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Seven Pounds (Muccino, 2008) - new Will Smith film [Archive] - DVD Talk Forum
 
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View Full Version : Seven Pounds (Muccino, 2008) - new Will Smith film


NoirFan
09-07-08, 10:54 PM
IMDB (http://www.imdb.com/title/tt0814314/) synopsis, with mild spoiler tagged: Ben (Will Smith) is an IRS agent who is depressed and guilt-ridden about mistakes from his past. He sets out to make amends by helping seven strangers. When he meets Emily (Rosario Dawson), a beautiful woman with a heart condition, he falls in love with her, thereby complicating his plans. Woody Harrelson also appears as a blind pianist who befriends Ben.

Director: Gabriele Muccino
Writer: Grant Nieporte
Release Date: 12/10/08

That admittedly superficial synopsis seems rather sentimental, though Smith won acclaim for his work in Muccino's last film, The Pursuit of Happyness.

chris_sc77
09-07-08, 11:05 PM
I dont like will Smith (and have never seen the Pursuit of Happiness.) but I am in love with Rosario Dawson so dont know. I'll have to wait and see a trailer.
It certainly sounds like a mainstream PG-13 version of 21 grams.

Solid Snake
09-07-08, 11:06 PM
21 grams lite..yeah, that's what I thought too.

RichC2
09-07-08, 11:08 PM
Sounds more like Autumn in New York crossed with Pay It Forward than 21 Grams to me.

NoirFan
09-07-08, 11:10 PM
Seven pounds = 3,175.15 grams

Solid Snake
09-07-08, 11:13 PM
Hell it reminds me of Ikiru....is that what this is somewhat? BTW...you have to watch Ikiru, great film.

NoirFan
09-29-08, 12:04 PM
Trailer from YouTube:

<object width="425" height="344"><param name="movie" value="http://www.youtube.com/v/f1fZSemg3iM&hl=en&fs=1"></param><param name="allowFullScreen" value="true"></param><embed src="http://www.youtube.com/v/f1fZSemg3iM&hl=en&fs=1" type="application/x-shockwave-flash" allowfullscreen="true" width="425" height="344"></embed></object>

NiCK Crush
09-29-08, 12:31 PM
Looks interesting.

Yavin
09-29-08, 12:55 PM
My first thought: What is the weight of Will Smith's ego?

islandclaws
09-29-08, 01:18 PM
I wonder if this will be the first film to break Big Willie's $100m record-streak? Looks okay, but not something I'm very interested in seeing.

Zen Peckinpah
09-29-08, 03:01 PM
Seven pounds = 3,175.15 grams

In other words, it needs to be better than The Dark Knight, No Country for Old Men, There Will Be Blood, and The Departed combined in order to outdo the emotional weight 21 Grams has.

fumanstan
09-29-08, 03:18 PM
For me, Will Smith is pretty much watchable in everything he's in. I really dug Pursuit of Happyness, so I'll probably watch this.

Brack
09-29-08, 11:48 PM
I dont like will Smith (and have never seen the Pursuit of Happiness.) but I am in love with Rosario Dawson so dont know. I'll have to wait and see a trailer.
It certainly sounds like a mainstream PG-13 version of 21 grams.

I'd check out The Pursuit of Happyness. Not great, but Will is great in the role.

I was anti-Smith for a minute, but I really think he's trying to make quality stuff. That's until he makes Bad Boys 3 any how.

Tarantino
10-05-08, 09:50 PM
Love Will Smith, so I'm sure I'll see this at some point.

= J

NoirFan
12-01-08, 07:29 PM
Brief clip (http://www.moviefone.com/movie/seven-pounds/26471/video/seven-pounds-clip-no-1/2336699)

emachine
12-01-08, 08:15 PM
This looks good. I enjoyed the Pursuit of Happyness, so I'll give this a chance since it's from the same director. I also prefer Smith in dramatic roles over comedic roles.

Arthur Dent
12-01-08, 08:47 PM
I'd check out The Pursuit of Happyness. Not great, but Will is great in the role.

I was anti-Smith for a minute, but I really think he's trying to make quality stuff. That's until he makes Bad Boys 3 any how.

Yea, Will was fine in Pursuit, but I thought the movie itself was quite mediocre.

I probably won't be seeing this.

PopcornTreeCt
12-01-08, 08:54 PM
If you guys want to know what it's all about...

"Seven Pounds" refers to seven astronauts that were killed when the shuttle came back and exploded in the atmosphere. Smith's character was a NASA engineer who blames himself. He helps out 7 random people the best way he can, including donating organs to the people that need them. The film ends with him killing himself.

RichC2
12-17-08, 08:03 AM
Director Gabriele Muccino seems to think he's in Ingmar Bergman territory, but he's actually made the longest, most dour episode of My Name is Earl imaginable.

