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SEVERED WAYS
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Reviewed by: Ryan Doom

Directed by: Tony Stone

Starring:
Fiore Tedesco
Tony Stone
and David Perry

Movie:  
star star star star
Extras:  
star star star star
Overall:  
star star star star
What's it about
Two Vikings in the 11th century are left for dead in America, leaving them alone to survive against the elements, Native Americans, monks, and themselves. Can they do it? Can they make it home? What if they have heavy metal to help move their feet? Maybe that would help them alongÖ
Is it good movie?
You know, sometimes itís obvious how others might view a film. If itís not a straight ahead formulaic genre movie (and 98% of movies are genre based), if it doesnít cut and paste ideas that donít necessarily fit together, if it strives to do something new, then that movie will divide audiences. Some might see it as genius for being cinematically brave. Others will see garbage. A big pile of moldy oatmeal kinda garbage. Eye of the beholder indeed.

In the case of the pseudo action film Severed Ways: The Norse Discovery of America I knew that after I finished the film if I looked up what others thought that itíd be a straight critical divide. Love Hate Love. Not that it mattered one way or the other, but every so often itís just predictably obvious.

So, if youíre reading this you wanna know what I, the real R. Doom, think about it. WellÖitís lame. I wonít say the flick sucked because thatís too rough. But it is a lame attempt to create an introspective approach about two men struggling to survive. Director Tony Stone deserves credit for his attempt, but it all felt forced. It tried too hard to show how pretty, serene quality of nature instead of allowing nature to speak for herself. Thatís a loose line to balance on I realize, but thatís what happens when thereís zero plot. If more engrossing characters existed, perhaps then it would feel like a complete movie, not a bold attempt at one. As is the movie is nothing more than a ton of very pretty cinematography and a couple of dudes walking around. Who needs story when you got that, right? To be fair, a story does linger, but thereís little sense of danger or purpose in an idea thatís ripe with potential. This is a great attempt. It just failed.

Easily, I can see why people could dig Severed Ways: The Norse Discovery of America. Itís a combination of beautiful scenery, Vikings (and who doesnít love Vikings), old world violence, and heavy metal. Yes, heavy metal. Itís an attempt to create something unique, something that captures elements out of Braveheart or the 13th Warrior and one of those Discovery Channel documentaries, which speaks to the forced nature of the material. And before I forget, Iím not sure what to make out the soundtrack because it appears that the heavy metal music is a big selling point. It seemed a little forced like the nature elements as if everytime a guitar screams itís saying, ďListen to this! Itís so crazy different! Wild, huh?!Ē

Iíve done my best to never judge anything by its cover, but I must admit when you see a title like Severed Ways: The Norse Discovery of America on the cover of a DVD, you know the filmmakers are desperate. The producers didnít feel strongly enough (I assume) about the material or the title so they added a colon and extended the title so it ends up looking like a Discovery Channel Special and not an actual movie. Itís a good attempt, just not a good movie.
Video / Audio
Video: Widescreen presentation

Audio: Presented with the power of 5.1 sound.
The Extras
Severed Scenes: Six minutes worth of two deleted scenes of characters walking around. Well, if Iíve ever seen two worthy cut sequences from a film, I believe Iíve found them.

Scenic Ambience: Water, Fire, Earth and Wind. No, this isnít out of the great Willis flick The Fifth Element, but itís a special feature that just has sounds and images of the selected element. Pretty and serine, but Iíd rather have an interview.

Slow Burn: Well, this was a waste of time. Slow-motion sequences of behind-the-scenes footage. Lame.

Back Home: More scenery scenes, but this one is in Norway I think. Where the Vikings came from. How about a discussion on the soundtrack instead?
Last Call
In the end, I canít write that I recommend Severed Ways: The Norse Discovery of America, but I will write that if you want to see a beautifully hollow independent experience, then perhaps itís worth a glance because that is what it was to me. A worthy glance.
ARROW IN THE HEAD'S RATING SYSTEM
star star star star I'D BUTCHER MY FAMILY TO SEE THIS AGAIN
star star star HANG ME BUT I DUG IT A LOT
star star AN OK WAY TO KILL TWO HOURS
star JUST SLING AN ARROW IN MY HEAD AND LET ME DIE IN PEACE

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