Subject: I have found a DVD that I think you would enjoy
Widescreen Two-Disc Limited Edition
Actors: Guy Pearce, Carrie-Anne Moss, Joe Pantoliano, Mark Boone Junior, Russ Fega
Director: Christopher Nolan
Genres: Indie & Art House, Drama, Mystery & Suspense
Leonard Shelby, an insurance investigator has developed short-term memory loss after attempting to intervene in his wife's murder, and uses notes and tattoos in an attempt to hunt down her killer. — Genre: Mystery — Rating: ... more »
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Member Movie Reviews
Daniel A. (Daniel) from EUGENE, OR
Reviewed on 2/8/2010...
Strong writing and an intriguing reverse storyline. Although chronologically it would not amount to much, it is amazing to watch.
1 of 1 member(s) found this review helpful.
"Did I Tell You About This Before?"
Reviewer | 06/10/2001
(4 out of 5 stars)
"This is one unique motion picture; a film noir the likes of which you've never seen before nor are likely to see again any time soon. Like "Jeopardy," the TV game show, "Memento," written and directed by Christopher Nolan, begins by giving you an answer (not to be confused with "the" answer), then lets you try to fill in the question. The story, told backwards (beginning with the end, the scenes are presented in reverse chronological order) is about a man named Leonard Shelby (Guy Pearce), who after suffering a traumatic blow to the head during an incident involving his wife (Jorja Fox), can no longer create new memories. Though he can remember everything up to the time of the incident, his short term memory lasts no longer than fifteen minutes, which renders him somewhat incapable (as you can imagine) of functioning normally. Which makes his current preoccupation especially difficult-- tracking down the man who did this to him. Ensconced in a cheap motel while he attempts to sort out his new life, Leonard must rely on Polaroid photographs and quickly scribbled notes to keep himself in the game. The particularly pertinent information he uncovers he tattoos on himself (a man's initials, a license plate number, whole sentences that remind him what he's after), thereby insuring that no vital piece of the puzzle that is now his life will be lost. But it's a tricky business, especially when it comes to remembering who he can trust. All he has to go on are his instincts and his notes; and constantly having to deal with people he's just met-- even if it is the same ones, over and over again-- puts him in a perpetually vulnerable position. He knows there are those who would exploit him because of his condition, so along with everything else, he has to keep his guard up every minute. How can he know who to trust when everyone he deals with is a stranger? It's a sticky wicket, to be sure; but he's determined to play out the hand he's been dealt, one way or another. Pearce gives a solid performance as Leonard, a guy to whom the phrase "living in the moment" takes on a whole new meaning. He makes Leonard convincing by never overplaying him, and by maintaining a kind of subtly reserved resignation laced with tentative anxiety; traits you would expect of someone in his condition. And that Pearce can make that critical connection with the audience, making Leonard someone to whom they can relate, is especially important, as this is a real "What would I do in that situation?" kind of film. Also very effective is Carrie-Anne Moss as Natalie, the woman whom Leonard may or may not be able to trust. Natalie becomes something of a mystery within the mystery, as she comes across as rather enigmatic initially; one of those characters you can't quite figure out, which allows you to identify with Leonard even more, because you know he's trying to decipher her motives, as well. The same can be said for Teddy, played by Joe Pantoliano, who becomes another constant enigma in Leonard's life. It's another case of "Who is this guy, really?" and, again, along with Leonard, it keeps you guessing until the end-- which is really the beginning. But it's that kind of movie; a first rate mystery, from end to beginning (and when you see it, you'll understand). At any rate, by the time it's over you have a pretty good idea of what fits where. Natalie, at least, tips her hand at one point; Teddy, though, is a bit tougher to figure out. And if you don't believe me, just ask Leonard. The supporting cast includes Mark Boone Junior (Burt), Stephen Tobolowsky (Sammy Jankis), Harriet Sansom Harris (Mrs. Jankis), Callum Keith Rennie (Dodd) and Larry Holden (Jimmy). This is one of those movies that leaves you asking yourself, "Who could think up something like that?" while at the same time you're saying "Yeah! give me more!" To say the least, "Memento" is emotionally involving and thoroughly engrossing, and Nolan wisely throws in some humor to give some respite to the constant, underlying tension (at one point Leonard says to Teddy, "Did I ever tell you about Jankis?" To which Teddy replies, "Only every time I see you."). Reminiscent of "Jacob's Ladder," but taken to the "Nth" degree, this is one film that will keep you talking about it-- and debating-- for a long time. And in another unusual twist, the real irony begins once the film is over, because at that point you're able to identify with Leonard even more-- there's just so much you have to remember to arrive at your final conclusion. Your best bet? Watch it again. That's the magic of the movies."
Perceptions constantly change in this one-of-a-kind story
Linda Linguvic | New York City | 05/03/2002
(5 out of 5 stars)
"Brilliantly directed by Christopher Nolan, who also wrote the screenplay based on a short story by his brother, Jonathan Nolan, this film had to be a huge challenge for all. The word "memento" means "remember" in Latin, and the story is about Leonard, so traumatized by a blow to the head after his wife's rape and murder, that he has lost his short-term memory. He's out for revenge and is looking for the killer, but, although he remembers his life with his wife and who he is, he cannot remember anything that has happened since. He therefore takes Polaroid shots of everyone he meets and writes notes on them. And he also tattoos things he wants to remember all over his body. The role calls out for an exceptional actor and Guy Pearce certainly does rise to the occasion. I found myself drawn to him, identifying with his condition, and joining him in his struggle to relate to the world.The story unfolds backwards, an unusual narrative technique that is tricky to use. We see a scene and think we understand. And then there is another scene that has happened prior to it, and it totally changes our perception of what is going on. Purposely, it is confusing. And purposely, there are moments of clarity where it all fits together only to become even more confusing in the next scene. Carrie Ann Moss plays a femme fatal and, as we get to know her, we are not quite sure what her motives are. Joe Pantolino is cast as in the role of Leonard's buddy, and we are constantly confused as to whether he is friend or foe.I sat there fascinated as this complicated plot unfolded, enjoying the mastery in which the director led me down different avenues of thought and also introduced questions about the moral issues involved. By the end, I was absolutely sure of nothing at all, except that I had been traveling on a roller coaster of an experience that didn't have any easy answers. While I tend to want films to have a beginning, middle and end, and a story line that is easy to follow, this an exception to the rule. I definitely recommend to those who are willing to explore this unique film, which is certainly one of a kind."
Everything a DVD should be
Evil Jim | USA | 07/20/2002
(5 out of 5 stars)
"--Quick plot synopsis: A psychological thriller about a man with short-term memory loss trying to track down his wife's killer. It does an excellent view of putting the viewer on the same level as the main character by showing the movie in reverse. ie. The first scene you see is the last one in the story.--The folks at Columbia/Tristar really went all-out to bring the viewer into this movie. The menus alone give you a perspective on the story and main character not possible in the theater. This two-disc set gives you everything you'd expect from a special edition: director's commentary; trailers; production photos; mini documentary; 5.1 surround sound, etc. But wait, there's more... It's just hidden within the maze of questions in the psychological exam that makes up the menus on both discs. If you keep searching on disc two, you'll be able to watch the movie in chronological order, which is my reason for buying this special edition. (If they don't edit this out as a spoiler, just select the Clock form the main menu, choose answer "c" five times on the questions, then put the pictures of the woman fixing the flat tire in the order of 3,4,1,2.)"