for each other. You could say the same thing about almost any character in any movie, how their characters will have obviously story arcs, but in romance stories this is most especially true and in Titanic the flat characterizations make it even worse.

    With some of Cameron's other movies like Terminator 2 and Aliens, "flat" characters are fine. The T-101 is as unemotional as can be but his subtle realizations of what being human is makes for an interesting story. Ripley and Corporal Hicks aren't too complex of characters. Ripley is a pretty simple character but her character is very strong. In fact, almost every single action movie with a female character tries to mimic the "Ripley" character. You might have noticed that these characters work well in action movies where emotion is about life and death and character arcs aren't as important. In most of Cameron's movies the antagonist is simply presented. Both Terminator movies have antagonists that are literally unemotional, Aliens has the unemotional xenomorphs and the evil corporate guy, True Lies has terrorists, and The Abyss has the SEAL team and the elements. With Titanic none of the main characters, which are Rose, Jack, and "Cal" Hockley, have a genuinely interesting complexity to them even though they are emotional. Rose is lost without Jack, Jack is full of energy and just wants to love Rose, and Cal is just a douchebag the entire movie. For a romance to work you need to have strong performances with complex and emotional characters (though there are exceptions).


    This machine is more interesting as a character than any of Titanic's characters.

    Maybe it's because I'm a dude, but in order for romance to work for me in a movie it needs to be done very convincingly and more subtly. Now, I don't think that the romance between Rose and Jack is done poorly. The movie is executed pretty much perfectly but Rose and Jack's romance is lazily presented. Maybe it's the script that makes things uninteresting. Some of the dialog isn't too great and that makes all of the drama that happens around it seem disjointed, especially in the end when everyone is dying. You've got the weird scene when Rose goes to jump off the stern of the Titanic because...she doesn't like her life even though we're given no real reason to truly understand that. The worst is when they have their lower class party in the lower decks and Rose learns how to party with Jack and all the other poor people. To me it feels as if their romance bears no substance compared to the story of the ship Titanic itself, because once the ship hits the iceberg, that's when I think the movie actually gets interesting...because I don't have to watch anymore silly romance development. Contrast Rose and Jack's love story with that of Ed Harris and Mary Elizabeth Mastrantonio's relationship in The Abyss. It actually felt real and there wasn't an excess of corny dialog. In Titanic I actually wanted it to get to the end where the ship would sink. Oh well, at least I got to see Kate Winslet naked in the theater.

    Actually, I noticed that the characters in Titanic that actually were interesting to me were all in the supporting cast and were real historical characters. These include Titanic's shipbuilder, Thomas Andrews, the ship's captain, Captain Edward John Smith, and the only person in the movie that seemed to have an outstanding personality, Margaret "Molly" Brown (Kathy Bates). How come none of these real historical figures that were actually important to the Titanic Honorable mention goes to the ship's quartet that played this lovely hymn as the Titanic sank.


    Tis a beautiful song.

    Titanic ruined Leonardo DiCaprio for me for years. I didn't really care for him before the movie but after I saw it I refused to see any movie with him in it. That might have been mostly because I was a young lad and didn't want to hear anymore about him from the girls in school. Thankfully, DiCaprio has been in some damn good movies as of late and I now consider him as a good actor. But the worst thing to come from James Cameron's romantic epic was the most overplayed song of all time, "My Heart Will Go On" by Celine Dion. Seriously, that song played it seemed non-stop for years after the movie on the radio. I cannot express how annoyed I got from hearing it. It makes me clench my teeth just thinking about it.

    Does it seem like I've bashed this movie too much? I apologize. It's hard not to bash a movie that I consider to be good but not great and yet it was so immensely successful. In some ways I consider it be like Avatar. It's a well-produced and executed movie but one that is considered great by too many people. I understand why it made so much money. You set a movie on the Titanic with an accomplished and very capable director at the helm and add a romance with two attractive, young, and up-and-coming actors in it. As I mentioned before, the production design in the movie is top notch. It is truly impressive to see all of the different rooms, hallways, decorations, etc or the legendary ship both inside and out with so much detail and obvious attention to detail, plus a lot of care. This made the ship feel very real and immerses the viewer into the movie. That's another reason why I felt the romance didn't work for me. The production looked so well done and thought out while the romance felt shoe-horned in.

