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PLEASE NOTE: Michael D's is currently in READ ONLY MODE. Anything submitted will simply not be written to the database.
Lots of stuff is still broken, but at least reviews can now be looked up and read.
Eternal Sunshine of the Spotless Mind (2004)

Eternal Sunshine of the Spotless Mind (2004)

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Released 15-Dec-2004

Cover Art

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Details At A Glance

General Extras
Category Drama Dolby Digital Trailer
Featurette-A Look Inside Eternal Sunshine of the Spotless Mind
Featurette-A Conversation With Jim Carrey and Director Michel Gondry
Audio Commentary-Michel Gondry (Director) and Charlie Kaufman (Writer)
Deleted Scenes
Music Video-'Light and Day" performed by The Polyphonic Spree
Featurette-Lacuna Commercial
Rating Rated M
Year Of Production 2004
Running Time 103:17
RSDL / Flipper RSDL (70:41) Cast & Crew
Start Up Menu
Region Coding 4 Directed By Michel Gondry

Roadshow Home Entertainment
Starring Jim Carrey
Kate Winslet
Gerry Robert Byrne
Elijah Wood
Thomas Jay Ryan
Mark Ruffalo
Jane Adams
David Cross
Kirsten Dunst
Tom Wilkinson
Ryan Whitney
Debbon Ayer
Amir Ali Said
Case Amaray-Transparent-Secure Clip
RPI $34.95 Music Jon Brion

Video Audio
Pan & Scan/Full Frame None English Dolby Digital 5.1 (448Kb/s)
English Audio Commentary Dolby Digital 2.0 (192Kb/s)
English dts 5.1 (768Kb/s)
Widescreen Aspect Ratio 1.85:1
16x9 Enhancement
16x9 Enhanced
Video Format 576i (PAL)
Original Aspect Ratio 1.85:1 Miscellaneous
Jacket Pictures No
Subtitles English for the Hearing Impaired Smoking Yes, but usually not cigarettes.
Annoying Product Placement No
Action In or After Credits No

NOTE: The Profanity Filter is ON. Turn it off here.

Plot Synopsis

    When I heard that the writer of Being John Malkovich and Adaptation had written an unusual love story that involved someone having their memories erased I was first in line to see the movie when it opened.

    At the outset, let me announce my bias. For me, Charlie Kaufman is the Hollywood writer who is revolutionising the industry, creating fringe stories that edge their way into the mainstream by deconstructing storytelling conventions without alienating the audience. This is a clever art, and his deft hand shows clearly in the calibre of his scripts.

    Eternal Sunshine of the Spotless Mind (unless you are well read, you’ll have to watch the movie to discover the origins of the title) follows the relationship of Joel (Jim Carrey) and Clementine (Kate Winslet), from its fledgling beginnings to its tumultuous ends when Joel wakes up one day to discover that Clem has had their relationship erased from her memories via a new procedure invented by Dr. Howard Mierzwiak (Tom Wilkinson). In a fit of anger, Joel sets out to have Clem erased as well, but when he becomes aware of what is happening during the procedure and tries to change his mind, things take a turn for the surreal.

    It’s hard to say much more without giving the rest of the film away, and for that reason I will refrain from commenting further on the plot. This is really one of those films that you have to go see with a fresh mind and clean slate. It raises a lot of issues to do with contemporary society, our desire for a quick fix (often medical) to our problems, which ignores the underlying issues and prevents us from really moving on. It also examines the more bitter truths of relationships in contemporary society, and the nature of memory (although not quite to the extent that Memento does).

    In terms of the film itself, I will just say that the production is flawless, the acting from all involved is excellent, particularly Jim Carrey (I never thought I would say that about a Carrey performance, but there you go) who puts aside his slapstick self to prove that he can actually act as part of an ensemble cast. The FX are also very clever, and the source of much amusement and ultimately fear.

    I found this movie to be deeply insightful and ultimately very moving. What you make of it is up to you. But one thing is for sure – you should definitely see this movie, because it is just one of those films that will form a centrepiece for discussion for weeks afterwards, love it or hate it.

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Transfer Quality


    The movie is transferred here in its original aspect ratio of 1.85:1, and is 16x9 enhanced.

    The image is crystal clear sharp, although it retains a particular film graininess that is very much part of the film, intended to achieve a sort of ‘documentary’ or ‘real life’ feel. If anything, this was clearer on DVD than it was at the cinema, though that might have just been the projectionist on the day.

    The colour is well saturated, and colour plays an important role in the subtext of this film, so that is important. Shadow detail is a little grainy, but this is a product of the film stock, and you have no difficulty discerning what is going on.

    Film-to-video transfer artefacts were negligible. I noticed nothing distracting.

