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Will Smith’s First Failed Oscar® Baiter??

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HeadRAZZBerry View Drop Down
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Post Options Post Options   Quote HeadRAZZBerry Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Topic: Will Smith’s First Failed Oscar® Baiter??
    Posted: December 19 2008 at 4:41am

EARLIER in 2008, WE THOUGHT CRITICS WERE OVERLY HARSH to WILL SMITH's SUMMER BLOCKBUSTER HANCOCK (and WE GRUDGINGLY GAVE IT a FORUM HERE).

BASED on THIS FILM's OVERLY VAGUE (BUT INTRIGUING) PROMOTIONAL MATERIALS, WE THOUGHT SEVEN POUNDS MIGHT BE ANOTHER WINNER for HOLLYWOOD's CURRENT BIG MAN at the BOX OFFICE. BUT the REVIEWS for IT WERE EVEN HARSHER THAN THOSE for HANCOCK, and INDUSTRY WORD WAS THAT THIS ONE WOULD BE a TRUE TEST of SMITH's DRAWING POWER.

SO, DID THIS DESERVE to BE a SEMI-BOMB at the B.O.?  AND WAS IT BAD ENOUGH to BE a RAZZIE® CONTENDER? WE'LL LEAVE THAT UP to YOU to ARGUE...

SMITH: "Critics better not accuse me of phoning in this performance -- 'Cause I really do want another Oscar® nomination..."

Ye Olde Head RAZZberry
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Post Options Post Options   Quote #1-Movie-Fan! Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: December 19 2008 at 5:32am

As a dyed-in-the-wool Will Smith fan, I intend to see this no matter what the critics say. 

And even if it is bad, it couldn't possibly compete with "Hottie & The Nottie," "Disaster Movie," "Rambo" or "Postal" for this year's Razzie nominations!

 

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Post Options Post Options   Quote moviewizguy Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: December 19 2008 at 10:26am
I was so tired of the ambiguity, I just read the spoilers of people who saw prescreenings of the movie on IMDb. I can tell you now, it's very original. But I understand why they would hide it, because no movie has done this type of thing before. But you may well know what will happen throughout the film after you find out the big mystery. Looking at the TV spots and trailer now, I can tell you -- it's quite obvious what this movie is about.
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Post Options Post Options   Quote Michaels Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: December 19 2008 at 11:10am

The trailers for this movie are very vague, indeed -- which turns me off. All I know is that Will Smith's character is out to change the lives of seven people who are down on their luck. That's it.

Perhaps it will have a "Sixth Sense" twist, in which he's been dead all along or something??

"Just once I want my life to be like an 80's movie ... but, no, no. John Hughes did not direct my life." ("Easy A", 2010)
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Post Options Post Options   Quote RoadDogXVIII Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: December 19 2008 at 3:32pm
I actually agree with HeadRAZZ. While Hancock could've been better (the third act destroyed everything the film established), the performances were on the money, including stars Will Smith and Jason Bateman. They should've just dealt away with Theron's character, because the actress phoned her performance in.

But Seven Pounds is recieving no love whatsoever. One reviewer said at the end that Will Smith turns into a jellyfish. Don't know if that was a joke...or it's real.
You think you know, but you have no idea.
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Post Options Post Options   Quote saturnwatcher Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: December 20 2008 at 3:21am

I saw this last night...allow me to give this an enthusiastic YES!  as a Razzie contender. This is not only the feel bad movie of the year (decade?) but it is very possibly the ickiest movie I have ever seen.

On the other hand, I think an argument can be made for the fact that true Razzie contenders are movies that are so bad that they are entertaining for the wrong reasons...this movie isn't entertaining...it's just a bummer.

Nine times out of ten, in art as in life, there is no truth to be discovered, only an error to be exposed.--H.L. Menken
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Post Options Post Options   Quote moorlock2003 Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: December 25 2008 at 6:18am

As a dyed-in-the-wool anti-Will Smith fan, I intend to miss this no matter what the critics say.

I say it is time for another Will Smith Razzie nomination. I think he needs another Razzie to go with his previous win, for "Wild Wild West".

Fred Cooper
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Post Options Post Options   Quote cvcjr13 Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: December 27 2008 at 8:46pm

MAJOR SPOILERS!

You know when I cut Adam Sandler a break for Bedtime Stories and I don't cut Will Smith a break for Seven Pounds, something is very wrong.  And that's after even admitting that Seven Pounds is seven times a better movie than Bedtime Stories.

