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Ray (Widescreen Edition)

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Editorial Reviews

Product Description

Jamie Foxx (Collateral) stars as the one-of-a-kind innovator of soul who overcame impossible odds to become a music legend. Ray is the triumphant and remarkable story of one of America's true musical geniuses, Ray Charles. From his humble beginnings in the South through his meteoric rise to the top of American music charts, Ray's inspirational journey is a tale of hope, redemption and the power of the human spirit. "Ray is Electrifying" hails Peter Travers of Rolling Stone. Witness the incredible true story of a musician who fought harder and went further than anyone could imagine.

Amazon.com

Jamie Foxx's uncannily accurate performance isn't the only good thing about Ray. Riding high on a wave of Oscar buzz, Foxx proved himself worthy of all the hype by portraying blind R&B legend Ray Charles in a warts-and-all performance that Charles approved shortly before his death in June 2004. Despite a few dramatic embellishments of actual incidents (such as the suggestion that the accidental drowning of Charles's younger brother caused all the inner demons that Charles would battle into adulthood), the film does a remarkable job of summarizing Charles's strengths as a musical innovator and his weaknesses as a philandering heroin addict who recorded some of his best songs while flying high as a kite. Foxx seems to be channeling Charles himself, and as he did with the life of Ritchie Valens in La Bamba, director Taylor Hackford gets most of the period details absolutely right as he chronicles Ray's rise from "chitlin circuit" performer in the early '50s to his much-deserved elevation to legendary status as one of the all-time great musicians. Foxx expertly lip-syncs to Ray Charles' classic recordings, but you could swear he's the real deal in a film that honors Ray Charles without sanitizing his once-messy life. --Jeff Shannon

More on Ray Charles


Modern Sounds in Country and Western Music (CD)

The Genius of Ray Charles (CD)

Ray Charles and Betty Carter--Dedicated to You (CD)

Genius & Soul--The 50th Anniversary Collection (CD)

Ray: A Tribute to the Movie, the Music, and the Man (book)

More Albums by Ray Charles


Special Features

  • Extended Version of the Film
  • Feature Commentary with Director Taylor Hackford
  • Deleted Scenes
  • Extended Musical Scenes
  • Stepping into the Part
  • Ray Remembered
  • A Look Inside Ray
  • Trailer
  • Cast and Filmmakers

  • Product Details

    • Actors: Jamie Foxx, Regina King, Kerry Washington, Clifton Powell, Harry Lennix
    • Directors: Taylor Hackford
    • Writers: James L. White
    • Producers: Taylor Hackford, Stuart Benjamin, Howard Baldwin, Karen Baldwin
    • Format: Multiple Formats, AC-3, Color, Dolby, Dubbed, NTSC, Subtitled, Widescreen
    • Language: English (Dolby Digital 5.1), French (Dolby Digital 5.1)
    • Subtitles: Spanish, French
    • Dubbed: French
    • Region: Region 1 (U.S. and Canada only. Read more about DVD formats.)
    • Aspect Ratio: 1.85:1
    • Number of discs: 2
    • Rated: PG-13 (Parental Guidance Suggested)
    • Studio: Universal Studios
    • DVD Release Date: February 1, 2005
    • Run Time: 153 minutes
    • Average Customer Review: 4.5 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (610 customer reviews)
    • ASIN: B00005JND5
    • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #24,826 in Movies & TV (See Top 100 in Movies & TV)
    • Learn more about "Ray (Widescreen Edition)" on IMDb

