After Legends of the Fall, Brad Pitt has been rumoured to have thrown a bit of a wobbler, wanting to be taken seriously as an actor and not just be seen as a teenage heart-throb. He cut off his blond locks and, for his next film, chose a much darker and sinister detective story that the teenage girls would have trouble getting into the cinema to see. What followed this decision is a cinematic masterpiece, a truly nightmarish tale that at times is hard to watch.
We are presented with a vision of a city that is so bleak and cruel that no one ever mentions its name. Two detectives--the cynical older detective (Freeman) and the ambitious young detective (Pitt)--are investigating the vilest series of murders that a cinema-going public can cope with. Each murder is based on one of the seven deadly sins everything from greed to, tragically at the climax of the film, wrath. Be thankful for one thing--that these murders were never shown to us; all we see is the bloody aftermath of these violent and unthinkable crimes. This is the master stroke of the film, for it catapults it from a gory slasher flick into cinematic art. It is a bleak, terrifying vision of the world we live in, and leaves you thinking, even hoping, that this is entirely a tale of fiction and such a place does not exist.
on 4 July 2004
Seven is in my opinion the greatest thriller of the 90's, a disturbingly dark film which captivates its audiences and draws them into a world of evil and sin. The cast are all superb, especially the two detectives Mills and Summerset, played by the uncanny ability of Brad Pitt and Morgan Freeman. One a tempermental rookie, the other an aged retirement-bound cop, together they try to solve a case where a man is cruelly murdering his victims based on the seven deadly sins. This leads us to an unforgettable conclusion where all the themes of the films are intervined and drawn out with devastating power.
This 'two disc set' is in my eyes a major disappointment for a film of Seven's magnitude. The special features are awkwardly displayed and takes a bit of getting used to. The deleted scenes are OK but like most films, it is obvious why they were not included in the final cut. I always look for a comprehensive documentary in such an edition, but sadly it does not arrive. Plus-points are the picture and sound transfer is top notch; you will think it is raining outside! This does not compensate however for a two disc set which is nowhere near as good as it could have been.
Seven is one of the most chilling and exciting films to grace the screen, and for this it deserves to be part of any DVD collection out there. Along with Fight Club, it ranks as David Fincher's greatest achievement. I have gave it five stars for the film itself, not for the package. You could almost fit the entire features and the film itself into a solitary disc.
on 6 May 2004
Seven is one of my all time favourite films, it excels in all areas - the plot, the direction, the acting, the palette and mood of the film and the sound.
The title sequences are the best I have seen (I wrote an essay on the subject for art college!), they set the mood perfectly for Fincher's masterpiece, he uses a special thicker film to make sure the shadows really are pitch dark (as oppose to the dark grey most films have) - this is a mark of quality, the actual direction is spot on, the film is well paced and never moves too fast neither does it dwell too much on any one story, I could go on about this more but it would be narcissistic!
So moving on to the acting... It is faultless, Morgan Freeman plays a detective who thinks he's seen it all but is shaken by the psychopathic fundamental character portrayed by Kevin Spacey, the other main actor Brad Pitt also delivers a good performance as the young 'rookie'. The screenplay focuses predominantly around these three characters, the plot involves all of them in a complex story revolving around Chaucer's Canterbury tales which pulls you, the viewer, in to the dark world of inner-city homicide and the twisted mind of the murderer.
The DVD features include interesting commentaries from all relevant parties (director, cinematographer, sound + actors etc.) and also some supplements of which some are fillers while others are interesting, for example the storyboarded alternative ending and my personal favourite the making of the infamous title sequences.
However, I'd probably rate the features 3/5 over all. As for the film, it deserves 5 stars and is very worthy of a place in anyone who likes plot and depth to their films.
on 17 December 2002
This is a quality psychological thriller, with the emphasis on psycho. It's a dark film with lots of rain, shady scenery and gory murders. But if you're not affected by Seasonal Affective Disorder (SAD), not put off by a story about the darkest side of life and not shocked by blood, buy it now.
The film moves at a good pace, and twists and turns to great effect. The acting is also something to write home about. Morgan Freeman cannot be faulted as usual, Brad Pitt plays a good part and Kevin Spacey is chilling in his role as the killer.
