Black Rain stars Michael Douglas as a New York City cop suspected of stealing confiscated drug money. He thinks he has a chance to redeem himself when he and his partner are assigned the task of escorting a vicious mob boss (Matsuda) back to Japan to stand trial. But when the trio arrive in Osaka, the officers are duped into releasing their prisoner and are thrust into the brutal underworld of the murderous Yakuza gang.
Special features include commentary by Director Ridley Scott; the following featurettes: Black Rain The Script, The Cast (20 minutes), Black Rain Making The Film (available to watch in two parts or its 38-minute entirety), and Black Rain: Post-Production (12-1/2 minutes); the theatrical trailer; previews; and up-front ads.
Both the 2.42:1 Blu-ray Disc and VC-1-encoded HD DVD can exhibit very well-resolved details, although there are times when the image can look relatively soft. Blacks are deep and shadow delineation is good, which are both necessary with the movie's fabulous lighting. The Blu-ray Disc version appears to be slightly softer, but I am guessing it is more due to the players rather than the encodings. (Danny Richelieu)
The Blu-ray Disc includes two encodings, one in Dolby® Digital Surround EX™ (5.1-channel with matrix-derived center surround) and the other in DTS® ES™ (6.1-channel discrete). The HD DVD also includes two encodings, one in Dolby Digital Plus EX (5.1-channel with matrix-derived center surround) and the other in DTS ES (6.1-channel discrete). The age of the original master can be heard in all four encodings, with thin, boxy dialogue and effects. Surround envelopment can be good at times, which is also aided by the discrete center surround channel in the DTS encodings. The two Dolby encodings are very similar sounding, with only a slight improvement in the effectiveness of the bass in the Digital Plus encoding. (Danny Richelieu)