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Thunder Soul (2010)

 PG |  DVD
4.8 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (52 customer reviews)

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Thunder Soul + Texas Thunder Soul + Cold Heat: Heavy Funk Rarities 1: 1968-1974
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Product Details

  • Format: Multiple Formats, AC-3, Closed-captioned, Color, Dolby, NTSC, Widescreen
  • Language: English
  • Subtitles: English, Spanish
  • Region: Region 1 (U.S. and Canada only. Read more about DVD formats.)
  • Aspect Ratio: 1.85:1
  • Number of discs: 1
  • Rated: PG (Parental Guidance Suggested)
  • Studio: Lionsgate
  • DVD Release Date: January 31, 2012
  • Run Time: 88 minutes
  • Average Customer Review: 4.8 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (52 customer reviews)
  • ASIN: B0066PUDZ0
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #94,440 in Movies & TV (See Top 100 in Movies & TV)

Special Features


Editorial Reviews

THUNDER SOUL is the inspiring, music-filled true story of high school band leader "Prof" Johnson, who took a ragtag jazz band and transformed them into the legendary funk powerhouse that took the nation by storm. Now decades later, "Prof's" students prepare to gather and celebrate the man who taught them about pride, honor and the power of a deep groove in this unforgettable true story.

Customer Reviews

4.8 out of 5 stars
4.8 out of 5 stars
Most Helpful Customer Reviews
17 of 17 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars LOVE IT! December 29, 2011
I've seen this documentary twice in documentary festivals and love it! Great storytelling and fantastic music. I'm so excited it will be released soon as a DVD so I can share it with friends.
This is a tale of a high school reunion and friends reunited - laughing about their hair in high school and telling stories of what they have done for the last 40 years. It is a thank you to music in schools and a special teacher who touched so many students' lives. It is a part of the history of the US and of funk music. You'll laugh and cry - and leave dancing to the music in your head. Well worth watching over and over again. (and there's a CD of the original music!)
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11 of 11 people found the following review helpful
Much like the award-winning documentary "Drumline", "Thunder Soul" shows how a strong-willed and loving teacher can truly "make a difference" in the lives of children living in the poorer or more crime-ridden areas of a city. This 88-minute film (produced in 2010) focuses on the Kashmere (Texas) High School Stage Band and it's music director Conrad "Prof" Johnson. One of the most award-winning stage bands in the country, Kashmere's band only existed because of "Prof". He ran the coed musical aggregation of black students in this ward in Houston, with a "tough love" and a code of conduct and respect. And the students we hear from in the many interviews let us know that, with out Prof's support and guidance they'd probably be using, or selling, drugs today.

The action which forms the core of the film takes place in 2008 when a couple of band alumni from the 1971-4 period - just before Prof retired - decide to find all the old band members - now scattered around the country, with most having not lifted their instruments in years - and hold a "reunion concert" for the then 93 year old teacher. We watch as they come together and practice for the "big night". Director Mark Landesman interviews Prof in these later years but also incorporates clips from a 1974 documentary on the band titled "Prof & the Band". A 16-minute segment from the 1974 film is one of the two bonus features. The other is a full-length commentary by the Landesman and his Editor.

