Paul Newman’s character of “Fast Eddie” returns in Martin Scorsese’s “The Color of Money”. Featuring a wonderful performance by Paul Newman and wonderful cinematography when it comes to capturing the essence of competitive pool play. But I wish the video quality of this Blu-ray would have been better.
TITLE: The Color of Money: 25th Anniversary Edition
FILM RELEASE: 1986
DURATION: 119 Minutes
BLU-RAY DISC INFORMATION: 1080p High Definition (1:85:1), English 5.1 DTS-HD MA and French 2.0 Dolby Digital, Subtitles: English SDH and Spanish
COMPANY: Touchstone Home Entertainment
Release Date: June 5, 2012
Directed by Martin Scorsese
Based on the Novel by Walter Tevis
Screenplay by Richard Price
Produced by Irving Axelrad, Barbara De Fina
Associate Producer: Dodie Foster
Cinematography by Michael Ballhaus
Edited by Thelma Schoonmaker
Casting by Gretchen Rennell
Production Design by Boris Leven
Set Decoration by Karen O’Hara
Costume Design by Richard Bruno
Paul Newman as Fast Eddie Felson
Tom Cruise as Vincent Lauria
Mary Elizabeth Mastrantonio as Carmen
Helen Shaver as Janelle
John Turturro as Julian
Bill Cobbs as Orvis
Forest Whitaker as Amos
Revisiting one of his most memorable roles, Newman stars as Fast Eddie Felson from The Hustler. Eddie forms a profitable alliance with the flashy and talented young pool shark Vince (Cruise), but all bets are off when Vince’s arrogance costs them more than just a few matches. Celebrate the 25th anniversary of this dazzling classic – now better than ever on Blu-ray!
Back in 1961, “The Hustler” directed by Robert Rossen and a film adaptation of the 1959 novel by Sidney Caroll was released in theaters.
The film would feature Paul Newman (“The Sting”, “Butch Cassidy and the Sundance Kid”, “Road to Perdition”) in the role of a small-time pool hustler named “Fast Eddie” Falson who wanted to become the best pool player in the world.
“The Hustler” was an amazing success, receiving nine Academy Award nominations and winning two. The film would earn Paul Newman a “Best Actor in a Leading Role” nomination and is considered a classic.
Over 25-years later, director Martin Scorsese and writer Richard Price would bring back the character of Eddie Falson for the 1986 film “The Color of Money”. A film adaptation based on the 1984 novel by Walter Tevis.
“The Color of Money” would feature Paul Newman reprising his role as “Fast Eddie” Felson but also star actor Tom Cruise (“Top Gun”, “Rain Man”, “Cocktail”) and actress Mary Elizabeth Mastrantonio (“The Abyss”, “Scarface”, “Robin Hood: Prince of Thieves”).
And similar to the first film, “The Color of Money” was a major success. Praised by film critics, influenced the popularity of pool like it did back in 1961 and also receive Academy Award nominations but this time, Paul Newman would win the Academy Award for “Best Actor”.
And now “The Color of Money: 25th Anniversary Edition” has been released on Blu-ray.
“The Color of Money” begins with Eddie Felson, now a liquor salesman trying to get the bar owner Janelle (as portrayed by Helen Shaver) to purchase some of the liquor he is selling. Meanwhile, a young man named Vincent Lauria (as portrayed by Tom Cruise) is beating everyone at pool. At the same time, Eddie who was once excellent in pool, has missed playing the game.
Seeing the potential within Eddie, he figures that he can use Vincent’s talent to make money for him and his girlfriend and manager, Carmen (as portrayed by Mary Elizabeth Mastrantonio). So, Eddie returns to the life as a stakehorse and trains both Vincent and Carmen on how to hustle other pool players and make a lot of money.
And as Eddie teaches the two all he knows, wanting to get back into competitive pool playing, he decides to dump both Vincent and Carmen to pursue competitive pool play and recommends they go to Atlantic City and use the skills he taught them to make more money.
