Respect – Blu-ray Review

Respect – Blu-ray Review
Respect – Blu-ray Review

The rise of Aretha Franklin’s career from a child singing in her father’s church’s choir to her international superstardom.

Wow. I had no idea the garbage Aretha Franklin had to climb through despite her massive success. Coming from an abusive, some say over controlling, household, being molested as a child, and then ending up with an abusive husband. Just wow. The movie follows Aretha’s life until 1972.

Jennifer Hudson’s performance is top notch. In the movie, instead of imitating Aretha, the team decided to capture her essence. I can say that the passion Hudson exudes is captivating. Having to change her own singing style to match the cadence of Aretha is a feat unto itself.  It’s a strong year for Oscars this year, with Kristen Stewart (Spencer), Lady Gaga (House of Gucci) and Frances McDormand (The Tragedy of Macbeth), and I can see Hudson potentially being in the running.

There is also a strong supporting cast with Forest Whitaker, as Aretha’s father, and Marlon Wayans, as her abusive husband, who make you want to slap them (this is a compliment) as they are so good in their respective roles.

I will strongly recommend a watch of Respect. If you’re a fan of biographies you’re not going to want to miss this. Though it feels overshadowed by the last few musical artist biographies, such as Bohemian Rhapsody and Rocketman, this film holds its own in this genre.


The selected colour palette for Respect makes the movie feel old. The muted tones don’t take away from how good this movie looks. While the movie lacks punch it doesn’t make it any less impressive. Details are sharp, skin tones are accurate and shadow details do not get lost. The film even pops into black and white during the news coverage portion of the films.

There is not a whole lot to complain about here.


What kind of audio track do you give the queen of Soul? Dolby Atmos. This gives Respect just that; the type of respect it deserves. Music aficionados will not be disappointed by how well this movie uses the sound space. With some killer bass, mid-tones and highs you might find yourself dancing along to RESPECT.

Dialog is crystal clear and comes exactly from where you’d expect.


Universal included approximately 23-minutes of extra features for those wishing to dive deeper.

  • The Making of Respect – A featurette looking at the influence of gospel and church music in Aretha’s life, why they recorded the film’s music live, and why they chose to not imitate Aretha pieced together with interviews from key production personel and cast members.
  • Becoming Aretha – Did you know Hudson had to learn how to play piano? Me either. This is my favourite as it breaks down how Hudson had to alter her vocals and even capture Aretha’s walk.
  • Capturing a Legacy – This one looks at director Liesl Tommy and her passion for this project.
  • From Muscle Shoals – A short of how Muscle Shoals, Alabama and the influence of it has on Franklin’s sound. Even has some original footage from a recording in the studio.
  • Exploring the Design of Respect – Dive into the sets, costumes and more.

Conclusions and Final Thoughts

The first part of this movie is a hard watch as you see the terrible things a young Aretha went through. Come the end it will seem like a distant memory as the film waddles through the lows and ends on a strong high. It is well supported by the audio and video on the Blu-ray and has just enough extras to make you want to research more of her past.



Movie - 9
Video - 8
Audio - 9
Extras - 5
Since seeing Star Wars on TV as a child Shane has been hooked on movies. In 2001 he decided to start up his own webpage dedicated to his new love DVD. Now, over 20-years later he continues to FEED YOUR HUNGER with the latest Theatrical, Blu-ray and DVD reviews.

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