Based on the book by Steve Lopez, The Soloist tells the poignant and ultimately soaring tale of a Los Angeles Times newspaper reporter (Downey Jr.), who discovers a brilliant classical street musician named Nathaniel Ayers (Foxx), who has unsinkable passion, and the unique friendship and bond that transforms both their lives. (Gary Reber)
Special features include commentary with Director Joe Wright; the featurettes An Unlikely Friendship: Making The Soloist (HD 19:37), Kindness, Courtesy And Respect: Mr. Ayers + Mr. Lopez (HD 04:48), One Size Does Not Fit All: Addressing Homelessness In Los Angeles (HD 09:45), and Juilliard: The Education Of Nathaniel Ayers (HD 04:08); the animated short Beth's Story (SD 02:02); five deleted scenes (SD 09:49); and the theatrical trailer (HD 02:33).
The 1080p AVC picture is nicely rendered. The imagery is purely natural in character, exhibiting warm and rich, vibrant colors. Contrast is well balanced, with deep and solid blacks and excellent shadow delineation. Fleshtones are accurate and reveal fine variations in complexions and skin tones. Resolution is superb, with fine object textures finely resolved and facial features nicely defined. The picture is often dimensional as well. This is a wonderfully sharp and clear picture that is pleasing to view. (Gary Reber)
The Dolby® TrueHD 5.1-channel soundtrack is superbly recorded and presented. Remarkedly, Nathaniel's voices in his head are impressively suspended in space, with differing heights and locations within the soundfield. The classical musical score is well recorded, and when a full orchestra is heard, the soundstage is wide and deep, with excellent natural low-end response. The sound of newspapers being printed is dynamic, with solid authority in the lower-frequency region. Deep bass is, at times, powerfully energized in the .1 LFE channel to below 20 Hz. The surrounds are often filled with atmospheric sound effects and voices and are aggressively directionalized, enhancing the overall holosonic® experience. Dialogue spatial integration is quite good at times. This is a wonderful soundtrack, with good low-level resolution and fully energized orchestral SPL, for a pleasing experience. (Gary Reber)