Ain't It Cool News (www.aintitcool.com)
Movie News

The Infamous Billy The Kidd Chats With Director Joe Carnahan About THE GREY And His Vision For DEATH WISH!!

 

Back before I joined Ain't It Cool News at the end of Februrary, I had a chance to talk with director Joe Carnahan in my old stomping grounds right around the theatrical release of THE GREY and what really struck me the most about him is how candid he is. Joe Carnahan isn't going to feed you lines or bullshit. He's going to speak from his gut and tell you exactly what he thinks, good or bad. 

So when I was offered up another chance to talk with Carnahan about a film I love so dearly, I was all for it, even though I'd just spoke with him about THE GREY a few months earlier. For one, I'd have the opportunity to get into more spoilerish territory with him about the fate of certain characters as well as the post-credits sequence that I'm not even sure a lot of people were aware existed. However, it'd also give me the chance to get the latest on his take on DEATH WISH. 

I'll always take advantage of the chance to speak with someone who isn't so careful with their words and just speaks with honesty, so enjoy a rather revealing talk with Joe Carnahan.

The Infamous Billy The Kidd: Hey, Joe. How’s it going?

Joe Carnahan: Hey, Billy. How are you doing, man?

The Kidd: I’m doing alright. It’s good to talk to you again.

Joe Carnahan: Good to talk to you, brother. 

The Kidd: So I’m sure you are excited now that THE GREY is finally on home release. It’s been a long process for you.

Joe Carnahan: Heck yeah. I’m thrilled that it’s out there and doing its thing now.

The Kidd: So let me start actually really early in the process, because I was curious to get your thoughts on this. When THE GREY was first coming together Bradley Cooper was attached to it and the film was kind of developing around him at the front of it in that lead role. At what point in the process did he leave and Liam Neeson step in? Did you have to make any changes to the overall script to kind of tailor it more towards Liam than what was for Bradley previously?

Joe Carnahan: You know what, Bill, I didn’t really do any work at all. I thought it was… I wanted Ottway to kind of stand on his own. I think we were very fortunate that we got Liam in that way and even Bradley with it being very magnanimous said the same thing to me. He was like “Thank God you got Liam in that,” because it’s very much a different film. But once we kind of knew that Bradley was going to have to do THE HANGOVER sequel it kind of became something that we didn’t… I knew at that point that I was going to have to make a change and listen, just having come off this experience with Liam and just thinking about him for the role and what he could do with it, it’s like “My God…” I mean really, we are so lucky that that happened and went down the way it did. I just can’t imagine anyone else kind of embodying the character the way that Liam did.

The Kidd: How important was it for you to kind of stay away from doing a typical Hollywood ending for THE GREY? You know, because any other… not any other, but I think in a lot of cases to make a film like this, there would be some suggestion or pressure to kind of have a happy ending or a hero coming out on top. Did Open Road kind of leave you alone to do this the way you wanted it to be done so that it feels a little bit more grounded in reality?

Joe Carnahan: Here’s the thing, it was a blessing that we didn’t have the traditional studio mechanism looming over us that would have encouraged us to do something differently than what we did and I think… listen, there’s the movie that you write, the movie that you shoot, and then there’s the movie that you release and often times they are radically dissimilar from one another and I think in this one it’s like as we went along and as we were putting the film together it starts to tell you and you begin a dialog with the film about what it wants to be and for me the movie at the end was always about a guy making a choice and less about a guy fighting a wolf, you know? So that was always my philosophy and listen, I think there’s a fare number of people that felt burned by that, but I also submit to you that that’s also because we’ve had a steady diet of that shit for years and I don’t think you find that… When I did the European arm of the promotional tour for the movie, that question wasn’t nearly that prominent. They loved that, (Laughs) that that’s the way it ended, but I also think it’s because it’s a different kind of… Their cinema is a lot different and…

The Kidd: And I agree. Some of it ties into the marketing and there were some people who I have talked to that absolutely loved the film and I’m on board with that…

Joe Carnahan: Fair enough, Billy, but again I think that their job as marketers is always to bring as many people into the theater as possible and I understand that if people felt burned because they thought “I’m going to see this fight between Liam Neeson and a wolf,” but at the same time I wonder if we would have gotten those people to begin with had we not. Do you know what I mean?

