Who’s got the Soul? Who’s got THE SOUL? I SAID WHO’S GOT THE SOUL!? YEAAAAAAA! Whoa, I’m getting a little carried away here. What an absolute jam fest! The rumble in the jungle compiled with some of the best music artists the USA had to offer at the time performing live at the festival in Zaire. For those who don’t know this festival coincided with the championship boxing bout between Muhammed Ali and George Foreman namely dubbed “The Rumble In The Jungle” promoted famously by Don King.
Soul Power really does reach down into one’s soul in this documentary by giving you an in depth look into the artists, and in reality the time. (70’s) The movie shows you everything from opening interviews with Ali about the announced artists such as James Brown, B.B. King, The Spinners, Bill Withers, Big Black, The Crusaders and even Celia Cruz! Following the stars backstage where they are a little more than under the influence of many drugs, presumably. It really does make you feel like your in the time.
The movie features incredible performances and it really is something to see. It’s very amusing and entertaining and blissful to the ears. Despite some of the lashing it may sound like I give the video quality review please if you get the chance give this title a look as if this type of music interests you in the least which it did my self as I’m not a huge fan then it will definitely take you by storm. You may just find yourself a special little gem and start searching for some of this music. (which I am not guilty as charged and loving it!)
Holy wheat bread Batman! By far the grainiest blu-ray I have ever seen. I know, I know … It’s true to its original source being a rockumentary a la Soul from the 70’s but I cant help but talk about how much film grain there is on the picture. Just look at the screen shots! The film is awesome and the audio is great, but honestly if you’re one to be bothered by grain then you must understand this purchase would be best in mind knowing you are buying it first and foremost for the audio alone. I am not a lover of grain, no matter what its intention whether purposely or unintentional. X-Men Origins Wolverine show cased grain in an opening sequence that was decent since it then switched over and played the rest of the movie out by the norm, but films like 300 and Soul Power just irk me th wrong way. In fact, I’ll let Soul Power slide since the music is where the heart is at on this one and it’s very old compared to the likes of Snyders whack ass vision to grain up 300. None the less, staying true to its form it does have some slight moments without grain that look good but 90% of this flick is all grainy. Soul Power comes to you at a 1080p, 1.78:1-framed transfer that true to art film go’ers will love while blockbuster lovers like myself will quench at the ever so present film grain.
Sigh, maybe I’m being too harsh … it is true to it’s original source so I had to go and bump up its final grade some more, but you have been warned.
Soul Power comes to you with plenty of power featuring a DTS-HD MA 5.1 lossless soundtrack. All the documentary type peices are fine in clarity albeit it really doesnt matter during those parts. However, when its time to get down and boogie the film will rock your 5.1 set up! The James Brown ending is amazing, simply put. The intro even gets you pumped up and he totally rocks it. I was a little saddened though by there only being 2 songs performed by Brown as his audio parts really stood out to me. (There is however another James Brown track on the deleted scenes.) Well, that and B.B. King’s did. The guitar comes through your speakers like crazy! Seriously, audiophiles will pop wood.
Soul Power comes to blu-ray disc with what many would consider a weak supplement package. However, due to the nature of this film and its history it actually has quite a lot! Do not forget to watch the deleted scenes, there are some great performances on there as well!
Commentary track with Director Jeffrey Levy-Hinte and Music/Festival Producer Stewart Levine: Definitely the best special feature this disc has to offer. Jeffrey Levy-Hinte offers an intriguing and in depth audio track going over the negotiations to make all that was the Rumble In The Jungle festival possible amongst many other things.
Nine deleted scenes (480p, 42:11) Another cool showing is the nine deleted scenes.
Soul Power theatrical trailer (1080p)
Other 1080p trailers
Bottom line, Soul Power dropped a powerful audio track with compliments to Sony Pictures for the attention to detail. The video quality though grainy as all get out was true to its original source and probably as good as it will ever get. The supplement package on the same hand could be all that there is to offer and thus acceptable. Speaking of which, I love the Ali rant that he gives in one of the deleted scenes. It’s hilariously entertaining. Oh, and some more James Brown 🙂 If you can look past film grain and enjoy overall quality then you will definitely find love in this classic 74 Festival documentary that surrounded a great time in our nation before MMA was around and boxing was the ends all be all. The fight is not featured on this film but the hype surrounding the event definitely is! Soul Power packs the power and the punch and with that I do recommend this film!