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DVD Review: THE FORGOTTEN

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THE FORGOTTEN

DVD Review by David Blackwell

DETAILS: 91 minutes/94 minutes, deleted scenes, featurettes, audio commentary for theater cut, and previews

STUDIO: Columbia (SPHE)/ Revolution Studios

RELEASE DATE: 1-18-2004

ANALYSIS: Telly (Julianne Moore) lost her nine year old son to a plane crash about 14 years ago. One day, all signs that her son ever existed are gone. Telly only has her memories despite her husband (Anthony Edwards) and her shrink (Gary Sinese) telling her she never had a son. She has her memories of her son. She runs off and tries to convince Ash (Dominic West) that he has lost his daughter in the same plane crash. First he doesn't believe her, but then he remembers his daughter and goes into action to save Telly from the National Security Agency. Telly wonders why the NSA is so interested in her as she searches for clues to what happened to her son and Ash's daughter with Ash as her only ally in a world that has forgotten those two kids have ever existed. Also throw in the mix Detective Pope (Alfre Woodward) who is trying to find Telly.

THE FORGOTTEN is a psychological thriller with a sci-fi twist. It has emotion at it's core as it asks if the bond between a mother and child can be forgotten. Is Telly crazy or is there a greater conspiracy to uncover?

I almost had THE FORGOTTEN marked off as forgettable during the first half hour until the movie became really interesting. The first half hour was needed to get things started for the movie as you follow Telly's emotional journey as she searches for answers. kudos go to the actors and director Joseph Ruben for this exciting thriller. The music score by James Horner is one of his best. THE FORGOTTEN makes it known that you shouldn't mess with some mothers aor Julianne Moore.

VIDEO/AUDIO: The movie is presented in 1.85 Anamorphic Widescreen. Colors are great and blacks are good. Image detail isn't bad even though it is a little soft at times. The picture is sharp where it needs to be. You can watch the theater cut or an extended version which incorporates the deleted scenes and alternate ending into the movie. The extended cut runs about 3 minutes longer than the theatrical cut.

You can hear THE FORGOTTEN in English, French, or Thai 5.1 Dolby Digital with the option of English, French, Chinese, Korean, and Thai subtitles. The deleted scenes have all subtitle options while the two featurettes only have the option of Korean subtitles. Dialogue and music are the main players in the audio. Dialogue comes through very clear while the music comes through strongly with the occasion sound effect having the same impact.

SPECIAL FEATURES: Two featurettes are among the special features. REMEMBERING THE FORGOTTEN is a twenty minute look into the movie on how the writer turned a dream into a script for the movie, how the movie came together, the production of the movie, the casting, and how the visual effects were done. ON TEH SET: THE MAKING OF THE FORGOTTEN is basically a 14 minute fluff piece that has interviews with the cast, producers, and director as they talk about the movie's story (THE FORGOTTEN is about the unexplained and the bond between a mother and a child) and the characters.

Also included among the extras are two deleted scenes and an alternate ending. The alternate ending feels a little more ominous to me and is interesting as the ending they used while only the second of two deleted scenes should have remained in the movie. Of course, you can view the deleted scenes and alternate ending alone (a Play All option is available) or view them as part of the Extended Cut of the movie.

COMMENTARY TRACK: Director Joseph Rubena and Writer Gerald DiPego are easy going on the movie's audio commentary (too bad they didn't do commentary for the deleted scenes) for the original theatrical cut. Some of the same ground is covered in the featurettes, but they do talk about the locations used, how great Julianne Moore is as a an actor, the story, and how the locations are actually connected in real life. The director points out where he sees a microphone about twice and he also criticizes some shots in the movie.

PREVIEWS: THE FORGOTTEN (Full trailer and teaser trailer), HOUSE OF FLYING DAGGERS, HITCH, GUESS WHO, ARE WE THERE YET, SPANGLISH, LITTLE BLACK BOOK, FIFTH ELEMENT ULTIMATE EDITION

MENU DESIGN:  The menus aren't bad.  The menus away from the main menu are static images with music from the movie.  The main menu is distrubing looking.

PAKCKAGE DESIGN:  Why did they need a sleeve over the case when the cardboard sleeve and the DVD sleeve cover for the case have the same art?!  It is basically a waste of cardboard.

FINAL ANALYSIS: THE FORGOTTEN is a fantastic emotional thriller on a DVD packed with great extras.

this review is (c)1-14-2005 David Blackwell and cannot be reprinted without permission. Send all comments to lord_pragmagtic@hotmail.com and look for additional content (and site updates) at http://www.livejournal.com/users/enterlinemedia