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The Grey (2011)
A different kind of movie
Just a warning, this review will contain spoilers.
The ending of the movie can be said to be "sudden" in that it's (spoiler) Liam running at the Alpha and then BAM! go to black (/spoiler) and the people behind me were freaking out going "OMG it can't end like that!" For one thing, the way it ended was perfect, because the type of movie "The Grey" is isn't just a cut and dry "man thrust into wild, man struggles, man survives" survival movie. It displayed a sense of realism that's often times not a part of real survival situations. It's too convenient that the plane crashes only a handful of miles away from help, and while that produces that heart warming "Aww yeah we won against nature!" feeling, that's not always what happens. This movie is about man struggle in an environment against a predator that's actually more fit for that environment than we are. We like to pride ourselves as a species for being "the top of the food chain", but what's often forgot to those who may or may not have a formal education in Evolutionary Biology is that "the top of the food chain" is a purely situation dictated phenomenon. In an arctic wilderness where we need 8 layers just to sustain life with a carnivore naturally adapted specifically to the environment, 9 times out of ten, what happened in the movie would happen in real life. I respect the movie, and the directors for that. It made me reflect who I was as a member of the human race in relation to the rest of the planet. The end of the movie leaving it up for your interpretation was actually perfect, despite what the movie goers behind me were saying. (spoiler)The ending was simple, yet powerful. Liam was in a situation he did not expect to get out of alive, yet knew he didn't have to go out without a fight...so he made it to where if he was going to die, so was the Alpha. Sometimes...that's how you truly win against nature.(/spoiler)
That and the music. the music was just fantastic.
Final Destination 5 (2011)
I'm a fan of Final Destination, but it needs to retire.
I'm a certified EMT-B and trained as a Medic with the United States Army. I don't say that to try and "impress" some anonymous face on the internet, I say that because I think my training may have ruined this movie for me.
*SPOILER* The first death (after the initial catastrophe) is a girl, about 100-120 lbs, falling no more than 6-7 feet onto a padded floor, and ending up with a compound fracture of her everything. Seriously? Even being generous, the most she'd get is a c-spine injury resulting in a less-than spectacular death caused by her spinal cord being severed. I get that's not a very glamorous death scene, and that the audience needs a lot of gore to be "impressed", but the way her body was contorted and pulverized left me sitting in my seat resisting the urge to shout "THAT WOULDN'T HAPPEN!" and pissing off the other movie goers. */SPOILER*
I'll spare everyone any further spoilers since, well, there's just too much to count. I can still say, though, that the rest of the death's, including the original catastrophe, were mostly just like the one I described in respect to unrealistic body mechanics. It's as if everyone in the universe of Final Destination is naturally born more fragile than those from our own Universe, and to be honest that ruined the sense of immersion I got from earlier movies.
It's still a very intriguing concept, and the ending really threw me off and made an impression that I liked. However, the previous movie, named "The Final Destination", I thought named that way to indicate that it's the final movie in the franchise, completely prepared me for the end of that franchise. The fact that they're still making movies, and hinting that there will be more, mixed with the poor body mechanics, saddens me. They might as well be milking it for all it's worth when it should have, and, in my mind, as an initial fan, WAS ended.
The Darkest Hour (2011)
Not sure what the big deal is
First off, don't get my review title wrong, I actually found the movie rather fascinating given my initial expectation. My title is more directed at the reviewers who crutch their poor reviews on the aspect of originality.
For one, what is there to expect out of an alien movie these days? They're either friendly, or they're blood thirsty, this movie being an example of the later. Now, given they're bloodthirsty, how many various, and colorful reasons can there be for an alien invasion? Anyone having taken a 9th grade social studies class can tell you that initial invasions of a hostile intent happen for one of 3 reasons, territory, resources, or religion. This movie, *SPOILERS* eventually, made the hypothesis that the initial invasion was for resources. */SPOILERS* How many "original" concepts can we really ask for out of those 3 categories?
Here's what I noticed defining this movie from other alien invasion concepts: *SPOILERS* 1. They weren't identifiable, humanoid invaders. That definitely gave me a different perspective on differing lifeforms. 905 of the alien movies I see, even if they try to hide their true form, end up being mostly humanoid in shape. 2. There was no identifiable warning for the alien attack. It just happened, and it was sudden. 3. It was through the perspective of every day schmucks who had to figure it all out on their own. There were no convenient plot devices like a misc. scientist who just popped up and already knew all of the answers. 4. The mode of fighting back was a gradual process. There was no sudden discovery of a super weapon that could kill the aliens with no issue. 5. It delved MUCH much further into the human aspect of an alien invasion than I've seen out of a lot of alien movies. It really made me think of how "normal" people might react in that situation. */SPOILERS*
It most certainly is not the most creative alien movie I have seen in a long while, I reserve that for "Paul", but it most certainly was not "unoriginal". They took the reference of an alien invasion for our resources, which is a common plot device, but changed the perspective, eventual solution, and even the antagonistic element. I haven't seen that since Battle of Los Angeles, though that movie only received a 2 so I guess I shouldn't really be surprised Darkest Hour is getting this kind of rating.
Also, not to try and call anyone specific out, but it's easy to say something like "It's unoriginal" while giving no hint as to what you think would constitute as an original idea...I keep reading these reviews that have the phrase "It's unoriginal" stretched out into 3 paragraphs.