Se7en – All He Wanted was One

Se7en

I never really saw Morgan Freeman or Brad Pitt as old-fashioned detective types. I mean, they’re probably two of the most adaptive actors I know, but even so, they feel a little out of place in Se7en. Unlike Kevin Spacey, whose acting as the serial killer John Doe is nothing short of beautifully morbid and morbidly beautiful. Maybe I’m just using sketchy mental references. After all, Freeman was in Dreamcatcher. That’s… that’s even more out of place. I’m going off on a bit of a tangent, so I’ll get back on track with a little synopsis action.

Detective William Somerset (Freeman) works in an unnamed city plagued with crime and urban decay. A stoic man with a grim philosopy, Somerset wants to quit the force and leave the city as quickly as possible. He takes on Detective David Mills (Pitt), an emotional married man, as a partner while working a case involving the murder of a particularly obese guy. When a second murder pops up, centering around the word Greed and a dead lawyer, Somerset returns to the scene of the first murder and finds Gluttony written in grease behind the fat man’s fridge.
Se7enThat’s when Somerset realizes that the killings are connected, and postulates that the killer is going to kill five more people based around the seven deadly sins. Still on the list are Sloth, Lust, Pride, Envy, and Wrath. The progression of kills continues smoothly until they move past Lust, when Mills accidentally cues Somerset to try to link the killer to the library books he’s checked out.

Right on the money, they stumble onto John Doe’s apartment. After a close encounter, the killer passes up a chance to kill Mills and makes a successful escape. For his next kill, he carves the face of an esteemed model and glues a phone and sleeping pills to her hands. As she is his target for Pride, I’m pretty sure you know how this one goes.

That’s when things get funny (not haha funny, I can tell you), though. John Doe turns himself in, shocking both Mills and Somerset. He sets up an ultimatum: either they accompany him to the location of the remaining bodies, or he pleas insanity across the board. That’s when one of the greatest twists in murder mystery history hits, and Brad Pitt makes the best set of facial expressions I’ve ever seen. No spoilers, though. Sorry.

Se7enSe7en’s a morbid classic that you can always go back to. It binds curious interpretations of faith and morality into a darker, consolidated theme that makes the viewer ask questions after watching. Whether it comes off as thought-provoking or not is irrelevant in the long run; it’s one hell of a good movie. Great acting, great tone, satisfying finish. Morgan Freeman, Brad Pitt, and Kevin Spacey pull their roles off admirably, resulting in a story that keeps you intrigued until the end.

Nick Venable of CinemaBlend… Holy CRAP that was a lot of puns. This guy’s credible in my book. Seriously though. Se7en’s one of those murder mystery movies you don’t want to pass up. Regarding tone, I couldn’t agree more. The bleak, disillusioned city that the sin murders takes place in feels all too perfect for the scenario. Regarding the Blu-Ray content and extra features… you’ll have to check this one out:  http://www.cinemablend.com/dvds/Se7en-Blu-Ray-4872.html

The Girl with the Dragon Tattoo, Now Mostly in English

The Girl with the Dragon TattooWho said the English version of a foreign movie was always going to be bad? I guess that was me. Crap. The Girl with the Dragon Tattoo sure as hell proved me wrong. Contrary to my past principle, it is now one of my favorite pieces of cinematic art. It’s the movie of a book and it’s still magnificent! I’ve never had the chance to say that before, save for The Shining. A warning to those with more… let’s say squeamish minds. There is nudity, there is sodomy, and there is blood, all of which are entirely accurate to the story itself. If you can’t stomach that sort of thing, even though it’s part of the original tale and not some shock value fling meant to create controversy, get out.

So what makes the movie so great? Lisbeth Salander is a quirky girl who appears fragile and withdrawn, but when crossed, may prove just how strong her spirit is, and how well she knows how to get what she wants. Her connections and her high level of skill with technology and computers make her a choice harvester of any kind of information. Mikael Blomkvist is an investigative journalist who recently lost his savings in a failed lawsuit against a corporate giant. Despite his recent disgrace, he is called to investigate the murder of the wealthy Henrik Vanger’s neice, Harriet. The murder is linked to a long and ancient chain of events that occurred forty years ago, yet the perpetrator is still showing signs of his accomplishment to this day. Harriet used to send Henrik pressed flowers on his birthday, and now her killer is doing the same. Mikael is specifically requested to bring about a resolution.

The Girl with the Dragon TattooLisbeth’s story is a bit more depressing. She is a ward of the state for reasons that aren’t explored until near the very end of the movie, and after her guardian suffers a stroke, she is put in the hands of the corrupt lawyer, Nils Bjurman. His occupation isn’t the source of his corruption though. The fact that he only gives Lisbeth money in exchange for sexual favors accounts for that. Lisbeth, clever as she is, attempts to use this to her advantage by planting a hidden camera during one of their exchanges. Things don’t go as well as she would have hoped, as instead of the usual fellatio, she is knocked unconscious, bound, and then sodomized. Not a pleasant scene. For those of you who like revenge, their next encounter is just the thing for you. She returns to his home, shocks him with a taser, ties him up, and tattoos “I am a rapist pig” in massive letters across his chest and stomach. After seeing that, you tend to feel pretty good.

The Girl with the Dragon TattooWhat makes the movie interesting is how the lives of Mikael and Lisbeth are strangers to one another throughout most of the first half, and how quickly they bond after Mikael ropes her into helping him with the Harriet case despite their staggering differences. Their collective investigative skills bring about one of the most satisfying conclusions I’ve ever seen done in a movie. But I’m not going to spoil anything further. To do so would ruin the experience of seeing this film. So go and see it.