Monday 11 June 2012

Extremely Loud & Incredibly Close DVD Review

I have always been a bit of a film fanatic, making sure I head out to watch the new releases at the cinema and avidly awaiting the new releases at Blockbuster, to catch up on the ones I missed at the cinema screenings. You always know when you are watching a great film, tell tale signs are when your eyes are glued to the screen and slowly but surely you find yourself sliding to the edge of your seat, wondering where the story will take you next.

Last night Luke and I sat down, put up our feet and whipped out a big bar of chocolate, ready to watch the new Warner Brothers DVD release of 'Extremely Loud & Incredibly Close'. We have had the pleasure of reviewing this title on Blu-Ray, and from start to finish I was completely captivated by the emotional story.

The film stars Tom Hanks and Sandra Bullock, and welcomes new comer Thomas Horn. The film has been adapted from the best selling novel by Jonathan Safran Foer. I myself have never read the book but I found the film ever so heart felt, I laughed with the characters and I also felt my heart drop at certain points and then a warm tear ran down my cheek, that I quickly wiped away before Luke had chance to notice.

The book was the very first to explore the grief that families of the 9/11 endured and as the story progresses it shows how a child's active imagination can help pull through fear and loss, that no logic or explanation can ever fathom.

'Extremely Loud & Incredibly Close' is a story told by 11 year old Oskar Schell, (Thomas Horn) who lives with his Mother and Father in New York City. When Oskar's Father dies in the World Trade Centre during the tragic 9/11 attacks, to which Oskar refers to as 'the worst day', young Oskar embarks on a emotional journey trying to make sense of the terrible circumstance that has pulled his family apart.

In flashbacks we learn that Tom Schell (Tom Hanks) has set Oskar mental tasks that will make him examine everything in the world around him, the tasks involve interaction with people and pushing the boundaries to try and cure young Oskar of the many fears he has. Early on Oskar mentions the possibility of suffering from Asperger's syndrome, however the tests weren't definitive.

As time goes by Oskar is scared of losing the vital connection to the most important man in his life, his Father. 

A year after 9/11, the young New Yorker discovers a Blue vase among his father's possessions, containing a key in an envelope that bears only one clue...the single word "Black". Convinced his Father has left a final message for him hidden somewhere in the city, a search begins to find the lock that fits the mystery key. A search that takes Oskar around the Five boroughs of New York for all the people called Black to see who might have known his father and why.

On Oskar's journey around the Five boroughs he packs his bag with the intent of travelling light. With each journey he always carries his tambourine with him. The tambourine spurs him on and when he feels nervous he will play it as he pushes forward through the fears that trouble him. In Oskar's case this is pretty much everything.

Oskar conceals his journey of discovery from his Mother (Sandra Bullock), and makes up stories to cover his real whereabouts. It turns out his Mother has known where he really was the entire time, as he embarked on his journey of closure and explanation. Eventually Oskar recruits an accomplice to help him with his tasks, who suddenly reminds him of his Father. 

Oskar's new accomplice turns out to be his long-lost Grandfather named Minister. Minister has lost the power of speech and this adds a whole new dimension to the film which pushes Oskar further to find out what his Grandfather's story is, and as to why he wont or cannot speak. Minister communicates with the world around him by the means of "Yes" and "No" tattoo's on the back of his hands, and hand written notes in capital letters, which he quickly scribbles out. Oskar is so determined to know his Grandfather's story that he pushes himself further to get to the bottom of it.

Along the way Oskar meets people from all walks of life and as he discovers their stories he begins to realise, that they just like him, are all survivors in their own unique way. 

Extremely Loud & Incredibly close was released on Monday 11th June 2012 and you can purchase your copy today. I highly recommend the Triple Play Blu-Ray edition that comes with:

- Blue-Ray
-Ultra Violet Digital Copy that allows you to stream via Wi-Fi and download to your computer, android or iPhone

There are some impressive bonus features on the disk which give you a great insight into the making of the film and finding Thomas Horn:

Special Features
- Making Extremely Loud and Incredibly Close
- Finding Oskar
- Ten Years Later
- Max Von Sydow: Dialogues with The Renter

I was so moved by this movie and it's powerful story of loss, grief, and finding understanding to a situation where really...there is no explanation at all. A young boy who is going through the motions of grief, while touching everyone he meets with his incredible story, of trying to find the lock that fits his key. 

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