Dustin Hoffman and Tom Cruise star in Rain Man, four Oscar awards and the film still hits home with its sideways look at autism and how many still view the disorder.
Film making 22/25
Bonus Features 15/25
Just now while writing the description to my review I wanted to make sure I got the wording right for what autism is considered. I just wanted to make sure I had my facts correct about what autism is considered, this is in part due to this film and its bringing autism and similar disorders to the forefront of awareness.
Rain Man is the 1988 film starring Tom Cruise as Charlie Babbit, inheritor of a car and some rosebushes from his father’s three million dollar estate. He learns that the rest of his father’s estate goes to an unnamed person while Charlie gets the old car that his father refused to let Charlie drive when he was a young adult.
Charlie had a falling out with his father over issues just like the car and Charlie never turned back to him until he died, now Charlie finds out he gets next to nothing. When Charlie presses the lawyer and longtime friend of Charlie’s father to tell him who gets the estate he winds up at a mental hospital outside Cincinnati.
Charlie confronts the doctor who is the legal guardian and executor of the estate for Charlie’s brother who has severe autism. Charlie finds this out not by the doctor who has also known Charlie’s father for years but by Raymond himself, Charlie’s brother.
While Charlie is inside trying to find out more about the unnamed beneficiary of his father’s estate Raymond is talking with Charlie’s girlfriend. The girlfriend is waiting for Charlie when Raymond gets into the car that Charlie did inherit and tells her he has driven on the hospital grounds several times with his father.
Charlie learns the truth from the doctor when Charlie sees Raymond in his car and Charlie decides to take his long lost brother on a road trip, sort of a get to know you kidnapping. Raymond is severely autistic and does not have social skills or the ability to deal with people and common situations so Charlie has a difficult time with him.
Throughout the rest of the movie we go from Charlie using his brother to get money out of the inheritance to Charlie not really caring much at all about money and only wanting what is best for Raymond. The film is great and for some unknown reason winds up working, great acting and directing probably had a lot to do with this.
Often when one movie works while so many others on the same topic both before and after don’t is a mystery but things just click and when this happens they call it movie magic. Rain Man is one of those films that no one for sure can say exactly why things worked out well, of course award winning performances and screenplay did help.
The Blu-ray release of Rain Man has some great video and audio but not as great as other films I have seen, this is more of a very good release on Blu-ray that makes it worthwhile if you don’t have it already. Video just misses the mark of excellent with some obvious problems here and there and audio is better but again not outstanding.
Bonus content is about the minimum I would expect for a Blu-ray release with less than an hour of additional content and audio commentary which is a shame. Rain Man on Blu-ray is one of those definite additions to a movie collection but if you already own it on DVD the Blu-ray enhanced version may not be worth the upgrade.