MANY A BUFF surely lost his shit last September when test-driving the hotly anticipated Memento DVD. All you got was a pittance of significant extras. The irksome recent trend of fully loaded double-disc packages appearing months after the first threadbare DVD release is a bite in both the ass and wallet. Surprisingly, this second, even more hotly anticipated Memento set (arriving May 21) doesn't quite justify the extra expense.
Each disc's menu must be navigated via creepy psychological exams designed by director Christopher Nolan. The "extras" disc opens with a barrage of inked images (butterfly, skull, gun, etc.), then you're asked to select icons you didn't see in the preceding montage. Based on your choice, you're then required to answer a battery of Psych 101 questions—e.g., "How does this picture make you feel?"—and then nail an SAT-caliber word problem before finally triggering an extra. Fun, right?
Unfortunately, there's little alchemy at the end of these rainbows. For all the frustration of trying to uncover unique patterns in the exam, you wind up with the same predictable and unfulfilling bonuses: photographs, trailers, prop gallery, and, god forbid, the dreaded DVD credits. Reproductions of the shooting script and original short story "Memento"—written by Nolan's brother, Jonathan—are nice touches, but both sloppily scrawled tracts will test your patience and eyesight.
The director's commentary is insightful enough; Nolan's ideas regarding color, sound, and storytelling are often astonishing. Now if only the bastard would tell us how to find the Easter eggs.
FINDING NEW discs May 28 is considerably easier. Kids will clamor for Harry Potter and the Sorcerer's Stone (two discs, many extras, plus a "one voice" DVD-ROM feature for the computer). Adults with very long memories may welcome DVD sets of the old TV shows Dark Shadows and The Saint (with Roger Moore). With her well- reviewed Lovely & Amazing due at SIFF, Nicole Holofcener's 1996 Walking and Talking finally reaches disc May 21; Catherine Keener of Lovely and Being John Malkovich stars. The Czech WWII drama Dark Blue Sky arrives May 28, and Ridley Scott's director's cut of Legend (1985) on May 21.