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Lisa Joy
Hugh Jackman, Rebecca Ferguson, Thandiwe Newton
Writing Credits:
Lisa Joy

Private investigator Nick Bannister navigates the alluring world of the past when his life is changed by new client Mae.

Rated PG-13.

Aspect Ratio: 2.39:1
English Dolby Atmos
English Dolby 5.1
English Descriptive Audio
English Descriptive Audio UK
Latin Spanish Dolby 5.1
Castillian Spanish Dolby 5.1
French Dolby 5.1
Quebecois French Dolby 5.1
Portuguese Dolby 5.1
Latin Spanish
Castillian Spanish
Supplements Subtitles:
Latin Spanish
Castillian Spanish

Runtime: 116 min.
Price: $34.98
Release Date: 11/9/2021

• “You’re Going on a Journey” Featurette
• “The Sunken Coast” Featurette
• “Crafting a Memory” Featurette
• “A Family Reunion” Featurette
• Music Video


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Reminiscence [Blu-Ray] (2021)

Reviewed by Colin Jacobson (November 7, 2021)

A “neo-noir” with a definite nod toward the work of Philip K. Dick, 2021’s Reminiscence introduces us to a near future in which climate change irrevocably alters Miami.

Rising sea levels leave much of the city underwater. Increasing heat means that most residents became nocturnal to avoid daytime sun.

Nick Bannister (Hugh Jackman) operates a business that allows clients to relive their pasts. Some use this service for simple chores – such as the ability to remember where they lost an item – whereas others utilize the system to delve into nostalgia for happier days.

When Mae (Rebecca Ferguson) enters Nick’s office, he finds himself immediately fascinated with her. This leads him down a rabbit hole of obsession that takes him into dangerous places.

As a film, Reminiscence seems interesting… for a while. Unfortunately, it really does come across as a rehash of other themes. It gives off a very Phillip K. Dick vibe and the noir elements lack originality or creativity.

The basic setting seems intriguing, what with the aspects of climate change and the manner in which they impact Miami. However, this aspect of the film ends up as little more than modern social commentary and a gimmick, as the "Miami underwater" thing doesn't really matter in the long run.

Sure, the movie discusses the "barons" and popular unrest, but none of this seems all that relevant for the story the flick tells. We go down a very Chinatown path in that regard but this side of the plot could've been anything, really. The involvement of a water-logged Miami doesn't matter beyond production design.

Still, the movie creates an interesting enough world and concept to make it compelling for the first act. The notion of retrievable/"re-experienceable" memories hearkens back to Dick as I noted, but it still offers potential intrigue, so paired with the underwater Miami, the movie seems fairly interesting for a good half-hour or so.

And then the "plot" kicks in and we're stuck in Noir Cliche Limbo. Toss a dart at a noir film and you'll see it represented here, as Reminiscence brings nothing new to that table.

I just never found myself interested in Nick's narrative. Did I care about his romance with Mae and whether or not he'd find her? Not really, and all the attempts to broaden the story into the various conspiracies never resonated.

At no point would I call Reminiscence a bad movie, and the visual design feels striking. However, I just don't think the story goes anywhere compelling, and the characters lack the dimensionality they need to overcome the basic plot cliches.

The Disc Grades: Picture B+/ Audio B/ Bonus C-

Reminiscence appears in an aspect ratio of approximately 2.39:1 on this Blu-ray Disc. I thought the Blu-ray provided consistently satisfying visuals.

Sharpness was generally positive. A smidgen of softness appeared in some interiors, but those instances were minor. Instead, the program demonstrated nice clarity and accuracy the vast majority of the time.

I witnessed no instances of jagged edges or shimmering, and edge haloes appeared absent. Source flaws also failed to interfere.

Colors stayed with a mix of amber/orange and teal. These choices felt predictable but the image replicated them as needed.

Blacks were acceptably dark and deep, while shadows showed positive delineation. Overall, I found this to be a strong presentation.

Downconverted to Dolby TrueHD 7.1, the Dolby Atmos soundtrack of Reminiscence worked pretty well. While the soundfield didn’t go nuts throughout the whole movie, it kicked into action well when it mattered.

During quieter scenes, the mix boasted good environmental material, and more active sequences delivered fine immersion and punch. The latter provided the muscle that we expected and used the speakers in an involving manner.

Overall, audio quality appeared good. Speech came across as distinct and well represented. Music presented good dynamics via the score; the music was tight and full.

Effects came across as accurate and firm, with clean highs and deep bass. The soundtrack fell short of greatness, but it mostly served the film well.

Four featurettes appear here, and You’re Going on a Journey runs four minutes, seven seconds. It involves remarks from writer/director Lisa Joy and actors Hugh Jackman, Thandiwe Newton, Angela Sarafyan, and Rebecca Ferguson.

“Journey” looks at the movie’s themes and story concepts. It feels superficial and promotional.

The Sunken Coast spans seven minutes, five seconds and brings notes from Joy, Jackman, Newton, Ferguson, production designer Howard Cummings, producers Aaron Ryder and Jonathan Nolan, SFX coordinator Peter Chesney, costume designer Jen Starzyck, and actor Cliff Curtis.

Here we look at sets/locations as well as production design, costumes and effects. We get some good insights, though a lot of self-praise comes along for the ride as well.

Next we find Crafting A Memory, an eight-minute, 24-second piece with Joy, Jackman, Sarafyan, Newton, Nolan, visual effects supervisor Bruce Jones, and composer Ramin Djawadi.

“Memory” looks at the “reminiscence” process and its execution in the film as well as music. Like the other reels, “Memory” mixes useful notes with happy talk.

A Family Reunion goes for eight minutes, 14 seconds and features Joy, Nolan, Newton, Jackman, Sarafyan, Curtis, Ferguson, stunt coordinator Brian Machleit, director of photography Paul Cameron and actors Daniel Wu and Marina De Tavira.

This program looks at the relationships among cast and crew. This turns into another superficial piece that tells us how great everyone is and how much they love each other.

A music video for “Save My Love” by Lonr. and Amber Mark appears as well. The song is decent, and this becomes a creative video, embellished by new in-character footage from Newton.

Due to its cast and production design, Reminiscence offers a sporadically compelling noir tale. However, it seems too reminiscent – ha! – of too many other stories to really succeed. The Blu-ray brings appealing picture and audio but supplements seem lackluster. While a decent movie, Reminiscence lacks the creativity it needs to excel.

Viewer Film Ratings: 2.5 Stars Number of Votes: 2
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