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A view on Blu-ray by Gary W. Tooze

 

Seven aka Se7en [Blu-ray]

 

(David Fincher, 1995)

1) Alliance (Universal) - Region 'A' Blu-ray - LEFT

2) New Line - Region FREE - Blu-ray - RIGHT

 

 

Review by Gary Tooze

 

NOTE: New Line stats are in GREEN

 

Studio:

Theatrical: New Line Cinema

Video: Alliance (Universal) vs. New Line

Disc:

Alliance is Region: 'A' - New Line is Region FREE

Runtime: 2:06:47.433 / 2:06:49.643

Disc Size: 19,578,494,649 bytes / 41,469,992,516 bytes

Feature Size: 19,508,410,368 bytes / 36,233,723,904 bytes

Average Bitrate: 20.52 Mbps / 25.44 Mbps

Chapters: 37 / 37

Case: Standard Blu-ray case / Digi-book

Release date: March 3rd, 2009 / September 14th, 2010

 

Video:

Aspect ratio: 1.78:1 / 2.35

Resolution: 1080i / 1080P

Video codec: MPEG-4 AVC Video / VC-1 Video

 

Audio:

DTS-HD Master Audio English 3644 kbps 5.1 / 48 kHz / 3644 kbps / 24-bit
(DTS Core: 5.1 / 48 kHz / 1509 kbps / 24-bit)
Dolby Digital Audio English 448 kbps 5.1 / 48 kHz / 448 kbps
DUB: Dolby Digital Audio French 192 kbps 2.0 / 48 kHz / 192 kbps / Dolby
Surround

 

DTS-HD Master Audio English 5447 kbps 7.1 / 48 kHz / 5447 kbps / 24-bit (DTS Core: 5.1-ES / 48 kHz / 1509 kbps / 24-bit)
Dolby Digital Audio English 640 kbps 5.1 / 48 kHz / 640 kbps / DN -4dB
Dolby Digital Audio German 640 kbps 5.1 / 48 kHz / 640 kbps / DN -4dB
Dolby Digital Audio Thai 640 kbps 5.1 / 48 kHz / 640 kbps / DN -4dB
Dolby Digital Audio English 192 kbps 2.0 / 48 kHz / 192 kbps / DN -4dB / Dolby Surround
Dolby Digital Audio English 192 kbps 2.0 / 48 kHz / 192 kbps / DN -4dB / Dolby Surround
Dolby Digital Audio English 192 kbps 2.0 / 48 kHz / 192 kbps / DN -4dB / Dolby Surround
* Dolby Digital Audio Japanese 192 kbps 2.0 / 48 kHz / 192 kbps / DN -4dB / Dolby Surround
Dolby Digital Audio Portuguese 192 kbps 2.0 / 48 kHz / 192 kbps / DN -4dB / Dolby Surround
Dolby Digital Audio Spanish 192 kbps 2.0 / 48 kHz / 192 kbps / DN -4dB / Dolby Surround
Dolby Digital Audio Spanish 192 kbps 2.0 / 48 kHz / 192 kbps / DN -4dB / Dolby Surround
* Dolby Digital Audio Japanese 192 kbps 1.0 / 48 kHz / 192 kbps / DN -4dB
* Dolby Digital Audio Japanese 192 kbps 1.0 / 48 kHz / 192 kbps / DN -4dB
* Dolby Digital Audio Japanese 192 kbps 1.0 / 48 kHz / 192 kbps / DN -4dB

 

Subtitles:

None

 

English, Chinese, German, Greek, Hebrew, Japanese, Korean, Portuguese, Spanish, Thai, Turkish

 

Extras:

• None

 

4 Commentaries Featuring Director David Fincher, Actors Brad Pitt and Morgan Freeman and Other Collaborators on the Film
Additional/Extended Scenes
Alternate Endings
Exploration of the Opening Title Sequence from Multiple Video Angles with Various Audio Mixes and 2 Commentary Tracks
Production Design and Still Photographs with Commentaries
The Notebooks: Full MotionVideo Details “John Doe’s” Writings
Theatrical Trailer

 

Bitrate:

1) Alliance (Universal) - Region 'A' Blu-ray - TOP

2) New Line - Region FREE - Blu-ray - BOTTOM

 

 

 

Description: Seven deadly sins, Seven ways to die. Brad Pitt and Morgan Freeman star in this searing psychological thriller about two detectives on the trail of a vicious serial killer who chooses his victims according to the seven deadly sins. Also features a riveting performance by Gweneth Paltrow and brilliantly directed by David Fincher, "Seven will knock you out of your seat!".

