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The Impossible

post #1 of 54
Thread Starter 
Watched this last night.

Great story told in a compelling manner.

Great picture for the most part with some stylized camera work (blown out whites, long black outs). Big scope picture (CIH folks will live this).

Fabulous DTS MA 5.1 soundtrack!! Incredibly dynamic, big bass extension and great surround cues. Reference worthy.

Great account of the incredibly devastating tsunami on an ordinary family.

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post #2 of 54
Thanks for the report Bland! Great to hear this one is a winner and scope is always a bonus on my 2.35 screen. Looks like I have this coming tomorrow from Netflix. cool.gif
post #3 of 54
Watched this last nite on my (140") scope screen as well. The tsunami and subsequent destruction sequences are brilliantly realized, with minimal implementation of CGI. Altho LFE activity is mostly confined to the tsunami sequence, it's a consistently highly-immersive soundtrack. The 2.35 frame is exploited to maximum effect, and is essential in conveying the scope (pun intended) of the story and events. Excellent disc, and its content infinitely more memorable than the vast majority of Hollywood fare these days...
Edited by ambientcafe - 4/28/13 at 1:16am
post #4 of 54
Great movie and amazing story.

Solid PQ.

AQ was very good, but nothing demo worthy. Solid LFE extension and good surround work, but not reference IMO.

Great rental. Not a movie that has repeat value for me, but it was an excellent watch.
post #5 of 54
Quote:
Originally Posted by ambientcafe View Post

The tsunami and subsequent destruction sequences are brilliantly realized, with minimal implementation of CGI. Although LFE activity is mostly confined to the tsunami sequence, it's a consistently highly-immersive soundtrack.

I agree, as was the flash-back sequence later in the film. Perhaps I listened louder than most but my HT room was shaking. As close as one can come to imagining the horrific nature of this catastrophe.
post #6 of 54
Watched this last night, fantastic film. Its amazing what that family had to go through. The tsunami was unreal best one I've seen in a film and the LFE that carried it was powerful. This one will be added to my collection.
post #7 of 54
i usually like these kinds of films but with the exception of the tsunami scene which was extremely well done, i was distracted by the video which seemed too soft and disappointed in the rest of the audio. It's an amazing story but overall disappointed in the rest of it. I bought it d/t reviews but doubt I'll watch it again.
post #8 of 54
I wish I could say I liked this movie a lot, but I just didn't. I didn't like the racism in the casting of the family or the way that they made the story seem far too Hollywoodish and many things seemed obviously over dramatized. Some things I liked a lot, such as the tsunami scene. But overall, I couldn't tell anyone to watch this for any reason beyond that. It's a bit like how I only recommend that anyone ever watch Knowing to look at Rose Byrne and the absolutely amazing crash scene,
post #9 of 54
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by lordcloud View Post

I wish I could say I liked this movie a lot, but I just didn't. I didn't like the racism in the casting of the family or the way that they made the story seem far too Hollywoodish and many things seemed obviously over dramatized. Some things I liked a lot, such as the tsunami scene. But overall, I couldn't tell anyone to watch this for any reason beyond that. It's a bit like how I only recommend that anyone ever watch Knowing to look at Rose Byrne and the absolutely amazing crash scene,

Racism in the casting of the family? What?
post #10 of 54
Quote:
Originally Posted by thebland View Post

Racism in the casting of the family? What?

I found that comment quite strange also.
post #11 of 54
Likely referring to the family the story was based on being Spanish and not how they are cast for the move. Rather silly thing to complain about, but some people like to see racism everywhere, just read any movie's imdb forum.
post #12 of 54
I am so completely SICK of the accusations of racism over every aspect of life. This film was made by English speaking Westerners. It needed to make money in English language territories and therefore it needed an English language speaking cast that would appeal to the widest possible audience.

The two leads are big stars! Both have won more awards than you can shake a stick at!

No distributor would be interested in this film were it to star unknown actors who speak Spanish.

Of course people on IMDB would accuse me of being racist for pointing all of this out. rolleyes.gif

I'll say it again. This was an incredible film. The only film I have seen this year that comes close is THE INTOUCHABLES (a film that was in French and therefore could not get a wide release in the United States, proving the people who made The Impossible were looking out for their investors).
post #13 of 54
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by Kevin M. Dean View Post

Likely referring to the family the story was based on being Spanish and not how they are cast for the move. Rather silly thing to complain about, but some people like to see racism everywhere, just read any movie's imdb forum.


