James Brown: Soul Survivor
James Brown: Soul Survivor grooves its way to DVD courtesy of Polydor and the American Masters TV series. Presented in a full-frame 1.33:1 image and Dolby Digital 2.0 sound, the picture and audio are adequate. While there is plenty to enjoy on the program itself, the bonus features on the DVD add up to make one funky James Brown package. Extras are split up between the performance at the House of Blues (briefly featured in the film), rehearsal footage before the show, and extra interviews. The five songs from the live performance are surprisingly smoking, with Brown's backup band ripping things up as he repeatedly gets his groove on with the dancers. You can also watch the performance in either 5.1 Dolby, DTS, or a standard 2.0 Stereo track. If that's not enough, the rehearsal footage turns out to be the hidden gem of the disc, with the Godfather of Soul looking great in shades and a cowboy hat as he conducts his band through three solid tunes (two of which feature some amazing sax work from his horn section that could very well be considered a highlight of the DVD). The extra interviews are well worth checking out as well, especially Fred Wesley's breakdown of "Get on the Good Foot," one of the entertainer's most unique and off-the-wall pieces, in which all music theory is literally thrown out the window in favor of some patented James Brown flavor. Snoop around a little and you should be able to find some Easter eggs featuring an interesting pairing of the soul legend and Luciano Pavarotti (of all people!). With great extras, nice animated menus, and an overall package that will look good on your shelf, Soul Survivor is a funky DVD classic that should not be missed.