The Kidd: No, I agree. It’s a Catch-22 situation, like “If we just show it the way that we want to show it, are they going to show up to begin with, as opposed to if we show it now, then we may not get those people coming in.”

Joe Carnahan: Sure and I’m hoping that the people that would normally have not seen a film like this, because they were lured in that way might have enjoyed themselves more or gotten more out of it, because it didn’t deliver the standard set of expectations and didn’t cross the T’s and dot the I’s in a way that they were accustomed to. I think listen, too often when we go into movies we know exactly what we are going to get before we sit down and I think it’s interesting to at least bash those hopes once in a while (laughs) and mess with it a little bit. I mean certainly I thought it was worth the stretch.

The Kidd: Even to go with the wolves scenario…. I mean I saw the film three times actually when it got released theatrically and now revisiting it on DVD and Blu-ray, you kind of forget the fact that the wolves are there to a point, because not all of these guys get taken by the wolves. They are so focused and concerned with the wolves, but really there’s no escape from anything once they get out of this plane crash, whether it’s the elements or a cliff, so almost the wolves take a backseat and they are not driving the action of the film any more.

Joe Carnahan: No, I don’t think so. I think the wolves are always meant to be a component as what you are saying; it’s always meant to be a component part of nature itself. I was never positing this film as like a JAWS like experience where it was a shark against these guys, it was the whole of nature against these guys. The cliff side, the river, the blizzards, it was everything teaming up to beat these guys and nature will do that, it’s kind of merciless and it’s equally beautiful as it is absolutely hostile and these people that will focus in on “Oh, these poor wolves,” it’s like “Okay, you go out in the wild and see if you bed down near a wolf den and see how they treat you and if you think it’s going to be a big cuddle-fest and everybody is going to cuddle up near the fire, then you are out of your mind.” I just find that incredibly naïve, but I also think a lot of these people, the same people that kind of took be to task, which I include PETA… those morons and this particular group… To me it’s like they would step over a starving kid to get to a wounded squirrel, so that’s the difference… (Laughs) I have a healthier sense of my relationship to the world and particularly to wild animals and not encroaching on that and not tempting or acting as if it is… “Yes, we are an ecosystem and we are different species” and I think that gets lost a little bit.

The Kidd: Let me ask you this, does Ottway know that he’s going to die? Because the first couple of times  watched it with these kind of slow reveals of the flashbacks and the visions of his wife and these memories, that’s what it felt like, this kind of reveal of his past, but in watching it again I think there’s room for this other interpretation that ties in with Talget’s daughter or  Burke’s sister where they are recalling these things right before their ends. Is there a definitive way, one way or the other, that he knows he is going to die? Or is it just kind of that reveal?

Joe Carnahan: Listen, I think you could make… You could certainly make an argument that Ottway is aware of or feels as though fate is drawing him out. Do you know what I mean? That he is… there’s some sort of fate accompli at works and I don’t think you would be wrong if you made that kind of assessment, but at the same time I think its also… you’ve seen it now certainly a number of times and certainly enough times to know the nuances and stuff that’s at work that on a first viewing it may not be as obvious, you know? I think there is a sense… Early on when he’s going to off himself and that wolf kind of calls to him from the mountains, it’s almost as if to say, “We’ve got unfinished business, pal. If you’re going to go, you’re not going to go like this. We’ve got some shit to discuss.” It’s kind of that whole thing, so I think when he finally gets to the den, he has that kind of realization that he was being led there all along and it was inevitable that he was going to wind up there, so yeah I think to some degree “Did he know he was going to die?” Yeah, and I think the reverse of that is a guy who has no use for his life at the beginning is fighting like made for it by the end, to the point where he makes this kind of BUTCH AND SUNDANCE mad dash into the mouth of doom, you know?

The Kidd: Let me also ask you about the stinger, because the first time I had seen the film I wasn’t even aware that there was a pot credits scene. I was kind of told in subsequent viewings and really I was curious, because the first time I saw it I thought it ended rather poetically and didn’t really need anything extra. So why is the extra footage attached at the end?