Unlike "Drumline" where we follow the students up to a competition, here we follow them as they reminisce and try to recapture the "team" spirit of their glory years, nearly 40 years earlier. (Spoiler alert: they do!).
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9 of 9 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars The value of a good teacher February 26, 2012
By V. Lee
In the wake of negative commentary that has overtaken the media in discussions about the state of American education, this documentary puts the spotlight on the value of a good teacher. It demonstrates how years after we exit our school aged years, we can look back and identify the teachers who used their talents to mold us as students into responsible, caring, and empathetic adults. There's no mention of test scores but what teachers provided was invaluable and not easily measured. Thundersoul should be seen by a wide audience since it's message holds so much more insight than the more popular Waiting for Superman. It demonstrates how Superman does exist in classrooms across our nation.
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6 of 6 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Soulful and Inspiring October 6, 2011
I got the previlige of seeing this movie at a private screening without any presumptions of what I was about to see. This documentary is one of the best I've seen period. It was enlightening, funny, endearing and truthful all at the same time. Mr. Conrad and his students were amazing and I hope that this movie and their record recordings are seen and heard all over the world. Kudos to the producers and to Mr. Jamie Foxx on such a great film.
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7 of 8 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Thunder Soul February 1, 2012
The story of the Kashmere High School Stage Band is like a real-life Glee plotline: music teacher attends Otis Redding concert, and hits upon the idea of having the band students bring the funk. More than 40 years after the kids first got together to put on a show, the meager recorded output of these Texas schoolkids is prized by hip hop DJs looking for the perfect beat -- and it's the subject of Thunder Soul, an agreeable documentary narrated by Jamie Foxx that tells the story of the coolest band geeks ever. The students reunite to pay tribute to their teacher, Conrad "Prof" Johnson, and play some of the old songs, and they can still put on a show -- I grooved to this fascinating slice of pop culture history.
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars My view of Thunder Soul July 1, 2013
Format:DVD|Verified Purchase
This documentary movie is a great! I am one of the members of the band and I must say this is right on point as it was back in the seventies during my time with the Kashmere Stag Band and my teenier at Kashmere Sr High. If Conrad (Prof) Johnson had not given me the opportunity to join the advance jazz band before my time I would not have experience the trip to Japan as a professional jazz artist which was a great trip. This movie tells you how Conrad loved us students by how he taught musicianship, respect, and professionalism learning to be responsible young men and women. Those were times I will cherish and funny as it may sound, those were the best years of my life as a high school teenager. Mark Landsman, great job! Thank You!

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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars The Best! August 19, 2012
Format:DVD|Verified Purchase
I bought this for my mom's birthday. She opened it immediately and watched it. She calls it one of her best gifts ever. She loced learning more about the group and the music.
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Most Recent Customer Reviews
5.0 out of 5 stars An AWAIR pick!
You can't imagine my delight when Jamie Foxx made certain we could all own Thunder Soul, the dvd of this amazing group of musicians and their even more amazing music teacher. Read more
Published 12 days ago by AWAIR Reviews
5.0 out of 5 stars Five Stars
Very well done
Published 17 days ago by Wilton L Felder
5.0 out of 5 stars Fantastic story.
Brought back memories of a simular experience I had. Stories like this have happened but were never documented. I'm glad this one was. It brought tears to my eyes.
Published 18 days ago by Thoughts Are Things
5.0 out of 5 stars ... and band students after their former band director and best friend...
I showed this movie to my my choir and band students after their former band director and best friend had passed in the beginning of the school year. Read more
Published 2 months ago by James and Florida Evans
5.0 out of 5 stars Great Feel Good Movie
In the words of Stevie Wonder, this movie makes me wish "those days would come back once more". It depicts a very positive, hopefully and exciting era. I lived it. Read more
Published 3 months ago by Deidre Tippitt
5.0 out of 5 stars A heartwarming, true story!
An entertaining and heartwarming story about a group of high school student's' passion for music and their determination to stay off the streets and make something of themselves.
Published 4 months ago by
5.0 out of 5 stars Great story, great sound!
True story about a dedicated music teacher and a high school band that goes on to greatness in Texas. Funk is alive at KHS in Houston, and music championships abound. Read more
Published 4 months ago by Rob Lemon
5.0 out of 5 stars Thunder Soul
I give this movie 5 Stars..I cant stop watching it. I'm from Houston, TX and my high School band beat them in competition finally in 1976.. LOVE THIS MOVIE!!!!!!!!!
Published 5 months ago by David Lee Jones
5.0 out of 5 stars This film is amazing.
Just buy it. The music is fantastic, the human stories are honest and touching. This story should be told far and wide.
Published 6 months ago by t220
5.0 out of 5 stars Thunder Soul was great
I consider thunder soul one of the best movies I have seen in a longtime, my family also loved it and the timing was perfect for black history month.
Published 6 months ago by Thelma Blackburn
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