Six Ways to Sundown (Blu-ray) (2015)

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Released 22-Sep-2015

Cover Art

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Details At A Glance

General Extras
Category Action Trailer-Six Ways to Sundown (1:37).
Trailer-Accent Entertainment releases x 4
Rating Rated MA
Year Of Production 2015
Running Time 99:02
RSDL / Flipper No/No Cast & Crew
Start Up Ads Then Menu
Region Coding 2,4 Directed By Nadeem Soumah
Studio
Distributor
Accent Film Entertainment Starring Vinnie Jones
Michael Rene Walton
Dominique Swain
Vivica A. Fox
Bai Ling
Melissa Mars
Chris Jai Alex
Tom Sizemore

Case Standard Blu-ray
RPI ? Music Kurt Oldman


Video Audio
Pan & Scan/Full Frame None English DTS HD Master Audio 5.1
English Dolby Digital 5.1
Widescreen Aspect Ratio 2.35:1
16x9 Enhancement
16x9 Enhanced
Video Format 1080i
Original Aspect Ratio 2.35:1 Miscellaneous
Jacket Pictures No
Subtitles None Smoking Yes
Annoying Product Placement No
Action In or After Credits No

NOTE: The Profanity Filter is ON. Turn it off here.

Plot Synopsis

     Sonny “Sundown” Garcia (Michael Rene Walton) is the top US drug distributor for a South American cartel. He has it all; wealth, a beautiful wife (Dominique Swain), an opulent lifestyle. Mystery man John Doe (Vinnie Jones) wants Sonny dead, but before Sonny is killed Doe wants him to suffer so he has devised a six stage plan to take Sonny’s freedom, money, reputation, a prized possession and his wife before he is killed. To this end Doe hires, among others, a corrupt cop (Vivica A. Fox), a con artist (Bai Ling), a beautiful high class thief (Melissa Mars) and a killer for hire (Chris Jai Alex). Doe’s plan unfolds over a six week period and is successful. Or is it?

     Six Ways to Sundown is a clever title that gives some idea of the tone the film is aiming at (the title card in the film is 6 Ways to Sundown and the film was known also as the less interesting 6 Ways to Die). This is a film that wants to be smart and “hip” in its plotting, dialogue and look and thus the film starts with a “Tarantino” style monologue by Tom Sizemore that comes to an abrupt end. Then the six stages of Doe’s plan are shown in reverse order with the killing of Sonny first, then title cards after each section take us back “one week earlier” to the reveal of an earlier part of the plan, introducing different protagonists at each stage, and there are flash backs within flashbacks as Doe reveals, gradually, to each of his hirelings his reasons for taking revenge on Sonny. The film also utilises choppy editing, slow motion, a camera lens that looks on occasion as if it is smeared with Vaseline, a driving electronic score and loud, accentuated audio, especially gunshots.

     Some reviews have been scathing about Six Ways to Sundown, disliking the convoluted storytelling, the characters and the twist at the end that, somewhat like The Usual Suspects, turns everything on its head. Certainly writer / director / cinematographer Nadeem Soumah (in only his second feature as director after Searching for Angels (2011), in which Vivica A. Fox also appeared, although he does have an extensive CV as a cinematographer), has been very ambitious and, in the end, bitten off more that he could successfully handle. Parts of the plotting are chunky but none of it is overly silly and I personally don’t have a problem with films going backwards. Indeed, I enjoy it when parts of scenes are shown and characters and situations only briefly seen but when they are repeated in another section of the film add a dimension to what we had been shown before.

     The top billed and most recognisable face for crime fans is Vinnie Jones although he has little to do except sit in a car, look gruff and provide exposition. The actual lead is Michael Rene Walton and he is quite good, mostly hiding his violence behind an urbane exterior. Melissa Mars is good fun, and looks great in a swimsuit, while Tom Sizemore in his cameo seems to be having a whale of a time.

     If you need a straight forward and chronological narrative Six Ways to Sundown will not be your thing. Six Ways to Sundown is ambitious and convoluted. It tries to be cool and may not always succeed but it is ambitious and interesting, never dull and keeps the audience guessing throughout its 99 minute running time.

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Transfer Quality

Video

     Six Ways to Sundown is presented in the original 2.35:1 aspect ratio, in 1080i using the MPEG-4 AVC code.

     The film has a number of jerky cuts and scenes “artistically” lit, numerous scenes within the club with flashing lights and variable colour plus flashback sequences that have a deliberate overbright yellow look. Thus some scenes look quite soft although close-up detail, such as Vinnie Jones‘s craggy face, is good. Colours in other exterior scenes also look a bit washed out, although blacks are reasonable, contrast and brightness consistent except in flashbacks, skin tones natural.

     There were no obvious marks or artefacts.

     There are no subtitles, although quite smallish, pale ochre/ yellow subtitles automatically translate the sections of Spanish dialogue.

Video Ratings Summary
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Shadow Detail
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Audio

     Two audio choices are available; English DTS-HD MA 5.1 and English Dolby Digital 5.1 at 448 Kbps.

     I listened to the DTS audio. Dialogue is clear and centred. This is a film with a fair amount of dialogue and no car chases so effects are limited although the gunshots are very loud and accentuated. The rears were used primarily for the score, which was pretty much a constant, plus the music and voices at the club. The sub-woofer added some nice bass to the music and gunshots.

     The mostly electronic score by Kurt Oldman (no relation to Gary) drove the film along.

     There are no lip synchronisation issues.

Audio Ratings Summary
Dialogue
Audio Sync
Clicks/Pops/Dropouts
Surround Channel Use
Subwoofer
Overall

Extras

Trailers (8:26)

     These trailers play on start-up: Bad Turn Worse, Late Phases, The Snitch Cartel and WolfCop. The same trailers can also be selected from the menu plus a trailer for Six Ways to Sundown (1:37).

R4 vs R1

NOTE: To view non-R4 releases, your equipment needs to be multi-zone compatible and usually also NTSC compatible.

     There is no release of Six Ways to Sundown listed for the UK and in the US only a Region 1 DVD is listed on Amazon.com, no Blu-ray. Buy local.

Summary

     A film that mixes with its narrative structure, has some intriguing moments, keeps one guessing and owes something to The Usual Suspects is interesting and will appeal to those who like their crime thrillers, and films, to play with their expectations.

     The video and audio are acceptable, trailers are the only extras.

Ratings (out of 5)

Video
Audio
Extras
Plot
Overall

© Ray Nyland (the bio is the thing)
Wednesday, October 07, 2015
Review Equipment
DVDSony BDP-S580, using HDMI output
DisplayLG 55inch HD LCD. This display device has not been calibrated. This display device is 16x9 capable. This display device has a maximum native resolution of 1080p.
Audio DecoderNAD T737. This audio decoder/receiver has not been calibrated.
AmplificationNAD T737
SpeakersStudio Acoustics 5.1

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