DVD Review: Memento - Limited Edition
by Jim Van Nest
Published: May 30, 2002
Hello good people. Well, it took me a while, but I think I've found just about every hidden feature on the "Memento - Limited Edition" DVD. Well, probably not, but I have found quite a few. I've found all features promoted on the packaging material and a few extra special ones that fell into the "Hidden Features and Much More" category. The key to finding everything is understanding the labyrinth of screens. But before I get ahead of myself, let me give you the basics.
PACKAGING AND YOUR FIRST HINT
"Memento - Limited Edition" was released on Tuesday May 21. Yes, "Memento" had already been released and yes, I bought it too. As anyone who knows me knows, this is one of my favorite movies to come out in a long, long time. So, when I heard about the LE, there wasn't the question of would I get it but rather, how long it would take me to find everything. The DVD is packaged to look like a medical records file. In this case, the psychiatric file of Leonard Shelby, our hero, if you will. Paper-clipped to the box are a series of "pages" from Leonard's file. The most useful of these pages is the one titled "POLICE DEPARTMENT." This is actually a print out of the main screen on Disc 1 of the DVD. And it even has a note which reads "To play movie, select the word 'watch' and press enter." Considering how tricky everything else is, this was the least they could do. Also attached to the box, in typical Sammy Jankis fashion, is a yellow Post-It note reminding you that you need to press 'WATCH' to get the movie going. The discs themselves are printed out to blend in with the background of the packaging, and are, in fact, questions one might find on a psychiatric evaluation. Mixed in all the jumbled up print, you will find some of the features on both discs.
DISC 1 - THE EASY DISC
Now, I'm not saying there aren't any hidden features on disc one, I'm just saying I didn't find anything and frankly, Disc 1 seems to be pretty straight forward. The disc begins by asking you to watch the series of words and be prepared to remember which word you didn't see. Well, don't even try it. The words start off slow enough but begin to flash so quickly, no one would be able to keep up with it. When the list of words is complete, you will be brought to the main screen for Disc 1. It is a grouping of 50 words organized into 5 equal columns. From what I found, only one word in each column actually does something.
Column One: Choose the word 'READ'. This will give you the option of choosing either English Subtitles for the Deaf or Hearing Impaired, or Spanish Subtitles.
Column Two: Choose the word 'LISTEN'. This will give you the option of choosing either DTS English 5.1 Surround, English 5.1 (Dolby Digital) or 2-Channel (Dolby Surround).
Column Three: Choose the word 'WATCH'. This, as noted above and 2 times on the package, will play the movie.
Column Four: Choose the word 'CHAPTER'. This one's pretty self-explanatory, this takes you to Chapter Selection.
Column Five: Choose the word 'COMMENTS'. This one will allow you to watch the film with director Christopher Nolan's Commentary Track.
Now, I have watched the film and I must say the print is noticeably sharper and clearer than the original DVD and it sounds great. One thing I noticed a little more with this disc is how well the music is done. The music adds so much to the film and this DVD certainly brings that out. I have not had a chance to listen to the commentary track yet. I've spent so much time playing with the psych tests, that I haven't had time to watch it with the commentary. Comments I've heard about it range from "outstanding, alone makes the disc worthwhile" to "commentary is the most boring awful commentary on any DVD ever." I suppose until I have a chance to check it out and review it here, you'll just have to decide for yourself.
DISC 2 - THE NOT-SO-EASY DISC
Actually, once you figure out how the disc is set up, it isn't very difficult to find the features. It's time consuming and a bit of a pain in the butt, but pretty easy to figure out. This disc starts similarly to Disc 1, but instead of words flipping past, it's pictures. Again, trying to follow the pics and remember them will do nothing but give you a migraine. Wait for the main screen and take it from there. The main screen of Disc 2 is made up of 24 pictures arranged into 6 equal columns. Of these 24 pictures only 6 of them do anything. These are: the compass(no not the type that will tell you which way is north...the type you used to make pretty circles in Jr. High math class), the clock, the book, the globe, the skull and the binoculars.
