Soul Surfer Blu-ray

Bethany Hamilton not only recovers from her shark attack injury but goes on to compete in surfing competitions and help others less fortunate as well.

Film making 15/25
Video 23/25
Audio 23/25
Bonus Features 20/25
Total 81/100

Soul Surfer

Bethany Hamilton played by AnnaSophia Robb has the surfer’s life, she and her family live in Kauai Hawaii, all are surfers of course. Bethany and her best friend enter a surfing competition and win, they then get sponsorships for their next big surfing contest.

While out practicing for the competition Bethany is attacked and has her arm bitten off by a shark, her friend, brother and friends father race her to the hospital. After surgery and sometime recovering she insists on returning to surfing but until she can figure out how she is at a disadvantage.

A company wants to give Bethany a prosthetic arm but when she finds out it is nothing more than a cosmetic arm she rejects the offer. Bethany wants to surf and live like a normal person but she has to come to grips with her amputation and how she now looks.

With a little inspiration from a trip to tsunami ravaged Thailand she reevaluates her own life and choices then retries her attempt at surfing. She misses her last ride by only a few seconds but even though she performs well her attempt is not included in the scores and her rival Malina wins.

Bethany says she does not care that she did not win, she surfed and did very well, well enough to earn Malina’s respect even though they do not like each other. Soul Surfer ends with Bethany telling reporters that she would not change anything about her if she had the chance.

Soul Surfer is a common soul searching film that has been done and done again but with the actual true story behind the film it does at least have some factual basis. The film does the very expected person has terrible accident and through a religious or personal experience overcomes their new disability.

Soul Surfer is a good enough film but it runs through the same personal struggle and overcoming the fear that has been done so many times before in just about the same exact way. I have to agree with other reviewers about the stereotypical films based on religious faith overcoming personal tragedy which has seamlessly been reproduced here.

Soul Surfer has the heart of a good, well-made movie that could have appealed to a wider audience but with its all too typical approach to the facts it merely peeks the interest. Soul Surfer comes to us on Blu-ray with a DVD copy as well with excellent video and very well done audio as you would expect for the Blu-ray copy.

Video is very clear with well done and crisp color, skin tones look great and especially the ocean scenes are magnificent looking. The film is shot in Hawaii so the scenery of course is gorgeous and the video shows this very well.

Audio is also very well done with great surround sound from the DTS-HD Master Audio track which has clear voice and some well-done surround. I had no problems with the audio and even though the surround was good enough for a film mostly about surfing as far as audio is concerned.

The audio is just fine and with a film that is not much on action other than surfing the surround is more than adequate. Both audio and video are fine and the Blu-ray film sounds and looks great, the Blu-ray edition comes with a DVD copy which is also good but in standard definition.

Bonus content for Soul Surfer is about as good as you would expect from a modern film based on a true story where all the parties are still around and on site for filming. Bonus features include five making of and features about surfing as you would expect.

They put in a good amount of surfing and talks with cast, crew and the real Bethany but cut it short just when you were worried things were going to get out of hand. They added enough features to enjoy and find out about the real life events, filming and surfing competitions without adding so much that it gets boring.

Soul Surfer is a good film in general but they could have made it much better with more of a look at Bethany and her struggles. Instead of just taking it for granted that she used her beliefs and religion to get her over her pain and torment they could have focused more on what she did do.

In the end Soul Surfer is worth at least a rental but the film just does not cover much more than other real life inspired films where religion got the person past their difficulties.

Soul Surfer Website