Media

Home Theater Movie Renter's Guide - February, 2011

ARTICLE INDEX
"Ray" (Blu-ray) - Reviewed by Chris Heinonen

movie-february-2011-ray

Synopsis

Ray is the Oscar winning film that tells the story of Ray Charles.  Born to a single mother in rural Florida, Ray doesn't have much going for him early on in his life.  As a young child he starts to lose his eyesight and is soon completely blind, though his mother refuses to let him pity himself or let him use it as an excuse.  As a teenager he moves to Seattle where he first gains attention for his piano playing, becoming friends with an even younger Quincy Jones.  As his fame and talent grows, he moves onto LA, and then to New York.  As well as his life is going, including starting a family and becoming more and more successful, he is battling a constant war against drugs and a seeming inability to fully trust anyone in his life.

Specifications

  • Universal
  • 2004, Color, Rated PG-13, 2 Hr 33 min
  • Aspect Ratio: 1.85:1
  • Codec:  MPEG-4 AVC
  • 1080p
  • DTS-HD Master Audio 5.1
  • Starring:  Jamie Fox, Kerry Washington, Clifton Powell
  • Directed by Taylor Hackford
Rating
  • Entertainment:
  • Video:
  • Audio:
  • Extras:
  • Violence: Mild
  • Sex: Mild
  • Language: Mild

Commentary

I had not gotten to see Ray when it came out and so I was looking forward to watching it finally at home.  I have to say that Jamie Fox did an absolutely fantastic job in the title role, making you feel what Ray was feeling in the scenes and being able to convey emotions without words.  However, in other areas I wish that the film was either pared down to be tighter, or even longer than it's already lengthy 2.5 hour run time.  Many characters come into play and then leave but are not fully resolved.  Overall it's an enjoyable film, but could have been better perhaps at 2 hours without as many loose strings left hanging.

Technical

While I might have some issues with the film, I can't really say I have much with the presentation.  The Blu-ray looks absolutely fantastic, with only a couple little glitches that popped up to keep it from being perfect.  Flashbacks are bright and overexposed, and much of the film has a slightly muted, though very natural, appearance to it.  The soundtrack is also very nice, with good use of all the channels, and concert scenes that really bring you right into the middle of the show.

Extras

The Blu-ray adds an introduction from the Director, deleted scenes, expanded movie performances from the film, featurettes on the late Ray Charles and how Jamie Fox came to embody him in the role, as well as Directors Commentary.

Bonus features include a photo gallery, trailer and a behind-the-scenes featurette.