Joe Carnahan: I’m the same way, Billy. I don’t think that the film ends any differently and I think it’s the only time I’ve ever put anything in a film purely for artistic purposes, purely because I wanted to do it. You know what I mean? And that image was very harmonious to be and it very much felt to me like… To me it’s like when the film ends, the film ends, but it was the smallest little afterthought. You could chalk it up to whatever… I also did it just as, again without any real… Someone asked me what I thought it meant and I just thought to me it felt harmonious. It felt like these two creatures breathing, you didn’t know the outcome of the fight, if they are alive, if they are dead, or whatever it was. It was just a breath, that was it. So I didn’t feel the need to defend it beyond that. Do you know what I mean? The movie ends where the movie ends, but I just wanted it in there and didn’t want… And when we did it, I thought I’d show it to Tom Wartenberg and “Whatever happens happens, I just kind of like it.” And he loved it, so that was that man, but by no means is it meant to color the ending of the film. I simply did it as my own enhancement to that experience I guess, for lack of a better explanation.

[The two are interrupted and told there is only time for one question.]

The Kidd: Let me ask you about DEATH WISH then, because that seems to be I guess where you are moving. One, is that definitely going to be next? And then beyond that I know Frank Grillo had said you were writing a part for him and it’s kind of going to be a two hander as opposed to just Kersey by himself. Do you have someone in mind already for the Kersey role? Have there been any talks or discussions?

Joe Carnahan: I do, but to share it would jinx it, so I wouldn’t. Yes, I do and it’s very anti what you would expect in terms of what Bronson did with that part. It’s a more… I said this in the past, that material was originally intended for Sidney Lumet and Jack Lemmon. That’s who was going to make DEATH WISH and that fascinates me, the idea of those two guys making that movie. So that’s what I’m kind of interested in revisiting and not so much the novel as so much the notion of vengeance, the notion of what it’s like to take a relatively or completely peaceful man, not necessarily a pacifist, but a peaceful man, a guy who has not known violence in his life and introduce it in such a horrific fashion that it fundamentally alters you, you know, genetically, it does something to you that you can’t undo. So it’s much more of a psychological attack on DEATH WISH and at the same time it’s very much an action film. It’s L.A. as a walking city. It’s L.A. by bus and cab and train and in a way that you haven’t seen it and I just spent the last week with Gusmano Cesaretti who is Michael Mann’s locations guy and kind of set photographer. Everything you saw in HEAT and COLLATERAL and for Tony Scott’s MAN ON FIRE, that’s all Gusmano going and finding these thing. (Laughs) And I had the most extraordinary tour of the city I live in that I’ve never seen. So I’m really interested in that. L.A. is going to play a big part of what that movie is and I’m kind of excited about that.

The Kidd: All right, Joe. Thanks a lot man. I really appreciate it.

Joe Carnahan: You got it, buddy.

The Kidd: All right, thank you.

 

I get the feeling we're not getting Liam Neeson for DEATH WISH, which may disappoint some who felt it was the obvious choice given their work together in the past. However, bringing up Jack Lemmon, who is the opposite of Neeson and/or Bronson, shows we may get someone a bit more reserved and unexpected when it comes to being pushed to violence... think Dustin Hoffman in the original STRAW DOGS. 

In any event, THE GREY is now available on Blu-ray, DVD and digital download. I highly suggest grabbing yourself a copy if you haven't already, because it's truly some emotionally powerful stuff. 

 

-Billy Donnelly

"The Infamous Billy The Kidd"

BillyTheKidd@aintitcool.com

Follow me on Twitter.

Readers Talkback
comments powered by Disqus
    + Expand All
  • May 21, 2012, 12:17 p.m. CST

    Was gonna rent this, but then Chronicle came out.

    by CodeName

  • May 21, 2012, 12:21 p.m. CST

    Nice!

    by Chris Moody

  • May 21, 2012, 12:23 p.m. CST

    THE GREY was much better than I expected...

    by Chris Moody

    Although it is an "extreme survival" film, it is much more than that! The film is about facing death and the reasons and will to live.