    If anything, Titanic was Cameron's first great trolling of Hollywood. "Hey, look what I can do! I'm King of the World!" Then came his greatest troll, Avatar. I can only imagine how much of a trolling Avatar 2 will be.

    3.5/5
    Last edited by Lord Rahl; January 27, 2012 at 03:06 AM.

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    Default Re: Lord Rahl's Cinematic Review Repository

    I've never seen Titanic but I doubt I could never take it seriously because of this scene:




  7. #87

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    I gotta disagree with you on this one, LR. Titanic, apart from the dialogue between Kate and Leo, was fantastically written with amazing attention to detail. A cinematic wonder in its time back in the 90s. It was the first time we ever seen convincing CGI. It's easy for us to sit in hindsight and see all the flaws, but the movie was meant to be one big tragedy and it pulls that off quite nicely. It left me in tears when I first saw back when I was a kid. There is a gripping sense of realism with the human reaction to the death and destruction going on all around them and witnessing some of the only sympathetic characters in the movie meeting a grim end. (The death of the ship's architect and captain was captured with near total accuracy) And goddammit, Kate Winslet was the jewel of my life through my entire preteen years. I think the film may have gotten away with a lot more if Leo hadn't of been cast. Apart from that, I think there was some good things about the romance, just not worked on quite as well as everything else.
    Last edited by Admiral Piett; January 10, 2012 at 02:51 AM.
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  8. #88
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    Quote Originally Posted by Future Filmmaker View Post
    I gotta disagree with you on this one, LR. Titanic, apart from the dialogue between Kate and Leo, was fantastically written with amazing attention to detail.

    The problem is the story centers around Rose and Jack. I was interested in what the supporting cast had to talk about, specifically the historical characters, but they're only in a handful of scenes.

    A cinematic wonder in its time back in the 90s. It was the first time we ever seen convincing CGI. It's easy for us to sit in hindsight and see all the flaws, but the movie was meant to be one big tragedy and it pulls that off quite nicely. It left me in tears when I first saw back when I was a kid. There is a gripping sense of realism with the human reaction to the death and destruction going on all around them and witnessing some of the only sympathetic characters in the movie meeting a grim end. (The death of the ship's architect and captain was captured with near total accuracy)

    Yes, for its time it was a cinematic wonder because of the production. I touched on that. What you described with the boat sinking, I agree with you. I didn't have tears when I was a kid and saw it but I think a point should be made that when the Titanic is sinking and all of the people are in a panic and probably going to die, Rose and Jack's romance fails to have the power to be as important, at least to me. In that part of the movie I cared much more about most of the other people on the ship. It's much more of a tragedy because of all of the people dying or going to die rather than Rose and Jack's cliched romance. Perhaps I just have a problem with the movie being centered on a predictable romance rather than a story that would have felt more real. I think the only scene with Rose and Jack I enjoyed was when Jack is invited to dinner after having saved her life. There Jack has to act as a well-to-do gentleman would and there's some good exchanges between Jack and the rest of the people at the party. Now I realize that scene had almost nothing to do with Rose and Jack's romance directly. Maybe that's why I liked it.

    And goddammit, Kate Winslet was the jewel of my life through my entire preteen years. I think the film may have gotten away with a lot more if Leo hadn't of been cast. Apart from that, I think there was some good things about the romance, just not worked on quite as well as everything else.

    Sarah Michelle Gellar, dude.

    It's also a movie that I don't really care to see again. I mean, it's a good movie but once I've seen it I'm kind of bored with it. I'd much rather watch The Abyss or Terminator 2.
    Last edited by Lord Rahl; January 10, 2012 at 05:11 PM.

