The Grey reminded me how much I love wilderness survival movies.
Few things are better than sitting in a warm room under a layer of blankets and Fritos as you watch some guy with frostbite try to carve a canoe out of his former best friend.
It's inspirational stuff. In that it inspires you to never, ever leave your living room, unless it's to use the tunnel you've dug directly into the Yoke's deli. So in the interests of never leaving home again, look to 1997's The Edge.
Anthony Hopkins has it pretty good. He's married to fashion model Elle Macpherson. He knows just about everything there is to know. But when a plane crash strands him in the wilds with photographer Alec Baldwin, Hopkins' knowledge is tested, particularly once they learn they're being hunted by a wild bear.
I tried to get my fiancee to watch The Edge with me by telling her it starred Anthony Hopkins and was written by a well-respected playwright, but she's wise to my tricks, or at least my taste in movies, because she then asked what it's about. And it's about bears. Bears menacing dudes. That's enough to get me standing in line, but I've accepted not everyone can be that cultured.
But The Edge is pretty watchable even before the bear shows up. This is due to the nearly extinct phenomenon of the "interesting main character," wherein the main character is made to be interesting. And not because he is defusing a bomb or vrooming around in next year's car we will soon all be able to pay low, low monthly fees for. It's because Hopkins is unusual. First off, he's a billionaire who isn't a bad guy. That's as unexpected as if the bear tracking him through the woods just wanted to challenge him to a chess match.
And as a billionaire, everyone wants something from Hopkins. It's made him canny as StarKist but wary to the point of paranoia. Writer David Mamet is a master of the things people want from each other, and as Hopkins deploys his encyclopedic survival knowledge, his failures spark more drama with Baldwin, whom Hopkins suspects of coveting his wife. Which, yeah.
Fifteen years of computer advancements means its snowy landscapes can't stack up to those of The Grey, but The Edge's psychological territory is as engrossing as its stark geography. Then again, The Edge mostly uses a real bear. I think we know who wins that contest.