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A view on the Blu-ray format by Enrique Michaels 

Memento [Sony Blu-ray vs. Lionsgate 10th Anniversary Blu-ray]

 

(Christopher Nolan, 2000)

 

 

   

 

Review by Enrique T. Michaels

 

Studio: Sony

Video: Sony / Lionsgate

 

Disc:

Sony is region FREE / Lionsgate is region 'A'-locked

Feature Runtime: 1:53:26

Chapters: 34 / 16

Disc size: 22.47  Gig / 42,582,900,384 bytes

One single-layered Blu-ray / one dual-layered Blu-ray

Case: Standard Blu-ray case

Release date: August 15th, 2006 / February 22nd, 2011

 

Video:

Aspect ratio: 2.35:1

Resolution: 1080p

Video codec: MPEG-2 (17.53 Mbps) / MPEG-4 AVC Video (35.06 Mbps)

Audio:
English LPCM 5.1 (4608Kbps) / Dolby Digital AC3 5.1 (640Kbps), DUB: French 5.1

 

DTS-HD Master Audio English 4032 kbps 5.1 / 48 kHz / 4032 kbps / 24-bit (DTS Core: 5.1 / 48 kHz / 1509 kbps / 24-bit)
Dolby Digital Audio English 192 kbps 2.0 / 48 kHz / 192 kbps / DN -4dB / Dolby Surround
Dolby Digital Audio English 192 kbps 2.0 / 48 kHz / 192 kbps / DN -4dB / Dolby Surround
Dolby Digital Audio English 192 kbps 2.0 / 48 kHz / 192 kbps / DN -4dB / Dolby Surround


Subtitles:
Feature: English, English SDH, and none

 

Feature: English, English SDH, Spanish and none
 

Supplements:

Director's commentary by Christopher Nolan
Anatomy of a Scene featurette (25 minutes, SD 1.33:1)

 

Director's commentary by Christopher Nolan
Remembering Memento featurette (6:46 - 1080P)

Anatomy of a Scene featurette (25:15, 480i 1.33:1)

IFC interview with Christopher Nolan (23:51 - 480i)

Memento Mori - Short Story - text screens

Tattoo Sketches

Leonard's Journal

 

Bitrate Lionsgate - 10th Anniversary Blu-ray

 

 

Product Description: Point blank in the head a man shoots another. In flashbacks, each one earlier in time than what we've just seen, the two men's past unfolds. Leonard, as a result of a blow to the head during an assault on his wife, has no short-term memory. He's looking for his wife's killer, compensating for his disability by taking Polaroids, annotating them, and tattooing important facts on his body. We meet the loquacious Teddy and the seductive Natalie (a barmaid who promises to help), and we glimpse Leonard's wife through memories from before the assault. Leonard also talks about Sammy Jankis, a man he knew with a similar condition. Has Leonard found the killer? What's going on?...

 

 

The Film:

Memory - it is one of the key elements that separates human beings from animals. It is one of the basic building blocks of personality. Who we are is shaped as much by our experiences as by our environment. Memory can also be unreliable, not to mention easily influenced. Ask three people to describe the same event, and none of those accounts will be the same. But, although memories are skewed by perspective, they are critical to the human experience. Memento is very much concerned with all aspects of memory, especially the manipulation of it, and this endlessly fascinating, wonderfully open-ended motion picture will be remembered by many who see it as one of the best films of the year.

 


When I initially saw Memento at the 2001 Sundance Film Festival, where it played in competition, I recognized this as a shoo-in for a spot on my year's end Top 10 list. There's no way this film could miss. Had it been released last year, it would have landed in the #1 or #2 position (right ahead of or behind Requiem for a Dream). This is a great motion picture, and, as an added bonus, it has a tremendous "replayability", meaning that subsequent viewings are almost as rewarding as the first. The only downside is that, with a small distributor like Newmarket Capital Group, it may be difficult to find, especially for those who don't live near major metropolitan areas...

Excerpt from James Berardinelli at ReelReviews located HERE

 

Image : NOTE: The below Blu-ray captures were ripped directly from the Blu-ray disc.

 

Being one of the earlier Blu-ray discs this also utilized one of the lesser encodes - MPEG2. I immediately compared when I first got it - between the SD and 1080 and there was no question that the Blu-ray was far superior visually. But since then we've seen some pretty astounding images from this new format and it is pushing this transfer farther and father back on a scale to judge it against newer renderings. It has weaknesses and some strengths. The transitions to the different styles seem well supported and the black and white sequences look quite strong. The negative I found was noise - it resembles grain - but is not. Probably putting this to a dual-layered disc might eradicate most of that rougher, heavy look. Detail is also not up to standard for the format with even close-ups appearing softer than you would like. While the image is fairly consistent it lacks the type of crispness and depth that people have come to really love, and often expect, from Blu-ray. I'd have to say by today's standards that the Blu-ray image tends to under-whelm. It's almost a shame that Memento got popular enough that it came out in high-definition so soon in the development of the format. One can always hope that it will be re-released at some point. I don't mean to infer that it gives a poor viewing experience - just that it could definitely be better.

 

Lionsgate have improved the technical transfer of the Sony Blu-ray from over 4 years ago. It is now dual-layered with a significantly higher bitrate and utilizes the, much preferred, AVC encode. Colors swing away from the previous flatter, passive look to generally exporting more vibrancy with warmer flesh tones. There is a greater sense of depth in the new visual appearance and there is more information in the frame on all 4 edges. Depending on how discerning the system viewed - this is an easy to identify superiority.

