Seven Pounds DVD Review

Cover Art and Menus: 7/10
The cover for Seven Pounds is just a photo of Will Smith, in character, with various names repeated behind him.  Will Smith is in a suit, with a black tie, which to me is a bit of a shame.  The problem for me is not that this is not a good cover, as I really think that it is, seeing as how it gives very little away about the movie.  Seven Pounds is kind of a mystery, in that you are stuck trying to figure out what is going on from the start of the very first scene.  As such, this cover works pretty well, but due to the fact that this is Will Smith in a black suit and black tie, all I think about when I see it is “where are the black sunglasses and where is Tommy Lee Jones?”

The menu is very nice for a standard DVD.  Choices are presented along the bottom of the screen, with scenes from the movie rotating across the middle.  Nice music, and nice presentation.

Features: 6/10

  • Deleted Scenes – The deleted scenes for Seven Pounds are short, but some of them were pretty good.  One included a piece about how Ben was able to pull of his amazing feat, and in my opinion it should have definitely been in the movie.
  • Seven Views On Seven Pounds –In this interesting behind the scenes short, seven different crew members talk about their own views about the movie.  It includes interviews with the writer, the producers, and people like the location manager, and it covers a variety of things about the movie that kind of offer a different insight into the making of the movie.  I really liked the way this was presented, and it gives a unique view of how movies get made.
  • Creating The Perfect Ensemble –In this piece the casting director explains what went into getting  the right actors for the movie.  Of course the main focus is on Will Smith and Rosario Dawson, and I have to say that the chemistry between the two was excellent.  This extra then talks about how the rest of the cast was picked.
  • The Box Jellyfish: World’s Deadliest Co-Star –A very strange inclusion, this extra is all about the box jellyfish, one of the main focuses of the movie.  This is basically an interview with a scientist who talks about the deadly creature and where it comes from, how it kills, and everything else you could want to know about the beautiful creature.
  • Emily’s Passion: The Art Of The Printing Press –This short goes through various printing presses from the past, and talks about the progression over the ages of the art.  Of course in the movie Emily has a few of these old machines, so this ties in nicely with the story.  A bit of a strange inclusion, but if you are going to talk about the jellyfish, might as well go into detail on the printing presses.
  • Director Commentary –This is a very nice commentary done by director Gabriele Muccino.  Having worked with Will Smith before on the Pursuit of Happiness, this commentary talks about Will and all of the actors and how they fit his vision of what the movie was going to be.  Muccino does a good job of describing what he was trying to achieve, and he is passionate about this movie, which this commentary shows.

The Movie: 8/10
Before I begin talking about the movie itself, I have to explain that Seven Pounds is the type of film that is not easy to talk about without giving away too much of the plot, which in essence could ruin the movie.  I do not want to ruin the movie itself, so I may have to be a bit vague in talking about it.

To that tend, I can tell you that Seven Pounds starts off with Ben Thomas (Will Smith) making a 911 phone call to report a suicide.  After the person on the other end asks who is the victim, Ben answers “I am.”  A nice start to a movie, and a nice way to jump headfirst into a mystery that leaves the viewer asking “what is gong on here?”  Ben talks about how he has shattered his own world in seven seconds, and we are left trying to decide how and why, and just what he trying to do as he focuses his attention on seven different individuals who seem to all be broken or impaired for one reason or another.

Ben is not a nice person, and Will Smith does a good job of portraying a tortured individual who is focused on his main goal, even though we are not sure about what that goal really is.  The movie plays hide the ball very well, and while we are given glimpses into Ben’s past, we don’t really get an up-front view of what he is planning.

Eventually Ben, who states that he is an IRS representative, gets to know a few of the individuals that he has been following, and one in particular is Emily (Rosario Dawson) who has an issue with her heart.  Emily also owes the IRS money, and Ben promises to help her out.  Slowly Ben ends up becoming close with Emily, who seems a bit down on her luck due to her inability to do her work as a printer, as her condition makes it difficult to exert any real physical effort, and one of her antique printing presses is on the fritz.  Ben ends up getting very close to Emily, whose need for a transplant grows as the movie goes on.

Like I mentioned before, we are given glimpses into Ben’s past, but it is tough to figure out just where the movie is going at times.  The acting by Will Smith and Rosario Dawson is very good, and as the relationship grows, the acting just gets better and better.  The supporting cast was good also, with solid performances by Barry Pepper (who won a Razzie for worst actor in 1997) and Woody Harrelson, as well as others.

Overall I liked Seven Pounds, and I thought that the journey was really fun.  The acting was really good, and I can see how some people would not like being made to wait for the ending, but overall the movie was good.  Unlike the Pursuit of Happiness, Seven Poundsis not quite a feel good movie, but it definitely is worth watching.

Audio & Video: 7/10
There was really not much that I noticed good of bad for the video and audio.  I reviewed the standard DVD, and it looked fine.  The cinematography was good, but not remarkable, and the image was again decent.  The movie is presented in 2.40:1 anamorphic widescreen.

The audio was also good, but not mind blowing.  Presented in 5.1 Surround Sound, the dialogue was good, and there was only a slight bit of use of the rear speakers that I noticed.

In saying that both the audio and video was unremarkable, I want to stress that in this type of movie it was a good thing.  It really meant that I was not distracted by the images and audio, and was able to focus on the meat of the movie, which was character development and the twisting story.  The audio and video did not distract me from the movie, which was a good thing.

Value: 5/10
Seven Pounds is an interesting movie that is definitely worth watching.  Will Smith and especially Rosario Dawson were extremely enjoyable to watch, but at the end of the day, this movie is an experience that most will be able to enjoy only one time.  It is a hard movie to watch, and the ending, once learned, is the main focus of the movie.  Once you experience it, there is no going back.  For that reason, to me Seven Pounds is a rental for sure, but I can’t imagine many will watch it over and over again.

Overall Score 7/10