:lol:

NoirFan
12-17-08, 05:53 PM
Variety review (http://www.variety.com/review/VE1117939225.html?categoryid=3266&cs=1): A movie that, like “The Sixth Sense,” depends entirely upon the payoff for its impact, “Seven Pounds” is an endlessly sentimental fable about sacrifice and redemption that aims only at the heart at the expense of the head. Intricately constructed so as to infuriate anyone predominantly guided by rationality and intellect, this reteaming of star Will Smith and director Gabriele Muccino after their surprisingly effective “The Pursuit of Happyness” is off-putting for its manifest manipulations, as well as its pretentiousness and self-importance.

fumanstan
12-17-08, 05:56 PM
If you guys want to know what it's all about...

"Seven Pounds" refers to seven astronauts that were killed when the shuttle came back and exploded in the atmosphere. Smith's character was a NASA engineer who blames himself. He helps out 7 random people the best way he can, including donating organs to the people that need them. The film ends with him killing himself.

Thanks for the spoiler, I was curious myself.

The O
12-17-08, 08:08 PM
If you guys want to know what it's all about...

"Seven Pounds" refers to seven astronauts that were killed when the shuttle came back and exploded in the atmosphere. Smith's character was a NASA engineer who blames himself. He helps out 7 random people the best way he can, including donating organs to the people that need them. The film ends with him killing himself.


That's only halfway right.

Where did you find this spoiler?

fumanstan
12-17-08, 08:17 PM
Damn it, mislead by PopcornTreeCt again!

mdc3000
12-18-08, 09:04 AM
Reviews on this are TERRIBLE (It made it onto Lisa from EW's worst of the year list)... I hated Pursuit of Happyness, so I think I'll steer clear.

JPRaup
12-18-08, 03:22 PM
That spoiler is not really right. The movie is not really good either.

RichC2
12-18-08, 04:11 PM
That spoiler is not really right. The movie is not really good either.

It's watchable, but does come off as a hokey "made for lifetime" movie in spots. It just doesn't work in its entirity.

Groucho
12-18-08, 04:44 PM
I'll never see this, so I read the plot summary on Wikipedia.

A jellyfish? REALLY?!?

PopcornTreeCt
12-18-08, 05:51 PM
That's only halfway right.

Where did you find this spoiler?

I read the screenplay. I imagine it must have been changed.

The O
12-18-08, 07:57 PM
I read the screenplay. I imagine it must have been changed.

Wow. That space shuttle business was in the script? Amazing.

A few moments in the film make a little more sense with that in mind. Thanks for sharing.

Daytripper
12-18-08, 08:12 PM
WTF? This movie is expected to make 24M this weekend? Why!??

http://www.boxofficereport.com/wbon/forecast.shtml

fumanstan
12-18-08, 08:23 PM
It's Will Smith. He's a big draw.

Daytripper
12-18-08, 08:25 PM
It's Will Smith. He's a big draw.

I get that. But I don't know one person, not one, who has mentioned going to see this film.

RichC2
12-18-08, 11:15 PM
Wow. That space shuttle business was in the script? Amazing.

A few moments in the film make a little more sense with that in mind. Thanks for sharing.

That route probably would have been a tad tasteless as it is a very particular situation. I do agree it fits the content of the movie substantially better though.

Ronnie Dobbs
12-19-08, 12:04 PM
If you guys want to know what it's all about...

"Seven Pounds" refers to seven astronauts that were killed when the shuttle came back and exploded in the atmosphere. Smith's character was a NASA engineer who blames himself. He helps out 7 random people the best way he can, including donating organs to the people that need them. The film ends with him killing himself.

Did they change it to a happy ending?

RichC2
12-19-08, 12:50 PM
Did they change it to a happy ending?

No. The space shuttle stuff is what changed.

Brack
12-19-08, 04:40 PM
I really, really liked this movie. I don't get the negative reviews. I guess people are covering up their own soullessness by calling it manipulative. I can't stand that "criticism," but I'll just agree to disagree.

As far as there being surprises or twists, I kinda figured out how it was all going to play out after about a half hour or so, but it still was a solid, well made film. I teared up quite a bit. I work in health care, so maybe I'm biased, but the movie really got to me.

DeFan
12-19-08, 07:40 PM
I'll never see this, so I read the plot summary on Wikipedia.

A jellyfish? REALLY?!?

-Jon Peters- "They're the fiercest
killers in the marine kingdom." -/Jon Peters-

Patman
12-19-08, 09:42 PM
Well, after seeing the previews earlier, and some cursory discussion about the trailer with friends, we had sussed out the meat of the storyline, and the film is pretty much devoid of much surprise after that, and for me, the screenplay is so torturously slow and offputting in getting to the punchline, I was mainly bored by how it unfolded, especially since it wasn't more than 10 minutes into the film that my suspicious were all but confirmed. The character played by Will Smith just wasn't interesting enough to prop up the film's 2-hour running time, and the other characters aren't all that well developed (except that they are living, breathing human beings), so the emotional hook in the story was minimal to me, and left me blase about the film as a whole. That being said, there were quite a few weepers in my audience who, I guess, didn't quite see how it was going to end, so there you go.

