Rememory Blu-ray Review
You may remember a song, written by Paul Anka and recorded by Elvis Presley,that spoke of memories. The opening lines said it all:
“Memories, pressed between the pages of my mind
Memories, sweetened thru the ages just like wine”
We all have memories. Yet, while we may have experienced the same thing at the same time with other people, we all remember the experience differently. What if there was a way to remember every day of your life precisely as it happened? That is the question asked in REMEMORY.
Sam Bloom (Dinklage, in a very strong performance) and his musician brother, Dash (Matt Ellis) are celebrating Dash’s homecoming by downing a few beers at the corner tavern. Later, as they drive down a deserted roadway, they begin to sign along to a song on the radio. BANG! Out of nowhere they are struck by another vehicle. Sam is injured but Dash is in bad shape. Dash begins to speak what are to be his last words but Sam cannot hear him. He dies without Sam knowing his brother’s last message. If only there was a way to recall the situation and decipher the puzzle that is haunting Sam.
A thriller, of sorts, REMEMORY is a good idea that loses its way the more it tries to impress. We are introduced to Gordon Dunn (Martin Donovan) a scientist who has invented a machine that reads the cortex of the brain and transcribes memories into short movie clips that can be seen and heard. When Dunn turns up dead, apparently of natural causes though the wall behind him has bullet holes in it, Sam takes it upon himself to solve the potential crime. He also undertakes a strange relationship with Dunn’s former wife. Is Sam being a good friend? Does Sam have a secret? Does Howdy Doodie have wooden teeth?
Though the story is intriguing, it jumps all over the place. When we see Sam after the accident, he has a penchant for building miniature playsets, complete with miniature people. When he steals Dunn’s machine, and the glass slides that hold his patients “memories,” he begins to label the people in the playsets with the patients’ name. The more “memories” of others that Sam watches, the more he seems determined to solve Dunn’s death. Yet his reasons why are not revealed until, literally, the last few minutes of the film.
One of the saving points of the film is Peter Dinklage’s performance. His is one of emotional ups and downs, and it is a testament to the man and his talents that his stature is not a plot point, or even mentioned, in the film. Ormond is also strong as the grieving former wife while it was bittersweet to see the late Anton Yelchin, who passed away tragically at age 27 in June 2016. He does a fine job in a small, but important role, and the film is one of his last performances.
The song “Memories” went on to be used in a Kodak commercial. I think I’d much rather have photographs and my memories the way I remember them then have something exact. It’s how YOU remember things that make your memories special.
Video: The film is presented in a 2.40:1 aspect ratio and, though the images are sharp, the picture is rather dark, as if everything were filmed on a cloudy day.
Audio: The soundtrack is presented in DTS HD Master Audio 5.1 and is sharp and clear. Except for Dash’s last words, that is.
Commentary with actor Peter Dinklage and writer/director Mark Palansky
The Memories We Keep (32:00): A longer than usual featurette featuring interviews with cast and crew.