Memento appears in an aspect ratio of approximately 2.35:1 on this Blu-ray Disc. I felt pleased with this consistently appealing image.
Sharpness seemed fine. Only a smidgen of softness ever materialized, as the majority of the film showed solid delineation. Jagged edges and moirť effects also caused no problems, and I noticed no signs of edge enhancement. With a good layer of grain, I didnít suspect any overzealous digital noise reduction, and the movie lacked specks, marks or other print flaws.
Colors provided good reproduction of the source material. At times the hues looked overly hot, but that went along with the design, so I thought the hues worked appropriately for the material. Black levels were dense and tight, especially during the filmís black and white segments; those demonstrated solid contrast and definition. Shadow detail also looked accurate and nicely opaque. This became a strong version of the film.
Overall, the DTS-HD MA 5.1 audio maintained a rather simple soundfield. It emphasized the forward channels, which displayed good imaging. The spare score presented a fine stereo presence, and effects also appeared in natural and clearly delineated locations. Surround activity showed up infrequently. I noticed some sound from the rear when Leonard shot Teddy, but mostly, those channels featured little more than general reinforcement and some music.
Audio quality seemed positive. Speech displayed natural tones; a little edginess came through during an argument scene, but otherwise the lines sounded fine. Given their low-key presence, effects didnít tax the track, but they seemed accurate and detailed, and they displayed solid bass punch when appropriate. Music sounded clear and lively and also presented nice dynamics. Donít expect fireworks here, but the track suited the movie.
How did the Blu-ray compare to the 2003 Limited Edition DVD? Audio was a bit more robust and concise, and visuals seemed cleaner and more accurate. I had no problems with the DVD but I felt the Blu-ray improved upon it.
The disc mixes old and new extras. Up first we find an audio commentary from director Christopher Nolan, who offers a running, screen-specific affair. Nolanís dry personality makes the track seem a little slow at times, but he nonetheless offers a lot of solid information about the movie. He mostly focuses on the particular challenges created by this unusual production.
Nolan includes some nuts and bolts material, but most of the time he chats about interpretation of the film, what he intended to do with various techniques, and the intricacies of the format. Nolan helps explain some issues that can seem confusing, like the alternate use of black and white or color photography, and he generally provides a compelling and useful discussion of the production.
One of the more substantial components on the disc, Anatomy of a Scene offers a 25-minute and 15-second program originally aired on the Sundance Channel. The show provides interviews with writer/director Christopher Nolan, editor Dody Dorn, composer David Julyan, producer Jennifer Todd, actor Joe Pantoliano, production designer Patti Podesta, and cinematographer Wally Pfister. They cover some general issues like casting and visual design, but they mostly hold true to the programís title as they discuss the movieís opening (or ending, depending on your point of view). We get some nice details about the production and how they wanted to work things in this interesting little piece.
New to the Blu-ray, Remembering Memento goes for seven minutes, 44 seconds and offers notes from Nolan. The show covers the filmís roots and development, story/script and challenges connected to the narrative, cast and crew, and general thoughts. Nolan delivers a handful of fresh notes in this engaging chat.
From 2000, IFC Interview with Christopher Nolan fills 23 minutes, 51 seconds with a chat between Nolan and film critic Elvis Mitchell. Nolan discusses concepts related to memory, story/character topics, influences and the movieís structure, cast and performances, thoughts about his first film, and some additional notes. Though he repeats some info from elsewhere, this still becomes a good discussion.
A text extra, Memento Mori takes us through Jonathan Nolanís original treatment for the story. Tattoo Sketches offers five screens with close-ups of the messages on Leonardís body, while Leonardís Journal shows six pages from that tome. All of these are good additions to the disc.
The disc opens with ads for Buried, Apocalypse Now, Monsterís Ball and Winterís Bone. No trailer for Memento appears on the disc.
What does the Blu-ray drop from the Limited Edition DVD? It loses a chronological cut of the movie as well as a screenplay, trailers and various still images. I miss all of them, though the absence of the chronological version becomes the most painful excision; while I donít think itís a great way to view the story, itís still a cool option.
A genuinely unusual and intriguing movie, Memento provides something different for the film noir genre. It never falls back on gimmicks and it seems like a consistently entertaining and compelling effort. The Blu-ray boasts positive picture and audio along with a fairly interesting collection of supplements. Itís too bad not all of the Limited Edition DVDís components come along for the ride, but the improvements in terms of movie presentation make this the version of Memento to own.
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