The Review at a Glance: (max score: 5 )
Audio/Video total rating:
( Max score: 100 )
Studio and Year: Sony Pictures - 2005
MPAA Rating: R
Feature running time: 96 Minutes
Disc Format: BD-50
Encoding: AVC (MPEG-4)
Video Aspect: 1.85:1
Audio Format(s): English/French/Portuguese Dolby TrueHD 5.1
Subtitles: English, English SDH, Spanish, Portuguese, Chinese, French, Thai, Indonesian, Arabic, Dutch
Starring:Wesley Snipes, Tamzin Outhwaite, Pete Lee-Wilson, Deobia Oparel
Directed by: Simon Fellows
Music by: Barry Taylor
Written by: Martin Wheeler
Region Code: A,B,C
Blu-ray Disc release Date: August 12, 2008
"Timing is everything"
Action star Wesley Snipes (the Blade trilogy, U.S Marshals, Passenger 57) is a professional thief whose high-stakes caper goes murderously wrong in this explosive, brilliantly unpredictable crime thriller. Captain Jack Tolliver (Snipes) is an ex-Delta Force commando leading what should have be a clockwork-perfect armored car heist. Instead, he ends up with a priceless Van Gogh painting - and one of his crew ends up held hostage by the sadistic Russian gangsters who muscled in on the heist. Tolliver's only option: a suicidal rescue mission where enemies become allies, your best friend can be your worst nightmare, and survival is deadliest art of all.
I generally complain very little about action based films with weaker story lines. I can tolerate a plot that is a stretch as long as the movie is fun, has decent action sequences, and strong characters. Wesley Snipes generally plays action roles just fine and pretty much adheres to what works for him. 7 Seconds is a formulaic crime thriller with action based elements that is the type of film that plays to Snipes' strengths. The problem I found with it is that the story feels convoluted and tries too hard to create too many twists and turns. There is an excess of potential bad guys which waters down the character base too much. The female lead, Sgt. Anders (Outhwaite) is not written well and comes off as a know it all who seems way to competent an investigator for her experience and position. She is literally three steps ahead of the local police, and bad guys as she makes them and her superiors look like a bunch of incompetent boobs. Snipes who is experienced ex-military (Delta Force) is unable to see that he is being setup, not once or twice but three times, and walks into those situations with blinders on. The only interesting character was Alexsie, the Russian mob boss (Lee-Wilson) but he along with the remainder of the cast felt under developed and didn't spend enough time onscreen. There are several car chases that just felt like been there and done that and some of the dialog was on the hammy side. A few of the fight sequences show cased Snipes' martial arts chops and were fine. I couldn't help but wonder why the film was called 7 seconds. The only reference to it was in the beginning when Snipes sets the timer on a detonator to go off in 7 seconds . In the end I felt as though I couldn't wait for this one to be over.
The rating is for language, violence, and brief sexuality/nudity.
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:
7 seconds comes to Blu-ray Disc from Sony featuring 1080p AVC encoded video that has an average bitrate of 27 mbps and lossless Dolby TrueHD 5.1 audio that has an average bitrate of 1.7 mbps.
The video presentation had a distinctive look that didn't have the vibrancy, high level of detail and luster that you find with most of today's big budget action flicks on high definition Blu-ray Disc. Resolution was consistent however fine visible detail was noticeably lacking. Every now and then close up shots offered a higher level of perceptible detail with improved clarity but it was infrequent. The color palette stuck with basic tones that were mildly de-saturated which left them looking less vivid and on the flat side. Contrast and brightness were toned down so that even brighter scenes appeared less dynamic and eye catching. All of this led to video quality that was rather lackluster and dull. Quite honestly it didn't feel inappropriate based upon the film's subject matter and cinematography but there were instances where it would have shined with better image quality.
The audio presentation was decent and made good use of the surround platform. This is a fairly aggressive soundtrack that contains explosive elements that are typical of the genre. Dialogue was perfectly intelligible with good intonation and discernible texture. The surrounds and subwoofer saw consistent use during the film's various action sequences. The sounds associated with the effects of gun fire, punches/kicks, speeding vehicles etc. had fair dynamic impact. I noticed that they didn't sound quite as crisp and articulated as the better lossless audio tracks that I have heard. The subwoofer channel was mixed a bit too hot which made the bass too prominent at times. I think that this contributed to low frequency detail sounding boomy on occasion. Overall I thought that this was a mix that offered good surround sound envelopment, clear dialogue and respectable dynamics and impact.
The only bonus supplements offered are three Blu-ray Disc previews (Boo!). The disc case indicates that 7 seconds is BD-Live enabled.
- (HD) Blu-ray Disc previews
7 seconds is a less than thrilling thriller that brings nothing new to the table. Its debut on high definition Blu-ray Disc was a less than memorable experience. Video quality is an improvement over standard definition DVD but not on par with what viewers are accustomed to seeing from the format's better offerings. The lossless audio presentation sounded fine which was a plus however the lack of bonus content was a negative. I would discourage a blind buy on this one and reserve viewing it as a rental at best.
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