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The Grey (Blu-ray) Official AVSForum Review

post #1 of 82
Thread Starter 

attachment.php?attachmentid=245285&d=1335960797
The Review at a Glance: (max score: 5 )

Film: attachment.php?attachmentid=109947&d=1210373699

Extras: attachment.php?attachmentid=109942&d=1210373647

Audio/Video total rating:


( Max score: 100 )

89






Studio and Year: Universal - 2011
MPAA Rating: R
Feature running time: 118 minutes
Genre: Thriller

Disc Format: BD-50
Encoding: AVC (MPEG-4)
Video Aspect: 2.40:1
Resolution: 1080p/24


Audio Format(s): English DTS-HD 5.1 Master Audio
Subtitles: English SDH, French, Spanish
Starring: Liam Neeson, Frank Grillo, Dermot Mulroney, Dallas Roberts, Joe Anderson, Nonso Anozie, James Badge Dale
Directed by: Joe Carnahan
Music by: Marc Streitenfeld
Written by: Joe Carnahan & Ian Macenzie Jeffers
Region Code: A,B,C

Blu-ray Disc release Date: May 15, 2012









"Live or die on this day"



Film Synopsis:

Liam Neeson stars as John Ottway, a sharp shooting wolf hunter who becomes an unlikely hero, leading a group of oilrig roughnecks on a death-defying backwoods trek through the Alaskan wilderness. When a plane transporting them to Anchorage crashes on a remote mountaintop, eight survivors must find their way back to civilization or perish in a frozen wasteland. With Ottway as their guide, the ravaged group faces hostile terrain with limited supplies. Most terrifyingly, they are stalked by a pack of fierce and cunning wolves. In order to survive, they will have to turn the tables on the ferocious predators in an unparalleled wilderness adventure.




My Take:

Liam Neeson is among the more consist actors of his generation and at nearly sixty shows no signs of slowing down. I tend to like his films and although I didn't catch The Grey while it was in theaters I looked forward to checking it out on Blu-ray. The Grey is as straight forward a survival thriller as you can get and it wastes little time setting up the characters and placing them in harms way. Once things are in place (meaning they are stranded in the Alaskan wilderness) the wonderfully crafted script settles in and provides taut pacing, well drawn characters and plenty of suspense, danger and emotion. The primary catalyst driving the ebbs and flows of anxiety/tension/fear is a pack of wolves that have taken exception to their presence. The survivors are comprised of men from various walks of life most of whom seem to share a commonality in suffering from painful remnants of their pasts. The narrative extracts just enough information (while eschewing overplayed melodrama) to allow us to care about these men while properly counterbalancing those dramatic elements against the primary theme of survival amidst insurmountable odds. As such it becomes all too apparent early on that this film isn't going to pull punches and resort to campy heroics and chants of Kumbaya. People are going to die. What I found gratifying and involving was watching the escalating nature of the storyline, its effect on the characters and the emotive context that eventually results. The cast as an ensemble is equally deserving of praise and truly owns their respective characters. The Grey has a visceral and pervasive edginess that never really lets up right through to the conclusion. It isn't a feel good film nor is it meant to be. It tells a story of hope, despair, reflection and kinship. Its story is also steeped in harsh reality. I thoroughly enjoyed it.



Parental Guide:

The rating is for violence/disturbing content including bloody images and for pervasive language.







AUDIO/VIDEO - By The Numbers:REFERENCE = 92-100 / EXCELLENT = 83-91 / GOOD = 74-82 / AVERAGE = 65-73 / BELOW AVERAGE = under 65

**My audio/video ratings are based upon a comparative made against other high definition media/blu-ray disc.**


(Each rating is worth 4 points with a max of 5 per category)



Audio: 92



  • Dynamics: attachment.php?attachmentid=109947&d=1210373699

  • Low frequency extension: attachment.php?attachmentid=109947&d=1210373699

  • Surround Sound presentation: attachment.php?attachmentid=109948&d=1210373699

  • Clarity/Detail: attachment.php?attachmentid=109947&d=1210373699

  • Dialogue Reproduction: attachment.php?attachmentid=109947&d=1210373699
  •  



Video: 86


(Each rating is worth 4 points with a max of 5 per category)