You're right. I found an article on this accusation on Slate.com.... about the only one on the internet - so, it's of course, a very minority, hard core opinion. Slate is a liberal rag and ironically, they are the biggest racists as they are the first to invoke such in any harmless scenario. Hmm.. I guess they should've cast Javier Bardham and Penelope Cruz... then the film would've shed its 'racist' look rolleyes.gif.
post #14 of 54
This is a film with an incredible scene. It isn't even close to being an incredible film.
post #15 of 54
Quote:
Originally Posted by Matt_Stevens View Post

This film was made by English speaking Westerners. It needed to make money in English language territories and therefore it needed an English language speaking cast that would appeal to the widest possible audience.

No distributor would be interested in this film were it to star unknown actors who speak Spanish.

...The only film I have seen this year that comes close is THE INTOUCHABLES (a film that was in French and therefore could not get a wide release in the United States, proving the people who made The Impossible were looking out for their investors).

This movie tanked in the US, even with English speaking white people filling in the for the Spanish family. If they wanted it to appeal to the widest possible audience they should have put some robots in it or something.
post #16 of 54
Quote:
Originally Posted by Matt_Stevens View Post

I am so completely SICK of the accusations of racism over every aspect of life. This film was made by English speaking Westerners. It needed to make money in English language territories and therefore it needed an English language speaking cast that would appeal to the widest possible audience.

The two leads are big stars! Both have won more awards than you can shake a stick at!

No distributor would be interested in this film were it to star unknown actors who speak Spanish.

Of course people on IMDB would accuse me of being racist for pointing all of this out. rolleyes.gif

I'll say it again. This was an incredible film. The only film I have seen this year that comes close is THE INTOUCHABLES (a film that was in French and therefore could not get a wide release in the United States, proving the people who made The Impossible were looking out for their investors).

+1
post #17 of 54
Did anyone accuse Stephen Frears of racism when he made Dangerous Liaisons? rolleyes.gif Or that other hack Milos Forman when he made austrians speak english in Amadeus? rolleyes.gifrolleyes.gif

I agree with Matt, it's preposterous to see racism in The Impossible.
post #18 of 54
^^^Wasn't really looking for it within the movie itself, per se. I will say it did not stand out to me if it was there, but the observation had been made by others, and Matt_Stevens made clear with his post that he believes there was a racist motivation for converting the original victims to white ethnicity and English speaking. So we have seen racism in play in the making of the movie, versus within the movie itself. This can hardly be denied, unless you might think it was a total random accident that two white folk got paired to represent a fairly typical cultural model of same. I personally don't think that, and agree completely with Matt_Stevens that the filmmakers made and executed a racist judgment, probably on the basis of the assumed economics of their project.

There would be a far better argument for presupposing the absence of racism were the two main protagonists, husband and wife, of two distinct racial types, or possibly even the same race as the original victims -- in the latter case, I can't really imagine it would have arisen as a question -- would be assumed the filmmakers were just adhering to accuracy, and in the former case, two distinct racial types, it really might tend to look as though race were a non-consideration for casting. Trouble is, that if the couple were two different races, then it starts to introduce extraneous considerations into the story to bring the audience along.... so racism won the day, and we get two Anglo protagonists.

BTW, the casting of all the children was racist as well. Nothing wrong with that of course -- we pretty much expect to see recognizably white kids as the progeny of white parents, but they were chosen to exclusion of other actors, because they did look white, and inasmuch as a very clear racial bias was brought to bear in their casting, it reflects racism. Of course. As I say, fairly benign racism, but clearly at work here, at least to me and Matt_Stevens, unless I misinterpret what he wrote.
post #19 of 54
Racists? In Hollywood!? You have got to be joking.

But seriously, you guys are reaching with this whole racism thing. Big names such as Naomi Watts and Ewan McGregor speak volumes when it comes to getting a relatively low budget movie made. Obviously, some liberties have to be taken, and obviously the film still needs to make money, so a small, non-pivotal part of the script was changed. It still changes nothing of the overall story and has any effect on the impact of the situation.

