The Sixth Sense (1999)

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Released 19-Apr-2000

Cover Art

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Details At A Glance

General Extras
Category Thriller Storyboard Comparisons
Featurette-The Cast
Featurette-Music & Sound Design
Featurette-Reaching The Audience
Featurette-Rules And Clues
Deleted Scenes-4
Featurette-A Conversation With M. Night Shyamalan
Theatrical Trailer-3
Biographies-Cast & Crew
Rating Rated M
Year Of Production 1999
Running Time 102:57
RSDL / Flipper RSDL (42:35) Cast & Crew
Start Up Menu
Region Coding 2,4 Directed By M. Night Shyamalan
Studio
Distributor

Warner Home Video
Starring Bruce Willis
Toni Collette
Olivia Williams
Haley Joel Osment
Case Amaray-Opaque
RPI $36.95 Music James Newton Howard


Video Audio
Pan & Scan/Full Frame None English Dolby Digital 5.1 (384Kb/s)
Italian Dolby Digital 5.1 (384Kb/s)
Widescreen Aspect Ratio 1.78:1
16x9 Enhancement
16x9 Enhanced
Video Format 576i (PAL)
Original Aspect Ratio 1.85:1 Miscellaneous
Jacket Pictures No
Subtitles Italian
French
English for the Hearing Impaired
Smoking No
Annoying Product Placement Yes, very mildly
Action In or After Credits Yes, an audible cue right at the end of the credits

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

Plot Synopsis

    IN SHORT: Two movies for the price of one.

    The Sixth Sense is a brilliant movie. It has what has probably been the most talked about twist at the end in the history of cinema. Rest assured, however, that I won't even begin to hint at the twist in this review. Also rest assured that knowing about the twist does not spoil the movie in any way at all - indeed, it probably even enhances the movie to a certain extent because it makes you concentrate all the more on the movie, trying to pick the twist. And what a twist it is. It brings an eminently satisfying closure to the movie, and makes sense of a number of oddities that you may or may not notice the first time you go through the movie. Undoubtedly, the second time through this movie will be a markedly different experience to the first time through, but I feel it would be just as satisfying, except in a totally different fashion.

    Dr. Malcolm Crowe (Bruce Willis) is a child psychologist who is haunted by the memory of a patient he is unable to help (Vincent - Donnie Wahlberg - who shoots himself). His marriage to Anna (Olivia Williams) is crumbling. He meets Cole Sear (Haley Joel Osment), a profoundly disturbed young man, and feels that he can redeem himself and his marriage if he can only help Cole.

    Cole is tormented by visits from the spirit world - restless, dead souls. These frighten him enormously and marginalize him at school - he is called a freak by everyone that knows him. The only person who truly cares for Cole is his mother, Lynn (Toni Collette). Cole begins to trust Malcolm and hopes that Malcolm will be able to make these unwelcome and frightening visitors go away.

    This movie is many things at the same time. It is eerie, unsettling, and terrifying at times. It is sad at times. It is wistfully romantic at times. Overall, it is a very spiritual and uplifting movie, carried superbly by the entire cast. It will make the hair on the back of your neck stand up.

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Transfer Quality

Video

    This transfer is presented in an aspect ratio of 1.78:1. It is 16x9 enhanced.

    This transfer is extremely sharp and clear for the great majority of the transfer with a breathtaking amount of subtle detail being resolved by the transfer. The opening credits, in particular, are brilliantly resolved, with razor sharp credits appearing on a superbly clean, clear, and dark black background. The transfer is only let down by a number of somewhat grainy scenes, some in quite critical positions in the movie. One in particular that springs to mind is the black door at the top of the circular stairs which shows considerable grain instead of being a deep, clean black. Another instance that springs to mind is the discussion in the kitchen between Cole and his mother in regards to the bumblebee locket - the fridge in the background of this scene exhibits excessive grain. Shadow detail was generally superb, with enormous amounts of subtle details resolved in the shadows of this transfer. Low level noise was absent.

