Mania Grade: NA
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- Audio Rating: N/A
- Video Rating: N/A
- Packaging Rating: N/A
- Menus Rating: N/A
- Extras Rating: N/A
- Age Rating: All
- Region: 2 - Japan
- Released By: Bandai Visual
- MSRP: ¥10290
- Aspect Ratio: 1.85:1 Anamorphic Widescreen
- Disc Resolution: 480i/p (mixed/unknown)
- Disc Encoding: MPEG-2
- Series: Memories
January 01, 2000
What They SayThe Review!
MEMORIES on DVD was released in Japan back on March 25,1999. It is available also on videotape and laserdisc. Katsuhiro Otomo is the general producer and writer of the original stories of this film. "Memories" is the title given to the three short films, or episodes, which compose this feature. Their English titles are "Magnetic Rose," "Stink Bomb," and "Cannon Fodder." The first thing that the purchaser will notice about "Memories" is that its packaging is reminiscent of LD packaging in size and in the availability of extras. This DVD box contains two booklets and it is adorned, on the inside, with art from the movie. The box stands out because of its black color and bold white letters which spell the title. The disk itself is nestled inside a jewel case. It is removable from the box and it is presented with an attractive insert. The disk is Region 2 coded.
The main menu of the film is stark in its simplicity but this is just "the tip of the iceberg." This double layered DVD holds a wealth of information. Through the main menu you can, before watching the film, choose whether you want Dolby Digital 5.1ch or Dolby Surround sound. Also, you can make the choice whether to watch the film with or without English subtitles! That's right, English subtitles! Through the main menu you can also access the three episodes individually and a sub-menu. In this sub-menu you can see pilot films of the three episodes and interviews, in Japanese only, with the directors. There is also a theatrical movie trailer and an extensive image museum for each episode.
As I mentioned before the film is composed of three episodes. The first is called " Magnetic Rose" and it is directed by Koji Morimoto. The score features music from the "Madame Butterfly" opera. It is performed by the Czech Philharmonic Orchestra and the Japanese soprano Kaoru Nishino. The music magnificently helps set the eerie mood of this episode. In it, the crew of a "space dust collection" ship stumbles across a strange SOS signal and go to render assistance. What they find is not a ship in distress but an object haunted by memories. This is a story about ghosts. The ghosts of the past.
The second episode is "Stink Bomb." It is directed by Tensai Okamura. In it, a bumbling chemical laboratory technician with a cold takes the wrong pills and ends up causing a biological catastrophe. Add a military complex bent on killing him, at any cost, with the latest "smart" weapons and see what happens! It is a fable of humanity's own propensity for self-destruction. The episode's jazzy score provides an upbeat feel to this story's doomsday theme.
The third episode, "Cannon Fodder," is directed by Katsuhiro Otomo. A "day-in-the-life-of" diary of a family and town whose life is defined by war. For father, it is work manning his country's symbol of might: cannon number 17. For mother, it is manufacturing the ammunition. For son, it is going to school to learn projectile physics and dream of growing up to be a general. Full of the sounds of steam, and boots, and metal, a techno score helps the viewer share with these hapless victims of military propaganda their dead-end lives.
The animation production quality of the three episodes is superb. "Magnetic Rose" and "Cannon Fodder" being the most technical and breathtaking. "Stink Bomb" is dynamic and fun in its portrayal of its characters. I love them all! "Memories" is surreal, fun, and tragic. For me, Japanese animation allows the more than occasional production of subversive material in the guise of popular entertainment. This is one of them.
Dolby Digital 5.1 Japanese,Dolby Surround Japanese,English Subtitles,Special bonus footage: 30 mins,Comes with an all-color 24-page booklet which is a reproduction of the original booklet sold at theatres