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Unforgettable (2017)

Warner Home Video
Blu-ray Disc Released: 7/25/2017

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Review by Mike Long, Posted on 7/17/2017

As much I as hate to label things, it seems that's all that I do, especially when it comes to movies. At their base, movies come in two categories; those which strive to do something completely new and original and those which embrace cliches. And its seems the vast majority of movies run screaming towards the latter of the two. Why is that? Is there a fear that the audience will not want to invest the time in deciphering a new idea? Are producers far more willing to put their money into a story which has proven to be successful in the past? Is it an "If it ain't broke, don't fix it" thing? Whatever the reason, there are certainly times when the film industry appears to be one giant Xerox machine and Unforgettable is the latest product to land in the copier tray.

Julia Banks (Rosario Dawson) has decided to leave her life and her office job in San Francisco to move in with David (Geoff Stults), who lives in South California. Not only is Julia starting a new life with David, but she must get to know his young daughter, Lily (Isabella Kai Rice). As if that weren't challenging enough, David shares custody of Lily with Tessa (Katherine Heigl), David's frosty ex-wife. While Tessa is cordial to Julia at first, Julia can't help to feel that this woman doesn't like her. Then, things begin to get really weird. Julia notices that things are missing from around the house. She gets mysterious phone calls where the caller won't speak. Tessa begins to show up unannounced. While David is busy trying to get his brewery off the ground, Julia is at home wondering if her abusive past is catching up with her or if Tessa is plotting something.

In our post-Shyamalan world, we expect every movie to have a twist ending. In fact, at times I have trouble paying attention to a film because I'm so busy looking for the twist. So, given that, it's practically brave for a movie to present itself as a thriller and then offer no twists. Not that I didn't expect a twist from Unforgettable, as I certainly did, but the movie decided that it wouldn't be necessary. That's not to suggest that the story doesn't have turns, things do happen in the story, but nothing happens which isn't expected. From the outset, Unforgettable plots a very clear narrative path and doggedly sticks to it. Everything that you think is going to happen eventually happens...except for any twists. The first act opens the door for a definite twist, but the movie is not having any of it, as it decides to stay in the crosswalk and remain very pedestrian.

So, en lieu of any diversions from a very standard script, Unforgettable decides to bring us a movie which is basically a Lifetime movie with a bigger budget and more recognizable actors. The story is the stuff that basic-cable dreams are made of. We have a love-triangle comprised of rich people who, other than their relationship issues, have no problems, as they live in beautiful houses, drive nice cars, have fashionable clothes, and do things like buy new horses as if it's something that we all do everyday. Other things flow into the fantasy-land created by the movie. For example, when Julia moves in with David, they are appear to simply be dating, so they question whether or not they should tell people that they are actually engaged. What? Why wouldn't they? I think that most people would rather hear that as opposed to the living in sin that is going on. Julia leaves San Francisco with the understanding that she will continue her job as a writer by working on-line...which she never does. And my favorite part comes when Tessa reveals herself to be a computer expert. In her defense, she does state at one point that she has a college degree, but does not say what it is in. For all that we know, it could easily be in hacking.

It's no secret that there are a lot of aspiring artists in Hollywood who would love to have their movies get made. So, the question is, why do some things get made and others don't? Unforgettable certainly brings this question to light, as it's the second script from Writer Christina Hodson that we've seen in recent months. She wrote Shut In, easily one of the worst movies of the year, the movie which featured one of the most improbable twists ever and now we get a bad movie with no twists at all. The best thing that I can say about this movie is that Cheryl Ladd has aged really well. (And Heigl, who is a chameleon, looks good here.) The final question is, why would someone name a throw-away movie like this Unforgettable? That's the last word I would use to describe it.

Unforgettable...wait...what movie were we talking about...on Blu-ray Disc courtesy of Warner Home Video. The film has been letterboxed at 1.78:1 and the Disc contains an AVC 1080p HD transfer which runs at an average of 35 Mbps. The image is very sharp and clear, showing no notable grain and no defects from the source materials. The colors look very good, most notably greens and reds, and the image is never overly dark or bright. The level of detail is good and the depth works well. The clarity of the image delivers a truly crisp picture. The Disc carries a DTS-HD Master Audio 5.1 track which runs at 48 kHz and an average of 3.2 Mbps. The track provides clear dialogue and sound effects. There are some nice stereo and surround effects here, most notably those which highlight sounds coming from off-screen. (There is a scene where Julia is home alone and we are treated to sounds coming from throughout the house.) The subwoofer effects arrive with "shock" musical tones during the finale.

The Unforgettable Blu-ray Disc contains just a few extra features. We begin with an AUDIO COMMENTARY from Director Denise Di Novi. "Reclaiming What's Yours: Making Unforgettable" (10 minutes) is a standard featurette which contains comments from the cast, Hodson and Di Novi. Here's Heigl states "It's not a mystery, but it's got this thriller aspect of it. You definitely kind of don't know what is going on." How rude of her to talk about another movie when she is supposed to be hyping Unforgettable. The final extra is one DELETED SCENE which runs about 2-minutes and can be viewed with commentary.

Review Copyright 2017 by Mike Long