I give it 2.5 stars, or a grade of C+.

Mr. Salty
12-19-08, 10:25 PM
I guess people are covering up their own soullessness by calling it manipulative.
I get so tired of people who ascribe some sort of ulterior motive to people whose opinions don't jibe with their own. I'm not covering up anything. I really do think the movie is shamelessly, emotionally manipulative. It's obnoxious for you to accuse me of being "soulless" just because you disagree.

Al Padrino
12-19-08, 11:02 PM
I found myself daydreaming throughout most of the movie, but got locked in the last half hour or so. I agree it's a bit hokey at times, but I'd be lying if I said I didn't get choked up near the end. Not a huge turnout, but it looked like there were even fewer dry eyes by the end of the movie.

It's one of those flicks like The Pursuit of Happyness that I could appreciate for its good acting, but probably would have trouble sitting through a second time.

Brack
12-20-08, 01:00 AM
I get so tired of people who ascribe some sort of ulterior motive to people whose opinions don't jibe with their own. I'm not covering up anything. I really do think the movie is shamelessly, emotionally manipulative. It's obnoxious for you to accuse me of being "soulless" just because you disagree.

It's a feel movie, not a think movie. Again, soulless to think of the movie in any other terms. Sure, you have to think about what's going on, but you also have to face the reality on the screen. That's any movie. Taking a cop out and calling it manipulative I find laughable. It's just my opinion, and in no way a personal jab and anyone who didn't connect. I just think you missed the point.

DRG
12-20-08, 03:17 AM
I didn't find it manipulative, if anything I found it the opposite of manipulative... it was shot so cold and sterile I felt like I was watching the mechanics of humanity but not the real thing. Despite that, I kind of enjoyed it. There was enough strangeness to the characters and the story to keep me curious, even though I figured out the big picture rather early on.

Brack
12-20-08, 03:32 AM
We figured it out so quickly because all the reviews said "HEY, THERE ARE SURPRISES IN THIS MOVIE," as if those aren't spoilers or something.

Mr. Salty
12-20-08, 04:54 AM
We figured it out so quickly because all the reviews said "HEY, THERE ARE SURPRISES IN THIS MOVIE," as if those aren't spoilers or something.

Actually, a large part of the film's marketing campaign has been based on the fact that Will Smith's character has some big secret. It's like M. Knight Shyamalan directed the movie or something. But if people follow your logic and leave their brain in the car, they should be fine.

Brack
12-20-08, 11:05 AM
Actually, a large part of the film's marketing campaign has been based on the fact that Will Smith's character has some big secret. It's like M. Knight Shyamalan directed the movie or something. But if people follow your logic and leave their brain in the car, they should be fine.

Like I already said, but you failed to realize, or you're just mad at me because I called you soulless, which says more about you than it does me, I figured out the plot pretty quickly. But that really is losing the point of the movie. The movie's success had little to do with keeping the "secret." And like I already said, this is a feeling movie mostly, not a thinking, intellectual, and there's nothing wrong with that. I'm sorry you didn't figure that out. There are proper ways to watching films.

Brack
12-20-08, 11:31 AM
I just wanted to add that I would've considered the movie manipulative if the writing of the film came across as if the actions of the character are what everyone should do if they were in the same situation. I really didn't think it did, but at least I understood where the character was coming from, and in that sense I related.

DeFan
12-20-08, 03:35 PM
I was mainly bored by how it unfolded, especially since it wasn't more than 10 minutes into the film that my suspicious were all but confirmed. The character played by Will Smith just wasn't interesting enough to prop up the film's 2-hour running time.


I did enjoy Rosario Dawson's performance. I laughed when she said "I USED to be hot." Still is in my book

LickTheABCs
12-21-08, 12:57 AM
I did enjoy Rosario Dawson's performance. I laughed when she said

Yeah, she was good. But seriously, she has a scene in the bathtub.. they couldn't show ANYTHING? I don't ask much in a film. Lord knows I was bored enough.

My GF teared up though, so there is that.

My Other Self
12-21-08, 04:03 AM
I liked it. I was trying to piece it together as the film went along, and it all came together at the end. I don't understand all the negative flack. But..
Who were the 7 people he helped? I only came up with 6.
1) Woody Harrelson
2) Rosario Dawson
3) The boy with leukimia
4) The Mexican woman with her kids
5) His brother
6) The woman at CPS that he gave part of his liver to

Who was the 7th?

Brack
12-21-08, 04:12 AM
I liked it. I was trying to piece it together as the film went along, and it all came together at the end. I don't understand all the negative flack. But..
Who were the 7 people he helped? I only came up with 6.
1) Woody Harrelson
2) Rosario Dawson
3) The boy with leukimia
4) The Mexican woman with her kids
5) His brother
6) The woman at CPS that he gave part of his liver to

Who was the 7th?

the hockey coach, who was in need of a kidney

marcellusk
12-21-08, 11:45 AM
how did he select the seven people to help out? two out of the seven i know but the others i have no clue.