Now to the two-CD special edition. The best parts of the two discs are the commentaries. Not only can you listen to David Fincher, Brad Pitt and Morgan Freeman, but you can also hear from the screen writer and others. Sometimes it leads to a bit of waffle, but the majority is interesting. The rest of the features are fillers in my opinion and don't lead to any greater insight into the film or its makers.
For this reason I'd probably go for the one disc edition if it's cheaper - especially if this already includes the commentaries (which are featured on Disc 1 of the Special Edition anyway).
So the long and the short of it is that the film is a total winner. Don't expect a cross between Driving Miss Daisy (Morgan Freeman) and Legends of the Fall (Brad Bitt) though - as one poor couple at the first screenings did, according to one of the commentaries. You'll be shocked and possibly scarred for life.
Seven is probably the greatest thriller of all time. It's perfect in every way and all the deleted and extended sequences included on this 2 disc set would do nothing to improve it. It's beautifully shot in a bleak, rainy American city, the gothic scenery adding to the sense of despair and horror. The film follows Detective Summerset (Morgan Freeman) during the last few days of his police service before he retires to live in the countryside. He is joined by a brash, young Brad Pitt who needs to learn the ropes before he takes over as detective. During their few days together a routine murder investigation turns into a hunt for the most audacious and twisted serial killer ever commited to film. John Doe (Kevin Spacey) only appears for a short time towards the end of the film but he definately takes his place alongside Hannibal Lecter, Norman Bates and Buffalo Bill in the movie psycho hall of fame.
The film benefits from brilliant story-telling and script as well as the excellent cinematography and acting. The killers expolits will shock and repulse you and the race to track him down is edge of the seat crime writing at it's best. There are too many great scenes to pick out favourites but the discovery of Does Sloth victim tied to a bed, the conversation with Doe in the police car and the final shocking twist as his legacy is completed are classic cinema.
on 4 September 2006
'Se7en' is a dark tale of two cops, played by Pitt & Freeman, who are thrown into partnership to hunt down a psychotic killer. As the story unfolds it becomes aparrent that there is a pattern; the murderer is killing people for committing one of the seven deadly sins...
It sounds simple enough, but the great cast & clear skill from director David Fincher make this a Film Noir masterpiece. Fincher really knows how to keep up suspense & create a very dark and disturbing atmosphere. For those that are interested in the more subtle art of film-making, Fincher uses some very powerful shots & angles, while alot is revealed about each character without them having to say anything.
However, even forgetting that, this is a brilliant crime thriller; the ending alone is what truely makes it what it is. It's the only time in the film where everything is bathed in bright light as everything becomes clear to both the characters & the audience. (obviously I won't spoil it) It's no fairy tale, but it definitely makes u stop to think after the film has ended.
A classy 5 stars!
If you liked this then check out Fincher's other great films; 'Fight Club' & 'The Game'
on 28 April 2013
This is definitely one of the best serial killer films ever made.
It has a superb cast, Morgan Freeman and Brad Pitt play their roles to perfection. They had a lot on their plate, and both delivered the food in style. The plot for this film couldn't be better, it is so cleverly done and intricately weaved, you get hooked right from the get-go. The production values are also of a high standard, each scene is believable and really well done.
Brad Pitt and Morgan Freeman star in a searing psychological thriller about two detectives on the trail of a vicious serial killer who chooses his victims according to the seven deadly sins.
The pace of the film is good too, it gets more gripping as it progresses and never fails to loosen its grip. However, this film is not for the faint hearted. It has lots of gruesome scenes and strong bloody crime detail. The ending is particularly gut-wrenching, shocking in fact. You were not expecting that at all, a stunning and horribly nasty unforgettable climax. We also get to see the growing development in the relationship between Morgan and Brad, how Brad is more and more irritated as the vicious murders mount, wanting the killer at his heels. We are often astonished at the events that transpire.
In this film you don't really see the killer doing the killing, only the crime scene and what has taken place with the blood and all. This makes the film even more painful to watch. Because trying to imagine the pain and horror the victims were going through is in a way worse than seeing the crime being committed, it leaves you to think of how terrible it must have been for them.
