on February 19, 2004
Basically this is a great movie to buy I am so glad to see this film at least back on DVD again I was sad to see a few months ago when I tried to purchase it the film was out of print but now MGM has released the DVD Special Edition of this film. First you have the film picture looks great nice widescreen version. That deleted scene features Dustin Hoffman escaping Tom Cruise trying to buy those infamous Cheese Balls he eats through out the film and Hoffman goes into the store and pulls that typical run of the mill "Rain Man" skit and the shopkeeper does not understand and Tom Cruise finds him and rescues him. That kind of part is shown in different places in the movie overall the scene lacks substance and once again like many of these DVD's with deleted scenes we can all clearly see why this little scene was taken out of the film. Now you have that commentary remember now it is 3 separate commentary tracks not a bunch of guys talking together. It would have been really nice for Tom Cruise and Dustin Hoffman to do a Commentary track but I guess Cruise was to busy with "The Last Sumarai" and Hoffman had to make his 100th movie by now. You get this Barry Levinson track which is probably the most useful good but not great. The other two commentary tracks feature I believe the guy who wrote the screenplay Ronald Bass if you have the time all 3 tracks probably are somewhat useful but also a little dull. Then you have a featurette from 1988! but boohoo it mostly contains bits from the movie a few moments with Tom Cruise saying that typical statement about a movie that he believes that this is going to be a great film he was right and director Barry Levinson did a fantastic job with this movie it just captures everything nice about a film the mood is nice and actors are great and the story is well told. Rain Man is a classic and will live on as a key career success for Tom Cruise and Dustin Hoffman. Oh Yeah there is also a photo album of some photos if you have that kind of time. Rain Man Special Edition justs gets by with the film itself and I just ignore the extras and watch the film.
on March 19, 2011
First - Amazon ROCKS! Ordered and received within a couple of days! Although I've watched this movie before, I wanted it in my blu-ray library and had decided to only purchase movies I LOVED and would watch repeatedly. Rain Man is one of those movies! What starts out as a scam as the one brother learns he has a Savant brother in an institution that has been awarded all their dad's money from his will, ends up with love and compassion but with a long road in between. Such a touching, funny and educational movie...a must buy!
on May 24, 2004
"Rain Man" reigned in the 1988 "Best Picture" Academy Award, and deservedly so. This film is everything a "Best Picture" Oscar winner should be, in my view. It has tenderness, romance, drama, compassion, likeable characters, and a biting humor as well. It's a "road" picture, while at the same time encompassing so many other things too.
Tom Cruise and Dustin Hoffman give highly-memorable and powerful performances in "Rain Man". Some of the moments in the movie that I find particularly memorable (and deserving of multiple replays whenever loading this up into the DVD Player) include these ............
> The first meeting between "Charlie" and "Raymond", when Charlie finds Ray behind the wheel of his rare 1948 automobile (excellent "first meeting" of these characters).
> The "shorts on the highway" scene.
> "Qantas never crashed".
> The Blackjack scene in Vegas.
> "I like having you for my big brother".
This "SE" release of "Rain Man" includes an enhanced (anamorphic) 1.85:1 Widescreen version of the movie -- and it gets an A+ on my "PQ Report Card". The digital video is beautiful throughout, with radiant colors.
The audio comes through loud and clear via the disc's bold English 5.1 Dolby Digital Surround track. Two foreign-language DD tracks are also part of this DVD -- a 2.0 Surround in French, and a Spanish 2.0 Mono track.
The DVD Special Features are a wee bit on the light side for a so-called "Special Edition". Although, if you like Audio Commentaries, you've come to the right place with this "Rain Man" DVD. Three separate filmmaker Commentary Tracks are featured on this one-disc "SE", including one by Director Barry Levinson.
Other bonus material includes ..........
>> Original Featurette. -- This short bonus is fairly thin on content, but does provide a few comments from stars Dustin Hoffman and Tom Cruise (circa 1988). Not much to sink your "Making Of" teeth into here though. The video for this featurette is Full Frame (1.33:1). Length = 6:55. .... It would have been nice to have had a feature-length "Making-Of" documentary included on this "SE" DVD. But, maybe next time.