  • Resolution/Clarity: attachment.php?attachmentid=109947&d=1210373692

  • Black level/Shadow detail: attachment.php?attachmentid=109946&d=1210373692

  • Color reproduction: attachment.php?attachmentid=109946&d=1210373692

  • Fleshtones: attachment.php?attachmentid=109946&d=1210373692

  • Compression: attachment.php?attachmentid=109948&d=1210373692

The Grey comes to Blu-ray from Universal Studios HE featuring 1080p AVC encoded video that has an average bitrate of 32 Mbps and lossless DTS-HD 5.1 Master Audio sound that has average and constant bitrate 3.9 Mbps.

 

This high definition presentation has a light grainy and filmic quality that doesn't lend itself to razor sharp clarity and three dimensional quality. This film has an intentionally stylized visual design that utilizes a limited color scheme that works aesthetically well for the films subject matter/time period. The color range is limited to shades of steely blue, gray and black with splashes of crimson. Warm accents are used here and there to break up the film's monochromatic essence. Fleshtones hold up well against the de-saturated chroma and don't appear unnatural. Uneven light and shading are prevalent. Contrast is spot on which empowers whites and grays without washing away detail. Whites are punchy and grays are multi-staged and deep. The use of CGI and green screens softens some elements during wide angle pans but I never found it to be overtly distracting. I found the quality of the video to be high. It isn't always razor sharp but it's cleanly rendered with plenty of subtle refinement and delineation that enhanced depth and revealed fine detail in objects, clothing, and physical features. Shadow delineation is a bit of a mixed bag which impacts visual penetration in certain scenes while others offers discerning depth of field. I didn't detect any other obvious signs of video related anomalies or artifacts and thought that this encoding looked solid.

 

A movie like this lives or dies (no pun intended) by its soundtrack and this DTS-HD Master Audio mix nails it. This is a captivating surround sound mix that features an immersive array of well placed sound effects that pray upon your aural senses. Near field sounds are accurately placed within the sound field which gives them multi-dimensional perspective that places you right in the middle of the action. The entire room is illuminated with an array of sounds that are both directional and ambient in nature. I appreciated the attention to detail that went into creating the surround mix as it effectively replicates the environments featured in the film. Bass is rich, authoritative, and room energizing as it accentuates the audio's excellent dynamic range with palpable impact. Dialogue intelligibility is never a problem even during the film's active moments. This is a great surround sound experience that certainly made this film more enjoyable.



Bonus Features:


  • Feature commentary with co-writer/director Joe Carnahan and editors Roger Barton & Jason Hellman

  • (HD) 6 deleted scenes

  • Blu-ray Exclusive: Universal's U-Control - Featuring pre-visualization and storyboard comparisons of some the film's most exciting scenes.

  • My scenes bookmark feature

  • D-Box Motion Code enabled

  • pocket BLU

  • BD-Live

  • Bonus DVD of The Grey

  • Ultraviolet Digital Copy


Final Thoughts:

The Grey is a stimulating and involving survival thriller that features taut pacing, fleshed out characters and a visceral edge that proves thoroughly entertaining. It makes its way to Blu-ray from Universal Studios Home Entertainment featuring gratifying high definition video, superb DTS-HD Master Audio surround sound and a diminutive supplemental offering that left me wanting. If you're a fan this is a must have. If you haven't seen The Grey I highly recommend it.









attachment.php?attachmentid=109949&d=1210373731






Ralph Potts
AVS Forum Blu-ray Reviews





Reference Review System:


JVC DLA-RS55 3D Ready 1080p High Definition Front Projector
Stewart Filmscreen - Studiotek 130 G3 100 16x9 Screen
Onkyo PR-SC5508 THX Ultra 2 Audio/Video Processor
Sherbourn Technologies - 7/200 Seven Channel Amplifier
Oppo BDP-93 Universal Disc/3D capable Blu-ray Player (HDMI Audio/Video)
Panasonic DMP-BDT310 3D capable Blu-ray Player (HDMI Audio/Video)
Toshiba HD-XA2 HD DVD Player (HDMI Audio/Video)
Sony Playstation 3 Blu-ray disc Player (HDMI Audio/Video)
System Controller: Apple iPad/iRule Pro HD Universal Remote Control
Canton "Ergo" Series speakers
Axiom Audio QS8 Quadpolar speakers
SV Sound PB-13 Ultra (Rosenut finish)
APC AV S15BLK Power Conditioner/Surge Protector
Furman SPR-20i Stable Power Regulator
Wireworld, Better Cables (Silver Serpent) - Audio/Video/Speaker Cabling
Cool Components - CP-CP102 cooling package

post #2 of 82
Thought this was a great film and has that Cast Away feel to it.