If it's a better movie, then why am I pounding Seven Pounds?

It should have been a great movie.

Now, I know I said "major spoilers" above, and there will be major spoilers in this post.  I will say that I'm not going to spoil the main thing in this movie (at least, if you haven't figured out what it is by now). 

Every scene, in and of itself, is a good, solid scene.  One of the main problems with the movie is that the scenes don't hang together very well so that the whole movie flows.  It has a very uneven feeling.

One of the things that contributes to this uneven feeling is keeping the audience in the absolute pitch black dark for the first 30 minutes.  That's an awfully long time to leave audiences to feel "what the hell is going on?"  You then start to understand that he is trying to atone for a past, horrendous mistake.  I wonder if the movie could have been greatly improved by putting this event up in front, instead of starting the movie with the beginning of the end.  At the very least by putting the past mistake up front, it would have cut down on a lot of the indecipherable flashbacks that dragged down the pacing.

Another reason the movie doesn't seem to hang together well is that there are some very hard questions that could have been explored and weren't.  First, just because someone is having recurring nightmares over the consequences of a stupid mistake is no reason for him to commit suicide.  Second, and I will be vague about this (those who have seen the movie and those who have read full-fledged spoilers will know what I'm talking about), his atonement in real life doesn't always work, and it would be next to impossible that it would work for all the people he helped, no matter how good the information was in the personal records he violated.  Third, the movie fails to deal with how the people being helped felt about what his atonement was (let alone a good percentage of the audience).  Fourth, we're essentially dealing with a lot of judgmentalism.  It has all the good intentions, but it is still a lot of judgmentalism with a lot of violating personal information and, in one case at least, a lot of rough treatment. 

Fifth, what about the poor damn jellyfish, huh? . . .

All of these unanswered questions are flaws, and all of these flaws could have been dealt with, maybe not totally, but at least in a way that the good scenes in this movie would have amounted to a great whole despite its flaws.

And that is worst part of this movie.  It could have been great, but it failed, and so it will be for many people a movie worth seeing only once.

And for many people, a movie they probably should stay away from, especially if the preventable suicide of an emotionally unstable person is too disturbing for you.

Five stars out of ten.  No Razzie noms.

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Post Options Post Options   Quote saturnwatcher Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: December 28 2008 at 2:02am

Sixth, where did he get the jellyfish in the first place? Supposedly it's the deadliest creature on the planet...I don't think you can go get one at PetsMart. Most stores that sell tropical or marine fish will grill you 10 ways from Sunday and issue 3 dozen kinds of warnings if you want to buy a Lionfish, which is poisonous, but can't really do much more than issue a nasty sting.

I also suspect that word of mouth has caused this movie to plummet at the box-office. Those of us who saw it early have been trashing it for precisely the reasons you summarized so well above.

Nine times out of ten, in art as in life, there is no truth to be discovered, only an error to be exposed.--H.L. Menken
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Post Options Post Options   Quote Michaels Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: December 28 2008 at 2:57am

SPOILER ALERT:                                                                                                      

Death by pet jellyfish? I guess that counts as original. Note: yeah, it's the box jellyfish whose venom can kill within 2 minutes after being stung by it that makes it the most deadly.

"Just once I want my life to be like an 80's movie ... but, no, no. John Hughes did not direct my life." ("Easy A", 2010)
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Post Options Post Options   Quote Mrs. Magnatech Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: December 28 2008 at 9:33am

This deserved to be on the ballot in the "Worst Screenplay" category...

RESPONSE from Head RAZZberry: This is another example of why I hate the Oscars moving from March to February -- To have our Nominating Ballots ready to go out by Christmas, we had to take them to the printers' nearly a week ahead of time. So the list of potential contenders in each category couldn't include anything released after about Dec. 18. Along with SEVEN POUNDS, in compiling the Nominating Ballot, we also had to determine the eligibility of BEDTIME STORIESYES MAN, VALKYRIE and THE SPIRIT without the chance to have actually seen any of them.

Of course, our Voting Members alwaze have the right to write-in anything they think deserving that they feel we overlooked... 