But hey, never mind the fact that nearly the entire crew behind this movie were from Spain.
Edited by Big Brad - 8/31/13 at 7:09pm
post #20 of 54
Quote:
Originally Posted by Big Brad View Post

Racists? In Hollywood!? You have got to be joking.

But seriously, you guys are reaching with this whole racism thing. Big names such as Naomi Watts and Ewan McGregor speak volumes when it comes to getting a relatively low budget movie made. Obviously, some liberties have to be taken, and obviously the film still needs to make money, so a small, non-pivotal part of the script was changed. It still changes nothing of the overall story and has any effect on the impact of the situation.

But hey, never mind the fact that nearly the entire crew behind this movie were from Spain.
Well, on the one hand you say it is reaching, on the other hand you say this: "Obviously, some liberties have to be taken, and obviously the film still needs to make money, so a small, non-pivotal part of the script was changed." So, exactly what is so obvious here? You very much seem to be suggesting that it is obvious to one and all that the race of the original victims had to be altered. You seem to link this "self-evident verity" to the making of money. This suggests that the filmmakers thought the widest appreciation for their project would be diminished if the race of the actors matched that of the original victims of this tragedy, does it not? They anticipated a widespread racially biased disinterest would result directly in underdeveloped revenues, so executed a preemptive racist casting alteration to avert it.

They might have been quite right in this assessment, we'll never know I'm sure, because they chose for us. It might be pointed out here that there are well-known Spanish actors who have done quite well in America: Antonio Banderas, Penélope Cruz, and Javier Bardem among them, but it can also very well be noted that casting the whole native population was entirely racist in nature as well. Of course the race of the native population was critical to maintaining verisimilitude -- that race of people generally comprise the population of those regions of the world, so it would be foolish and confusing in that case NOT to exercise racist bias -- you must be a certain race to play our native population.

Of course I don't use the term "racist" to connote anything necessarily pejorative -- although it frequently gets used that way -- it is not the same as "bigoted", at least in my use -- just implies that race is/was the determinant in some consideration -- such as identifying yourself as Anglo, or what have you, is a racist comment.
post #21 of 54
Obviously the filmmakers were not very confident in either their ability to make an incredible film, their ability to tell a great story, or the ability of white people to see past the fact that the story revolves around a Spanish family. Likely all of the above after seeing the movie. The filmmakers knew that America is too much of a racist country to release a movie that wasn't made for and marketed to the Spanish population. That's why the stars ate white and bankable. If you don't categorize telling a Spanish family's story but casting white people in their stead, as racism. Well then you might be one of the lucky people that have no clue what racism is and have never had to worry about it un their lives, because this is pretty damn racist. And saying it's ok that they made them white, to sell tickets, is just stupid.

Thee movie was just ok, but really could have been great. Changing the brown family to white was the the beginning of the movie's problems.
post #22 of 54
^^^Again, I'm not so sure what exactly is "obvious" here. In my way of thinking, they might have been very confident in their ability to make an incredible film, tell a great story, etc. It is less clear what impact they might have thought specific casting decisions had on their production. From what little I know of casting, it seems very likely they might have favored widely known stars versus unknowns to increase the likelihood that they could create buzz, interest, and/or revenues. There actually are fairly few Spanish actors that realistically fill that bill -- to be fair, if Penelope Cruz is contracted out on other projects, that's about it for preserving some accuracy in the casting, while shooting for maximized box office.

So you could go non-racist, i.e., cast whatever race star you can get for husband and wife and kids, but then you might end up with a somewhat confusing mix -- perhaps black dad, Asian mom, one white kid -- perhaps a Mayan descendant kid, and another that was not easily identifiable. Then you start to distract from your story and introduce complications in the imaginings of the audience. In that same way it would be a distraction to have the native population made up of 33% white, 33% black, 33% Hispanic -- that kind of thing is only going to induce head scratching. What is obvious to me at least, is that they went with undeniably racist casting choices, versus non-racist, which is to say simply concluding race just had absolutely no bearing or relevance on their project -- of course it did/does.

