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The Impossible (iTunes HD Digital Download Review)

Well geez…what can I tell you that you don’t already know already about this film?  If I told you it was the feel good movie of the year, would I be lying?  Well, I guess that depends upon what makes you feel good in life.  If you like a heart wrenching, but uplifting tale of a family that defies all odds amidst a natural disaster that the whole world was caught up in the middle of watching, then this probably is the film for you.  If you are one of those naysayers who says why do I want to be depressed and bash this film without even seeing it, then I want you to skip reading this review right now because Evil Dead is currently out in the theaters and you probably belong there anyway.  For those of you that are still here with me…congratulations.  You have taken your first step towards being a better human in this world.  I welcome you to my humble abode as I tackle my fourth iTunes Digital Download review here on Why So Blu and more importantly, discuss a tale that’s larger than life in one of 2012’s most impressive films that somehow managed to get overlooked this past award season.  Yes…I’m talking about The Impossible.  Come on in.  The water’s just fine here (I know…bad joke).

The Impossible (iTunes HD Digital Download Review)

Film 

The Impossible is based on Maria Belon and her family’s tragic experiences of heroism and courage during the Indian Ocean tsunami in 2004.  The cast includes Naomi Watts, Ewan McGregor and young Tom Holland.  Despite nearly all positive critical reviews and multiple Award nominations, it seems this movie has simply been snubbed in America…only picking up the awards in the foreign lands.  That’s fine.  It only leaves more for me to appreciate here.  It’s the US’ loss really.  But I digress.

Juan Antonio Bayona directs the Sergio G. Sanchez screenplay based on a true story of family that fights to stay alive and struggles through countless hardships and travesties to find each other in the tsunami destroyed areas of Khao Lak, Thailand.  While vacationing on Christmas holiday in Thailand, English physician Maria Bennet (Watts), her Scottish husband Henry (McGregor) and their sons Lucas (Holland), Tomas (Samuel Joslin) and Simon (Oaklee Penderhgast) get trapped in the middle of the 2004 tsunami triggered by Indian Ocean earthquake and quickly find themselves overcome by a flood with overwhelming destructive power.  Wait!  Let me capitalize that phrase…OVERWHELMING DESTRUCTIVE POWER.  Honestly, I can’t believe this movie only got a PG-13 rating.  I don’t mean that in a bad way at all.  It’s an eye opener for sure.  However, I mean that in a sincere way because the filmmakers don’t sugar coat anything here.  They may cut away in some graphic moments, but you sure feel every destructive wave and branch piercing your body.  Trust me on that one.  This one is brutal in that respect and it makes me love it even more.

So I’m not going to really delve too much into the film’s plot because that’s where the magic lies.  It’s the primal human struggle against all odds.  One might find it apt to compare it to Life of Pi’s search for God.  Because trust me.  I’m not a religious man, but after watching this…if I had to go through all this with the outcome it had, you better believe I’d be thanking and thinking of some higher power.  That’s all I’ll say on the subject.

For a modest budget of $45 million, I think the film looks fantastic.  I planned to pick apart the seams and expose the low budget this film had, but there’s no need.  Unlike 2013’s Evil Dead’s fake as can be stuffed animal dog scene or the horrible looking log cabin fires I seen this past weekend, this one looked polished and not for one minute was the suspension of disbelief ever broken for me.  I have absolutely zero qualms with the special effects here whatsoever so let’s move on.  Let’s talking about the acting.

What can I really say about Ewan McGregor?  He’s great in everything he does.  But I’m sorry, I just can’t help wishing every time I see him onscreen that he would just belt out singing “my gift is my song”…reminiscent about my love for the legendary and brilliant Moulin Rouge he starred in.  But let’s be honest.  This movie’s not about Ewan, is it?  Let’s take a closer look at the core here.

Now I have yet to see Silver Linings Playbook (and I will…I promise), but really?  Really?  Are you telling me Jennifer Lawrence was that much better than Naomi Watts in this role here?  I know it’s two totally different films and genres, but come on…let’s give credit where credit is due.  Naomi Watts…I feel for you.  I feel that the Academy Award was wasted by not giving it to you for all that emotion and pain you put forth into this production.  But like before…I digress.  At least until I check out Silver Linings Playbook for myself.  Ha Ha.

But Naomi Watts aside, let’s talk about the kids.  Wow!  Where did they find not one, not two, but three extraordinary, gifted young actors?  Unbelievable.  Do you know how bad I wanted to use the F-word there?  I restrained.  Every one is raving about young Tom Holland whenever I read a critic or user review, but what about the other tow young lads?  They were outstanding and I’m sorry to say this, but cute as hell too.  The youngest boy had me in stitches more than a few times.  And that ladies and gentlemen, sparing you the ending, is what makes this a film a feel good movie of the year in my opinion.  It’s obviously not for every one.  I get that.  But if you are ever curious to see what it was like during that tragic tsunami, I can’t think of a better place to start than by watching this one.  I don’t think you can possibly be sorry you did.  If you are, then you truly are the walking dead…an emotionless and heartless slug.  And really…is it such a deal breaker that the real family this story is based upon is Spanish and the actors portraying them are not?  Not to me it isn’t.

