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The Soloist [Blu-ray]
The Soloist
Actors: Jamie Foxx, Robert Downey Jr., Catherine Keener, Tom Hollander, Lisa Gay Hamilton
Director: Joe Wright
Genres: Drama, African American Cinema
PG-13     2009     1hr 57min

Genre: Drama Rating: PG13 Release Date: 4-AUG-2009 Media Type: Blu-Ray


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Movie Details

Actors: Jamie Foxx, Robert Downey Jr., Catherine Keener, Tom Hollander, Lisa Gay Hamilton
Director: Joe Wright
Creators: Steve Lopez, Susannah Grant
Genres: Drama, African American Cinema
Sub-Genres: Drama, African American Cinema
Studio: Dreamworks Video
Format: Blu-ray - Color,Widescreen - Dubbed,Subtitled
DVD Release Date: 08/04/2009
Original Release Date: 01/01/2009
Theatrical Release Date: 01/01/2009
Release Year: 2009
Run Time: 1hr 57min
Screens: Color,Widescreen
Number of Discs: 1
SwapaDVD Credits: 2
Total Copies: 0
Members Wishing: 2
MPAA Rating: PG-13 (Parental Guidance Suggested)
Languages: English, French, Spanish
Subtitles: English, French, Spanish
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Movie Reviews

No One Goes Solo
R. Kjar | Wisconsin | 07/22/2009
(4 out of 5 stars)

"This movie is primarily about the relationship between the weary journalist and the homeless artist, and Downey and Foxx give great performances. It sensitively deals with issues of charity and friendship in ways that challenge conventional ideals, and I liked the fact that in the end, Downey's character seems content to stop playing the role of "rescuer" and instead lets events play out to their natural conclusion. In fact, Foxx's character, for all the mental distress he faces, seems more grounded at times than Downey's character, and you might wonder whether the soloist refers to the cello virtuoso or the journalist who seems to learn what it means to be a friend rather than going solo through life. In that respect, it's a show that operates effectively on more than a superficial level.

Now if they could just have spent a little more time coaching Foxx on his fake cello-playing skills...alas."
It's about the music, stupid
Way Man | Baltimore, MD USA | 10/03/2009
(5 out of 5 stars)

"I think it's quite extraordinary that none of the reviews of the Soloist discuss the use of Beethoven's work in the film, which in my view reveals a shocking ignorance on the part of the critics. For example, the use of the cello part from the rondo of the second movement (the funeral march) of the 3rd symphony is brilliant, and reveals far more than just the playing skill of Ayres. Ditto the use of the Triple Concerto, various string quartets, less well-known parts of the 9th Symphony, all of which brilliantly move from the cello parts to the lager ensemble and back. It's a moving, innovative, and gorgeous use of Beethoven's work, and it makes a much larger point that the critics seem to miss entirely: Beethoven's work, most of all is about transcendence, the brotherhood of mankind, and the profound spiritual value of music. That's how the Soloist uses the composers's work to tell the story. Beethoven and music are Ayres' path to transcendence, and the way Beethoven's work is handled in the film makes this point clearly. The Soloist is worth seeing (and hearing) for the music alone.

People who see this film as a political statement miss the whole point."
Like playing a violin with 2 strings
Jean E. Pouliot | Newburyport, MA United States | 11/22/2009
(2 out of 5 stars)

""The Soloist" is a crude and inept adaptation of Steve Lopez's fine book of the same name. Looking for city stories to write about in his LA Times column, Lopez comes across Nathaniel Ayers, a former Juilliard student, now homeless, who plays beautiful classical music in an LA highway tunnel. The movie distorts Lopez's home life, making him a Downey-like loser, and moving wife and kids out of his life to simplify the plot. Ayers is a schizophrenic genius with little need for tutoring or practice. Just give him some meds, the movie seems to say, clean him up a little and plop him on stage, and all will be well. The reality (as captured in the book) is much more complex and difficult to achieve. There, Ayers was good, but very rusty and undisciplined and unreliable, making a stage comeback unlikely. In a rare but inconsistent nod to the book, the movie does not show him as a clear success.

Everything about the movie is amped up and turned up. The skid row scenes are snapshots from hell, with writhing, scamming, madmen filling very inch of the screen. In a rare bad performance, Jamie Foxx never manages to get inside Ayers's madness. He is every inch the talented, sane actor mouthing intricately scripted lines, Ayers's mad associations are lost in his rapid-ire delivery. The film confuses the viewer by inserting psychedelic, impressionistic scenes, as when a fire seems to burn outside Ayers's childhood home, that are hard to tell from the straight scenes that surround them.

It's has become a cliché to say that "the book was better than the movie" made from it. But with "The Soloist," the exaggerations of a bad-enough street life, the tampering with Lopez's family, the inability to wrestle with or even to present questions of how best to help the mentally ill, and Foxx's and Downey's surfacey treatment or their roles make "The Soloist" a must-miss movie."
Great story, but...
Mom of Sons | Buffalo, NY | 09/15/2009
(2 out of 5 stars)

"Great and touching story, two fantastic actors at their best. So why was the movie a little (whisper) boring?

I don't know, but I guess it's the director's fault. Maybe there was too much music --did we really need to watch Jamie Foxx pretend to play the cello through an entire piece, more than once or twice in the movie? With psychedelic colors ("See, this is what the mentally ill musician sees when HE hears the music.") and birds flying, etc. I felt like I was watching Fantasia.

Maybe too much overly dramatic footage of the homeless and mentally ill homeless? One minute I'm watching Fantasia, the next minute it's a 60 Minutes documentary. Maybe the director didn't know what he wanted the movie to be, or where to go with it.

Maybe it was too long? I honestly don't know. I do know I fell asleep for a few minutes when it was really bogged down as the columnist (Downey) keeps trying to help the mentally ill homeless musician (Foxx) change his living situation.

Sorry for the bad review. Love these actors much, and love the story. The movie? Meh."