PictureThe packaging tells us that this movie was “Mastered in High Definition” and although the picture is fine, this seems to be more a sales pitch than offering any real measurable benefit. The image is no better than many other recent movies not carrying this statement. Image quality is variable with some scenes looking flawless and others displaying a certain amount of grain. Detail is good in well lit scenes with little edge enhancement visible. The movie is set in New York in the Fall (Autumn to you and me) and the palate tends towards to browns, greys and oranges with colours being subtle and of the pastel variety rather than vivid. This translates into very little to no colour bleed and skin tones appear natural. Blacks are very deep with many of the scenes being either set at night or in dimly lit surroundings. The only real criticism I will say about the picture on this release is that although the blacks have depth, the detail is lost in many scenes and contrast suffers as a result. The subtle shades of blacks and greys are absent and replaced with a flat lifeless all over black blanket. Watching with the bit rate displayed showed that during these darker scenes, the rate does drop significantly compared to the brighter scenes. The makers obviously thought that you wouldn't miss much in the dark anyway. You do! Overall image quality is good but don't let the 'High Definition' logo sway you, reference quality it is not.
SoundDepending what you expect from a movie soundtrack, this could either be described as average or good. If you like plenty of deep bass and rear effects then place it in the average category. I personally believe a soundtrack should immerse you into the movie and create an ambience that envelops you so that you feel part of the action. This soundtrack does that very well and voices are exceptionally clear with good tonal balance which is also vitally important.. The placement of effects as well as bass depth are both excellent when present (rarely) and steering between speakers is sharp and consistent. So on that basis I'd say the sound is rather good.
ExtrasAlthough not overflowing with bonus material, what there is has some substance. Unusual is the option to not only watch the alternate ending and deleted scenes (2) individually, but you can also incorporate them into the movie through seamless branching and get a whole new version of the movie to watch. Watching this version does have a real impact on the story and character relationship compared to the theatrical version but whether you'll prefer this version is debateable. I found this version made certain points too obvious to the viewer which should have been left to the imagination. But if you don't want to sit through the movie twice, you can always watch them on their own. The two documentaries are both similar and different at the same time. The first one, “Remembering The Forgotten” is an in depth look at the writer, the director, the stars and the special effects in the movie and is very insightful. The second covers much the same topics but in much less detail and is the usual 'pat on the back' from everyone on the movie to each other telling us what a wonderful movie this is. My advice is to stick with the first one. The Director and writer's commentary is fairly interesting to begin with but you tend to wish they would say goodbye half way through the movie and let you just watch in peace. We do learn that the inspiration for the story came to the writer, Gerald Dipego, in a dream though where he saw a photograph of a husband, a wife and a child and the child slowly faded until he vanished..... That's one man who can definitely do his job in his sleep! Finally, there is a surprisingly large amount of trailers for movies ranging from The Grudge to The Fifth Element as well as two for The Forgotten itself.
VerdictAn enjoyable movie which had the potential to be better. The cast all put in fine performances which help raise this movie to a higher than average rating. There are some genuine scary moments and a few plot twists along the way. Tension is present but could have been a little more prominent. The effect this has though is to make the scary bits just that little bit more effective as you are not expecting them at all when they come. You have been warned, nail that popcorn down or you'll make a real mess when you jump out of your chair. Have I forgotten something?
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