S E A R C H D V D B e a v e r
Seven Pounds [Blu-ray]
(Gabriele Muccino, 2008)
Review by Gary Tooze
Video: Sony Pictures
Disc Size: 43,684,842,342 bytes
Feature Size: 29,419,837,440 bytes
Average Bitrate: 31.87 Mbps
Case: Standard Blu-ray case
Release date: March 31st, 2009
Aspect ratio: 2.35:1
Video codec: MPEG-4 AVC Video
Dolby TrueHD Audio English 1312 kbps 5.1 / 48 kHz / 1312 kbps / 16-bit (AC3 Core: 5.1 / 48 kHz / 640 kbps)
DUB: Dolby TrueHD Audio French 1287 kbps 5.1 / 48 kHz / 1287 kbps / 16-bit (AC3 Core: 5.1 / 48 kHz / 640 kbps)
Commentary: Dolby Digital Audio English 192 kbps 2.0 / 48 kHz / 192 kbps / Dolby Surround
English, English (SDH), French, Spanish, none
• Commentary by director Gabriele Muccino
• Deleted Scenes
Seven Views on Seven Pounds (in HD);
• The Composer (6:01), The Location Manager (5:58), The Director (5:53), The Editor (4:50), The Writer (3:40), The Producers (2:54) etc.
• Creating the Perfect Ensemble (12:56 in HD!)
• The Box Jellyfish - the World's Deadliest Co-star (4:58 in HD)
• Emily's Passion - the Art of the Printing Press (8:44 in HD!)
Disc 2 - Digital Copy
Description: Seven Pounds reunites actor Will Smith and director Gabriele Muccino, who together made the successful The Pursuit of Happyness 2 years before. Ben (Will Smith) poses as an IRS agent because he is haunted by a secret while seeking redemption in the form of drastically reshaping the worlds of seven people. Will described his part as ''It was exhausting trying to pull myself down into the mental space of Ben Thomas. It was based on the idea of trauma, and that was the part that I couldn't understand and I couldn't internally relate to...''
I am fascinated by films that observe a character who is behaving precisely, with no apparent motivation. A good actor brings such a role into focus, as Will Smith does in the enigmatically titled "Seven Pounds." Who is he, what does he want, why is he behaving so oddly for an IRS agent? And why won't he kiss Rosario Dawson, when they both so obviously want that to happen?
I haven't even hinted about the hidden motives in this film. Miraculously for once, even the trailers don't give anything away. I'll tell you one thing: I may have made Ben sound like an angel, but he is very much flesh and blood, and none of his actions are supernatural. He has his reasons. The director is Gabriele Muccino, who also directed Smith in "The Pursuit of Happyness." He is effective at timing the film's revelations so that they don't come suddenly like a U-turn; they're revealed at the last necessary points in the story. Some people will find it emotionally manipulative. Some people like to be emotionally manipulated. I do, when it's done well.Excerpt from Roger Ebert at the Chicago Sun-Times located HERE
The image of Seven Pounds on Blu-ray is just beautiful. Despite the intentionally jittery camera the rendering produces some visuals that are extremely detailed and sharp. The frequent pastel blues in the frame are warm and beautifully realized into the narrative. Background noise and grain are visible but are consistently presented and appear fine and smooth. This is, expectantly, a dual-layered disc reaching almost 44 Gig with the feature filling just shy of 30 itself and hence the bitrate is impressive. I wouldn't be surprised if this was an extremely faithful representation of the theatrical film - dependant, of course, on the system you are viewing it on. This image doesn't give a glossy artificial look, but a realistic film-like one. It is exceptionally strong with healthy contrast and under-blown color scheme. I suspect that vewers will be very impressed with the quality.
CLICK EACH BLU-RAY CAPTURE TO SEE ALL IMAGES IN FULL 1920X1080 RESOLUTION
We are given a fairly untested TrueHD track. The film has almost no aggressive sound and supports the passive Angelo Milli original score with gentle ease. In fact the audio is fairly weak but consistent and presents the dialogue driven film to an adequate basis - just don't expect too many peeps from the rear speakers. There are optional subtitles in English, English (SDH), French, or Spanish.
In his full-length feature commentary Gabriele Muccino imparts some viable production information but his accent can be quite heavy and difficult, at times, to discern. But this is still very much worth listening to in my opinion. There are deleted scenes and a number of featurettes covering further production details - the most comprehensive being the 7-part - Seven Views on Seven Pounds (in HD); with short segments on/by The Composer (6:01), The Location Manager (5:58), The Director (5:53), The Editor (4:50), The Writer (3:40), The Producers (2:54) etc. There was another on casting entitled Creating the Perfect Ensemble (12:56 in HD!) and a couple of filler pieces on the Box Jellyfish - and the Art of the Printing Press. Included is a second disc a digital copy download accessible with code for your portable viewing device (like cell-phone iPod etc.). Outside the commentary there is nothing extrodinary.
March 14th, 2009
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 9500 DVDs and have reviewed over 3500 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.
Oppo Digital BDP-83 Universal Region FREE Blu-ray/SACD
Gary W. Tooze
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