Seven Pounds Blu-ray Review
Seven Pounds is encoded into 1080P high definition using the AVC MPEG-4 codec.
If the movie was a bit of a let down then at least they have tried to make amends with the video composition. On the whole the transfer is an excellent example of how to do a modern film. The source is clean, sharp and detailed and the whole thing has made it onto blu-ray without any significant loss of quality.
Detail is prevalent in most scenes and close-up shots reveal terrific texture and cinematic blend. The blacks and the contrast levels are also good and some of the scenes reveal ample levels of depth to make for a pleasurable viewing.
Sony ensured that this film had a consistency from start to finish so you can feel comfortable that it won't waver too much. The inclusion of a fine grain adds a very front thrown tendency to the image which I'm sure will look just as good on a wide variety of displays.
Colours are rich and for the most part vibrant. There's a scene where Emily and Ben are courting in the fields and the light greens and yellows enrich the screen. Skin tones are not quite accurate due to the extremities of how some of the colours are used but in the scheme of things this is a minor bug bear.
Seven Pounds is a commendable blu-ray presentation.
The blu-ray features an English Dolby TrueHD 5.1 28Khz/24-bit soundtrack.
As you would expect from a drama orientated movie there are no great shakes on offer to get too excited about.
Whilst it's not a soundtrack demanding out and out attention it is nevertheless a very refined one. Most of it is dialogue based and the only channel that seems to get worked overtime is the centre. Voices sound natural and rich with realistic tones. There's a rich multi-timbral quality across the dynamic range and the other channels step in as and when required. Mid-range to highs are excellent and where there is bass needed the soundtrack feels solid enough.
Surround activity is limited but this is slightly deceptive as the rears can and do come into life in most of the outdoor scenes. Ambience is all the better for it when the surrounds liven up.
The lossless soundtrack is nothing to get overly excited about but it supports and suits the movie just so.
There's a growing trend to include a digital copy of the film and you'll get a disc included here. All the extras are presented in High Definition and there is a BDLive function available as well.
Audio Commentary - Gabriele Muccino goes it alone here in what is quite a straight laced commentary. He talks technical and has clearly a lot of praise for Will Smith. Perhaps he's looking for a third effort with him? All in all the entertainment is kept to a minimum and the whole thing comes across as quite dour. I got the impression that's he's an overly serious guy and never quite realised how the film would come across to an unsuspecting audience.
Seven views on Seven Pounds - There are seven points of views presented here in this feature; the director, the screenwriter, the producer, the location manager, the designer, the editor and the composer. This is actually quite an intelligently made documentary but once again everyone is so incredibly serious about it all. I just couldn't help but feeling that if the crew had lightened up a little then the film itself would have been far better for it.
Creating the Perfect Ensemble - (12min 56secs) - This is a documentary about the casting of the film. All the main stars of the film have some input.
The Box Jellyfish: The world's deadliest co-star - (4mins 58secs) - Throughout the movie there is a silent but deadly co-star by way of a Box Jellyfish. Known for its poisonous sting this short feature explores more about this fascinating Jellyfish.
Emily's Passion: The Art of the Printing Press - (8mins 44ecs) - In the film Emily Posa is a greeting card designer who has two printing presses in her workroom. Apparently the Heidelberg printer shown in the film is a bit of a rarity and this feature takes us to the International Printing Museum to learn more.
Deleted Scenes - There are four short deleted scenes of approx one minute duration each. Fortunately they are all rather non-descript character moments that were best left as is on the cutting room floor; be thankful.
Trailers - A handful of trailers of some upcoming titles.
Seven Pounds is a drama based movie that tries very hard to be an emotional tear jerker but ends up in an emotional mess.
A quick of review of the extras reveal just how serious the director and the production crew took themselves. I can't help but feel that is where the movie went so terribly wrong. The story was challenging in itself but to try to approach it in so different and serious a fashion was not a particularly wise move on their part.
Every movie needs a structure; a start, middle and an end. Yes, you can play around by chopping and changing things a little but alluding to the outcome of the film right from the start takes away any sense of surprise and shock. This is really not how you should do things, especially when the whole thing requires emotional engagement for it to register.
As a result I was left watching a movie with my brain and emotions totally disengaged. It's not all bad but I do sincerely doubt that you'll be reaching for it again for a repeat viewing.
Sony have put a decent effort into the video aspects of the blu-ray and although the audio is a refined lossless soundtrack, it is still a little lacking in life. The extras are generally poor and the term 'filler' springs to mind on a couple of occasions.
I'm afraid as you can tell I wasn't left feeling enamoured about this film. Fans of Will Smith will probably still want to give it a watch though but I can't help but feel that this is the only real draw to it. Unfortunately it's a little too lacking in everything else to make it a truly worthwhile experience.
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