Black Rain [DVD]  [Region 1] [US Import] [NTSC]
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A guilty pleasure if ever there was one, Black Rain is a ridiculously entertaining thriller by Ridley Scott (Alien), starring Michael Douglas as a tough New York cop who--along with his partner (Andy Garcia)--goes to Japan to deliver a local mobster. When the latter escapes, Douglas's brand of gonzo crime fighting rubs his Japanese hosts the wrong way. Slick, mechanistic, and absurd, the film is all surface action and attitude (not to mention Scott's incredibly busy, trademark art direction); and one can get lost in the sheer indulgence of it. However, if you can buy Douglas as an iconoclastic lawman, you can buy anything else here, including the notion of Kate Capshaw as a blonde escort highly desired by Japanese businessmen. --Tom Keogh --This text refers to the VHS Tape edition.
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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.
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.
The story unfortunately IS riddled with 80s Cop Movie clichés and goes through quite a lot of familiar motions. But if you see past that you'll appreciate the immense atmosphere and mood that Ridley Scott piles on. Simply put, Michael Douglas is Nick Conklin, a bad cop (pretty much the exact same character in Basic Instinct) who drag races on his superbike to pay alimony and pinches drug money instead of turning it in for evidence. Enjoying lunch with partner Charlie (Andy Garcia) in a steakhouse in New York's meat-packing district, they just happen to witness a Yakuza execution by wanted Japanese criminal Sato (Yusaku Matsuda, who was dying of cancer during filming and didn't tell anyone). After a quick punch-up and shoot-out they find themselves chaperoning Sato back to Osaka. But when they arrive there he manages to escape, leaving them embarrassed with lots of questions to answer.
Nick and Charlie find themselves in a very foreign and intolerant world and recapturing Sato proves to be difficult in many ways. Not the least of which is Japan's alienating culture (from an NYPD point of view) and rigid rules. Nonetheless, Nick is determined to catch Sato and restore his honor.
Like I said, the atmosphere of the film is overwhelming, which is really all the film needs. The clichés and stereotypes don't matter so much when you are involved this much. Hans Zimmer (his first film with Ridley Scott) provides a deeply emotional and very melodic score that'll be rattling around in your head for days. It's a shame it's never had a comprehensive CD release, as it's one of Zimmer's most impressive efforts.
You could call it a pretty 80s movies, but I still do feel that it holds up pretty well today. As one of Ridley Scott's more forgotten works, it's well worth checking out.
The Blu Ray features a brilliant 2.4:1 1080p image with DTS 6.1 sound and a great retrospecive documentary by Laurent Bouzereau. But why is it split into 3 parts? Totally pointless! In total it makes for about an hour's worth. A commentary by Scott and a trailer is also included.
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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the plausibility of the story, which is extremely good but unlikely in...Read more
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