Home Theater Movie Renter's Guide - March, 2011


"Memento" (Blu-ray) - Reviewed by Chris Eberle



Leonard (Pearce) is a man with an unusual condition:  he lacks the ability to form new memories since the murder of his wife.  Anything he experiences fades from his mind within a few minutes.  He is able to remember his life before the murder.  His existence is devoted to finding his wife’s killer and exacting revenge.  He survives day-to-day by writing himself notes and carrying an instant camera everywhere he goes.  Living out of a hotel room, he gets different people to help him in his quest.  The problem is; can he trust them?  Are they truly his allies or are they taking advantage of him?  Haunting him throughout are the memories of his life before when he was an insurance investigator.  It turns out he encountered a man with the same affliction in the past.  Only time will tell if he learned from his experiences.


  • Lionsgate
  • 2000, Color, Rated R, 1 Hr 53 min
  • Aspect Ratio:  2.35:1
  • Codec: AVC
  • 1080p
  • English 5.1 DTS-HD Master Audio
  • Starring:  Guy Pearce, Carrie-Anne Moss, Joe Pantoliano
  • Directed by Christopher Nolan
  • Entertainment:
  • Video:
  • Audio:
  • Extras:
  • Violence: Yes
  • Sex: No
  • Language: Yes


This was quite a unique film in my experience.  I didn’t have to try hard to put myself in Leonard’s shoes; Christopher Nolan’s masterful direction did that for me.  The entire movie plays out in reverse as each new scene pre-dates the one before.  It was a bit of a mind-job but very entertaining.  It took a little thinking for me to put things together but I was never lost in the plot.  Guy Pearce gives a superb performance and single-handedly carries the movie as Leonard.  A handful of other characters merely give him something to play off of.  Just when you think you don’t know what’s going on, the next scene gives you the needed background info.  This is definitely one to watch again as I’m sure there is more detail to pick up.  If you enjoy a thriller that makes you think, this movie is for you.  I can’t say I’ve seen another film like it.


Video quality is excellent with deep rich contrast and bold saturated color.  My only complaint is the flesh tones had a slight orange push.  Detail is reference quality with sharp textures and fine rendering of the many facial close-ups.  There a subtle and perfect amount of film grain present which adds appropriate grit without distraction.  A few scenes are shot in black and white and this too is very consistent in its high quality.

Being mostly dialog-driven, the audio is not exactly the stuff of home theater demos.  It does the job well however.  Voices are clear and well-centered at all times.  The center channel mix seemed a tad hot to me but not so much that I was moved to make an adjustment.  Panning effects are quite clear and used to good effect, especially across the front speakers.  Surrounds aren’t used much but they don’t need to be.  My sub also had little to do but again, there was no need for deep bass.  Music was used sparsely but the score from David Julyan creates an appropriately dark and foreboding atmosphere.


Bonus features include director commentary, two making-of featurettes, an interview with Christopher Nolan, details about the short story that inspired the film and sketches of the tattoos drawn on Leonard’s body.