This is Jeff Bayer, and I don't update this site very often. If you'd like to listen to my current movie podcast you can find it at MovieBS.com.

Cold Souls - DVD

DVD Review Cold Souls

Directed by: Sophie Barthes Cast: Paul Giamatti, Dina Korzun, Emily Watson, David Straithairn Running Time:  1 hr 40 min Rating: PG-13 Due Out: March 2, 2010

PLOT: Paul Giamatti (Giamatti) is getting a little too depressed after playing Uncle Vanya, so he decides to de-soul for a little while.  Unfortunately, his soul goes missing in the process and he becomes embroiled in the world of Russian soul traffickers.

WHO'S IT FOR? Fans of quirky films like Being John Malkevich and Eternal Sunshine of the Spotless Mind.


The preview looked great but I found Cold Souls a little disappointing.  Despite a really original premise and the prospect of Paul Giamatti playing himself, the film feels a little, um, soulless.  Barthes never finds a way to visually convey the effects of soullessness, though Giamatti does his best to show what having a soul versus not having one or having one belonging to another person means, it's just kind of sad and depressing.  There are good moments, and definitely good actors, but the film picks up only rarely.  One of those times is when Giamatti comes together with Nina (Korzun), a soul mule who helps him reconnect with his soul.  The two have a good chemistry, but spend only a small part of the film together.  Cold Souls isn't a bad movie, but it could have been much better.



Soul Extractor - An explanation by the designers of the film's soul extractor.  So it did look like a womb on purpose!  If I don't write much, that may be because it's only 3 minutes long.

Deleted Scenes - If you're wondering where the humor was in this movie, apparently the answer is the cutting room floor.  The outtakes are funnier than anything in the film.  Giamatti becomes  a huge dick without his soul and we get a few answers to who Sveta is.

Trailers - To other movies.  Not for this one, which is a shame because I seem to remember it had a really cool trailer.


None.  Seriously, this movie begs for a commentary, and lacks it.  Maybe we'll get a super-deluxe edition in a few years that can answer some questions.



If you want to see this movie, I can't stop you.  You've probably seen the middling reviews from the films original release.  Maybe you'll be like me and think that it could be fabulous anyway.  Maybe you'll be right, but unfortunately I wasn't.  However, after watching the deleted scenes I was even more disappointed.  This movie could have been better, the filmmakers were on the right track.  Giamatti is a big dick without his soul, he lacks compassion and can't act.  They needed to play with that more.  If you get the DVD, I'd recommend watching the Deleted Scenes, they were pretty good.  But I'd definitely hold off on buying this one, it's just empty of extras.


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