    Customer Reviews

    Most Helpful Customer Reviews

    203 of 215 people found the following review helpful By Robert Moore HALL OF FAMETOP 500 REVIEWERVINE VOICE on October 28, 2004
    This is a very good movie that houses an exceptionally great performance by Jamie Fox as music legend Ray Charles. I must confess that as a genre, the biopic is not my favorite, especially of figures as well known as Ray Charles. We usually receive in such films distorted portraits of them, or undeserved adulation. RAY is one of the more balanced biopics I have seen. Ray Charles is presented as a musical genius who had managed to overcome physical disabilities that would have stopped most others, but it doesn't attempt to mute the serious and unflattering personal moral problems he had with drugs and his exploitative treatment of women. Nor is he revealed as a moral saint or loving person. Though pleasant with others for the most part, Ray is shown as a proud, independent, and slightly self-absorbed, a bit selfish in his treatment of women. As a result, Ray Charles emerges in the film as a believable human being, capable of unfortunate decisions, but also extraordinary music and the occasional powerful moral stand, such as when he refuses to perform in a racially segregated crowd in a venue in Georgia. In fact, the film is built around three foci: his early childhood when he witnessed the death of his younger brother and gradually lost his sight; his musical career from 1948 until the mid-1960s; and his heroin addiction. The film ends with his overcoming his heroin addiction, which also-as numerous music critics have noted--corresponds to the end of the peak of his career as a creative musical performer. Charles continued to make albums after getting off heroin, but all of the great songs that we associate with him were written and recorded while on heroin.Read more ›
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    35 of 41 people found the following review helpful By M. G. PHILLIPS on February 7, 2005
    Format: DVD Verified Purchase
    Does anyone suspect that Helen Keller edited this film?
    Shame on the director for allowing the ruination of this great masterpiece in the extended form!

    GREAT FILM RUINED- BY BY BAD EDITING.
    Here is what others are saying: "The big disappointment for me was buying the Limited Edition version with the extended edition of the movie. 25 minutes of additional footage has been added back in for the extended version. Like someone posted earlier, When viewing the "extended" version my player had to pause every time it went to a "deleted scene." It had to pause again when it went back to the theatrical version. I have other disks in my collection which have extended versions with deleted scenes cut into the film that were done seamlessly.

    Not only was there a pause when switching between versions, but many times there was a shift in color cast and certain chapters (18 & 19 for me)of the movie became unwatchable and just froze up. For 30 Bucks I found this to be disgraceful and I will ask Best Buy for either another copy or just get the standard edition..

    You have the option to watch either the original version or this extended version. The image quality, color and clarity vary a bit as it cuts between the theatrical version and the deleted scenes. Clearly, this wasn't recut and retimed for this "extended" version. The difference between the finished film and the added scenes are quite noticeable and jarring. A flawed masterpiece, Ray would have been a better film if the 25 minutes of additional footage had been integrated into this DVD in a better fashion than it is. No justice for the consumer, and none for the artists of the film and artist portrayed in the film."

    (NOTE TO UNIVERSAL:If you can't do it right,then don't do it at all.
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    12 of 12 people found the following review helpful By A.Trendl HungarianBookstore.com VINE VOICE on February 25, 2005
    Format: DVD
    I like "Ray." The music is strong, using Ray Charles' own tracks for both background and performance shots. The storyline is complex, flashing back to Charles' youth as he reflected on the loss of his eyesight and the death of his brother.

    From his days as a child in a poor rural community, through his early days as an unknown musician struggling to get a fair deal, to his mid-career with management problems, affairs, hits, and drugs, and then, finally, as a one of our national heroes, we see Ray Charles in full color.

    We learn how he manipulated women, cheated on his wife, became addicted to heroin, found his sound, got his name, and learned to work aggressively as his own musician. He deals with racism at first by avoiding it, and then quickly, takes a harsh stand, shaming the bigots and segregationists. Now, in a state where he was once banned from playing, his work, "Georgia on My Mind" is now the state song.

    Biopics of celebrities are difficult to describe because of the chronology required to produce the movies. People don't live out plots written by screenwriters, but lives that have events that do not always make sense. Ray Charles' life didn't always make sense, but he lived it.

    We have two views of Ray Charles. One is as a fighter, working hard against adversity to become the musician we now know. The other is as a womanizing addict who used his charm, position and trust of his wife to diminish all that was good about him. He eventually beats the drugs, holds onto his marriage, but these failures brought down my respect of him.

    Jamie Foxx never impressed me before this. I found his comedy more off-color than I prefer, and expected that his version of Ray Charles would be mediocre.
    Read more ›
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    Topic From this Discussion
    When is Ray coming out on Blu-ray?
    yeah it would be great
    Feb 10, 2010 by Emma M. Mitchell |  See all 2 posts
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