Saturday, March 10, 2012

Reviews: The Grey and Footloose (2011)

The Grey grossed approximately 55 million dollars at the end of its theatrical run off a budget of $25 million. It deserves much more. Hopefully it will, as the film may return in October for an Oscar push.
  The film's genre is adventure. It is more like a role-playing horror game with wolves instead of the undead. The plot concerns John Ottway (Liam Neeson) being left out in Alaska with other plane cash survivors. Either the frost gets to them or the wolfpack but Neeson is determined to not let the animals eat them up. Luckily, there was no doctor on board to slow the pace down. The scenery is amazing and the movie captures the ice element with perfection. I urge the director Joe Carnahan to try a niche in the National Geographic channel. Directing is superb and makes most out of the film's good points. It surpasses the screenplay write by Joe Carnahan and Ian Mackenzie Jeffers based on a short story by the latter.
As most would expect Neeson acted exactly according to the role. Co-stars also shone along with him and you can't call this one a one-man show like his Taken and Unknown. The Grey is better than Unknown but does not exceed the cinematic greatness of Taken. Better luck with Taken 2 Neeson!
  Overall, the film is one of the rare few that equals drama and thrill in a single venture, unlike the boring 127 hours. And it tells the story of a wolf-hunter not a Navy SEAL or ex-army guy doing mind-numbing heroics. This feature film never once exceeds the point of reality and although it is slow at most parts, you'll never predict the woo!
  A 3 out 4 from me.

Moving on, the 1984 Footloose was a good movie. Yes it's a teen dance classic but even the first Step Up was better. I have no quarrel with 5.2 rating from IMDB.
  The remake is almost a scene-to-scene copy of the original. And although we have veteran actor Dennis Quaid delivering his sentimentality, the others were unimpressive. The lead played by Kenny Wormald did well to equal the dance moves of Kevin Bacon, but lacked the charisma. Face it - both movies were predictable. But at least the first did a grand job of covering it up. Even the 1984 version had better dance performances. The drama in this one is cliched to the point of exhaustion. And although the female lead Julianne Hough has gorgeous leopard features, she couldn't convince audiences as an actress even if she won a fake Academy Award.

  The plot follows a young man who moves from Boston to a small southern town and protests the town's ban against dancing. Well, with such dancing no wonder it would be banned. Where's the power of the script? The directing is OK but the screenplay is bad. The dialogues sound like an ill excuse for lack of experience. The set-up of the town is well done though. Quaid played his part of a Father well both to the church and the girl. Only the moves by the lead actor were worth remembering. Believe me this dance flick could've been better choreographed by an action stuntman. The film has earned $62m off $24m. The original grossed a little over $80m off $8.5m - rightfully so.
  Footloose (1984) 2.5/4.
  Footloose (2011) 2/4.
  And people might watch the film full because of Hough - like I did...

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