Blu-ray: SE7EN

Warner Home Video
Release date: Sept 14, 2010

MSRP: $34.99

Fifteen years ago, I was rocked by SE7EN. It was the first film in which
Brad Pitt did not annoy (Gwenneth Paltrow still did) me. And while the story was fantastic, I was wowed by the visuals as much as anything. Director David Fincher created a truly dynamic world filled with bleakness. It almost felt like a film set in a darker future, one in which society has started to crumble.

Now Warner offers up the killer flick (no pun intended) in the Blu-ray format so we can see decadense and despair in high def!

Detective Sumerset (Morgan Freeman) is counting the days until he retires. Decades on the job has left him jaded and in need of a change of pace. As the film starts, he is working with his replacement, Mills (Brad Pitt). Mills is almost the opposite of Sumerset. Mills is married (Sumerset is single) and full of energy and emotions. Sumerset is amused, and maybe even envious, of the youthful exuberance of Mills.

Together they work on a case in which a killer is basing his crimes on the seven deadly sins. Each is brutal and gruesome. By today’s standards, the crime scenes are not too bad, but in the days before the SAW films, this was pretty graphic stuff. Fincher franes each scene with great care to set the mode. The effect is stunning, even today.

The combination of David Fincher and Andrew Kevin Walker’s dynamic script is pure gold. Walker crafted an excellent story, but it needed the smart, stylish hand of Fincher for it’s excellence to be fully recognized. Walker also wrote the script for 8MM, but that film lacks the sophistication of Se7en and came across as a cheap, cliché-filled action film.

The image is presented with a 2.35:1ratio with a VC-1 codec. It is, of course, presented in 1080p. It is, in a word, stunning. The blacks are strong, the colors vibrant (when needed). But the details are what make this so special. Fincher put a lot of time and engery into making everything look just right. The upgrade to 1080 allows us to see all of the fine details and make this film even better.

The sound has a DTS-HD Master Audio 7.1 surround track. My own system limits my experience, but everything sounds great. The dialogue is mixed well with the moody music. The film lacks the gunfire, explosions and car chases that are common today, so the only real work being done is dialogue and music and those, as I said, are good.

The set comes with a 30 page booklet that contains interviews, biographies and pictures. A little extra bang for your buck.

We get four commentary tracks: Fincher, Pitt and Freeman. Fincher, author Andrew Kevin Walker, editor Richard Francis-Bruce and ex-studio head Michael De Luca. Fincher, Bruce,Director of Photography Darius Khondji and Production Designer Arthur Max. Fincher, Shore and Sound Designer Ren Klyce. Each track is totally different and focuses on a difference aspect of the creative process. Listening to all of these may well be enough to get you a couple of credits in film school and you will learn a lot about not just the making of this film, but the overall process in general.

Now if you are not tired of the film by the time you have completed all of the commentry tracks, there is also deleted/extended scenes (including an alt openning as well as a different ending and the storyboards for another alt ending), The Exploration of the Opening Title Sequence, a trailer as well as other featuettes including one designed to help you tweak your home theater system.

I can’t think of a single reason not to buy this, unless you prefer your crimes to take place off screen. SE7EN holds up nicely and the HD presentation is fantastic. Well worth the price and one that belongs in
everyone’s library.

Order SE7EN on Blu-ray.

Jeremy Lynch