Brack
12-21-08, 11:51 AM
how did he select the seven people to help out? two out of the seven i know but the others i have no clue.

I thought he was hacking into the IRS database via his brother's clearance. I could be wrong.

NoirFan
12-21-08, 12:33 PM
Ouch. This looks to be one of the worst-reviewed films of the year. 28% at RT and 26% at Metacritic.

Brack
12-21-08, 12:45 PM
Ouch. This looks to be one of the worst-reviewed films of the year. 28% at RT and 26% at Metacritic.

and 85% from the community. there's an interesting divide between the audience and critics.

chris_sc77
12-21-08, 01:47 PM
Hopefully this movie gets poeple to stop screwing around with their cell phones when they are driving.

fumanstan
12-21-08, 02:03 PM
and 85% from the community. there's an interesting divide between the audience and critics.

I noticed that too looking at Yahoo's ratings, where it was a C from the critics but A- from the users.

redrum
12-21-08, 04:39 PM
movie is worth a watch

nothing original but the ending did choke me up a lil bit

LickTheABCs
12-21-08, 04:54 PM
Who exactly did Barry Pepper piss off in Hollywood?

gmanca
12-21-08, 06:14 PM
Who exactly did Barry Pepper piss off in Hollywood?

Well he was in Battlefield Earth... "That man-animal!!"

d2cheer
12-22-08, 12:45 PM
Who exactly did Barry Pepper piss off in Hollywood?

I was thinking the same thing, he appeared to be on the "verge" some time back. After 61 I thought he would really go places.

As far as this movie goes... within minutes you can basically figure out where it is going. They should not have tried to market it has a mystery/drama hybrid.

I would give this 2 stars out of 4, it had some moments but... overall it was pretty poor.

J_May
12-27-08, 02:28 PM
Yeah, she was good. But seriously, she has a scene in the bathtub.. they couldn't show ANYTHING? I don't ask much in a film. Lord knows I was bored enough.

My GF teared up though, so there is that.

Rosario Dawson is not a thing. She's a human being. That's perverted. Masculine nature doesn't justify this. To be a man, not just biologically but in character, one must protect women and uphold their beauty and potential... even women in media.

blueberrytree
12-27-08, 02:45 PM
Not a strong movie in the least. You have to be quite a pushover to fall for the artificial nature of this dreary, unfocused mess.

Mr. Salty
12-27-08, 03:11 PM
Rosario Dawson is not a thing. She's a human being. That's perverted. Masculine nature doesn't justify this. To be a man, not just biologically but in character, one must protect women and uphold their beauty and potential... even women in media.

This post has to be a joke, but regardless of whether it is or not, it's not "perverted" to want to see a person naked. Especially is she's a smokin' hot thang.

Brack
12-27-08, 04:32 PM
Then go watch Alexander. Dawson's not above nudity.

LickTheABCs
12-27-08, 09:13 PM
Then go watch Alexander. Dawson's not above nudity.

I did and her nudity was much appreciated. I'm just saying this film could have REALLY used some of it, considering I was bordering on falling asleep throughout it.

Brack
12-27-08, 09:15 PM
I did and her nudity was much appreciated. I'm just saying this film could have REALLY used some of it, considering I was bordering on falling asleep throughout it.

like I care.

LickTheABCs
12-27-08, 09:35 PM
like I care.

Really? Because I was really hoping you did.

Brack
12-27-08, 09:56 PM
Really? Because I was really hoping you did.

Obviously, since you wanted to share such details.

damn_skippy
12-27-08, 11:47 PM
I just saw it and thought it was good. Kinda slow but a decent way to spend a couple of hours. Probably not worth a movie ticket but its rental quality. Not a movie you would want to take a girl to, as its kind of sad. Overall its a good story about a guy who has a guilty conscience and wants to make up for a huge mistake.

Brack
12-27-08, 11:57 PM
Not a movie you would want to take a girl to, as its kind of sad.

Girls love sad stuff.

wlmowery
12-29-08, 11:39 AM
Ok, this was film 2 in a 3 film marathon on the day after Christmas.

First, this had to be the most sterile, soulless and emotionally draining film about redemption that I've ever seen. Wil Smith's character just drained me of all emotional response. I guess it did not help that I knew the ending after about 5-10 minutes of the runtime.

I agree with those saying it was overly manipulative. But it had to be as it sucked all the real emotion out of the room. I hated the relationship between the Smith and Dawson characters. Not a believable moment there. And I can't say I know what the filmmakers want us to feel about the main character in the end. Other than to try to wring tears out of the emotional crowd through the unnecessary coda to the film.

