The Forgotten appears in an aspect ratio of approximately 1.85:1 on this single-sided, double-layered DVD; the image has been enhanced for 16X9 televisions. No significant flaws marred Forgotten, but the transfer also never became particularly stellar.
Sharpness was generally fine. Some slight examples of softness occasionally interfered with wider shots, but those instances stayed minor. The majority of the movie came across as distinctive and concise. I saw no jagged edges or moiré effects, but some mild edge enhancement created a few haloes. Print flaws didn’t manifest themselves, though the movie’s darkness led to more grain than normal.
Supernatural thrillers don’t lend themselves to bright palettes, and Forgotten followed the kind of drab look one would expect. A cold blue tone affected the vast majority of the film. Really, the only more vibrant hues we saw popped up in flashbacks, as those created some livelier scenes. Otherwise, we got a chilly, unsaturated look.
Blacks were sufficiently deep and dense, but shadows tended to be a bit heavy. This became something of a problem since so many low-light shots appeared. I expect that some of this stemmed from visual design choices, but I still found the denseness of these shots to became a minor distraction. Ultimately, Forgotten presented a good but unexceptional transfer.
As one might expect from this sort of spooky flick, the Dolby Digital 5.1 soundtrack of The Forgotten mostly concentrated on general ambience. Occasionally we got more lively sequences, particularly during the minor action sequences. Car chases and various crashes used all five channels to create a vivid impression. Most of the film used the different speakers to emphasize atmosphere, though, and they did so fairly effectively. There wasn’t much here to punch the viewer in the stomach, but the soundscape worked fine for this kind of film.
Audio quality was positive. Speech consistently sounded natural and crisp, with no problems connected to intelligibility or edginess. Music was smooth and vibrant, as the score presented well-rendered tones. Effects occasionally sounded slightly metallic, but they usually were clear and accurate. Bass response added a bit of pop when necessary. Overall, this was a perfectly solid soundtrack.
When we move to the set’s extras, we find that the DVD in its theatrical rendition or an extended version. The latter adds about three minutes to the movie’s original run time of 91 minutes. As far as I know, the only difference comes from the inclusion of an alternate ending. This clip also appears in the DVD’s “Deleted Scenes” area, but here we get it cut back into the film. This version isn’t very different from the one that appears in the theatrical edition; the main changes come from the depiction of the climax and the way the ending deals with its main villain. It’s a slightly darker and less crowd-pleasing conclusion.
Next we find a running, screen-specific audio commentary from director Joseph Ruben and writer Gerald DiPego. Note that this solely accompanies the theatrical version of the film. Both men sit together for this running, screen-specific track. Despite a good start, they don’t tell us a lot of useful information about the movie. At the beginning, DiPego reveals the unusual inspiration for the story, but as soon as he lets that cat out of the bag, the men settle into a bland rhythm. They occasionally toss out interesting tidbits related to visual design, storytelling issues, and the workings of the cast. However, most of the commentary consists of praise for those involved and the flick in general as well as story-related notes that add up to little more than narration. This becomes tedious and does little to illuminate. It’s a dull commentary.
Two featurettes come after this. First we locate the 19-minute and 55-second Remembering The Forgotten. It presents the usual array of movie clips, behind the scenes elements, and interviews. We hear from DiPego, Ruben, producers Bruce Cohen and Dan Jinks, visual effects supervisor Carey Villegas, senior visual effects producer David Taritero, computer graphics supervisor Layne Friedman, and actors Julianne Moore, Dominic West, Linus Roache, Anthony Edwards, Alfre Woodard and Gary Sinise. We hear about the concept’s origins, story elements and development, locations and shooting in New York, the cast and their approaches to the flick, and visual effects.
While not a terribly thorough documentary, “Remembering” hits on most of the important issues and can be viewed as a substitute for the commentary; I think it goes over the few moments of information covered there. It lacks much panache but it also doesn’t suffer from the usual fluffiness. It’s a workmanlike and efficient examination of many aspects of the production.
On the other hand, On the Set - The Making of The Forgotten takes a much more promotional bent. It lasts 14 minutes and 15 seconds and uses a structure similar to “Remembering”, though it more heavily emphasizes movie clips. It presents remarks from Moore, West, Woodard, Edwards, Sinise, Ruben, Jinks, and Cohen. They discuss the story, the choice of the director, themes, shooting the flick, stunts, and connections to real psychological issues.
“Making” could be fluffier and more promotional, and I learned a smidgen about the movie here. However, I’d like more than a smidgen of information spread across 14 minutes, and lots of film snippets pop up along the way. It clearly existed to tout the flick, so it went for topics designed to interest us in buying a ticket. Don’t expect much useful material here.
After this we locate three Deleted Scenes. Taken together, they fill a total of 12 minutes and 46 seconds. Note that the “Alternate Ending” I already discussed uses most of that time; it runs nine minutes, 18 seconds. As for the others, one shows an attempted phone call from Munce to Telly’s husband; it’s very short I honestly can’t figure out what point it serves. The other shows smooching between Telly and Ash. It was a good choice for them to drop this scene, as one of the movie’s few strengths is that it avoids the usual romantic subplot that we expect.
The DVD opens with some ads. We get promos for Are We There Yet?, The Grudge, and Guess Who. These also appear in the disc’s Previews area with two trailers for Forgotten as well as clips for Hitch, House of Flying Daggers, Spanglish, Little Black Book, Boogeyman and the Fifth Element Ultimate Edition.
Based on its premise, The Forgotten had the potential to turn into a chilling and compelling thriller. Instead, it wastes our time with little more than cheap scares and predictable story twists. The DVD offers good but unexceptional picture and audio along with a decent set of supplements marred mostly by a boring commentary. This is a passable DVD for a bad movie.