But what happens when both men take part in a professional tournament circuit and Eddie must go against his young protege, Vincent?
“The Color of Money: 25th Anniversary Edition” is presented in 1080p High Definition (1:85:1). First the good. The good news about the film is that the cinematography by Michael Ballhaus (“The Departed”, “Goodfellas”, “Gangs of New York”) is fantastic and he captures the essence of competitive pool playing effectively.
With that being said, now the bad. I don’t know what to say about the video quality of this film but to say that this is the first Blu-ray release that I have found myself extremely disappointed about a transfer. Colors are murky, muddy and just doesn’t look good at all.
For a 2012 Blu-ray release, there is no reason why a Blu-ray should look like its DVD counterpart. In fact, the first ten minutes into the film looks so bad. I have seen many films made decades before this film that look much better on Blu-ray but the colors for “The Color of Money” are murky, the film looked aged and there is a lot of noise (not grain). Not what I expected for a 25th Anniversary Edition release.
While the video does get better as the movies goes on, I’m quite shocked because I was really hoping for an amazing transfer in HD. But that was not the case…”The Color of Money” and its overall PQ was disappointing.
AUDIO & SUBTITLES:
“The Color of Money” is presented in English 5.1 DTS-HD Master Audio and French 2.0 Dolby Digital. The film is primarily dialogue driven but whenever you hear the pool stick hit the ball, there is a good use of LFE. The crowd ambiance is OK but for the most part, the film is dialogue driven. Music also plays a big part of the film and having owned the original soundtrack to this film, the music sounds good on Blu-ray but the film is primarily front and center-channel driven.
Subtitles are in English SDH and Spanish.
There are no special features included on this Blu-ray release.
For the 25th anniversary Blu-ray release of “The Color of Money”, I’m not sure what happened to this Blu-ray release but its the first time I watched a film and not only was it a barebones Blu-ray release but it sports possibly the worst video quality I have seen on Blu-ray.
But before I get to that, let’s discuss the film.
“The Color of Money” is a film that I recommend people to watch after they have see “The Hustler”. The first film is important to see where Eddie Felson is coming from, his life as a skilled pool player and his passion for making money through bets and why we see this hustler change in “The Color of Money”.
Paul Newman is wonderful as “Fast Eddie” and as much as he enjoys making money, he is also a competitive man. Sure, he’s been out of competitive pool playing for quite some time but when he starts to see his protege start to succeed as a hustler but also a competitive pool player, Eddie’s competitive spirit just comes out and quite simply, he wants to beat Vincent in a game!
Tom Cruise was good in playing the young pool hustler Vincent but his role was not as strong as it was in “Top Gun”. If anything, his character is cocky and often annoying.
And as much as I enjoyed Martin Scorsese films, “The Color of Money” felt incomplete. Yes, Paul Newman was fantastic. The way that Scorsese was able to make pool so entertaining to watch in the film was well-done. The storyline complimented his character amazingly well, but unlike “The Hustler”, I felt “The Color of Money” was not as good as its predecessor.
Which leads me to the Blu-ray release. How disappointed I was to see the film in such bad shape. I don’t think I have ever seen a film look so bad on Blu-ray and this is a rarity for me. And because the film looked so bad and this Blu-ray was a barebones release, it dampered my enjoyment of the film.
Overall, “The Color of Money: 25th Anniversary Edition” features a strong performance by Paul Newman but the film itself paled in comparison to its predecessor, “The Hustler”. But the poor quality of this Blu-ray release is surprising and there is no reason why this film should have looked this bad on Blu-ray. Unless you are a fan of the film or its talent, then I can understand why you want to get this film on Blu-ray. But if you are concerned about video quality, you may want to pass.
“Cocktail” was an amazing film back in 1988 with its star Tom Cruise and a popular musical soundtrack to coincide with the film. But the magic that captivated me as a teenager is now gone and what I thought was great movie, watching it today, I found it to be quite average.
