DVD Rating: *****

Reviewed by: Gator MacReady

Read Gator MacReady's film review of Se7en

Filmed in Super-35 the 2.40:1 anamorphic picture is a totally new remastering of the movie and a huge improvement over the non-anamorphic original DVD release. This new edition created by New Line and distributed in R2 by Entertainment is mastered from a new HDTV transfer made directly from the camera negative. The whole film has been re-graded digitally, applying color and contrast correction to every shot under David Fincher's supervision. This is now considered to be the official master of Se7en. Comparisons to the previous DVD will make you realise just how different and superior this DVD is.

The original Dolby Digital and DTS soundtracks have also been totally re-mastered. The sound designers of the film, along with David Fincher's supervision, have completely re-worked the entire soundtrack and upgraded it to Dolby Digital EX and DTS ES. Rain, thunder and ambient sound effects fill most of the soundspace, but Howard Shore's haunting score and various hard rock music tracks throughout the film sound amazing. Especially in DTS. This is totally not the theatrical soundtrack and it's hard to believe that a film just Se7en (!) years old could sound so dated when compared to this new DVD. Obviously David Fincher could not totally have his way back then after one flop movie. He has, since, proved himself to be a reliable director and Fox's DVD of Fight Club was innovative and a huge seller. This is probably half the reason New Line felt they should spend so much money on a Spec. Ed. DVD and a new master of the film.

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A MASSIVE amount of extras come packaged with the film. The first disc contains no less than FOUR commentaries. The first is from David Fincher, Brad Pitt and Morgan Freeman (who was recorded separately and spliced in). The second explores the story and subtext of the film. The third explores the cinematography. And the fourth (and most interesting) explores the sound design of the film and has the score isolated at certain moments.

The Second disc contains a zillion thingies. The first is an exploration of the opening credit sequence, which can be viewed as an alternate cut, storyboards, and with commentary by David Fincher.

Deleted and extended scenes with an alternate ending come with or without commentary by Fincher. Personally I think that the alternate opening and a brief scene between Freeman and Paltrow should have remained in the movie.

Four animated still galleries (boring - always will be) come with commentary.

There is an eight minute documentary on the design of John Doe's notebooks. These are the personal diaries and thoughts that Morgan Freeman quotes, as he reads from them in a certain scene. Honestly, a "making of the notebooks" documentary?!? I can't image you'll be cancelling any hot dates to watch this.

The best extra is the restoration of the film for the DVD itself. First off is an explanation of how the sound was re-mastered. Then we move onto colour correction and re-framing some scenes. Because Se7en was filmed in Super-35, then re-framing is easier than if it were shot anamorphically. In this demonstration you might think that the widescreen "bars" are covering up the picture throughout the whole film. While technically that is true, it is the nature of Super 35. Though Se7en was not filmed in fullscreen, Super-35 provides a film negative measuring 1.95:1, in which the top and bottom are cropped slightly for theatrical prints and the sides cropped a little for home video and TV viewing.

DVD-ROM content along with a theatrical trailer and some short promotional material is also included.

Reviewed on: 16 May 2002
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Se7en packshot
Morgan Freeman and Brad Pitt are cops who investigate a series of killings connected by the seven deadly sins.
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Product Code: EDV9072

Region: 2

Ratio: 2.40:1 Anamorphic

Sound: Dolby Digital 6.1 EX, DTS 6.1 ES

Extras: Isolated Soundtrack: Numerous Commentaries including Brad Pitt and Morgan Freeman, David Fincher, Richard Dyer (Author), Andrew Kevin Walker, Richard Francis-Bruce (Editor), Michael DeLuca (New Line President), Darius Khonjio (Director of Photography), Arthur Max (Production Designer), Howard Shore (Composer) and Ren Klyce (Sound Designer); A Look At The Opening Title Sequence With Optional Commentaries From Those Who Designed It; Deleted and Extended Scenes With Optional Commentary; Alternative Ending With Commentary; Still Photos with Commentary; Eight Minute Feature With Commentary on The Design of John Doe

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