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Blu-ray Review: Sedona (2011)

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Have you ever found yourself in a place you simply do not want to be in or at — overcome with the feeling that you had been somehow drawn in there by an unseen, unknown force? It tends to happen all too frequently in semi-spiritual movies like the 2011 Indie flick Sedona; while it happens ever more regularly to me — as I seem to get stuck with watching movies like Sedona more often than I would really like to. The movie — the second feature from writer/director/producer/editor Tommy Stovall — delivers the two separate plights of several individuals visiting Sedona, Arizona.

For Tammy (Frances Fisher), she seems to have been pulled in by something greater than her own high-powered businessperson ego — and finds herself stuck in town after a small airplane is forced to make a landing on the road, which lands her car in the local slow-moving mechanic’s shop. For Scott and Eddie (Seth Peterson and Matthew J. Williamson, respectively), a simple visit to the beautiful rocky terrain the weird, mystical location has to offer with their two children in tow results in a lost kid and two very frantic parents. Alas, Sedona is a very vortex-y place, with many of the strange happenings and equally peculiar people having been put there to serve some sort of purpose in these people’s lives.

For me, they were all put there to bore the living shit out of me.

Beth Grant, Christopher Atkins, Lin Shaye, Barry Corbin, and the previously reclusive Robert Shields turn in bit performances in this, the amateur auteur Stovall’s second attempt at filmmaking. It’s a slow-moving, spacey one (his first being a film called Hate Crime — something I feel like committing against Mr. Stovall after watching this). Between the film’s incessant overly-mystical soundtrack (which succeeds in making the viewer want to drift away into a coma just to get away from it if nothing else), paint-by-numbers story, somewhat poor direction of its league of not-all-entirely-professional performers, and what are quite possibly the worst special effects I have ever seen in a motion picture to date, Sedona seems like it’s nothing more than a giant waste of time.

Of course, the aforementioned crappy FX I referred to might not be in the final print of the film, as the screener disc I received was for purely promotional purposes only. As such, I cannot safely say with any degree of certainty how the ultimate A/V quality will look to those of you who have the misfortune to rent or (God forbid) buy this title. The print I watched had an overly sharp red hue going on for it, but the shot-on-digital flick (which, not surprisingly enough, took a whopping 21 days to film) had some decent contrast and detail (though the black levels appeared to bleed together). The 5.1 Dolby Digital soundtrack was a mostly front-heavy affair, and offered little from the rear-speakers other than some sound effects and music.

Special features (for the promo disc, at least) include several making-of and behind-the-scenes featurettes, a gag reel, deleted scenes, galleries, interviews, and a trailer.

The Bottom Line here: if you want to find a little spiritual guidance from a film, there are better ones out there to watch. Sedona has no other real claim to fame other than it was the first film shot in Sedona, AZ since the ’70s. Sadly, the script they used seems to have been lying around since then, too.

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About Luigi Bastardo

Luigi Bastardo is the disgruntled alter-ego of a thirtysomething lad from Northern California who has watched so many weird movies since the tender age of 3 that a conventional life is out of the question. He currently lives in Chico, CA with four cats named Groucho, Harpo, Chico, and Margaret. Seriously.
  • http://sedonamovie.com Tommy Stovall

    On the off chance that someone, after reading this cleverly-crafted, insightful and loving review, still wants to (God forbid) waste their time by checking out Sedona, could you at least include our website?

    Thanks so much!

    amateur auteur Tommy Stovall