Though it's been some twenty years since they have spoken with one another, two estranged soul-singing legends agree to participate in a reunion performance at the Apollo Theater to honor their recently deceased band leader.
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When R&B legend Marcus Hooks dies suddenly, VH-1 invites his original back up duo, Floyd Henderson and Louis Hinds, "The Real Deal," to appear at a memorial tribute at the Apollo Theater. Floyd, who's bored in retirement, wants this more than anything; Louis, a philosophical ex-con, does not. Plus, there's bad blood between them (Louis's wife Odetta left him to marry Floyd - then left Floyd). Floyd begs, Louis consents but won't fly, so they leave L.A. in Floyd's flashy Cadillac with five days to get to New York. On the road, they must get back their vocal chops, renew their friendship, and sort out the past. With Floyd's bad hip and Louis's bad kidneys, will they even make it? Written by
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Soul Men was a film that was racked with problems right from the start. Originally the film kept getting pushed back because of a law suit by the R&B group, Sam & David, which claimed it to be a farce on their life story. The group also accused the producers of copyright infringement for using their style and the title of one of their songs, "Soul Man". The law suit was finally settled and the movie was released in 2008. Then, days before the films release, two of it's stars, Bernie Mac and Issac Hayes, died on back to back days, a tragedy that created a public relations nightmare. For those reasons, this film wasn't widely distributed or advertised, which is a shame because it was one terrific film. The story starts 30 years after a legendary R&B group, Marcus Hooks & The Real Deal, broke up. We see the remaining members, Samuel L. Jackson in trouble with the law, and Bernie Mac, living in a retirement community, when they learn about the sudden death of Hooks. Record executives, quick to capitalize on his death, organize a tribute show at the Apollo in New York, and invite the Real Deal to participate. This means that two men who hate each other and haven't performed in almost 30 years, need to get their act together in a hurry if they want the big pay day and a chance at a come back. The film is an absolute riot, with Mac as the old lonely man and Jackson as the bitter forgotten convict. Their chemistry was nothing short of amazing and the big surprise was that both men can actually sing and dance! Even though they must have said mother f'er about a thousand times, I found the film to be very clever, funny, and original. If it wasn't for all the problems it had, this movie would have done much better than it did and it is without a doubt, worth watching.
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