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The Sixth Sense (SE)
DVD disk
10.08.2004 By: Tony Pacemaker
The Sixth Sense (SE) order
Director:
M. Night Shyamalan

Actors:
Bruce Willis
Haley Joel Osment
Toni Collette

Rating:
Movie:
Extras:
Overall:

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WHAT'S IT ABOUT?
Malcolm (Bruce Willis) is a child psychologist whose confrontation with a former patient goes awry. This leads him to try to assist a similar patient, Cole (Osment), a young boy with a terrible secret (three guesses as to what the secret is).
IS IT A GOOD MOVIE?
I think discussion of the plot of this movie in any great detail might spoil it for those who haven’t seen it. Certainly this was the case for me, and all I originally saw were the trailers. Suffice it to say, the “tagline” for this movie almost gives too much away, and the knowledge of it lowered my enjoyment of the film in the theaters. Afterwards, the continued bombardment of this same line, either seriously or in satire, left a real sour taste in my mouth for this film.

With that said, if you had a similar experience to mine, you might want to give this film a second viewing, because it really is a good movie. The story is well paced, and there are hundreds of little moments that a second viewing will help you appreciate. You’ll slap your head at several moments if you didn’t guess the ending the first time around, and many scenes will take on new meaning. The parts of this movie that annoyed me originally, such as the over-the-top gore or the “whisper acting” made more sense during this second viewing. Bruce Willis gives us a lot of tender moments in this film, and Toni Collette, as Cole’s mother, is nothing short of amazing. Bottom line: I think this movie was designed, in many ways, for repeat viewings. I certainly have a greater appreciation for the film than when I first saw it.
THE EXTRAS
Reflections from the Set: A featurette with interviews with the cast and M. Night. The cast talks about their motivations for their roles, and M. Night discusses how he came up with the story of the film. Things I noticed during the featurette: 1)Haley Joel Osment is secretly a 35-year-old man who speaks better about acting than most 35-year-old actors. 2) I’m starting to think that Bruce Willis’s facial and head hair is a running joke. 3) Donnie Wahlberg (Marky Mark’s brother) took his role in the film waaay too seriously. Overall, you get a nice feel for how everyone involved in the picture approached it. (About 38 minutes)

Between Two Worlds: A documentary about ghosts and the afterlife and movies that tackle this issue. William Peter Blatty (author, THE EXORCIST) contributes his thoughts, and after hearing him, you will have zero difficulty understanding how he came up with the idea for THE EXORCIST. This is one creepy dude. On the other end of that spectrum, the documentary has Bruce Joel Rubin (author of GHOST and JACOB’S LADDER) who has a real “feel good” type mentality about the afterlife and its portrayal in film. M. Night also throws in his two cents about ghosts. Pretty decent value add to the DVD, but I wonder who decided to juxtapose GHOST, THE EXORCIST, and THE SIXTH SENSE. (About 38 minutes as well).

Moving Pictures: The Storyboard Process: An interview with M. Night and his (I’m guessing) cinematographer, Brick Mason (nice name, Mr. Mason). They discuss the justification of storyboarding a movie before you shoot it. For those who are not aware, storyboarding is not unlike writing a comic of your movie before you shoot it so that you can play around with what shots you want, how you want the scene blocked, etc. I think M. Night presents a strong case for storyboarding and shows that thinking-man’s directors are still the best directors (About 15 minutes).

Special Material from the Original DVD:

Music and Sound Design: A brief discussion of the score of the film. I did not realize that certain sound effects were added into the score for additional effect. Sort of subliminal that way. Nice. (About 13 minutes) Reaching the Audience: A small vignette about why this movie worked for the audiences. They discuss how the movie grew in popularity. Survey says!—Self congratulatory BS. (About 4 minutes) Rules and Clues: A discussion of the rules of continuity that the film had to follow, as well as clues they scattered throughout the movie that foreshadow the end. Here’s where you start slapping your forehead in disgust at missing the stuff or patting yourself on the back for being so observant (I was the former— about six minutes).

There are also some deleted scenes, with M. Night’s introduction to each, as well as trailers, and cast and crew bios.
FINAL DIAGNOSIS
This is a real decent film that the hype almost destroyed for me. But upon a second viewing, I was pleasantly surprised at how engaging it was. The DVD has some nice extras that don’t hit you over the forehead with anything, nor inundate you with uninteresting trivia. This is worth a purchase, or a rental at the very least.
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