|Index||6 reviews in total|
*** This review may contain spoilers ***
I came to this movie without any preconceived notions or expectations.
I don't usually watch westerns (I don't think Shanghai Noon or My Name
Is Nobody would be considered as such by the great and the good!) but
as I like Matt & Jeff Campagna's style, I thought it was worth a look.
The movie opens with the four main protagonists in a situation where you just KNOW someone will get shot. What is going on? How did they get here? These questions are answered as the movie progresses, and even though you are expecting a twist, you will not guess what that twist is ultimately revealed to be! I must admit, I wasn't sure what to expect of this movie, I didn't know if a "Post Apocalyptic Western" was going to be to my taste. Well, if this offering from the Campagna Brothers is anything to go by, I can't wait to see the next Internext Studios production! The desert location, the western-style characters, the preacher, the secret town, all add to the story, which is well written, well told, and very engaging. I watched out of curiosity, but I'll watch again just to enjoy the movie again! I don't want to spoil your enjoyment of this movie by revealing too much. However, I must say that even though they claim it was made on a "shoestring" budget, and sometimes that is noticeable, it doesn't detract from the story, or from the way it's told. The cast do a great job, and I would highly recommend it.
The overt mythic qualities of Six Reason Why nearly suffocate the agile
and action-based story line that concerns cowboys laying down the law
of the land with their six shooters. Long moments are spent showing the
cowboys guns fingered into readiness as they face each other down;
characters peer at each other from beneath the brim of their hats; the
only horse in the film gets long camera takes almost as if as a
separate character his appearance states a certain truth about the
place this film holds in the Western myth.
The filmmakers eschew any semblance of character goal-achieving objectivity by locating the essence of their tale in storytelling and a dialogue-driven re-affirmation of the code of the old west, with more than a few twists and turns to renovate the film vehicle into a post-modern parable told and retold in flashback as with each successive plot point we go into each character's past to see how they have arrived at the present place in the tale. The overt concept that the Nomad uses as motivation for dispatching his prey is nebulous and without an objective correlative that identifies it must be found in the viewer as part of the baggage he brings to the film from seeing just this kind of western before.
*** This review may contain spoilers ***
... have I been this disappointed in a supposed breakthrough low budget
This film is a bit of a stretch I'd say. Casting a bunch of fresh-faced 20 somethings with new beards, earrings, and barely a grasp of cowboy dialect doesn't do much for a film billing itself as a Western.
The convoluted narrative left me with a total lack of interest about halfway through the film.
The score was pretty good, cinematography decent, but I'm sorry, I just couldn't make it to the end. Next time, try tailoring your script to fit better with the resources you have available.
*** This review may contain spoilers ***
I set out wanting to like this movie.
While not a tremendous fan of the Western genre, I enjoyed 3:10 to Yuma immensely, and thought I'd give this movie a try.
All I can say, is that I admire the attempt. The Campagna brothers gave it their all, and for that I applaud them. However, this movie was terribly over-acted, more than a tad unbelievable, and cluttered with outdated camera techniques.
The film follows the exploits of The Nomad, a mysterious individual who drifts through the uninhabited wastelands of the West. His only company is an unnamed white horse that he never rides. It is slowly revealed that he has been trained by the inhabitants of a ruined city, sealed off from the rest of the world by the western desert. The nature of his training, and his overall mission, is never fully revealed. All we know is that his horse "Will never leave your side as long as you draw breath." and that he kills all those who try to traverse the desert.
He grows tired of his wayward life, and begins to form a plan to escape the horse and, presumably, his duties as... well, whatever he is. Guardian? Gatekeeper? We don't know. At any rate, he runs across a man dressed in black, who he takes a liking to. He makes a deal with this man, explaining that the they will rendezvous in two days time, at which point the man in black will pretend to kill the Nomad in an attempt to fool the horse.
Let me just say that, as we don't know what the horse is or what makes it so special, this plot point is just a little ridiculous.
After the Nomad parts company with the man in black, the Nomad confronts two travelers on the road. The claim to be tracking the man in black, for the murder of Man #1's father. In exchange for what appears to be a AA battery (!?) the Nomad agrees to guide them through the desert.
