Rain Man (1988)

Seen bits and parts of it before.
Watched first half 20130619 (Netflix, Instant)*
Watched second half 20130803 (Netflix, Instant)
*HD didn't buffer/hardly buffered
Rain Man (1988) Barry Levinson. 133 min

Relevant Links:
Rain Man (RottenTomatoes.com)
Rain Man (IMDb.com)
Rain Man (Wikipedia.org)

Charlie Babbitt (Tom Cruise) is a cars dealer and is having some trouble keeping the business alive. Meanwhile, his father has died and gives him a car. Asking where all the money went, he finds out 3 million is going to an unnamed benefactor. Charlie determines it's gone to a mental institution in Cincinnati, Ohio. Upon visiting to investigate, he finds he has a brother named Raymond (Dustin Hoffman). Feeling entitled to some of the 3 million dollars, Charlie kidnaps his brother Raymond and heads back to California.

Raymond, an autistic savant, is able to make difficult calculations and memorize large amounts of data in a matter of seconds. As an example, Charlie had planned to take Raymond back to California by train, but Raymond refused, citing statistics of plane crashes with every airline with connections between California and Ohio. Consequently, the two take the 1949 Buick Roadmaster which has been left in Charlie's name and ride it all the way to California.

At the beginning of the trip, Charlie gets frustrated with his brother and doesn't know much about autism. Furthermore, Raymond's ability to memorize and calculate goes largely unnoticed by Charlie. One day, however, Charlie realizes the degree of Raymond's ability to quickly memorize and takes Raymond to Las Vegas to make money playing blackjack. While they are able to make a lot of money, the head of security eventually suspect that the Charlie and Raymond were able to seamlessly count a six-card deck. The casino has alerted the other casinos and allowed Raymond to leave with his winning, but ask that he doesn't return.

You'll have to watch the movie to find out what happens next.

20130619, 20130803:
I couldn't finish watching the film in one sitting, because I lost interest about halfway through. I did, however, happily finish the movie about a month later. I find the second half of the film more enjoyable than the first. In particular, we learn why Raymond was placed in a facility and why the movie is called Rain Man.

It was hard for me to watch this film, because Tom Cruise's character was a jerk for a large portion of it. In contrast, I've mostly watched movies where he's amiable. In fact, I had the same problem with Collateral (2004), another film where Cruise's character is a jerk. With that being said, I have not yet seen all of his movies.

On a different note, watching Dustin Hoffman's performance as an autistic savant was absolutely great. As it turns out, Hoffman's portrayal as Raymond got him his second Oscar for "Best Actor in a Leading Role."

Overall, I'd rate Rain Man as a decent film. Unfortunately, it did a poor job of keeping my interest, making it unlikely that I would watch it again. I would, however, recommend that others watch the movie.

Instant Comments:
1a: Title at 12 minutes
1a: Autistic savant
1a: Up to the point in the movie where Susanna leaves the hotel room, I mostly dislike Tom Cruise's character more than sympathize with him
1a: Certainly Cruise's character has a battle to pick with his late father, but he's overly aggressive with his brother; he's insane
1a: It's unbelievable how Charlie and Susanna ever got along, they seem like complete opposites.
1a: "246." "There's four left in the box."

1a: I guess the interesting thing is to watch what Charlie thinks should be normal behavior while Raymond requires certain order in his life.
1a: Paused halfway through around the 70 minute mark. "My card's been rejected?" Kind of boring.
1b: I happened to have paused the film right before the most important scene. The scene happens to explain the reason why the movie is called Rain Man.
1b: The psychiatrist says he's not laying blame and judging, but his tone and choice of words do seem like he's laying blame and judging.
1b: I like how the psychiatrist is a bit of an asshole, because it really helps to redeem Charlie's character.
1b: "C-H-A-R-L-I-E. My main man."
1b: "Tell him Ray." "K-mart sucks."
1a=20130619, 1b=20130803

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