#1  
Old 05-09-2004, 02:23 AM
Memento





. . . Itís strides are uneven. One leg is strong while the other is weak. Because of this itís strides . . .
. . . Finally the continuity-error-causing ďtwistĒ ending (Iím beginning to loathe these). The filmís body is very odd: one legs is strong while the other . . .
. . . Is oddly unsatisfying. Secondly, a number of unique touches are employed in Memento, from the manner of which the plot moves along, to the voice-overís, and finally the continuity-error-causing ďtwistĒ ending . . .
. . . Quite the peculiar film. For one, it feels like a short story, and because of that is oddly unsatisfying.
This is quite the peculiar film.

Leonard Shelby is hunting the man who raped and murdered his wife. How does he know this? Because of a tattoo on his chest that reads JOHN. G RAPED AND MURDERED MY WIFE. See, Leonard cannot form new memories, cannot remember anything that occurred even minutes beforehand. The accident that put this awful cripple on him was also the one that stole his wife. But Leonardís resourceful--he uses hand-written notes, Polaroidís, and, in the case of extremely vital information, homemade tattoos, to help him search and eventually find this John. G.

Guy Pearce is remarkable as Shelby. And this role isnít a blow-by: it requires subtle indications of confusion, anger, not to mention a realistic sense of a man who canít record memories. Doesnít sound like a walk in the park, and it isnít, but Pearce pulls it off. Carrie-Anne Moss, whoís most famous for her role as Trinity in The Matrix movies, shows that - surprise, surprise - she can act. I was very impressed with her show. Joe Pantoliano manages to juggle annoying and helpful like a champ.
No performance has a single blemish.

Christopher Nolan directs Memento in a very refreshing way. No very noticeable filters. No peculiar, new techniques. Aside from a slick re-wind at the very beginning of the film, the movie is very old-fashioned looking. And it works.

The score is standard stuff.

Now to the problems, the first of which I mentioned above: continuity. Much like the anime classic Perfect Blue, Mementoís end twist does manage to surprise you, but unfortunately creates a pretty large continuity error with the story. Like I always say, my reviews are spoiler-free, so I wonít mention the error here. I will assure you that SOMEBODY will disagree with me, forcing me to point out the errors. So if you want to be spoiled, just wait for the responses.

Another minor qualm is the way in which the movie is presented. Hopefully my opener should give you a slight idea as to what to expect, but Iíll elaborate: each event takes place before the proceeding. How does that work? Imagine you wake up, get into your car, drive to the grocery store, and go inside. Now letís fuck up the linearity: You open the doors and enter the supermarket. In the next scene, you pull out of the driveway, head to the store, get out, open the doors- In the next scene you get into your car and you pull out of the driveway- In the final scene you wake up. Now employed into the movie itís much more elaborate and dare I say artistic, but as the movie wears on it becomes a tired formula.

Also, I didnít care for the twist ending. Putting aside the errors it creates, the story had me much more involved BEFORE I knew the ďtwistĒ. Thatís not to say the twist is bad--itís quite good. Itís just that it personally knocked me from the emotional attachment I had to a certain character. I didnít like that.

Thankfully, thatís all the bad I can say about Memento. The good? Thereís tons. What I want to mention here is that Memento is a mind-fuck done write. Lynch? Take notes. This film keeps your brain awake and working constantly, but never overwhelms you or gets lazy. Ever. It presents questions and you want answers, which the movie gives you.
Bravo.

Memento is generally thought of as a classic. Is it? Somewhat. Itís overrated. The story is very interesting (just reading the back of the box made me want to see it), but the story is also a one-trick pony. It has a ďhookĒ, and only a hook. However, the hook is not a gimmick, but just a natural part of the plot. So it was a double-edged sword--cool but definably cheap.

Refreshingly good acting and direction, standard score, a ďhookĒ that grows tired after about an hour, and a twist that doesnít quite sit with me leaves a movie thatís sure to disappoint, if only slightly so (and considering itĎs reputation is flawless, a slight disappointment is still pretty damned good). I still recommend it very much, and have a lot of respect. Itís different, itís fresh--I ate it up. Itís too bad that my stomach started to growl a few hours later.


