Sunday, December 21, 2008

Review: Seven Pounds

This is one of those rare movies that leaves me thinking, leaves me in wonder, and leaves me in a state of emotional turmoil.

I say rare, because rarely in my life have I seen film turned it such a remarkably dull, overwhelmingly pretentious, and discombobulated piece of cinema.

The premise for the film is that Ben Thompson (Will Smith) has it within his power to radically alter the lives of 7 people, and he chooses to do so. The story chronicles the end of his quest, in the most curious of fashions.

Opening with Thompson calling 911 for his own suicide, and then proceeding to, without warning, flash across a plethora of timeline and events that have occurred in this mans life. There's lovely beach house, a lovely woman, a career as an Aerospace salesman, car wreaks, jelly fish, moving into a motel, mocking a blind man over the phone, stalking a woman with heart failure, handing out IRS extensions, punishing evil doctors, feeding dogs meat, talking to his brother, dealing with his best friend, falling in love, donating bone marrow, and countless other events.

If that didn't make any sense, don't worry about it. The movie amounts to about the same thing, a sequence of events that hardly seem connected. In the end, it really doesn't matter if they are or not, as the ending was predictable by two of my friends within the first half hour.

That all being said, if you're read to the end of this review, and were remotely interested by anything contained in the above paragraphs, then this has been more entertaining then Seven Pounds.

I do not want to see this movie ever again. Not because it is offensive or horrifying, but because it is a stupefyingly dull film with almost no payoff at the end. I want my 2 hours back.


Robert's Girlfriend said...

You left out that the reason he commits suicide is to give his heart to the girl he falls in love with because she's dying of heart failure.

But other than that... I agree.

I want my 8.50 back and a naproxine for the headache from all the tears I cried because it was so depressing.

Solameanie said...

I think you both need to take a break from modern cinema and enjoy some old, old classics. I heartily recommend this one.

It's black and white, but the cinematography is stunning, especially the chase of the two children down the river by the psychotic "preacher." It's also a powerful moral tale about the "true" versus the "false."

Palm boy said...

MaryKate, I was leaving the spoilers out on purpose. :D

Joel, I looked at that. The main advertiseing line made me laugh.
The wedding night, the anticipation, the kiss, the knife, BUT ABOVE ALL... THE SUSPENSE!"

This is later then your favorite era of film isn't it?

Solameanie said...

No, it's at the very tail end. My faves are from 1930-1955. Night of the Hunter was made in 1955.

Oh, I'll occasionally watch newer movies when something intrigues me. If this tells you anything, the last time I was actually in a movie theatre was when the fourth Star Wars film came out when Anakin was a little boy. I also saw "Primary Colors" when that came out because it was a caricature of Clinton.

But for the most part, the black and white. The night streets shrouded in fog. The old Packard sedans, and guys with trench coats, fedoras and guns. The flawed hero with the cynical raised eyebrow. Gotta love it.

Solameanie said...

Btw, a little history on Night of the Hunter. It was the only film ever directed by legendary actor Charles Laughton. It was so ahead of its time that audiences ignored it and critics misunderstood it. Laughton was so disappointed with the reaction that he never directed again. But in later years, NOTH was re-evaluated and is now considered one of the greatest classics there is.

Robert Mitchum gave the performance of his career.

Jeana said...

PB, me thinks you go to too many movies. The key is to temper reality with unreality, not the other way around. Indulging too readily in fantasy muddles the brain and exposes the person to emotional swings, inducing them shed tears over even the least involving or worthy things. *hems loudly and looks sternly over the top of glasses* The same goes for you, Girlfriend. Now class, if you'll excuse me, I need to totter off to recover from stupidly reading Dostoyevsky's The Idiot.

Sola, I do like oldies but I confess, I'm a little nervous about this one...hum, yup, sounds pretty morbid to me.

Palm boy said...

Jeana, the purpose of the movie is to give me an escape from reality, from the muddled world we live in.
I'm pretty well saturated in reality, I read, hear, eat, watch, blog and talk about it. So, a movie with friends and a barrel of popcorn? Good times.
I don't cry in movies... and not even over the packers loosing in over time... yeach.

Solameanie said...

Actually, Night of the Hunter, while eerie, actually ends in a rather heartwarming manner with the orphans safe and sound at Christmas, and the bogus preacher on his way to the gallows. The elderly woman (Lillian Gish) who takes in the children is the example of true Christianity, while the bogus murdering "preacher" is an example of a false prophet. In fact, the movie begins with a quotation from Jesus warning about false prophets in sheep's clothes.