Rain Man: Gold Edition (1988)

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Released 9-May-2005

Cover Art

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Details At A Glance

General Extras
Category Drama Main Menu Introduction
Menu Animation & Audio
Audio Commentary-Barry Levinson (Director)
Audio Commentary-Barry Morrow (Screenwriter)
Audio Commentary-Ronald Bass (Screenwriter)
Featurette-The Journey Of Rain Man
Featurette-Lifting The Fog: A Look IntoThe Mysteries Of Autism
Featurette
Deleted Scenes
Theatrical Trailer
Gallery-Photo
Rating Rated M
Year Of Production 1988
Running Time 128:20 (Case: 134)
RSDL / Flipper Dual Layered Cast & Crew
Start Up Menu
Region Coding 2,4 Directed By Barry Levinson
Studio
Distributor

MGM
Starring Dustin Hoffman
Tom Cruise
Valeria Golino
Gerald R. Molen
Jack Murdock
Michael D. Roberts
Ralph Seymour
Lucinda Jenney
Bonnie Hunt
Kim Robillard
Beth Grant
Dolan Dougherty
Marshall Dougherty
Case ?
RPI $22.95 Music Hans Zimmer


Video Audio
Pan & Scan/Full Frame None English Dolby Digital 5.1 (448Kb/s)
Hungarian Dolby Digital 2.0 (224Kb/s)
English Audio Commentary Dolby Digital 2.0 (224Kb/s)
English Audio Commentary Dolby Digital 2.0 (224Kb/s)
English Audio Commentary Dolby Digital 2.0 (224Kb/s)
Widescreen Aspect Ratio 1.85:1
16x9 Enhancement
16x9 Enhanced
Video Format 576i (PAL)
Original Aspect Ratio 1.85:1 Miscellaneous
Jacket Pictures No
Subtitles English for the Hearing Impaired
Dutch
Swedish
Finnish
Norwegian
Danish
Portuguese
Polish
Greek
Hungarian
Hebrew
Czech
Slovenian
Croatian
Romanian
English Audio Commentary
Smoking Yes
Annoying Product Placement No
Action In or After Credits No

NOTE: The Profanity Filter is ON. Turn it off here.

Plot Synopsis

    Following a successful theatrical release in 1988, Rain Man  was originally released on DVD in April 2000. Now, some five years later, MGM has released a Gold Edition. Michael D's review of the original DVD can be found here.

    Although the plot is simple, it is not simplistic. The intelligent script and high production values create an engaging movie where the enjoyment is found in the journey, even though the destination is clear from the outset. Rain Man met with critical acclaim winning four Academy Awards, including the big three; Best Picture, Best Director and Best Actor. Very much a showcase for its two stars, Dustin Hoffman and Tom Cruise, both these actors deliver superb and credible performances.

    Dustin Hoffman's portrayal of the autistic savant, Raymond, is considered one of his finest performances and earned him one of his two Best Actor Oscars. (The other was for Kramer vs Kramer.)

    While Hoffman's performance is the most talked about, Tom Cruise's role cannot be dismissed. In fact, this is probably one of Cruise's best roles. In many ways it is Cruise who has to carry most of the scenes as Raymond lives within his own world. It is Cruise whose character learns how to relate to others, ironically through someone who is unable to.

    So, while Rain Man is a movie that is worthy of a place in most DVD collections, is Rain Man: The Gold Edition worth trading in your original copy for?

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Transfer Quality

Video

    I have not had the opportunity to view the original DVD release of Rain Man, but judging by Michael D's original review, it seems the transfer here is essentially the same. Certainly, if there is any change it is not significant.

    Presented in the original aspect ratio of 1.78:1 and 16x9 enhanced, this is a fine transfer. Colours are rich with plenty of shadow detail. There are no MPEG artefacts or low level noise and I did not see any film artefacts other than some slight telecine wobble on the opening credits. For a movie pushing 20 years old, this is a stunning transfer.