8/10--a great, if overrated, mystery that intrigues more than it tires



REVIEW DATABASE

MOVIES:

28 Days Later : 7/10
8mm : 9/10
Alien : 6/10
Audition: 7/10
August Underground : 5/10
Battle Royale : 8/10
Cannibal Holocaust : 9/10
Dawn of the Dead : 5/10
Day of the Dead: 8/10
The Dead Zone : 7/10
Donnie Darko : 10/10
The Eye : 7/10
Elephant : 6/10
Freaky Friday : 8/10
Ginger Snaps : 7/10
Hardcore : 6/10
Hellboy : 6/10
House of 1000 Corpses : 4/10
House of Sand and Fog : 9/10
Hulk : 10/10
Irreversible : 8/10
Kill Bill Volume 1 : 8/10
Kung Pow! Enter the Fist : 7/10
Last House on the Left: 3/10
May : 10/10
Memento : 8/10
Mulholland Drive : 7/10
Near Dark : 6/10
One Hour Photo : 9/10
Perfect Blue: 9/10
Requiem For a Dream : 8/10
Se7en : 9/10
Terminator 2: Judgment Day : 10/10
Thesis : 6/10
Underworld : 7/10
Willard : 8/10


TELEVISION
Buffy the Vampire Slayer (season 5) : A
Neon Genesis Evangelion - Perfect Collection : B-
End of Evangelion : A-


BOOKS
Stephen King's IT : 5/5 stars

Last edited by C-Desecration-; 09-20-2004 at 06:03 PM..
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  #2  
Old 05-09-2004, 04:52 PM
Unpredictable, exciting, and half of the fun is figuring out the confusion. During the first viewing, we actually take the trip with Leonard one memento at a time. The film travels backwards, giving a new innovative film viewing experience so that we can get into better depth and understanding of a character whom cannot make new memories.

Excellent Drama film. 10/10.
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  #3  
Old 05-09-2004, 05:27 PM
Ingenious film. It's been too long since I've seen it. The acting is first-rate, the concept is novel, the characters are empathetic, and the ending is resonant. C-Des, I'll be the one who asks you about the continuity errors. Perhaps my memory is no better than that of Leonard, but I don't recall any gaping plot holes.
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  #4  
Old 05-09-2004, 05:41 PM
Quote:
C-Des, I'll be the one who asks you about the continuity errors.

All right guys, this is a SPOILER WARNING--it will ruin memento's end. DON'T read it if you haven't seen the movie. The text is blackened, so you'll have to high-light to see it.



Okay, so the cop (teddy) who Leonard suspects is John G., tells Leonard that in fact he fabricated that whole scenario with some man and his wife (the scenario he recalls throughout the film--it's the one that he compares to his own cripple). In actuality, that scenario didn't happen to some couple, it happened to Leonard--HIS wife was the diabetic, yadda yadda, etc. etc.
Basically, Leonard created this whole intruiging web for himself to work through. This whole mystery. No one actually killed/murdered his wife.
Now . . .
He has short-term memory. He can remember things before the accident, but cannot recall anything after, yes? All he can do is mark instant thoughts/suspicions on himself/paper/Polaroid's, and follow life that way.
But the "twist" would insist that he can continually remember this "fabrication" of his. After all, he keeps remembering the 'fake' scenario with some man and his diabetic wife. But didn't he fabricated that scenario AFTER the accident?
So how can he keep remembering/recalling it?

Last edited by C-Desecration-; 05-09-2004 at 08:43 PM..
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  #5  
Old 05-09-2004, 05:50 PM
Fuck, the film isn't that fresh in my memory. I have no earthly idea.

By the by, you might want to blacken your spoiler-ridden text. It ensures that no one will inadvertently spoil the film for themselves.
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  #6  
Old 05-09-2004, 06:37 PM
Quote:
Originally posted by C-Desecration-
All right guys, this is a SPOILER WARNING--it will ruin memento's end. DON'T read it if you haven't seen the movie.

Okay, so the cop (teddy) who Leonard suspects is John G., tells Leonard that in fact he fabricated that whole scenario with some man and his wife (the scenario he recalls throughout the film--it's the one that he compares to his own cripple). In actuality, that scenario didn't happen to some couple, it happened to Leonard--HIS wife was the diabetic, yadda yadda, etc. etc.
Basically, Leonard created this whole intruiging web for himself to work through. This whole mystery. No one actually killed/murdered his wife.
Now . . .
He has short-term memory. He can remember things before the accident, but cannot recall anything after, yes? All he can do is mark instant thoughts/suspicions on himself/paper/Polaroid's, and follow life that way.
But the "twist" would insist that he can continually remember this "fabrication" of his. After all, he keeps remembering the 'fake' scenario with some man and his diabetic wife. But didn't he fabricated that scenario AFTER the accident?
So how can he keep remembering/recalling it?