    There is next to no dirt on the print, which is excellent, and certainly nothing noteworthy or distracting. You will spot the odd fleck of dust here and there, but only if you go hunting for it.

    Subtitles are available in English for the Hearing Impaired only. The are clear and easy to read, and convey the intended meaning of the dialogue without being word for word.

    The dual-layer pause is at 70:41. It occurs during a scene change, and while noticeable is not terribly distracting.

Video Ratings Summary
Shadow Detail
Film-To-Video Artefacts
Film Artefacts


    Audio is available in English 5.1 Dolby Digital Surround (448Kb/s) and English 5.1 DTS (768Kb/s).

    Dialogue is nicely mixed, and is clear on both the Dolby Digital track and the DTS track. I noticed no audio sync issues.

    There is a lot of surround sound information, coming not just from left and right front but also left and right rear, and sometimes even going diagonally through the sound field. Great stuff.

    The score, which plays an important part in setting the mood for this film, is given a great mix here, with all the clarity of DTS that adds just that little extra bit to the film.

    The DTS beats the Dolby Digital track in the bass department, with some stunning subwoofer use during some of the erasure scenes which at times had the hairs pricking up on my neck.

Audio Ratings Summary
Audio Sync
Surround Channel Use



    All menus are presented in 1.78:1, 16x9 enhanced. They are static and silent.

Audio Commentary – Michel Gondry (director) and Charlie Kaufman (writer)

    Presented in 2.0 Dolby Surround, this commentary is worth listening to, although it starts out a little slow, and Gondry has a very thick French accent that is hard to understand sometimes. There is a lot of interesting information imparted here about the production of the movie, and a few anecdotes here and there, and every now and then some real insight from Kaufman.

Featurette – “A Look Inside Eternal Sunshine Of The Spotless Mind” (11:31)

    Presented in 2.0 Dolby Stereo, 1.33:1 Full Frame, this is a little promotional behind the scenes featurette. Includes interviews with the majority of cast and crew.

Featurette – “A Conversation with Jim Carrey and Michel Gondry” (15:34)

    Presented in 2.0 Dolby Stereo, 1.33:1 Full Frame, this is a fairly in-depth interview with actor Jim Carrey and director Michel Gondry. Includes a lot of behind-the-scenes footage.

Deleted Scenes (6:58)

    Presented in 1.85:1, 16x9 enhanced, with 2.0 Dolby Stereo sound, there are four deleted scenes here. While these cuts are fairly rough, they give you the gist of what was meant to be conveyed. Worth a look to see the creative direction that the director and editor chose.

Music Video – “Light & Day” by Polyphonic Spree (3:01)

    Presented in 2.0 Dolby Stereo, 1.85:1 Letterbox, this is a cute little music clip utilising footage from the film and then having the characters’ mouths and various objects in the frame sing the lyrics.

Lacuna Commercial (0:35)

    Presented in 2.0 Dolby Stereo, 1.33:1 Full Frame, this is a commercial for the mind erasing process featuring Tom Wilkinson.

R4 vs R1

NOTE: To view non-R4 releases, your equipment needs to be multi-zone compatible and usually also NTSC compatible.

    There is a single-disc R1 release that is almost identical to this current R4 release, except it also includes a French 5.1 Dolby Digital track.

    There is also an upcoming 2-Disc Special Edition listed in R1 release that will include:

    I understand that this 2-Disc Special Edition will also be released in R4 in due course.

    It may be worth waiting for the Special 2-Disc Edition, particularly if your a fan of extras. If you’re a fan of the movie, it may also be worth waiting for the release of the 2-Disc Edition as the single-disc edition is likely to drop in price when the new one is released.


    Eternal Sunshine Of The Spotless Mind is one of the finest films of 2004. That it went almost unrecognised is a travesty. I cannot recommend this film highly enough – an oddball romantic feel good comedic thinking person’s film. Can you get any better?

    The video transfer is immaculate, perfectly replicating the grainy ‘real-life’ feel that the director and cinematographer intended.

    The 5.1 DTS track is awesome, giving a scary depth to some of the mind-wiping scenes. The 5.1 Dolby Digital track is good, but not as good.

    The extras are great, and not entirely promotional which is good.

Ratings (out of 5)


© Edward McKenzie (I am Jack's raging bio...)
Tuesday, February 01, 2005
Review Equipment
DVDPanasonic DVD-RV31A-S, using S-Video output
DisplayBeko 28" (16x9). This display device is 16x9 capable.
Audio DecoderBuilt in to amplifier/receiver.
AmplificationMarantz SR7000
SpeakersEnergy - Front, Rear, Centre & Subwoofer

Other Reviews NONE