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4.2 out of 5 stars
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4.2 out of 5 stars
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on 9 April 2014
I won't write a review of the film, 'cause, let's face it, if you're thinking about buying this, you should've seen it or heard about it; and if you haven't, you could read a far more comprehensive review somewhere on the web by a far more informed authority than I. And I'm not going to write a detailed review of the Blu-ray disc either, because I'm not qualified to do so, and you could read a far more intelligible review on Blu-ray.com or High Def Digest - which I recommend you do. At this point, you're probably wondering what I am going to do. Well, I'm going to tell you that if you love Black Rain, you need this Blu-ray! This was the first ever Blu-ray I owned. I bought it from HMV many moons ago, and I wasn't disappointed by the quality. Black Rain has never looked better. The picture quality is stunning. Michael Douglas actually looks quite craggy because of all the fine detail that can be seen in his face. In the interview scene, you can actually see the fine hairs on one guy's hand and the pores on his face. This Blu-ray is reference quality and, next to my French Silent Hill Blu-ray, the best I have in my vast collection. It is simply fantastic.

As for the audio, it's perfectly fine. Probably not the best, but fine. It comes with a 5.1 and 6.1. But, unless you have a surround sound system, we'd be better off with mono or stereo, which I always find is much better and less muted.

This disc comes with some great extras too. We get a very informative Ridley Scott commentary, a post production featurette, and a great two part making of documentary.

The picture quality of this Blu-ray is awesome, the audio is good, and the extras are very enjoyable. If you love Black Rain, buy this Blu-ray. I implore you!

And, in case you were wondering, it's region free.
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on 24 September 2004
I was just starting my Senior year of high school when Black Rain was released. My high school friends were huge fans of Ridley Scott, solely based on his direction of Blade Runner, and they were also fans of the cyberpunk genre which Scott had furthered in that film. Of course, we all had interests in Japanese-American relations (I would go onto to study that in university) and the sordid world of the Yakuza.
Black Rain is a product of its time. In the 1980s, there was a not-so-latent fear in America that its superpower position was being eroded by the rise of Japan's economy. Black Rain plays on those fears as well as the culture clash between two nations that are more similar and more historically tied together than either would like to admit.
The movie is not subtle: in the opening scene, NYPD detective Nick Conklin on his Harley races a young upstart on a Kawasaki. We learn that Nick is under investigation by Internal Affairs for association with crooked cops. Nick represents that world weary American willing to cut corners to get the job done. His partner, Charlie, is young and idealistic--the flip side of the stereotyped American character. However, when both capture a Yakuza upstart named Sato after he perpetrates a vicious murder in New York, both detectives have to escort him back to Osaka, an alien place neither American can understand or function in effectively.
Scott, at this time, was still in love with the cyberpunk visuals of Blade Runner. Osaka is first shown in red and dark hues with black smoke rising from industrial plants. Outside on the street, it's often dark or wet. Bright lights from the city center shine.
I am not giving any secrets away by telling you that Sato of course escapes and Nick and Charlie have to track him down. They are assisted by Assistant Inspector Masahiro Matsumoto of the Osaka Prefectural Police. Again, I tell you nothing you could not have figured out on your own to learn that the movie will soon center on Nick and Masahiro. Nick, the rugged American individualist willing to cut corners, confronts the duty-bound Matsumoto, who is afraid of ostracision from the group.
Though the plot can be formulaic, and fears about Japan now replaced by fears of the Islamic world, Black Rain is still an enjoyable enough police action movie. This is largely due to solid performances by Michael Douglas as Nick, Andy Garcia as Charlie, and Ken Takakura as Matsumoto. The one downside is Kate Capshaw as Joyce. Though the film won't go right out and say it, Joyce is an American madam in an Osaka club--highly unlikely in itself--who comes to Nick's aid. Perhaps she was supposed to be his love interest but the film veers away from this. American critic Roger Ebert said it best when he said her presence was another example of Hollywood being reluctant to pair a White leading man with an Asian female character. At any rate, her involvement doesn't detract from the overall story. The soundtrack, which my friend used to play ALL the time, is pretty darn good too.
In reality, a 3 star film, but I'm giving a bonus star for nostalgia's sake.
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on 26 July 2016
It's one of those handful of Ridley Scott films that has passed me by somehow, but I recently caught it and was pleasantly surprised.

Despite a couple of flourishes which serve to date it (Greg Allman's rather overdone end ballad for example), this is an effective and enjoyable thriller featuring Micheal Douglas as a New York cop who ends up, with his partner (Andy Garcia), transporting a Japanese criminal back to Japan only to be tricked into letting him go. Remaining in Japan to help catch him, the two are drawn into the darker side of Yakuza gang, counterfeiting and cultural divides with an engaging local cop and an American woman living in the city.

In some ways the plot doesn't entirely re-write the rulebook, but it's given a sophisticated edge by the supremely talented visualist Scott, who takes the story and drapes it in gorgeous set design and cinematography. It looks pretty good on Blu-ray (especially when you see the non HD trailer provided as an extra). As far as extras go, there's a solid commentary by Ridley Scott and about an hour's worth of interviews and 'making of' material. It all adds up to a solid package for a well made film.
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TOP 500 REVIEWERon 1 January 2013
Black Rain is directed by Ridley Scott and written by Craig Bolotin and Warren Lewis. It stars Michael Douglas, Andy Garcia, Ken Takakura, Kate Capshaw, Yusaku Matsuda and Tomisaburo Wakayama. Music is by Hans Zimmer and cinematography by Jan de Bont.

