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The Sixth Sense

review by Zach B.

 

Rated PG-13

Studio: Disney

Starring Bruce Willis, Haley Joel Osment, Toni Collette, Olivia Williams

Running Time: 107 Minutes

Written and Directed by M. Night Shyamalan

 

Retail Price: 29.99

Features: Storyboard to Film Comparison, The Cast, Music And Sound Design, Reaching The Audience, Rules And Clues, Deleted Scenes, A Conversation With M. Night Shyamalan, Theatrical Trailer, TV Spots, Filmmakers' And Cast Bios

Specs: 1.85:1 Anamorphic Widescreen, 5.1 Dolby Digital English, French Language Track, English Captions, Chapter Search

No one was prepared for the success of "The Sixth Sense". It was about as eerie as the movie itself. It debuted number one at the box office with about 27 million dollars, and the word of mouth spread. And it kept spreading. The Sixth Sense went on to be one of the top grossing films of all time. To be honest with you, when it first came in number one, I thought the movie would decline in sales each week. But it didn't. The movie didn't have so many elaborate special effects, it didn't have a whole lot of hype, either. But it did have an excellent story which audiences ate up, plus a new catchphrase. Plus that ending. No one can forget that twist ending.

When I first saw TV spots for the movie I didn't know what to think. I thought it was another run of the mill thriller. Yet critics were favorable, and everyone kept telling me to see the movie. I never got around to see the movie in theaters, but the ending was ruined for me when I was sitting down in a restaurant and two ladies at the next table were talking about films they saw recently - in a loud tone.

I won't ruin the ending for you, but I think it's an amazing ending. It forces you to go back and look at the film twice. Of course, I had the ending in mind so it did kind of ruin the film for me. What I mean is that I thought about the ending and things ahead of time. The movie just really works well that way.

For those of you who have never seen the film, the film follows Dr. Malcom Crowe (Willis), a child psychologist, as he helps a disturbed boy, Cole (Osment) with his troubles about the supernatural and encountering the dead. The movie, even though it has a plot, focuses more on the relationship between the two. Willis and Osment have excellent chemistry, which is one reason why I think the movie works well. Osment's performance is incredible, while Willis, even though he wasn't nominated for anything, I think he's perfect and breathtaking as Crowe. His performance is really good, and one of the best of his career.

M. Night Shyamalan, responsible for the clunker "Wide Awake", wrote and directed the movie. His script is very good and clever, but not without some problems. Character development is very good, but the movie is pretty uneven. There are also some plotholes which I would like to get into, but I can't, since it does sorta ruin the movie.

Make no mistake, however, "The Sixth Sense" is an excellent movie. It's a bit freaky, yet it retains heart and is an overall solid picture. This DVD shouldn't disappoint either.

 

Disney is finally giving us anamorphic transfers, and when they do, they're excellent. "The Sixth Sense" has very good detail and strong colors, though at some points they were oversaturated. Artifacts and dirt come up now and then, and there is some shimmer. Otherwise, the extra resolution makes this film look really nice and strong. A nice transfer by Disney.

The 5.1 Dolby Digital track has some good shocks to it, which may make you jump a bit. Even though there is a good amount of talking going on, the sound quality fits perfectly. The music makes good use of the channels, and sound effects are mixed appropriately. Things are clear and easy to hear. A really good sound mix. There is also a French track and English captions.

Thankfully, Disney was not that stupid to release a really liked and successful picture into a bare bones release. While it's not filled to the brim with supplements, there is a good amount of extras here to make fans of the film happy.

First off, there is a Storyboard To Film Comparison. This is pretty much what it says it is. A few central scenes are boarded and compared. Pretty interesting to see how they were visioned at first and how it made it to the screen.

A Conversation With M. Night Shyamalan and The Cast are pretty much interviews with a bit of promo fluff to them. Shyamalan tells the origins of the film, and the rest of the interviews from the cast are just run of the mill interviews.

Music And Sound Design, Reaching The Audience and Rules And Clues are very nice featurettes. They do get into a nice amount of depth in their respected areas, and are pretty intriguing to watch. The Sound Design was pretty interesting to see, and "Reaching The Audience" and "Rules And Clues" sections show how certain things were done.

Deleted Scenes is probably the crown jewel of the disc, to see the things that were cut from the film. Shyamalan intros each scene and explains it, as well as giving a reason why they were cut. Anyhow, you can pretty much see why, and the film does go at a better pace without these. Still, they are here, and make an interesting watch. Also be on the lookout for a clip of one Shyamalan's home movies, which is an easter egg that is pretty easy to find. It's not bad for amateur filmmaking and is a joy to watch.

Rounding out the disc there are Filmmakers' And Cast Bios, as well as the well put together Theatrical Trailer and TV Spots.

On a little side note, it seems Shyamalan was pretty involved in the making of this DVD. I wonder why there is no running commentary with him and the film...

"The Sixth Sense" is presented with excellent anamorphic picture and sound. The supplements are nice, a lot more than what we're used to having Disney give us. You probably bought the disc if you liked the movie. This DVD is strongly recommended.

 

(4/5, NOT included in final score)

(3.5/5)

(4/5)

(3/5)

(3.5/5, NOT an average)

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