Seven Pounds


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A man who did something awful tries to expiate his guilt. Ho-hum.

There are SPOILERS coming, so if you MUST watch this before seeing me happily eviscerate it, go watch it now.

How do I dislike this movie? oh, at LEAST seven pounds’ worth:

  1. What the HECK is going on? Oh, I get it. Big deal.
  2. Will Smith’s girlfriend in the movie does letterpress printing (invitations and such) for a living (yeah, right, as if you could make a living on that these days), or did until she became disabled. This is nice, and she has two nice presses in her shed: a Heidelberg, and a clamshell that looked very much like the old Chandler & Price Mr. Otter and I had once upon a time. She says some fairly intelligent things about printing. Then she runs a piece of paper through the press THAT SHE HASN’T TOUCHED IN SOME TIME and pulls out a multicolored print, a picture of a fairy or something, with shaded colors. NO WAY IN HELL would this be possible: not only would she have to ink up the press (since it’s been sitting unused for some time, she would have cleaned it off before walking away from it) and put in the steelcut, but this kind of press prints one color at a time, and solid color, not shades. It was RIDICULOUS.
  3. Will Smith looks old and not-honeyish. Not a dimple in sight. After the last couple of movies, good as Hancock was, he is seriously in danger of losing his Serious Honey status. Be very careful, Mr. Smith.
  4. He has a pet JELLYFISH in a tank. Now, this totally does not work on several levels:
    • Firstly, he is shown getting his jellyfish jones at the exhibit at the Monterey Bay Aquarium. Kudos to the moviemakers for the props to the MBA, which I love, but that exhibit is not very old, no more than ten or fifteen years. It wasn’t there when Will Smith’s character was the age he is shown (10-12ish)
    • Jellyfish can be kept as pets, but are (and I checked on this to be sure) INSANELY DIFFICULT to keep alive, you need all kinds of temperature controls, water movement, and microscopic food.
    • They do not eat whole fish, as is shown in one scene.
    • They also cannot be moved in an ice chest and have their tanks refilled WITH A HOSE and then just happily get back in their home-away-from-home.
  5. And then when he goes to kill himself (because you know he is setting this up) what does he do? He fills the tub with ICE WATER (and what motel has a tub THAT BIG? especially a cheap motel like the one where he’s staying) and then…DUMPS THE JELLYFISH IN TO STING HIM TO DEATH.
    • Let me repeat this: He fills the tub with ICE WATER and then DUMPS THE JELLYFISH IN TO STING HIM TO DEATH. The letterpress incident wasn’t bad enough, how STUPID do the filmmakers think we are? JELLYFISH ARE WARM WATER CREATURES AND VERY DELICATE. It would die INSTANTLY.
    • Box jellyfish stings are dangerous, and can kill humans. But not the kind that he supposedly had in his aquarium, unless he is allergic.
    • Even if it survived to sting him to death, HIS BODY WOULD BE FULL OF POISON. No way would they want his organs for transplant after that
  6. One of his charity cases is a woman who speaks Spanish, who (of course) is being beaten by her boyfriend. And suddenly Mr. Smith speaks Spanish? I mean, lots of people in LA do, but he’s an engineer, and there is NOTHING in any previous part of the movie to suggest that he has this skill til he trots it out. Fairly colloquial Spanish, too, not just ‘mi pluma es en su casa’ level stuff.
  7. The title. I walked home from this movie, cursing it, but also wondering WHAT THE HECK the title was all about. All I could think of was the ‘pound of flesh’ thing from the Merchant of Venice, but of course that would be a pretentious and silly thing to name the movie for. Nope, that was it.

So there you have it. Pretentious, silly, overly sentimental, and truly, truly forgettable. Don’t waste your money or your time. What was Will Smith thinking? sigh.

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