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Soul (UHD Blu-ray) review

Soul (UHD Blu-ray) review
« on: March 21, 2021, 06:37:35 PM »




Studio: Disney / Pixar

Release Date: March 23, 2021

Rating: PG

Film: 4.5/5



Plot

Jamie Foxx leads an all-star cast in this hilarious, heart-filled adventure. Disney and Pixar’s “Soul” introduces Joe, who lands the gig of his life at the best jazz club in town. But one misstep lands Joe in a fantastical place: The Great Before. There, he teams up with soul 22 (Tina Fey), and together they find the answers to some of life’s biggest questions.



My Thoughts

Pete Doctor is no stranger to Pixar films having written quite a few of them and directing four others including Monster’s Inc. and Up, two of the best films from the studio. He’s hit another home run here with a perfect cast and phenomenal script. This was my second viewing of it after watching it on Disney+ last year and it only gets better the second time through.



Like Doctor’s Up and Inside Out, this is a journey of self-discovery about one’s life and will definitely make you think about yours once it’s over. In Joe’s case, he finally gets his big break and life throws him a curveball and he’s whisked off to the Great Beyond, but he’s not going to enter without a fight and finds himself in the Great Before. As a lost soul he’ll do anything to get back to Earth and finally start living his life, but there will definitely be complications along the way.



The film was minted from a 4K source and the results are fantastic. Primary colors burst from the screen, especially when Joe first enters the Great Before and the depth in the image is to die for. The New York cityscape is teaming with detail and as Joe walks through the city blocks, it’s almost like you’re transported into a digital realm along with him. The HDR treatment is excellent and none of the banding I saw on the 4K stream from Disney+ is to be found.



Like most Pixar films, the Atmos track is very active with pinpoint discrete effects flying about the room. I’m currently reviewing a Trinnov Altitude 16 pre/pro and the soundtrack came alive with their fabulous processing creating a lifelike 3D environment.



Video 9.5/10



Audio 9/10 (Dolby Atmos)



Special Features:



  • Deleted Scenes
    • Introduction – Writer Mike Jones and story supervisor Kristen Lester introduce the “Soul” deleted scenes.
    • Mentor Orientation – Joe sneaks into the You Seminar Mentor Program orientation, trying to figure out how on earth he can get back to ... Earth.
    • Clubhouse Forgery – Joe follows 22 into her “secret lair” as she reluctantly agrees to help him find his way back to Earth.
    • Home Lessons – Stuck inside Joe’s body, 22 clumsily attempts to help the downstairs neighbor.
    • Living the Dream – Joe has a heart-to-heart with 22 about her fear of living on Earth, then tries to make his way back home via a dream portal.
    • Press Shot – Joe, stuck in a cat’s body, and 22, stuck in Joe’s body, take the subway to the jazz club for a publicity photography session.
  • Audio Commentary – View the film with audio commentary by director Pete Docter, co-director/writer Kemp Powers and producer Dana Murray.
  • Not Your Average Joe – See the thought and care that went into crafting Joe and his story in Pixar’s first film to feature a Black leading character.
  • Astral Taffy – Get an in-depth look at the artistry and technical innovation that went into creating the sets and characters in the world of “Soul.”
  • Pretty Deep for a Cartoon – The filmmakers tackle big questions, such as where does a newborn’s personality come from, what’s the meaning of life, and more!
  • Into the Zone: The Music and Sound of Soul – Explore the movie’s different sonic worlds and discover how music drives and adds specificity to Joe’s journey.
  • “Soul,” Improvised – See how the Pixar Systems team and “Soul”’s crew managed to finish the film on schedule during the height of the COVID-19 pandemic.
  • Jazz Greats – Giants of the jazz world who consulted on “Soul” share their passion and hard-won wisdom about what music is and does for us all.
  • UHD + Blu-ray + Movies Anywhere Digital Copy










Conclusion

As my kids have left the home, I don’t find myself as excited to watch animated titles as I used to when they were kids. Soul is definitely the exception—this is a deep and thought-provoking journey of discovery that will have you doing some self-reflection once its over. The presentation on UHD is excellent and is a must-own for Pixar fans. Highly recommended. 





Reference Review System:

JVC DLA-RS2000 4K Ultra High Definition Front Projector

(Calibrated with Portrait Displays CalMAN color calibration software & C6-HDR Meter from Portrait Displays)

Stewart Filmscreen - Firehawk 88” 16x9 Fixed Screen

Trinnov Altitude 16 Audio/Video Processor

ATI AT527NC Powering Bed ChannelsATI AT524NC Powering Atmos Speakers

Panasonic DP-UB820 Ultra HD Blu-ray Player

System Controller: URC MX-980

M&K S-150 THX Ultra (R-C-L Speakers)

M&K SS-150 x4 (Surround Speakers)

Atlantic Technology IC6-OBA x 4 Overhead Speakers

SVS PC-Ultra Cylinder Subwoofer

HSU VTF-15H MK2 Subwoofer

SVS SB-3000 Subwoofer

JL Audio Dominion D110 Subwoofer x 2 (configured as tandem mid bass modules)

Mini DSP controlling all subwoofers

Audioquest and Monoprice - Audio/Video/Speaker Cabling

PureAV PF60 Power Conditioner

« Last Edit: March 23, 2021, 04:28:30 PM by David Vaughn »
Blu-ray Reviewer / Technical Writer
Sound & Vision Magazine

bmoney

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Re: Soul (UHD Blu-ray) review
« Reply #1 on: March 22, 2021, 08:09:59 AM »
def an upgrade in video quality from the streaming version.  And a great story.  
SadieMax 2,0 Build thread

Nad t758v3 
7.4.4 diysoundgroup 1099's (3) 
Volt 6 (8 ) 
18" SI subs (4) 
diy 130" 2.40 spandex screen
minidsp 2x4HD
JVC rs600
Lumagen radiance pro 4242
Nvidia shield pro
Emby NAS media player

Re: Soul (UHD Blu-ray) review
« Reply #2 on: March 23, 2021, 12:31:02 PM »
Greetings,

Yeah, this one is great all around. 8)


Regards,

Re: Soul (UHD Blu-ray) review
« Reply #3 on: March 23, 2021, 03:33:39 PM »
I saw this back in January, 2 weeks after it was released. I'm a huge jazz fan so I loved that element. Serendipitously, I have an ongoing group chat with a few other friends who are also big jazz fans and we all had watched it on the same Friday night (well 3 of 4 did, the other watched it Sat after our prompting).


*** SPOILER ALERT ***

We had different reactions about the ending and Joe's story. One friend hated it, said it basically ruined the movie for him b/c it was too Disney, and he had fulfilled his life ambition at that point. I can see that and felt a little similar b/c it seemed to make his sacrifice, not actually a sacrifice. But at the same time, the theme of the movie and Joe's experience with 22 definitely fit with the ending. So I can see both sides. My wife actually liked the open ending.
« Last Edit: March 24, 2021, 08:55:53 AM by Paul Heroy »

bmoney

  • *****
  • 1273
Re: Soul (UHD Blu-ray) review
« Reply #4 on: March 24, 2021, 04:40:02 AM »
Watched this again with my daughter last night. Forgot how great the atmos is in it. Almost sounds like an atmos demo trailer at times. 

SadieMax 2,0 Build thread

Nad t758v3 
7.4.4 diysoundgroup 1099's (3) 
Volt 6 (8 ) 
18" SI subs (4) 
diy 130" 2.40 spandex screen
minidsp 2x4HD
JVC rs600
Lumagen radiance pro 4242
Nvidia shield pro
Emby NAS media player

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