Clicking on any of these pictures will transport you into a heavy-duty psychological exam. Each question has a possible 5 answers (a,b,c,d,e) and are generally in the realm of Strongly Agree, Agree, No Opinion, Disagree, Strongly Disagree. The way you answer these kinds of questions, unless specifically mentioned, means very little as far as features are concerned. There are certain questions, and there's one 'behind' each of the 6 pictures, that actually have answers. These are the questions that matter. You'll be able to tell these questions right away by 2 distinguishing features. One is it will have an 'EXIT' button at the bottom of the screen. Two is you'll get audio from the film playing in the background. When you see/hear these things, now is the time to put your thinking cap on. (Unless you have someone giving you the answers...like me.)
I'm not going to go into all of the dozens of questions on this maze of screens. I'm only going to mention the questions that take you somewhere. For the most part, the other questions have little or no bearing on where you end up. I figure the best way to do this is to start with each picture and let you know what you can look forward to finding 'behind' each one.
The Question: A couple screens in, you will come to a screen with a picture of a woman holding up a sign which reads ESCAPE. The question asks you to pick which of the 5 choices is the exact mirror image of the original picture.
The Answer: C.
The Feature: This will lead you directly to the advertised Production Stills and Sketches. This is a series of photos taken during the production of the movie, as well as story board sketches used to set up several of the scenes in the movie.
Hidden Feature: Oh yeah, our first hidden feature. After choosing C at the mirror question, you are taken into the Production Stills feature. Instead of paging through them, just click the Exit button. You will be taken to another question. If you simply answer C to this question AND the next question, you will be taken to the unadvertised Journal feature. This appears to be a journal written by Leonard Shelby. It's several pages long and to be honest, it's not very easy to read. I have the feeling that if you put it on your PC in a DVD-Rom drive, you'll have a much easier time reading it. Take into account that my eyesight isn't so good either. What I was able to read of it seems very interesting and I can't wait to get the disc somewhere so I can check out the entire thing. Very cool feature.
The Question: Again, several screens in, you will come to a written passage. The passage is about twins named Jim and John and the hi-jinks they cause by being twins. The actual question asks you the moral of the story.
The Answer: Once again, the answer is C.
The Feature: You will get sent to a screen which gives you 2 choices, Director's Script On or Director's Script Off. When you choose Off, from what I can tell, you get to watch the movie again. When you choose on, you get to watch the movie, but can toggle back and forth between the film and the director's shooting script. It's pretty nifty, though I haven't watched but about 20 minutes of it.
The Question: This question is a pretty simple one, actually. The screen has 5 pictures of a woman with her hand on her head. You have to pick the two that are exact matches.
The Answer: Again...C. (Notice a pattern?)
The Feature: The International Art page. A long series of posters and promotional material used to promote the film overseas. Actually, many of these would have been pretty effective in the States, in my opinion.
The Question: This question has four common pictures, each with something missing. Your job, determine what's missing from each picture. Example, the first picture is a gun that's missing the trigger.
The Answer: You guessed it...C.
The Feature: This will take you directly to the Sundance Film Channels excellent behind the scenes peek at "Memento" called Anatomy of a Scene. I've watched this a couple times and I find it very interesting. Interviews with production designers, casting agents, Christopher Nolan and Joe Pantoliano shed a little insight into the making of the film. They shed no real light on the film's story, but give some interesting info about making the movie.
Hidden Feature: After you select the skull, if you answer the next four questions with C, C, E and D you will be taken to a section called Bootleg. It's only 2 photos of what appears to be the soundtrack CD. A lot of work for a little payout.
The Question: This is a classic word problem. After reading the scenario, the actual question is: What is the minimum # of switches you need to throw to determine which switch leads to which light bulb for all 3 switches?
The Answer: Do I need to say it? Ok...C.
The Feature: This will take you to a screen where you can choose to watch either the theatrical or international trailer. I watched them both. There's not a whole lot of difference, but they're enjoyable. I mean, the trailer was the main thing that got me interested in this movie...so they must've done something right.
