When I started this small blog last Spring, it was done as an expression of my appreciation for Will Smith and his work as an actor today; at the time his next scheduled movie project was the Summer movie, Hancock, and me being a total newb with this whole blogging thing, I decided to focus this site on that movie and that movie alone (hence the hancockmovie title of the site URL). This was fine as long as I only focused on that film, however after Hancock had come and gone and I decided to continue with this site (even changing the site name in the process) I realized that it might be better to just go ahead and relaunch this tiny beast under a new less restrictive site name / URL.
Hence the reason for this post title: this will be the last post by me on here about any new Will Smith movie as far as I can foresee. I will include in this post a review of the most recent Will Smith effort, Seven Pounds, and after that, c'est fini with this site. At the end of this post you will find a link to my brand-spanking new Will smith movie site that will focus mostly on the film-related aspects of
Smith's career; in other words, I will focus more on his work and less on his social life because honestly, there are already more than enough celebrity watchdog sites out there ready to give you the scoop on his personal life. I just couldn't be bothered to rehash that stuff here - or rather there, which will be the new here soon enough...
Okay enough about that, it is time for a movie review.
Seven Pounds - a review
The movie Seven Pounds is something rather unexpected during the Holiday Season: a powerful and moving movie experience. Will Smith takes a step away from his more familiar relaxed and amiable persona to instead portray a character with an exposed, imperfect humanity.
Smith has recently chosen a series of roles that have relied more on gimmickry (Hancock) and almost contrived sentimentality (The Pursuit of Happiness); however with Seven Pounds, Smith instead challenges his audience to see if they are up to the challenge of accepting an intense and provocative Christmastime moviegoing experience. It won't surprise me in the least if many of Will Smith's fans are not really up to the challenge.
At its heart, Seven Pounds is a movie about the good in humanity, and an individual who appears to be on a crusade to reward this goodness in people.Smith plays the part of Ben Thomas, an IRS agent. Smith portrays this character as a greatly tormented good samaritan - a good samaritan who gets involved in the lives of seven strangers. These seven individuals - by all appearances - are all decent decent who all happen to have serious problems.
However this is no feel good Frank Capra movie experience.
It may be surprising to some that this screenplay actually made it to the screen; it is probably one of the stronger scripts of the year but the writer, Grant Nieporte, is only known for his work on television and this is his big screen debut.
This is a clever script. It is motivated and has integrity. Some may even consider the integrity of the script too demanding but many more will probably accept this challenge.
The director of Seven Pounds, Gabriele Muccino, who also directed The Pursuit of Happyness (also starring Smith) is possibly a strange choice to direct a movie in which sentimentality needs to be overcome by true setiment, but he is able to pull it off.
Rosario Dawson also comes through with a convincing and sincere performance as one of the troubled strangers in Ben Thomas' life. There is a pleasing chemistry at work there with will smith. Woody Harrelson and Barry Pepper alsoadd some strength to the production with their acting skills. they succeed in adding more personality to this drama.
I will resisit any urge to give away the ending to the movie. When you watch this movie you can't help but get the feeling that this is a very personal project for both the star and director - that it is the movie that they both really wanted to make; it does not come across as a strictly commercial venture. All in all, Seven Pounds succeeds in providing the audience with a challenging and thought-provoking moviegoing experience.
One final matter...
The new site will be (aptly) named, the Will Smith movie update and will (hopefully) keep you informed about the state of any and all upcoming Will smith projects. To go to the new site just go ahead and clcik the site title below. I hope to see you there...