Seven Pounds - Film Reviews

“The Pursuit of Happyness” director Gabriele Muccino and its star Will Smith are together again creating a movie about the tough times in life. Smith takes us through Ben Thomas’ life full of sorrow, regret and purpose as though he wasn’t in a movie meaning there’s not a lot of exposition. Even though the ending isn’t the surprise twist I was expecting, it’s still nice and not completely expected.

- Will Smith – I am making the official statement that he is by far one of my favorite actors. The man is talented. Similar to “The Pursuit of Happyness” we are shown that life isn’t always wonderful. But unlike “Happyness” the struggles aren’t job or homeless related. We see another very common human struggle – that of grief and regret. Smith’s talents are seen in both his acting range (from suicidal to justice seeker to falling in love) and in his abilities to play these extremes realistically. That’s not easy.

- The Story – It’s unconventional and things clearly don’t happen as they would in real life. But sometimes stories in real life are just that – unconventional and don’t stick to the norm.

- The Characters – Each is their own and is not a caricature. One thing I hate in movies is when characters play out the same way they’ve played out before. Men have heart to hearts in bars. Sick women cough a lot. Etc. The leading roles in “Pounds” all march to their own beat within Thomas’ band. It is sometimes odd, but it works. My favorite is Rosario Dawson, she’s not your average ingénue.

- Length – Recently there’s been a trend of movies that are too long or drag in parts or don’t connect enough in others. I think we need to send the current Directors, Editors, Producers, Writers and who ever else is responsible for the pacing of a movie back to film school. “Seven Pounds” is too long and drags in a spot or two.

- The Jellyfish – Smith’s character has a jellyfish and it has an important part during the film. I don’t want to say too much, but my question is “Why?” There must be better ways.

I don’t think it’ll be nominated for anything, but I liked it. It’s a little different than most films with the same “good deeds” theme. And although a million questions run through your head during the first, say 130 minutes of the movie, the director reveals enough along the way so that you’re not in total “What the heck?” mode. I like that they don’t reveal Thomas’ true intentions until the end.

What did you think? Hit or miss for Smith? Did the jellyfish thing bother you as much as it did me?

“Basically, I'm for anything that gets you through the night - be it prayer, tranquilizers or a bottle of Jack Daniels.” – Frank Sinatra
So may the prayers, tranquilizers and JD be with you and see you next time.

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