I finally watched: Seven

Seven Samurai

I finally watched: Seven

Well, I think I may break a trend here. I think I need to delve into spoiler territory for Seven. The aspects I want to talk or complain about are parts of the movie that, while sometimes obvious, are not revealed immediately in the movie.

And don’t get me started about the alternate ending (yet)…

But I won’t. I’ll just complain a little vaguely.

Overall it is a good movie, but it was hard to live up the hype I ended up going into it with. The gore was never gory enough. The mystery was never mysterious enough. The criminal wasn’t original enough. The ending wasn’t unpredictable enough.

No one aspect of the movie was weak. I didn’t completely understand the criminal before the reveal. I didn’t predict the ending. But I guessed at large parts of what would happen and was never far off.

Also, Morgan Freeman didn’t narrate enough.

Still, this is one of those modern classics that everyone should probably see. A speech given near the end by the criminal is a stand-out scene. Hell, most of his dialog is top-notch in both content and creepy delivery.

Spoiler warning: In the alternate ending on the dvd, the only noticable difference is the number of times a gun is fired. Seriously, what a WASTE of time watching that. The animatic does end differently though. It also lets you see the criminal in his original form as the artist envisioned…

He looks like Bill Gates.

6 thoughts on “I finally watched: Seven

  1. To be honest, I have a hard time with “Modern Classics”. I mean, don’t get me wrong, I loved them when I was 15 and watched them, but if I were to watch them for the first time today, I’m sure I’d be disappointed.

    Movies “build” on top of movies of the past. If a movie is popular, then others borrow liberally from it. Seven may be tame compared to today’s movies (such as Hostile or Saw) and it may have a black retiring detective (Along Came a Spider, Kiss the girls, Axe Body Spray commercials). Those things that relatively novel in Seven have been overused and even turned into a Cliche (as seen in the aforementioned body spray commercials).

    I have a confession to make. Recently, I’ve rewatched one of the greatest movies of all time, Die Hard. I couldn’t help thinking to myself “Really? There were hardly enough explosions in those two hours. The wisecrack/minute ratio was severely below par. Where is his wacky sidekick?”

    There are plenty of timeless classics out there, but some movies just don’t seem to lend themselves to time.

  2. I find it hard to even use the term “Modern Classic.” I mean what really makes it a classic? I don’t think I am old enough to consider anything that came out during my life as a classic yet. Well there are great movies like Scarface but can we really consider it a classic?

    Also Detnap is right in saying that there is not enough sarcastic remarks in Die Hard. I think for 1988 the sarcastic remarks were plenty. However to compare Die Hard’s level of wisecrack sarcasm to a modern movie is not fare to Bruce. I mean for Live Free or Die Hard it had to be heavily edited to make the PG-13 rating it needed to reach a broader audience. so we didn’t get the level of wisecrack sarcasms we would all like to have.

  3. The problem with your statement is that while other movies may build on prior motifs, they seldom implement them as well. For example, the examples you cite with regard to Seven are all far inferior to Seven. Seven somehow manages to combine all those clichés in such a way as to make a truly compelling movie – something that you can’t say for any of those other movies.

  4. Die Hard 1 is not the greatest example. It was far grittier and real than the current, over-the-top iterations. The occasional sarcastic remark punctuated an otherwise tense film as you saw an action hero get tired (but never bleed out). These remarks were popular and memorable, but more so because they released tension during an otherwise violent, gritty movie. With the new movie, yes, there were more remarks and cleverness, but the backbone setting was missing. If the entire scene is explosions, then the explosions just lose their meaning.

    Think about this. Bruce Willis hitting a hot female martial artist with a car, knocking them and the car into a collapsing, exploding elevator shaft. In this shaft, that car is about to fall, killing them both, and Bruce needs to break through the car and the assassin to escape from a fiery death/fall.

    Compare to a roof top explosion that he escapes by falling down the side of a building with a hose, at which point he must break through a window in order to escape from a fiery death/fall.

    On paper, it sure sounds like the top one is better and more interesting. But I would lean towards the classic scene as being much better, even after re-watching.

  5. “Seven somehow manages to combine all those clichés in such a way as to make a truly compelling movie”

    Yes, that may be true. But I believe that when Seven was released, those elements weren’t the clichés that they are today. They were novel upon Seven’s release. Today, those elements have been done to death, and instead of Seven being an original, it’s now one of many movies with those elements, with fewer boundaries pushed.

    “On paper, it sure sounds like the top one is better and more interesting. But I would lean towards the classic scene as being much better, even after re-watching.”

    I’m not sure why you’re cherry picking two individual scenes and making an argument with just your opinion. First, have you even seen Die Hard since seeing Die Hard 4? Anyway, the point isn’t which scene is better or even which movie is better, the point is that if we watch a modern rendition of a “classic” (or a movie with “classic” elements), and then go watch the original “classic”, it won’t have the same impact. It will contain elements that we have already seen and it won’t be original.

  6. Yes, but my point was that even if Seven uses elements that are available in other movies, it uses them better than those movies. That’s what makes it superior – not originality but technique.

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