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Seven Pounds (DVD Review)

27 Mar, 2009 By: Erika Carmona

Seven Pounds

Street 3/31/09
Sony Pictures
Box Office $70 million
$28.96 DVD, $39.95 Blu-ray
Rated ‘PG-13’ for thematic material, some disturbing content and a scene of sensuality.
Stars Will Smith, Rosario Dawson, Woody Harrelson, Michael Ealy, Barry Pepper.

Those who enjoyed the rags-to-riches drama The Pursuit of Happyness will be just as drawn to Seven Pounds, which, like the earlier film, stars Will Smith and was directed by Gabriele Muccino.

Smith plays Ben, a troubled engineer with a secretive past who seeks redemption of his faults by helping seven strangers dramatically change their lives. In doing so, he falls in love with one of them, Emily (Rosario Dawson), and is left questioning whether or not to continue his master plan.

Italian-born Muccino employs a slow pace typical of European films to reveal the mystery of Ben’s ultimate goal, allowing the audience to fully understand Ben’s unique character, enjoy his romantic chemistry with Emily and bask in sequences of pure emotion.

The movie should be enough to satisfy its home video audience, since the extras, while abundant, are pretty disappointing.

“Seven Views on Seven Pounds” is a basic behind-the-scenes featurette that includes interviews with Muccino, writer Grant Nieporte and other members of the creative team, including the producer, location manager, set designer, editor and composer. Another featurette, “Creating the Perfect Ensemble,” focuses on how Dawson, Woody Harrelson and Michael Ealy were cast, but it would have been more interesting to see how they found actors who weren’t as well known.

History buffs might enjoy “Emily’s Passion: The Art of Printing Press,” an overview of the history of the printing press that focuses on the older machines Emily uses to print old-style wedding invitations.

The featurette with the most potential could have been “The Box Jellyfish: World’s Deadliest Co-Star,” which puts the spotlight on Ben’s unusual pet in the movie, but it mostly left me wanting to know more.

Also included are a few inconsequential deleted scenes and a run-of-the-mill commentary with Muccino that covers a lot of the same ground as the making-of featurettes.

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