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.

Emmys 2016: Best & Worst Dressed

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I feel like I haven’t done a red carpet round-up in aaaages! But the awards season is creeping up on us slowly but surely and it all kicked off last night with the biggest TV show ceremony – the Emmys. Game of Thrones and People V OJ Simpson cleaned up (see all the winners here) but my main focus is on the red carpet, of course.

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Top Films for April

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It is the start of April so surprise surprise here is my U.K. preview for April! There are quite a few decent-looking movies coming out this month but I’ve managed to whittle it down to just the five best. I still think Criminal, Eye in the Sky and Miles Ahead look pretty decent, but in terms of excitement, the ones below are where it’s at.

Check it out –

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Oscars 2016: Best & Worst Dressed

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We have finally reached the end of the film awards season! It felt like we would never get there but yes, the Oscars, the pinnacle of everything, happened Sunday night. Sure, the prizes are a good talking point but this is ALL about the fashion. This is the biggie – the event everyone saves their best for, and there were some damn good outfits on display.

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Sisters: Film Review

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I love Tina Fey and I love Amy Poehler separately and I love them a million times more when they are together. They are comedy gold in my book. So you cannot imagine how disappointed I was watching Sisters, which is so, so lame.

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Top Films for December

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Another month, another upcoming preview! It seems most releases have done the sensible thing and steered clear of December and the super anticipated release of Stars Wars – The Force Awakens. Of the films on offer, there are some dreadful-looking comedies and the critically panned Brad Pitt and Angelina Jolie outing By The Sea – so there isn’t much I want to see. Here are the picks that scrape by:

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Golden Globes 2015: Best & Worst Dressed

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The awards season is here so OBVIOUSLY I’m going to be analysing red carpet fashion and giving my top picks and lesser picks. For the Golden Globes, there weren’t many that made me go ‘wow’ – most of them were pretty but safe and even those that I consider ‘worst dressed’ weren’t THAT bad. They just made me react in a bad way – but at least they made me react – some people gave me nothing. Emma Stone is my clear winner – her outfit is FAB. If I had to attend an awards show, that is what I would wear.

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This is Where I Leave You: Film Review

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I wanted to see this because it has a terrific cast and looked hilarious. It is not ground-breaking or original but very enjoyable and I liked getting to know this complex web of characters.

The film opens with Judd Altman (Jason Bateman) who lives his ‘perfect’ life until he discovers his wife has been having an affair with his boss. His world is turned upside down and it just gets worse when he discovers his father has died. Judd heads back to his hometown for the funeral and his mother Hilary (Jane Fonda) forces all four siblings – Paul (Corey Stoll), Wendy (Tina Fey) and Phillip (Adam Driver) – to stay in their childhood home for a week per their father’s “dying wishes”.

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Films For October

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Gone Girl 

I have been excited about this for a really long time and this highly anticipated adaptation of Gillian Flynn’s novel does not disappoint. It cannot fault it. Ben Affleck stars as Nick Dunne, who discovers his wife Amy (Rosamund Pike) is missing and he is the prime suspect. Did he do it? Check out my review here. Released: 3rd October

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Top Films For March

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The Grand Budapest Hotel

Ralph Fiennes stars a concierge in this comedy-drama who enlists the help of one of his employees to prove his innocence when he is framed for murder. It looks a bit odd but I am intrigued anyway. This has quite a cast including Adrien Brody, Jude Law, Willem Dafoe, Saoirse Ronan, Tilda Swinton and Jeff Goldblum. Released: 7th March

 

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Labor Day

This hard-hitting drama won rave reviews at the film festivals last year and it’s finally coming to our screens. Kate Winslet stars as a depressed single mother who falls for an escaped convict (Josh Brolin) who uses her home to hide. It looks intense and that the performances will be stellar. Released 21st March

 

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A Long Way Down

Based on the amazing Nick Hornby book, the film follows four people who go up a tower block on New Year’s Eve with the plan to commit suicide, yet they don’t go through with it when they discover the others there. From then on, they are involved in each other’s lives despite their differences, helping them see that their lives are worth living. This stars Pierce Brosnan, Toni Collette, Imogen Poots and Aaron Paul. Released 21st March

 

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Captain America: The Winter Soldier

Chris Evans is back as Captain America and he is ready to save the world, as usual. Two years after the events of  The Avengers, Rogers teams up with Natasha Romanoff/Black Widow (Scarlett Johansson) to uncover the mysterious threat that could endanger the human race before coming up against the most powerful villain yet – the winter soldier. Released 28th March

 

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Muppets Most Wanted

I love The Muppets, they are so much fun. I’m surprised a new film has come out so quickly after the Jason Segel effort but I will love its cheesy plot anyway. Basically, there is an evil Russian Kermit, who is stealing precious jewels from all over the world. While trying to chase him, the authorities manage to capture regular Kermit instead and the evil one takes his place in Hollywood – will his friends notice? How will they sort out the problem? This also stars Ricky Gervais and Tina Fey with a ton of celebrity cameos thrown in from the likes of P. Diddy to Celine Dion. Released 28th March.