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Soul Blu-ray Review

“Soul” is one of 2020’s best films.

In “Soul,” the story centers around an African-American teacher (Joe) who dreams about being a jazz musician. He gets his big break when is asked to play with a well known band at a jazz club. Unfortunately, he dies on the way to the gig, but the story doesn’t end there. Joe is headed to The Great Beyond, but he doesn’t want to go there so he escapes to The Great Before (a place where unborn souls reside). While there, he is mistaken as a mentor who is assigned to take soul 22 under his wing. 22 seems to have zero interest in ever going to Earth, but Joe tries to get through to the disinterested soul. What happens next? Well, that would be spoiling the journey. One thing I will say though is that an accountant named Terry seems to have caught on to Joe’s escape and is trying to correct the error. 

Director Pete Docter’s “Soul” is Pixar’s most mature work to date by far. Not only is it rated PG, but it’s an emotional ride that tackles some very big ideas and themes about mentoring, selflessness, dreams, life, death, mysticism, music, and feeling lost. Yes, there are shades of “Inside Out” here, but the script by Pete Docter, Mike Jones and Kemp Powers is a much more complex story both conceptually and from a character standpoint. It’s a feel good movie that celebrates life while also acting as a love letter to teachers. It’s nice to see Pixar stepping out of their comfort zone and trying something different here. I can only hope they continue to create stories that are as profound as “Soul.”

The voice acting here is nothing short of brilliant. Jamie Foxx gives one of his finest performances as Joe as does Tina Fey who really gives a soul to 22. I have to give props to casting for giving Richard Ayoade a part as well. I love seeing Ayoade continue to pop up in the Disney universe in various voice roles. He’s a comedic genius that deserves more attention in the U.S.

Video/Audio:

Presentation: 2.39:1 1080p. How does it look? It should come as no surprise that this is a perfect transfer. It is super colorful and detailed as Pixar films tend to be.

Audio Track: 7.1 DTS-HD MA. How does it sound? From the excellent music  by Trent Reznor, Jon Batiste and Atticus Ross to the voice acting, this track is as lively as can be.


Extras:
* DVD copy and Digital copy
* Disney trailers and 3 “Soul” trailers
* “Not Your Average Joe”- A featurette on the lead character complete with interviews with crew members.
* “Astral Taffy”- An extra about creating the soul world.
* Commentary by Pete Docter, Dana Murray and Kemp Powers.
* 5 deleted scenes with an intro to them.
* “Jazz Greats”- Jazz experts and musicians talk about the genre of music (and the power of music).
* “Pretty Deep For A Cartoon”- A featurette on the ambitious themes and ideas of “Soul.”
* “Into The Zone: The Music And Sound Of Soul”- The title says it all
* “Soul, Improvised”- This extra explores the challenges of the production of the film during 2020.

March 17, 2021 - Posted by | Blu-Ray review | , , , ,

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