Movie Review: Rememory (2017)

Memories. Images in our minds depicting things that have happened in our lives. They can be of happy moments; a birthday party, you playing with you pet, your first kiss, etc. But they can also show some of the worse moments in your life like the time you broke your arm, or the funeral of a loved one. Memories, good and bad.

Ladies and gentlemen… “Rememory”.

Before his untimely death, Gordon Dunn (Martin Donovan) invented a machine that let you record a person’s memories so they could be played back in full detail. The machine is soon found and used by Sam Bloom (Peter Dinklage) to try to find out how and why Dunn died. This leads him onto a trail that forces him to confront Dunn’s old patients, as well as his own troubled past. So now we have a plot with a really interesting concept and just average execution. We have a very strong concept here to explore humanity, to create something truly compelling, and at times they do get right to that edge, even reaching a little bit into it… but in the long run it isn’t as compelling as it should be. It has moments of really good drama that touch on the potential of the concept, but if we’re talking about the plot as a whole, then it’s just fine. They scratch the surface, and occasionally strike copper, but in the end… it’s all kind of forgettable (HA!).

The characters here range from pretty good to just bland and uninteresting. Peter Dinklage plays Sam Bloom, the guy looking into Dunn’s death. Something happened to him in the past that still haunts him to this day, and it’s interesting to see how it messes with his mind even though it’s been some time since that event. They don’t touch on it perfectly, but it’s actually decently handled. And Dinklage is really good in the role. Then we have Julia Ormond as Carolyn, the wife of the deceased Dunn. She’s vulnerable, but not weak. Sad, but not constantly crying. And Ormond is really good in the role. Then we have Martin Donovan as Gordon Dunn, who we see mostly in flashbacks. He’s a good-hearted guy who may have made a slight misstep or two in his life. And Donovan is really good in the role. Then the final one I want to talk about in more detail is Anton Yelchin (may he rest in peace) as Todd, one of Dunn’s patients that Sam has to talk to. He’s not in the movie much, but he leaves the biggest impression of all the characters/actors. He’s damaged and intense, you can clearly see that the memory experiments have taken a toll on him. And Yelchin (despite his brief appearance) is fantastic in the role. Then we get some great supporting performances from Henry Ian Cusick, Scott Hylands, Evelyne Brochu, Chad Krowchuk, and more.

The score for the movie was composed by Gregory Tripi and it was… a mixed bag. It’s heavily synthesized and electronic, which is no problem at all. Some tracks were pretty good and worked well for their scenes/moments. But a lot of it felt mediocrely composed and overall didn’t always fit with their scenes, and it distracted a bit from their respective scenes/moments. So the score here is… meh.

This movie was directed by Mark Palansky and I think he did an okay job. The camera is still and it’s shot smoothly, which makes it look pretty nice. There’s not really any tension in the direction here, which is a little sad when the movie is listed as a “thriller”. But there is at least enough energy and cool style to keep it from feeling boring.

This movie has gotten some mixed reception On Rotten Tomatoes it has a 22% positive rating. On Metacritic it has a score of 48/100. And on imdb.com it has a score of 6,2/10.

“Rememory” is far from perfect, but it’s still an enjoyable little sci-fi movie with an interesting concept. It has a meh plot, okay characters, really good performances, meh music, and okay directing. As previously mentioned, the plot isn’t as great as the concept, several of the characters are uninteresting, the music isn’t great, and the directing lacks tension. Time for my final score. *Ahem*. My final score for “Rememory” is a 7,78/10. So while quite flawed, it is actually worth renting.

My review of “Rememory” is now completed.

Already forgetting it…

Movie Review: Insomnia (2002)

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When Christopher Nolan makes a movie you never know what you’re gonna get. Sure, you might have a basic idea to what the hell he is up to, but overall you will have no idea. His movies are so complex and unique that you can never tell what he will do next. So today we are taking a look at one of his earliest movies… which also happens to be a crime-thriller (A.K.A. My type of movie!).

Ladies and gentlemen… “Insomnia”.

This movie is about two Los Angeles detectives named Will Dormer (Al Pacino) and Hap Eckhart (Martin Donovan). They get flown out to a small town in Alaska to investigate the murder of a young girl. The funny twist is that this place they are at is always bright, the sun never sets. They also get help from young detective Ellie Burr (Hilary Swank). And I will not say more. If I say more I will be giving away some spoilers… and we don’t want that now, do we? But I can say that, holy shit this plot is great! Like I said in the introduction, it is a Christopher Nolan movie and is therefore complex (not mindfucky) and layered. There are also a few neat twists throughout. I thought the plot was great!

The characters are fairly well-rounded with a good amount of personality. And the performances in this movie are crazy good. I mean, it is rare to see Pacino being this great in a movie from the last 10 – 15 years. Sometimes he nails it, other times he doesn’t. And in here I can safely say that he knocks it out of the park. Hilary Swank is also really good. And of course, Robin Williams (R.I.P) is also terrific in the movie. I will not say what he plays, that you will have to see for yourself. But all the characters and performances were great.

Believe it or not, but this is a Nolan movie that doesn’t have a soundtrack by Hans Zimmer. In this movie the score was done by David Julyan (Sidenote: My research tells me he also did the score for Nolan’s movie “The Prestige”). And the score is dark, chilling and great. It really helps build the suspense of the movie and also sets a mood that not all thrillers got. And I really liked the score. It really fit the movie perfectly.

You know the movie will be visually great when it is directed by Christopher Nolan. The guy is a master director and it shows here. And of course he brought on Wally Pfister to do the cinematography for the movie and it is just terrific. This is (like all Nolan movies) visually supreme. The writing in the movie is also really good, really helping the already great performances to excel even more. I was also a bit surprised to see how this movie to a large part when it came to the dialogue is morality, I never expected to see that in a thriller. But they did it and they pulled it off. Also, fun fact: it is a remake of a Norwegian movie that came out in 1998.

This movie was really well-received. On Rotten Tomatoes it has a 92% positive rating with a “Fresh” certification. On Metacritic it has a score of 78/100. Roger Ebert seemed to really like this movie seeing as he gave it 3,5/4 stars. And on imdb.com it has a score of 7,2/10. Also, here is a good quote from Ebert about this movie;

“Unlike most remakes, the Nolan Insomnia is not a pale retread, but a re-examination of the material, like a new production of a good play.”

“Insomnia” got an intriguing and complex story, terrific performances, a great score, it is visually terrific and has some good writing. Time for my final score. *Ahem* My final score for “Insomnia” is a 9,79/10. This score of course gives it the “SEAL OF APPROVAL!”
Seal of Approval

Review of “Insomnia” is completed.

Insomnia is not good to get kiddos, make sure you get a good amount of sleep.