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  9. #89
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    Default Re: Lord Rahl's Cinematic Review Repository

    Quote Originally Posted by Lord Rahl View Post
    The problem is the story centers around Rose and Jack. I was interested in what the supporting cast had to talk about, specifically the historical characters, but they're only in a handful of scenes.
    I would have loved to see some more focus on the story of John Astor IV and the other notable men on the ship.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Lord Rahl View Post
    I have not seen that movie. I might have seen the one with Couture...but I'm sure if I did I was insanely drunk and don't remember it. I recently saw Fast Five (drunk) and it wasn't as bad as I thought it'd be. I mean, it was bad, but it wasn't terrible. But it's hard to hate on a movie that has The Rock in it. He sweats so much in it... It's hilariously awesome.
    haha, i didnt even know there was a a 2nd, not to mention 3rd scorpion king movie.

    on the note of drunk movie watching i saw fast five drunk as well. so drunk i took a bathroom break and came back only to wander in to another theater. i remember absolutely nothing from that movie. luckily it was cheap. snakes on a plane is the only other drunk movie i can think of in my lifetime but there might be some others. sort of fits tho, sam jackson yelling and just overall a funny movie seeing as how ridiculous it is

  11. #91
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    Ahem...



    Ron Perlman!

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    Quote Originally Posted by pchalk View Post
    haha, i didnt even know there was a a 2nd, not to mention 3rd scorpion king movie.

    on the note of drunk movie watching i saw fast five drunk as well. so drunk i took a bathroom break and came back only to wander in to another theater. i remember absolutely nothing from that movie. luckily it was cheap. snakes on a plane is the only other drunk movie i can think of in my lifetime but there might be some others. sort of fits tho, sam jackson yelling and just overall a funny movie seeing as how ridiculous it is
    The Rock saved fast five,every scene with him in it was badass and the fight between him and van diesel was entertaining.On Titanic i thought it was a good movie,i must have brought 4 women on dates to see it when i was a teenager,worked like a charm.The love story in it was a bit corny but i cant see it been done any better.

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    The Grey (2012)


    This will be my first 2012 movie. Early in the year it's known that there will be some pretty damn bad movies. What have we had so far? Some crappy movie about exorcism called The Devil Inside, a movie that Half in the Bag did an excellent job explaining in detail of how bad it was (for the record I haven't seen it nor do I need to in order to know it's bad), a hilariously bad-looking Contraband starring Mark Wahlberg, another movie that seriously didn't need to be made in Underworld: Awakening (but guys want to see Kate Beckinsale dressed in tight leather), Red Tails, a movie that Lucas spent much time, effort, and money to make but his recent track record makes me stray from it even though the history within it interests me, and now we have The Grey. Now, why would anyone want to watch The Grey?


    Because of this!

    That's why. Nothing more really needs to be explained, does it? Somehow Liam Neeson, as he gets older, is becoming more and more of an action star. I used to not really care for Liam Neeson. I'd seen a handful of movies he'd been in and thought he has talent but none of them really made me impressed by him specifically. Then, in 2008, I saw Taken with a friend of mine and we were blown away. Let me be honest here. Taken isn't a great movie by any standards but when it comes to an action movie that isn't poorly written, doesn't have eye roll worthy and cliched characters in it, and has some brutal action, Taken was damn good at what it was. It instantly made an action hero out of Liam Neeson to me. He's a man that you look at and he demands a certain respect and conveys authority. When you put him in a movie where he kicks everyone's ass then it all gets better. Later there was the movie Unknown that was alright. I wanted to see The Grey because I thought, as I think everyone does or did when they saw the trailers, "Liam Neeson being a badass and fighting wolves... ing awesome!" Sold!

