The Review at a Glance: (max score: 5 )
Audio/Video total rating:
( Max score: 100 )
Studio and Year: Sony Pictures - 2008
MPAA Rating: PG-13
Feature running time: 123 Minutes
Disc Format: BD-50
Encoding: AVC (MPEG-4)
Video Aspect: 2.40:1
Audio Format(s): English/French Dolby TrueHD 5.1,
Subtitles: English, English SDH, Spanish, French
Starring: Will Smith, Rosario Dawson, Michael Ealy, Woody Harrelson, Barry Pepper
Directed by: Gabriele Muccino
Music by: Angelo Milli
Written by: Grant Nieporte
Region Code: A
Blu-ray Disc release Date: March 31, 2009
"Seven names. Seven Strangers. One secret"
Academy Award® nominee Will Smith (2006, Best Performance by an Actor in a Leading Role, The Pursuit of Happyness) stars as Ben Thomas, a man at a crossroads searching for a way to redeem his heavy conscience. He discovers he has the power to change the circumstances of seven strangers who deserve a second chance. But when one of them captures his heart, he must decide if he should reveal his secret -- even if it means giving up on his plan.
Initially not much is revealed about Ben Thomas (Smith) other than he works for the IRS and is making contact with a select group of people for various reason that aren't obvious right away. He is rather odd in his demeanor and there is a distinct sadness about him. He wears the same suit every day which also seemed strange. He makes a phone call to a meat distribution service and gets customer service representative Ezra (Harrelson) on the phone. He states that he is calling to complain about the service but immediately goes into a reserved tirade during which he deliberately insults Ezra with specific references to Ezra blindness. It's obvious that Ezra was intentionally targeted but he remains calm and doesn't allow Ben's insults to draw him into a confrontation. Eventually the conversation is terminated and Ben flies into a rage and begins spouting off a series of names. No further explanation. He then begins to follow Emily Posa (Dawson) who is an attractive young woman who lives alone, is having financial difficulties, and who suffers from a serious heart condition. At one point while she is spending the night at the hospital receiving treatment she awakes to see Ben standing in the dark watching her sleep. She is unsure of exactly what she saw but does bring it up at a later point in the film. There is a quick flashback that shows Ben working for an aerospace company, and apparently happily married to Sarah, who calls him during a meeting to set up dinner plans.
The story continues and finds Ben watching several people in the same way. One is a youth hockey coach, another is a little boy, an administrator at a nursing home, and an abused mother of two. With the exception of the abused mother they are all apparently suffering from medical conditions and it becomes apparent that Ben is planning to help them in some way. He wants to ensure that they are people who are worthy/deserving of the gift that he can provide. Ben lives alone in a house that is located on the beach. Other than a few pieces of furniture and a Box Jellyfish in a tank, (no real explanation until later in the film) there isn't anything in the place. Ben makes contact with Emily. After a rough initial meeting they seem to be attracted to one another although Ben maintains his distance. She is suffering from congenital heart failure but doesn't qualify for the transplant list. As things progress Ben and Emily become closer and he seems to be struggling with his feelings. There are several flashbacks to his life with Sarah and it is apparent that something happened in the past which has left him pained. He gets a call from his brother who is noticeably concerned about him. During the call his brother asks if he took anything from him when he last visited. Ben replies that he did not and reminds him that he gave him something before telling him that he loves him. Ben's way of helping these seven deserving people begins to come into focus during the third act. The events that transpired prior to it are also revealed. Ben's relationship with Emily has him at a crossroads. He faces a difficult decision that stands to effect the lives of not only her but Ezra as well.
As a Will Smith fan I looked forward to seeing Seven pounds even though I heard that it wasn't received very well. The film opens near the end of the story and goes back to recount the events that lead up to that point. Amidst the recounting are a series of further flashbacks that detail what occurred prior to those events. I didn't have a problem with that. I think I would have preferred that the story had been told without the opening sequence as I think it might have had better impact. I felt that early on the film tried too hard to keep us in the dark about what was going on. It dragged things out for the first forty minutes as you were trying to understand who, what, and why. Ben seemed to want to test the people who were to receive what he wanted to offer. His methods were a little subjective, especially in the case of Ezra. His worthiness was based on a work related phone call where he gets paid to deal with unhappy customers. The fact that he didn't fly off the handle was the determining factor? On the other hand he was pretty hard on the nursing home administrator because the one elderly female patient he spoke to had a problem with him. When his reason for seeking these people out is revealed I just couldn't help but feel that while it was noble it just didn't seem warranted based upon how things transpired. It was sort of a letdown. After seeing that it also made his relationship with Emily feel a little out of place. I agree that without that the dynamic of the film would change but that was my feeling at the time. The ending was moderately satisfying but ultimately left me wanting. Will Smith and Rosario Dawson were both great and I thought that they had solid onscreen chemistry. I thought that Seven pounds was an average dramatic film that felt a little contrived and lacked the overall appeal that I was hoping for.