Overall, I rank this easily the worst film I have seen this month. At best this is a dry, borderline melancholy C+. At its worst, it is a D or D-. To sum it up, of the seven hours spent watching films that day, this film was the only time I felt I wasted that day.

Raul3
12-30-08, 02:46 AM
I can't believe all the divisive opinions. I was expecting a lot of mehs, C's, etc. But not people in both extremes.

Well, I liked it. I just can't see how it's manipulative. But I can see how people can misunderstand it. Rosario Dawson looks good even when she's dying. I really liked Will Smith's acting.
For me it's 3/5* but not in my Top 10 of the year.

Mr. Salty
12-30-08, 03:54 AM
But I can see how people can misunderstand it.
Don't be so presumptuous as to think that those of us who hated this piece of dreck misunderstood it.

Brack
12-30-08, 04:47 AM
Don't be so presumptuous as to think that those of us who hated this piece of dreck misunderstood it.

A good point, but I also think it's silly to assume that everyone can get or appreciate a movie. Just because people say they understand doesn't necessarily mean they do.

DVD Josh
12-30-08, 08:32 AM
Like I already said, but you failed to realize, or you're just mad at me because I called you soulless, which says more about you than it does me, I figured out the plot pretty quickly. But that really is losing the point of the movie. The movie's success had little to do with keeping the "secret." And like I already said, this is a feeling movie mostly, not a thinking, intellectual, and there's nothing wrong with that. I'm sorry you didn't figure that out. There are proper ways to watching films.

What's amazing is that you think that YOU are the one that is right, and everyone else is wrong. Usually the opposite in true in those situations, as it is here.

People get the movie. It was a bad movie.

Brack
12-30-08, 01:30 PM
What's amazing is that you think that YOU are the one that is right, and everyone else is wrong. Usually the opposite in true in those situations, as it is here.

People get the movie. It was a bad movie.

First off, there are plenty of people who agree with my stance that this is quality, I'm not the only one, so your position on this is off to a pretty silly start. Second, you're just as guilty of what you claim I'm doing. However, I actually am not saying anyone is wrong for not liking it, but simply incapable of appreciating and feeling what is happening on the screen. That is a fact, otherwise you'd like the movie. You simply claiming it's bad but with no actual evidence to back it up besides saying "it's a bad movie" doesn't mean anything.

DVD Josh
12-30-08, 02:36 PM
First off, there are plenty of people who agree with my stance that this is quality, I'm not the only one, so your position on this is off to a pretty silly start. Second, you're just as guilty of what you claim I'm doing. However, I actually am not saying anyone is wrong for not liking it, but simply incapable of appreciating and feeling what is happening on the screen. That is a fact, otherwise you'd like the movie. You simply claiming it's bad but with no actual evidence to back it up besides saying "it's a bad movie" doesn't mean anything.

The same things that make a movie bad make a movie good - script, pacing, acting, cinematography, etc. None were good in this movie. And I'm not alone. RT has this at 28%.

http://www.rottentomatoes.com/m/seven_pounds/

We can't all be wrong.

And you are calling people out for "not getting it" when they criticize the movie. So don't play coy on that one.

You want to disagree with people that it's not a good movie, please, by all means, but to say they don't get it to justify your position is a cop out and wholly ridiculous.

Mr. Salty
12-30-08, 02:38 PM
I actually am not saying anyone is wrong for not liking it, but simply incapable of appreciating and feeling what is happening on the screen. That is a fact, otherwise you'd like the movie.
Wow, how enormous is your ego? You're not really Will Smith are you?

Brack
12-30-08, 02:39 PM
The same things that make a movie bad make a movie good - script, pacing, acting, cinematography, etc. None were good in this movie. And I'm not alone. RT has this at 28%.

http://www.rottentomatoes.com/m/seven_pounds/

We can't all be wrong.

And you are calling people out for "not getting it" when they criticize the movie. So don't play coy on that one.

You want to disagree with people that it's not a good movie, please, by all means, but to say they don't get it to justify your position is a cop out and wholly ridiculous.

Like has already been mentioned in the thread, the RT community largely disagrees with the critics. They can't be all wrong.

Brack
12-30-08, 02:43 PM
Wow, how enormous is your ego? You're not really Will Smith are you?

Wow, how enormous is your ego? You're not really a lowly film critic are you?

Raul3
01-01-09, 12:47 AM
We already commented this. In all the main sites, RT, Yahoo, etc. the critics destroyed the film and the users loved it. Yes, we are talking 28% in Rt, C- in Yahoo and 78% and A- respectively.

Update: For Yahoo right now is C+ and B+.

And I won't argue with the ones didn't like the movie. But something is pretty clear most critics didn't like the movie and most normal people like it. Numbers don't lie.

Mr. Salty
01-01-09, 01:02 AM
And I won't argue with the ones didn't like the movie. But something is pretty clear most critics didn't like the movie and most normal people like it. Numbers don't lie.
There's no accounting for taste. The general public usually embraces crap over quality.