>> One Deleted Scene. -- I kind of liked this. This excised scene shows Raymond entering a convenience store, where he begins helping himself to the store's stock of food and beverages (to the dismay of the shop's proprietor). Charlie enters at the end of this short scene to "rescue" Raymond. It's a pretty good scene, but certainly not essential to the storyline; and I can see why it was cut. Especially considering the film's already-lengthy 134-minute final running time. This deleted clip lasts 2:01, and is presented in 1.33:1 Full-Frame ratio.
>> Original Theatrical Trailer. -- A fun and funny trailer. Shown in 1.33:1. Run time -- 2:14.
>> Photo Gallery. -- This Gallery (which *is* anamorphic) is broken up into five different segments.
>> Bonus DVD Trailers.
No "Chapter List" paper insert is included with this DVD. The case looks kind of bare without any insert, I must admit. But, starting in late 2003 (approx.), many studios began to go the "el-cheapo" route on us, and no longer provide physical paper enclosures inside the DVD cases anymore. Gee, you'd think a "Special Edition" release would at least warrant a slim, one-page insert. Oh, well...what are ya gonna do? No biggie really. But I'd still prefer to have an insert for all DVD releases (even if it's only an ad for other DVD products).
Even with the rather skimpy selection of supplements here, this DVD still comes highly recommended by this "Rain Man" fan. The picture and sound quality are dazzling; and the film itself is ... well ... I'm sure you know ..... Oscar worthy! Get this today!
on March 18, 2004
"Rain Man" is one of those rare films that is equally touching and moving as it is humorous. A true labor of love for those involved, particularly its producers, director Barry Levinson, and star Dustin Hoffman, it remains an undated and compelling work, since its release sixteen years ago. By now most know that Hoffman was heavily praised for his dead-on portrayal of an autistic savant, winning an Oscar in the process. However, it is really Tom Cruise who is the heart and soul of the movie, portraying its true protagonist. His is a very underrated performance, one that reminds how accomplished an actor he can be when given the right dramatic role. Equally good is Levinson's direction, smartly exposing the humor on what could normally be viewed as overly sentimental material. Included is one brief and all to basic featurette with cast and crew interviews of the time. The one deleted scene featured is redundant of what's already in the movie. The DVD makes up for all of this however with the inclusion of three audio commentaries to choose from. In the end, the greatest strength of this package is the movie itself. Whether it was indeed the best film of 1988 is a point of debate. Nonetheless, it is likely to satisfy most viewers because its themes of greed, discovery and compassion are not only universal, but in this case, intelligently presented.
on March 15, 2004
Have you ever had to communicate with someone on a different wavelength as you; for example because he speaks a foreign language and you don't have an interpreter, or because he is unable to communicate verbally at all, or maybe just because you keep misunderstanding each other? If so, you know what a frustrating experience it is to have virtually no control over the situation and over making sure that you're actually understood. And in precisely this situation finds himself Charlie Babbitt (Tom Cruise), personification of the 1980s' yuppie, a used car dealer with major money problems whose only - tentative - personal attachment is to his current girlfriend Susanna (Valeria Golino). Because having learned that except for a few rosebushes and a vintage 1949 Buick Roadmaster his recently-deceased father has left virtually all of his considerable fortune to his autistic brother Raymond (Dustin Hoffman) - a brother he didn't even know he had - Charlie decides to kidnap Raymond from the Cincinnati facility where he lives, take him to California, and demand half the inheritance in exchange for his brother's return.
Now, Charlie isn't the greatest communicator himself; at least as far as listening goes; he is used to talking people down, and if that alone doesn't do the trick, he starts to yell. This, however, just doesn't work with Raymond, who lives in a world of his own and, unable to express emotion in any other way, falls into a nervous tic when feeling threatened. So for the first time in his life Charlie has to learn to accept another human being for what he is, and work *with* his bewildering methods of communication rather than against them. And subtly, very subtly, Charlie begins to change, until at last he no longer wants to relinquish custody of Raymond even after having been offered a substantial amount of money: because now money is no longer an issue at all; now it's all about genuine love for a newly-found brother and very special person.