Se7en is obviously a classic for so many reasons, and is in my top ten films of all time. It is absolutely riveting.
......and he still has Hell to look forward too.
*** This review may contain spoilers ***
Seven is directed by David Fincher and written by Andrew Kevin Walker. It stars Morgan Freeman, Brad Pitt, Gwyneth Paltrow, Kevin Spacey and R. Lee Ermey. Music is scored by Howard Shore and cinematography by Darius Khondji.
An unnamed US city and two cops are on the trail of a serial killer who kills his victims according to which one of the seven deadly sins they have committed.
Having been stung by the studio interference and negative fall out regarding his directorial debut feature film, Alien 3, David Fincher waited three years before committing to a project that he had control over. The result was Seven, a dark masterpiece of unremitting creeping dread that showcased the work of a clinically excellent director. Seven is not just a movie, it's an experience, an assault on the senses, a jolt to the brain, a trawl through the dark recess of some sick city where it always rains and the darkness holds many fears. This is no boorish slasher movie, it's psychological discord 101, we only see the aftermath of crimes, the discussions of which forces us to delve deep into our own imagination to fill in the blanks, forcing us to go where we don't want to go, you sense the director is somewhere gleefully pulling our strings.
"But that's the point. We see a deadly sin on every street corner, in every home, and we tolerate it. We tolerate it because it's common, it's trivial. We tolerate it morning, noon, and night. Well, not anymore. I'm setting the example. What I've done is going to be puzzled over and studied and followed... forever"
Seven is very much an ultimate horror film, really is there anything more scary than a serial killer who is smarter than the cops chasing him? Not only that but they are, oblivious as they be, part of the master plan. This killer is not only unstoppable in perpetrating his violent crimes, he is, as Freeman's weary retirement bound Detective Somerset says, methodical and patient. It's going to end bad, the cops know it and so do we, and that's when Fincher and Walker stick their hands into our guts and pull out the last semblance of solids to deliver one of the greatest endings of modern cinema. An ending fit to grace any noir, neo-noir or smart ass psychological horror movie from across the ages. With each viewing of Seven there's the repeating wave of bleak emotions that come as the reversed end credits roll, desolation and disbelief, sadness and shock, our trip through earthly hell is over, but only in the psychical sense!
Faultless cast performances, no doubt eked out by what we now know is a task-master director, photography that brilliantly brings to "light" the melancholic sheen of a decaying society and a Howard Shore score that crawls out of the speakers and cloaks your body like some evil Incubus or Succubus. Seven, a masterpiece wrung out by a master director. 10/10
on 8 April 2012
Brad Pitt and Morgan Freeman star in this sinister and gripping mystery-thriller about a pair of homicide detectives who must solve a puzzling series of horrific murders based on the seven deadly sins - Gluttony, Greed, Sloth, Pride, Lust, Envy and Wrath.
A powerful and unforgettable film, Seven reveals the dark and disturbing underworld in which evil stalks...
WHAT CAN I SAY?
Gluttony * Greed * Sloth * Envy * Wrath * Pride * Lust...
Seven deadly sins. Seven ways to die.
Detective Somerset is looking for a way out. Detective David Mills is looking for a way in. Now, they're caught in a game with a price of sin is death.
A film about two homicide detectives' desperate hunt for a serial killer who justifies his crimes as absolution for the world's ignorance of the Seven Deadly Sins. Set in New York, the movie takes us from the tortured remains of one victim to the next as the sociopathic "John Doe" sermonizes to Detectives Sommerset and Mills -- one sin at a time.
The sin of Gluttony comes first and the murderer's terrible capacity is graphically demonstrated in the dark and subdued tones characteristic of film noir. The seasoned and cultured Sommerset researches the Seven Deadly Sins in an effort to understand the killer's modus operandi while green Detective Mills scoffs at his efforts to get inside the mind of a killer...
Unfortunately, they too become ensnared in his diabolical plan..
There is no way to catch every subtle message hidden in the film, there are so many. This film really messes with your head.its
Grim, cold, and incredibly powerful, you cannot afford to ignore this masterpiece
on 11 January 2001
I thought this movie was incredible the first time I saw it - I love films that DON'T end the way you expect them to, that don't follow the safe and true path, so if you don't already own the videotape or the original DVD release, that alone is a great reason to buy (or at least rent) this new DVD.