Brack
01-01-09, 01:22 AM
There's no accounting for taste. The general public usually embraces crap over quality.

They're just not as picky as critics. I'll even go as far to say that most critics don't even appear to really have a love for movies. Even their positive reviews come off pretty hollow.

Mr. Salty
01-01-09, 04:02 AM
They're just not as picky as critics. I'll even go as far to say that most critics don't even appear to really have a love for movies. Even their positive reviews come off pretty hollow.

The word I would use is "discerning," rather than picky, but you're right. Considering the price of tickets these days, people tend to only go to movies that they are already inclined to like, which skews the results somewhat.

But to say that critics don't love movies is laughable. The reasons critics (of any medium) tend to be more demanding is because they have an emotional investment --- greater so, usually, than the casual observer.

Please point me to a positive review that is "hollow." I don't know what critics you're reading, but a positive review by a really good critic can be deeply inspiring. I started reading serious film criticism when I was in high school and college, and it helped me better understand and appreciate movies as an art form.

The holy grail of film criticism is Pauline Kael, as well as Roger Ebert's older stuff (I still love Ebert's essays, but his reviews seem to have gone off the rails). There are still a few good contemporary critics, but, sadly, I think they are losing ground to quote whores like Ben Lyons and Pete Hammond.

Brack
01-01-09, 05:28 AM
The word I would use is "discerning," rather than picky, but you're right. Considering the price of tickets these days, people tend to only go to movies that they are already inclined to like, which skews the results somewhat.

But to say that critics don't love movies is laughable. The reasons critics (of any medium) tend to be more demanding is because they have an emotional investment --- greater so, usually, than the casual observer.

Please point me to a positive review that is "hollow." I don't know what critics you're reading, but a positive review by a really good critic can be deeply inspiring. I started reading serious film criticism when I was in high school and college, and it helped me better understand and appreciate movies as an art form.

The holy grail of film criticism is Pauline Kael, as well as Roger Ebert's older stuff (I still love Ebert's essays, but his reviews seem to have gone off the rails). There are still a few good contemporary critics, but, sadly, I think they are losing ground to quote whores like Ben Lyons and Pete Hammond.


I don't find many critics all that insightful, but more picky. They like certain types of film, but then shun others many times because they simply didn't get it or don't have a certain sense of humor. How many comedies ever get 4 stars or whatever from critics? There's a lot of lol comedies, yet it's very rare they get top marks. Now take dramas, which are considerably more well received. Is it because drama is easier to pull off than comedy, or that there's more variation to taste in comedy than there is in drama? Or what about horror, or almost any other genre besides straight drama? These are the sorts of things I think about when I read someone's view on a particular film. I rarely think someone's viewpoint on a film is somehow superior to mine, so I don't take much of what critics say too seriously.

I'm not saying all movies are perfect, but they're usually not as bad as they're made out to be by some. Maybe I'm the kind of person who doesn't mind that something can simply be entertaining for what it is, and doesn't have to be some magical masterpiece every time out. I tend to see what the filmmaker intended, and inevitably fill in blanks where intended.

As far as my hollow review statement, just browse through rotten tomatoes with a very high score, and see how in depth any of them really go into with a particular film. They just write some thoughts and hope they stick most of the time. Then again, I tend not to read too much, simply because it can ruin my experience.

I've never read Pauline's stuff, I've meant to, but that doesn't matter too much for new movies.

I'd say Roger Ebert is one of the only few critics who has a love for film without ever sounding pretentious. I've read some of his books, including his review books before the internet came full swing. There are plenty of reviews I disagree with, and that's namely because he just doesn't like a certain sense of humor or something like that. But he never comes off as better than the movie, and I totally respect that. I'd say it's a rare day when Ebert likes a movie and I didn't. I love that so many people criticize Ebert because he's too easy. Yeah, life's too short to pick at every little thing, and I think Ebert believes that.

However, you are pointing out exceptions to the rule. I'd much rather enjoy reading review threads on here, or even some youtubers who review movies before I'll read any of the stuff on rotten tomatoes. For the most part, films are not made for reviewers, they're made for people who want to be entertained. And very rarely do critics give insight into how a film could've been better.

mhg83
01-01-09, 07:26 AM
Just watched it last night and i really enjoyed it. I don't get why people said it was hard to figure what was going on. The only thing i didn't catch was the jellyfish. Other than that it was pretty obvious what he was going to do. It did get kinda boring at times but I like Will Smith whenever he does a dramatic performance rather than a comedic one. Overall a good film to end the year on.

Superboy
01-01-09, 07:36 AM
Just watched it last night and i really enjoyed it. I don't get why people said it was hard to figure what was going on. The only thing i didn't catch was the jellyfish. Other than that it was pretty obvious what he was going to do. It did get kinda boring at times but I like Will Smith whenever he does a dramatic performance rather than a comedic one. Overall a good film to end the year on.

