Malcolm D. Lee
Samuel L. Jackson
You know youíre in trouble when the film starts off with a 50 year-old Bernie Mac inexplicably in a retirement community, while his same-age counterpart Samuel L. Jackson works as a mechanic and looks like a 90's gangbanger. In line with that, the # of F bombs and curse words in this film makes Boyz N The Hood look like Toy Story, and I canít for the life of me figure out what the point is. The problems are all in the script. These characters are not lovable, have both aged without an ounce of class, and spend the whole film bickering, swearing, and popping Viagra. The lewdness doesnít stop with the more than half-dozen erection gags (literally). We also get pubic hair jokes, a blowjob scene, a ridiculous jailbreak, and the biggest pair of tits Iíve ever seen (OK, I had no problem with that). This would all be well and good in a teen comedy, but what kid or even young adult is going to want to watch two middle-aged soul singers yell and sing mediocre songs for 90 minutes? For those of you looking for a good musical, look elsewhere.
The filmmakers didnít seem to put much care into the making of this thing. Itís about a cross-country road trip, and yet, Sam and Bernie never left the soundstage. The driving scenes are shot on a green-screen so bad it reminded me of that famous scene in Wayneís World. Meanwhile, John Legend (making a great cameo) apparently didnít care enough to show up to shoot his coffin scene since they used an obvious wax statue of him. As for positives? Well, Samuel and Bernie had a few good comedic moments and decent chemistry, and Bernie did have one touching, somber scene that nearly got me misty-eyed. Still, these characters were so foul-mouthed, grumpy, and just plain unlikable that it was hard to really root for them. Sam, please stick with the dramatic fare, you're great at it. Bernie, I'm sorry, you deserved better than this.
The Soul Men: Bernie Mac and Samuel L. Jackson (9:31): A short collection of clips and interviews where everyone talks about how great Sam Jackson and Bernie Mac are. I too love both these men, and I wonít blame this disaster on them.
The Cast of Soul Men (7:43): Similar to the previous feature, but now we talk about the rest of the cast and how pleased the Producers are to have them aboard.
Director Malcom Lee (2:51): Now everyone compliments the director, and he tells us he loves soul music. Have they SEEN this movie or the box office receipts? Completely and utterly unnecessary special feature.
A Tribute to Bernie Mac (7:27): Its kind of insulting that the tribute to Bernie Mac has a shorter runtime than the ďCastĒ featurette. Some sweet things are said by the crew and Bernie says some heartwarming stuff himself. I know Iím not the only one thatís going to miss this guy.
A Tribute to Isaac Hayes (4:04): People weigh in and pay tribute to the man who brought us the theme from Shaft and the voice of Chef (for starters). As one of the actresses says here, he was the ultimate Soul Man.
"Boogie Ainít Nuttin": Behind the Scenes (2:32): A weird, short feature that shows Bernie and SLJ in the recording booth showing off their vocal abilities (or lack thereof).
Bernie Mac at the Apollo (4:18): The best feature of the bunch. Bernie takes the mic at the Apollo in between scenes and we get to see him spit some jokes and do what he does best: entertain a crowd. To be there would have been something special.
Theatrical Trailer (2:26): If youíve rented this film than itís already too late. If not, just catch this instead of the movie.