 

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Post Options Post Options   Quote Michaels Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: December 29 2008 at 1:23am

This might not be any of my business, but perhaps the Razzies need to make their own time instead of working around the Oscars, that way, deserving Christmas-released released movies will be able to get razzed. Like, instead of announcing the nods and having the award show the day before the Oscars annouce their nods and have their award show, what about announcing the nods and having the award show the WEEK AFTER the Oscars have their nod announcement and award show? 

Originally posted by Head RAZZberry

This is another example of why I hate the Oscars moving from March to February -- To have our Nominating Ballots ready to go out by Christmas, we had to take them to the printers' nearly a week ahead of time. So the list of potential contenders in each category couldn't include anything released after about Dec. 18. Along with SEVEN POUNDS, in compiling the Nominating Ballot, we also had to determine the eligibility of BEDTIME STORIESYES MAN, VALKYRIE and THE SPIRIT without the chance to have actually seen any of them.

 

"Just once I want my life to be like an 80's movie ... but, no, no. John Hughes did not direct my life." ("Easy A", 2010)
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Post Options Post Options   Quote HeadRAZZBerry Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: December 29 2008 at 2:00am

RESPONSE from Head RAZZberry: Proximity to the Little Gold Naked Man Awards® is now part-and-parcel of the RAZZIES®, doing it right before their ceremony being a major part of our joke. But it has become a decidedly mixed blessing ever since Oscar® moved his ceremony to Sunday from Monday about a decade ago, then jumped it forward into February from March/April.

Maybe the answer to this particular dilemma would be to convince studios to pre-screen their RAZZIE® Contenders for our members like they pre-screen their Oscar® and Globe® contenders for the other gize...

YEAH, RIGHT -- LIKE THAT'S EVER GONNA HAPPEN! 

 

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Post Options Post Options   Quote saturnwatcher Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: December 30 2008 at 3:35am

I didn't like Seven Pounds at all, but I don't think it is a major omission Given the competition this year, I really doubt that it would have broken through to the final ballot in any category.

As to the problems presented by sending out Razzie ballots, I think it should be noted that very few truly Razzable movies are ever released in the final two weeks of the year. We may miss one or two now and then, but I don't really think it is a problem that screams for any sort of reordering of the schedule that has been in place for several years.

Nine times out of ten, in art as in life, there is no truth to be discovered, only an error to be exposed.--H.L. Menken
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Post Options Post Options   Quote cvcjr13 Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: December 30 2008 at 6:04pm

Good points, saturnwatcher.

Seventh, not only does the movie not deal with how an audience would feel about suicide, not only does the movie not deal with how an audience would feel about "the method of his atonement", but also the movie does not deal with him being a stalker.  He was violating people's privacy to the extreme. 

People have very negative emotions about these things, and just throwing them up there with the barest acknowledgement about these strong emotions begs for a very strong backlash.

About the stalker issue, I'm reminded of the one scene in Brian Singer's Superman Returns where Superman becomes Super Stalker.  Even those of us who enjoyed the movie (and, as the Razzies revealed, this movie polarized the audience) cringed as our hero used his x-ray vision to spy on Lois Lane and her family.  If Superman isn't cut any slack for being a stalker, why did Will Smith think he could be a stalker and little more needs to be said about it?

Eighth, the commercials for Seven Pounds are appalling.  The perfect gift for the holidays?  I can do without those type of gifts (and I'm still trying not to reveal too much).  A love story?  Well, there is a love story within the movie, but that's not what audiences are going to take away from this -- not by a longshot.

Soon to come, Seven Pounds 2 (Fourteen Pounds? Forty-nine Pounds?), where a not-so-ethical bioethicist clones Ben Thomas several times so he can open his own business providing products people desperately want (I'm still trying not to reveal too much), justifying the whole thing because Thomas suffers from recurring nightmares, there's a demand that needs to be met and he has plenty of jellyfish, too. . . .

 

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Post Options Post Options   Quote saturnwatcher Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: December 31 2008 at 2:09am
Originally posted by cvcjr13

Eighth, the commercials for Seven Pounds are appalling.  The perfect gift for the holidays?  I can do without those type of gifts (and I'm still trying not to reveal too much). 

That may be the single most relevant point. People are being lured into this movie on false pretenses and then being subjected to some really gut-wrenching subject matter. Admittedly it would be difficult to market this movie without giving away some signficant plot points, but a more intellectually honest approach probably could have been offered.

Nine times out of ten, in art as in life, there is no truth to be discovered, only an error to be exposed.--H.L. Menken
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