    Like my Conan review, I'm going to talk about the trailers that showed up before The Grey. Why? Because they were awful. There was one movie, the name of it evades me at the moment, where it's about a father and daughter being terrorized and murdered in their home and supposedly the movie is all one take. My friend said it's originally a foreign movie (Spain?) that looked pretty cool...but like many Hollywood remakes they take a good foreign movie and then dumb it up for English-speaking audiences. In my case it's for the stupid American masses. Anyway, the trailer went like this... The father and daughter are in a house and then there is some weird and loud banging from upstairs, so the daughter goes to check it out as the loud banging continues. Now, I don't know about you, but if I was a father and there was some weird and loud banging in my house, or any house for that matter, coming from upstairs, I'd get into protective mode and have the mindset that I'd up whatever was making the noise. But no, at least from what I remember from the trailer, the daughter goes up there to investigate and later finds her dad dead. Then all the trailer had was several scenes of the girl running or hiding with the random shots to make it seem scary. You know, the unknown and blurry person behind her down the hall, the reflection in the mirror, etc. I apologize to everyone in the theater who was annoyed as I laughed through the trailer while they were "scared". Actually, no I'm not. There was another trailer where the story was a huge maximum security prison orbiting Earth (obviously it's set in the future) gets taken over by prisoners...and for some reason the President's daughter, I'm guessing the American president, is on it at the time...so for some reason they send a buff and American-accented Guy Pierce on a suicide mission to rescue her...and for some reason I thought it was going to be an Escape from __________ movie...but for some reason it looks instead like an over-produced science fiction action flick that will be terrible. There might have been other trailers but I forgot the rest...except for two and that's because both of the movies have Liam Neeson in them. One was of Battleship that I can only imagine it being WORSE than the Transformers movie. How can that be possible? I don't know but I'm sure Hollywood can prove it possible. The other was for Wrath of the Titans where Neeson plays Zeus. I won't see that one but the graphics looked pretty impressive. You might say, "Who cares?" but the masses care. They like the 'splosions and how "epic" it looks. If there's one word that's over-used by today's youth it's "epic". So, to summarize, I sat through several minutes of trailers that showed me upcoming garbage. I want my money's worth, damnit!


    This is how I felt after the trailers: cold, in pain, and wishing I was somewhere else.

    But let me get back to the movie. That's why you're reading this, right? Let it be known that there will be "major" spoilers in this review so keep reading at your own risk. As for the story, it's pretty straight forward. Minus the details, Liam Neeson plays a sort of troubled employee of a big oil company - did I forget to put "evil" in there? - whose job it is to kill wolves that attack other employees up in the unforgiving cold of Alaska. While on a plane flight back to Anchorage, a place I have been to many times as my parents lived up there for several years (and my dad is in the gas business), the plane crashes and him and a small group of men must try and survive the harsh environment and wolves that stalk and attack them. The movie at the beginning is actually pretty "deep" or emotional, something that I did not expect. It starts with Liam Neeson having a monologue about how he can't ever see his wife again, that he's a man who's not too proud of what he does but he is who he's made himself to be. We see him go into a bar up at the gas refinery in Alaska where there are (what seem like) a bunch of persons of ill repute, including some men getting into a violent bar fight. But Liam Neeson doesn't mind them at all and proceeds to take some shots from the bar, alone with his thoughts. Since my dad works in the industry, and specifically up in Alaska at one point, I guess the depiction of almost everyone who works up there as drunken s had me a little annoyed but I guess that was mostly done to contrast Neeson's character against the rest. We soon find Neeson outside, alone and with his rifle in his mouth. He recites a poem but before he pulls the trigger a wolf howls in the distance and he does not continue with committing suicide. There are some flashbacks at the beginning that the audience sees throughout the movie, mostly when Neeson is sleeping. They're of him in bed with his wife, sometimes with her saying, "Don't be afraid," as well as some scenes of him as a child with his father. I was a bit confused at Neeson's accent in the movie. He sounded like Neeson but not with the American accent I expected. Later we come to find out he's Irish.

    Neeson, who plays a man named Ottway, but I'll just stay with the actor's name, is on a plane back to Anchorage where we meet some of the movie's other main characters. Basically everyone else on the plane is talking about stuff that wouldn't be appreciated in public. Neeson goes to sleep and dreams of his wife but is woken by the plane being very cold, so cold that the passengers' breaths can be seen.


    No Liam Neeson was hurt in the making of this movie.