FILM RELEASE: 1988
DURATION: 104 Minutes
BLU-RAY DISC INFORMATION: 1080p High Definition (1:85:1), English 5.1 DTS-HD MA, Subtitles: English, English SDH, French and Spanish
COMPANY: Touchstone Home Entertainment
Release Date: June 5, 2012
Directed by Roger Donaldson
Screenplay by Heywood Gould
Produced by Robert W. Cort, Ted Field
Co-Producer: Daniel J. Heffner
Music by J. Peter Robinson
Cinematography by Dean Semler
Edited by Neil Travis
Casting by Donna Isaacson, John S. Lyons
Production Design by Mel Bourne
Art Direction by Dan Davis
Set Decoration by Hilton Rosemarin
Costume Design by Ellen Mirojnick
Tom Cruise as Brian Flanagan
Bryan Brown as Doug Coughlin
Elisabeth Shue as Jordan Mooney
Lisa Banes as Bonnie
Laurence Luckinbill as Mr. Mooney
Kelly Lynch as Kerry Coughlin
Gina Gershon as Coral
Ron Dean as Uncle Pat
Robert Donely as Eddie
Ellen Foley as Eleanor
Andrea Morse s Dulcey
After returning from the army, New York bartender Brian Flanagan (Tom Cruise) learns the secrets of the trade from his new boss, Doug Coughlin (Bryan Brown), before heading to Jamaica to work at a local resort TIki Bar. While in Jamaica, Flanagan falls in love with an American tourist (Elisabeth Shue).
In the summer 1988, “Cocktail” would go on to become a magnificent success for Touchstone Pictures and also its musical soundtrack featuring The Beach Boys’ “Kokomo”, Bobby McFerrin’s “Don’t Worry Be Happy”, Robert Palmer’s “Addicted to Love” and The Georgia Satellites’ “Hippy Hippy Shake” would dominate the music charts that year.
Budgeted at $11 million, despite the criticism the film received from critics, “Cocktail” would go on to make over $171 million. The film would continue to show that Tom Cruise was Hollywood’s golden child and that every film he would star in, would literally become a box office success.
And now, nearly 25 years later, “Cocktail” has made its debut on Blu-ray courtesy of Touchstone Home Entertainment.
“Cocktail” revolves around Brian Flanagan (as portrayed by Tom Cruise), a man who left the Army and works as a part-time bartender at T.G.I. Friday’s in New York City while studying for a business degree. Despite being a terrible bartender at first, he learns the tricks of the trade courtesy of his boss Doug Coughlin (as portrayed by Bryan Brown).
As Doug begins to become better as a bartender, both become a popular bartending duo at a nightclub for the wealthy and social elite. Brian hooks up with a brunette named Coral (as portrayed by Gina Gershon) and both have a passionate relationship, but Doug bets Brian that Coral will leave him by the end of the week. Brian doubts that she would leave him but what he doesn’t know is that Doug has been talking to Coral, lying to her and him and eventually having sex with her. This leads to the breakup between both Brian and Doug as the popular bartending duo and Brian wants nothing to do with Doug.
Bummed about what has happened in his life, Brian decides to leave New York City and head to Jamaica to become a bartender and pursue his dream of having his own place. And in Jamaica, he meets an aspiring actress and waitress named Jordan Mooney (as portrayed by Elisabeth Shue) and both eventually have a happy relationship.
That is until Doug shows up to Jamaica.
Doug is now married to a wealth woman named Kelly (as portrayed by Kelly Lynch) and the two go back into their betting ways. Doug and Brian have a bet on who will be the first to sleep with the bar regular Bonnie (as portrayed by Lisa Banes). And Brian, who wants to beat his former mentor Doug, sleeps with her. What Brian doesn’t know is that Jordan had seen them together and now devastated, leaves Jamaica and goes back to New York.
