HTS Moderator , Reviewer
Title: Seventh Son
HTS Overall Score:81
It’s actually really amazing that “Seventh Son” even made it to theaters. The movie was originally going to be released by Warner brothers several years ago and got delayed to January of 2014. Then when Warner Brothers and Legendary Pictures had a bit of a falling out, the movie got shifted over to Universal and then boxed up and left in the back room until the beginning of 2015. That’s usually a sign that there is little faith in the movie and when it finally did come out it underperformed at the box office as expected. After viewing the movie I can see why it was a slight disappointment. The film treads a well beaten path and really doesn’t add anything new to the fantasy genre. It’s been done a dozen times with other fantasy films and feels a lot like “Eragon” in many ways. However, just like “Eragon”, it’s not a half bad movie and is rather entertaining if you can get past Jeff Bridges crazy “True Grit” accent and the mediocre special effects.
Master Gregory (Jeff Bridges) is what is known as a “spook” in this fantasy land. He’s the seventh son of a seventh son, and with that distinction is given special powers in defeating the minions of darkness. Unfortunately he’s the last of his kind, left with only a young apprentice (played by Kit Harrington of “Game of Thrones) and drinks more than he really should. When a routine exorcism reveals that his ancient foe, Mother Malkin, Queen of the witches has arisen, mayhem is unleashed. With his apprentice killed by the ancient witch, Master Gregory seeks out a new apprentice in the form of Tom Ward (Ben Barnes). With Tom’s help he believes that defeat of Mother Malkin (Julianne Moore) can be defeated, but only before the Blood Moon arises, which would give her incredible power and render their efforts useless.
Tom is less than eager to help the old Spook, but reluctantly agrees with his mother’s blessing. Given an amulet of hers as a good luck charm, he heads out with Master Gregory and beings a rushed training. As with fantasy films of this type, a beautiful girl named Alice (Alicia Vikander) is met and soon sparks begin to fly. The only problem is that she’s the niece of Mother Malkin and being sent as a spy while the witches gather their forces to wage war on the humans on the blood moon. Adventures are set upon and Alice’s identity is soon revealed, but there are forces far greater at work and secrets about Tom’s past that very well may hold the key to defeating Mother Malkin.
[img]http://www.hometheatershack.com/gallery/file.php?n=45658[/img]“Seventh Son” isn’t a particularly good film, but it’s not really a bad one either. By the lashings it got from the theatrical screenings I expected a train wreck of epic proportions, but what we actually got was a decently fun little action/fantasy showing. There’s definitely hammy portions of the movie, especially Jeff Bridges and his ridiculous accent. Just watch the trailer if you don’t believe me. It almost felt like he was just having fun with the role and didn’t really care about taking it seriously. Julianne Moore was almost as hammy as the evil Mother Malkin and her overacting is pretty impressive. Ben Barnes has never been what I call a fantastic actor, but he does a decent job at being the young heartthrob, giving every girl I knew heart palpitations.
Based off of a young adult novel, the movie has serious undertones that fit within the genre. Conflict of some sort, romantic entanglements (there’s ALWAYS romantic entanglements), an end of the world doomsday scenario and lots of special effects action scenes. The action scenes are the highlight of the movie, because the main characters finally stop talking and we can see witches turn into dragoons and wield giant blades in a battle to the death. The only downside to the battles was the mediocre CGI. The CGI wasn’t so blatant that it became offensive, but the slightly jerky movements and a few other inconsistencies made it obvious that this wasn’t going to rival “The Hobbit” movies in terms of near seamless realism. “Seventh Son” is NOT a bad movie, as its only real major flaw is treading a very beaten path that has been tread so many times as to become commonplace. The acting is decent and the dark fantasy world of witches, warlocks and demon hunters is quite a bit of fun and certainly works as a solid Friday night movie rental.
Rated PG-13 for intense fantasy violence and action throughout, frightening images and brief strong language
[img]http://www.hometheatershack.com/gallery/file.php?n=45666[/img]Even if the story isn’t a slam dunk, the 2.40:1 AVC video encode is simply fantastic. The rich fantasy world is brought to life with deep inky blacks and deeply saturated greens, blues and browns. The image is covered with a dark blue color grading that gives a somber feeling to the movie, but the heavy primary usage of greens during the forest scene and the slightly boosted contrast give enough light to view the incredible detail in. Facial close ups look crisp and finely detailed, while the wide open shots show some great looking clarity (except when some of the spotty CGI is in effect, then the image gets a teensy bit soft). As I said, there’s a slight boosting of the contrast, which gives the image a shiny look that gives an almost hot spotted look at times combined with some pale white skin tones. It’s never bad by any means, but it’s just enough to knock the score down from a perfect 5/5.
[img]http://www.hometheatershack.com/gallery/file.php?n=45674[/img]The rocking 7.1 DTS-HD MA track attached to the film is every bit as awe inspiring as the video encode, giving the movie an encompassing and engaging feel that sucks the listener into the middle of the adventure. Aggressive and boisterous the surrounds are filled with lively action and nuanced little ambient noises coming from the tink of armor, or the crunch of footsteps in the forest. Dialog is clean and clear, with a solid dynamic range that allows for soft moments of introspection, followed by the roaring and crashing of a full blown witch’s battle. The LFE is deep and VERY powerful, adding a powerful sense of weight to the many action sequences, and weaving itself throughout the movie in every way. Doors crash with a resounding thud, and the score feels weighty and dense throughout. A near perfect track that really showcases the lossless Blu-ray audio and is excellent demo material.
• Alternate Ending
• Deleted/Alternate Scenes
• The Making of Seventh Son: "Forging a Medieval Realm"
• Visual Effects Gallery
• The Legend and Lore of the Seventh Son
• The Making of Seventh Son: "Defenders of Good" & "Resurrecting the Wicked"
Being a young adult movie that barely and I mean BARELY made it to theaters, I’m pleasantly surprised at not being horrified beyond belief upon watching “Seventh Son”. It’s a cheesy fantasy adventure, but it’s still fun and should satisfy the urge to watch witches and heroes duke it out. It’s not as serious as “Lord of the Rings”, or as Dark and cynically humorous as “Hansel and Gretel: Witch Hunters”, but falls somewhere in between the two. Overall a pleasant little rental and worth it for the stunning audio and video.
Starring: Ben Barnes, Jeff Bridges, Julianne Moore
Directed by: Sergey Bodrov
Written by: Charles Leavitt, Steven Knight
Aspect Ratio: 2.40:1 AVC
Audio: English: DTS-HD MA 7.1, French, Spanish DTS 5.1
Runtime: 102 Minutes
Blu-ray Release Date: May 26th 2015
Buy Seventh Son On Blu-ray at Amazon
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