Definite buy for me!
post #3 of 82
Enjoyed this very much at the cinema. I thought the wolves were ridiculously over the top tho and the scene where the survivors have to leap over a chasm and cling onto some tress was also so far fetched it took me out of the movie a little. Ending might have been a bit better too imo. Anyway, another great performance by Liam Neeson- such great screen presence. Great review Ralph and pre-ordered!
post #4 of 82
King P...you keep bullying me into giving up my lunch money for these flix.. I will pick this up on it's street date...

Geat review as always King P !!
post #5 of 82
A friend of mine told me that this movie makes The Edge look like a child's film...OK, I'll buy this on Day 1.
post #6 of 82
I been waiting to see this movie when it was at the theater. Will watch it. I like Liam.
post #7 of 82
Just when I was thinking that I would not be buying this one...just when I thought I was out...

Ralph pulls me back in!
post #8 of 82
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by King_David View Post

Just when I was thinking that I would not be buying this one...just when I thought I was out...

Ralph pulls me back in!

Greetings,



Sorry King_David..


Regards,
post #9 of 82
Great review Ralph, and as usual you're spot on with your take on the film.

I loved this film, but it is no feel good film as you said.

To the comment above about the creatures being way over the top...

there is a lot of symbolism in this film, not everything is meant to be literal. Thats where I find this movie goes far beyond just a typical action thriller, and leaves you thinking for days, weeks, on end. And this is a sign of a great film.
post #10 of 82
Fantastic movie. Had me hooked from the first time I saw the trailer. Especially the part where he just wakes up in the middle of nowhere that's terrifying (Not a spoiler it's in the trailer :P ). Can't say enough about Liam Neeson's acting abilities he's been one of my favorites to watch for years.

Definitely a must buy, probably day one as well!

P.S. Did you guys stay for the scene after the credits?
post #11 of 82
Going by your review Ralph ill give it a go. Thank you.
post #12 of 82
Quote:
Originally Posted by hsinnott View Post

Enjoyed this very much at the cinema. I thought the wolves were ridiculously over the top tho and the scene where the survivors have to leap over a chasm and cling onto some tress was also so far fetched it took me out of the movie a little. Ending might have been a bit better too imo. Anyway, another great performance by Liam Neeson- such great screen presence. Great review Ralph and pre-ordered!

What about TC in MI4 hanging n flying from tall building? Is that believeable or far fetched?
post #13 of 82
I really enjoy Mr Potts' reviews and have purchased a few BDs due to his reviews, The Gray will be yet another. Mr Potts does a great job reviewing, glad to have him as part of this forum!
post #14 of 82
Quote:
Originally Posted by Xavier1 View Post

Great review Ralph, and as usual you're spot on with your take on the film.

I loved this film, but it is no feel good film as you said.

To the comment above about the creatures being way over the top...

there is a lot of symbolism in this film, not everything is meant to be literal. Thats where I find this movie goes far beyond just a typical action thriller, and leaves you thinking for days, weeks, on end. And this is a sign of a great film.

Well the Director, Joe Carnahan, is hardly known for his subtlety (The A Team, Smokin' Aces 2 etc).
post #15 of 82
Quote:
Originally Posted by chong67 View Post

What about TC in MI4 hanging n flying from tall building? Is that believeable or far fetched?

Hardly fair to compare the 2...you almost go into an action packed movie like MI4 expecting the ridiculous and outrageous, suspending your disbelief for the 2 hour ride.
post #16 of 82
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by mconley1015 View Post

I really enjoy Mr Potts' reviews and have purchased a few BDs due to his reviews, The Gray will be yet another. Mr Potts does a great job reviewing, glad to have him as part of this forum!

