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Gabriele Muccino
Will Smith, Rosario Dawson, Woody Harrelson
Writing Credits:
Grant Nieporte

A man with a fateful secret embarks on an extraordinary journey of redemption by forever changing the lives of seven strangers.

Box Office:
$55 million.
Opening Weekend
$14,851,136 on 2758 screens.
Domestic Gross

Rated PG-13

Aspect Ratio: 2.40:1
English Dolby TrueHD 5.1
French Dolby TrueHD 5.1
Supplements Subtitles:

Runtime: 123 min.
Price: $9.99
Release Date: 3/31/2009

• Audio Commentary with Director Gabriele Muccino
• Deleted Scenes
• “Seven Views” Featurettes
• “Creating the Perfect Ensemble” Featurette
• “The Box Jellyfish” Featurette
• “Emily’s Passion” Featurette
• Previews


-LG OLED65C6P 65-Inch 4K Ultra HD Smart OLED TV
-Marantz SR7010 9.2 Channel Full 4K Ultra HD AV Surround Receiver;
-Panasonic DMP-BD60K Blu-Ray Player
-Chane A2.4 Speakers
-SVS SB12-NSD 12" 400-watt Sealed Box Subwoofer


Seven Pounds [Blu-Ray] (2008)

Reviewed by Colin Jacobson (March 16, 2020)

In 2006, actor Will Smith and director Gabriele Muccino collaborated on 2006’s hit The Pursuit of Happyness. The pair reunited for 2008’s Seven Pounds, though they found less box office success with it.

In Pounds, Smith plays Ben Thomas, an IRS agent. In the wake of tragedy, Ben tries to reward good in the world, a quest that leads him to intersect with a mix of strangers who require various forms of help.

Yes, that may be the shortest story summary I’ve ever committed to a review. The nature of Pounds means that less is more in this circumstance. If I provide greater detail, I risk spoiling different elements and I also may dumb down the tale too much.

Often when I wrote plot synopses, I just transcribe events as they happen during the movie. Sometimes it becomes more complex than that, and Pounds clearly turns into one of those cases.

It takes the viewer a good half an hour to get any grasp of where the story will go, though the alert audience member will figure out probable plot paths not long after that. Like I said, I don’t want to spill too many beans, but once the film sets up its groundwork, it becomes pretty clear where some elements will go.

This means the movie loses some appeal once it lands on firmer ground, as the first act works well largely because it keeps us off-guard. We want to figure out what’s happening, so we’re intrigued by the tidbits Pounds reveals to us. The tale doesn’t tank once we become more secure in our understanding of where it will go, but it does lose a little steam.

But just a little. There’s more than enough character drama generated as the flick progresses to ensure that we remain with it.

Do some of these bits get predictable? Sure, but the movie still throws us some real curveballs.

Smith provides an excellent turn as Ben. For reasons I don’t understand, a lot of moviegoers like to stereotype Smith as nothing more than a cocky action hero.

True, Smith plays those parts well, but he possesses much greater range than that, and we see this via his multidimensional work in Pounds. The film forces Ben into a variety of moods and situations, all of which Smith pulls off with aplomb.

Smith benefits from a strong supporting cast. Rosario Dawson does especially well as Emily, one of the folks Ben attempts to assist.

Among the non-leads, Dawson gets the majority of the screen time, and she takes advantage of this. She and Smith demonstrate good chemistry, and she gives her role as a young woman in need of a heart transplant the appropriate sense of lethargy. (Even half-dead, though, Dawson still looks pretty hot.)

Now that I’ve seen Pounds, I think I know why it didn’t find a bigger audience at the multiplex. The ad campaign offered almost no clue what the movie was about, but one shouldn’t blame the marketing folks for that, as it’s an exceptionally difficult film to sum up in two minutes or less.

Smith’s name was enough to get it to $69 million in the US, and that should be seen as a sign of his appeal circa 2008. If a flick without no clear sales hook can get to that figure, I guess a film in which Smith scratches himself for two hours would’ve made about $69 million back then.

Pounds is significantly more interesting than Will Scratches an Itch, though. The movie unfolds in a slow manner that may seem maddening to some, but I think it allows the flick to keep us involved. Add to that strong acting and this becomes a pretty solid effort.

The Disc Grades: Picture B+/ Audio B-/ Bonus B

Seven Pounds appears in an aspect ratio of approximately 2.40:1 on this Blu-ray Disc. Overall this became a satisfying presentation.