As for Brian and Doug, Brian continues to feel that he needs to upstate Doug and in the process, continues his relationship with the wealthy Bonnie and hopes that she can give him a better job in her company. But realizes how unhappy he has become. He knew he had a great relationship with Jordan but messed that up. And now, Brian wants to find Jordan and tries to do all that he can to get back with her.
“Cocktail” is presented in 1080p High Definition (1:85:1). One of the benefits of “Cocktail” is the fact that it has one of the most talented, award-winning cinematographer’s in Hollywood working on the film. Dean Semler is known for his work on film such as “Dances with Wolves”, “2012″, “Secretariat”, “Last Action Hero”, to name a few. But what he brings to “Cocktail” is a darker feel when showcasing New York City and vibrancy when the location shifts to Jamaica.
While the film is a late ’80s film, the good news is that there is no heavy DNR, so the film does maintain ts grain and detail. In fact, the Blu-ray is very good upgrade from its DVD counterpart. While watching the film, I didn’t notice any artifacts nor did I see any banding. Skin tones were natural, black levels were nice and deep and “Cocktail” looks great on Blu-ray!
AUDIO & SUBTITLES:
“Cocktail” is presented in English 5.1 DTS-HD Master Audio, French and Spanish 2.0 Dolby Digital. Because of the age of this film, I expected the soundtrack to be dialogue driven and primarily center and front-channel driven. I was right. Aside from hearing the musical soundtrack in lossless, the soundtrack is not immersive, but considering how old this film is and the fact that it is primarily a dialogue/music-driven film, the lossless soundtrack is appropriate.
Subtitles are in English SDH, French and Spanish.
There are no special features included on this Blu-ray release.
I remember when I watched “Cocktail” and was entering my final year in high school, I remember thinking the film was incredible.
The film had Tom Cruise and one of my favorite actresses from the ’80s, Elisabeth Shue, and of course, the music soundtrack that me and my friends would listen to over and over again. Whether it be the Beach Boys “Kokomo”, Bobby McFerrin’s “Don’t Worry Be Happy”, Robert Palmer’s “Addicted to Love” and The Georgia Satellites “Hippy Hippy Shake”.
As Tom Cruise’s last film “Top Gun” influenced people to join the Navy, “Cocktail” made me want to vacation in Jamaica and my interest in that would eventually lead me to being a reggae music fan. So, “Cocktail” definitely had an influence in my life as an older teenager.
Tom Cruise and Elisabeth Shue had gone to bigger films right after this film was released in theaters. Tom Cruise would have “Rain Man”, followed by “Born on the Fourth of July” and “A Few Good Men”, Elisabeth Shue had rid of her teenage character roles that she played on “Karate Kid”, :Adventures in Babysitting” and “Back to the Future” films with “Cocktail” and would play more mature roles in “Twenty Bucks”, “Soapdish” and most importantly in “Leaving Las Vegas” and Bryan Brown would appear in “Gorillas in the Mist”. As for filmmaker Roger Donaldson, he would go on to direct “Species”, “Dante’s Peak”, “Thirteen Days” and “The Bank Job”. All three talents and director Donaldson would go on to bigger projects after “Cocktail”.
But here we are in 2012. nearly 25 years later and “Cocktail” had been a movie I have long forgotten and I have to admit that I’m a bit more critical of this film than I was back then. While the late ’80s is showcased in this film and Tom Cruise and Elisabeth Shue had great chemistry, I know the allure back in the ’80s was that “Cocktail” was a Tom Cruise film and the vibe back then was that everyone wanted to see a Tom Cruise film.
The film was a great vehicle for Tom Cruise but I felt it could have utilized Elisabeth Shue’s character, Jordan, much more. If anything, the person who help make this movie work was actor Bryan Brown. His acting performance as the former friend/mentor Doug Coughlin made the film feel real. His character made you feel that he had been around the block, had experienced the best and the worse of times and wanted to prepare Brian for what awaits him. While not necessarily sleezy, Doug is the bonafide cockblocker to Brian’s more timid and amiable character.
