Seven Pounds (2008) [Blu-ray]

Genre(s): Drama
Sony || PG13 - 123 minutes - $39.95 || March 31, 2009
Reviewer: Tyler Thomas || Posted On: 2009-03-25


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.:: F I L M ::.
The Film

S P E C I A L
.: F E A T U R E S :.

Special Features

.:: V I D E O ::.
Video

.:: A U D I O ::.
Audio

B L U - R A Y
.:: EXCLUSIVES ::.

Blu-ray Exclusives

.:: O V E R A L L ::.
Overall
.::MOVIE INFORMATION::.
Director: Gabriele Muccino
Writer(s): Grant Nieporte (written by)
Cast: Will Smith, Rosario Dawson, Woody Harrelson


Theatrical Release Date: December 19, 2008


.::DVD INFORMATION::.
Supplemental Material:
  • Feature Commentary
  • 4 Featurettes
  • Deleted Scenes
  • BD-Live
  • Digital Copy


Technical Information:
  • Number of Discs: 2
  • Widescreen (2.40)
  • English (Dolby TrueHD 5.1), French (Dolby TrueHD 5.1)
  • Subtitles: English, English SDH, French, Spanish

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.::THE FILM::.

So for some reason, as of late, Iíve had trouble writing. It might be the fact I was never good at it in the first place. Iíve come to terms with that last statement, as Iím not really good at writing: Iím freaking awesome at it. However, that is unlike Seven Pounds, a film starring normally great Will Smith in a movie that has so much star power in it yet fails to stand out as a landmark film.

The film begins with Ben Thomas (Will Smith) calling 9-1-1. The operator asks what the emergency is, and Thomas replies ďsuicide.Ē Thomas is a troubled man, he works for the IRS (no, thatís not the troubled part) and has a secret that I wonít tell you what it is that changed his life forever. He sets out to right the wrongs that have come upon seven different people to help change their lives for the better.

The first of such people is Ezra (Woody Harrelson), a blind operator who sells meat products over the phone. Thomas in a rude scene tries to push Ezra to say how unfair life is since heís been blind his entire life and hasnít even seen the ocean, he just knows itís the color blue. Ezra hangs up on Thomas, and is devastated by what transpired.

Thomas attempts to visit another person, Emily (Rosario Dawson), but doesnít talk to her just yet. She has been in the hospital re-cooperating from heart surgery and is in trouble with the IRS for back taxes. She wakes up after a nap to see him briefly, as he was apparently watching her sleep. Yeah, itís a bit creepy to know that an IRS agent can watch you sleep, really makes you wonder right?

Thomas is awoken in the middle of the night by his brother (Michael Ealy), and the two talk a bit and he just wants to make sure Thomas is okay. He says he is, and is brother attempts to believe it. However, he asks if he took anything the last time he was over. Thomas replies that he did take something, although itís a bit cryptic. Yes, this is incredibly important in the movie but I wonít spoil it.

Another person in need of surgery, Stewart (Tim Kelleher) is visited and Thomas lets him know that heís still deciding on if heís going to get help or not. After seeing Stewart interact with a patient at the retirement home, Thomas questions the patient and she tells him that Stewart is an awful man, in more words than that. He proceeds to wheel the patient to get a shower and tells Stewart off and shoves his head onto the glass window behind him, screaming that he would have been helped but not now.

Connie Tepos (Elpidia Carrillo) is another person in need of help, and Thomas tries to help her out. Tepos has been abused by her boyfriend but doesnít want to report it for fear of being hurt again, and she has kids that she doesnít want anything to happen to either. He gives her his card and lets her know that if she ever needs help donít hesitate to call.

Meanwhile, Thomas has moved out of his luxurious house and into some crummy motel area where Larry (Joe Nunez), the owner of the fine establishment, is given orders to never go in Thomasís room no matter what. Thomas moves some of his stuff in, including a cage for a jellyfish. Itís important at some point in the film, trust me. Thereís also a neat little special feature on it if youíre interested more in the creature.