    Before I get to the actual crash, there was a little thing that annoyed me. Maybe you're not like me but I'm someone who recognizes movie noises. There are a lot of people who know of the Wilhelm Scream. It's used in so many movies that I couldn't name them all. Actually, many guys who are in charge of the sound in movies put it in at least once into their movies because the scream's use has such a long tradition. Another sound that comes to mind is what my brother and I refer to as the, "opening the rusty door sound." It's in a bunch of movies too. Well, right before the plane crashes in The Grey the electronics in the plane start going haywire. You see a TV screen sort of short out and there is the sound of electricity. It's a sound I've heard for over a decade. I'm pretty sure it's the same sound as the Tesla coil in C&C: Red Alert. First of all, when a TV goes out it doesn't make some noise like that. If any of my electronics made that noise I would be scared for my life. I found the use of that noise a bit odd since I found the rest of the sound used was above average. For instance, the sound during the actual plane crash was very well done. It was extremely loud, as you'd expect, to the point where it was unnerving and I liked that. If you're someone who's scared of crashing in the plane then you definitely won't like that scene because it's done very well.


    "Oh, the plane crashed, a bunch of people died, and we're stuck out here in the middle of Alaska? BORING!"

    What follows is what most would call a "survival movie" and for the most part that's what The Grey is. A handful of men survive and they quickly realize that they're in dire straits...obviously. Actually, Robert Leckie dies right there in the plane from a blood-gushing wound. He asks Neeson what's going to happen to him and Neeson says calmly but bluntly that he's going to die. I thought that was a well done scene because it made the crash survivors have to face death right after the crash before they even thought about dealing with being out in the middle of nowhere. Oh, and I guess the movie should get props because the black guy doesn't die first. Not long after Neeson and them get themselves together with a fire the audience is presented with the wolves. Now, these aren't what I think or know of wolves, as in curious but passive animals, at least when it comes to humans. No, the wolves in The Grey are all bloodthirsty and have the loudest howls and growls ever. I didn't necessarily mind this in the movie. Having wolves that sort of just stayed away from the crash survivors and never messed with them wouldn't make a good movie for many people. Instead, The Grey has wolves that are the main antagonist in the film. They're very aggressive and take out any crash survivor when they have a decent chance. So the wolves aren't very realistic in behavior but they make for passable antagonists. One other comment about the wolves, I don't think they used one real wolf or huge husky that looked like a wolf in the whole film. Either that or real animals were barely used. Most of the time the wolves were either CGI or some sort of puppet. I have to say that the look of the wolves was acceptable but not too convincing.


    I was disappointed The Grey did not have this level of realism.

    You can probably guess that Liam Neeson is awesome in The Grey - I'll get to that later - but how is the supporting cast? Overall I'd say they do a more than adequate job. I don't think anyone overacted or was simply bad. Although there was some variation between the supporting cast in their characterization, one was the (jerk) while another was (more) religious, for example, most of the guys seemed like your average guys. They all had families, regrets, and wishes. In this The Grey did a good job, in making each of the characters feel like real people instead of the cliched bunch of idiots many movies strive for. The annoyed me but by his death I thought his character worked well. He gave up much of his ness once Neeson (and a wolf) put him in his place. I became hesitant when the "religious" scene came up in the movie where they all talked about whether they believe in God or not. I didn't want it to be that scene, if you understand me. But it didn't last long and the proceeding discussion was of having sex with a 50 year old 250 pound woman. It was a good way to contrast subjects that men will talk about.