For Brian, this is a young man learning from his error, his mistakes and he makes quite a bit of them throughout this film.
As far as the film is concerned, I suppose now that I’m older and the magic I felt for the film had worn off, I felt that “Cocktail” was more of an average film at best. The whole hype and hoopla with Tom Cruise and its musical soundtrack really made this film better than it really was at the time and I suppose this film was another case of films that I cherished a lot during my younger years, just to watch it now and ask myself “Did I really liked that movie?”. Or was it because I was a teenager who just loved watching Elisabeth Shue? Nevertheless, the film was good, but not great.
And unfortunately, I felt the same way about the Blu-ray. For fans of the film, the biggest reason to buy this Blu-ray is for its HD video quality and lossless soundtrack but here are no special features included with this Blu-ray release.
Overall, “Cocktail” was an ’80s film that captivated me as a teenager, but not so much today. The film does embody the late ’80s, its screenplay, its acting… it was OK, but the magically allure that this film had on me is now gone and I wonder if other people who grew up watching this film will feel similar to how I feel watching “Cocktail” today. Perhaps if the Blu-ray release had more content, I would have enjoyed this film a lot more. But it’s pretty much a standard barebones Blu-ray release and in this day and age, people expect bonus content.
Still, “Cocktail” is worth watching, especially if you grew up and are nostalgic for the ’80s or were a big Tom Cruise or Elisabeth Shue fan!
Beverly Hills, CA – Three-time Academy Award®-nominated actor Tom Cruise will present at the 84th Academy Awards® ceremony, telecast producers Brian Grazer and Don Mischer announced today.
Cruise was nominated for his lead performances in “Born on the Fourth of July” and “Jerry Maguire.” He also was nominated for his supporting role in “Magnolia.” Cruise was recently seen in “Mission: Impossible – Ghost Protocol” and will be seen next in “Rock of Ages.” His other film credits include “Tropic Thunder,” “War of the Worlds,” “Collateral,” “Minority Report,” “A Few Good Men,” “Rain Man,” “The Color of Money” and “Top Gun.”
Academy Awards for outstanding film achievements of 2011 will be presented on Sunday, February 26, at the Kodak Theatre at Hollywood & Highland Center®, and televised live by the ABC Television Network. The Oscar presentation also will be televised live in more than 225 countries worldwide.
# # #
ABOUT THE ACADEMY
The Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences is the world’s preeminent movie-related organization, with a membership of more than 6,000 of the most accomplished men and women working in cinema. In addition to the annual Academy Awards – in which the members vote to select the nominees and winners – the Academy presents a diverse year-round slate of public programs, exhibitions and events; provides financial support to a wide range of other movie-related organizations and endeavors; acts as a neutral advocate in the advancement of motion picture technology; and, through its Margaret Herrick Library and Academy Film Archive, collects, preserves, restores and provides access to movies and items related to their history. Through these and other activities the Academy serves students, historians, the entertainment industry and people everywhere who love movies.
FOLLOW THE ACADEMY
The award-winning and top-grossing film of 1988 receives the HD treatment on Blu-ray. While the Blu-ray does feature the same special features of the 2004 special edition DVD release, for those who enjoyed this film will be happy with its better picture and audio quality. Recommended!
Images courtesy of © 2011 Metro-Goldwyn-Mayer Studios Inc. All Rights Reserved.
