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If you didn’t already know, Unbreakable is the latest film from ‘Sixth Sense’ director M. Night Shyamalan with Bruce Willis again taking up the lead role. ‘Sixth Sense’ was a massive hit when it came to cinemas in Europe and the states, and, on the whole was praised by critics around the world. Because of this, peoples hopes were set extremely high for Shyamalan’s next movie ‘Unbreakable’. The follow up film however got a decidedly mixed reception and because of that I decided not to venture to the cinema to see it, I would instead pick it up as part of Touchstone Pictures new ‘Vista Series’ package, which promised a wealth of extras and a great presentation…..but does  it…

Unbreakable
Movie
First of all, let me inform you that I haven’t actually seen ‘The Sixth Sense’ so you will be glad to know that I wont be comparing the two endlessly like so many other review sites have. I believe in giving a film a fair trial, and that cant really be achieved by making continuous comparisons with the directors previous work. Not in my opinion anyway…feel free to disagree! Anyway, now that’s off my chest let me begin.

Bruce Willis plays David Dunn, a security guard whos life seems somewhat distant and out of place. His marriage is hinging on divorce, he purposely distances himself from his son, and overall things just don’t seem right. Following a horrific train crash in which only Dunn survives, he begins to question how he survived without a scratch over the hundreds of other people who perished. Was it luck? Was it fate? Or was it something more sinister?? Following the crash a mysterious man named Elijah (played by Samuel L Jackson) contacts Dunn and proceeds to tell him that he believes that comic heroes walk the earth, and that Dunn could be one of them. Naturally, that’s not the kind of thing you accept straight away, and its not until he realises that hes never been ill that things really begin to sink in.

Unbreakable is certainly an interesting film, and one that I did enjoy for the most part. Many people have criticised the film for being far too slow or even boring, I personally would have to differ as I found the story pretty well paced throughout, and far from boring. I imagine the people labelling Unbreakable boring are those watching the film in expectation of an action movie, seeing as the film stars two big name action film stars. If you do watch Unbreakable with action in mind, you are going to be extremely disappointed as ‘action’ is the one thing this film is in short supply of.  What you do get plenty of is great acting. All the leads produce excellent performances throughout, especially Samuel L. Jackson as Elijah Price who suffers from a rare genetic disorder which results in his bones breaking easily.

I don’t want to elaborate too much on the story, as obviously I don’t want to spoil the film for you. What I better say though, is that I was extremely disappointed with the ending. Considering the hype surrounding ‘The Sixth Sense’s ending, that ‘nobody’ could predict, I was expecting something that would connect everything together nicely, and leave me sitting in amazement. What I got was a half hearted effort to round the story up in a few minutes, which you could predict at least an hour before anyway! The film was building up to a climatic ending, and it just didn’t happen, it died flat unfortunately. Overall, the film is certainly worth seeing, providing you don’t go to watch the film with any preconceived ideas or you could find yourself disappointed.

Unbreakable
Video
Unbreakable really doesn’t disappoint video wise. Presented in its original aspect ratio of 2.35:1 and enhanced for 16x9 televisions, it looks absolutely stunning. I noticed no obvious picture artifacting, damage or even minor scratches or blemishes, though with such a recent release many would expect that. Despite the movie being quite dark throughout, the image is still crisp even in areas with practically no light, and colour is particularly sharp. Overall, a top notch transfer.

Sound
The soundtrack also delivers a very high standard of quality. On offer is an English DTS 5.1 track, an English Dolby Digital 5.1 EX track, French Dolby Digital 5.1 and Spanish Dolby Digital 5.1. Unfortunately my sound setup doesn’t allow me to make the most of DTS playback, however what I did hear from all the soundtracks was a truly immersive experience. The film may not be that surround sound intensive, however the sound is recreated perfectly, and the sound is particularly impressive during James Newton Howards impressive musical score for the film which is particularly noticeable during the ‘visions’ scene.

Extras
The extras side of things is the first major disappointment regarding this release. Considering the fact that this is a 2 disc special edition, one would expect a wealth of features. The first noticeable absence is the lack of trailers. Trailers for me, are one my favourite features, and considering most new releases offer them these days, the exclusion of them came as a surprise. I always like to show friends/family etc the trailer beforehand, to see if the film is likely to interest them before putting it on. In this case, I cant do that, however theres not much point dwelling on the fact, so lets move onto what the disc does offer…

First up we have a ‘Behind the Scenes’ documentary, which is presented in the typical DVD style, with practically nothing of interest, and little more than standard publicity material thrown in for good measure. It includes a couple of interviews with the stars Bruce Willis and Samuel L. Jackson, but doesn’t at any stage go into any great detail.

The next documentary is entitled ‘Comic Books and Superheroes’ and studies the progression of comic books over the years, and in many cases its descending into a much darker brand of superhero. I can imagine this documentary being reasonably interesting to quite a few people, however it really didn’t appeal to me much, and just seemed to drag and drag despite it only lasting 20minutes. There is also an incredibly annoying woman in the documentary who is a little over enthusiastic for my liking….seems like she took a dose of the happy pills before recording the interview!

Without a doubt, the best feature on the disc are the additional scenes with didn’t make it into the final film. On offer are about 8 deleted scenes, and each one comes with a short intro by the director, who explains why he cut the scene. All the scenes are also presented anamorphically which is quite impressive, and therefore all the deleted scenes generally retain the same quality as the rest of the film. The standard of the deleted scenes is also very high, I particularly liked the scene between mother and son whilst waiting for news on David following the train crash…it is a generally moving scene, and would have complimented the rest of the film well if included. Overall, it’s the deleted scenes that have saved this disc, as they are all very well put together.

Unbreakable
Next up we have a multi-angle feature entitled ‘The Train Station Sequence’ which allows you to view the scene in a number of different stages in development. This is actually one of the best scenes in the movie, mainly because of the great music, so I certainly appreciated seeing this feature. You can view the scene with an isolated music score for example, or with just the background noise. Alternatively, you can view the entire combined mix.

Finally we have a short excerpt of an earlier film by the director M. Night Shyamalan. The video quality of this short film is pretty poor, as it looks to be recorded on a standard video camera. It does offer a few laughs, just because its incredibly bad, though it is certainly an encouragement to aspiring film directors. Its not likely to get repeat viewings though.

Overall the film is certainly worth seeing, though in my opinion let down by the rather weak ending. As a DVD package its certainly a nice try, though given some of the other great 2 disc sets out there, such as Gladiator or SE7EN, this one is pretty short of the mark. Still well worth picking up though if you are a fan of Willis or Jackson, though if you are after an action film you should think twice.


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