We'll start off there...
1. It's simply a great movie. A modern classic. The screenplay is just brilliant. The characters are developed and complex. Screenwriter Walker hit upon a great idea and ran with it. (And I am bitterly jealous.) Even if New Line were able to get away with making it into just another cheesy cop flick, the idea would have been intriguing. Walker went the extra mile, though, and pushed himself to try new twists and turns. Kudos to him and directory David Fincher, Brad Pitt, Morgan Freeman and everyone else who pushed to keep the plot's integrity. The acting is superbe, Gweneth Paltrow is a true angel and Kevin Spacey (yes, lovably average-looking Kevin Spacey from "American Beauty") just resonates with evil.
2. It's not just my assumption that New Line tried to "emsculate" (my word) the "SE7EN" script; it's on the record now with the "Stars" commentary track. It's never been easy to get a movie made when it cuts against the grain (just ask Terry Gilliam). Studio suits are notorious whimps when it comes to trying out new stuff, as Fincher, Pitt and Freeman attest to. Though the suits may not think so, I think the director and actors are being nice - they don't name so many names. But they do talk about the battle with the studio to keep the picture from being watered down and turned into just another blasé film version of a TV cop show. Plus you get to feel like one of their buds as they talk fairly candidly about what was going on during production, their thoughts and feelings about the story, etc. It is particularly interesting to list to Morgan Freeman analyse his character's psyche and hear how he came to certain acting choices - a gem for other actors. The "Stars" audio track is often quite funny, too, as with Fincher and Pitt's observations about how the dead GLUTTONY guy was "enhanced" (again my word) to recompense the actor for having enduring hours of make-up and playing a stiff.
3. Speaking of commentaries, the "Sound" commentary track with Fincher, Author Richard Dyer, composer Howard Shore and sound designer Ren Klyce is an enlightening treat, one I've never experienced before (though I don't own every DVD out there). They explain the complex process of applying the different continuous sounds of the city and music in a digestible fashion. It'a fascinating, too, to watch the movie with the background noise brought to the fore and the dialogue and up-front sound effects cut out. Very surreal.
And tying into that...
4. The sound has been remixed for the home theater, and it will blow you away. There's background noise everywhere, just like in a real city. It's crisp, it's clear, it's there in your face (or rather your ear, if you prefer). Why, their creation is alive! It's aliiiiive!
5. The "Story" commentary track with Fincher, Dyer, screenwriter Andrew Kevin Walker, editor Richard Francis-Bruce and New Line production president Michael De Luca breaks the story down piece by piece. This track alone should be a film school student's dream come true; it dissects the movie nearly scene by scene. Wannabe screenwriters and movie directors should listen to this track over and over again.
6. The picture quality on this new DVD cannot be overstated. It has been transferred from the original negative and it is simply sumptuous. It's not a post card, mind you, and it's not meant to be, but it no longer has that "ER" faded feeling to it, either. For example, the all important color RED really JUMPS OUT out at you from the darkness now, adding to the creepiness of the moment. When something is supposed to be disgusting, again like the dead GLUTTONY guy, it is. It's just so real and vivid, like you're there in the moment. It's unlikely that many movies will ever get the loving treatment "SE7EN" has received for this new DVD release, and it's a shame. This makes those movies that have been rushed out onto DVD to make a quick buck (and there are plenty of them) look that much crappier. (Ever see "Splash" on DVD?) That's why people who love movies, and not greedy MBA schmucks, should run movie studios.
7. Although I've watched the movie's original opening (I think they could have kept it in, but with the new vibrating title sequence), there's still a ton of stuff on the second supplemental DVD I haven't yet had time to explore. I have the "Fight Club" DVD, though, and even though that's a different studio (Fox), I am confident that David Fincher will not let me down, so my 7th reason for getting this DVD two-pack is all the fun exploring all the extra stuff, such as extended scenes, the fourth "Picture" commentary track, and veiwing the dead GLUTTONY guy frame by agonizing frame...