    The colours were superbly rendered. Much of this movie is shot in low lighting conditions, and the colours never become oversaturated during these scenes. Conversely, brighter scenes always look superb, with the occasional splash of brilliant colour contrasting with the generally muted colour scheme.

    No definite MPEG artefacts were seen, though some of the grainier scenes did look a little like some very minor macro-blocking was occurring in the backgrounds. Film-to-video artefacts consisted of some trivial aliasing, and film artefacts were absent - the print this transfer was taken from was in pristine condition.

    This DVD is an RSDL disc, with the layer change occurring at 42:35. There is only a minor interruption to the flow of the movie at this point.

Audio

    There are two audio tracks on this DVD; English Dolby Digital 5.1, and Italian Dolby Digital 5.1. I listened to the default English Dolby Digital 5.1 soundtrack.

    Dialogue was clear and easy to understand other than a few words from Haley Joel Osment here and there. There were no audio sync problems.

    The score by James Newton Howard was of his typically high standard. In this case, it was frequently very eerie and disconcerting and always superbly married to the on-screen action. It was brilliant in creating an appropriate sense of tension and apprehension.

    The surround channels were somewhat variably used, with significant portions of the movie bereft of any surround activity, but other portions of the movie full of subtle surrounding ambient and eerie audio cues. Overall, the soundtrack worked moderately well in creating an enveloping soundfield.

    The .1 channel had only subtle usage.

Extras

    An excellent selection of extras adorns this DVD, with the only notable omission being an audio commentary track. All animated extras are presented in a 1.33:1 aspect ratio, non 16x9 enhanced and with Dolby Digital 2.0 sound.

    WARNING: Do NOT watch ANY of the extras before you watch the movie itself - they contain spoilers for the twist at the end of the movie.

Menu

Storyboard To Film Comparison

    This is actually a decent comparison, because the director discusses the storyboard details and how these differed to the final shot for the restaurant scene.

Featurettes - The Cast, Music & Sound Design, Reaching The Audience, Rules And Clues, A Conversation With M. Night Shyamalan

    These are all very interesting and explain varying aspects of the movie's production. In total, they run for around 33 minutes.

Deleted Scenes - 4

    These are also very interesting, and these scenes were very wisely deleted from the final cut of the movie. These scenes were clearly deleted late into the editing process, since they are all of excellent quality technically.

Theatrical Trailer

TV Spots - 2

Cast & Crew Biographies

    These are so long and so extensive that I gave up reading through them all.

R4 vs R1

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

    The Region 4 version of this DVD misses out on;     There is nothing compelling here to favour either version.

Summary

    The Sixth Sense is a great movie, perhaps a little slow at the start, but very much worth it by the end.

    The video quality is generally very good, with only minor let-downs.

    The audio quality is reasonably good, though it could have been a little more enveloping at times.

    The extras are both plentiful and of good, interesting quality. The only significant extra lacking is a director's commentary track which would have made this a perfect extras package.

Ratings (out of 5)

Video
Audio
Extras
Plot
Overall

© Michael Demtschyna (read my bio)
Thursday, April 20, 2000
Review Equipment
DVDPalsonic DVD-2000, using S-Video output
DisplayLoewe Art-95 (95cm). Calibrated with Video Essentials. This display device is 16x9 capable. This display device has a maximum native resolution of 576i (PAL).
Audio DecoderDenon AVD-2000 Dolby Digital decoder. Calibrated with Video Essentials.
Amplification2 x EA Playmaster 100W per channel stereo amplifiers for Left, Right, Left Rear and Right Rear; Philips 360 50W per channel stereo amplifier for Centre and Subwoofer
SpeakersPhilips S2000 speakers for Left, Right; Polk Audio CS-100 Centre Speaker; Apex AS-123 speakers for Left Rear and Right Rear; Hsu Research TN-1220HO subwoofer

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