"Rain Man" is ostensibly told from Charlie's perspective; through his, the "normal" guy's eyes we perceive Raymond's habits, tics and strange behavioral code. And even if Charlie is easy enough to snub for his superficiality and materialism, his frustration at his inability to communicate with his brother feels genuine and is something we can empathize with(albeit perhaps inadmittedly). Tom Cruise plays Charlie with a finely-tuned mix of audacity and reluctant emotion; turning a role that seems to start out as just another Cruise cliche into a character who hesitantly comes to realize his own complexities and shortcomings and learns to appreciate sensitivity, compassion and love - yet, without ever taking the role that treacherous step too far into sentimentality.
Still, important as Charlie's character is for this movie's narrative, this is from first to last Raymond's story; and by the same token Dustin Hoffman's, because the two individuals are in fact inseparable: As Hoffman once explained in an interview, he rejects the notion that acting is merely about playing a role, or that the term "my character" could ever appropriately describe his approach to a role; emphasizing that in every part he plays, he truly has to *become* the individual in question to fully be able to understand and portray him. As such, his achievement with Raymond Babbitt is breathtaking indeed; for in a role which not only imposes severe limitations on his ability to communicate traditionally but also gives him virtually no opportunity to express emotion, he conveys Raymond's frailties, unexpected strengths and, significantly, his profound humanity in a manner that lets you forget you're even looking at a piece of acting, thus accomplishing that rare feat only attained by the greatest of actors - and even among Dustin Hoffman's spectacular performances, this one stands out in particular. (He did, of course, win both the Oscar and the Golden Globe for this movie; but somehow even the industry's highest awards don't begin to express the significance of his achievement.)
Raymond Babbitt's character was based on several real-life autistic persons; and at a time when little was known about the condition even in the medical community, contributed substantially to a greater understanding of those afflicted with it. Not all autistic people are so-called "savants" like Raymond, i.e. possess genial mathematic or other abilities within the shell separating them from the outside world (and conversely, not with all of them that shell is as thick as in Raymond's case; although intricate routines do tend to play a rather important role) - so don't go rushing off with them to Vegas for an exercise in "counting cards," at least not before you've verified that they can memorize entire phone books (at least up to the letter "G"), count the toothpicks in a pile on the floor with one glimpse of an eye and determine the square root of a four- or five-digit number within a matter of seconds without so much as looking at an electronic calculator. Chances are you'd do them tremendous harm, not to mention make a complete fool of yourself.
Dustin Hoffman reportedly fought hard for this movie's production even after several directors (including, inter alia, Stephen Spielberg) had bowed out; and in one of those rare un-Hollywood-like moments even managed to maintain the movie's sense of authenticity up to the very end by prevailing on the writers to drop the projected ending, which would have had Raymond staying with Charlie. - In addition to Hoffman's awards, "Rain Man" received the coveted Oscars for Best Movie, Best Original Screenplay and Best Director (Barry Levinson, who also played the psychiatrist called upon to evaluate whether Raymond is fit to stay with Charlie), plus a number of other American and international awards. For once, the industry collectively got it right. But even if this movie hadn't received a single award, it would still remain one of recent film history's greatest and truly unforgettable moments - definitely, it would.
on February 4, 2004
A great movie but mediocre special edition. 1 deleted scene, 3 commentaries, some photos, a 7 minute making off from 1988(mostly scenes from the movie itself) and about 20 'other great MGM titles available' trailers, dvd trailers and dvd covers and that's it basically. MGM seem more interested in self promotion on this disc (the first thing shown is a 10 second MGM promo with scenes from recent DVD releases). This is very annoying. I'd rather just get the movie and the material RELATING to the movie. If I want to know what else is coming out, I'll seek it out myself--it's not that hard. MGM seem to think we won't find out about thier movies unless they tack on this extra unnecessary stuff. This is why I don't rent movies often, being forced to sit through 10 minutes of movie previews or fast forwarding(luckily this disc does not have that but Universal is getting pretty good in that department). A Great movie with great acting but I honestly don't think this should be called a special edition because you slap on a few commentaries a quick deleted scene and an old 7 minute promowhatchamacallit. Also, there is no booklet...! MGM seems to do that a lot with their 'catalog releases'. At least it beats the previous DVD version.
on October 12, 2003
Barry Levinson's "Rain Man" is a film with a gimmick. It is gimmick that is used to differentiate this film from the number of films that had previously dealt with the same material. At its core, this is a story about family secrets, personal discovery, and reconciliation. Only this time around, one of the members of the family is autistic.