  • May 21, 2012, 12:48 p.m. CST

    Neeson was the ONLY choice for Ottway...

    by LF Martinez

    I can't believe Bradley Cooper was originally up for the role of Ottway in this film...his acting is so one dimensional that he would have destroyed it. He is just a pretty face and is best in parts playing a superficial cad. He has the emotional center and appeal of a frosted flake. Neeson brought the right kind of gravitas to the role of Ottway, an emotionally distraught and lonely man who no longer sees a purpose for living after his wife "left him." Really, Neeson was the only person who could have played this part given the actual tragic death of his wife a couple of years ago. I am certain that horrible personal loss influenced much of the inner turmoil his character wrestles with on screen. His acting and the acting of the largely unrecognized supporting cast brought authenticity to a film that walked a fine line between a surreal nightmare and a grisly reality.

  • May 21, 2012, 1 p.m. CST

    Oh and Joe Carnahan...

    by LF Martinez

    is now a director whose work I eagerly anticipate. Can't believe the same guy who directed The Grey did the A-Team. Very curious about Death Wish now.

  • May 21, 2012, 1:02 p.m. CST

    "Let me ask you..."

    by aceattorney

    Great interview, but beginning each question with, "let me ask you," is redundant.

  • May 21, 2012, 1:13 p.m. CST

    The key to Death Wish

    by schadenfreudian

    Getting Jeff Goldblum to reprise his role of the thug who says, "God damn RICH CUNT!"

  • May 21, 2012, 1:35 p.m. CST

    OK, holy shit, NOW I am confused...

    by kem070396

    I was ok with the ending..I really was. But I just saw that stinger and reading this interview...IS OTTWAY DEAD OR NOT???

  • May 21, 2012, 1:41 p.m. CST

    The only actor who could fill Charlie Bronsons Shoes is . . .

    by Jamie Bixby

    . . . . Robert Downey Jr, coolest and biggest movie star on the planet right now, and just imagine how amazing it would be to see him go ape shit vigillante in a proper action/thriller. Plus he prob knows where all the drug dealers hide out in LA still . . . .

  • May 21, 2012, 1:47 p.m. CST

    Listen

    by oborostyle

    these guy directed smoking aces. there are not many movies i hate that much. the grey hits the right beats but has ultimatively nothing to say. and it tries so hard. but the brilliant cinematography and a fine soundtrack are enough for me to call it a great movie.

  • May 21, 2012, 1:53 p.m. CST

    If you're going to do Deathwish...

    by sonnyfern

    Stay away from the whole, "doing violent things turns the goodguy into a criminal himself" bit. I hate that shit. Oh and show the goddamn blood will you?

  • May 21, 2012, 1:54 p.m. CST

    Sent Joe a copy of movie for his input, being from the same City.

    by Tikidonkeypunch

    He was actually nice enough to call me up and tell me his thoughts. Cool guy.

  • May 21, 2012, 2:07 p.m. CST

    Great entertainment The Grey

    by lookylookymoontard

  • May 21, 2012, 2:09 p.m. CST

    I rather see Joe remake High Risk than Death Wish

    by Cobb05

    High Risk is a movie that could be remade into a damn fine movie. And the movie is perect for today. A group of friends go to South America to rob a drug lord. In the right hands, it could be a great movie. The original has a great cast and is a good movie, but they could've done more with the screenplay and a bigger budget would've helped too.

  • May 21, 2012, 2:09 p.m. CST

    Sorry about that,stupid fucking TB

    by lookylookymoontard

  • May 21, 2012, 2:16 p.m. CST

    If Neeson had a stronger supporting cast...

    by LowDevil

    The Grey would be superb instead of just great. And the fuss everyone made about the ending to this film was just ridiculous. I couldnt even imagine a different ending. Perfect. Once more into the fray....

  • May 21, 2012, 2:26 p.m. CST

    ZAC EFRON is Paul Kersey

    by CARTMANEZ

    you heard it hear first

  • May 21, 2012, 2:47 p.m. CST

    The Grey was a huge waste of time and talent.

    by SpaghettiWall

    I hate how that hack spews his garbage about the ending, trying to justify the fake planted scenes in the trailer and everything else. Just admit you didn't give the people what you claimed you had. You fucking hack.