TITLE: Rain Man
FILM RELEASE DATE: 1988
DURATION: 134 Minutes
BLU-RAY DISC INFORMATION: 1080p High Definition (1:85:1), English 5.1 DTS-HD MA, Spanish Mono, French Dolby Surround, AVC@32MBPS, Subtitles: English SDH, Spanish, French
COMPANY: UA/MGM/20th Century Fox
RELEASE DATE: February 15, 2011
Directed by Barry Levinson
Story by Barry Morrow
Screenplay by Ronald Bass and Barry Morrow
Produced by Mark Johnson
Executive Producer: Peter Guber, Jon Peters
Co-Producer: Gerald R. Molen
Associate Producer: David McGiffert
Music by Hans Zimmer
Cinematography by John Seale
Edited by Stu Linder
Casting by Louis DiGiaimo
Production Design by Ida Random
Art Direction by William A. Elliott
Set Decoration by Linda DeScenna
Costume Design by Bernie Pollack
Dustin Hoffman as Raymond Babbitt
Tom Cruise as Charlie Babbitt
Valeria Golino as Susanna
Gerald R. Molen as Dr. Bruner
Jack Murdock as John Mooney
Michael D. Roberts as Vern
Ralph Seymour as Lenny
Lucinda Jenney as Iris
Bonnie Hunt as Sally Dibbs
Three timeless classics will make their Blu-ray debut on February 15th from MGM Home Entertainment: LAST TANGO IN PARIS: Uncut Version, MOONSTRUCK, and cult favorite RAIN MAN. Collectively nominated for sixteen Academy Awards, these celebrated titles make the perfect additions to any film collection!
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. Among its eight Academy Award nominations, RAIN MAN won Best Picture, Best Actor (Hoffman), Best Director (Barry Levinson, Wag the Dog), and Best Original Screenplay.
Rain Man – Film Clip – Trailer
Rain Man – Film Clip – “4 Minutes to Wapner”
Rain Man – Film Clip – “Cardsharp Savant”
Barry Levinson’s name is well-known these days mostly as a producer but he has directed a good number of films that people are familiar with. Films such as “Sphere”, “Wag the Dog”, “Sleepers”, “Bugsy”, “Toys”, “Avalon”, “Good Morning Vietnam”, “Diner” to name a few. But for one film, Levinson earned his Oscar and that was in 1988 for “Rain Man”. A story by Barry Morrow and a screenplay co-written by Morrow and Ronald Bass (“Snow Falling on Cedars”, “Step Mom”, “My Best Friend’s Wedding”, “Entrapment”, “What Dreams May Come”), the film would also bring together America’s top male actors Dustin Hoffman (“Tootsie”, “Kramer vs. Kramer”, “Ishtar”) and Tom Cruise (“Top Gun”, “Cocktail”, “Risky Business”, “The Color of Money”).
The film which was budgeted at $25 million, earned over $354 million (the film was the highest grossing film of 1988) and would win four Academy awards including “Best Director”, “Best Picture”, “Best Writing, Original Screenplay” and a “Best Actor in a Leading Role” for Dustin Hoffman.
“Rain Man” begins with Charlie Babbit (played by Tom Cruise), a car dealer in Los Angeles who is trying to import grey market Lamborghini’s but also a cocky and abrasive man.
The problem is that the cars are not meeting EPA standards and if he can’t meet the EPA standards, he would have to pay back the money to those who purchased the Lamborghinis from him and he would lose a significant amount of money which he doesn’t have.
As he and his girlfriend Susana (played by Valeria Golino) set out for a trip to Palm Springs for the weekend, he receives a call that his estranged father Sanford Babbit has died. Charlie travels back home to Cincinnati, Ohio to attend his father’s funeral but most importantly to settle his father’s estate.
When he meets with the lawyer, he is told that an undisclosed trustee is inheriting $3 million on behalf of an unnamed beneficiary. As for Charlie, all he gets is his father’s classic Buick Roadmaster convertible (which was the center of why his Charlie left home at an early age) and his father’s prized rose bushes. Eventually, Charlie does some snooping and finds out that the trustee is Dr. Bruner (played by Jerry Molen), a doctor at a mental hospital who won’t tell him who the unnamed beneficiary is.
