Saturday, April 7, 2012

April 7th-Brought To You By the Letter 'G'

The Grey

Not to be confused with
The Gray-Life in a Box of Crayolas
    Last February, when the family and I traveled to Blacksburg, Virginia to see our son (who is also my daughter's brother. This is way confusing, isn't it?), we did a lot of the things these types of visits require.  Most of which involve giving him money.
  But, after buying him lunch, giving him money, going to Dairy Queen, writing him a check, taking a tour of the campus, taking him to dinner (NOTE: It was at the Outback. I love that place!  With every Bloomin' Onion, you get a free defibrillator.  And a mint.  Fantastic), giving him our bank account information, we asked him what he wanted to do.
    He hesitantly suggested going to a movie.  I was all for this.  Because, even though Mrs. Penwasser and our daughter (his sister.  I think you already knew that, though, huh?) were with us, I was confident we wouldn't be seeing a "chick flick."  After all, this was "our boy's" weekend (despite the fact "our boy" could put me through a wall). 

Yeah, this vampire really sucked
  So, imagine my delight when he said he wanted to see The Grey, a film that looked to be thankfully free of Hugh Grant or sexy vampires.  Sadly, it also turned out to be nudity-free, as well.
  WARNING:  Spoilers ahead.  But, seriously, if you haven't seen it already, that's on you.
For the ladies:
Liam looked nothing like this in the movie.

Incidentally, hope he's wearing shorts. 
If you know what I mean.
The Grey stars Liam Neesom (the picture probably gave that away) as the Irishman, John Ottway (I'm not sure whether Ottway is Irish in the original story.  I just think Neeson said, "Screw it.  I'm keeping me brogue.").
  Anyway, Ottway works in Alaska as "Wolf Security" for an oil drilling team.  The area in which he works is a frigid wilderness, choked with blizzards and unwashed people.  It looked like a set left over from Star Wars (Note to self: don't ever visit Alaska).
  Upon completion of a job, the team is flying home (presumably to warm up and bathe).  Wouldn't you know it, a blizzard strikes, forcing the plane to crash into the wilderness (as opposed to the "other" wilderness).
  As luck would have it, the (evidently POS) plane lands smack-dab in the middle of a pack of wolves' territory (at this point, they may have thought that hunting these things to the point of extinction may not have been so bad, after all).
"Sure, this seems like a great idea."
  Inexplicably, Ottway convinces them to leave the (what I thought) relatively safety of the wreckage and strike out into the (you guessed it) wilderness.
  Not surprisingly, the wolves get all jiggy with their bad selves.  So, disguised as Grandma, they stalk the survivors and pick each one off, to the sound of screams and agony (and snoring by Mrs. Penwasser, who would have preferred we see The Help). 
"The better to eat you with..."
That's just in case you didn't get
the Little Red Riding Hood allusion.
  Through 90 minutes, we await the telltale sound of a helicoter's rotor which would signal rescue.  Sadly, this was not in the cards for Ottway and his party of "Wolf Snacks", as the National Park Service was probably on strike.  Besides, they would have said, "What, are you crazy?  It's a frikkin' wilderness out there!"
  To sum up, they all die.  
"Maybe I should have drank
these things before I broke them...?"
  Even Liam Neeson, who despite taping broken mini-whiskey bottles and a knife to his hands, is no match for the alpha wolf.  Who had a gun.
  Much more than the 'G' entry for the A-Z Challenge (well, okay, it is that), The Grey is an excellent movie despite its shortcomings (remember: no nudity.  The wolves were naked, though.  Well, that's something).  If you get a chance to see it when it comes to television, I'd highly recommend you give it a look.  If you do, I wonder if you'll come to the same conclusion I did:
  Wouldn't it have made much more sense to stay at the crash-site?

  But, if they did, then they probably would have been rescued a lot quicker than two hours.
  And Mrs. Penwasser wouldn't have gotten a good nap.
I had this extra Liam Neeson picture laying around, so I figured I'd use it.
Liam and that devil-looking dude both die.
Two more reasons why The Phantom Menace sucked.



  1. Really enjoyed this, Al. I had a hard time concentrating on your review of The Grey after reading this:

    "With every Bloomin' Onion, you get a free defibrillator. And a mint."

    Hilarious! :D

  2. They all die!!!??? I can't believe you just told me that. How am I supposed to comment if I don't read the whole thing? Why, I'd look like an idiot.
    But, I am now thinking I am glad you told me so I won't have to sit all the way through another movie and than say " Why the hell did I watch this?". So, thank you.
    And they never stay. That would be the smart thing to do.

  3. This must be the start of a new trend in feel-bad movies to stop people getting too upbeat about the economic recovery. It's also going to piss off a lot of naturalists who are trying to reintroduce the wolf to restore the balance of nature. Yep, I can't see many smiling faces arising from this one. Wait..maybe the wolf-hunters will be smiling.

  4. I love it when everybody in the movie dies. No sequel! Money saved! Have you heard Outback is coming out with a new appetizer? It's a tribute to the Pirate's of the Caribbean movies. It's called the Orlando Blooming Onion. Sorry that was bad!

    1. That's a good one! Wished I'd thought of it!

  5. Wolves don't eat me because I am nice. Last weekend, I found myself at the zoo. I just woke up there. Don't ask. Anyway, I saw the lion, and I said,"I am a vegan." It walked over to the fence and just stared at me. I swear I saw a smile.