 

Gluttony. Greed. Sloth. Wrath. Pride. Lust. Envy. Two cops (Brad Pitt and Morgan Freeman) track a brilliant and elusive killer who orchestrates a string of horrific murders, each kill targeting a practitioner of one of the Seven Deadly Sins. Gwyneth Paltrow also stars in this acclaimed thriller set in a dour, drizzly city sick with pain and blight. David Fincher (Fight Club, Zodiac, The Curious Case of Benjamin Button) guides the action – physical, mental and spiritual – with a sure understanding of what terrifies us, right up to a stunning denouement that will rip the scar tissue off the most hardened soul.

 

 

The Film:

"Seven," a dark, grisly, horrifying and intelligent thriller, may be too disturbing for many people, I imagine, although if you can bear to watch, it you will see filmmaking of a high order. It tells the story of two detectives - one ready to retire, the other at the start of his career - and their attempts to capture a perverted serial killer who is using the Seven Deadly Sins as his scenario.

[...]

"Seven" is unique in one detail of its construction; it brings the killer onscreen with half an hour to go, and gives him a speaking role. Instead of being simply the quarry in a chase, he is revealed as a twisted but articulate antagonist, who has devised a horrible plan for concluding his sermon. (The actor playing the killer is not identified by name in the ads or opening credits, and so I will leave his identity as another of his surprises.) "Seven" is well-made in its details, and uncompromising in the way it presents the disturbing details of the crimes. It is certainly not for the young or the sensitive. Good as it is, it misses greatness by not quite finding the right way to end. All of the pieces are in place, all of the characters are in position, and then - I think the way the story ends is too easy. Satisfying, perhaps. But not worthy of what has gone before.

Excerpt from Roger Ebert at The Chicago Sun Times located HERE

 

 


Image :    NOTE: The below Blu-ray captures were ripped directly from the Blu-ray disc.
 

Wow - this film is almost 15-years old now! Se7en on Blu-ray isn't yet available on Amazon.com and this is a typical bare-bones release from Alliance in Canada (available at Amazon.ca that does deliver to the US). It is interlaced (1080i not 1080p). As with the other Canuck Blu-ray (From Dusk Till Dawn, Good Will Hunting, Cold Mountain etc.) this is single-layered and doesn't appear to be digitally manipulated (no edge-enhancement or DNR visible). Unfortunately it is the incorrect aspect ratio - it should be 2.35:1 as per the theatrical presentation, Criterion LaserDisc, and New Line Platinum DVD (the latter of which even devoted a featurette to the film's transfer to home video). Alliance "opened up" the Super35 image to full gate, clearly sourcing their master from something prepared for HD broadcast but definitely not going by Fincher's or Khondji's preferred AR. (Thanks Bill!)

 

The image quality gives a decent presentation, easily superior to SD-DVD, but might look a significantly better with improved compression and dual-layering - I don't know. Detail has a few strong moments in close-up and the bitrate is reasonably low at around 20 Mbps. Daylight scenes are more impressive and colors reflect a pastel noir-like aura. This Blu-ray image is competent but seems far too bright with overly light contrast.  It is consistent but definitely won't be demo material and those in favor of grain (albeit somewhat clunky) will be more content - noise still exists but overall I wasn't disappointed in the visual appearance on this hi-def disc except for the AR adjustment and interlacing - which are totally unforgivable.

 

Not much to say about the New Line that you can't see for yourself. The image is technically stronger with over double the disc size and almost double the 2-hour feature film size. Obviously, the biggest issue is the correct aspect ratio (2.35:1 as opposed to the opened-up 1.78). Beyond that the image is darker, sharper, thicker, much richer contrast and that golden/yellow hue I seem to recall seeing theatrically (no?). It is in the VC-1 encode on a dual-layered Blu-ray and looks pretty sweet with more even grain. It was hard to match the captures as Canadian edition was showing the bastardized ratio - I did my best.

 

CLICK EACH BLU-RAY CAPTURE TO SEE ALL IMAGES IN FULL 1920X1080 RESOLUTION

 

1) New Line (Platinum Series) - Region 1 - NTSC - TOP

2) Paramount (Benelux CE) - Region 2 - PAL - SECOND

3) Alliance (Universal) - Region 'A' Blu-ray - THIRD

4) New Line - Region FREE - Blu-ray - BOTTOM

 

 

New Line - Region FREE - Blu-ray - SUBTITLE SAMPLE

 

 

1) Alliance (Universal) - Region 'A' Blu-ray - TOP

2) New Line - Region FREE - Blu-ray - BOTTOM

 

 

