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Customer reviews

4.2 out of 5 stars
4.2 out of 5 stars
Soul Man [DVD] [1986]
Format: DVD|Change
Price:£19.99+ £1.26 shipping

on 14 May 2017
It was a great film and I loved is as a kid; lots of funky black humour - the race not the comedy - and a great soundtrack, combined to make this one of the feelgood hits of the summer.
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on 18 December 2013
For me the comedy value of the film is summed up by the poorly written scene where the lead character of Mark tries to hide the fact he is now 'black' from his Parents, while trying to keep them from seeing the promiscuous daughter of his landlord and his female University friend/girlfriend. It is such a poorly written, pointless and down right farscical scene that exposes just how weak a story and script Carol Black has made us endure. There are zero gags, once the initial shock of 'oh, he's pretending to be black' has worn off there is nothing else left but a shallow, withering husk of a film that boasts two of the greatest cinematic voices in James Earl Jones and a barely present Leslie Nielsen in poor roles. I am very surprised that an actor of Jones' calibre signed up for this guff. His voice is like a force of nature in itself and he is perfectly cast as the Professor of Law, however, not in a comedy/crass/downright crap film like this.

The problems with the script and the film as a whole is that it is blatantly racist of the 'positive discrimmination' variety (which society as a whole appears to believe is justified). It puts in every single white stereotype imaginable, yet throws impartiality to the wind and fails to do the same with the black characters. Here we have a spoilt brat being 'abandoned' by his wealthy parents to fend for himself, his cocky/smart ass Jewish friend and his two stuck up spoilt/pretentious former school friends. We are then introduced to the sub-Landlord who is a portrayed as a white racist "You're Mother never said a negro would be living here". This is followed up by yet more white stereotypes (all racist in their own way according to this) in the Leslie Nielsen character displeased at a black tennent and asking the sub-landlord to keep a look out for any behaviour that would allow him to be evicted. Leslie Nielsen's daughter is a white girl obsessed by any man not white to the point of dating the 'black' character and eventually a Native American. Nielsen's wife is a rich white lady who fantasises about being ravaged by a 'tribal black' because all they do is think about 'white women' in Africa. Their son also fantasises about him as a gay black music star - because 'all wealthy white families have closeted gay sons'. Of course the police are racist (a common cliche in films) by pulling over our blacked up character for a minor offence after tailing him. He is then flung in with a group of white baseballers who complain that they "lost to a bunch of n#####s".

Back at the university we have two white students who crack racist jokes all the time. Basketball players who all presume that because he is black he is great at basketball and fellow classmates who believe he just got on because he was black. Even his parents when they see him black believe he is a car-jacker/mugger.
The only characters that walk out of this with any dignity are all black - James Earl Jones and the female lead (played by Rae Dawn Chong) and her two Grandparents and son. Even Mr Earl Jones gets a racist dig in "These little white s***" presuming that they only got to the university because they come from a privilleged background.

Seriously, there is nothing funny about this film, other than the thought of what would have happened had the boot been firmly placed on the other foot and this had been a film at the expense of coloured people.

The ending is awful (he wins the girl by punching the two 'racist' white guys) and admits to learning how 'difficult it is being black'. Seriously vomit inducing garbage that is supposed to have a profound message which roughly translates as 'all whites are racist unless they are subserviant to those coloured and all coloured people are smart, intelligent and just need an opportunity'. Over 100 minutes of time I will never get back (and I watched this atrocity twice to show others just how downright bad it is).
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on 26 March 2017
This is amongst the best 80s movies out there. It's a comedy and should be interpreted as that! Great movie, one of my all time favourites with truly memorable witty dialogue!
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on 8 February 2012
I've nothing to add to the Amazon synopsis above, which outlines the film's plot, but here's some technical details about the Boulevard Entertainment 2010 DVD release which are worth noting:

The DVD region for the disc is 0, so it should play on any DVD player. The format is NTSC. There are no subtitles included. The DVD transfer is pretty good. The artwork is a bit on the cheap side, with the screen shots on the back cover being of poor quality.

For a budget DVD release like this, I was impressed with the few extras that are included, as there are usually none at all. You get the original teaser trailer (approx. 1 minute long), the longer full-length theatrical trailer (approx. 2 minutes long), and a commentary track on the film itself from the director, Steve Miner, and the main star, C. Thomas Howell.

For its current Amazon price of £2.19, it's a bargain not to be passed up for fans of 80s film.
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on 11 January 2011
Had this film been made in current times it would probably have caused a racism storm, however this film should be enjoyed by all and accepted in the comedy manor that was intended. If actors such as the great James Earl Jones saw the funny side then so should everyone.
This is pure comedy genius by all involved and i would highly recomend that it should be classed as a must see film. If you're looking for a great movie that can be enjoyed by everyone then this is it.
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on 24 November 2009
I saw this when it came out in 86 and loved it.

Then recently all of a sudden I had strong desire to watch it again...

So glad I bought it, very funny film. High spirits.

Most likely wont regret buying this, one of those classics for the DVD library.
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on 1 January 2015
If you ignore your anxieties about political correctness this is actually a very funny film poking fun at the way white people view black people,however it is somewhat dated now.The cast is excellent and includes actors that went on to bigger and better things such as Julia Louis Dreyfuss and Leslie Nielsen.
There are some legendary artists on the soundtrack as well including Isaac Hayes,Joan Armatrading,Brian Wilson and Sly Stone.
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on 5 May 2003
whilst i was sceptical at first this film turned out to be one of the funniest films i have ever seen. based on the most unlikely premise that overdosing on 'suntan pills' (with very little explanation of how these came about) can make a white man black it then turns into a comedy of errors that is highly enjoyable. of course at the end our man has learnt that black folks aren't quite as one dimensional as he thought plus he picks up some tasty black girl in the process, plus she's a single mum so he is quids in. i can recommend this film to everyone.
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on 18 August 2006
Quality! I have loved this film for years and have watched it hundreds of times. All my friends love it, my mum loves it, sadly my nan died in 1985 so never got a chance to see it. It's not overly PC but all the jokes are harmless. If you have never seen Soul Man and bark on about how funny Anchorman, Old School, Ferris's Day Off and Office Space are then you have no excuse for not seeing this film. It's the nuts.
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on 3 October 2015
Very funny film, should be shown in British schools. Bring on the blu-ray please Amazon.
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