M. NIGHT SHYAMALAN COLLECTION: DVD BOX SET
THE SIXTH SENSE: Award winning child psychologist Dr Malcolm Crowe (Bruce Willis) was once unable to help a scared youngster face down his demons. Sometime later, an eight year-old boy's terrible, terrifying secret challenges him to make good where he failed before.
UNBREAKABLE: David Dunn (Bruce Willis) is a security guard at a large stadium, his marriage crumbling, his son anxious. When – amazingly - he is the sole survivor of a train disaster, he attracts the attention of Elijah Price (Samuel L. Jackson), a man obsessed with comic book heroes.
SIGNS: Since his wife died in a car accident, Graham Hess (Mel Gibson) has lost his faith and left the church from his position as minister, to concentrate on looking after his young children. But life is anything but peaceful when they begin to hear noises and the corn-fields are mysteriously flattened in the shape of unusual symbols.
Review by Louise Keller:
This superb box set offers Collector’s Editions from this acclaimed writer/director, with The Sixth Sense (1999) as the piece de resistance. Each disc is crammed with special features – The Sixth Sense and Unbreakable (2000) are both two-disc sets – and make an impressive addition to any DVD library.
The Sixth Sense:
Sixth Sense takes us on a journey into the shadowy territory in our minds – we are not sure whether it’s real or imaginary. The moods are masterfully created – loneliness, obsession and terror of being alone with power. Haley Joel Osment, who plays the central character may only have been 11 years old when he made the film, but don't let that fool you. Here is a consummate actor who, like his character, is old beyond his years, and whose expressive, mature performance will touch your heart. Bruce Willis, never more controlled, skilfully creates multi-layers to his character, and in her best role since Muriel’s Wedding, Toni Collette gives just the right balance of emotions to the caring, but tormented mother. Satisfying and substantial special features take us behind the scenes, have a look at the storyboard process as well as an interesting feature called Rules and Clues, which canvasses how meticulous the filmmakers were in being true to the story, making it pleasurable to watch on repeated viewings.
There's so much about Unbreakable that is masterful cinema. It's a shame that M. Night Shyamalan has allowed melodrama to creep into this extraordinary tale of good and evil: the story of two men, who are in many ways opposites. They are opposite in appearance, philosophically and in the development of their instincts. Bruce Willis is superb as the unwilling hero, whose sense of destiny is developed as surely as the discovery of his Achilles' heel. Samuel L. Jackson makes quite an impact as the formidable Mr Glass, the freak who lives within the confines of his dark world of comic books. It's a fabulous concept, and the beginning of the film couldn't be better. The way we meet two characters from behind two train seats, the camera panning from one to the other through the abyss that is the distance between them, is wonderful. Chance, coincidence, spirituality and that sixth sense is a constant theme, and the mood is chilling, full of anticipation and often riveting. The DVDs special features include a featurette hosted by Jackson about comic books and super heroes, deleted scenes, a multi-angle feature of the train station sequence and a behind the scenes with Bruce Willis.
Despite a great beginning, our expectations are not met, and Signs is a hollow disappointment, with its flimsy storyline and a curious mish-mash of genres. Despite some interesting issues raised, as a supernatural thriller questioning coincidences and fate, it is lacking in substance; as a science fiction drama, it is, frankly, unbelievable. The first half of the film offers plenty of tension as the premise is outlined and the early signs show that something mysterious is about to happen. Our anticipation is rife. But as the sci-fi elements evolve, everything goes awry, and our disbelief is confirmed. It’s a waste of a top cast and Mel Gibson gives a powerful, understated performance as the minister who has lost his faith. Joaquin Phoenix’s talents are under-used as the troubled Merrill, but Rory Culkin and Abby Breslin are terrific as the two children. It’s refreshing to see children behaving like children. For me, the insurmountable problem with Signs, is that I just did not buy the premise. If you don’t believe, there can be no magic; the tension and chills that come only from cinematic craft such as music, shadows and eerie lighting are clearly not enough. The DVD’s bonus materials include a making of feature, deleted scenes, storyboards with multi-angle features and Shyamalan’s first Alien Movie.
Published August 28, 2003
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M. NIGHT SHYAMALAN COLLECTION: DVD BOX SET (M)
CAST: THE SIXTH SENSE: Bruce Willis, Olivia Williams, Toni Collette, Haley Joel Osment;
UNBREAKABLE:: Bruce Willis, Samuel L. Jackson;
SIGNS: stars Mel Gibson, Joaquin Phoenix.
DIRECTOR: M. Night Shyamalan
SCRIPT: M. Night Shyamalan
RUNNING TIME: 103 minutes /102 minutes/ 102 minutes
PRESENTATION: 16 : 9 widecreen presentation (Dual-layered format)
SPECIAL FEATURES: THE SIXTH SENSE: Behind the scenes; stories of the supernatural; moving pictures – the storyboard process; music and sound design; filmmaker interviews; deleted scenes; cast and bios;
UNBREAKABLE: Trailer; deleted scenes; multi-angle train station sequence; behind the scenes with Bruce Willis; comic books and superheroes featurette; excerpt from early film of Shyamalan;
SIGNS: Making of feature; deleted scenes; multi-angle storyboards; Shyamalan’s first Alien Movie.
DVD DISTRIBUTOR: BVHE
DVD RELEASE: August 6, 2003