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Rain Man A, B+

US/1988/Color/Widescreen, Anamorphic 1.85:1, PS 1.33:1/Stereo Surround, DD/Directed by Barry Levinson/Starring Dustin Hoffman, Tom Cruise/MGM-UA/40 Chaps/Theatrical Trailer/$24.95 

 Plucking the pedals of this beautiful movie flower, I keep alternating the mantra Hoffman/Cruise, Hoffman/Cruise. Both of these actors deliver fantastic performances in Rain Man with equal levels of energy. Cruise’s energy ignites full blast. It’s a beauty of a jet engine. Hoffman’s contained energy is equally powerful, a powerful cradle of magma hidden under the crust of a brilliant characterization. 
 Hustler Charlie Babbitt(Cruise) ensnared in the faulty mechanics of an imported car deal is advised of his father’s death.  Arriving at his childhood home for the funeral and reading of the will, Charlie discovers not only that  he’s been disinherited, but he has a brother living in a home for the mentally retarded. Charlie, looking for a way to claim the inheritance, grabs his older brother Raymond(Hoffman) and embarks on a cross country odyssey back to Los Angeles in his father’s 1949 Buick convertible. Raymond, a lot more than Charlie bargained for, turns out to be an idiot savant. The permutations of the trip are endlessly engaging, highlighted by Raymond’s mathematical miracles.  
 Barry Levinson mines gold from the script by Ronald Bass and Barry Morrow like a savvy prospector. Levinson tracks the progress of the Babbitt brothers with great affection and respect. The Hans Zimmer score reinforces the mood and John Seale provides the excellent photography for the varied sections of the film.  
 Rain Man won the Academy Award for Best Picture and Best Screenplay  of 198, Levinson Best Director and Hoffman Best Actor. It’s an inspirational film that should not be missed. 
 Rain Man is a fine DVD. Color might be slightly restrained and perhaps sharpness is rolled off slightly,  but the overall impact is very cinematic. Three dimensional ambiance results from the excellent sound track.