WHAT'S IT ABOUT?
A recently transferred young detective (Brad Pitt) is paired up with a jaded veteran (Morgan Freeman), eagerly awaiting his upcoming retirement. Together they soon uncover a series of gruesome murders which are based on the seven deadly sins. They must follow the trail of clues if they hope to catch John Doe, a sadistic and brilliant serial killer.
IS IT A GOOD MOVIE?
This movie gets my vote as one of the best films of the 90’s. Why? Because it presents an original story, superb acting and an absolutely engrossing premise. Director Fincher takes the viewer on a mesmerizing journey into the darker side of humanity, showing us how we as people can fail as human beings. He carefully assembles pieces to the mystery, slowly building the suspense. Incredibly shot with meticulous cinematography, the movie attains a bleak and somber feel, echoing the plot’s dark thematic elements. Brad Pitt proves that he is an acting force to be reckoned with as the brash but charismatic Mills. Morgan Freeman shows why he’s considered by many to be a legend in Hollywood with an excellent showing as the wiser voice of reason. His calm demeanor and methodical thinking serve to balance Pitt’s fiery personality. Their on-screen banter manages to provide just the right touches of humor, disrupting the otherwise bleak surroundings.
The movie itself will shatter all your preconceived notions of how a conventional suspense thriller is supposed to unfold. Fincher creates the feeling of despair and hopelessness within the detectives as they futilely struggle to track down the evasive John Doe. Unlike most cop genre films, the villain is in complete control of the situation, deviously manipulating the protagonists. I can guarantee you that when Doe makes his first visual appearance; chills will run down your spine. While the movie is not overly gory or violent, many of the crimes rely on the viewer’s imagination, yielding a much more terrifying effect. Se7en is an incredible and unconventional film, which redefines a genre, and will surely thrill and entertain most moviegoers. Simply put, a classic.
In the continuing tradition of the Platinum Series, Se7en includes plenty of excellent supplements which are definitely worth checking out. "Exploration of the Opening Title Sequence" features preliminary storyboards, rough and final versions of the movie’s opening credits. The multi-angle feature can be used here to navigate between the different options. Two optional short commentaries from designer Kyle Cooper and audio engineers Brant Biles and Robert Margouleff can also be heard with this extra. The "Deleted Scenes and Extended Takes" option showcases 7 (often brief) scenes which were removed from the final cut of the movie. They’re all worth a look, particularly the Original Opening and My Future segments, which provide an entirely new storyline to the movie. Each scene can be viewed with commentary from director Fincher who provides reasoning behind their removal. "Alternate Endings" highlights the original "test" ending and animated storyboards to an unshot conclusion which was scrapped in pre-production. Again, commentary from Fincher is also included.
"Production Designs" offers an animated "slide show" (about 9 minutes) of early conceptual art which would provide the inspiration for the movie’s sets. "Still Photographs " is split into four sections: John Doe’s Photographs (14 minutes), Victor’s Decomposition (3 minutes), Police Crime Scene Photos (7 minutes) and Production Photos (10 minutes). Each provides comprehensive "slide shows" of images and pictures from the movie. "The Notebooks" is a very cool option which chronicles how Doe’s infamous notebooks came to life. You’ll see how images were selected and how the books were bound and stitched together. "Mastering for the Home Theater" (23 minutes) is perhaps the most interesting featurette because it actually details how the Se7en was remastered and retouched for its DVD release. Featuring voiceovers from its contributors, you’ll see side by side comparisons of both before and after pictures and sound. The menus are fully animated and feature a creepy soundtrack playing in the backdrop.
What do you get when you combine a classic movie with an astounding array of special features? A DVD release of the most unbelievable quality. While many of the extras are strictly technical in nature, they’re great companions to a veritable cinematic masterpiece. The four commentary tracks are perhaps its biggest strength, providing an unprecedented step by step breakdown of the film.