The Forgotten US Theatrical Release: September 24, 2004 (Columbia - TriStar) US DVD Release: January 18, 2005 Running Time: 1:31:02 (The total time code is 1:39:15, but the theatrical cut of the film ends and returns to the menu at 1:31:02. The total time code when watching the branching extended/ alternate version is 1:42:27, and the film ends and returns to the menu at 1:34:15.) (28 chapter stops in both cuts) Rating: PG-13 (Intense Thematic Material, Some Violence And Brief Language) Video: 1.85:1 Anamorphic (Extra Features: 1.33:1) Audio: English DD5.1, French DD5.1, Thai DD5.1 (Extra features: English DD2.0; the deleted scenes and alternate ending have the same audio options as the main feature) Subtitles: English, French, Chinese, Korean, Thai (Extra Features: Korean) (The deleted scenes and alternate ending are subtitled in the other languages as well.) TV-Generated Closed Captions: English (Extra Features: None) Menus: Lightly animated and skippable. Packaging: Standard keepcase with paper slipcover; single-sheet insert contains a poster image for this film on one side and cover images from other titles on the other side. The slipcover has exactly the same art as the case. MSRP: $28.95 THE WAY I FEEL ABOUT IT: 2/5 There are two kinds of suspense thrillers. There is the kind that ties up all the loose ends, and there is the kind that just sort of finishes up. The latter can provide an extra chapter of post-film fun as the viewer catalogs the parts that didn’t quite fit in or make sense when looking at the film as a whole. The Forgotten lives somewhere between the two: It resolves its main plot line satisfactorily, but it also has its share of scenes that, while creepy, in retrospect didn’t really belong. Julianne Moore slums it up as Telly, a Brooklyn woman still grieving a year after the loss of her 9-year-old son in a plane crash. She often spends time in his room, going through his things and remembering. Her husband, Jim (Anthony Edwards), and her therapist, Dr. Munce (Gary Sinise), are gently trying to help her move on. After about 8 minutes of small talk and spooky incidental music, weird stuff begins happening. First, Telly notices that a picture of her, her husband, and her son has been replaced with a nearly identical photo of only Telly and Jim. Soon after, she discovers that everything has been removed from the scrapbook in her son’s room and that her home movies have been erased. Why has Jim done these cruel things? When Telly confronts Jim, he and Dr. Munce tell her that she never had a son – that she’s delusional due to a miscarriage. Telly can’t believe her ears. But when she tries to show that she isn’t crazy, she has a tougher time of it than she expected. She can’t find any evidence that her son ever existed – or even of the plane crash that took his life. The only person left for Telly to turn to is her neighbor Ash (Dominic West), who lost his daughter in the same plane crash. He seems to have forgotten about his child, just like Telly’s husband did, but at this point, she has no other choice but to try and convince him to help her figure out what’s going on. There’s not much more to say about the plot that won’t reveal its few twists and surprises. Much of the film consists of Telly and Ash hiding or being chased. They don’t find many clues along the way as to what’s going on – just a hint here and there until the very end of the film. And while the ending does explain what’s been going on, it doesn’t take much deep thought to come up with a list of “what was the point of that part?” questions. The fine cast, also featuring Alfre Woodard, carries itself well despite the B material. Perhaps the script led them to believe that there was more to the film than there ended up being. It takes itself deathly seriously, and it was likely pitched as having something deep to say. In the end, though, it just isn’t all that interesting. THE WAY I SEE IT: 3/5 The image is quite grainy, but that seems to be par for the course with Sony these days. Edge enhancement is also consistent with other recent Sony releases, more noticeable in some scenes than in others. Most of the picture is dark and shadowy, with a deep blue tone. The exceptions are a number of brief flashbacks, which are very bright and tinted a sandy, golden orange. Black levels are decent – perhaps a bit too decent, as much of the film is overly dark. The picture is generally a bit soft, without a lot of detail, but between the grain, shadowy lighting, and narrow depth-of-field of nearly all the cinematography, that’s just the look of the film. Although I did not see it at the cinema, my guess is that it doesn’t look all that different from the original theatrical exhibition. THE WAY I HEAR IT: 3.5/5 The film is pretty much dialogue-driven, with a couple of action sequences that feature the occasional loud bang. The surrounds are used rather sparingly outside of the action scenes, during which they pop in and drop out in a slightly jarring way. The LFE track is pretty mellow – it’s there, but it’s not going to rattle your seat much. James Horner’s score is fairly forgettable, but it works reasonably well in setting the mood throughout the film. This audio track won’t blow anyone away, but it gets the job done. THE SWAG: 3/5 (rating combines quality and quantity) Commentary Track: Director Joseph Ruben and writer Gerald DiPego discuss the production. There is a bit of dead space, but for the most part they have some good things to say. It’s a decent but unexciting track. Remembering The Forgotten (19:57) The bulk of this featurette covers the preproduction, from the dream that inspired the screenwriter (always nice to see an original script get made!) to story development to casting. It also includes about 6 minutes of material on some of the special effects. It features interviews with the writer and crew, as well as some behind-the-scenes footage. On The Set: The Making Of The Forgotten: (14:17) This is a run-of-the-mill promotional featurette. It’s a bit heavy on film clips, and has plenty of the usual EPK-style cast interviews. Deleted Scenes: Two deleted scenes (one is 0:37 and the other is 2:53) and an alternate ending sequence (9:19) are included. When the feature film is selected from the main menu, the viewer is given the option of watching the theatrical cut or watching it with the deleted scenes and alternate ending incorporated. The deleted and alternate scenes can also be viewed individually (including the ubiquitous “Play All” option) from the Special Features menu. The deleted scenes are only mildly interesting, and don’t add much to the film. The alternate ending isn’t very different from the theatrical ending – it goes to the same place; it just gets there in a different way. Still, it’s an interesting alternate take, and some may prefer it. Previews: Eleven trailers are included. All except for The Fifth Element are anamorphic, and all except for Spanglish and The Fifth Element have DD5.1 audio. When the disc is first loaded, the trailers for Are We There Yet?, Guess Who, and The Grudge play automatically. They may be skipped. The Forgotten (Teaser Trailer) (1:40) The Forgotten (Theatrical Trailer) (2:32) Hitch (2:27) House Of Flying Daggers (0:46) Are We There Yet? (2:32) Guess Who (2:15) The Grudge (1:27) Spanglish (3:08) Little Black Book (2:32) Boogeyman (2:23) The Fifth Element Ultimate Edition (DVD) (1:34) SUMMING IT ALL UP The Way I Feel About It: 2/5 The Way I See It: 3/5 The Way I Hear It: 3.5/5 The Swag: 3/5 An A-list cast and a lot of publicity have been wasted on what amounts to a mediocre 90-minute episode of The X-Files sans Mulder and Scully (in fact, add Mulder and Scully chasing Telly and Ash, throw in 30 minutes of commercials, and you would literally have a 2-part X-Files episode). The A/V quality is respectable, and the extras are decent, so The Forgotten may be worth a rental for fans of that type of story or for fans of Julianne Moore. Finally, I want to give it props for actually filming in New York City instead of one of the many substitute NYCs (i.e., Toronto) to which we’ll never get fully accustomed. One side note: it seems that Sony is experimenting with different combinations of language tracks and subtitles -- every screener that I receive is different. Why The Forgotten features DD5.1 Thai audio and Korean-only subtitles on the extra features is beyond me.