Soul: Film Review

Soul

I hold Pixar films in really high regard so I have the greatest of expectations for each new offering and while Soul is good, it doesn’t reach the lofty heights of the company’s best work.

Soul follows middle school music teacher Joe Gardner (voiced by Jamie Foxx), who has long dreamed of having a career as a jazz musician. One day, he is hired to become the pianist in a band with Dorothea Williams (Angela Bassett), but hours before the break he has been longing for, Joe has an accident and his soul is separated from his body. He wakes up on a conveyor belt heading to The Great Beyond, but he manages to escape and ends up in The Great Before, where souls develop their personalities and traits before being sent to Earth. He must work with souls in training, such as 22 (Tina Fey), in order to get back to his body.

I have to applaud Pete Docter and his team for taking on big themes such as life and death and what comes before and after them and presenting them visually in a way children will want to watch and creating an entertaining journey that they will enjoy and understand, even if the big concepts go over their heads. I really respected the message about appreciating life, a person’s purpose, and what gives them their spark as well as the ambition the team had for this movie – but it didn’t fully work for me. I can’t place why but at the end, I felt deflated because I was expecting more; for it to hit me in the feels or give me some sort of epiphany, but that didn’t happen. My expectations for Pixar films are just so damn high!

The voice cast is incredible. Foxx was the perfect choice for Joe and he brings so much energy and enthusiasm to the part. Fey was also excellent as 22, who is reluctant to find her spark and go to Earth, and they make a great comedy pairing. I also enjoyed Phylicia Rashad as Joe’s no-nonsense mother Libba, Bassett as the difficult to impress Dorothea, and Rachel House as Terry, a soul counter in The Great Beyond. I was surprised but thrilled to hear the voices of Graham Norton and Richard Ayoade in this, with Norton being a particular delight.

Although this isn’t one of the best Pixar films and the message might be lost on young viewers, they can still enjoy the colourful visuals, the body-swap comedy element, and all the cat jokes. There’s plenty of humour in here to amuse both kids and adults, but grown-ups may appreciate what it’s saying too.

Available on Disney+ for no extra fee on Christmas Day

Rating: 3.5 out of 5.

Project Power: Netflix Film Review

Project Power

With high-profile names like Jamie Foxx and Joseph Gordon-Levitt attached, I had extremely high hopes for Project Power and while it didn’t entirely deliver, it was still an entertaining ride.

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Just Mercy: Film Review

Get your tissues at the ready! Just Mercy is a heartbreaking tale that won’t leave a dry eye in the house.

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My top 10 movies of 2017

A lot of people have been doing their end of year lists since the start of December, but I like to wait a little longer just in case there is a late entry – I thought The Greatest Showman might have made it (it didn’t) – so here are my top 10 films of 2017.

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Baby Driver: Film Review

I am a huge fan of Edgar Wright‘s films but I wasn’t initially convinced about Baby Driver, I just wasn’t feeling the trailer, but I was very wrong and the movie is probably one of the few I’ve enjoyed unequivocally this year.

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Baby Driver European premiere: My Pics

Another day, another premiere! Haven’t had two in one week in ages! Anyway, tonight the stars of Baby Driver came to London’s Leicester Square to promote the movie – check out who hit the pink and white carpet!

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Top Films for June 2017

It’s the beginning of June which can only mean one thing – monthly preview time! Here’s my regular feature where I recommend films for the coming month.

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Annie: Film Review

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I have to admit, I am not familiar with the Broadway musical or the later film adaptations and my knowledge was limited to a basic understanding of the plot (because it changes in different versions) and classic tracks Tomorrow and It’s the Hard Knock Life. So while I can’t compare it to its predecessors, I can still say that it didn’t leave me with the happy, warm feeling musicals usually do.

Quvenzhane Wallis stars as Annie Bennett in this modern-day reboot as a foster child (not orphan!) living under the guardianship of Miss Hannigan (Cameron Diaz). One day, mobile phone businessman and wannabe mayor Will Stacks (Jamie Foxx) saves her from a potential car accident and when he sees it boosts his campaign ratings, he invites her to live with him temporarily. She is mainly looked after by his assistant Grace (Rose Byrne). His campaign advisor (Bobby Cannavale) begins to hatch a plan with Hannigan to reunite Annie with her ‘parents’, whether they are the real ones or not.

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Films for December

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The movies you should be watching this month are….

St. Vincent

Critics have been raving about this film since it did the festival circuit earlier this year. Bill Murray is the unfriendly bum Vincent who befriends the boy next door and their unlikely friendship has a positive outcome on them both. I love Murray so definitely up for this. Released: 5th December

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Horrible Bosses 2: Film Review

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This is bigger, bolder and ruder than the original – but that doesn’t make it better. While it was enjoyable and pretty funny, it was too much and totally over the top. Producers clearly went for quantity over quality when it came to the jokes.

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