He decides to visit Emily at her house, where he gives her dog meat which makes Emily angry. He talks to her and has pity for her after he hears her story, and gives her his card and says if anyone from the IRS calls, to just tell him who he is and they will go away. He freezes her accounts so she has six months to get the money together. They talk about if she thinks sheís deserving of being alive, as she is given a death sentence due to her fault heart, and Thomas ridicules her (but in a good way) by saying that she is in fact more deserving of getting a heart than other people on the list.

Dan (Barry Pepper) is yet another person in need (see the trend here?), as the doctors havenít given him results back from a test he had recently. Thomas tells Dan to cheer up, even though itís become clear to Dan that he may indeed die soon unless something happens, and he reminds him to stick to the plan that they have.

The story of the film rests upon Thomas and his attempt to help out seven different people with his actions that occur throughout the two-hour runtime of the movie. The acting is amazing, as Smith, Dawson, Harrelson, and the rest of the cast are all great in their roles.

That doesnít mean everything is good, as I found the movie to be a bit trivial and not that entertaining. Sure, itís a drama, but itís too long for its own good and unless youíve got a notepad to remember certain things that happen in the film you may miss some things. Thereís too much mystery involved, and too many characters to keep track of. The message of the movie is also a bit ďblahĒ in my opinion.

Seven Pounds isnít Smithís best film, but it is a highlight for nearly everyone else in the movie. The posters for the flick as well as the artwork indicate thereís only one person to care about: Ben Thomas. I assume it was to try and play the fact that Smith is the headliner, but the rest of the cast deserves honorable mentions.

Thereís nothing that sticks out as being ďwrongĒ with the movie, I just didnít think it was really up to par with past performances such as Ali and I Am Legend.



.::SPECIAL FEATURES::.

Commentary w/ Director Gabriele Muccino: Muccino tries his hardest, but this track is pretty dull and honestly doesnít add that much to the film. Thereís a good amount of times where I heard the movie itself more than I heard Muccino talk.

Deleted Scenes (4 minutes): Four scenes that didnít make it into the film that are available to watch. They are rather brief and donít really amount to much, hence why they were cut.

Multiple Featurettes (61 minutes): There is a ton of extra information for those who enjoyed the movie available on this disc. They range from interviews with the cast and crew about the flick, to Smith talking about the Jellyfish, to discussion about the characters and cast. I strongly recommend watching these if you have some free time, as they are rather interesting and provide some good background on the movie itself and the direction that it went.

BD-Live: Your usual special feature that lets you view trailers from other Sony films that are either coming out or are available for purchase. ** Blu-ray Exclusive **

Finally, a Digital Copy (** Blu-Ray Exclusive **) is available for transfer to multiple formats.



.::AUDIO & VIDEO::.

There are issues right off the bat with this one, as the first scene presents amounts of noise and grain, as well as a bit of distortion in color. This happens periodically throughout the movie, as grain and contrast issues are problematic, especially at nighttime. There were also a few issues with contrast in other scenes, as some appeared a tiny bit lighter or darker than others, and color was also dull in parts as well. It may have been the intention of the film though, since it is a rather depressing movie, but for me in my opinion the colors are just a bit too washed out for my taste.

The Dolby TrueHD 5.1 track accompanying the movie also doesnít add much to the film, as this is a rather overkill mix. Surround use is rare and most of the dialogue comes from the front speakers, and at times I had trouble hearing the characters speak. The hospital scenes in particular seemed to have quieter levels than the rest of the movie, although it is positive to note that the dialogue is crisp and clear in the other areas of the film. This isnít a terrible track, but itís nowhere near reference material.



.::OVERALL::.

Seven Pounds disappointed, and it hurts me to say that being a fan of most of the cast in it. The film though just suffers from being boring and not interesting, with a conclusion that left me thinking ďyeah, saw that coming.Ē The special features are a bit entertaining, but the technical package is rather weak. This is a rental at best. Sorry Smith, but these are pounds to not put on without trying them out first.