Video Ratings Summary
Sharpness
Shadow Detail
Colour
Grain/Pixelization
Film-To-Video Artefacts
Film Artefacts
Overall

Audio

    Again, there doesn't seem to be any major re-mastering of the Dolby Digital 5.1 audio. Dialogue is clear and easy to understand at all times, and there are no audio sync problems.

    Surround and subwoofer use is limited to the soundtrack which uses them to provide depth and an immersive feeling to the music. This is not a criticism in this case, as it is in keeping with the style of the movie which is mainly dialogue based.

Audio Ratings Summary
Dialogue
Audio Sync
Clicks/Pops/Dropouts
Surround Channel Use
Subwoofer
Overall

Extras

    While the original release had few extras, the Gold Edition has plenty.

Menu

    The menu is creatively animated with atmospheric music playing behind it.

Audio Commentaries

    Yes, plural. There are three separate commentaries to listen to on this edition.

    Director Barry Levinson talks about the process of creating the film, and co-writers Barry Morrow and Ronald Bass each provide their insight into the inspiration for the story and the development of the script.

    All three commentaries are interesting and each of the commentators make you feel as if you are watching the movie with them, adding their comments where appropriate and allowing the movie to play on at other times. Between them, these three commentaries provide excellent background to the movie.

The Journey of Rain Man (21:12)

    The director and producers discuss how the film came together and the challenges involved in getting the script to the screen.

Lifting The Fog - A look at the Mysteries of Autism (19:23)

    A number of autistic people, who Dustin Hoffman met while researching his role, are interviewed. Raymond became a composite of these people. An interesting insight into the autistic's world. A number of doctors and carers are also interviewed.

Original Featurette (6:53)

    The original featurette made for the release of the film. The actors, director and producer discuss the making of the movie. This is a full-screen presentation and is not 16x9 enhanced. Quality is fairly good except for the Dustin Hoffman interview segments which are grainy and have a hum over the audio.

Deleted Scene (2:04)

    A brief scene of Raymond in a store. The scene is not 16x9 enhanced and has a lot of film artefacts in the form of black spots throughout.

Theatrical Trailer (2:07)

    The original trailer for the movie. Again, not 16x9 enhanced.

Photo Gallery

    A series of stills from the production.

R4 vs R1

NOTE: To view non-R4 releases, your equipment needs to be multi-zone compatible and usually also NTSC compatible.

    Released in Region 1 and Region 2 as Rain Man: SE, there are a number of differences between the Region 1 and Region 4 releases.

    Region 4 misses out on:

    Region 1 misses out on:

   The extra featurettes make Region 4 the clear winner here, unless you really need French or Spanish audio. The Region 4 Gold Edition appears to be identical to the UK Region 2 SE release.

Summary

    Undoubtedly a fine movie, the question to be answered is not "should I buy it?" but "which version should I buy?"

    If you don't own a copy, then the Gold Edition is the pick. Even though it costs more than the standard edition, the extras make this a much more desirable disc.

    As there is no real difference in the transfer - both are great quality - I would hang on to the standard edition if you already have it. In my opinion, the extras, while interesting, are not interesting enough to justify buying a second copy. Of course, if you love your extras you won't be disappointed if you upgrade.

Ratings (out of 5)

Video
Audio
Extras
Plot
Overall

© Glen Randall (If you're really bored, you can read my bio)
Friday, June 24, 2005
Review Equipment
DVDToshiba SD-1200Y, using S-Video output
DisplayGrundig M84-210 80cm. Calibrated with Ultimate DVD Platinum. This display device is 16x9 capable.
Audio DecoderBuilt in to amplifier/receiver. Calibrated with Ultimate DVD Platinum.
AmplificationYamaha RX-V596
SpeakersRichter Wizard fronts, Richter Lynx centre, Richter Hydra rears, Velodyne CT-100 sub-woofer

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