'Rainman' [Blu ray]
(Dustin Hoffman, Tom Cruise, et al / Blu Ray / R / (1988) 2011 / MGM)
Overview: Self-centred car exporter Charlie Babbitt (Tom Cruise) attends his estranged father's funeral to collect his inheritance. To his surprise, he discovers the money is going to Raymond (Dustin Hoffman), the autistic brother he never knew he had. Charlie 'kidnaps' Raymond in an effort to claim some of his inheritance but, as he grows closer to his brother, he realises there may be more to life than money.
Blu ray Verdict: A movie that will truly speak to you in many ways, `Rain Man' hits all the right chords over and over again. As Raymond Babbitt, Dustin Hoffman truly deserved that Oscar for he evokes so much emotion from the viewer it's almost impossible to keep from tearing up. Tom Cruise on the other hand is easily overshadowed by the depth in Hoffman's performance. I'm not a fan of Cruise and feel he's overly praised by many. His performance here was better than the majority of his others and he in no way detracts from the power of the film, but he could have been substituted and I'd have no issues with that.
Charlie Babbitt (Cruise) is a pompous, self centered, materialistic jerk who's in dire need of some cash. When he hears that his estranged father has recently died (a man he hasn't personally spoken with since he was sixteen) he travels with his girlfriend (Valeria Golino) to the funeral. Upon discussing his fathers will he discovers that he wasn't left anything but a classic car and some roses. His fathers millions on the other hand were left to Raymond (Hoffman), Charlie's autistic brother whom he's never known off. In a purely selfish attempt at receiving his share of his fathers fortune Charlie, in a way, kidnaps his brother to force the trusties hand to pay up. Because of Raymond's fear of flying the two brother's end up on a cross country trip towards LA that causes Charlie to slowly change; realizing that this is more than money, this is about having a real relationship with a brother he never knew.
There are two scenes in particular that really got me, both involving a dance. The first is when Raymond wants to learn to dance. Charlie then teaches him, and the reason this scene really touched me was because it was the first act of pure selflessness on Charlie's part, the first scene where Charlie was doing something for Raymond, not because he wanted something from him but because he wanted to do something nice for him. The next involves Raymond and Susanna (Golino) in an elevator.
After Raymond is `stood-up' for his first date Susanna stops the elevator and has Raymond show her how he would have danced with his date, and then she kisses him. It's the single sweetest scene in the film for here is a person with no ties to Raymond whatsoever doing something for him; I mean I can't even begin to explain how touching that one scene is for me.
So, in closing, `Rain Man' is a movie that is meant to inspire, to move and compel others to open there hearts, and to that effect it truly works. To watch Charlie transform over time from loathing his brother to accepting and loving him is a transformation that is just so emotionally moving. Thanks in a large way to Dustin Hoffman's brilliant Oscar winning performance, and even to Tom Cruise's development of character `Rain Man' pays off in the end as a wonderful cinematic experience that EVERYONE should and can enjoy! [DG] This is a Full Screen Presentation (1.33:1) enhanced for 16x9 TVs and comes with the Special Features of:
The Journey of Rain Man – A Retrospective Documentary
Lifting The Fog: A Look At The Mysteries of Autism