The rating is for thematic material, some disturbing content, and a scene of sensuality.
AUDIO/VIDEO - By The Numbers:
REFERENCE = 92-100 / EXCELLENT = 83-91 / GOOD = 74-82 / AVERAGE = 65-73 / BELOW AVERAGE = under 65
**My audio/video ratings are based upon a comparative made against other high definition media/blu-ray disc.**
(Each rating is worth 4 points with a max of 5 per category)
- Low frequency extension:
- Surround Sound presentation:
- Dialogue Reproduction:
(Each rating is worth 4 points with a max of 5 per category)
- Black level/Shadow detail:
- Color reproduction:
Seven pounds comes to Blu-ray Disc from Sony featuring 1080p AVC encoded video that has an average bitrate of 28 mbps and lossless Dolby TrueHD 5.1 channel audio that has an average bitrate of 1.2 mbps.
I thought that this was a solid high definition video presentation that featured excellent high level detail and deep punchy blacks. Primary colors were prominently displayed while secondary colors were more reserved. Contrast was bold but balanced well against brightness which resulted in stark visuals that were pleasing. Complexions were nicely textured with excellent delineation and fair but bland tonality. Grain was visible in fine even layers that gave the video a textured and filmic quality that was appreciable. The lossless audio mix was satisfying and competently conveyed the elements present in the film's soundtrack. Dialogue was crisp and well articulated. The front three channels delivered the bulk of the sound and did so with excellent clarity, imaging and dynamic range. The surrounds and sub saw occasional use and supported the front heavy presentation with ambient effects and bass reproduction that accompanied the film's music. This was a well balanced audio/video presentation that looked great and sounded fine.
- Commentary with Director Gabriele Muccino
- (HD) Seven views on Seven pounds:
- The Writer - 3 minute feature
- The Producers - 3 minute feature
- The Director - 6 minute feature
- The Location Manager - 6 minute feature
- The Designer - 2 minute feature
- The Editor - 5 minute feature
- The Composer - 6 minute feature
- (HD) Creating the perfect ensemble - 13 minute featurette
- (HD) The Box Jellyfish: The worlds deadliest co-star - 5 minute documentary
- (HD) Emilys passion: The art of the printing press - 8 minute documentary on the International Printing Press Museum
- (HD) 4 Deleted scenes
- Digital Copy Bonus Disc - Contains a standard definition version of the film that can be downloaded from a compatible PC/Mac to a portable playback device
- BD-Live enabled
Seven poundsis an average yet thought provoking drama that some viewers may find lacking in depth. I enjoyed the performances by the cast and the high definition presentation on Blu-ray Disc from Sony looks great. The bonus features give the filmmakers a chance to present their take on the story and offers some good behind the scenes info on the production. Fans of the film can feel free to pick this one up but otherwise I would say this is best viewed as a rental prior to purchase.
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Very cool Albert..
Its a good movie, and Will Smith is awesome in it. [IMG]http://z09a0222gshv273.imageshacknow.info/img/3044************************[/IMG]
may pick this one up as a blind buy.
i also may be the only one on this board who can actually run a Heidelberg Windmill letterpress [IMG]http://www.***************/img/io/iy.gif[/IMG]
This is a really good movie, had a chance to watch over the new years time, really loved it, might pick this up first day release.
Different than your standard formula. VERY good acting by the main two characters. The casting was awesome.
I love how it kind of had you guessing the whole time. A very emotional movie/subject, and it is definately worth the watch.
PQ 4.5 out of 5, SQ 4 out of 5, Film 4 out of 5
The featurettes were also great. Definitely and highly recommended.
Rosario Dawson carried this film with her acting and beauty. Will smith put on his usual solid performance, and the chemistry between the two of them was outstanding I thought.
This movie moved me with it's love story. The last 10 minutes of this film are just wonderfull. Even if you know what the ultimate ending may be before hand it still touching to watch him make the decision he does and more importantly why he does.
If you haven't seen this film, give it a rent. B+ in my book.