Friday, May 20, 2005

Ray (2004)

I wonder how often Ray Charles smashed his teeth into those mics...

Genre: Music Drama

Starring: Jamie Foxx (Collateral; Ali), Kerry Washington (The Last King Of Scotland; Mr. & Mrs. Smith)

Directed By: Taylor Hackford (The Devil's Advocate; An Officer And A Gentleman)

Overview: The epic biography of Ray Charles, his life and times.

Acting: This is the thing of Ray. It's amazing how great a job Jamie Foxx does as Ray Charles, everyone touted how perfect his portrayal was, but his supporting cast were all on the ball as well. Great job.
Rating: 9

Cinematography: The cinematography was not something I expected to be innovative. It's good, professional and effective, just don't expect high art. The scenes are straightforward and do their best not to distract from the story.
Rating: 7

Script: The writing was often standard fare, with fairly regular reactions and dialogue. This is no poetry, but it's well done enough not to make you wonder what's going on with these people. Biographies tend to be realistic that way, don't they?
Rating: 7

Plot: A great plot, a good story to tell, and as we watch Ray grow up and become a star we really sense his endeavours, but once the fame sets in, the story lulls, because the way it's told, until that final challenge that he has to face, it doesn't seem as though there were all that many things that needed to be said, though the movie went on saying them...The ending fell completely apart for me in a horrible cheesy "we shall overcome" internal self-realization filled with symbolic representations of his past. Too bad about that, but still, overall an entertaining story.
Rating: 7

Mood: There was a nice theme thrown in from time to time of water and of Ray's haunting demons, which added a nice element to the plotline. Great music, of course, but overall I found that this lacked any artistic vision. Nothing inspired great reactions, and the pure R&B, Jazz club feel of the love of his music seemed too replaced by sterile studio settings and business chatter.
Rating: 6

"I can't see. Who is is? Is that me?"

Overall Rating: 72% (Barely A Touch Of Sunshine)

Aftertaste: This was one of those movies that everyone ends up seeing. Hollywood produces these not-so-hidden gems regularly and this sort of film is what draws audiences to theaters over and over again. Sadly, I didn't think this movie was all that great. Sure a great story and a safe flow from beginning to end, but there was just something missing and I can't quite put my finger on it... Oh yes I can: The lowest common denominator factor. When you play it safe, you make more money. I don't think anyone will ever say "This is my favorite movie", unless I run into Ray Charles' children...