The Impossible (iTunes HD Digital Download Review)

Video 

Yes.  You read it right.  I have never seen anything look this good on my HDTV television screen that wasn’t housed on the Blu-ray optical medium.  This is the first score of a 5 I have ever given to an HD Digital Download and it deserves every one of those numerical digits thanks in part to the sun drenched landscape this movie was filmed in.  The colors are incredibly vibrant throughout and pop just like that Blu-ray quality we all look for in home releases nowadays.  The vegetation, the woods, the palm trees, the cuts, scrapes and bone breaking bruises were all razor sharp and painfully realistic.  I wanted to wipe the blood off the actors more times than I can count on both of my hands.  And I had zero problems with skin tones, hues and black levels.  Everything was perfect just like I command in every day life.  LOL.  I didn’t even notice too many moments of compression either for this being a Digital Download.  All films should be shot in the sun’s harsh properties.  That’s what I always say.  If you are looking for that Blu-ray-like experience with an HD Digital Download, then look no further than this 4.27GB file.

Audio 

There’s utterly a raging symphony behind my ears in the rear speakers.  The water levels raise to a crescendo as it gets louder and louder and the waves get taller and taller.  Oh my God!  I feel like I’m there.  I have absolutely nothing to complain about here.  Like the video, for an HD Digital Download, this Dolby Digital 5.1 surround track was outstanding with a standing applause.   I’ll never forget the opening of this film.  I thought I was going to be wiped out by a killer wave in my living right from the get go.  If you are like me and you love those audio tracks that make you actually feel like you are submerged under water, then this one is for you.  The dialog is crystal clear and intelligent throughout.  I’m done speaking here.  There’s nothing I can say that will make this any better…because it doesn’t get better than this!

The Impossible (iTunes HD Digital Download Review)

Extras 

Recently…we have all come to expect that when it comes to HD Digital Downloads, there’s not too much in the “Extras” section, so considering there are not one, but two featurettes, I think that warrants a score of at least a 1.  Don’t you think?  Let’s take a closer look below of what you’ll find on your Mac and/or PC screens.

  • Casting The Impossible (HD, 6:36) – Everyone, including the real Maria Belon, gives credit where credit is due…to Naomi Watts.  The rest of the cast chimes in as well as director Juan Antonio Bayona as they all talk about each other and how much they enjoyed working with each other.  In other words ladies and gentlemen…this was the “perfect” cast.  I mean that whole-heartedly.  I couldn’t have picked it better myself.  Given how many feature films I have made, you know that means a lot coming from me.
  • Realizing The Impossible (HD, 5:55) – This featurette explores Maria’s real life story behind the film and how the film was made.  It was extremely fascinating to see how the destruction at the resort was filmed in just the one take they had with the constructed scale model set.  Wow!  Talk about scary.  The cast and crew all give their two cents here not only about the making of, but also about the story of how a family survived through the tsunami and how amazing it really is.  And once again…wholeheartedly…I concur.

The Impossible (iTunes HD Digital Download Review)

Final 

So there you have it.  You can either wait another two weeks until The Impossible’s eventual Blu-ray release or you can choose to partake in the once in a lifetime, breathtaking adventure against all odds right now by clicking the cover art below to download your iTunes HD Digital Download movie.  The choice is yours.  Choose wisely and stay the course.  Thanks for reading!

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The Impossible (iTunes HD Digital Download Review)

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Owner/Writer/Reviewer/Editor, Dreamer, Producer, Agent of Love, Film Lover, Writer of Screenplays and a Devoted Apostle to all things Ford Mustangs (the real ones with V8's!). Some of my favorite films include FIGHT CLUB, MOULIN ROUGE, THE DARK KNIGHT, STAR WARS alongside television shows such as SEINFELD, 24, SANFORD & SON and even the often loathed in the geek community BIG BANG THEORY. Outside of my three lives I live I also enjoy spending time with my girlfriend and our three girls (of the furry kind).

2 Responses to “The Impossible (iTunes HD Digital Download Review)”


  1. Gregg

    Exceptional film! Not sure why it wasn’t at the Oscars this year, unless of course it’s considered a 2013 film and they’ll put it up for the awards at next year’s Oscars….with a better host.

  2. Brian White

    It was represented Gregg, but only with a nod to Naomi for Best Actress 🙁