Hard Rain

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Details At A Glance

Category Thriller Theatrical Trailer(s) None
Rating Other Trailer(s) None
Year Released 1997 Commentary Tracks None
Running Time 93 minutes Other Extras Animated Main Menu
Animated Scene Selections
RSDL/Flipper No/No
Cast & Crew
Start Up Language Selection, then Aspect Ratio, then Menu
Region 2,4 Director Mikael Saldmon

Starring Morgan Freeman
Christian Slater
Randy Quaid
Minnie Driver
Edward Asner
Richard Dysart
Betty White
Case Super Jewel
RRP $34.95 Music Christopher Young

Pan & Scan/Full Frame Pan & Scan MPEG None
Widescreen Aspect Ratio 2.35:1 Dolby Digital 5.1
16x9 Enhancement Yes Soundtrack Languages English (Dolby Digital 5.1)
Spanish (Dolby Digital 5.1)
Theatrical Aspect Ratio 2.35:1
Macrovision ?
Subtitles English
English for the Hearing Impaired
Smoking No

Plot Synopsis

    Hard Rain is a tired thriller starring Christian Slater as Tom, a security guard in an armoured car carrying three million dollars. His uncle, Charlie (Ed Asner) is his partner. They become stranded in a flooded town, and robbers descend upon them, killing Charlie in the process. Tom takes the money and runs, trying to keep ahead of the robbers, led by Jim (Morgan Freeman).

    Tom enlists the help of the local sheriff (Randy Quaid), and runs into Karen (Minnie Driver), the obligatory love interest in this story.

    They slush around in the rain a lot and lots of shooting and other action ensues. Ho hum.

Transfer Quality

    A little warning before you purchase this disc. This disc will not play in Philips 840 DVD players.
[Addendum 1st July 1999: This disc will also not play on Samsung 807 DVD players.]


    This transfer is reasonable, but I have seen better.

    The transfer is presented at an aspect ratio of 2.35:1, 16x9 enhanced. The disc is a dual layer disc, with a Pan & Scan version of the movie on the other layer of the disc.

    The transfer is sharp and clear, though some scenes tended to be a little grainy. Shadow detail was pretty good, especially considering that the majority of this movie takes place in the rain, and in the dark. No low level noise was apparent.

    The colours were generally quite muted and had a bluish tinge about them, except for scattered scenes such as in the church where the colours were vibrant and vivid.

    No MPEG artefacts were seen. Film-to-video artefacts went unnoticed. Film artefacts were rare.


    There are two audio tracks on this DVD - English Dolby Digital 5.1 and Spanish Dolby Digital 5.1.

    The dialogue was pretty much always clear and easy to understand, though some words here and there were a little hard to make out.

    Significant portions of the audio on this disc are marginally out of sync, though this is only noticeable if you particularly look for this problem.

    The score, by Christopher Young, is the usual run-of-the-mill action thriller movie score.

     The surround channels were well used for ambience, with the storm mixed all around, and for music and special effects. Overall, it is quite an enveloping soundtrack.

    The .1 channel was used moderately heavily, especially towards the end of the movie.


What's Missing / What's Extra

    We miss out on;     The Region 1 version misses out on;


    The menu design is excellent. There is menu animation and sound present both on the main menu and on the scene selection menus.


    This is a booklet containing cast biographies.


    Hard Rain didn't do anything for me. It just seemed like yet another thriller, this time set in a flooded town, so everything was dull and wet.

    The video quality is pretty good in general, and given that it is 16x9 enhanced, is clearly superior to the Region 1 version.

    The audio quality is above average.

    The extras are limited.

Ratings (out of 5)


© Michael Demtschyna
29th June 1999
Amended 1st July 1999

Review Equipment
DVD Pioneer DV-505, using S-Video output
Display Loewe Art-95 95cm direct view CRT in 16:9 mode, via the S-Video input. Calibrated with the NTSC DVD version of Video Essentials.
Audio Decoder Denon AVD-2000 Dolby Digital AddOn Decoder, used as a standalone processor. Calibrated with the NTSC DVD version of Video Essentials.
Amplification 2 x EA Playmaster 100W per channel stereo amplifiers for Left, Right, Left Rear and Right Rear; Philips 360 50W per channel stereo amplifier for Centre and Subwoofer
Speakers Philips S2000 speakers for Left, Right; Polk Audio CS-100 Centre Speaker; Apex AS-123 speakers for Left Rear and Right Rear; Yamaha B100-115SE subwoofer