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WSR Detailed DVD Review
Genre: Drama

Reviewed In Issue 95 (Apr 2005) Of Widescreen Review®

Jamie Foxx, Kerry Washington, Clifton Powell, Aunjanue Ellis, Harry Lennix, Terrence Dashon Howard, Larenz Tate & Regina King

WSR Review Scores
WSR Picture Rating: 4
DD Sound Rating: 3.5
DTS Sound Rating: NR
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Reference Systems
Critics' Composite Score: 4
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Special Features
You have an option of viewing the theatrical cut or the extended version (which is not anamorphically enhanced and is distractingly stretched on 16x9 widescreen displays). Includes audio commentary by director Taylor Hackford and cast and filmmaker biographies. The flip side of the disc features additional bonus material including 14 deleted scenes totalling 28 minutes, with optional audio commentary; two extended musical scenes; a must-see 11-minute Stepping Into The Part featurette, which features footage of Jamie Foxx

 DVD General Information

(Studio/Distributor): Universal Studios Home Video
(Catalog Number): 25944
(MPAA Rating): PG13
(Rating Reason):

Depiction Of Drug Addiction, Sexuality, And Some Thematic Elements
(Retail Price): $29.98
(DVD Type): Dual Side, Single Layer/Dual Layer (DVD14)
(Widescreen Edition): Yes
(Full Screen Edition): No
(Anamorphic Widescreen): Yes
(Running Time In Minutes): 152
(Color Type): Color
(Chaptered/Scene Access): Yes
(Closed Captioned): Yes
(Regional Coding): 1
(Theatrical Year): 2004
(Theatrical Release): Yes
(Direct-To-Video Release): No
(DVD Release Date): 02/01/05
(THX® Digitally Mastered): No

 Credits Information

(Director): Taylor Hackford
(Screenplay/Written By): Subscribe Now!
(Story): Subscribe Now!
(Music): Subscribe Now!
(Director Of Photography): Subscribe Now!
(Production Designer): Subscribe Now!
(Visual Effects): Subscribe Now!
(Costume Designer): Subscribe Now!
(Editor): Subscribe Now!
(Supervising Sound Editors): Subscribe Now!
(Re-Recording Mixers): Subscribe Now!
(Executive Producers): Subscribe Now!
(Co-Producers): Subscribe Now!
(Producers): Subscribe Now!
(Academy Awards): Subscribe Now!

  DVD Picture Information

(Principal Photography): Subscribe Now!
(Theatrical Aspect Ratio): Subscribe Now!
(Measured DVD Anamorphic Aspect Ratio): Subscribe Now!
(Measured DVD Letterbox Aspect Ratio): Subscribe Now!

  DVD Sound Information

(DVD Soundtrack): Subscribe Now!
(Theatrical Sound): Subscribe Now!
(Theatrical Re-Issue Soundtrack): Subscribe Now!
(DTS Bit Rate): Subscribe Now!
(Dolby Digital Bit Rate): Subscribe Now!
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  WSR Narrative Review
Story Synopsis:
Despite the loss of his eyesight when he was just a boy, Ray Charles Robinson (an amazing performance by Jamie Foxx, all the rave reviews are true) was able to find strength and success. Following Ray from his humble beginnings as a musician to making award-winning songs and demanding respect from the recording industry, the story touches on his drug problems, rocky love life, and haunting memories of his childhood. (Suzanne Hodges)

DVD Picture:
The anamorphically enahnced DVD picture exhibits a stylized visual experience that really puts you into the story. Peppered with flashback that appear washed out with warm yellow overtones and a slightly gritty texture, scenes are often moody and dreamlike. Color fidelity often has a bit of a nostalgic feel, as the story moves along through the decades of Ray Charles' life. Flesthones are accurately balanced and blacks are generally deep and solid. The picture can have a milky appearance, and is occasionally smeared, but creatively incorporates an aged/yellow style reminiscent of stock footage in certain scenes. Impressive sharpness and detail reveal facial textures and definition, visually contrasting the more softly focused flashback scenes. Focus shifts in the flashback scenes to denote the loss of Ray's eyesight. There is some edge enhancmeent noticed at times, but rarely are the halos terribly distracting. Pixelization is also detected on occasion. A very unfortunate distraction is found in the Extended Edition scenes, which are not anamorphically enhanced and appear stretched on widescreen displays in a failed attempt to add these scenes seamlessly (with an icon notation) into the theatrical cut. (Suzanne Hodges)

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