    But how badass is Neeson in it? After all, he's the reason you saw it! Well, my friends, I am pleased to say that his badass level is up there with what it was in Taken. He doesn't kill as much or say as much as he did in Taken but that doesn't matter. There are four scenes that come to mind. The first is when the in the group - he's the one who whines the most and doesn't want to follow Neeson's advice on how to stay alive - decides it'd be a good idea to defy Neeson's suggestions and so Neeson proceeds to tell the , and I'm sort of paraphrasing here, "I'm going to beat the out of you in about five seconds. You'll be tasting your own blood." What's better than Neeson saying he's going to beat the out of someone? Answer: What he says after they kill a wolf that attacks them. So, in another scene the doesn't want to take the advice of Neeson of crafting a, as the calls it, "MacGyver ," weapon that's a spear rigged with a shotgun shell at the end of it to use against wolves up close. Basically you stab the spear into the wolf and the shotgun shell goes off, killing the wolf. Neeson tells the that there's no use in acting like a tough guy and being a dick. He says that actually means you're scared. Well, the decides it'd be a good idea to fight Neeson...who immediately drops the guy and has the 's own knife against his throat. To make matters worse, a wolf attacks but they all kill it, partially thanks to their shotgun spears. But that's not what I said was better than the first scene I mentioned. What's better is that after they kill it they keep hearing the wolves all round them howl and growl. It's very unsettling for all of them but then Neeson comes up with a great idea. He says, and I'm paraphrasing again, "Let's find a large branch, shove it up this things ass," he's talking about the wolf that they just killed, "...and eat the er." My friend, my brother, and I were laughing our asses off at that. I leaned over to my brother and said, "That just paid for the movie ticket right there." Another glorious scene comes right after the last survivor, other than Neeson, dies from getting his leg caught underwater in a river after they both ran from wolves. I'll say from experience, not that I've almost died in an Alaskan river or anything, but mountain rivers, especially in the winter, can be very dangerous. So the guy drowns even with Neeson trying to pull him out of the water and then Neeson feels hopeless and drops down on the river's bank. He then looks up into the white sky and yells at God, imploring him to show him some sign that he, God, is real. When this doesn't happen Neeson starts insulting God, calling him many a bad word with a few f-words included. He then goes silent for a moment before delivering the best line of the movie, " it. I'll do it myself," and then he stands up and keeps going. It was...great. I wanted to scream, "NEESON!!!!!!!!" in the theater but since I'm a decent person I held back my joy. First he wants to believe in God, then he insults God, and then he remembers he's Goddamn Liam Neeson and does what he wants!


    Wait a second. I'm ing Zeus!

    The last scene is what everyone knows from the trailers. It's Neeson putting liquor shooters in between his fingers, wrapping electric tape around his fists, breaking the bottles, and then getting ready to fight the alpha male wolf. Too bad you don't get to see him fight the wolf. Wait, what?! Yeah, you read correctly. That's how the movie ends. Liam Neeson recites his father's poem, stands up, charges at the wolf...and then the movie ends. If you want to know what the poem is then here ya go.

    Once more into the fray.
    Into the last good fight I'll ever know.
    Live or die on this day.
    Live or die on this day.


    I know a lot of people will be annoyed at the ending of the movie. Heck, a woman sitting in front of me at the theater said, "There was no closure," with obvious irritability. Well, she missed the entire point of the end of the movie with Neeson reciting the poem, it gave closure to his character, but it's obvious that people wanted to see Liam Neeson fighting wolves. However, I really don't see how Neeson having an epic battle with the alpha male wolf would have actually been "good". It would have been laughable more than anything. So what if Neeson kills the alpha male? There were several more wolves surrounding him. Are we going to watch Neeson fight a whole pack of wolves? I'm not saying that wouldn't be awesome but I'm also saying it'd be stupid. So what if Neeson killed all of the wolves and then found people to save him? How exactly would that bring closure to Neeson's character? It wouldn't.

    But how is the movie? I'd say it's above average. I kept thinking it would sink to some cliched action movie but it never did. I kept thinking it'd have characters I'd be happy with them dying but that never happened. That being said, I wasn't overly impressed with it. The direction at times was excellent but at other times I thought it failed to keep consistency with what the movie was or what I thought it should have been. One problem my friend, brother, and I had was that the movie wasn't enough of a survival movie. Part of this is due to the unrealistic behavior of the wolves as well as the absence of us actually seeing the men have to adapt to the unforgiving weather. Neeson is supposed to be a guy who knows how to survive in that sort of climate but there are only a few scenes where we actually get to see and hear his expertise. I also expect survival movies to be more nihilistic than other movies. I didn't feel as if the men were going to die of the elements as much as the murderous wolves. Nature overall should have been the antagonist rather than unrealistic wolves. The movie could have taken it in a different direction as well and have the men themselves be their own downfall but that didn't really happen either. Again, the damn wolves. I will say, however, that the film did a great job of presenting (what is supposed to be) Alaska (and I mean that because it was most likely filmed in Canada although I saw Alaskan Amber on tap in the scene at the bar), at least as far as conveying the winter weather. Having lived both in Canada and Alaska, I remember what it was like being out in subzero temperatures with a blizzard outside. Watching The Grey in some ways made me glad I don't live in a place where it gets like that anymore. I could also tell that the director made an effort to film in those tough conditions. It must have been hell for those actors but I'm sure it also helped them be more genuine in their roles. The scene where one of the survivors falls into the river and Neeson jumps in after him actually almost shocked me because it was completely obvious that they were actually in that unbelievably cold water. As I argued before, it's just too bad that the movie didn't highlight the weather more as being the survivors' main opponent.


