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Se7en: Platinum Series

Se7en is the most unsatisfying serial killer movie ever made, but in the best possible sense. The film confounds expectations born of seeing too many serial killer movies and does something rich and strange with it. Andrew Kevin Walker's script doesn't work in the usual ways. It begins, under the direction of David Fincher, with glacial slowness, like a Ridley Scott film. In the rain. The actual investigation, in which it soon dawns on the cops that a serial killer is mimicking the seven deadly sins, perplexes the two new partners, the young hotheaded David Mills (Brad Pitt) and the soon-to-retire and more thoughtful William Somerset (Morgan Freeman). Then, just when the case is about to break, and with two killings to go, the killer, who goes by the name John Doe, tips his hand. Thus is set up a searing climax, and one of the most unusual, well-written, and well-acted final sequences from any film in the 1990s. Improving upon their previous DVD release (from way back in March of 1997), New Line's two-disc Se7en: Platinum Seriesoffers an anamorphic transfer (2.40:1), but the big question is if the source print includes the "silver nitrate retention" on a limited number of prints during the original theatrical release — something of a cult among fans of the film, and which was used on the Criterion LD. The answer is No, but it doesn't matter. Fincher and colorist Stephen Nakamura have created a new visual version of Se7en that was impossible to achieve in the early 1990s, and they have not just remastered the film but reframed parts of it and recolored it. Audio is in either DTS ES 6.1 or Dolby Digital EX, and features include four audio commentaries featuring such principals as Fincher, Pitt, Freeman, Andrew Kevin Walker, editor Richard Francis-Bruce, composer Howard Shore, sound designer Ren Klyce, director of photography Darius Khondji, production designer Arthur Max, and others; a multi-angle "exploration" of the opening credit sequence, seven deleted scenes and extended takes, two alternate endings, an animated still gallery of the seven crime scenes with commentary, production photos with commentary, behind-the-scenes photos with commentary, full-motion video details of John Doe's notebooks with commentary, multi-angle "Mastering For Home Theater" presentations, the theatrical trailer and electronic press kit, and additional DVD ROM content. It all comes in a nifty dual-DVD digipak in a paperboard slip-case.
—D.K. Holm

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