1) Alliance (Universal) - Region 'A' Blu-ray - TOP

2) New Line - Region FREE - Blu-ray - BOTTOM

 

 

1) Alliance (Universal) - Region 'A' Blu-ray - TOP

2) New Line - Region FREE - Blu-ray - BOTTOM

 

 

1) Alliance (Universal) - Region 'A' Blu-ray - TOP

2) New Line - Region FREE - Blu-ray - BOTTOM

 

 

1) Alliance (Universal) - Region 'A' Blu-ray - TOP

2) New Line - Region FREE - Blu-ray - BOTTOM

 

 

1) Alliance (Universal) - Region 'A' Blu-ray - TOP

2) New Line - Region FREE - Blu-ray - BOTTOM

 

 

1) Alliance (Universal) - Region 'A' Blu-ray - TOP

2) New Line - Region FREE - Blu-ray - BOTTOM

 

 

1) Alliance (Universal) - Region 'A' Blu-ray - TOP

2) New Line - Region FREE - Blu-ray - BOTTOM

 

 

More New Line - Region FREE - Blu-ray - CAPTURES

 

 

Audio :

We are given a DTS-Master 5.1 at 3644 kbps and a standard Dolby Digital 5.1. I don't own the 2-disc Platinum Series Edition from 2000, with DTS 6.1 ES, but this sounded pretty good to me. There were notable separations and Howard Shore's score seemed pretty crisp and creepy at times. While I don't doubt that more could be done with the audio track - I really had no reference comparison to complain. There are no subtitles offered.

 

Yes - the Canuck audio was okay - but the New Line blows it out of the water in immediate scene-to-scene testing. The DTS-HD Master 7.1 at a massive 5447 kbps is fabulous - aggressive when called upon but subtle moments are also notable. The Howard Shore score seems to sound so much crisper and is really an impacting part of the film experience in lossless. Just great. This IS the international Blu-ray version with plenty of foreign language DUBs and subtitle options and my Momitsu has identified it as being a region FREE disc playable on Blu-ray machines worldwide.

 

 

Extras :

A solid nutt'in not even a theatrical trailer.

 

Gee, I wonder which edition wins this aspect of the Blu-ray? (he said, sarcastically) Alliance would undoubtedly plead 'Nolo contendere' if we were in court. Much duplicated from the magnificent previous DVD package with an unmatched four commentaries featuring Fincher, Pitt and Freeman as well as other collaborators on the film plus additional/extended scenes, alternate endings for those that can't get enough (like moi?) an Exploration of the Opening Title Sequence from Multiple Video Angles with Various Audio Mixes and two optional commentary tracks - but that's not all - Production Design and still photographs with their own commentaries, The Notebooks: Full MotionVideo Details “John Doe’s” Writings and a theatrical trailer. It's housed in an impressive digi-book package with 36-pages of text and beautiful glossy photos. Magnificent.

 

 

BOTTOM LINE:
The issue as with most things is value for price. The Blu-ray looks and sounds hi-def in my opinion and right now $17.95 CAD = $14.11 US but opening up the image and rendering it interlaced are flaws that we won't forgive. Let's wait for a proper US release on this one.

 

Well, it took a year and a half but we have a vastly improved package for our patience. If you like the film then this is a easy purchase despite the price is at the higher end - I think it is still well worth it. Recommended!  

Gary Tooze

February 28th, 2009

September 2010

 

 


 

About the Reviewer: Hello, fellow Beavers! I have been interested in film since I viewed a Chaplin festival on PBS when I was around 9 years old. I credit DVD with expanding my horizons to fill an almost ravenous desire to seek out new film experiences. I currently own approximately 7500 DVDs and have reviewed over 3000 myself. I appreciate my discussion Listserv for furthering my film education and inspiring me to continue running DVDBeaver. Plus a healthy thanks to those who donate and use our Amazon links.

Although I never wanted to become one of those guys who focused 'too much' on image and sound quality - I find HD is swiftly pushing me in that direction. So be it, but film will always be my first love and I list my favorites on the old YMdb site now accessible HERE.  

Gary's Home Theatre:

Samsung HPR4272 42" Plasma HDTV
Toshiba HD-A2 HD-DVD player (firmware upgraded)

Sony BDP-S300 1080p Blu-ray Disc Player (firmware upgraded)
Sony DVP NS5ODH SD-DVD player (region-free and HDMI)

Marantz SA8001 Super Audio CD Player
Marantz SR7002 THX Select2 Surround Receiver
Tannoy DC6-T (fronts) + Energy (centre, rear, subwoofer) speakers (5.1)

Gary W. Tooze

 

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