Watched Jun 18, 2012
Travis McClain’s review:
Having now seen it, the casting of Brosnan actually does make sense. I've avoided researching Grey Owl to avoid spoiling the movie, but I confess I've kind of been squeamish about seeing it. I love Pierce Brosnan - he may actually be my favorite actor out there today - but this just seemed disingenuous and "off" to me.
Grey Owl was released in 1999, I think about six months before The World Is Not Enough (Brosnan's third Bond). I'm not sure I agree [with a friend of mine] that this is a particularly different kind of performance from him. There were a lot of undertones here that felt very familiar. Sure, Archie has different ambitions and such from other Brosnan characters, but there's still a very recognizable jaw-clenching, I-don't-have-time-for-this attitude. I think of the scene in The Thomas Crown Affair when Rene Russo gets out of the car and he runs after her, proposing that she go on the lam with him, or the early part of The World Is Not Enough where Bond confronts M about sealing Elektra King's file.
I was also pretty distracted by Annie Galipeau's dialect/accent. During her particularly emotional scenes, she sounded like a deaf woman which I found really peculiar.
I'm of the mind that this film needed another half an hour or so. Too many key scenes happened so quickly that they became perfunctory and lost their emotional impact. It was like there was a checklist that had to be ticked off as quickly as possible. My favorite scenes in the whole picture are the ones at the cabin with the beavers. Those scenes didn't feel so rushed and I was able to really get into them.
The DVD is loaded with bonus content including two different commentary tracks (one with Richard Attenborough, who directed; the other is with Jake Eberts, who produced); two vintage shorts with the real Archie Grey Owl, a pair of featurettes about the movie, some interviews and the DVD-ROM bonus content includes the screenplay, a biography of Grey Owl and some other stuff. I haven't checked out any of it yet, but I'm rather curious about it all now.