Rain Man (2001) from Tuna and Johnny Web (Uncle Scoopy; Greg Wroblewski)

Tuna's comments in white:

Hoffman's portrayal of an autistic savant was an Oscar caliber performance, and the story was touching. Tom Cruise was typecast as a brash, self-serving hustler, an LA wheeler-dealer who had long been estranged from his father. He runs a nearly shady car operation that is falling apart and threatening to ruin him financially, when he learns that his father has died. His girlfriend, Valeria Golino, convinces him to attend the funeral. Once there, he learns that his father left him the car which had been the bone of contention that had caused their split, and some rose bushes, whereas his $3m estate was put in a secret trust.


Valeria Golino shows a nipple in the bath, and then one breast dressing, as it peeks out of her robe.

Being a hustler, he is able to learn that the trust is administered by the head of a mental hospital, on behalf of a brother he knew nothing about. The brother has inherited all the money, but has a form of autism and doesn't even understand what money is good for. He decides to take the brother back to California and fight to win custody so he can get his hands on the money. Along the way, he and Hoffman bind, and his motives for wanting custody, by the time they reach LA, are not totally self-serving. One famous scene where Cruise was trying to get Hoffman on a flight to LA, and Hoffman refuses, reciting dates of crashes, airplane models, flight numbers, and fatalities for every airline Cruise names. Then Hoffman mentions that Qantas is the only major airline that has never had a crash. The airlines cut this scene for in-flight versions.

I enjoyed this film very much the first time I saw it, but, on second viewing, wasn't nearly as interesting with no surprises. If you haven't seen it, you should, but, if you have, the second watching might be a letdown.

DVD info from Amazon.

  • Full-screen format plus a widescreen anamorphic 1.85 version

  • no meaningful features

Scoop's comments in yellow:

It is an excellent film, one of the most unusual "buddy" films ever made, and one of the most sentimental of the classic male bonding flicks.  Cruise starts the film as an insensitive yuppie prick, but the cross-country drive with his special brother forces him to become aware of more important things than money. I thought that both Cruise and Hoffman were convincing in the roles.  I don't know to what degree Hoffman based this on reality, but he hooked me in completely. Just as important, both actors managed to make these offbeat roles both empathetic and entertaining, perfect star turns.

What can you say - it was the rare case of a film loved by the critics and the academy which was also a box office smash. It isn't that common to see all three factors aligned. 

The Critics Vote

  • General consensus: three and a half stars. Ebert 3.5/4, BBC4/5

  • four Oscars including Best Actor and Best Picture

The People Vote ...

  • IMDB summary. IMDb voters score it 7.8/10 (top 200 of all time)
  • with their dollars: a smash! $170 million in the USA, $240 million overseas



IMDb guideline: 7.5 usually indicates a level of excellence, about like three and a half stars from the critics. 6.0 usually indicates lukewarm watchability, about like two and a half stars from the critics. The fives are generally not worthwhile unless they are really your kind of material, about like two stars from the critics. Films under five are generally awful even if you like that kind of film, equivalent to about one and a half stars from the critics or less, depending on just how far below five the rating is.

My own guideline: A means the movie is so good it will appeal to you even if you hate the genre. B means the movie is not good enough to win you over if you hate the genre, but is good enough to do so if you have an open mind about this type of film. C means it will only appeal to genre addicts, and has no crossover appeal. D means you'll hate it even if you like the genre. E means that you'll hate it even if you love the genre. F means that the film is not only unappealing across-the-board, but technically inept as well.

Based on this description, this film is a B (both reviewers). 

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