Rain Man on DVD
Heres a movie that deserves a good DVD treatment and which got
Rain Man is a touching drama, the kind of movie you just know is going to be
honored by Hollywood in one way or another. And it was; it snagged Oscars for
Best Picture, director, screenplay, and Actor (Dustin Hoffman), and its
impossible to argue that it wasnt deserving of them.
Hoffman is Raymond, who his kid brother (Tom Cruise) used to think was called
Rain Man back when he was a toddler.
Cruises character, Charlie Babbitt, is a real wheeler dealer - of exotic
cars - but his business is in a cash crunch and hes desperate for some
liquid assets. Fortunately, though unfortunately for the man himself, his reasonably
wealthy father passes away and Charlie heads East to settle the estate and claim
Hes really rubbed the wrong way, howver, when he finds out that the only
provision his estranged dad made for him in his will was his classic Buick Roadmaster
a beautiful car hes always lusted after, but which wouldnt
do him a lot of good as far as helping him out of his current crisis is concerned.
Worse, he cant find out whos the beneificiary of the bulk of the
estate. So he does a little amateur sleuthing and discovers Raymond, an autistic
savant living in an institution the brother Charlie never knew he had.
Charlie practically kidnaps the unfortunate Raymond, planning to take him back
to California and basically hold him for ransom , as a barganing chip for what
he feels should be his rightful share of the estate.
Well, Raymond has problems, of course, and wont fly and he starts freaking
out in the airport, forcing Charlie to embark on a cross-country adventure with
his brother, in the big Buick. This would actually be a really good way to cross
the country, except that he hardly knows his brother and has no idea how to
deal with his autism and this drives them both nuts for the first part of the
But theres more to Raymond, and Charlie it turns out, than meets the
eye and as they live and drive together they begin to bond, and they even manage
to help each other out and start to care for each other.
In the end, Raymond and Charlie are living together in Charlies home,
but a hearing is held to decide whether Raymond should stay with Charlie (as
Charlie now wants, regardless of the money) or go back to the institution where
he really belongs. We wont tell you how it turns out except to say that
while it may not be the ending we really wanted to see, its believable
and it works.
Hoffman deserved the Oscar. His portrayal of the autistic savant is outstanding;
you forget its Hoffman at times. Cruise is also very good; he doesnt
often get the respect as an actor that he deserves.
Its a beautiful film, beautiful looking and sounding and executed. And
its also a beautiful DVD.
The Sspecial Edition DVD is presented in anamorphic widescreen, 16x9 TV compatible,
and the picture quality is terrific. The DVD image is sharp, with beautifully
Audio is Dolby Digital 5.1 surround and its very good. There isnt
a huge amount of surround, but the overall audio quality is very nice; everything
that needs to be heard is heard, with good fidelity.
Extras include a deleted scene (and were glad they dumped it), an original
featurette on the film, a photo gallery and the original trailer. There are
also three running commentaries. The first is by director Barry Levinson, the
second features scriptwriter Ronald Bass and the third is by so-screenwriter
This is a movie that deserves a good DVD release. With this MGM Special Edition,
it has received it.
Rain Man, from MGM Home Entertainment
134 min. anamorphic widescreen (1.85:1, 16x9 TV compatible), Dolby Digital 5.1
Starring Dustin Hoffman, Tom Cruise, Valeria Golino
Produced by Mark Johnson
Written by Ronald Bass and Barry Morrow, Directed by Barry Levinson
Tell us at TechnoFile what YOU think