Raise Your Voice

January 28, 2012 6 Min Read

Review by: Fusion3600

Plot: What’s it about?

Terri Fletcher (Hilary Duff) lives in a small town, but she has big dreams and with an incredible voice, she could realize those dreams. But she doesn’t think she is as talented as she is, so she doesn’t push herself, even though she has talent to burn. She does perform and she loves to sing in front of an audience, so she is known as a gifted singer to all those in her small town. Her talent is pure and natural, as she hasn’t taken lessons or learned the more refined side of vocals. When a tragic accident takes her brother’s life, her own life is shattered and she has trouble putting herself back together. In order to get a fresh start, she decides to attend a camp for vocalists, even though her father disapproves. With a little help, she is able to convince him she is elsewhere and soon enough, she is one step closer to her dreams. Once there, Terri stands out because of her lack of formal training and her small town persona. The other students have been training their skills for years and are more worldly, so Terri is quite a contrast. The response to her is harsh at first, but over time she makes strides and even strikes up a couple of friendships. But when her father learns the truth, will Terri be forced to return home or will she be able to finish her journey on the way to her dreams?

I admit it, I cannot resist Hilary Duff and no matter what the movie, if she was involved, I think I’d go see just about anything. So even though I despise these kind of music driven movies, ones like Drumline and Brave New Girl, I knew I’d have to see Raise Your Voice. The blonde one is in her full glory in Raise Your Voice, a chance for her to combine her two claims to fame, her voice and her looks. And she is blonde here, perhaps blonder than ever before, which only adds to her charm and charisma. As far as her performance, she seems natural and relaxed, probably because of her experience as a vocalist. A lot of times, these kind of films feature actors with little or no such experience, which can be disastrous. Duff is no great thespian, but she remains within her comfort zone and handles the light drama well, though she is better with the more comedic moments. The movie itself is pure fluff, but enjoyable fluff, especially if you’re a fan of Duff’s work. The storyline is formula through and through, so no twists or turns to mention, but then again, a lot of folks like predictable movies. I do think Duff’s charisma pulls this film a notch above most of its kind, but Raise Your Voice is still by the numbers fluff. But if you like Duff and need a movie night selection, then Raise Your Voice is worth a rental.

Video: How does it look?

Raise Your Voice is presented in 2.35:1 anamorphic widescreen, with a full frame version included on the disc’s flip side. As this is a new release from Warner, of course it looks terrific and then some. The print is almost pristine, so the visuals have a clean, crisp, and well detailed appearance. In fact, detail is so good at times, the image takes on a much deeper texture, quite impressive work indeed. The movie’s vivid color scheme bounds off the screen, with rich and vibrant hues that never drift into errors. I found contrast to be stark and consistent also, with no problems in the least to mention. So another new release and another excellent visual treatment from Warner, as expected.

Audio: How does it sound?

A Dolby Digital 5.1 soundtrack is used here, but the material doesn’t ask much of it beyond the basics. The pop driven music comes through well, with a lot of life and presence that spices up the experience a lot. But the music sometimes overpowers the other elements, though never to an extreme degree, so no worries there. The rest of the elements sound more than solid, but never rise above passable levels. A handful or so scenes have some added presence, but on the whole, the mix is basic and reserved. The material doesn’t need explosive audio however, so the experience is still fine and more than acceptable. The dialogue is crisp and clean throughout, with no signs of trouble in the slightest. This disc also includes subtitles in English and Spanish, should you ever need those.

Supplements: What are the extras?

This disc includes some deleted scenes, outtakes, and a promotional behind the scenes featurette. I do wish an audio commentary with Duff were included, but no such luck.

Disc Scores