While Charlie is busy talking to Dr. Bruner, a man gets inside the classic Buick Roadmaster that Charlie had inherited and when Charlie gets to his car and tells the man to get out, the man named Raymond, tells Charlie that he drove that car before thanks to his father, Sanford Babbitt. For the first time, Charlie learns that he has an older brother that no one had ever told him about.
Charlie learns that his brother is autistic but because he is not too aware of what autism is, he walks out with his brother and plans to bring him to Los Angeles in order to find a way in getting the inheritance left to Raymond.
But quickly Charlie learns that Raymond is a handful and that he has daily goals such as eating certain foods on certain days, having the bed near a window, watching “People’s Court “at 11 and “Wheel of Fortune” at a certain time. But as Charlie quickly finds out that his brother will not ride an airplane because he memorized that fatalities on certain airline companies, he refuses to go on a plane.
So now, Charlie and Raymond are force to travel cross country by car from Cincinnati to Los Angeles, while Charlie knows that his business is in jeopardy if he doesn’t get to Los Angeles soon. Charlie feels the importance to find a way to get part of Raymond’s inheritance and it ticks Charlie’s girlfriend off when she sees him talking down to Raymond.
But once the two are left alone to travel the country, Charlie starts to learn overtime that his brother is very good at numbers and is pretty much highly skilled at mathematics but most importantly, he is able to spend a family moment and grow close to the brother he never knew that he had. Will that time between Charlie and Raymond and the relationship they are building change Charlie’s attitude towards his brother?
“Rain Man” is presented in 1080p High Definition (1:85:1 widescreen). First, its important for me to remind everyone that this is a 1988 film and I’ve always had the opinion that many films from the ’80s tend to have this aged look and sometimes appearances look soft. While for “Rain Man”, the film does show its age in terms of film stock used, this is the best looking version of the film to date.
There is a good amount of grain in this film but there is much more detail and edge enhancement can be seen at times. If anything, the clarity and detail is much more evident in the Blu-ray release and there appears to be some noise reduction utilized as there are some moments of softness. I did see banding in probably two moments of the film where there was high-reds and pinks. It’s a few-seconds scene but other than that, there are times where the picture quality looked very good and you can see the skin pigments on the skin.
Otherwise, if you love the film, “Rain Man” on Blu-ray looks better than its DVD counterparts.
AUDIO & SUBTITLES:
“Rain Man” is presented in English 5.1 DTS-HD Master Audio, Spanish Mono and French Dolby Surround. While “Rain Man” has always been a dialogue-driven film, it also sports a solid musical soundtrack by Hans Zimmer. If anything, you do hear some ambiance at times but for the most part, this is a center and front-channel driven lossless soundtrack with mostly instruments utilizing the surround channel at times. You do get a scene where you watch Charlie and Raymond driving through a bridge and you can hear the wheels going over the bridge and sound coming through the surround channels but this is pretty much a dialogue-driven film.
Subtitles are presented in English SDH, Spanish and French.
“Rain Man” comes with the following special features in Standard Definition:
- Audio Commentary – Featuring audio commentary by director Barry Levinson
- Audio Commentary – Featuring audio commentary by writer Barry Morrow
- Audio Commentary – Featuring audio commentary by writer Ronald Bass
- The Journey of Rain Man – (22:07) A featurette on the making of “Rain Man” and features interviews with director Barry Levinson and writers Barry Morrow and Ronald Bass.
- Lifting the Fog: A Look at the Mysteries of Autism – (20:13) A featurette about autism and those who are similar to Raymond Babbitt.
- Deleted Scene – (2:13) A deleted scene featuring Raymond at a convenience store (getting into trouble).
- Original Theatrical Trailer – (2:13) Featuring the original theatrical trailer of “Rain Man” in standard definition.
