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Ray (Widescreen Edition)
Format: DVDChange
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Showing 1-10 of 39 reviews(3 star)show all reviews
3 of 3 people found the following review helpful
on May 8, 2011
I bought this a while ago and reviews for it said that it was excellent. The DVD was about as good in quality as it could get and the only thing I expected from BD was visible grain. The pro reviews claimed that detail was high and clear at all times, but I fail to see it.

Fine details are not here. They seem to be held back as well. I almsot feel that this is some type of conversion of the DVD master. You just do not see that BD pop! Maybe it is just looking more 'film-like' but it does not look (going by memory)far superior than the DVD. I would only advise if you do not have the DVD. As long as it took to get this out I expected a lot better. It is not bad, just not high-level BD 3D effect quality.
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3 of 3 people found the following review helpful
on May 30, 2005
Jamie Foxx is amazing in this music filled but somewhat two dimensional view of the life of Ray Charles. The film opens wonderfully but starts to drag a bit in the second half. Drugs....Woman...Drugs....Woman....Drugs....I think 30 minutes could be cut from the film without loss. The cuts to Rays past often worked well, but on occasion reminded me more of a music video than inner torment.
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5 of 6 people found the following review helpful
on June 12, 2005
This mediocre movie was saved by Jamie Foxx's performance.

While Ray Charles lead an absolutely astounding life, full of trials and tribulations, heartbreaks, setbacks, and success, the movie itself wasn't that great. For some reason, it just didn't capture me or draw me in, I was in a dull stupor until the very end. At two hours and thirty minutes, that was a very long dull stupor.

However, I must commend Mr. Foxx and his outstanding performance. He did an excellent job in his Ray Charles mimicry, and really relayed true emotion to the viewer.
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
on February 7, 2005
Ray is a great movie and Jamie Foxx's performance is spectacular.
The DVD, however, lures you with the promise of an extended edition including 25min of additional footage. Well, that is true, but they way it is presented is very annoying. When you choose to play the extended edition, the movie skips back and forth to the deleted scenes at the appropriate points during the movie. Granted, maybe my DVD player is not the fastest one out there, which makes the skips very obvious, but the way the extended scenes are cut you end up seeing bits and pieces of the scenes twice, like Oberon's introduction of Ray in the club. This is extremely annoying and caused me to switch back to the original version after the third "extended scene".
The sad part is, that, since this is a 2 DVD edition, there would have been enough room for putting both editions separately on the DVDs with room to spare for the special features.
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6 of 8 people found the following review helpful
on August 23, 2006
I'll admit I don't know much about Ray Charles and I'm not sure how much I do know now that I've watched this movie. I never trust Hollywood to tell the unembelished truth when it comes to fact based movies. But from this movie Ray does not come across as a very likeable guy. I never knew he was a heroin addict and a womanizer with fleeting loyalty for friends. But Jamie Foxx does a great job convincing me he is Ray Charles.

The problem with this movie is that it is just too long and drags in several spots. How many flashbacks to his childhood do we really need? The story covers Ray's life up to the 1970's and it feels like it does so in real-time. At least the HD DVD transfer is very good with great picture quality and an awesome soundtrack. But this is just a rental for me.
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Ray Charles was a very talented man, theres no getting around that. Jamie Foxx is a very talented man, theres no getting around that one either...but this movie was just not as good as it should have and could have been. A bi-opic is tricky, you either have it or you don't. There are many great ones (A Beautiful Mind, Cinderella Man & Finding Neverland) and then there are ones that fall short of the mark like 'Ray'. It's not an understatment to say that Foxx's performance SAVED this movie from becoming critic foder, and there are MANY critics who agree, this movie is really nothing without it's star performer. Ray's life is intriging all in its own, but Taylor Hackford does a terrible job of piecing it together. It was choppy and felt out of place, like scenes were thrown together last minute without really thinking about where they should go...(Remember Alexander anyone?) Kerry Washington does a good job as the supporting wife (we've had an outstanding amount of supporting ladies lately) and I feel she too deserved the oscar nod for supporting actress and was yet robbed. Really, Ray Charles was not much of a role model. It's commendable that he overcame his vices (namely drugs and sex) but that is where I felt the movie went wrong. There was too much focus on secondary things throughout the film that when we get to the end we've exhasted all our time and have no time left to really show us how Ray overcame his obsticles. We see Ray in a hospital bed trying to recover and we see him go through his withdrawls but it's so quick and before you know it, he's healed. What I loved about movies like 'A Beautiful Mind' was that it showed how his problems effected those around him BUT it also showed us how he fought to overcome them, and how he succeded. Ray shows us how he wasted everything and everyone he ever loved and then it just tells us that he overcame his problems by showing us newspaper clippings and such. Poor choice on Hackfords part. I give this movie a 3 1/2 stars because Foxx did outstanding. I just feel bad that with all it's potential it fizzled come the conclution instead of going out with a bang like say 'Cinderella Man' was able to do.
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4 of 6 people found the following review helpful
on April 19, 2005
Many critics have summed up this movie in a few simple words:

Movie by itself= mediocre

Jamie Foxx= OH MY GOD!!! HE'S SO FRIGGIN' AWESOME!!

