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SOUL (2021) - Blu-ray Review

SOUL

To be quite honest with you, SOUL is my NEW go-to Pixar film.  It is THAT solid of a movie and continues Pixar’s glorious move to humanize some pretty heavy and ABSTRACT concepts as their key audiences grow up.

"The writing is on the wall as this one’s heart strings are constantly being plucked.  You either have SOUL or you don't"


This is a very special movie that, for starters, surrounds itself in the music of movement as jazz is central to its understanding and its passion.  SOUL is not a movie for beginners.  Nor is it for the shallow end of the gene pool.  SOUL is a movie for kids and adults with questions about the very meaning of it all.  

And I refuse to apologize to those who don’t like it.  The writing is on the wall as this one’s heart strings are constantly being plucked.  You either have SOUL or you don't.

That’s what happens when New York City comes fully alive thanks to SOUL’s jangly walk as one jazzman finds himself traveling from Manhattan to a sort-of Limbo place where he befriends 22 (Tina Fey), a rebellious spirit who is struggling to understand the point of taking her spirit to Earth.  Suffice to say, she lacks the passion that this jazzman has plenty of, thanks to his love of music.

The two lost souls NEED each other.

Through and through, SOUL is consistent in its narrative flow, its music, and its animation, making a film that rewards with multiple viewings.  Myself?  I am on my fifth trip through this journey to The Great Before and back down to Earth landing with a thud in the best jazz club in New York City.SOUL

SOUL is a rare treat.  Directed by Pete Docter and Kemp Powers from a screenplay they wrote with Mike Jones and voiced by Jamie Foxx as our jazz pianist who - through a simple twist of fate - finds himself caught up in the world that ALL souls pass through before and after they live their lives on planet earth.  

Foxx is Joe Gardner and Joe, on the night of his big debut playing the piano for BIG TIME saxophonist (Angela Bassett), finds himself, well, accidentally DEAD.  Oh boy.  As his spirit travels to Heaven, he takes a detour and does EVERYTHING within his power to return to the stage.  It is a comedy of errors which follows his path back to New York City after befriending 22 and taking her with him.

Together, they must discover what makes them both tick in this bustling city of GREAT PIZZA and TASTY JAZZ.  Like the music at the heart of SOUL, this movie feels improvisational and beyond creative which makes it borderline impossible to guess its many twist and turns and, thanks to the relief of this reviewer, impossible to spoil.

SOUL, with the additional voice talents of Wes Studi, Alice Braga, Rachel House, Phylicia Rashad and Richard Ayoade, is a gift and now that wholesome gift can be yours with this 3-disc Blu-ray + DVD + Digital Code edition from Disney/Buena Vista

What is it that makes you...YOU?

5/5 stars

SOUL

Blu-ray Details

Home Video Distributor: Disney | Buena Vista
Available on Blu-ray
- March 23, 2021
Screen Formats: 2.39:1
Subtitles
: English SDH, Spanish
Audio:
English: DTS-HD Master Audio 7.1; English: DTS-HD HR 5.1; English: Dolby Digital 2.0; Spanish: Dolby Digital 5.1
Discs: Blu-ray Disc; three-disc set; DVD copy
Region Encoding: Region-free playback

What is it that makes you...YOU? This November, Pixar Animation Studios' all-new feature film "Soul" introduces Joe Gardner (voice of Jamie Foxx) a middle-school band teacher who gets the chance of a lifetime to play at the best jazz club in town. But one small misstep takes him from the streets of New York City to The Great Before a fantastical place where new souls get their personalities, quirks and interests before they go to Earth. Determined to return to his life, Joe teams up with a precocious soul, 22 (voice of Tina Fey), who has never understood the appeal of the human experience. As Joe desperately tries to show 22 what's great about living, he may just discover the answers to some of life's most important questions. Directed by Academy Award winner Pete Docter (Inside Out, Up), co-directed by Kemp Powers (One Night in Miami) and produced by Academy Award nominee Dana Murray, p.g.a. (Pixar short "Lou"), Pixar's latest film, SOUL comes to home video in a nice little 3-disc Blu-ray + DVD + Digital Code edition from Disney/Buena Vista

Video

As expected, SOUL is a beautiful film with a luscious color palette and a depth of detail that must be seen to be believed. Disney does a great job with the 1080p (2.39:1) transfer that shows little to no flaws anywhere. Very near perfect in fact! Colors always remain well-saturated throughout making this the perfect specimen for your high-end home video system. For those with DVD players, there's a DVD disc included that puts on a quite an impressive show itself.

Audio

The English language 7.1 DTS-HD Master Audio track rumbles, shakes, and shimmies with a raucous intensity that never lets the low-end go to sleep. Voices are always clear and crisp even when playing over the omnipresent ambient noise and the original music track from Jeff Danna and Mychael Danna. There's also an Spanish and French 5.1 Dolby Digital language tracks, English SDH, Spanish, and French subtitles.

Supplements:

Commentary:

  • See special features

Special Features:

Included inside are a blu-ray disc with the film, a DVD disc with a standard definition copy of the film stuck on the same spindle (always awkward), and a third blu-ray disc containing a smattering of extra bonus features, including deleted scenes, a musical score feature, cast/crew interviews, and more. There's also a coupon code for a digital download. And of particular interest to streamers, the digital download comes with a free year of Apple +. Nothing too in-depth or revealing but SOUL fans and Pixar lovers will certainly appreciate the bonus material offered.

  • Not Your Average Joe
  • Astral Taffy 
  • Audio Commentary
  • Pretty Deep for a Cartoon
  • Into the Zone: The Music and Sound of Soul
  • Jazz Greats
  • Soul Improvised
  • Deleted Scenes
  • Trailers

Blu-ray Rating

  Movie 5/5 stars
  Video  5/5 stars
  Audio 5/5 stars
  Extras 5/5 stars

Overall Blu-ray Experience

5/5 stars


Film Details

SOUL

MPAA Rating: PG for thematic elements and some language.
Runtime:
100 mins
Director
: Pete Docter, Kemp Powers
Writer:
Pete Docter (story & screenplay by), Mike Jones
Cast:
Jamie Foxx, Tina Fey, Graham Norton
Genre
: Comedy | Family | Animated
Tagline:
Everybody has a soul. Joe Gardner is about to find his.
Memorable Movie Quote: "Life is full of possibilities. You just need to know where to look. Don't miss out on the joys of life."
Theatrical Distributor:
Walt Disney Studios
Official Site: https://movies.disney.com/soul
Release Date:
December 25, 2020 (internet)
DVD/Blu-ray Release Date:
March 23, 2021.
Synopsis: What is it that makes you...YOU? This Christmas only on Disney+, Pixar Animation Studios' all-new feature film "Soul" introduces Joe Gardner (voice of Jamie Foxx) – a middle-school band teacher who gets the chance of a lifetime to play at the best jazz club in town. But one small misstep takes him from the streets of New York City to The Great Before – a fantastical place where new souls get their personalities, quirks and interests before they go to Earth. Determined to return to his life, Joe teams up with a precocious soul, 22 (voice of Tina Fey), who has never understood the appeal of the human experience. As Joe desperately tries to show 22 what's great about living, he may just discover the answers to some of life's most important questions.

Art

SOUL

 

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