    But what a beautiful place Alaska is.

    I did enjoy The Grey and I was glad that it I didn't feel like I had wasted money seeing it. It was genuinely enjoyable even disregarding Liam Neeson. It doesn't do anything exceptionally well but I didn't think it had any glaring flaws either. I'd say, however, that had the movie been more realistic and more of a pure survival movie, I think it would have been much better. It just had to have more action with murderous wolves. But really, if you see this movie it's because you want to see Liam Neeson be a badass and in that respect the movie does a damn good job.

    3.5/5
    Last edited by Lord Rahl; January 30, 2012 at 04:12 AM.

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  14. #94
    Påsan's Avatar Hva i helvete?
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    Default Re: Lord Rahl's Cinematic Review Repository

    Good review. Saw the movie recently, and agree on most points (Including the trailers, which was why I put off watching the film until I had no alternatives left)

    However I must admit I let out a chuckle when I saw your 7th paragraph, for obvious reasons.

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    Ah! A comment! Thanks. I fear that my explanation of how badass Keeson is in The Grey is not adequate enough so I just urge anyone interested to just go see the movie.

    Also, I recently watched Drive again after getting it on Blu-ray and it further solidified my thoughts of it being an excellent movie.

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    Default Re: Lord Rahl's Cinematic Review Repository

    I watched the new Underworld movie. Can you pat me on the back and tell me that it's all going to be ok?

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  17. #97
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    I could do that but I don't know if I absolutely will. Why did you see it? Did you genuinely want to see it? Did a female convince you to? Did your friends pressure you? Did you want to see Kate Beckinsale dressed in tight leather?

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    Quote Originally Posted by Lord Rahl View Post
    Did you want to see Kate Beckinsale dressed in tight leather?
    This. And it wasn't even worth it
    Also peer pressure. The worst part is that I had promised myself that I would stay away from crappy movies this year.

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    Default Re: Lord Rahl's Cinematic Review Repository

    some friends of mine wanted me to go off with them to see grey but i decided to go to a bar instead with some other friends. keep up those reviews LR. i cant help but feel that every trailer ive seen recently has mostly turned me off from movies that have been coming out so these reviews are pretty helpful.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Hobbes. View Post
    This. And it wasn't even worth it
    Also peer pressure. The worst part is that I had promised myself that I would stay away from crappy movies this year.

    Well, maybe it's good you saw a bad movie this early in the year. Now you have the rest of the year to remember why you don't want to spend money seeing bad movies.

    Quote Originally Posted by pchalk View Post
    some friends of mine wanted me to go off with them to see grey but i decided to go to a bar instead with some other friends. keep up those reviews LR. i cant help but feel that every trailer ive seen recently has mostly turned me off from movies that have been coming out so these reviews are pretty helpful.

    Movie trailers, at least to me, are rarely well done. Take the trailers for Drive for example. Most of them make it seem more like a Gone In 60 Seconds type of movie and it definitely is not that. But I think I have a good sense for figuring out if a movie will be good from watching the trailers. It usually takes about 5-10 seconds for me to decide whether or not the movie will be good. Hollywood helps, though, because most of the movies are bad so that means I'm rarely wrong.

    Thanks for the compliment. I actually write my reviews in part to inform.

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