In a year ripe with mediocrity, Christopher Nolan”s indie thriller “Memento” stands high above the garbage heap that is the year 2001 of Hollywood. Quietly hitting theaters in late March, “Memento” played on a few hundred screens in limited areas and made an instant impact on the audience. Despite the lack of advertising, “Memento” drew bigger numbers each weekend through tremendous word of mouth. After six months in theaters, the film is still in the top 60 and has now reached $25 million domestically.
Guy Pearce stars as Leonard Shelby, a man who suffers from a rare form of short term memory loss which forces him to jot down endless notes in order to maintain his lifestyle of revenge and investigation. The supporting cast includes the wonderful Joe Pantoliano, best known as Cypher in “The Matrix” or the other Fratelli brother in Richard Donner”s “80s classic “The Goonies.” The only other notable cast member is Carrie Anne Moss, another star of the Keanu Reeves vehicle, “The Matrix.”
In the audio and video departments, the DVD features what you might expect from a current film. No visible problems in the presentation colors are rich with no defects in the print. “Memento” is a rather quiet movie, and the sound mix handles it well throughout the duration of the film.
Let”s face it, the most important characteristic of a good DVD is the abundance of extra materials. The producers of the DVD incorporate the backward structure of the film in each of the menus. When an item is selected on screen, flashes of other menus pop up before going to the intended destination. When you return to a previous menu the selections are sometimes backwards in the style of the film. The fancy transitions do not excuse the lack of extras which include only a 30- minute interview with Christopher Nolan from the Independent Film Channel, a trailer and tattoo gallery.
Columbia Tri-Star purchased the rights to the Newmarket film and has released an acceptable DVD, fans of the film will certainly be wondering if a special edition is in the works. While the DVD is somewhat of a let down, the film is so good it warrants the $20 price tag. For those who have seen “Memento,” see it again. For those who have not yet experienced the best movie of 2001, go out and buy the DVD.