 

 

CLICK EACH BLU-RAY CAPTURE TO SEE ALL IMAGES IN FULL 1920X1080 RESOLUTION

 

Sony - Region FREE - Blu-ray TOP vs. Lionsgate - 10th Anniversary - Region 'A' - Blu-ray BOTTOM

 

 

Sony - Region FREE - Blu-ray TOP vs. Lionsgate - 10th Anniversary - Region 'A' - Blu-ray BOTTOM

 

 

Sony - Region FREE - Blu-ray TOP vs. Lionsgate - 10th Anniversary - Region 'A' - Blu-ray BOTTOM

 

 

Sony - Region FREE - Blu-ray TOP vs. Lionsgate - 10th Anniversary - Region 'A' - Blu-ray BOTTOM

 

 

Sony - Region FREE - Blu-ray TOP vs. Lionsgate - 10th Anniversary - Region 'A' - Blu-ray BOTTOM

 

 

Sony - Region FREE - Blu-ray TOP vs. Lionsgate - 10th Anniversary - Region 'A' - Blu-ray BOTTOM

 

 

Sony - Region FREE - Blu-ray TOP vs. Lionsgate - 10th Anniversary - Region 'A' - Blu-ray BOTTOM

 

 

More LionsGate Blu-ray Captures

 

 

Audio & Music:  
If you ever watched this, you already know that the whole movie is surrounded by the narration. It is rarely sound-busy or too much concerned about the surrounds. This is of course how the movie was intended to be. I probably watched this movie more than twice in different DVD editions and I can't remember being so enveloped by the mood the sound mix offers. The LPCM works pretty nicely with all the dialogues/monologues even giving them a pleasant surround feeling, but the most fine discovery for me was the subtle soundtrack that with this mix becomes so mood-enriching. I may as well have a memory problem, but I really don't recall being fascinated by the soundtrack of this film in my previous DVD experiences. The LPCM makes the soundtrack noticeable during the whole presentation, it actually fills the surround speakers (even if discretely) in all quieter moments. The mix is not concerned only about the voices and the soundtrack, there are few instances where the effects and background details are uplifted by the mix. It even gives you a kick or two with the basses. The most important IMHO, is the clarity and the precise mids, where I believe this movie relies the most. There are subtitles offered.

 

The linear PCM track has been replaced with a resounding DTS-Master. Most won't find it a dramatic difference but, to my ears, it does sound deeper and has a more dynamic bass. Subtitles still exist for English and SDH but Spanish is added as another option. Strangely where the Sony was region FREE - the Lionsgate is region 'A'-locked.

 

Extras:
Ported over from the SD side is the decent Nolan commentary. I liked listening to it but am slightly disappointed there was nothing new at all to explore. Included also is the featurette -
Anatomy of a Scene. 25 minutes in length - still in SD, 1.33:1. I believe that this film deserves much more and the beauty of the Blu-ray format is that it can hold so much more.

 

The Nolan commentary and Anatomy of a Scene are kept and more is added. We get the 6.5 minute Remembering Memento featurette with Nolan and a 25-minute IFC interview with the director/writer of Memento. Included are menu button navigational Memento Mori - Short Story, Tattoo Sketches and Leonard's Journal.

 

Bottom line:
It's hard not to recommend - being the best digital version of such a great film. For the improvement in audio and video fans should probably pick this up. I've heard nothing that suggest it will be redone and I still enjoyed my
Blu-ray viewing despite the inferiorities.

 

It was a bit of a disappointment for many hardcore HD enthusiasts to have the inferior MPEG2 encode used for the original Sony Blu-ray. The 10th Anniversary 1080P transfer is improved in every area from a/v to supplements. Another impressive attribute is the price Lionsgate are asking - it's a great buy and we strongly recommend! 

 

Enrique Michaels

November 10th, 2008

Gary Tooze

February 11th, 2011

 

 

   

 

About the Reviewer: I've been a loyal DVDBeaver patron for many years and am proud to now contribute in this manner as I am passionate about film quality in my home theatre. For my screenshots, I grab directly from the Blu-ray while playing it, with a software like VLC (I am actually using another software, more advanced for AVC playing), like a screenshot. The originals are all saved as PNGs then converted as per Gary's methodology to 90% jpegs (totally suitable for his bandwidth and download-ability for surfers.) The only thing I do to them is change the color profile to sRGB so it doesn't become messed-up for web viewing. The colorimetry is the same, whether the Blu-ray is 4:2:0 or 4:2:2. The problem will happen if the Blu-ray is 4:4:4 and requires a beyond TrueColor or x.v.YCC compatible monitor (I don't know any to date that is 4:4:4, but it may happen in future). In this case some dithering will be applied to the screenshot since only a full 48-bit system (monitor and graphic card) can process a beyond True Color (24-bit) depth correctly.

English is not my first language so please excuse any spelling or grammar errors that I will, frequently, make. I trust Gary to do editing where necessary.  

Enrique's Home Theatre:

Runco CinemaWall SP-60/SP-60xa
Panasonic DMP-BD55 Blu-ray player Multizone + Multiregion (firmware upgraded)

Malata PDVD-N996 with incremental zoom

Paradigm Signature ADP1 speakers

Enrique T. Michaels

 

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