These reviewers weren't too far from the truth. The movie probably won't stand the test of time, but it's one I'm glad I saw. I definitely felt its best picture nomination was uncalled for, especially since more worthy movies such as Eternal Sunshine of the Spotless Mind were ignored.

I got bored about a third of the way through it, and decided to go take a shower, while my family continued watching it. When I was finished and came back to resume viewing, I followed the story perfectly. This proves one thing: It was very, very long and it had too many extraneous parts. A good film, in my definition, will grip you until the very end where the emotion hits you like a cement wall. Shall I bring up the example again of Eternal Sunshine? THAT'S a good movie, if I should say so myself!

Buuuuuuut, no one can deny the fact that Jamie Foxx was superb in the role. He very much deserved that Oscar he received. Hats off to Mr. Foxx!

Uhh, I really can't think of much more to say about it. In summary, the movie was slow, long, but holy crap! Jamie Foxx was good!
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on March 30, 2005
Ray Charles was a great musician, no doubt about that. But his "life story" in this movie is just boring. 1949 got noticed, found heroin, slept around, did heroin, got married, did heroin, cheated with backup singer, heroin, made it big, heroin, etc....1965 quit heroin, end of movie, oh yeah 1979 Georgia did something....that's it? Best movie of the year? Not even top 10, best actor? Not even top 15. More music and more about who this guy reall was would have helped. Not just Foxx impersonating him and scratching himself because of...you guessed it, heroin addiction. It wasn't horrible but I expect more out of best movie nominees and more of the great art that made this guy so interesting.

Hit the road Jack.
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on March 17, 2014
Anchored by some powerful performances but ultimately a middling and formulaic biopic, the filmmakers behind Ray should have learned a thing or two from their titular and innovative subject. Based on the life of a man who made his living by daring to be different, too often the film just feels too familiar. And while Foxx's performance represents only the best of Hollywood mimicry, it succeeds only on a surface level and is unable to get to the roots of Charles' signature mannerisms. But that is probably the screenwriter's fault.
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3 of 5 people found the following review helpful
on March 1, 2005
Any film adorned with the music of Ray Charles will fill audiences with excitement and awe, and any performance comparable to Jamie Foxx's depiction of Ray Charles warrants viewing. But other than those two elements, this theatrical version of Charles's life is not much better than what could be expected of a made-for-TV biopic of a man who broke conventions and genres and helped shape modern music.

"Ray" follows the performer from his teenage beginnings through his thirties, climaxing on an important moment in Charles's life when he made a moral declaration. Like many artists, Ray Charles's youth haunted him for years. Once he became blind at seven, his mind replayed one of his last images (the death of his brother), and those constant visions drove the married Ray to dull his pain in the arms of other women and with the euphoric release gained from heroin.

But with those counter-productive outlets, Charles also escaped with his music. He immersed himself in the craft, building on an unexplainable gift for throwing different musical styles together and allowing them to instantly create new, exciting sounds. Sometimes country, sometimes blues, sometimes gospel...but always brilliant.

Maybe the virtuosity of his music and the strength of great acting performances is enough for a film, and if that is true, "Ray" works (because that's about all that is to be admired). 2004 will be the year of the biopic (Hughes, Kinsey, Alexander, Jesus, Berrie, etc), and many of these motion pictures could learn lessons from the great depictions of historical figures in past films. "Ray" makes the same mistake made by recent films based on Andy Kaufman, Muhammad Ali and others. These movies believe their subject matter's strength is all a film needs, ignoring the potential to use the lives of great individuals as a catapult for statements on important issues or to shed light on the human spirit (see films based on Larry Flynt, Jake LaMotta or Mozart).

"Ray" fails to become anything more than an attractive telling of the life of an American icon. The immediate critical praise for this film will diminish in years, as the current reviews have no doubt been affected by the recent passing of Charles and the undeniable love for the man and his music by many (including myself). The criticism found here for the film should not be applied to the man or his music, just the lackluster manner in which both were presented on screen.
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