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Rain Man (Blu-ray) Official AVSForum Review

post #1 of 4
Thread Starter 
The Review at a Glance: (max score: 5 )

Film: attachment.php?attachmentid=109948&d=1210373699

Extras: attachment.php?attachmentid=109944&d=1210373699

Audio/Video total rating:

( Max score: 100 )


Studio and Year: MGM - 1988
MPAA Rating: R
Feature running time: 134 minutes
Genre: Drama

Disc Format: BD-50
Encoding: AVC (MPEG-4)
Video Aspect: 1.85:1
Resolution: 1080p/24

Audio Format(s): English DTS-HD 5.1 Master Audio, French DTS 5.1, Spanish Mono
Subtitles: English SDH, French, Spanish
Starring: Dustin Hoffman, Tom Cruise, Valerina Golino, Gerald R. Molen
Directed by: Barry Levinson
Music by: Hans Zimmer
Written by: Ronald Bass, Barry Morrow
Region Code: A

Blu-ray Disc release Date: February 15, 2011

"One for bad. Two for good"

Film Synopsis:

Following the death of their father, Charlie Babbitt (Tom Cruise, Valkyrie) discovers he has an autistic brother named Raymond (Dustin Hoffman, Tootsie) and now the two are on the cross-country trip of their lives. Nicknamed RAIN MAN, Raymond pushes hot-headed Charlie to the limits of his patience and then pulls him completely out of his self-centered world. But what began as an unsentimental journey for the Babbitt brothers becomes much more than the distance between two places; it's a connection between two vastly different people and a poignant, profound and powerful film.

My Take:

"My father stuck it to me all my life," complains Charlie Babbitt (Tom Cruise), a bitter, self-centered, smooth talking car hustler who feels he's been cheated out of his three million dollar inheritance. Left only with his late father's prized rose bushes and a vintage '49 Buick, Charlie soon uncovers yet another surprise - Raymond, the autistic brother he never knew he had. Discovering After discovering Raymond (Dustin Hoffman), in an institution, Charlie abducts him in a last-ditch attempt to extort his 'fair share' of his late father's estate. Together they head from Cincinnati to Los Angeles (in the Buick), but what begins as an unconventional journey across the country evolves into a mystical odyssey of love and self-revelation and Raymond forces Charlie to grow beyond the limits of his handicapped heart.

Rain man is probably my all time favorite road trip movie. It is a classic that needs no introduction especially among film enthusiasts. I have owned it on DVD since it became available and enjoy revisiting it from time to time. Cruise and Hoffman have wonderful chemistry and the story flows naturally as we watch their characters bond over the course of their seven day trip across country. There are many memorable moments that impart a tangible richness that helps establish an emotive connection to the heartwarming aspects of the story. The humor has a genuine quality which is derived from Raymond's innocence and Charlie's frustration at his cacophony of mutterings, ticks and compulsive behavior. Here are a few of my favorite moments:

  1. The reading of the will
  2. Son of a bitch!!!!!!!
  3. Serious injury Ray?
  4. Did you fart?
  5. We don't go outside when it rains..
  6. Ray, Charlie, and Wapner on the farmhouse porch
  7. K-Mart (in Cincinnati) is the only place to buy underwear
  8. Quantas??!!
  9. Water burn baby!!!!!
  10. Showing Ray how to dance
  11. I like having you for my big brother

Nominated for eight and winner of four Academy Awards (Best Picture, Best Director, Best Original Screenplay, Best Actor) it features a sterling performance from Tom Cruise and a compelling, memorable and Oscar winning performance from the multi-faceted and iconic Dustin Hoffman. It has been a while since I have seen Rain man but my reaction to it is always the same. I love it.

Parental Guide:

The rating is for language, partial nudity, a scene of sensuality and thematic material.

AUDIO/VIDEO - By The Numbers:
REFERENCE = 92-100 / EXCELLENT = 83-91 / GOOD = 74-82 / AVERAGE = 65-73 / BELOW AVERAGE = under 65

**My audio/video ratings are based upon a comparative made against other high definition media/blu-ray disc.**

(Each rating is worth 4 points with a max of 5 per category)

Audio: 78

  • Dynamics: attachment.php?attachmentid=109945&d=1210373692

  • Low frequency extension: attachment.php?attachmentid=109944&d=1210373692

  • Surround Sound presentation: attachment.php?attachmentid=109945&d=1210373692

  • Clarity/Detail: attachment.php?attachmentid=109947&d=1210373692

  • Dialogue Reproduction: attachment.php?attachmentid=109948&d=1210373692

Video: 76

(Each rating is worth 4 points with a max of 5 per category)

  • Resolution/Clarity: attachment.php?attachmentid=109944&d=1210373692

  • Black level/Shadow detail: attachment.php?attachmentid=109946&d=1210373692

  • Color reproduction: attachment.php?attachmentid=109946&d=1210373692

  • Fleshtones: attachment.php?attachmentid=109946&d=1210373692

  • Compression: attachment.php?attachmentid=109946&d=1210373692

Rain man comes to Blu-ray Disc from Fox featuring 1080p AVC encoded video that has an average bitrate of 32 Mbps and lossless DTS-HD 5.1 Master Audio sound that has an average bitrate of 3.5 Mbps.

