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Featured Blu-ray / DVD Review: 6 Souls

June 30th, 2013

6 Souls - Buy from Amazon: DVD or Blu-ray

6 Souls was made in 2008, but only started earning a few international releases in 2010 and came out in limited release and Video on Demand domestically earlier this year. This is a bad sign. Was there a reason the film wasn't able to earn a release date? Or is this an undiscovered gem?

The Movie

Julianne Moore stars as Dr. Cara Jessup, a single parent whose husband died. She works as a court psychiatrist helping to determine whether criminals were mentally sane when they committed their crime, so they can be executed. It's not a job she enjoys and consuls herself with lots of alcohol. The next morning, she gets a call from her daughter, Sammy (Brooklynn Proulx), who is being looked after by her brother, Stephen, but after a short conversation with her brother, she hangs up on him. Shortly after that, while arriving at the airport, she gets a call from her father, who is also a psychiatrist. He claims he has a case that she will be interested in. She says no, he says yes, and then hangs up on her. At least we know where she gets it from.

When Cara arrives home, her father takes her to meet David, a wheelchair bound vagrant who was brought in a few days ago. Cara asks him some questions and gives him a few tests, including a colorblindness test. Everything seems relatively normal. Afterward, while Cara talks to her father, asking him why he brought her there, because this is clearly not all there is to this case. It is then her father calls a phone next to David and her father asks David if Adam is there and when David says no, he asks him to look for Adam. This causes David to go into a seizure and when he recovers, he calls himself Adam. Cara again tests him, but this his answers are completely different and this time he fails the colorblindness test. When the testing is done, Adam stands up and asks to leave. Cara isn't happy with her father, because she figures Adam is the real person and David is the alter and her father tricked her by getting her to interview the alter first. She does agree to look at Adam's file a little more.

At first what Cara learns doesn't make a lot of sense to her. Since David is wheelchair bound and Adam is not, she tries to figure out how that could happen, but the X-rays suggest it is not a trick. In fact, the doctor looking over the X-rays assumes they are from two different people. Nor is it likely that a person could be colorblind in one eye. She then begins to investigate the names Adam / David gave to the doctor and learns...

We've reached spoiler territory here, so we will stop the plot summary here.

On the positive side, there's a lot of good acting in this movie, especially from Julianne Moore. ( Jonathan Rhys-Meyers is a good actor, but his accents here need work. It is a little distracting at times.) On the negative side, there's just about everything else. This is a script that feels wholly borrowed from other movies. The screenplay was written by Michael Cooney, who previous wrote Identity, which also has a multiple personality hook. That film... MAJOR SPOILER ALERT... That film took place inside the mind of a serial killer, so the strange plot points could be explained away. If the world we see is inside a diseased mind, we can't be surprised if not everything makes 100% sense. On the other hand, this film tries to explain too much and the combination of the psychiatry and the supernatural isn't unique and the explanation isn't satisfying. The more the movie tried to explain the plot, the sillier it felt. By the end of the movie, I was no longer interested in the proceedings. In short, there were too many clichés and the execution was too flawed to be compelling.

The Extras

There are no extras on the DVD or the Blu-ray. Additionally, for a movie that cost $22 million to make, it doesn't look good on high definition. There are some shots that have high level of details to them, but others that are far too soft for Blu-ray. This is especially true in nighttime scenes. The colors are fine, but not truly vivid. There are some minor compression issues and overwall it is not a great transfer. The audio is better, but not amazing. The dialogue is always clear, while there is enough activity in the surround sound speakers to not seem barren. It is not an overly active track, on the other hand, it isn't bad either. Both the DVD and the Blu-ray are the same price on, $20, which isn't terrible for this type of release, but it certainly isn't a bargain for a featureless disc.

The Verdict

It has been 5 years since 6 Souls was made, and the film hasn't aged well in that time. Too many clichés and too many flaws sink this film, while the DVD and Blu-ray are completely devoid of special features. There's little reason to give it a rental.

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Filed under: Video Review, 6 Souls, Nate Corddry, Jeffrey DeMunn, Julianne Moore, Jonathan Rhys-Meyers, Michael Cooney