Back in 1988, I was a junior in high school when I watched this film come out. Of course, the film was popular because of Tom Cruise who was the top young actor in Hollywood with the popularity of “Top Gun”, “The Color of Money” and “Cocktail”, but what stood out for me the most was the performance by Dustin Hoffman, the writing of the film and the character relationship between Charlie and Raymond and it was the first time I heard about autism.
Autism, of course, has been focused a lot more in today’s society, may it be on the news or learning about it through television shows, but back then, I’ve never heard of it and I felt that “Rain Man” did increase public awareness for autism.
If one was to dissect this film, I suppose one can say that it was longer than it should have been and could have been tightened a bit more and keeping the duration much lower. I am aware that film critic Pauline Kael called it “wet kitsch” (which is a word that she tends to use for films that she really dislikes) but after watching this film once again since its release for VHS back in the ’90s, my feelings back in the late ’80s, to the ’90s and now 2011 really hasn’t changed all that much.
What I enjoyed about the film is the fact that you get to see Charlie’s arrogance directed towards his brother and to see this character change as he becomes more acquainted with his brother. While some may feel the character of Charlie to be repulsive or overly cocky, the performance by Dustin Hoffman is magnificent. The timing of the words and the motions that went into Raymond’s character was well-done by Hoffman and I enjoyed how the conflict begins at the beginning and slowly works itself towards the end. Of course, the ending may seem a bit too anti-climactic but for what it’s worth, I did not want to see a mushy ending. The ending fits right with Charlie Babbage and everything worked out.
If I had any problems with the film, I still find the scene with Susanna and Raymond in an elevator to be a bit off and as mentioned earlier, there are some scenes that could have been trimmed off to keep the pacing much smoother and the duration not so long.
As for the Blu-ray release, I was hoping for some sort of revisiting special feature and possibly an interview with Tom Cruise or Dustin Hoffman, heck even Barry Levinson. But you do get all the special features from the “Rain Man” 2004 Special Edition DVD and upgraded picture quality and a lossless soundtrack.
Overall, “Rain Man” is still an enjoyable film over 20-years later. While the Blu-ray release may not include anything new compared to its 2004 DVD counterpart, it does look and sound a lot better. So, if you enjoyed “Rain Man” a lot, then I definitely recommend upgrading to Blu-ray.
Gwynneth Paltrow was a guest on The Rachel Ray Show and when asked which actor was her best big screen kiss so far?, the actress told Ray, “I did a little cameo once at the beginning of Austin Powers 3, I think it was, and I got to make out with Tom Cruise. He was an amazing kisser!”
Celebrities photographed at The Romantics premiere, held at the AMC Loews theater, in New York City, NY on September 7, 2010. Among those in attendance: Tom Cruise, Katie Holmes Fame Pictures, Inc. Content © 2010 famepictures All rights reserved.
Both Cameron Diaz and Tom Cruise are in London to promote their film “Knight and Day” but the two also got to be part of BBC’s “Top Gear” program in which both individually got to ride a Kia on the race track. Who had the best time? Diaz said in an interview with the BBC, “We did timed laps. It’s very exciting – we know the score and we want to tell everybody, but we can’t because we want them to watch the show.”
The Top Gear episode will be seen on BBC Two this Sunday (July 25th) at 8pm.
Tom Cruise and wife Katie Holmes attend ‘Knight and Day’ premiere at the Lope de Vega Theater in Seville, Spain. (Photo by Carlos Alvarez/Getty Images). Content © 2010 Getty Images All rights reserved.
Actors Tom Cruise (R) and Cameron Diaz chat together on top of the roof of Hotel Stein promoting their new movie film ‘Knight And Day’ on June 15, 2010 in Salzburg, Austria. (Photo by Johannes Simon/Getty Images)
Content © 2010 Getty Images All rights reserved.
Actor Tom Cruise and actress Katie Holmes attend The National Movie Awards at Royal Festival Hall in London on May 26, 2010. UPI/Rune Hellestad Photo via Newscom
Content © 2010 Newscom All rights reserved.