The Film Stage – [Blu-Review] Remember Me

I know what you’re thinking. You’re looking at Remember Me and thinking “oh great, another chick flick starring that dude from Twilight” or “jeez, another sappy romance flick with that chick from Lost”. You may want to think again. Remember Me does star that chick from Lost (Emilie de Ravin) and that dude from Twilight (Robert Pattinson) but it is in no way a chick flick or sappy romance. Remember Me is a hard-hitting drama that deals with real issues and isn’t afraid to tackle tough topics. The question is, is the film one that you’ll soon forget or is Remember Me a film that will stay with you for a while?

A 2010 drama from filmmaker Allen Coulter (Hollywoodland), the film focuses on the tale of two young adults, Tyler (Pattinson) and Ally (de Ravin). At the start of the film, Tyler gets in a scuffle with a tough cop played by the always-excellent Chris Cooper. As a revenge prank, Tyler decides to ask out the cop’s daughter, Ally. The plan is to ask her out and treat her poorly, but things end up going the other way. The two fall in love and find solace and happiness in each other as they deal with tragedy and loss.

Despite the brooding romance, the film is much more than a love story. In fact, it’s not really a love story at all. The film is more of a drama, the romance more an essential plot device used to enhance the bigger story.

Tyler and Ally are both dealing with family issues. They both have their own problems on the home front and are both struggling to cope. The characters are well-crafted and their problems real, making them easy to relate to. As the movie goes on, the people and their conflicts become more compelling and we are drawn in as the audience.

The gloomy tone present throughout is magnified tenfold when the film comes to a truly tragic and harrowing close that is tough to watch but makes the film feel all the more real. To reveal anymore about the plot would be a crime. Suffice to say, the story is a heartbreaking and heartwarming experience that will truly move you.

Set in New York, Coulter shows his love for the city with the beautiful set design, costume design, haunting score and locations. The film captures New York wonderfully is a loving testament to one of the greatest cities in the world.

Captured equally as beautifully is the relationship between Tyler and his sister Caroline (Ruby Jerins). Despite being the youngest one on set, Jerins’ maturity and understanding of her role is outstanding. She offers one of the most enjoyable performances in the film. Her relationship with her brother is touching as the two help each other and provide support to try and make the best of a bad situation.

The film is shot very effectively. Very few camera tricks are found here and the filming relies heavily on the performances of its actors, who are thankfully up to the task. Pattinson, stepping out of his Twilight role and giving his best James Dean, truly personifies a broken soul, lost without a cause and quickly giving up on life. The script (written by Will Fetters) gives him much more to sink his teeth into than Edward Cullen. He proves himself in the role, delivering a wonderful performance. He emulates Tyler’s frustration off the screen and into our hearts and we instantly become connected to the character. de Ravin also turns out a respectable performance. While not as convincing as Pattinson, she brings to the film some much appreciated cheer and delight. She has a charming personality and always brightens up the screen with a optimistic disposition.

Supporting the two leads are Pierce Brosnan and Chris Cooper. Cooper plays Ally’s father while Brosnan plays Tyler’s. Both of them do an outstanding job and rev up the intensity of every scene they are in. Brosnan is especially good, stealing the small handful of scenes he is in. All the performances feel so real that as an audience member, you can’t help but to be engaged. The characters are so fully realized that you become instantly attached and connected to them.

Much as been said about the ending of the film. The ending, while dealing with very tough and touchy subject matter, is done very tastefully and in a way few films could pull off. By the end of the film, the audience will have been rocked by an emotional scope far bigger than that of most films in recent memory. People have called the ending an emotional sucker punch and while I can see the validity of this claim, I still stand by my original statement. The ending is powerful and meaningful and I was not offended in the least. It left me realizing the message that the film was trying to show me the whole time: take what’s good in your life and hold onto it because in a moment, everything can change.

The few flaws this film does have are not significant enough to ruin it. Emile de Ravin’s performance is somewhat lacking and therefore the chemistry between her and Pattinson doesn’t feel as real as it could be. There is also some character development that could have been fleshed out more. At the end I felt myself wondering “why” regarding the motives behind some actions and scenes. The film also feels a bit too long at parts. It could of been edited a bit more tightly. All of this is secondary however, never taking from the whole of the film.

I urge you not to ignore this film, thinking it’s a corny romance flick for the Edward/Twilight crazed teenage girls. Remember Me is a very good film. It is a gripping, emotional roller coaster ride of a film that will leave you torn to pieces by the end and is certainly a film that won’t be forgotten anytime soon.

The first thing that will strike you about the transfer is how extraordinary the detail is. The detail in the picture is absolutely spectacular and is apparent in almost every scene. Detail is found in almost every element of the film and is striking and enhances the picture greatly. Flesh tones also look solid and the clarity is pretty good. The only time the picture seems to dip is during some of the night time scenes. Aside from that, this is a solid visual transfer and while there are no eye-popping visuals, it gets the job done.

The audio is equally good considering this is a dialogue-focused film. The dialogue comes across as crisp and clear and always at the front and center of the track. It is never drowned out and the beautiful soundtrack is mixed in perfectly. Atmospherics capture the city of New York fairly well and while the surround moments aren’t great they are passable.

For such a great film the special features are truly a let-down. They special features include:

– Audio Commentary with Robert Pattinson and cast
– Audio Commentary with Director Allen Coulter
– Making Of featurette

The making of is really just an extended EPK feature and is not terribly deep. It offers interviews with cast and crew as they briefly discuss casting choices, the story of the film, the development etc. It’s a very superfluous affair. The two commentaries are pretty good, the one with the cast being the better one, simply because it’s more exciting because there are more people involved. Enjoying the film as much as I did, I will say that I enjoyed listening to the commentaries. Although director Coulter didn’t speak much on the ending in his track, during the second track it is spoken about a bit more and we get some more insight on it.

Though Remember Me got overlooked in theaters, its deserves to be discovered on Blu-Ray and DVD. I’d recommend this for both males and females of all ages. Don’t let the preconceptions you may have about this film drive you away from it. It’s a riveting and powerful look at life and how significant events can effect us. It provokes us to ask tough questions and to live in the moment, because a single event can change us forever.

Movie – 8/10

Video – 8/10

Audio – 8.5/10

Extras – 4/10

Bottom Line: Whether you’ve seen the film or not I’d recommend a buy. While the special features may not be great, the film itself is very good and the transfer doesn’t disappoint either. I’ve seen the film twice already and can easily see myself watching it a third time and still enjoying it

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