Greetings,

Thank you very much mconley1015. Your comments and support are much appreciated.

Regards,
post #17 of 82
I always love Ralph's reviews but this one time I'm going to disagree. I didn't think much of the movie first time around. It came off to me as somewhat cliche and predictable - not a bad movie and therefore at least worth a watch - but nowhere near a great one either.
post #18 of 82
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by javry View Post

I always love Ralph's reviews but this one time I'm going to disagree. I didn't think much of the movie first time around. It came off to me as somewhat cliche and predictable - not a bad movie and therefore at least worth a watch - but nowhere near a great one either.

Greetings,

Thanks for posting your thoughts javry. No worries, we were bound to disagree at least ONCE..

Regards,
post #19 of 82
Some wildlife lovers are a bit upset over how wolves are portrayed in this film, insisting that wolves just don't behave that way. Probably so, but it won't stop me from enjoying it. Definitely on my must own list.
post #20 of 82
Quote:
Originally Posted by Georgeb View Post

Some wildlife lovers are a bit upset over how wolves are portrayed in this film, insisting that wolves just don't behave that way. Probably so, but it won't stop me from enjoying it. Definitely on my must own list.

That is a fact, wolves don't attack people, that is a myth.
Right there the movie is inaccurate in it's content.

Have you ever heard or read wolves attacking people?

I haven't seen the movie, but if it's good entertainment, then so be it.

As long as people know the facts.
post #21 of 82
Quote:
Originally Posted by javry View Post

I always love Ralph's reviews but this one time I'm going to disagree. I didn't think much of the movie first time around. It came off to me as somewhat cliche and predictable - not a bad movie and therefore at least worth a watch - but nowhere near a great one either.

I'll take it one step further. At best, this was a rental for me. I didn't find the wolves or the location convincing. I watched this with three others and we all gave it thumbs down.
post #22 of 82
Another nice review, Ralph. I've had this on pre-order--and now I know I can keep it there.
post #23 of 82
Quote:
Originally Posted by tardis26 View Post

That is a fact, wolves don't attack people, that is a myth.
Right there the movie is inaccurate in it's content.

Have you ever heard or read wolves attacking people?

I haven't seen the movie, but if it's good entertainment, then so be it.

As long as people know the facts.

I agree, the first time I watched this, I found it totally unbelievable just because of how the wolves were portrayed.

Heck, the opening scene alone with Liam and the wolf was so far-fetched. That just isn't the way wolves act.

Guess I'll give it another go, maybe I'll appreciate it more the second time.
post #24 of 82
Yep, I was thinking of passing on this one but based on Ralph's review it's going onto my "movies to watch" listing.

Thanks for taking the time to review this for us, Ralph... it truly is appreciated!
post #25 of 82
Quote:
Originally Posted by tardis26 View Post

That is a fact, wolves don't attack people, that is a myth.
Right there the movie is inaccurate in it's content.

Have you ever heard or read wolves attacking people?

I haven't seen the movie, but if it's good entertainment, then so be it.

As long as people know the facts.

Have you heard of bob cat attacking people? This thing is true and its out in the wild and in your backyard.
post #26 of 82
Quote:
Originally Posted by chong67 View Post

Have you heard of bob cat attacking people? This thing is true and its out in the wild and in your backyard.

Do you even know the difference between a bobcat and a wolf??

I am talking about wolves not bobcats or any other cats!
Perhaps you should educate yourself more before commenting.
post #27 of 82
Thread Starter 
Greetings,

The discussion regarding the factual basis surrounding the film's depiction of wolves isn't relevant to this review thread. Please move on.

Regards,
post #28 of 82
I saw it last night. The ending part ...
post #29 of 82
Quote:
Originally Posted by spiritfox View Post

Another nice review, Ralph. I've had this on pre-order--and now I know I can keep it there.

I pre-order a lot of BD's based on Ralph's reviews and I'm never disappointed
post #30 of 82
Went to rent this yesterday on "release day", but apparently the Canadian release is the 22nd.
Great review as always Ralph! I look forward to checking this one out.
cheers,
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