This is a fair high definition presentation that doesn't quite compare to the best catalog releases I have seen but compared to the standard definition DVD this looks very good indeed. It boasts clean, well depicted colors that offer a good mix of secondary hues that mate well with the source material. Resolution is definable with varying degrees of fine rendering that appear scene dependent. Sharpness wavers, which results in some scenes offering discernable clarity while others are noticeably lacking well defined edges and delineated detail. Black and white levels are stable which gives a fair amount of pop to colors and brighter exterior sequences while darker/low lit segments exhibit quiet blacks with visible gradational detail in backgrounds. Grain is present with moderate texture and uneven rendering that suggests to me that the image has been digitally touched up. The effects are noticeable but minimal and nothing approaching the worst cases scenario. I saw a fleck or two on the print but otherwise it appears in good shape.

The lossless soundtrack is almost entirely dialogue driven with the music score being the only other driving element. Hans Zimmer's progressive music score holds sway over the front soundstage and is presented with open expression. The sound quality is on point and provides clear and concise voice reproduction and good front channel imaging. The surrounds are used sparingly to broaden depth during scenes such as those that take place in the busy environment of the casino in Vegas. Compared to today's movie soundtracks this presentation sounds a bit dated but I found little to complain about and thought it sounded fine.

Bonus Features:

  • Audio commentary by director Barry Levinson

  • Audio commentary by writer Barry Morrow

  • Audio commentary by writer Ronald Bass

  • The journey of Rain man featurette - 22 minutes

  • Lifting the fog: A look at the mysteries of autism - 20 minutes

  • 1 deleted scene

  • Original theatrical trailer

Final Thoughts:

Rain man is a classic film and personal favorite that I never seem to tire of watching. It makes its long awaited high definition debut from MGM/20th Century Fox featuring fair video quality and satisfying lossless sound that easily bests any previous home video release. I am thrilled to own it on Blu-ray and consider it to be a worthwhile upgrade for fans.


Ralph Potts
AVS Forum Blu-ray Reviews

Reference Review System:

JVC DLA-RS50 3D Ready 1080p High Definition Front Projector
Stewart Filmscreen - Studiotek 130 G3 100 16x9 Screen
Anthem AVM50v THX Ultra 2 Preamp/Video Processor
Sherbourn Technologies - 7/200 Seven Channel Amplifier
Oppo BDP-93 Universal Disc/3D capable Blu-ray Player (HDMI Audio/Video)
Samsung BD-C7900 3D capable Blu-ray Player (HDMI Audio/Video)
Toshiba HD-XA2 HD DVD Player (HDMI Audio/Video)
Sony Playstation 3 Blu-ray disc Player (HDMI Audio/Video)
System Controller: Apple iPad/iRule HD Universal Remote Control
Canton "Ergo" Series speakers
Axiom Audio QS8 Quadpolar speakers
SV Sound PB-13 Ultra (Rosenut finish)
APC AV S15BLK Power Conditioner/Surge Protector
Furman SPR-20i Stable Power Regulator
Wireworld, VizionWare, Audioquest, Better Cables, Best Deal Cables - Audio/Video/Speaker Cabling
Cool Components - CP-CP102 cooling package
post #2 of 4
Ray + KMart Underwear =

Never fails.
post #3 of 4
One of my favorites... I've seen it on cable over the years and I never tire of it , although in bits and pieces. Had a coupon for $5.00 bucks off (coupons.com) and got 10% off at moviestop,not bad for 9 bucks.

Thanks King P.. you never dissapoint
post #4 of 4
Thread Starter 
Originally Posted by EAGLEFAN67 View Post

One of my favorites... I've seen it on cable over the years and I never tire of it , although in bits and pieces. Had a coupon for $5.00 bucks off (coupons.com) and got 10% off at moviestop,not bad for 9 bucks.

Thanks King P.. you never dissapoint


You're more than welcome EAGLEFAN67. Great deal too!

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