He wanted to kill himself in a way that preserved his organs, and probably wasn't too painful

BravesMG
01-01-09, 05:47 PM
First off, there are plenty of people who agree with my stance that this is quality, I'm not the only one, so your position on this is off to a pretty silly start. Second, you're just as guilty of what you claim I'm doing. However, I actually am not saying anyone is wrong for not liking it, but simply incapable of appreciating and feeling what is happening on the screen. That is a fact, otherwise you'd like the movie. You simply claiming it's bad but with no actual evidence to back it up besides saying "it's a bad movie" doesn't mean anything.I just saw this today, and quite enjoyed it. But saying that those that dislike it are "incapable of appreciating and feeling what is happening on the screen" as a fact is frankly insane.

It was emotionally dishonest:Why save the big reveal for the end and keep the viewers in the dark if it was so meaningful? Wouldn't it mean more to let us know from the beginning that he's planning on donating organs so his sacrifice would resonate as he goes?

It was almost unbearably sappy:Seriously, that scene with the dog in the miraculously unpopulated park was framed and lit like a damn Christmas card.

The performances varied wildly:Will Smith looked like he was drugged the entire movie, but Dawson was awesome IMHO. If you had a drinking game where you drank every time Smith had a pregnant pause and then made a sad face, you'd be incoherent in 15 minutes.

The 'reveal' is kind of insane:Just say it aloud, the main character wants to donate his heart to his girlfriend and his eyes to a stranger, so he commits suicide via jellyfish. It's hard to argue that for as much as the filmmakers kept us in the dark, this wasn't worth the payoff.

But again, if you're in the mood for a dramatic tearjerker, I liked it quite a bit. But if you're going to defend that only folks without true heart and feelings would 'understand' it, you're crazy.

Brack
01-01-09, 11:38 PM
I just saw this today, and quite enjoyed it. But saying that those that dislike it are "incapable of appreciating and feeling what is happening on the screen" as a fact is frankly insane.

Not really. If you can't appreciate and feel what is happening with any movie, there's no way you will like it. Maybe if you're some kind of masochist I suppose.

It was emotionally dishonest:Why save the big reveal for the end and keep the viewers in the dark if it was so meaningful? Wouldn't it mean more to let us know from the beginning that he's planning on donating organs so his sacrifice would resonate as he goes?

The movie wasn't emotionally dishonest, it was Will Smith's character that was dishonest. We only learned about his character slowly, and mostly through the eyes of the people he cared about or who he was checking out. Again, I don't see how that's dishonest filmmaking. Many figured out what he was doing, but the why and the how were left in the dark. It's what drove the story, and if you don't like that kind of storytelling, then you probably don't like many mysteries either. It's not like the revelation of the mystery didn't make sense.

It was almost unbearably sappy:Seriously, that scene with the dog in the miraculously unpopulated park was framed and lit like a damn Christmas card.

I've never heard of sappy framing and lighting, that's a new one.

The performances varied wildly:Will Smith looked like he was drugged the entire movie, but Dawson was awesome IMHO. If you had a drinking game where you drank every time Smith had a pregnant pause and then made a sad face, you'd be incoherent in 15 minutes.

Gee, you don't think he had legitimate reasons for being sad and hating himself? Tell me, do you know many sane people who are happy-go-lucky after doing what Smith's character did? Somehow I doubt it.

The 'reveal' is kind of insane:Just say it aloud, the main character wants to donate his heart to his girlfriend and his eyes to a stranger, so he commits suicide via jellyfish. It's hard to argue that for as much as the filmmakers kept us in the dark, this wasn't worth the payoff.

You've managed to use the word insane twice, kudos to you. I'm sorry it wasn't worth the payoff to you. What would've been better for you?

But if you're going to defend that only folks without true heart and feelings would 'understand' it, you're crazy.

Why would unfeeling people be the only ones who would understand it? That is crazy.

BravesMG
01-02-09, 10:37 AM
Eh, no longer worth the bait anymore. I hope the DVD residual checks go well for you.

Brack
01-02-09, 12:30 PM
Ohhhh, burn Braves. :rolleyes:

NoirFan
01-02-09, 08:42 PM
The holy grail of film criticism is Pauline Kael

Don't forget Manny Farber, who passed on in 2008, as well as the quick-witted James Agee and the influential Andrew Sarris.

xage
01-04-09, 03:43 PM
Was this the second film were Will Smith having deep thoughts and laying on a bath tub?

1st one was from I am Legend..

iggystar
01-05-09, 01:59 PM
I acknowledge that the reviews are pretty bad, my mother didn't care for it, but I found myself loving it (even though I spoiled it prior to watching).

It's called an opinion people.

Brack
01-05-09, 02:50 PM
It's called an opinion people.

Yes, but some are more thoughtful than others.

