Spins onto DVD & Blu-ray
February 10, 2009
February 10, 2009
Near the end of Soul Men, Bernie Mac says to Isaac Hayes, "After you, young man," and Hayes exited the door of the set first for the film's ultimate performance at the legendary Apollo Theater. However, unfortunately, in real life as the two passed away just one day apart-- this time around it was the younger man, Mac who left us first on 8/9/08 with Hayes following on 8/10/08.
Leaving us with two excellent final films-- both of which ironically opened theatrically on the same day (November 7, 2008) and now are being released on DVD and Blu-ray just days apart (Madagascar: Escape 2 Africa and Soul Men), the infectious laughter Mac loved to spread will certainly continue on just like the old records spun by Stax-- the extraordinary label which released Soul Men's soundtrack and is paid tribute to in Undercover Brother director Malcolm D. Lee's best film so far.
In a beautifully packaged silver outer cover that protects the DVD box itself (an increasingly popular trend in DVD and Blu-ray as of late), the film executive produced by Harvey and Bob Weinstein in tandem with others in their Dimension Films umbrella (the brother studio of their former Miramax which now finds them operating as The Weinstein Company) and Genius Products, LLC. the disc is loaded with bonus features including tributes to both Hayes and Mac.
Dreamgirls), one of my favorite funny women, Jennifer Coolidge (American Pie, Legally Blonde, Best in Show etc.), Sean Hayes (Will and Grace, Pieces of April), the funny white dude with an afro Adam Herschman (who looks like he could be Jonah Hill's long-lost brother), the dreamy John Legend whose take on "I'm Your Puppet" melts just as much as any of his other contemporary material, and the film's obligatory clueless villain played by Affion Crockett who does his best with what feels a bit like a caricatured role.
To sum it up in a nutshell, essentially you have a soul music and f-bomb filled version of Lemmon and Matthau's Grumpy Old Men series crossed with the classic John Hughes comedy Planes, Trains, and Automobiles as we're first introduced to the men's trio The Real Deal roughly thirty years back before lead singer Marcus Hooks (Legend) went solo. While the men fared well for a brief period, eventually drugs, excess, and women led to their unraveling with the final straw being their jealous love over one woman in particular which escalated when she left Jackson's Louis for Mac's Floyd, becoming his first of five wives.
After a hip replacement, Mac's Floyd is essentially put out to pasture by his nephew in a retirement community but when he's plagued with insomnia that no amount of golfing or hooking up with elderly widowed neighbors by aid of Viagra will alleviate, he leaps at the chance to try for a reunion to play in an Apollo tribute show upon hearing that their former partner Marcus has died.
Likewise, it's elevated significantly by the great chemistry between Jackson and Mac and a supporting cast that seemed like they were all on the same page of just wanting to ensure that-- much like "Boogie Ain't Nuttin' But Gettin' Down," their film was essentially about gettin' laughs and unexpectedly pulling at our heart in a few places, especially now that we're aware that both Hayes and Mac are no longer with us. However, thanks to the film and their legacy, the two will forever "Groove On" and while Mac's Madagascar: Escape 2 Africa is already available, Soul Men spins into stores near you on February 10.