At one point they encounter a large lake, which the Nomad claims has been tainted with E-85, which broken down pumps had drawn out of the ground. May I point out that one does not drill for E-85? The 'oil' had, according the Nomad, powered the "Old Machines". At this point in the film it is firmly established as being at some point in the future.
I'll skip to the end. The man in black, the Nomad, and the two Travelers end up in a shootout, ending with the Second Traveler stealing the horse. It is revealed that the Second Traveler is secretly the employer of the Man in Black, and an outcast from the city the Nomad is supposed to protect.
The plot isn't too terrible, as far as science fiction/westerns go. But the back story is never fully explained. Furthermore, the acting quality was fairly terrible in respect to the main character. The Nomad utters each syllable with the emphasis of Duke Nukem or Batman. The Man in Black doesn't fit the role of dangerous mercenary at all, and the apparent bad-guy (Traveler #2) has some kind of speech impediment or strange accent that makes him almost comical; especially as his character is something of a mentor to Traveler #1.
The desert is not set in a desert, but some kind of arid mountain range. This is really no problem, except that it completely removes the sense of desolation that the film would benefit from (Hidalgo et al.)
There are some scenes that utilize truly archaic camera and editing techniques. A sequence in which the two Travelers cross a bridge does not simply fade out as it should, but turns to negative colors and stays on the screen even while the next scene starts behind it, giving the sequence the feeling of being put together in I Movie (the IMDb spell check won't let me spell that correctly) by some high-school Film Society members.
The other thing that really gets me is the use of the zoom feature, and I will explain why. Watching old movies, I.E. pre-1985, you quickly notice that they use the zoom a lot. This is because it's a hell of a lot cheaper than building a dolly track. But regardless of how much money can be saved, the zoom feature should not be used in a movie like this. This film is full of smooth, slow pans and dollies. To ruin one of these shots with zoom is easy, because zooming as opposed to dollying makes the movie look dated and cheap. The only excuse for using zoom is if you also use combat-style battleground footage, e.g. Battlestar Galactica or the last scenes of Children of Men.
They tried. They really did. The story was there, and the characters had potential. I say this largely because I'm a sucker for post-apocalyptic Sci-Fi. But regardless of my personal bias, this movie just fails to pull itself together. I don't recommend it.
Six Reason's Why is an echo of earlier creations of both Sergio Leone
and Sam Peckinpah, if on a smaller scale. If you like these filmmakers,
chances are you will appreciate SRW. If you don't know these
filmmakers, its still definitely worth a look for its layered
storytelling, and new take on old school westerns.
After viewing the film, I was quite impressed, knowing that this film was shot with a shoe-string budget, didn't really cross my mind while I was watching it. That in itself is a feat. Also working with relatively unknown actors (aside from Feore, who's scenes are short but sweet), one might think that without a lightening pace, interest could fade. It doesn't. In fact it builds throughout the film as each character's pasts and motives come to light. Some are explained more than others, which leaves some questions to be asked, but in a good way, a la the man with no name. The story is told in a Tarantino-esquire, non linear format that leaves the viewer hanging, and the slow build to the inevitable showdown is done with sharp stylized dialogue, splashes of violence and some beautiful eye candy shots.
This film is not for the impatient, but if you stick with it, you will find it rewarding with its post-apocalyptic hinted setting, cryptic storytelling and an outcome that will leave you wanting to know more about the story, after the film ends. A great little indie film. Qudos to the Bros Campagna, looking forward to see what comes next.
It takes place in the future, but that's just a time frame. Of the fact
that it's in the future you will only see TWO visual hints. I won't
This is a western that harks to old Eastwood 'Fistful of dollars' style but done 21st centurywise. The Directing and camera work is done spare and elegant. You start off thinking it's being done cheap-- but it isn't. The creators have an innate feel and understanding of what the adult 'Western' sought to illuminate.
The focus are the Men and their Pasts, All strangers meeting in the desert. And the Desert as a crucible from which the Truth and Survival is forged.
There are no spoilers here, that would be an insult to the film's creators. . .So have a brew or a glass ready nearby and Watch the movie. And just try to figure out who is Who. The ending WILL surprise you.
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