  • May 21, 2012, 3:05 p.m. CST

    spaghettiwall

    by LowDevil

    If u had read any of this or knew anything about who or how films are marketed then u would realize just how fucking retarded u are. Directors do not control marketing fuck brains. If u want a wolf fight so bad watch animal planet or something.

  • May 21, 2012, 3:13 p.m. CST

    Such an amazing film! Perfect ending!

    by IPRAYTOCROM

    The message of life, death, loss, religion, God, and fate, it's all there.

  • May 21, 2012, 3:18 p.m. CST

    The Grey or Final Destination whatever...

    by adml_shake

    thats what it felt like to me. I felt like I was watching a knock off of Final Destination, more so with the river scene and the cliff/trees. I was mixed on the movie. On the one hand, bravo for doing something different than what would have normally gotten from the Hollywood bullshit machines, which is him going all Rambo on those wolves and shit, and only coming out of it with a few scratches. But I thought the movie was also lacking something I couldn't put my finger on. Like at no point and time did I really care if any of those guys were going to survive or not.

  • May 21, 2012, 3:23 p.m. CST

    Clive Owen IS Paul Kersey

    by kidicarus

    You need someone with a rough-looking face, like him or Daniel Craig

  • May 21, 2012, 3:26 p.m. CST

    I agree about the supporting cast.

    by loafroaster

    If they weren't a bunch of horribly overused stereotypes and bad actors to boot, the movie would have been a LOT better. I enjoyed it, and Neeson was fucking awesome, but with a better surrounding cast (or even just Neeson on his own) it would have been on another level. They couldn't die fast enough for me.

  • May 21, 2012, 3:54 p.m. CST

    bad marketing is bad marketing

    by longloaddropper

    I loved the Grey, but I had to drag my wife to it because she thought it was some stupid man v. wolf bullshit. While watching the movie, I had a couple of loud annoying people complaining about how "nothing is happening." Bad marketing of movies should not be apologized because it "tricked" some people in coughing up cash to check out a film they wouldn't have otherwise seen. Gotta say the director is wrong about that. My two cents.

  • May 21, 2012, 3:54 p.m. CST

    bad marketing is bad marketing

    by longloaddropper

    I loved the Grey, but I had to drag my wife to it because she thought it was some stupid man v. wolf bullshit. While watching the movie, I had a couple of loud annoying people behind me complaining about how "nothing is happening." Bad marketing of movies should not be apologized because it "tricked" some people in coughing up cash to check out a film they wouldn't have otherwise seen. Gotta say the director is wrong about that. My two cents.

  • May 21, 2012, 3:55 p.m. CST

    The Grey was terrible.

    by JuanSanchez

  • Robert Downey would be great as Kersey though. Too bad.

  • May 21, 2012, 4:11 p.m. CST

    It scares me that he was so vague about casting

    by Cobb05

    So is he casting someone who is sort of a Jack Lemmon type, who is a nice guy, maybe known for comedy, who casting him would make you see him turning violent, would be against type? Like Steve Carrell? Does he want someone like Johnny Depp or Robert Downey Jr? Maybe Tom Hanks. A little hint at what he's looking for would be nice. Cause if he casts the wrong person, the movie is doomed. I like Joe as a director, but his movies aren't perfect. I have questioned some of his casting choices. And he hasn't hit a homerun with a movie yet. It would be nice for him it make that one movie that sets the bar for what he can do as a director. Cause right now, he seem better suited making smaller movies. I'm doubting if he should make blockbusters.

  • May 21, 2012, 4:14 p.m. CST

    The after credits stinger was stupid and ruined the ending.

    by pushthebuttonmax

  • May 21, 2012, 4:41 p.m. CST

    Tom Hanks

    by WriteFromLeft

    If you're looking for a modern-day Jack Lemmon, you're probably going with Tom Hanks.

