Movie Details: View Here
Featurettes: Seven Views on Seven Pounds, Creating the Perfect Ensemble, The Box Jellyfish: World's Deadliest Co-Star, Emily's Passion: The Art of the Printing Press
Audio Commentary wit Director Gabriele Muccino
Video: Widescreen 2.40:1 Color (Anamorphic)
Audio: English: Dolby Digital 5.1 [CC]
French: Dolby Digital 5.1
Subtitles: English, Spanish, French
Run Time: 123 min
Synopsis from DVD Cover:
Academy Award nominee Will Smith (2006, Best Performance by an Actor in a Leading Role, The Pursuit Of Happyness) stars as Ben Thomas, a man at a crossroads searching for a way to redeem his heavy conscience. He discovers he has the power to change the circumstances of seven strangers who deserve a second chance. But when one of them captures his heart, he must decide if he should reveal his secret - even if it means giving up on his plan. From the creators of The Pursuit Of Happyness, Seven Pounds is an "emotionally charged, captivating mystery with a soulful, tender love story and a tearful but joyfully inspiring ending" (Movieguide).
The big push for "Seven Pounds" was that nobody knew what the heck it was about. Nobody knew what the seven pounds were, why Will Smith cared about said pounds, why Woody Harrelson has that weird hair ... nothing. It seemed that the movie folks were putting all their eggs in the "people will follow Will Smith anywhere" basket, hoping that the air of mystery would lure audiences in and not turn them off. I'm not sure, even after watching it, which side I'm on.
Without giving away anything, I can say that Ben Thomas (Smith) has dedicated his IRS agent life to atoning for some tragic past event. He goes about town invoking the Robin Hood-esque ideal of giving some unknown, life-altering gift to those he deems "good people." Then he meets Emily Posa (Rosario Dawson), a pretty vegan girl with a bad heart, and he's smitten. Problem is, whatever his big endgame plan is, it doesn't have room in it for love and such, and Ben has to decide if his plan is worth the pain - or if it is the only way to prevent true heartbreak.
The mystery is cool, the mystery is nice - but I think something might have been sacrificed for the sake of the mystery. If you're paying attention, you figure out what's going on pretty early on, but still, things like flashbacks and flash-forwards with no clear delineation are more confusing than artistic, and much of what could have been time spent appreciating the good parts is spent trying to connect the dots. But there are good parts - Smith and Dawson hold their own in a film that could've swallowed them up, and some of the scenes with Emily in the hospital are sweet and sad and romantic enough to make me forget to wonder what's going on. Also, the ... end ... ish ... part ... though, somewhat illogical and unrealistic, is beautifully executed and shot. Which kind of sums up the whole thing-so much of this story is head-shakingly impossible, yet it raises all kinds of questions about life and priorities and morality, and it still stays interesting.
The Special Features are, if nothing else, very thorough. For starters, there's the Audio Commentary with director Gabriele Muccino, which REALLY lets us in on just how much he wanted to keep this movie's secrets a secret. The Making Of featurette, "Seven Views on Seven Pounds," is actually seven little pieces about every facet of the film and goes a long way to show just how much everyone involved in its making loved it. "Creating the Perfect Ensemble" is also kind of cool, mainly because it doesn't focus at all on Smith and chooses instead to show the casting process of everyone surrounding Ben. OK, and call me a nerd, but I thought the two other featurettes, "The Box Jellyfish - World's Deadliest Co-Star" and "Emily's Passion - The Art of the Printing Press" were interesting - I like learning useless trivia! And maybe someday I'll be face-to-face with a jellyfish or need to run my own printing press. Who knows? Oh, and the Deleted Scenes are pretty much short and unnecessary unless you just really want to see the dog again.
If you're looking for a typical Will Smith venture, this ain't it. And there are things in here that may just have you scratching your head. But if you can slog your way through the whole mysteriousness of the mystery and just watch, you'll find a movie that's both entertaining and thought provoking.