So, could be they couldn't get Penelope, then decided to preserve the racial homogeneity of the nuclear family (while converting it to white), or, as others have suggested, they converted to white because they in fact DID anticipate the racism of the moviegoing public and sought to avert relegating their film to instant obscurity by serving up to white audiences their comfortable white protagonists. Either way, I don't think they can be faulted for their calculus, racist as it was, because racism -- benign identification with racial and cultural commonality -- is just the way human minds are put together for better or worse, AND big money was at risk -- certainly wasn't my money, so who is to say what they did was wrongheaded?

Anyway, in my view those choices had little if anything to do with the film they ultimately got -- which, unless I miss my guess, is actually an attempt to flow against the grain of their racist choices -- it seeks to demonstrate the universality of human experience in the face of disaster, extreme challenge and hardship, no matter what specific subdivision of the human race you happen to be (...BUT, by the way, our featured folks are going to be very white, so you don't have to worry about that...)

Now as to where this production really went wrong, I was altogether unimpressed with the LFE in this movie -- while it was not MIA completely, it could have had some real memorable reference ferocity and impact. So while corporate decision making vis a vis cultural issues might stir some limited conjectural curiosity, I don't know that skimping on the LFE is the type of thing that can be so easily understood, much less forgiven -- that is miscalculation of the gravest variety in my book...
post #23 of 54
People from Spain are white. They are also European too. People seem to have lost this fact somewhere along the line.
post #24 of 54
Considering how much input Maria Belon herself had into the movie, I'll accept her approval, over that of some random internet white-knights.
post #25 of 54
Quote:
Originally Posted by tenthplanet View Post

People from Spain are white. They are also European too. People seem to have lost this fact somewhere along the line.

Not lost, it's immaterial. The people the movie is about, are not white.
post #26 of 54
Quote:
Originally Posted by raoul_duke View Post

Considering how much input Maria Belon herself had into the movie, I'll accept her approval, over that of some random internet white-knights.

That in no way means the casting wasn't racist. Samuel L Jackson has put his stamp of approval on a few racist scenarios within movies that he's benefited from financially.
post #27 of 54
Quote:
Originally Posted by lordcloud View Post

Obviously the filmmakers were not very confident in either their ability to make an incredible film, their ability to tell a great story, or the ability of white people to see past the fact that the story revolves around a Spanish family. Likely all of the above after seeing the movie. The filmmakers knew that America is too much of a racist country to release a movie that wasn't made for and marketed to the Spanish population. That's why the stars ate white and bankable. If you don't categorize telling a Spanish family's story but casting white people in their stead, as racism. Well then you might be one of the lucky people that have no clue what racism is and have never had to worry about it un their lives, because this is pretty damn racist. And saying it's ok that they made them white, to sell tickets, is just stupid.

Thee movie was just ok, but really could have been great. Changing the brown family to white was the the beginning of the movie's problems.
Are you serious with this crap? It was a great movie retelling of a very moving story with top rate actors... it's a shame you bring color into the equation as a negativism and without a shred of evidence supporting your nonsense. rolleyes.gif
post #28 of 54
Quote:
Originally Posted by tenthplanet View Post

People from Spain are white. They are also European too. People seem to have lost this fact somewhere along the line.
So you are saying that the moviemakers had every intention of accurately portraying the race, national origin, native language of the original family on whose story this film recreation is based? I think this is not so, so then what? If they changed those parameters, then that is what the discussion has centered on.
post #29 of 54
Quote:
Originally Posted by raoul_duke View Post

Considering how much input Maria Belon herself had into the movie, I'll accept her approval, over that of some random internet white-knights.
In the interest of dialog, what is meant by "internet white-knights", and who are these folks? I have a feeling I might be implicated, but that term honestly has no meaning to me in this context -- sorry for the possible obtuseness.
post #30 of 54
Quote:
Originally Posted by General Kenobi View Post

Are you serious with this crap? It was a great movie retelling of a very moving story with top rate actors... it's a shame you bring color into the equation as a negativism and without a shred of evidence supporting your nonsense. rolleyes.gif
I do note of course that you were responding to lordcloud, but I just wanted to make clear that when I call the casting racist, that is not an automatic negative -- it's just a recognition of the apparent basis for virtually every casting decision. In fact, especially when it comes to the racism brought to bear in casting the native population, I would call that a necessary and expected application of explicit racism with mostly only positive outcomes.
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