  6. Good review but I'm with Mrs. Penswasser. Snore. It's not that I don't like wolves because I do and I fight for their rights in Montana but there can be only two endings..... they live or they die and you said they die so I don't have to waste my time sleeping in a theater. I can stay home and catch up on blog reading. Thanks

  7. Thanks I don't have to see the movie. Altho seeing a naked wolf is certainly something and a naked wolf holding a gun too!!!

  8. Blacksburg is beautiful...and expensive. Every time we visit our son, my wallet empties.

    If Mrs. Penwasser fell asleep, odds are I will too. I can't believe they all sad but at least it's realistic.

  9. you made it sound almost boring, but with all the swearing, blood, and tension, how could it be boring?
    i kind of like it when the animals win.

  10. It looked a bit stupid to me, so I'm glad you told me the ending so I don't have to wikipedia it.

  11. I'm glad I won't have to see the movie now, either. I do love Outback and their bloomin' onions, though!

  12. Wait 20 years for the dreaded remake and then the Mrs. can have another nice was a pretty meh movie, but the wolves were naked as you say, that is something. The whole brother sister thing is so confusing too, I never expected that, so'd be here for years if you tried to list all the reasons the phantom menance sucked.

  13. The Grey doesn't sound that great to me, I can't believe even Liam Neeson gets killed off, that guy grew up about 30 miles away from me, he's so awesome.

  14. I'm so glad you cleared up who your son is! I'll bet you would've liked Liam in Taken. That was an exciting action movie, but you would probably lock your son's sister up after you saw it! Julie

  15. @Julie: That really was a good movie. Unfortunately, I'm no bad ass like Liam was in that movie.
    @Matthew: He was pretty good in it, but broken whiskey bottles taped to your hands are no match for a pack of wolves. Or drunks.
    @Pat: The worst part is that I had to pay for it. Reason #1: Jar Jar Binks. Mesah so dumbass.
    @Eva: Ooooohhhhh, Outback........
    @Gia: It was exactly like I thought it would be. Don't get me wrong. It was brainless, but I liked it. Although, I would have thought they could have fashioned some sort of weapons from the plane's wreckage. That made no sense to me.
    @Sherilin: Yeah, like in Bambi. Oh...wait...uh, oh.
    @L: Va Tech and Blacksburg are gorgeous. As far as realistic, my daughter said that it ended like it had to end. Meaning, no cliche helicopter rescue.
    @DM: The lady wolves in the audience went absolutely mental.
    @Manzanita: Yeah, go with it coming to TV. One wolf DOES meet a grisly end, though. But, it was Wolves: 7, People:1. So, I'm thinking they did pretty good for creatures without prehensile thumbs.
    @Nellie: You might want to avoid silver bullets. And old gypsy women.
    @Gorilla: Yeah, high gasoline prices pale in comparison to being disemboweled.
    @Ruth: Show up for the movie, hang around for the popcorn, stay for the nap.
    @Super Earthling: No sense having a working heart without fresh breath, I always say.

  16. I love Liam ---especially in that movie (can't remember the name as usual) where his daughter gets kidnapped by the prostitution trade, and he rescues her.

    Look forward to your challenge run…
    --Damyanti, Co-host A to Z Challenge April 2012

    Twitter: @AprilA2Z

  17. I think it was 'Taken.' Or 'Schindler's List.' But, definitely not 'The Phantom Menace.'

  18. Even Liam Neeson, who despite taping broken mini-whiskey bottles and a knife to his hands, is no match for the alpha wolf. Who had a gun. HA! That is a classic Al...
    Great review! I may still see it anyway...

  19. Is this a true story? It sounds pretty realistic, given the POS plane.

    A terrific Easter to one of my favorite blog peeps. And by this I don't mean a cute, florescent marshmallow chick. You're much more manly than that, Al P.


  20. @Pat: That was one bad ass wolf for sure. Which is amazing considering he still had Grandma's nightgown on.
    @Robyn: I don't think so, but the ending seemed realistic, for sure. Now I'll just have to go check. I'll be back.....

  21. @Robyn: I just checked "" and it said that it wasn't. But, then I saw something else which said, at the ending credits, it says it's based on true events. Well, there are wolves, wolves have killed people (although I'll bet more people have killed wolves. Call me psychic), there is Alaska, Alaska has snow, Liam Neeson exists, and planes have crashed. So, it may be loosely based on real events.

  22. Haha! I can't believe I've missed so much and you're already up to 'G'. This is one of the rare times I'm glad to have a movie spoiled for me. I don't like when everyone dies, unless they show the transition afterwards, even if it's a black blanket with some credits afterwards. Glad you survived the trip with at least some of your wallet intact.

  23. I kept waiting for at least Liam to get rescued, but no. Like my daughter said, though, it ended the way it should be. Still...can't hurt to watch it when it comes to TV.

  24. I havent seen it yet but my mom told she did a few months ago. Her opinion didnt sound too thrilled

  25. Thanks for the research, Al. And I'm glad you had a non-productive Easter with loads of food - as it should be.


  26. @Adam: I liked it. It was pabulum for the mind, but it was nice to check my brain at the door.
    @Robyn: I had time look up whether The Grey was based on a real-life event. Now you know how busy I was today.

  27. Really? they ALL died? But how did the film makers know what happened if no one came back to tell them? Cause all movies are real right?

    Ps Know all about sons and money. Mine seriously needs to get a part time job before I file for bankruptcy