After his father passes away, Charlie Babbitt's (Tom Cruise) life changes forever when he discovers he has brother he never knew he had. Compounding his surprise is the fact that Raymond (Dustin Hoffman) is an autistic who can perform amazing mental feats with little effort. However, Raymond is unable to interact socially with others and is continuously thwarted by the world outside upon leaving his institution. After much soul-searching, Charlie must decide if his brother's interests would be better served staying at home with him or back at the institution with its comfortable daily routine.
The two performances at the heart of "Rain Man" are flawless. Cruise is great as the fast-talking brother whose cold heart thaws as he spends more time with his brother and Hoffman's Academy Award for his performance is testament enough to its quality. However, while watching "Rain Man," you cannot shake the feeling that the events unfolding on-screen are just an excuse to display Raymond's talents. All of the scenes from his recitation of baseball statistics to his ability to count toothpicks on the floor to his success in Las Vegas feel like gimmicky set pieces. Little drama is produced the rest of the time as the scenes without Raymond are just filler to bridge the gaps between his previous spotlight moment and his next one. In the end there is surprisingly little in the film to sustain the viewer's interest. Record "Rain Man" as just another byproduct of the creative malaise that seemed to be running through Hollywood in the late-Eighties.
on July 24, 2003
Dustin Hoffman plays an idiot savant, which he's pretty good at. I knew someone in high school who was autistic and very learned at baseball and seinfeld, and Hoffman's character was very similarly acted and written (although much less aware of the reality we see around him). Tom Cruise, whom I hold nothing against and don't consider a particularly bad actor, does a good job of being Tom Cruise, which can be a pretty bad thing in a movie. Hoffman's role also suffers, albiet slightly less, from image recognition. I watched both moonlight mile and the graduate in close proximity with rain man, both of which offer better and more subtle examples of his deftness at bumbling half-idiot characters. Not that noticing an actor's actorness is neccessarily always a bad thing in movies, just in this case it rubbed me the wrong way.
As far as the movie itself goes, it has occasional laughs, but all of them rely most heavily on autistic behaviours and 80s radio station advertisments, which i guess makes it a sort of modern slapstick movie. The story is one you've seen a thousand times, and which, for me, has never been very enjoyable, but i suppose if you are attracted to this kind of story, you could tack on an extra star, which is to say that the whole package is average for its genre.
I dislike the word 'overrated' because i don't want to be opining on someone else's opinion, even though i don't have a lot of respect for the academy awards, but, suffice to say alot of people like and value this movie, while i don't. You could make a case for this movie's possible criticisms of society's materialism, but, if they do exist, they're, at most, a cheap plastic veneer on a insubstantial base.
2 stars because: it's not the worst movie i've ever seen, but it's something that made me wish i had saved the rental fee for something else. if, unlike me, you are attracted to this type of movie, i would say that, because it's not poorly directed, terribly written, and the acting isn't too hammy, it's not unworth a 4 dollar rental fee.
on August 26, 2002
An outstanding movie from the eighties that took four Academy Awards (Best Picture, Director, Screenplay, and Actor), "Rainman" is about the arrogant, selfish and materialistic hotshot car-dealer Charles Babbit (Tom Cruise) and his autistic brother Raymond (Dustin Hoffman). Charlie is a struggling businessman on the verge of bankruptcy who doesn't even know he has a brother until his dad dies. When he only inherits the rose bushes and a used car, he discovers that the rest of his father's wealth ($3 million) is put in a trust fund for his institutionalized brother. Charlie takes up contact with Raymond, and because his real motive is to obtain his dad's millions, he kidnaps Ray and holds him for ransom. The lack of sympathy we feel for Charlie's greed is matched by the sympathy we feel for his misunderstood brother Ray. Charlie doesn't care about Ray: "It's none of your business, stop acting like an idiot and reading that stupid phone book." Charlie's Italian girlfriend Susanna is the conscience that says otherwise: "It's not right what you're doing to Raymond."