Hidden Feature #1: And here's another hidden feature. When on the screen where you have to choose between which trailer to watch, there are also choices c,d and e. Choose any one of them and you get the question: Which of the above images would you closest associate with the word 'empty?' Choose A as the answer for this and you will be taken to a section called Concept Art. This is another collection of photos, posters and other art associated with the film. Pretty cool stuff indeed.
Hidden Feature #2: Also from the binoculars, if you simply answer the first 2 questions C and D, you will be taken to the "Memento" Props Gallery. Here you'll find everything from Leonard's collection of snap shots to the keys to his 2 Discount Inn rooms. Pretty cool.
You may or may not have noticed that I completely skipped one of the pictures, the clock. I did this for a reason. The clock contains what I like to call "the mother lode" of features. Before I get into them, I'd also like to point out that if you maneuver properly, you can access any feature 'behind' any picture. Most questions, after answered will take you to the next question behind it. But some will actually move you either clockwise or counter clockwise. This is the way to access some of the other features. But, I'll let you all figure that kind of stuff out for yourself. My gig here is to give you the most direct route to the goods. So, without further ado.
THE CLOCK (aka THE MOTHER LODE)
The Question Part 1: There's actually 2 questions of importance hidden 'behind' the clock. The first does not have the 'Exit' button or the audio from the film we've found on every other feature question. This will be the 3rd question 'behind' the clock. It is: The best jigsaw puzzles are the ones missing a couple pieces.
The Answer Part 1: If you answer E) Strongly Agree to this question you are taken to a menu.
The Feature(s) Part 1: On this menu you will find the Trailers, the Anatomy of a Scene special, the Director's Script, the Production Stills/Sketches and the International Art Campaign. Sure, I could have mentioned this up front...but it was more fun messing with you a little bit. Heh heh.
The Question Part 2: The typical question (with the audio and Exit button) for the clock is essentially a puzzle. You will see 4 pictures of a woman and her car. The pictures obviously depict her having and fixing a flat tire. You have to put them in order.
The Answer Part 2: The correct order, for those who don't know how to change a tire, is square 2, square 1, square 4 and square 3. Put all the squares in their proper spot by selecting them and pressing Enter on your remote. After the final square is in place, press Enter again.
The Feature Part 2: This will take you to the short story on which "Memento" is based. Memento Mori written by Jonathan Nolan.
Hidden Feature Part 1: after choosing the clock, if you answer the first 4 questions with a C and the 5th question with a D you will be taken into the DVD Credits. Not one of my favorite features, but since this disc has been so much fun for me, I certainly wanted to include some "props" to the folks who made it.
Hidden Feature Part 2: And this is the one everyone has been waiting for. The long rumored but (Region 2 DVD owners excluded) never seen Chronological Edit of the film. Yes folks it does, in fact, exist and can be found right on this very disc. The key to finding it is to think like the movie...backwards. When you get to the woman changing the tire screen, simply enter the squares in reverse order, square 3,4,1 and 2. This will take you to the credits of the film only they're scrolling down the screen rather than up. Once the credits are over, you will be treated to a re-edited version of the film in which everything happens in chronological order. The film starts off by editing all of the black and white scenes of Leonard alone in his hotel room talking on the phone (where he goes into the story of Sammy Jankis) together to make one long scene out of it. Sure it's a little choppy, but is truly an interesting twist on the story. And I'll say this, from what I've watched of it in this order, the film is damn near as good in this order as it was in theaters. You simply MUST check this out.
And there you have it folks, every advertised feature plus a few extras. I'm quite sure I haven't found everything there is to find on the disc, and if I find anything else, I'll be sure to update this article. But, with several hours spent over the last 8 days or so, I think I came up with enough to keep y'all busy til I can find some other gems hidden out there.
Well kids, that's it from here. Keep your eyes on The Trades as we expect to have at least one review of the 2-disc Harry Potter and the Sorcerer's Stone DVD in the next couple days. We may even have a couple. In the meantime, check out our other recent DVD reviews.
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