New and noteworthy experiences among home video, games, gadgets and the Web.
‘Impossible’ vividly re-creates tsunami
The catastrophic nature of the 2004 tsunami in the Indian Ocean that opens the fact-based drama “The Impossible” is rendered with nightmarish realism by Spanish director J.A. Bayona.
The wall of water looks harrowingly real as it slams into the Thai resort where the film is set and where tourists Henry and Maria (Ewan McGregor and Naomi Watts) are spending the holidays with their three young sons. Equally realistic looking is the shocking aftermath: Maria’s bloody wounds from slamming into underwater debris; piles of human and animal corpses; uprooted trees and uprooted lives.
But what is rendered even more convincingly is the anguish of separation experienced by Maria, who’s swept away from the others with her eldest son, Lucas (Tom Holland), and by Henry, who also miraculously surfaces, with no one nearby but sons Thomas (Samuel Joslin) and Simon (Oaklee Pendergast).
After the intense opening sequence, the rest of the film tracks the efforts of these two halves of a family to reunite in the chaos and confusion left in the giant wave’s wake. It’s not a momentous story about heroism writ large, but an intimate tale of the small acts of kindness and connection that can occur when people are most desperate.
The DVD and Blu-ray (Summit, $30-$40) include commentary and deleted scenes.
Stay in touch easily
It’s hard enough to remember to get in touch with people in one-off situations, but when you have to remember regularly — whether it’s your mother once a week or a monthly phone meeting — you often need reminders. Luper ($1 for iOS and Android) reminds you and makes it easy to act on those reminders, as well.
Luper begins with big, colorful buttons labeled with different intervals: weekly, monthly, quarterly, every six months and yearly. Choose the one you want, and add someone to your Luper queue. You’ll then set a regular contact date for that person and decide if you want to call, text or e-mail them.
When that date arrives, so will a notification reminding you to make contact. Upon tapping that notification, you’ll be prompted to call, text or e-mail (whichever options you set).
Luper simplifies repeated contacts.