Hard Rain (Remastered) (1997)

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Released 22-Nov-2000

Cover Art

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Details At A Glance

General Extras
Category Thriller Theatrical Trailer
Rating Rated M
Year Of Production 1997
Running Time 92:59 (Case: 123)
RSDL / Flipper No/No Cast & Crew
Start Up Language Select Then Menu
Region Coding 2,4 Directed By Mikael Salomon
Studio
Distributor

Universal Pictures Home Video
Starring Morgan Freeman
Christian Slater
Randy Quaid
Minnie Driver
Edward Asner
Richard Dysart
Betty White
Case Amaray-Transparent
RPI $36.95 Music Christopher Young


Video Audio
Pan & Scan/Full Frame None English Dolby Digital 2.0 (224Kb/s)
Spanish Dolby Digital 2.0 (224Kb/s)
Widescreen Aspect Ratio 2.35:1
16x9 Enhancement
16x9 Enhanced
Video Format 576i (PAL)
Original Aspect Ratio 2.35:1 Miscellaneous
Jacket Pictures No
Subtitles English for the Hearing Impaired
Spanish
Dutch
Smoking Yes
Annoying Product Placement No
Action In or After Credits No

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Plot Synopsis

   Hard Rain is a lacklustre heist/chase film that has no brains, not much of a plot and certainly nothing to make it at all watchable.

    Christian Slater stars as Tom, an armoured truck driver doing the last cash collection before a town is evacuated due to rising flood water. Morgan Freeman plays the leader of a pack of robbers who plan to steal the booty once the truck gets stuck in the flood, and Randy Quaid plays the corrupt small town sheriff who wants the money for himself. There are plenty of other poor performances here as well - let's not forget about Minnie Driver as the damsel in distress and The Golden Girls' Betty White playing the ass-kickin' old lady who is too defiant and/or stupid to leave the town regardless of the 12 feet high flood water.

    Dotted with boring action scenes, corny dialogue, a flimsy plot, the completely unbelievable rate at which the flood water is rising, and more bullets than The Matrix, Saving Private Ryan and Hot Shots put together, Hard Rain is one of the worst films I have seen in a really long time.

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Transfer Quality

Video

    The video transfer of this movie is surprisingly very good.

    The transfer is presented in an aspect ratio of 2.35:1, 16x9 enhanced.
 
     The sharpness of this film is very precise with fantastic shadow detail and rich blacks throughout the feature. With much of the film taking place at night, the clarity of the transfer and definition of the picture on-screen is immaculate.  At times, there looks as if there is quite a bit of grain about, but I found that mostly this is actually the film's rain effects.

    As mentioned above, the film is deliberately dark so there is not a lot of colour on show, but the palette is solid all the way through the film's 90 minutes. Often there are dark shots where a coloured light will flash onto the screen or the scene will be backlit - all of the colours in these shots are strong and come up on your display device beautifully. There are some scenes in the third act that take place in a church - at this point, the colours are strong and vibrant.

    There were no MPEG artefacts to be seen and aliasing was very mild when it did infrequently occur. There are constant negative film artefacts present throughout. While none of them are huge scratches, the constant appearance of them becomes annoying after a while.

    There is an English subtitle track present on this disc. I watched about 15 minutes of the track and found it to be a heavily simplified version of the dialogue on screen.

    This is a single layered disc.

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

Audio

       The audio transfer of Hard Rain is presented as a 224 kb/s English 2.0 Dolby Surround soundtrack, and considering this format, it is excellent. Originally recorded and transferred with an English 5.1 Dolby Digital Soundtrack, it is a major disappointment that this disc has only a 2.0 Surround track, particularly as the original release of this DVD in Region 4 contained an English 5.1 Dolby Digital soundtrack. On top of this, the packaging of this title states that there is a 5.1 Dolby Digital soundtrack, so caveat emptor.
    
    The dialogue quality is good with no specific problems in terms of audio sync or inability to hear what is said.
    
    Music is a highlight of this film. For a movie with so many 'B Grade' aspects, the musical score by Christopher Young is outstanding. He uses a sweeping score that matches the weather that is apparent on screen, and uses the flow of his music to keep the film going in its deadest of parts.

    The surrounds are used surprisingly well despite this disc's 2.0 treatment. They have constant rain sound effects through the channels, and work very well with a very strong signal.
 
    The subwoofer does not get used very much at all.



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

Extras

    There are minimal extras.

Menu

    This is a static picture of the key art for the film.
 

Theatrical Trailer

    Running for 1:59, this trailer is presented in an incorrect aspect ratio of 1.80:1 and is not 16x9 Enhanced. It has a 2.0 Surround soundtrack that runs at 224 kb/s and actually makes the film look a fair bit better than it actually is.
 

R4 vs R1

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

 

    This remastered Region 4 version of this disc misses out on;

    The original Region 4 version of this disc misses out on;

    The Region 1 version of this disc misses out on;

    There is no clear winner here, as each version of this film has its own unique shortcomings or critical issues. It is up to you to decide which version suits you best, but for my money after viewing this version and hearing the impressive 2.0 Surround soundtrack, I would give this remastered version the nod over its NTSC non 16x9 Enhanced brother from the US of A.

Summary

    For me, Hard Rain was a really poor film with a terrible plot, script and everything else.

    The video transfer is very good.

    The audio transfer works well with what it is given.

    The extras are minimal.

Ratings (out of 5)

Video
Audio
Extras
Plot
Overall

© Hugh Fotheringham (what the hell is going on in bio??)
Friday, August 23, 2002
Review Equipment
DVDSony DVP-S525, using Component output
DisplayLoewe Xelos (81cm). Calibrated with Video Essentials. This display device is 16x9 capable.
Audio DecoderBuilt in to DVD player. Calibrated with Video Essentials.
AmplificationOnkyo TX-DS797- THX Select
SpeakersJamo X550 Left and Right, Jamo X5CEN Centre, Jamo X510 Surround

Other Reviews NONE
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