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Memento (Special Edition) [DVD]
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Leonard Shelby (Guy Pearce) is suffering from acute short-term memory loss and is unable to remember anything for more than a few minutes at a time. This means that not only does he have no idea who he is, but that also, whenever he meets someone, a few minutes later he will have forgotten who they are too. Of course, all this makes things very difficult when his one mission in life is to track down his wife's killers.
An absolute stunner of a movie, Memento combines a bold, mind-bending script with compelling action and virtuoso performances. Guy Pearce plays Leonard Shelby, hunting down the man who raped and murdered his wife. The problem is that "the incident" that robbed Leonard of his wife also stole his ability to make new memories. Unable to retain a location, a face, or a new clue on his own, Leonard continues his search with the help of notes, Polaroids, and even homemade tattoos for vital information. Because of his condition, Leonard essentially lives his life in short, present-tense segments, with no clear idea of what's just happened to him. That's where Memento gets really interesting; the story begins at the end, and the movie jumps backward in 10-minute segments. The suspense of the movie lies not in discovering what happens, but in finding out why it happened. Amazingly, the movie achieves edge-of-your-seat excitement even as it moves backward in time! , and it keeps the mind hopping as cause and effect are pieced together.
Pearce captures Leonard perfectly, conveying both the tragic romance of his quest and his wry humour in dealing with his condition. He is bolstered by several excellent supporting players including Carrie-Anne Moss, and the movie is all but stolen by Moss' fellow Matrix co-star Joe Pantoliano, who delivers an amazing performance as Teddy, the guy who may or may not be on his side. Memento has an intriguing structure and even meditations on the nature of perception and meaning of life if you go looking for them, but it also functions just as well as a completely absorbing thriller. It's rare to find a movie this exciting with so much intelligence behind it. --Ali Davis, Amazon.com
On the DVD: this amazing movie looks crisp and clean in a good anamorphic widescreen (2.35:1) picture accompanied by Dolby 5.1 sound. The menu is almost as baffling as the movie itself, but once you master the navigation you'll find interviews, biographies, a tattoo picture gallery and the shooting script among other extras. Most mind-boggling of all, however, is the "Memento Mori" option in the special features menu, which allows you to play a specially re-edited version of the movie in chronological order, beginning with the end credits running backwards! --Mark Walker
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Top Customer Reviews
Written and directed by the critically acclaimed Christopher Nolan (The Following, Batman Begins), while including talent such as Guy Pearce and Joe Pantoliano, this is by far the most inventive film in years. Starting with a horrific yet beautiful scene where Leonard (Pearce) kills a man in cold blood, the film begins to track events that took place before the incident. We soon discover that his actions were fuelled by the revenge for his dead wife, while a rare disorder means he is unable to keep new memories. Nolan manages to put us in Leonard's shoes by shuffling the scenes in reverse order, meaning that we too are unaware of the previous events that took place. To remind himself where he is, and what he is doing, Leonard constantly makes notes so he can carry on tracking down his wife's killer. The film quickly becomes sort of a 'why dunnit' than a 'who dunnit' by effectively taking us back through time to the story's origin. Even while having Leonard's various messages to work from, the film still manages to pull off a few suprises, ending with a truly unexpected final twist.
Apart from the addition of the director's commentary, I was actually quite disappointed with the special features in this edition. Don't be fooled by the idea that the extra two discs are full of new goodies. Because to be honest... they're not. There's about one or two more documentaries than the original edition, and an additional option where you can view the screenplay while watching the film, (very useful for budding filmmakers!). But this is hardly enough extras to fill TWO WHOLE DISKS!Read more ›
The movie starts with a murder -- a revenge killing, in fact. But was the right person killed?
Leonard Shelby (Guy Pearce) is a man with no short-term memory. He hasn't been able to form new memories since the night his wife was murdered. Now he's on a hunt to find the murderer but with no way of remembering names, dates, places, facts and faces. I am not going to say more not to spoil the numerous surprises. Trust me though, it's really great!
Don't worry about trying to empathize with Leonard because Writer/Director Christopher Nolan puts you right in Leonard's shoes. You live the story in reverse order so that you never know more than Leonard does. In one scene you see Leonard getting information from a person who knows him -- maybe a good person; maybe bad. In the next scene you see a previous meeting between the two which sheds more light on their relationship. Later still you see how they met. But is that all of the story? You've yet to find out... and you won't know everything until the last scene. By living it backwards, you, like Leonard, have no knowledge of what came before.
It's brilliant story telling. But you might get frustrated because you don't know what's going on. In fact, that's the whole idea. Just sit back, try to relax (though that's difficult in this movie), and find out just how twisted and complex Leonard's world is.
This film will leave its own memento on your mind, and you'll have a hard time forgetting how much you enjoyed it. At least, that worked for me!
So, buy the disc, watch the film again and again, but only watch the 'forwards' version if you're totally confused.
As well as maintaining a non-didactic plot, the film manages to ask the important philosophical questions, how can we know our actions have consequences? Does the world stop existing when its not being perceived?
This is not an easy watch; nevertheless it is a highly rewarding one. All the characters are flawlessly acted by a superb cast that includes; Guy Pearce, Joe Pantoliano, and Carrie-Anne Moss, who gives a much better performance in this then her awkward performance as Trinity in the Matrix trilogy. The directing is first rate, orchestrating the complex parts portrayed so well by the actors and the filming augments the feeling of disorientation throughout.
On plot and delivery alone, perhaps my all time favourite film.
Most Recent Customer Reviews
This is a film that has good acting, action, and a different approach to telling a story from the point of view of the main character. Read morePublished 15 days ago by William Robertson
This will tie you in knots. Stacks of comments on the web as to what the outcome really is. Buy it, watch it and then hit the forums.Published 1 month ago by Amazon Customer
Although the jumping back and forth in time can be a bit disorientating at first, once you're into the rhythm of this astonishing movie you will be hooked to every moment. Read morePublished 1 month ago by G. D. Holland
You must see this film IT'S A CLASSIC - don't forget to put it on your to do list!Published 2 months ago by KEEP_SMILING_
It was an intriguing film with a plot (If such it can be called) that slowly unravels as the characters move forwards and backwards in time, the end just leaves everything in limbo... Read morePublished 3 months ago by RobW
It's amazing great to have on did and contains chronological version so its its just perfect in every wayPublished 4 months ago by Samuel
Great film with a unique non-linear narrative. Or rather, anti-linear. Well worth a watch, a unique film experience.Published 4 months ago by Steve Lynch
A brilliant murder mystery/whodunnit, exceptionally well made, & with great performances from all. Original, stylish, & classic. Good job Mr Nolan, bravo Sir.Published 6 months ago by Average Joe