Blu-ray Review: Seven

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If you take a look around the Internet and the fleet of movie news websites and blogs I’m sure you’ll find consistency in the fact most of the people that started them and write for them have a certain amount of love for David Fincher and two of his films in particular, Fight Club and Seven. I’m no different. Prior to the just released Blu-ray editions of Fight Club and now Warner’s impressive Blu-ray upgrade of Seven, I owned, and will continue to own, the two-disc editions of both films on DVD. Fox put together an incredible two-disc package for Fight Club and then ported it over to their Blu-ray last November. Warner Home Video has done the same thing with the previous New Line Platinum Edition of Seven, turning it into a must own for any modern day webhead worshiping at the alter of David Fincher, and more importantly, to those that quite simply recognize it for the daring piece of brilliant filmmaking it is.

Seven centers on Detectives William Somerset (Morgan Freeman) and David Mills (Brad Pitt) as they attempt to track down a serial killer who’s taken to thematically knocking people off with an emphasis toward the seven deadly sins — wrath, greed, sloth, pride, lust, envy and gluttony. Through not only the fascinating exploration of evil and its many faces, Fincher and company turn an unnamed city against itself. A city infested with criminal activity no different than any modern metropolitan and by keeping it nameless it represents all of them at once. Seven is a film so full of fascinations that the immoral and grotesque acts on display are tolerable, but merely as a means of a cultural exploration rather than a celebration of decay.

Movies have the ability to transport us. Sometimes that means taking us quite literally to different worlds such as Avatar‘s Pandora, but I’m even more interested in mood and atmosphere transportation. You can feel the dirt of the city building at your feet while you watch Seven, and as disturbing as that may be I can’t help but appreciate the talent it takes to bring me into that world on such a visceral level.

It’s an assault of the senses from Darius Khondji’s cinematography to Howard Shore’s haunting score. Fincher’s choice of music is equally disturbing from the remix of “Closer” that plays over the spectacular title sequence, Handel’s “Air” and finally David Bowie’s “Hearts Filthy Lesson” playing over the end credits. All of this comes to life better than you’ve ever seen it before in Warner Home Video’s latest Blu-ray.

This all new remastered version was supervised by Fincher and is absolutely stunning in comparison to the now ten years old DVD version. The picture is much richer with deeper blacks and less of a washed out look. This is crystal clear, textured clarity bringing the gritty nature of this film to you with perfection. The DTS-HD 7.1 lossless audio is superb, picking up every scratch, scrape and crack of the soundtrack. I can’t speak any more highly of the presentation.

As for the extras, those that own the two-disc DVD will be familiar with everything here and will also realize it is one of the better special features packages you’ll come across as was the norm with New Line’s Platinum Editions. Everything from the four audio commentaries, the alternate ending and the “Exploration of the Opening Title Sequence” also with optional commentaries and a variety of viewing angles and audio tracks. Additionally you get seven deleted scenes, production design and behind-the-scenes photos, a look at John Doe’s notebooks in full motion video and a look at the mastering of the audio and video from the original Platinum Edition, not this new remastered edition. Finally, a 32-page book serves as the only truly “new” supplement as it has two essays, some bios and a batch of glossy photos.

Essentially, and the disc says as much, many of the more technical special features are included for archival purposes only and none of the special features are presented in high definition. The bonus here is the newly remastered video and audio on the feature film, and for those that don’t own the two-disc DVD already can finally see what was so great about it.

Whether you own the DVD or not, this Blu-ray is a must own for fans of this film. The picture and audio is simply too good not to upgrade and you’ll notice the difference instantly.

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