  • May 21, 2012, 4:47 p.m. CST

    So I take it, he means Tom Hanks?

    by john

  • May 21, 2012, 4:55 p.m. CST

    The Grey sucked!

    by fanboy71

    As someone who knows a bit about survival, I was so tired of seeing people who supposedly knew a bit about survival make such idiotic decisions that I was rooting for the wolves by the end. And is just me, or does the Death Wish movie he described sound exactly like the 2007 Kevin Bacon film Death Sentence meets Collateral? I get sick of seeing the whole "ordinary guy who doesn't know shit about fighting or guns seeks vengeance on people" films. How about switching it up with "Scumbags pick a random dude and his family to terrorize, but realize they fucked with the wrong dude", ala Frank Castle, Vic Mackey, or Raylan Givens. I hate movies where the heroes are so stupid you root for their death. That movie The Strangers wouldn't have lasted fifteen minutes if it had been my wife and I in that house.

  • May 21, 2012, 4:59 p.m. CST

    @cobb05, they already remade that, just called it Fast Five.

    by Tikidonkeypunch

  • May 21, 2012, 5:01 p.m. CST

    People need to quit saying

    by Eli_Cash

    that this kind of ending is unique or original or daring in any way. It seems like almost every movie I see nowadays tries to end on a tease or cliffhanger, instead of an actual conclusion. It's not clever, its just lazy. I liked the movie overall tho, except for the fact that the wolves looked like shit. I don't understand how a crap movie like Frozen can have scary wolf footage than something like this.

  • May 21, 2012, 5:07 p.m. CST

    Yeah, I really really really wish I hadn't stuck around after the credits. (SPOILER)

    by TheyPeedOnYourFuckingRug

    The ending of the movie was perfect: Did he live? Did he die? Did he even have a chance against that wolf? It let those lucky people who left the theater at the credits-roll interpret the conclusion for themselves and debate the outcome. Suckers like me who stayed through the credits, on the other hand, were rewarded by having the movie ruined with that cute, pat final shot.

  • May 21, 2012, 5:35 p.m. CST

    DEATH WISH? Paul Giamatti.

    by palimpsest

    Then you got a movie.

  • May 21, 2012, 6:01 p.m. CST

    the grey was good but not great

    by medster101

    Carnahans best film is still NARC

  • May 21, 2012, 6:24 p.m. CST

    Bad Marketing

    by SHADOWPRIME

    I have to echo some of the comments above - I really hate when bad marketing basically sets a movie up for failure. When folks walk into a theater expecting a movie to be one thing, and it is quite another, they are often going to be disappointed, even in cases where they MIGHT have liked the movie, if they had walked in with the right set of expectations. And if you were going to be on the fence about a movie, I think you will often tip in the "dislike" direction if you feel you were tricked or cheated. SOME SPOILERS - MAYBE I have got to think that so much of the game is now about opening weekend, that the marketers just try to come up with something to maximize that - word of mouth be damned. In the case of THE GREY, I heard a lot of griping after it opened, from folks who did, indeed, expect "LIAM NEESON - WOLFPUNCHER". I am sure similar things happened in many other cases - darker movies made to look like lighthearted comedies (wasn't there a Jake Gylenhall movie where the woman he was interested in had a terminal illness, which was hidden in the previews? In the recent Clooney movie, wasn't his wife's irreversible coma a MAJOR part of the story - whitewashed out of the much lighter-looking previews? Two easy examples). I thought THE GREY was really excellent, and I think it is a shame that it got tagged (by many) as a disappointment, because of how the movie was marketed. IMHO.

  • May 21, 2012, 6:44 p.m. CST

    Jonah Hill IS NOT Paul Kersey!

    by Dr Gregory House

    Neither is Jesse Eisenberg god dammit!

  • May 21, 2012, 6:45 p.m. CST

    Kevin Bacon is Paul Ker....oh wait.

    by Dr Gregory House

  • May 21, 2012, 8:18 p.m. CST

    Anchorman is Paul Kersey

    by Vincenzo1975

    its gotta be will ferrell.

  • May 21, 2012, 11:19 p.m. CST

    James Spader is Paul Kersey

    by vic twenty

    But instead of hunting down and killing the rapist/murderers, he simply lures them back to his office for a spanking.....

