Seven Pounds appears in an aspect ratio of approximately 2.40:1 on this single-sided, double-layered DVD; the image has been enhanced for 16X9 televisions. Only a smattering of fairly minor issues affected the transfer.
For the most part, sharpness looked good. At times, wider shots tended to be a little soft, but those examples weren’t terribly intrusive. Much of the film appeared pretty accurate and concise. No concerns with jagged edges or shimmering occurred, and edge enhancement remained minor. Source flaws also failed to create problems.
In terms of colors, Pounds tended to stay with a natural palette. Hues took on a light golden tone at times, but that stylistic choice didn’t overwhelm. Instead, the colors appeared pretty clear and concise. Blacks were deep and firm, while shadows showed good delineation. Overall, this was a pleasing presentation.
I also felt the Dolby Digital 5.1 soundtrack of Seven Pounds worked fine. Ambience opened things up to a decent degree. Music demonstrated good stereo delineation, and the effects showed solid localization. This was never a particularly engrossing soundfield, but it created an acceptable sense of place.
Audio quality was always good. Speech sounded crisp and distinctive, and music followed suit. The score was consistently lively and full. Effects also demonstrated nice vivacity and accuracy, with decent bass response along the way. I expected a fairly low-key track and that’s what I got.
A smattering of extras finishes off the disc. We open with an audio commentary from director Gabriele Muccino. He provides a running, screen-specific look at cast and performances, characters, story and themes, editing, cinematography and visual choices, some effects, and a few other production topics.
While I enjoyed Muccino’s chat for Pursuit of Happyness, this commentary seems less inviting. On the positive side, the director does offer a reasonable number of production insights, especially when he deals with the unique challenges prompted by the story. However, Muccino often just explains the movie, and dead air becomes a concern. All of these conspire to make this a pretty mediocre track.
Four featurettes follow. Seven Views on Seven Pounds goes for 31 minutes, 35 seconds and presents remarks from Muccino, screenwriter Grant Nieporte, producers James Lassiter, Steve Tisch, Jason Blumenthal and Todd Black, location manager Kei Rowan-Young, production designer J. Michael Riva, editor Hughes Winborne, composer Angelo Milli, and actors Will Smith, Michael Ealy, Barry Pepper, Rosario Dawson, and Woody Harrelson. The program covers character and story issues, what various members of the crew brought to the production, sets, locations, and production design, and music.
As implied by its title, “Views” splits into seven shorter pieces, each of which emphasizes a different perspective on the film. This makes it a little disjointed, and some topics receive better exploration than others. Nonetheless, “Views” manages to cover a lot of ground and it does so in a satisfying manner.
Next comes the 12-minute and 56-second Creating the Perfect Ensemble. It features Muccino, Smith, Dawson, Nieporte, Pepper, Ealy, Harrelson,
and casting director Denise Chaiman. This one looks at the supporting cast and their performances. It comes with more fluffy praise than “Views”, but it still includes a reasonable amount of good information.
We get a little wildlife lesson via The Box Jellyfish: The World’s Deadliest Co-Star. This four-minute and 58-second show features Cabrillo Marine Aquarium director Mike Schaadt. He gives us facts about the box jellyfish, all of which make me really happy I never learned to swim.
For the final featurette, we find the eight-minute and 44-second Emily’s Passion: The Art of the Printing Press. It provides notes from International Printing Museum director/curator Mark Barbour as he shows us various old presses. We get a nice look at how these machines work in this interesting piece.
Four Deleted Scenes fill a total of four minutes, 14 seconds. These include “Ben Leaves Message for Dan” (0:35), “Dr. Gatsinaris Confronts Ben” (2:30), “Ben Gets Duke” (0:42) and “Ben Watches Ezra at the Mall #2” (0:27). All feel pretty insubstantial. A couple thicken the plot, but the story’s already thick enough, so they seem unnecessary. “Duke” and “Ezra” are brief filler moments that add nothing.
The DVD opens with a few ads. We get promos for Blu-Ray Disc, Angels and Demons, I’ve Loved You So Long, and Not Easily Broken. These also appear in the Previews area along with clips for The Accidental Husband, Rent: Filmed Live on Broadway, Hancock and The Pursuit of Happyness. No trailer for Pounds appears here.
If you want a tight, easy-to-follow narrative, Seven Pounds isn’t for you. If you want an intriguing drama with interesting twists and excellent acting, though, I think you’ll get something from it. The DVD comes with good picture and audio as well as a mix of interesting supplements. I recommend this emotional character piece.