I thought that as well, but then I thought that Teddy was bullshitting Leonard.
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  #7  
Old 05-09-2004, 07:20 PM
Quote:
Originally posted by C-Desecration-
All right guys, this is a SPOILER WARNING--it will ruin memento's end. DON'T read it if you haven't seen the movie.

Okay, so the cop (teddy) who Leonard suspects is John G., tells Leonard that in fact he fabricated that whole scenario with some man and his wife (the scenario he recalls throughout the film--it's the one that he compares to his own cripple). In actuality, that scenario didn't happen to some couple, it happened to Leonard--HIS wife was the diabetic, yadda yadda, etc. etc.
Basically, Leonard created this whole intruiging web for himself to work through. This whole mystery. No one actually killed/murdered his wife.
Now . . .
He has short-term memory. He can remember things before the accident, but cannot recall anything after, yes? All he can do is mark instant thoughts/suspicions on himself/paper/Polaroid's, and follow life that way.
But the "twist" would insist that he can continually remember this "fabrication" of his. After all, he keeps remembering the 'fake' scenario with some man and his diabetic wife. But didn't he fabricated that scenario AFTER the accident?
So how can he keep remembering/recalling it?

**** SPOILERS ****


Leonard's problem is psychological, not physical. His damage to the hippocampus lobes of his brain were not permenant. He's just living out his own self-fullfilling prophecy. That spot right there shows that Leonard is fully capable of being helped to recovery.

But the question is of course, why wasn't there a recovery stage?

Well they were working on it. One of the main problems is the fact that the insurance company would not cover Leonard's problem, ala Sammy Jenkis. (As he is him, and him is he in the story, they virtually mirror each other, only Sammy never had a wife.) So with the towering inferno of hospital bills, Leonard's wife couldn't keep up with everything: (Taking care of Leonard, making enough money, paying the bills that the health insurance would not cover), so thus she prescribed 'the test', that would either cure Leonard and get them back on their feet, or it would be suicide, which by this point she was probably so depressed that it didn't sound half bad at all.

Leonard did remember this, but refused to on account of his 'problem'. After his wife's death, there was no one around to help him basically 'snap out of it'. Instead, he just wound up doing 'hits' for manipulative people.

So in short: it was all psychological. Like a teen that gets shitfaced off of non-alcoholic beer, thinking its alcoholic.
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  #8  
Old 05-09-2004, 08:38 PM
Right now the conversation is geared completely into spoiler-drive, so I'm not going to bother to blacken every post. Just keep heading on down until, eventually, there'll be a bit saying NO MORE SPOILERS, if you haven't seen Memento yet.

Anyways:
SPOILERS:


Quote:
I thought that as well, but then I thought that Teddy was bullshitting Leonard.
That's what I initially thought, but then . . . well, that stint Leonard pulled by writing down "not to trust his lies", then saying that teddy's plate was John G.s, made it seem right.

And Deadwalk, I got the psychological angle. So I'm wondering: so does that mean he 'chooses' to remember that fabrication because it helps ground the little adventure he whipped up for himself? Psychological or not, I highly doubt, at least realistically, a person COULD indeed pick-and-choose the way Leonard did. He demonstrated numerous times that, pyschological or physical, he DID have a short-term memory ailment. It doesn't fit that he can 'pick' to remember that little fantasy, no matter how important it was to his adventure.
Like the example you gave with the girl who thoght she was drunk not because she consumed alcohol, but someone told her to (or whatever)? So she acts drunk, right? BUT, she wouldn't suddenly act sober with, say, her boyfriend, then afterwards revert to 'drunk' behavior around everyone else.
Psychological ailments are just as powerful as physical.
I . . . I just don't think he would've really been able to 'remember' his fabrication. Yes it's the base for his whole adventure, and is thus very important (as I've said), but still . . .

Last edited by C-Desecration-; 05-09-2004 at 08:45 PM..
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  #9  
Old 05-09-2004, 08:49 PM
*** Spoilers ***


He doesn't actually voluntarily choose what to remember, its all "subliminal", and heavily reinforces the theories of psychologist Sigmond Freud. Freud believed that every action we entail has a purpose, there are no mistakes. It just heavily relies on the belief that there are hidden lairs inside the human psyche that choose decisions, from the rational right down to our primitive selfish instincts.

Like a said, its sort of a self-fullfilling prophecy there. Everytime he looks down at his hand, he recalls his fate, and subliminally accepts himself to be there.
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