For the most part, sharpness looked good. At times, wider shots tended to be a little soft, but those examples weren’t terribly intrusive, so most of the film appeared pretty accurate and concise.

No concerns with jagged edges or shimmering occurred, and edge enhancement remained minor. Source flaws also failed to create problems.

In terms of colors, Pounds tended to stay with a mix of teal and amber. Within these choices, the colors appeared pretty clear and concise.

Blacks were deep and firm, while shadows showed good delineation. Overall, this was a pleasing presentation.

I also felt the Dolby TrueHD 5.1 soundtrack of Seven Pounds worked fine. Ambience opened things up to a decent degree.

Music demonstrated good stereo delineation, and the effects showed solid localization. This was never a particularly engrossing soundfield, but it created an acceptable sense of place.

Audio quality was always good. Speech sounded crisp and distinctive, and music followed suit. The score was consistently lively and full.

Effects also demonstrated nice vivacity and accuracy, with decent bass response along the way. I expected a fairly low-key track and that’s what I got.

How did the Blu-ray compare to the DVD version? Audio felt pretty similar. The lossless BD track added a little warmth, but the limited ambitions of the mix restricted growth.

As for visuals, the BD seemed smoother and showed superior delineation. This became a nice upgrade.

The Blu-ray duplicates the DVD’s extras, and we open with an audio commentary from director Gabriele Muccino. He provides a running, screen-specific look at cast and performances, characters, story and themes, editing, cinematography and visual choices, some effects, and a few other production topics.

While I enjoyed Muccino’s chat for Pursuit of Happyness, this commentary seems less inviting. On the positive side, the director does offer a reasonable number of production insights, especially when he deals with the unique challenges prompted by the story.

However, Muccino often just explains the movie, and dead air becomes a concern. All of these conspire to make this a pretty mediocre track.

The seven-part Seven Views on Seven Pounds goes for 31 minutes, 25 seconds and presents remarks from Muccino, screenwriter Grant Nieporte, producers James Lassiter, Steve Tisch, Jason Blumenthal and Todd Black, location manager Kei Rowan-Young, production designer J. Michael Riva, editor Hughes Winborne, composer Angelo Milli, and actors Will Smith, Michael Ealy, Barry Pepper, Rosario Dawson, and Woody Harrelson.

The program covers character and story issues, what various members of the crew brought to the production, sets, locations, and production design, and music.

As implied by its title, “Views” splits into seven shorter pieces, each of which emphasizes a different perspective on the film. This makes it a little disjointed, and some topics receive better exploration than others. Nonetheless, “Views” manages to cover a lot of ground and it does so in a satisfying manner.

Next comes the 12-minute, 56-second Creating the Perfect Ensemble. It features Muccino, Smith, Dawson, Nieporte, Pepper, Ealy, Harrelson, and casting director Denise Chaiman.

This one looks at the supporting cast and their performances. It comes with more fluffy praise than “Views”, but it still includes a reasonable amount of good information.

We get a little wildlife lesson via The Box Jellyfish: The World’s Deadliest Co-Star. This four-minute, 58-second show features Cabrillo Marine Aquarium director Mike Schaadt. He gives us facts about the box jellyfish, all of which make me really happy I never learned to swim.

For the final featurette, we find the eight-minute, 44-second Emily’s Passion: The Art of the Printing Press. It provides notes from International Printing Museum director/curator Mark Barbour as he shows us various old presses. We get a nice look at how these machines work in this interesting piece.

Four Deleted Scenes fill a total of four minutes, four seconds. These include “Ben Leaves Message for Dan” (0:35), “Dr. Gatsinaris Confronts Ben” (2:29), “Ben Gets Duke” (0:41) and “Ben Watches Ezra at the Mall #2” (0:19).

All feel pretty insubstantial. A couple thicken the plot, but the story’s already thick enough, so they seem unnecessary. “Duke” and “Ezra” are brief filler moments that add nothing.

The disc opens with ads for I’ve Loved You So Long and Passengers (2008). Previews adds clips for Rent: Filmed Live on Broadway, Da Vinci Code, Damages Season One, Hancock, Pursuit of Happyness, Men In Black, Lakeview Terrace and Hitch. No trailer for Pounds appears here.

If you want a tight, easy-to-follow narrative, Seven Pounds isn’t for you. If you want an intriguing character piece with interesting twists and excellent acting, though, I think you’ll get something from it. The Blu-ray comes with good picture and audio as well as a mix of interesting supplements. I recommend this emotional character piece.

To rate this film, visit the original review of SEVEN POUNDS

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