  • May 22, 2012, 12:58 a.m. CST

    So I guess no Stallone as Kersey?

    by Karl

    I trust Carnahan and have loved his films since Narc. Maybe he'll go with Kevin Spacey. Everytime I hear "Jack Lemmon" I think Kevin Spacey. That would crazy as shit but Kersey was never written to be a muscle bound looking tough guy. I watched Death Wish 3 the other day on AMC and had forgotten how batshit insane that movie was. He pretty much killed 4 or 5 hundred people in that film. Just shooting a machine gun into a crowd not to mention the bazooka scene. Crazy

  • May 22, 2012, 1:57 a.m. CST

    Did Jeff Goldblum mug George "Goober" Lindsey for his beanie?

    by Crimson Dynamo

    His Jughead hat always killed me in the original Death Wish

  • May 22, 2012, 2:32 a.m. CST

    Gary Oldman as Paul Kersey. He could be Lemon-esque.

    by The Krypton Kid

  • May 22, 2012, 3:16 a.m. CST

    Kersey: Gary Oldman

    by Glenn

    If you really wanna pursue the 'psychological damage' angle of this story -- and I agree this could be potent territory, imagine what a Lumet-Lemmon film mighta been like! -- I think Gary's the dude to bring not only the scariness of the violence, but the heart-and-soul undertugging of what it takes to become this kind of person. It's been done tediously in the past... THE BRAVE ONE being one instance... but this could be a really great drama, instead of just a cheap floozy violent action vengeance film. Plus Oldman's got that Laughton-like ability to transform his look: he can look very underwhelming when need be (Oswald), or softly authoritative (Cmmr Gordon), to fuckin' bonkers (Dracula, The Professional/Leon, True Romance). Who else would be great?

  • May 22, 2012, 3:17 a.m. CST

    Krypton Kid -- whoa

    by Glenn

    I didn't even see your comment before I posted that. Since we agree, I'll go ahead and exclaim what brilliant taste you have.

  • May 22, 2012, 3:26 a.m. CST

    I'll throw a second on NARC and say....

    by Jaka

    ....that the opening sequence of scenes is one of the best ever put on film. The rest of the movie isn't as good as the opening, but I still think it's his best. <p> Also, Jason Patrick and/or Ray Liotta in Deathwish anyone? Probably not, but it seems as possible as anyone after what he said in this interview.

  • May 22, 2012, 8 a.m. CST

    The Grey is something you watch only once and that's it.

    by Stalkeye

    Compared to an ensemble Thriller like JC's The Thing, it lacks lasting appeal. Loved the after credits ending, however.

  • May 22, 2012, 8:38 a.m. CST

    There is a reading of The Grey (spoiler)

    by bigtime_charly

    That says that Ottway (Liam Neeson) died right at the beginning of the movie when he put the gun in his mouth. The rest of the film is his journey through purgatory. Just an opinion.

  • May 22, 2012, 8:46 a.m. CST

    BUT is the poster a creative failure or not...

    by Ditko

    lets get serious here for a moment.

  • May 22, 2012, 10:43 a.m. CST

    Has Joe never watched the original DEATH WISH?

    by where_are_quints_hobbit_set_reports

    as a HUGE Bronson fan, I find Joe saying the movie is "all about revenge" to be ignorant-- it's not. Kersey is a liberal, and a pacifist-- we watch him become a vigilante over the course of the movie, and it's actually quite while acted. YES the last third of the movie becomes a somewhat underwhelming cat and mouse game, and yes all the sequels are what they are, but if you watch that first Death Wish, you see much more what Carnahan is describing. The movie does not need to be remade. I don't like the dismissive way Joe talks about Charles Bronson, an authentic and unmatched tough guy. Back when Stallone was playing with doing Death Wish, feeling out its possibilities, it sounded to me like Stallone really understood and respected Bronson, which meant a lot to me.

  • May 22, 2012, 1:13 p.m. CST

    Martin Freeman as Kersey

    by Von_Trierstein

    He reminds me of Jack Lemmon.