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Reviews » DVD Video Reviews » Six Reasons Why
Six Reasons Why
Velocity Home Entertainment // R // July 22, 2008
List Price: $27.98 [Buy now and save at Amazon]
Review by David Walker | posted August 29, 2008 | E-mail the Author
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The Film:
For the record, and just so there is no confusion, I get what it was that sibling filmmakers Jeff and Matthew Campagna were trying to pull off in Six Reasons Why, their loving homage to spaghetti westerns. But just because I understand, and to a certain extent respect and appreciate all they attempt as multi-tasking filmmakers, it does not mean that I enjoyed the film any more. The fact of the matter is that while Six Reasons Why is an ambitious film, with a very clear sense of artistic vision that I really wanted to enjoy, it wasn't all that fun to sit through. And when push comes to shove, if a movie isn't that fun to watch...well...then nothing else matters.

Set in a barren desert region known as the Badlands, Six Reasons Why starts out looking as if it is a traditional western. But as a few anachronisms pop up, it soon becomes apparent that this is actually a world in the future, after some sort of collapse of modern civilization. The Badlands are an inhospitable stretch of desolate terrain that is occupied by the Nomad (Dan Wooster). For reasons that are not immediately clear, the Nomad guns down anyone who crosses his path. When the Criminal (Jeff Campagna) arrives, on the run for a murder he committed, he and the Nomad arrive at a shaky allegiance. But things become complicated when the Entrepreneur (Christopher Harrison) and the Sherpa (Mads Koudal) arrive hunting the Criminal, who killed the Entrepreneur's father.

From the very beginning, several things are apparent in Six Reasons Why. First and foremost, the Campagna Brothers have been heavily influenced by the westerns of Sergio Leone. Clearly the Campagnas have watched Leone's classic westerns many times, taking much from his visual style and storytelling, but it feels more often than not like they never paid that much attention to the writing. Second, despite limited resources or money, the Campagna Brothers are committed to their cause. And finally, the Campagna Brothers are more concerned with visual style and cinematic tone than anything else. This is especially obvious in the way the film takes almost fifty minutes before the story finally starts coming together in a way that all of the pieces start fitting together. The non-linear structure of the story is a bit confusing at times, but that's not the real problem with the story. The problem is the story itself, which takes too long to get going.

There can be a big difference between a film that is slow moving and one that is slow in getting started. And while there is nothing wrong with a film that is slow in getting started, there needs to be something compelling to keep your interest. The problem with Six Reasons Why is that thirty minutes into the film you're not sure where it's going, and for the most part you don't really care. None of the characters have enough charisma to care about, or are enigmatic enough to be curious about.

Six Reasons Why is strongest visually, and it certainly deserves some credit for its level of ambition. But neither is enough to make the film all that compelling, and whatever strengths the Campagna Brothers have in terms of visual ability, they counterbalance with their weakness as writers. The result is an independent film that is more inspiring for how much was put into it, than the final product itself.

Video:
Six Reasons Why is presented 2.35:1 widescreen. The movie was shot on video, and the picture quality is good for the most part. Some of the scenes are sparsely lit, and the result is a picture that is a bit too dark.

Audio:
Six Reason Why is presented in 5.1 Dolby Digital. The sound mix is good, and helps to accentuate the musical score and soundtrack, which are among the film's stronger points.

Bonus Material:
For those that really enjoy Six Reasons Why, there is more than enough bonus material to keep you satisfied. There are three behind the scenes featurettes that detail pre-production (21 min.), production (17 min.) and post production (19 min.). If, for some reason you want to know more about the film, there are also interviews with the cast and crew, but honestly, I didn't bother with any because the featurettes were more than enough for me. An audio commentary with the Campagna Brothers and composer Nick Name also proved to be a bit more than I wanted or needed. Seriously, even though I didn't hate the film, I definitely did not enjoy it enough to listen to the audio commentary all the way through. After almost thirty minutes of listening to the commentary I was feeling the same way as I did about the film itself, which is to say that I was waiting for something more than what I was getting.

Final Thoughts:
For me, Six Reasons Why was a bit too slow moving, and the script wasn't strong enough to keep me engaged. Even though I watched it all the way through without fast-forwarding, there was times when it crossed my mind. I understand and appreciate what the filmmakers were doing, but what they were doing didn't do it for me. The film certainly has some elements that make it worth renting, and the Campagna Brothers display enough talent that I would be interested in seeing what they do next--provided they have a better script next time around.


David Walker is the creator of BadAzz MoFo, a nationally published film critic, and the Writer/Director of Black Santa's Revenge with Ken Foree now on DVD [Buy it now]
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