Daytripper
01-09-09, 09:19 PM
Just saw. Not a bad film. In fact, it's quite nice. Yeah, a little long and heavy handed. But I had no idea what Smith's agenda was. Right up until the end. So all in all, I recommend it. BTW, what was with that piano piece during the love making scene between Smith and Dawson. Same tune at the end when Dawson went to meet Woody Harrelson's character. At one point over and over, two keys were hit at the same time and it sounded like an error. But it wasn't, because it kept getting played over and over. Does anyone know what I'm talking about. Pretty awful arrangement.

Shilex
03-24-09, 02:36 PM
Thank you for bringing up that damn score! What the hell?! It's like they were trying to be different with a new strange tone, but it was incredibly distracting. First off it sounded like someone making a mistake with two tones that did not go together, and second off it made the softer dramatic scenes seem like a damn jarring Stanley Kubrick movie.

I call the movie "watchable but not quite enjoyable". I'm a fan of Will Smith, but he started to really get on my nerves with his damn constipation face. This will especially annoy you if you figure out what the point of the movie is in the first 10 minutes.

I would really have rather them tell us the secret up front (it's easy enough to figure out) and build out the characters, instead of tiptoeing around the secret and having underdeveloped characters (the brother, Woody Harrelson, everyone else). You could tell this was pretty much a showcase movie for Will Smith. But his character was so two dimensional, that when he did finally smile or appear happy it felt really out of place (like a totally different character - Will Smith himself).

Rosario Dawson was pretty much the shining light in the movie. She made the movie bearable and elevated it above TV movie status. And it was a nicely shot movie with some nice moments. I would compare it to City of Angels. Beautiful but hollow. Enjoyable to an extent, but overall underwhelming. So I would give it a final score of 2 out of 4 stars.

Duh Vuh Duh
04-08-09, 12:26 PM
Just saw. Not a bad film. In fact, it's quite nice. Yeah, a little long and heavy handed. But I had no idea what Smith's agenda was. Right up until the end. So all in all, I recommend it.

Just caught it yesterday and this is how I felt as well. Also, for the title is this a pretty good answer?:

"It's said that by donating your organs and tissue, you can save the lives of seven people. In Shakespeare's The Merchant of Venice, a pound of flesh is required to redeem a bad debt. Somewhere, the twain met in the title of Seven Pounds... "

I was really curious about the title and had every theory from he donated about 7 pounds of himself to the human heart weighs 7 pounds. :lol:

Don't know if this needs a spoiler, but in the scene where...

His brother waits for him by his car (what happens to the brother?). He justs waits around outside while they make love and then Will runs off to the hospital?

That scene just caught me as weird since they built it up like this intervention from the brother and then once Will's character goes back into the house, the brother is never heard from again, until the end. :hscratch:

mickey65
01-05-10, 08:10 AM
I finally watched this one last night. Thought it was "okay".

One thing I caught but didn't understand, is that Rosario's character had a rare blood type and finding a heart donor would be tough for her - but we never find out if Will's character IS that rare blood type since there's no mention in the movie that all the people he donated to (blood marrow, kidney, parts of his liver and lung) all share that same rare blood type and how did he find them using an IRS data base?

I mean come on, does the IRS also store your blood types on their data bases? LOL

Miktal
01-05-10, 02:30 PM
The best review I have read about this film sums it up perfectly.

"It is a film that sacrifices all logic in exchange for hollow sentiment"

Even if you did weep thru this film, you have to admit overall it was a bit hard to swallow. When a story relies so heavily on such illogical circumstances, then IMO it isnt worth telling. It isnt a question of "suspending your disbelief" either, you can only believe so much is possible before you just give up.

1. Legally, Tim seemed to have got away with vehicular manslaughter

2. Eye transplants? How ridiculous is that?

3. If they WERE possible then tell me, what has Ezra been waiting for all this time?

4. How on earth did he got hold of so many personal medical records? Since you cannot even get your wife/husbands without a court order.

5. He seemed to of breached a Government building and hacked the computer system, holding the personal information of millions of tax payers, by changing the picture on a security card!

6. Lawyers cannot oversee your suicide. They have a moral and ethical responsibility to report it.

7. Lawyers cannot breeze into a hospital and excute a will ordering transplants.

8. How is it that a person with a heart condition can make love, but cant walk a dog for fear of heart attack?

The whole film just didnt work, but the worst aspect of it was this "relationship" between Emily and Tim. Is it me or was this quite disturbing? Look at the story from Emily`s point of view, then apply that to what she now knows after she wakes up from her operation.

1. Ben is actually Tim
2. He doesnt work for the IRS
3. He cannot fix her tax problem (although he said he could)
4. He was mentally unstable and suicidal
5. He is now dead
6. And she has his heart.

She basically knew NOTHING about this guy, except that he has constantly lied to her. I really dont see how anyone can call this situation romantic and cry about it.

A total stinker for me: Critics 1 Community 0

mickey65
01-06-10, 11:18 AM
Good points Miktal -

but like they say in Hollyweird, "That's Entertainment!"