It’s not uncommon to see multiple editions of major new DVDs released simultaneously, and Ray, Taylor Hackford’s musical biography of Ray Charles, is no exception.

It arrived Feb. 1 in wide-screen and full-screen versions (2 stars, Universal, $29.98) as well as in a 2-disc special edition ($44.99), allegedly limited, that includes not only the original 2-hour, 23-minute theatrical version but also an extended version with additional and extended scenes.

I was one of the dissenters who loved the music but found the film formulaic and shallow. Jamie Foxx’s performance, which seems to channel the late Charles’ every move and affectation, was indeed remarkably precise, but it seemed just that – more precise portrayal than performance (I know I’m in the minority here, no need to remind me again).

But I did think the musical performances, with Foxx lip-synching Charles’ recordings, were wonderfully staged, so I was happy to see the special edition offer more of what I liked: Nine additional songs filmed but not used in the film, along with the usual making-of documentaries and a featurette about the rapport that existed between Charles (who saw and approved a work print before his death) and Foxx.

What’s even more interesting is the first major DVD commercial release of an edition of Ray for blind and vision-impaired people (also $29.98), which comes with an audio track describing the on-screen action.

© 2005, Detroit Free Press. Distributed by Knight Ridder/Tribune Information Services.

Ray is currently available.