The turning point comes when Charlie's exasperated girlfriend walks out on him after living with him for a year, and only then does he finally begin to show sympathy for his brother. Charlie comes to realize that Ray's brilliant memory and extraordinary ability with numbers has great potential in a casino. But more importantly, he comes to realize that Ray is a brother whom he loves. Their journey on the run is as much a journey of discovery for Charlie as it is for Ray. Charlie undergoes a dramatic transformation in character: "I felt like giving you a hug." And: "It's not about the money anymore. Why didn't anyone ever tell me I had a brother?" It is this heart-warming theme that becomes the movie's focal point. Remarkably, Hollywood has produced a movie that shows the emptiness of materialism, and that emphasizes the wealth that lies in the fellowship of family relationships.
But "Rainman" is also a sensitive look at people with mental disabilities, showing their strengths and weaknesses, and showing how they are as loveable as the rest of us. This is heightened by some brilliant acting from Dustin Hoffman in particular, who produced an outstanding and convincing performance as autistic Raymond. Hoffman's Academy Award winning performance is enhanced by a brilliant soundtrack by Hans Zimmer, and stellar directing which makes you see life from Raymond's autistic point of view (for instance his bewilderment as they drive across a bridge).
There are also several delightful moments of warm humor - who can forget the memorable lines: "I'm an excellent driver"; "K-Mart sux"; "Qantas never crashed"; and the classic "I'm definitely not wearing underwear". There is a sex scene, but it is presented from Raymond's point of view and involves more suggestion than sight. Even so, the frequent use of profanities as well as the strongly implied sexual content was enough to give this movie the R rating it deserves. But if you can overlook the excessive amount of offensive content, this is a memorable movie that has the potential to change you as it changed Charlie - for the better. The members of our family (even those with handicaps) are truly of more value than the money in our bank. Now if only Hollywood as a whole would make the same change in thinking as Charlie...
on June 5, 2002
In the last few years, this was one of the few Oscar winners for best picture that was not a ponderous three hour history lesson.
Charlie Babbit, a struggling and cocky luxury car dealer finds out his father dies, and goes to Ohio from L.A. to collect his expected inheritance. He finds out he has an older autistic brother named Raymond who has all the money put in trust for his care. Charlie takes Raymond on a drive back to L.A. to await a hearing on custody of Raymond, and the film is, in effect, their cross country journey.
I have seen this film many times before, as have others, and I would suggest a new way to view this: just watch Tom Cruise's underappreciated performance. He is very confident and sure of himself, and holds his own against Hoffman. His character does change slightly throughout the film, but Cruise never allows Charlie to do a 180 into sainthood. Even at the climactic hearing, he speaks shortly to Raymond, and their final scene after the hearing, where Raymond leans his head on Charlie's, is wonderful.
Hoffman deserved the Oscar for best actor. Sure, everyone did their own Raymond impressions (until Tom Hanks' Forrest Gump came along; why do some people think mental retardation is funny?), but Hoffman has not been this good very often since ("Hero", anyone?).
The screenplay is wonderful, despite a troubled history and multiple endings. The one scene I had a problem with is when Charlie figures out who Raymond was to him as a child, and Levinson basically has Cruise talk to himself as a way to let those in the audience know. I cannot stand that. We can figure it out without Cruise mumbling "they sent you away because they thought you hurt me." This is just quibbling, however, considering other positives here. Levinson uses overlapping dialogue to a wonderful extent, with Cruise always talking and trying to find a way out of a jam. His scene where he keeps repeating his inheritance, the rose bushes, to his father's lawyer, while the lawyer tries to talk, is funny and a foreshadowing to Hoffman's Raymond. Maybe Raymond does not say some of the things he says because he is autistic, but because he is a Babbit. When Robert Altman uses overlapping dialogue, it seems forced, boring, and something you must endure until Sally Kellerman or some other leading lady agrees to take her clothes off. Here, it is very natural. Valeria Golina is also good as Charlie's exasperated Italian girlfriend.
Hans Zimmer provides an incredible score that is not used often enough. The pick of songs, from Bananarama's remake of "Nathan Jones," to "At Last" seemed to be collected to make the movie work, not because someone wanted a hit soundtrack a la "Footloose" or "Beverly Hills Cop."
"Rain Man" is a great film, and one that deserves a fresh look today.
This is rated (R) for some physical violence, strong profanity, brief female nudity, some sexual content, and some sexual references. This could almost get a (PG13) nowadays, I have seen worse on network TV.