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6 Bullets (a J!-ENT DVD Review)

September 7, 2012 by  



“6 Bullets” is an exciting popcorn action film and yet, another film that continues to show that Jean-Claude Van Damme still has it and can still kick a lot of ass!  Recommended!

Images courtesy of © 2012 Six Bullets Investments LLC. All Rights Reserved.

DVD TITLE: 6 Bullets

YEAR MADE: 2012

DVD INFORMATION: 1:78:1 Anamorphic Widescreen, English and French 5.1 Dolby Digital, Subtitles: English, English SDH, French

DURATION: 115 Minutes

COMPANY: Sony Pictures Home Entertainment

RATED:  R (For Violence, Disturbing Images, Language and Sexual Content)

RELEASE DATE: September 11, 2012

Directed by Ernie Barbarash

Written by Chad Law, Evan Law

Produced by Justin Bursch, Brad Krevoy, Patrick Newall

Co-Producer: Bianca Bree

Executive Producer: Mike Callaghan, Fransisco Gonzalez, Reuben Liber, Roman Viaris-de-Lesegno

Associate Producer: Craig Borden

Music by Neal Acree

Cinematography by Phil Parmet

Edited by Peter Devaney Flanagan

Casting by Gillian Hawser

Art Direction by Anca Perja

Set Decoration by Alina Pentac

Starring:

Jean-Claude Van Damme as samson Gaul

Joe Flanigan as Andrew Fayden

Anna-Louise Plowman as Monica Fayden

Charlotte Beaumont as Becky Fayden

Louis Dempsey as Cosmin Stelu

Uriel Emil Pollack as Vlad

Celesta Hodge as Fiona

Bianca Bree as Amalia

Kristopher Van Varenberg as Selwyn Gaul

Veteran mercenary Samson Gaul (Jean-Claude Van Damme) knows that in the heat of battle, every bullet counts. He retired from combat when his actions resulted in the deaths of helpless victims, but now he’s the last hope for a desperate father. Mixed Martial Artist, Andrew Fayden (Joe Flanigan, Stargate: Atlantis) knows how to fight, but alone he’s unprepared to navigate the corrupt streets of a foreign city to find his kidnapped daughter. Together, these warriors will stop at nothing to tear apart a vile network of criminals that prey upon the innocent.

Jean-Claude Van Damme is back in “Six Bullets”, a direct-to-video action film directed by Ernie Barbarash (“Assassination Games”, “They Wait”, “Cube Zero”) and written by Chad and Evan Law (“Hero Wanted”, “The Hit List”, “Burning Sun”).

The film stars Van Damme’s first son Kristopher Van Varenberg (“Assassination Games”, “Universal Soldier: Regeneration”, “Derailed”), Joe Flanigan (“Stargate: Atlantis”, “The Other Sister”, “Ferocious Planet”), Anna-Louise Plowman (“Shanghai Knights”, “The Foreigner”) and Charlotte Beaumont (“Mixtape”, “Sex & Drugs & Rock & Roll”).

“6 Bullets” will be released on DVD courtesy of Sony Pictures Home Entertainment on Sept. 11, 2012.

The film begins with former mercenary Samson Gaul (portrayed by Jean-Claude Van Damme) on mission to save a kidnapped boy who is being used for sex trafficking.  While Samson manages to save the boy and defeat those responsible, including blowing up their headquarters, he is also responsible for the deaths of four other kidnapped children who were hidden in secret rooms that died of smoke inhalation due to the fire in the building.  The lead investigator who has worked with Samson tells him that his irresponsible actions led to the deaths of the children and it’s best to leave the job to the police.

Feeling the guilt of the children who died, Samson now sees the dead children haunting him and he decides to quit doing this line of contract work and live a life as a butcher.

Meanwhile, Andrew Fayden (portrayed by Joe Flanigan) is a MMA fighter who wants to make his comeback by competing in a foreign country.  He brings along his wife Monica (portrayed by Anna-Louise Plowman) and teenage daughter Becky (portrayed by Charlotte Beaumont).  But while he is taking pictures of his daughter, not far behind is a woman taking pictures of Becky as well.

While staying in their hotel room, knowing the dangers that foreigners (especially their children) experience, he tells his daughter to stay in her hotel room while he takes a shower.  But while Becky goes outside her balcony, the woman who was taking her photo happens to be outside in the next hotel room.  Telling her that wi-fi sucks at the hotel and she can getter reception on the second floor near the ice machine.   Since the family needed ice anyway, Becky goes down to get some ice in the hotel.