After New York cops Nick Conklin (Douglas) and Charlie Vincent (Garcia) arrest a sword wielding psychopath named Sato Koji (Matsuda), they are tasked with escorting him back to Osaka in Japan. From here they are plunged into a war that is brewing in the Japanese underworld.

You see there's a war going on here and they don't take no prisoners.

Welcome to Blade Runner's younger brother, Black Rain, a Ridley Scott film I feel has never received the credit it deserves. Viewing from the outside it looked like one of those 1980s cop movies, one where the main cop is washed up and perched on the edge of oblivion, his partner his sanity and voice of reason. However, Scott (brought in late to direct when Paul Verhoeven bailed) wasn't interested in the normalities of the cop drama, he saw the potential for cross continent culture clash and the chance to bring his visual skills to the fore.

Yep, it's the big neon glitter of Osaka and the grime and dime of New York that is the big draw here, but characterisations are still rich for the drama, with Scott taking plenty of time to set up the lead protagonist. We know Conklin's troubles, we know how tight his friendship is with Charlie, and by the time things go grim and dour in Osaka we understand just why Conklin plunges head first into a do or die situation.

Visually Scott infuses the picture with cramped locales, steamy streets, industrial wastelands and blood red suns, while his lead character is an unshaven trench coat wearer who still manages to look devilishly cool. It's perhaps the drawing of Osaka that is the most impressive, for it's an alien creation to us as much as it obviously is to Conklin, the ignorance gap between America and Japan still wide apart in 1989.

Complaints? At just over two hours in running time the film does have periods of flatness, where some better editing wouldn't have gone amiss; though Scott's original cut was considerably longer, begging the question on if more could have been done to enhance the seething culture clash between cops Conklin and Matsumoto (Takakura)?

Another problem is that Capshaw's character is under written, a crime when it's the sole female part of note in a two hour movie. Did more of the character hit the cutting room floor? Likely, because now it's a token eye candy offering, which is a shame since what little we do get hints at a savvy performance from Capshaw.

Ridley Scott lifts Black Rain from merely being a fish out of water thriller to something more layered. True to say there is more style than substance (what style though), but there is still very much interesting juxtapositioning of countries and human interactions of credible worth as well. 8/10
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on 29 June 2015
Great move and great edition. Only complain I can have about ultra cheap AMARAY used (US Imports "made in Mexico" are from significantly thinner plastic and "reduced" on weight what makes it not that solid as I wish. Especially in comparison with EU AMARAYs. Package of subtitles (EN of course as well) included. What else?
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on 2 June 2015
Great movie Michael Douglas at his best. It is a poor quality film production though and the picture is not as clear as might be expected. Although it is in line with the dark atmospheric theme of the movie.
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TOP 500 REVIEWERon 27 August 2016
Ridley Scott’s 1989 yakuza crime thriller definitely has the visual feel of his brilliant futuristic Blade Runner (filmed seven years earlier) and although not a SF movie for two New York police detectives arriving in the Japanese city of Osaka the experience is most certainly ‘other-worldly’ as they not only must cope with alien customs and an alien language but also with the consequences of being duped and losing their prisoner who was being extradited from the United States. Michael Douglas gives a sound performance as the movie’s unshaven, unkempt and decidedly unlikable anti-hero Nick Conklin (think Trancer’s Jack Deth without the dry humour) whose abrasive rudeness contrasts markedly with the charming affability of his partner Charlie Vincent (Andy Garcia) and the taciturn politeness of Masahiro, the Japanese police detective charged with accompanying these two ‘gai-jins’ while they are in the country (a marvellous performance by Ken Takakura). In this dark, neon-lit, rain-soaked city Scott presents us with some impressive action set-pieces including those set inside night clubs, a steel foundry and an underground car park involving a particularly vicious biker gang, although my favourite scene has to be the priceless karaoke rendition of Ray Charles' "What'd I Say", probably the only time set aside for levity in the whole film. Hans Zimmer’s soundtrack provides a fitting accompaniment to this 1980s film which surprisingly (for me, anyway) doesn’t feel as dated as I thought it might, having previously watched it over a decade ago, and although some of the culture-clash scenes are far from subtle I was really entertained by this stylish ‘blast-from-the-past’ and would thoroughly recommend making an effort to watch it again or for the first time.
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It's been quite a few years since I watched this film and it was interesting to see it now.

The films wears well and has a dark, brooding look about it.
Michael Douglas fairs well as the New York cop having to deal with Internal Affairs and then having to deal with losing a prisoner upon landing in Japan as well as his partner being killed.

Ridley Scott does a good job with the movie, punching plenty of action throughout.
The premise of the story is interesting although not dealt with too deeply. Revenge on two counts is the order of the day.

Considering the age of the film, I have to say its thoroughly entertaining.
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on 21 September 2015
For those already reading this review and looking at the title, you will probably already know the plot and acting performance by Michael Douglas and Andy Garcia. I have long been a fan of this film with it being a typical dark thriller that Ridley Scott was directing at this time. I previously owned the DVD and was immensely disappointed in the presentation and quality of the DVD. After reading an excellent review at Blu Ray Hi Def Digest, I decided to renew my purchase on Blu Ray. Like Bladerunner, this movie has had the love it deserves in the transfer and the experience with vastly improved picture and sound (DTS-MA) is on another level. Well worth purchase but do make sure you get the "All Region" version.
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on 18 December 2012
Michael Douglas and Andy Garcia prove a worthy double act in this 80's film that has aged well. It is very well directed by a master and is both entertaining and enjoyable from start to finish. 2 hours well spent.
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