THE TRIUMPHANT & REMARKABLE STORY OF ONE OF AMERICA'S TRUE MUSICAL GENIUSUS, RAY CHARLES. FROM HIS HUMBLE BEGINNINGS IN THE SOUTH THROUGH HIS METEORIC RISE TO THE TOP, RAY'S INSPIRATIONAL JOURNEY IS A TALE OF HPE, REDEMPTI... more »ON AND THE POWER OF THE HUMAN SPIRIT.« less
Jerry S. from OCEANSIDE, CA Reviewed on 2/21/2016...
"EXCELLENT" GREAT MOVIE! ONE OF THE BEST FILMS I EVER SAW.
Kyle T. (KingKong) from KINSTON, NC Reviewed on 11/12/2008...
RAY is a brilliant film, in that it captures the atmosphere and personality of a man so well. The film isn't some revolution in the drama genre, but it sets the standard much higher for biopic perfomances. Jamie Foxx's performance isn't just an impression or impersonation, he embodies the very persona of Ray Charles. The movie doesn't just revolve around Ray's harsh drug addiction, and his love affiars, but also his greatest songs and musical innovations, making this more about the music and the man, than about his faults. The film is a bit long (2.5 hours), but should actually be longer, really, because it stops at 1976, and I was kind of hoping to get into his elderly years. But, that doesn't matter. You see, Jamie Foxx, along with a couple of really good supporting perfomances, keeps this film from being another melo-dramatic, semi-tearjerker about any icon celebrity. Foxx couldn't see through the prostetics put over his eyes to make him look like Charles, filming twelve to fourteen hours a day without his sight. Now, that's dedication. The movie features numerous performances of Ray Charles's music, and they are great, you'll be movin' and boppin' in your seat.
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Duane S. (superpoet) from FORT WORTH, TX Reviewed on 7/25/2008...
This is the biography of Ray Charles. It takes you from the tragic death of his little brother which he is blamed for, but is actually an accident. Soon thereafter he becomes blind. His mother wants him to be independent and is very hard on him to achieve this. We see his rise from the bars and honky tonks with one of his first songs: "What'd I say? "to the orchestra recording by ABC of "Georgia". His womanizing is rampant throughout the movie and is reminiscent of Frank Sinatra and Elvis Presley.
The movie is extremely well done and the singing of Jamie Fox is flawless.
The Life's story of an imperfect man who did amazing things
A. Ryan | Westminster, CA USA | 11/12/2004
(5 out of 5 stars)
"I went to see Ray in the theaters last night because my sister suggested it and because I was in a mood to see something "critically acclaimed". For the record, I knew very little about the man and so had very few preconceptions. What I saw made a deep impression in my mind and heart.
Ray Robinson, aka Ray Charles the singer, songwriter and musician, was blind since the age of 7. He had to deal not only with bigotry for his disability but for being black in Georgia before the civil rights movement. Throughout his life many people (both black and white) would try to take advantage of the blind man, ripping him off financially or hoarding his talent for their own gain. Ray had both the blessing and the curse of being a ladies' man, resulting in serial affairs while his wife stayed home and raised their family. It surprised me to learn that he fought an addiction to heroin for well over a decade before finally beating it in the `60s. Nevertheless, Ray carried all this baggage and more through the 40s and 50s as he made a name for himself playing piano in the Country, Jazz, etc. pop music circuits. Eventually of course he rose to become one of the most recognized and beloved musical artists worldwide.
The man that this film showed me was an incredible example of determination, charm and simple human spirit. I have heard others say that Jamie Foxx's acting was so good that they were half-convinced he was channeling Ray Charles' ghost. I'll take their word for it that it was an accurate performance, but regardless, it was also a great performance! Down the line each of the supporting actors was perfectly convincing and real, but none more so than Foxx. I will denounce the Academy if he isn't at least nominated for an Oscar.
The least of Ray's imperfections was his physical blindness --yet he had a powerful gift and the ability to reach into the collective soul of a nation. Over his long career as a musician and songwriter, Ray Charles Robinson created and performed some of the most memorable music to audiences across the country. Your color, age and creed doesn't matter; chances are, you've heard and loved at least one Ray Charles song in your lifetime. We'll never have another like him. -Andrea, aka Merribelle. "
WARNING ! DON'T BUY EXTENDED VERSION
M. G. PHILLIPS | Granada Hills, CA United States | 02/08/2005
(1 out of 5 stars)
"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. 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.)
I know a lot of people had problems with the extended version of the DVD, but it warns you that it might not play well on certain DVD players.
How'bout ANY player? And the two second delay seems HUGE, . . . stop action . . . wait then it jumps sometimes forward and sometimes backward UNTIMED!
This is not a review, but more of a rant on my part as a DVD Collector of 1,260+ DVD's. Please view this as an individual opinion on Universal, not on the content of the Film, Ray."
Ray Charles' Complex Life Matched by Superb Jamie Foxx
A.Trendl HungarianBookstore.com | Glen Ellyn, IL USA | 02/25/2005
(4 out of 5 stars)
"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. I heard the hype that his performance was Oscar-worthy, and watched the movie with the eyes of a skeptic. Now, I am impressed.
Jamie Foxx has a new fan. I hope he gets roles that allow him to shine like he does in "Ray."
The DVD for "Ray" adds to the movie. Normally, a DVD brings little extra that is interesting, but watching Jamie Foxx and Ray Charles interact was touching, as was hearing Foxx describe his experience in learning the role. We learn Foxx not only can play piano, but is trained at a high level. Those are his hands on the keys, and not movie magic. He respected Charles and the difficulty of playing an icon, and earned Charles' respect in the process.
Anthony Trendl editor, HungarianBookstore.com"
The Acting Is Top Notch, DVD Transfer is Horrible!!!
Reggie L. Mattocks | Upper Marlboro, MD | 02/02/2005
(4 out of 5 stars)
"I somehow missed this at the movies but I was determined with all the Oscar buzz and hype Jamie Foxx was receiving, that I'd buy it and form my own opinion. I have to give it up for Jamie Foxx, he just didn't play Ray Charles, he practically was Ray Charles. His acting was just absolutely flawless. The supporting cast of Clifton Powell, Regina King, Kelly Washington, Larenz Tate, Bokeem Woodbine, and the newcomer who played his mother (I forgot her name that quick) who's never been in anything outside of a local theatre when discovered, all did a marvelous job as well. I was never a really big Ray Charles fan but I loved the music in the film. However, the big disappointment for me was buying the Limited Edition version with the extended edition of the movie. 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. The special features on Disc 2 were excellent including the uncut performances that were cut short in the original film and the meeting of Foxx and Charles in a studio in 2002 to see if Foxx met Ray's approval (which it obviously did). Foxx is not only a talented actor, but an extremely gifted pianist come to find out. The sky's the limit for this brother and I hope he comes away with the Oscar cuz his performance again was flawless. I'd suggest buying the standard edition just to avoid all the nonsense I had to go through with extended edition. If not for the sorry DVD transfer this would easily been a five star classic. Who knows maybe they'll do like everyone else and come out with another edition with better film transfer. Great Biopic though."