When Andrew finishes his shower, he notices Becky is gone and goes to look for her, upset because he gave her rules not to leave the hotel room.  And while he is looking around, he notices that she is missing. With no reported sightings or ransom for Becky’s disappearance, it leads the Fayden family to be on the news asking for their daughter back.

Samson sees the news report and is still haunted by the dead children.  He is then visited by the Fayden family who received information from the US Embassy, where Samson’s son Selwyn (portrayed by Kristopher Van Varenberg) works, that there best chance looking for their daughter is to contact Samson Gaul.

But Samson, feeling guilty of what happened in his last contract job tells the Fayden’s that he is not interested.  Upset at his son for telling the Fayden’s that he can rescue them, Selwyn tells his father that he is the best person in the city who can save Becky Fayden.

Andrew’s search for his daughter leads him to a bad area with prostitution and areas full of adult entertainment. A gypsy outside the street tells him that he saw his daughter inside a strip bar.  As he looks for his daughter inside, the men in the bar start teasing Andrew of why he would let his daughter be alone in the city and that he is responsible for his “hot: daughter’s disappearance.  This angers Andrew and leads to a bar fight.

While Andrew, a skilled fighter was able to hold his own, he is soon overpowered and beaten up until Samson comes to the rescue.  Samson has decided to take on their case.

While Samson goes to look for Becky, what he doesn’t know is that the corruption is much higher than underground traffickers and possibly involve much higher powers in the country’s government.

Will Samson find Becky Fayden before she is sold or killed?

VIDEO & AUDIO:

“6 Bullets” is presented in 1:78:1 anamorphic widescreen and English, French 5.1 Dolby Digital. For DVD, picture quality is good.  Considering it’s a lower budget independent film, location shots were well-selected, lighting was very good and for the most part, everything looked good as one can expect on DVD.  It would have been nice to have a Blu-ray release and seeing this film in HD but for the most part, colors are natural, black levels are deep.

Audio was very good, as one can expect from a film with a lot of guns and explosions, good use of the surround channels and LFE.  Dialogue is clear and heard no problems during my viewing of the film.

The show is presented in English SDH and French subtitles.

SPECIAL FEATURES:

There are no special features included on the “6 Bullets” DVD.

Since the release of “JCVD” back in 2008, there has been an increase of quality in the work of Jean-Claude Van Damme’s action films.

Sure, he has been in bigger budget films recently with “The Expendables 2” but his direct-to video films from the upcoming “Universal Soldier: Day of Reckoning” to “Assassination Games” are not only showing that Van Damme still has it!  But also, that even though he’s older, he can still kick a lot of ass and is still an effective action hero.

Here we are with his latest direct-to-video film “6 Bullets” and since “JCVD”, I have to say that this is probably his best direct-to-video film yet.

Playing the character of Samson “The Butcher” Gaul, Van Damme is calm, cool, still in great shape and the amount of damage his character creates is still very high and impressive.  But what makes the film so exciting is the fact that it does focus on a storyline that still resonates strongly with audiences is foreign abductions of children.

Yes, we have seen it before with the Liam Neeson “Taken” films but this is a Van Damme film, we watch to see how his character takes on the multiple enemies and this time, he’s not alone.  Not only does Van Damme’s son Kristopher Van Varenberg also stars in his film, playing his son Selwyn, we also get to see the abducted daughter’s family get some piece of the action.

Last time I have seen Joe Flanigan was on “Stargate: Atlantis” and while he is tattooed up and playing former MMA fighter wanting to make a comeback, his wife Monica (played by Anna-Louise Plowman) also shows that she is not the woman to frak with, as she has no problems shooting anyone with a gun and crunching balls (I mean this literally).  These two family members are not the banal, helpless family who stay at home.  These two parents will do whatever it takes to find their daughter and that was quite interesting to see.  Sure, it does get a bit farfetched towards the more action scenes, but It’s a Van Damme film!

But for a film budgeted at $10 million and still a small budget independent film, director Ernie Barbarash and his crew was effective in using their locations to make the film energetic, exciting and believable.  Also, having watched Chad and Evan Law’s “The Hit List”, their writing was much more improved for “6 Bullets” and the pacing was much better for this film.

As for the DVD, picture quality and audio quality were very good as one can expect from an action film on DVD.  But there are no special features which is disappointing.  Would have loved to see an interview with Van Damme and the cast or even an audio commentary included.

But overall, “6 Bullets” is definitely one of Jean-Claude Van Damme’s better action films to be released on direct-to-video and definitely his best film to come since “JCVD”.  “6 Bullets” is an exciting popcorn action film and yet, another film that continues to show that Jean-Claude Van Damme still has it and can still kick a lot of ass!  Recommended!

 






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