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Atom Egoyan
Christopher Plummer, Martin Landau, Dean Norris, Jurgen Prochnow, Bruno Ganz
Writing Credits:
Benjamin August

With the aid of a fellow Auschwitz survivor and a hand-written letter, an elderly man with dementia goes in search of the person responsible for the death of his family.

Rated R.

Aspect Ratio: 1.78:1
English DTS-HD MA 5.1
Supplements Subtitles:

Runtime: 95 min.
Price: $24.99
Release Date: 5/3/2016

• Audio Commentary with Director Atom Egoyan, Producer Robert Lantos and Writer Benjamin August
• “Performances to Remember” Featurette
• “A Tapestry of Evil”” Featurette
• Previews


Panasonic TC-P60VT60 60-Inch 1080p 600Hz 3D Smart Plasma HDTV; Sony STR-DG1200 7.1 Channel Receiver; Panasonic DMP-BD60K Blu-Ray Player using HDMI outputs; Michael Green Revolution Cinema 6i Speakers (all five); Kenwood 1050SW 150-watt Subwoofer.


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Remember [Blu-Ray] (2015)

Reviewed by Colin Jacobson (May 9, 2016)

From Oscar-nominated director Atom Egoyan, 2015’s Remember reflects on the continued impact of the Holocaust. Elderly widower Zev Guttman (Christopher Plummer) struggles with the recent loss of his wife Rose and with memory issues related to his age.

A survivor of Auschwitz, Zev learns that a Nazi guard involved in the death of his family may now live in North America under a false name. Along with his friend Max Rosenbaum (Martin Landau), Zev decides how to deal with this shocking information, factors influenced by his increasing symptoms of dementia.

Ostensibly a thriller, Remember tends to be more of a drama without a lot of “suspense moments”. Sure, the movie’s theme leads one to view it as a revenge flick, but the emphasis on Zev’s dementia changes matters to a significant degree.

I’m not sure that this choice works. The film occasionally feels like Memento with octogenarians, as Zev’s memory issues leave him open to confusion and mistakes as he pursues his revenge. Those moments create an unusual shift but one that feels more and more like a gimmick as the movie proceeds.

Of course, I won’t divulge that curveballs, but Revenge throws out a few – and they’re all pretty easy to see in advance. These involve the memory issues and they fail to feel especially organic.

That becomes an issue, mainly because I get the impression the screenwriter came up with an ending and built the rest of the movie around it. The tale suffers from a serious “tail wagging the dog” feel, and that makes the narrative move in a less than natural manner. We find leaps of logic from start to finish, all of which build inexorably toward that big twist ending.

While much of the story depends on Zev’s memory issues, I can’t help but think Remember would fare better if it proceeded down a more standard path. Perhaps a movie that focused on the nature of revenge would seem more satisfying. It’d be less clever-clever, but I think it’d offer a depth absent here.

Plummer does his best to redeem the project, and he offers a solid turn as Zev. Granted, the movie doesn’t ask much from him other than to seem confused a lot, but he creates a convincing lead.

Landau gets less to do, unfortunately. He exists largely as a plot device, so the actor fails to enjoy a lot of room to develop. The movie does need the character, but it doesn’t manage to portray him in a satisfying manner.

Some parts of the film show potential, but the story’s focus on its twist ending mars it. Because we can tell so easily that a big curveball will come, that eventuality lacks bit and leaves this as a mediocre movie.

The Blu-ray Grades: Picture B+/ Audio B-/ Bonus C+

Remember appears in an aspect ratio of approximately 1.78:1 on this Blu-ray Disc. This was a consistently pleasing presentation.

Overall sharpness seemed solid. A couple of wide shots looked a smidgen soft, but those were the exception to the rule, as the majority of the flick was accurate and detailed. No issues with jagged edges or shimmering occurred, and I noticed no edge haloes. Source flaws were absent, as the movie looked clean.

Like most films of this sort, Elsa gave us an amber/orange-tinted palette. Other hues appeared – primarily a bit of teal - but the golden feel dominated. Within those parameters, the hues were positive. Blacks seemed deep and dark, while shadows showed good smoothness and clarity. I felt happy with the transfer.

As for the DTS-HD MA 5.1 soundtrack of Remember, it lacked a ton of ambition. The soundfield focused on music and ambience, though it opened up on occasion. For instance, train scenes became a little more involving, and segments near a blast range contribute some punch. Nothing especially memorable occurred, though.

Audio quality was fine. Speech seemed natural and concise, without edginess or other issues. Music offered good clarity and range, and effects worked well enough. They didn’t have much to do, but they appeared reasonably accurate. All of this ended up as a perfectly satisfactory soundtrack for this sort of movie.

The set’s extras begin with an audio commentary from director Atom Egoyan, producer Robert Lantos and writer Benjamin August. All three sit together for this running, screen-specific look at the project’s roots and development, story/characters, sets and locations, cast and performances, camerawork and editing, music, and connected areas.

Expect a pretty compelling chat here. The participants deliver a nice array of insights and dig into the movie’s creation well. I still don’t like Remember, but the commentary lets me better understand the decisions involved in its creation.

Two featurettes follow. Performances to Remember runs 16 minutes, 49 seconds and includes notes from August, Egoyan, producers Ari and Robert Lantos, and actors Christopher Plummer, Martin Landau, Dean Norris, Bruno Ganz, and Jurgen Prochnow. The show looks at story/characters as well as cast and performances. We get a handful of decent insights but not a lot of substance.

A Tapestry of Evil: Remembering the Past lasts 13 minutes, 47 seconds and features August, Robert Lantos, Holocaust scholar Michael Berenbaum, and Simon Wiesenthal Center founder/deadn Rabbi Marvin Hier. The show looks at the Holocaust as well as efforts to bring Nazi war criminals to justice. While it may be a brief history, “Evil” covers the subject efficiently and well.

The disc opens with ads for Room, Amy, The Adderall Diaries, End of the Tour and Mississippi Grind. No trailer for Remember appears here.

Due to its emphasis on elderly characters, Remember shows the potential to become an intriguing shift on the standard revenge thriller. Unfortunately, it revolves too much around its plot twists and lacks the substance it needs to succeed. The Blu-ray presents strong picture as well as mostly positive audio and supplements led by an insightful commentary. Despite a good cast, Remember seems too superficial to prosper.

Viewer Film Ratings: 2 Stars Number of Votes: 1
0 3:
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