Perhaps the ballsiest studio film ever to be made by a music-video director, David Fincher’s moody serial-killer thriller Seven will live in infamy as — according to Fincher on one of the commentary tracks — ”the head-in-the-box movie.” Of course, it’s much more than that, and seeing Seven again one is struck anew by things both little (Morgan Freeman’s character’s name, Somerset, perfectly fits that of a man letting the sun go down on his career) and big (even though Brad Pitt is top-billed, this film is really about how similar Detective Somerset and Kevin Spacey’s chilling John Doe are — two men utterly familiar with and totally disgusted by the urban nightmare they both share).
Like the best DVDs, this exhaustive two-disc set serves to reveal even more of what you may have missed. The dissection of Seven begins with the first disc’s four commentaries: The Stars, with Fincher, Pitt, and Freeman; The Story, with Fincher, screenwriter Andrew Kevin Walker, editor Richard Francis-Bruce, New Line president of production Michael De Luca, and host-author Richard Dyer; The Picture, with Fincher, Francis-Bruce, Dyer, cinematographer Darius Khondji, and production designer Arthur Max; and The Sound, with Fincher, Dyer, composer Howard Shore, and sound designer Ren Klyce. The second disc is devoted to the de rigueur supplements, boasting top-notch segments like an exploration of the title sequence, deleted scenes and alternate endings, and a look at the efforts that were taken to remaster Seven for the home viewers. Even though this edition doesn’t include some of the goodies from the Criterion laserdisc boxed set (like the ability to look at almost every page of those criminally obsessive notebooks, crime-scene photos, or commentary by makeup master Bob Bottin), this movie’s never going to look or sound better than it does here, and the slight oversights definitely don’t constitute a digital sin. B+