Extremely Loud & Incredibly Close available on Blu-ray Combo pack, DVD and for download 3/27.
I experience things in a way that I don’t identify in other people. That’s not to say I’m special, then again…:). What I am saying is that when I watch a movie like Extremely Incredibly Loud and Close, or whatever, it fills my mind. Someone thought about it, wrote it down, mulled over it, wrote and rewrote it and found a balanced mixture of charm, depression, shattering events, childhood innocence, and a hint of pretentiousness just for flavor.
A boy finding meaning in the loss of his father on 911, this is the catalyst of the events. That’s just the shell of it though. Finding meaning in life, death, events, other humans’ choices, destruction, love, kindness, being lost, being found, honesty, pretending, and so many other things fill it so full that every scene makes it that much richer, fuller.
I can’t give a full description of it all, it’s just got to be seen and heard and felt. What I will say is that the delicate moments of a boy seeking answers to bigger questions than any of us adults ever find are gripping. His multitude of irrational fears are part of him before 911 but intensified after the event. The world is big loud place. He has to face and boldly smash through his fears and the obstacles that get in his way. Those include a mute grandfather, an emotionally traumatized mother, a lost object, and the traumatic life stories of every other person he encounters along his journey. The lessons he learns touch on his fears, but mostly open his eyes to one simple, terrible truth; his pain is not special or unique or entitled to any more attention or sympathy than anyone else’s. A hard thing to learn for any of us, but in this story it’s handled in such a beautiful way that it comforts me.
The performances are amazing for the most part. Hanks is what he is, so that’s not a big deal. Bullock is better than I have seen her before, however it’s mostly sadness and quiet moments that she is called upon to act through, so make your own judgement. Thomas Horn, the young leading man is magnificent. He’s honest and awkward and fearless in the face of so much fear his character needs to be swallowed by.
The music is touching and does it’s best to hang back but still does the duty of a heavy emotional score to drive us toward darkness, lightness, whimpering inside, bravery and undoing us from the inside out.
The direction is artful and delicate with a variety of views in every scene, but no weird trickery with the cameras. It’s got a few moments of how the world feels in the emotional caves of our damaged minds, but everything else is fairly straight forward.
Overall Incredibly Extreme and Closely Loud lifted me up, while bringing my husband down. I suppose it’s that kind of story telling. It gets to the core of you and does what it must to get the point across. The thing is, we both loved it dearly and were touched by it in nearly the same but very different ways. That’s a sign of an amazing movie. The kind that make me thrilled to be a movie lover:)
- Making Extremely Loud & Incredibly Close – A 20 minute making of that covers all aspects of the production. It even includes costume design for people with an eye for fashion.
- Finding Oskar – The story of the lead actor Thomas Horn and how he came from being a contestant on Jeopardy to starring in his first feature film.
- Ten Years Later – A story of coincidence that occurred during the screenings of the movie. I don’t want to spoil this but it is a great little featurette.
- Max Von Sydow: Dialogs With The Renter – A 44 minute documentary filmed by Sydow’s son. It is essentially a fly on the wall look at his role on the film. You learn much more about the directors style during this than you do watching the Making of feature.
- DVD & UV Digital Copy
Cover Art and Menus: 8/10
I can be picky when it comes to design and artsy stuff like that. I make my own version of art, and have for my whole life. This cover is interesting and bold, however, it’s distorted enough to bug the crap out of me. His eyes and head have been manipulated so that the proportions are wrong. It’s like something is wrong and your brain just can’t grasp it. Well, that’s it. I love the concept, but the person with control of the mouse while doing the cover just didn’t have enough self control.
The menu is themed and has some personality, but to be quite honest, I don’t really care about that anymore. If the menu was something that we spent more than 10 seconds messing around with I might be more interested in the look of it. The navigation and hints at the movie are all I need.
Audio & Video: 9/10
Warner have a pristine transfer here with bold colors and solid looking blacks in every single scene. Daldry uses a lot of depth of field effects and these really show up well on the Blu-Ray format. I really have nothing bad to say about this transfer it’s a great showcase and the 1080P AVC encode never faulters.
The DTS-HD Master Audio 5.1 track is very subtle but that does not mean it is bad. Dialog is crystal clear and always centered even during very surrealistic sound effects. Once Oskar meets the renter, the dialog has a almost hushed tone that is central to the films theme. This is not an action movie so it’s rare that the surround sound and subwoofer kick in, only during some of the films uplifting score does that happen.
How much is this movie worth? To own it and have it at my disposal isn’t necessary. To experience it in this movie loving life made me very happy, a little sad, made me think, and I’m still having fond memories of the whole thing. This makes it have a certain monetary value to me, which is about $12.00. If you find it for that price, and it is around that online, plop it on your shelf. If you want to just toss a couple of bucks in its direction, go for it. You will be glad you spent your pocket money on this story instead of another overpriced cup of coffee.
Overall Score 9/10