Soul (Pete Docter, 2020)

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swo17
Bloodthirsty Butcher
Joined: Tue Apr 15, 2008 10:25 am
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Soul (Pete Docter, 2020)

#1 Post by swo17 » Sat Oct 02, 2021 3:02 pm

Haven't seen any discussion here of Pixar's Soul, but it's actually really good--a truer jazz film than La La Land, interesting animation that varies from photorealism to childlike video game fantasy, a fantastically fitting score by Reznor and Ross, and relevant messaging about the purpose of life that bears the mark of having been made during the pandemic ("in various homes all at least six feet apart from each other")

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hearthesilence
Joined: Fri Mar 04, 2005 4:22 am
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Re: The Films of 2020

#2 Post by hearthesilence » Sat Jun 22, 2024 2:39 pm

swo17 wrote:
Sat Oct 02, 2021 3:02 pm
Haven't seen any discussion here of Pixar's Soul, but it's actually really good--a truer jazz film than La La Land, interesting animation that varies from photorealism to childlike video game fantasy, a fantastically fitting score by Reznor and Ross, and relevant messaging about the purpose of life that bears the mark of having been made during the pandemic ("in various homes all at least six feet apart from each other")
I had mixed feelings about it, but having watched last year's Super Mario Brothers movie and Soul back to back with my youngest relatives, I have to say Soul comes off as a godsend. Pun not intended (it just feels too fitting to use this phrase) but there's nothing more soul-killing than watching a movie like Super Mario Brothers with all of its craft and talent at the service of regurgitating even the most inane details of the video game in the most literal sense possible.

I've loved jazz since my earliest days in college and lived in New York City for well over a decade now, so in some ways I'm kind of an easy target for Soul. (The Half Note is clearly based on the Village Vanguard, which I've visited many times - I caught three different acts there this month alone.) They definitely worked hard to get it right and brought in consultants and collaborators that visibly helped. What didn't really win me over were the otherworldly sections, which to be fair I didn't dislike as much as the analogous scenes in Inside Out (also directed by Pete Docter). As children's entertainment, I'd have to evaluate it with a different set of parameters as well - they're more or less the main audience for this film. In that respect, it's kind of a tricky line to walk where you're trying to communicate relatively complex concepts to children while making everything engaging to older viewers. To be brutally honest, what the film tries to say about life can feel a bit bland, and what it says about a life dedicated to music can seem a little off (there's a lot of parts that do reflect what it's like, but it doesn't quite add up right - needing a full-time job in addition to performing is so common and widespread that it was hard to buy how Joe was being forced to navigate it as an either-or choice, and I didn't quite buy what Joe feels right after his show with Dorothea due to too many anecdotes to name). But if that's the worst problem to find in a children's film, I can't really be disappointed.

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flyonthewall2983
Joined: Mon Jun 27, 2005 3:31 pm
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Re: The Films of 2020

#3 Post by flyonthewall2983 » Sat Jun 22, 2024 3:33 pm

I couldn’t help but notice how similar Jamie Foxx's character is to the one he played in Collateral. Single, complicated relationships with their mothers and a general sense of dreams that have slipped away. Joe's club gig is like Max's limo service.

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