Grey, The (Blu-ray) (2011)

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Released 27-Jun-2012

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Details At A Glance

General Extras
Category Action Adventure Main Menu Audio & Animation
Featurette-3 promos
Rating Rated MA
Year Of Production 2011
Running Time 117:11
RSDL / Flipper Dual Layered Cast & Crew
Start Up Ads Then Menu
Region Coding 4 Directed By Joe Carnahan
Studio
Distributor
Icon Entertainment Starring Liam Neeson
Dermot Mulroney
Nonso Anozie
Case Standard Blu-ray
RPI ? Music Marc Streitenfeld


Video Audio
Pan & Scan/Full Frame None English DTS HD Master Audio 5.1
Widescreen Aspect Ratio 2.35:1
16x9 Enhancement
16x9 Enhanced
Video Format 1080p
Original Aspect Ratio 2.35:1 Miscellaneous
Jacket Pictures No
Subtitles English for the Hearing Impaired Smoking No
Annoying Product Placement No
Action In or After Credits No

NOTE: The Profanity Filter is ON. Turn it off here.

Plot Synopsis

     Liam Neeson, one of my favourite actors, has just turned 60 in June 2012. For a man of that vintage to make a film such as this which was filmed in the actual Canadian wilderness is quite amazing. This film is a raw, tense & exciting vision of man vs. nature. The story is simple, however, it is extremely well made and carries an emotional weight which is quite surprising for what is essentially 'just' a survival film. The film was directed and written by Joe Carnahan with the production assistance of Tony & Ridley Scott.

     The story involves a group of oil workers in remote Alaska who fly-in and out to their jobs. One of their number, Ottway (Neeson) is there to shoot any wolves which come close to the workers as they go about their business in the snowy environment. He is a loner, driven to find a remote job by the death of his wife, which he is not coping with. A group of workers including Ottway board a flight back to civilisation. Due to a storm, the plane crashes, leaving only 7 of the men alive. These include Ottway, Diaz (Frank Grillo), Talget (Dermot Mulroney), Hendrick (Dallas Roberts), Flannery (Joe Anderson) & Burke (Nonzo Anozie). They try to collect whatever supplies they can find and quickly realise that they must move away from the plane if they are to survive. They have had the misfortune to crash land in the territory of a pack of large, aggressive wolves which they must try to avoid and defend themselves from. The rest of the film follows their successes and failures at this task.

     This is a marvellously shot and acted film, directed tightly by Carnahan. The sound design and music add to the tension and realistic feel of the film. With the exception of the wolves, most of the action is done physically in the natural environment. The wolves are generally quite well done CGI although they are occasionally obvious. This film caused some controversy on release in the US especially with PETA, who protested some of the animal vs. man violence involved. There is some excellent use of a variety of camera angles and techniques by DOP Masanobu Takayanagi adding significantly to the visual interest of the film.

     Taken at its most obvious level this is a tense and thrilling action adventure film but there are also some interesting messages here about how man is only the top of the food chain when in an environment controlled by the technology we create whether that be a rifle, a fence or an animal trap. In a wild environment, we are not as all powerful as we might think. It makes you look at the family dog in a new light!

     Highly recommended.

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Transfer Quality

Video

     The video quality is very good.

     The feature is presented in a 2.35:1 aspect ratio which is the original aspect ratio. It is 1080p encoded using AVC.

     The picture is excellent in close-up, with craggy faces and unshaven chins being shown in stark relief, although longer shots were quite often grainy. It is my understanding from things I have read that this look was intentional, however, it certainly does not show off the best of the format. Shadow detail was excellent.

     The colour is quite good but obviously restricted by the setting of the film to mostly white, greys, blacks and some muted browns.

     There are no obvious artefacts other than the grain mentioned above.

     There are subtitles available in English for the hearing impaired which are clear and easy to read.

    There are no obvious layer changes during playback.

Video Ratings Summary
Sharpness
Shadow Detail
Colour
Grain/Pixelization
Film-To-Video Artefacts
Film Artefacts
Overall

Audio

     The audio quality is excellent, showing off your surround sound system.

     This disc contains a English soundtrack in DTS-HD MA 5.1.

     Dialogue was mostly clear and easy to understand however the subtitles proved useful at times.

     The music by Marc Streitenfeld is spare but extremely effective adding to the tension and rawness of the film.

     The surround speakers are a real highlight here, with the constant wind, howling wolves circling and the almighty sound in the aircraft crash. A real standout in terms of sound design and transfer.

     The subwoofer was also used resoundingly well throughout for the crashes, wolves, music and other noises.

Audio Ratings Summary
Dialogue
Audio Sync
Clicks/Pops/Dropouts
Surround Channel Use
Subwoofer
Overall

Extras

     Not much here especially considering the other regions got more.

Menu

     The menu included music, action and allowed for scene selection.

The Extremes (2:47)

     Short promo featurette with small interview excerpts.

Into the Fray (2:22)

     Short promo featurette with small interview excerpts.

Man Vs Nature (2:35)

     Short promo featurette with small interview excerpts.

DTS HD-MA Soundcheck

     5.1 and 7.1 versions.

R4 vs R1

NOTE: To view non-R4 releases, your equipment needs to be multi-zone compatible and usually also NTSC compatible.

    This Blu-ray release is a poor cousin to both the UK Region B release and the US Region A release, both of which feature an audio commentary (which is supposed to be high quality) and some deleted scenes. Either of the others is better.

Summary

     A highly effective and thought provoking action adventure film.

     The video quality is very good.

     The audio quality is excellent.

     The extras have been gnawed by a wolf and spat out.

Ratings (out of 5)

Video
Audio
Extras
Plot
Overall

© Daniel Bruce (Do you need a bio break?)
Saturday, July 14, 2012
Review Equipment
DVDSONY BDP-S760 Blu-ray, using HDMI output
DisplaySharp LC52LE820X Quattron 52" Full HD LED-LCD TV . Calibrated with Ultimate DVD Platinum. This display device is 16x9 capable. This display device has a maximum native resolution of 1080p.
Audio DecoderBuilt into BD player. Calibrated with Ultimate DVD Platinum.
AmplificationPioneer VSX-511
SpeakersMonitor Audio Bronze 2 (Front), Bronze Centre & Bronze FX (Rears) + Sony SAW2500M Subwoofer

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