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Forrest Gump has always had a rough time getting along in the world. When he was young he was picked on for being “slow”, for being dumb, and for not being like the other kids. As he grows up in the deep south, he discovers girls. In fact, one in particular, Jenny, who throughout his entire life, he will do anything to make sure she is safe.

Forrest Gump
Movie
To say that Forrest Gump did not experience life is an understatement. He finished high school, went to college, fought for his country and meet numerous heads of state, and that’s just a highlight of things he accomplishes in his life. Despite the fact that Forrest is a bit slower in the head than other individuals, he still manages to learn life’s lessons, including friendship, victory, loss, and most importantly, love.

Forrest Gump is one of Hollywood’s most fascinating, special effects laden films in years! Tom Hanks is outstanding as Forrest, and he definitely showcases his talents as an actor as this is a character that Hanks has never portrayed before. In fact, Hanks, continues to reinvent himself with each role and he appears just as fresh as has in any of his previous roles.

Robin Wright as Forrest’s best friend and true love is perfectly cast and displays her strong talents as well. The rest of the supporting cast including, Gary Sinise, Sally Field and Mykelti Williamson are also great, breathing life into the tight script.

I think this film ranks as one of the greatest films of all time, such as Casablanca, Citizen Kane, and The Godfather. It’s not filled with car chase scenes, explosions, or tense moments. But what makes this film great are the characters and the story. Forrest Gump is driven by its characters and its script. I strongly recommend this film for anyone’s collection.

Video
“Forrest Gump” is presented in 2.35:1 anamorphic widescreen with extremely vivid colors and a high resolution. However, it goes without saying that I did notice a few, not many, but a few speckles and blemishes. However, it wasn’t anything that would certainly detract from my viewing experience. In fact, if anything, it did appear to have movie theater quality presentation... and we all know that those aren’t exactly perfect every time. Overall though, the transfer looks fantastic and fans of the film will not be disappointed.

Audio
Because “Forrest Gump” is a dialogue and character driven film, I was not expecting much out the surround sound speakers. Thank goodness my expectations were not too high either. The majority of the Dolby Digital 5.1 track was emitted from the front speakers. A little disappointed, well you could say that, in fact, it didn’t seem that the rear speakers were used at all. There of course were some of the scenes that took place in Vietnam where the sound was purely awesome, crisp, clear and rumbling, but overall, the majority of the film utilized the front speakers.

I also noticed that at times, scenes in the film were quiet, requiring me to turn it up a bit in order to hear. A mark against the audio track, well, yes. I think Paramount could have given this great film a great audio track. Overall, though, I can’t complain too much.

Forrest Gump
Extras
I stand up and cheer Paramount’s efforts for this super-duper two-disc collector’s edition of “Forrest Gump!” Can it be that the studio famous for skirting us DVD aficionados has given us a true representation of the DVD format? The answer is, yes!! So let's get started.

Disc one, not only features the film, but two audio commentaries. The first by director Robert Zemeckis, producer Steve Starkey and production designer Rick Carter. This track is excellent and gives us a view from the challenges of filming, locations, the sets, story and elements of the film itself. I thought this commentary was a bit dry at times, however, overall a great experience.

The second commentary features Wendy Finerman, producer of the film. This commentary is equally as good and deserves a listen. A bright note on this one is that Finerman focuses more on how the film came to be. She actually discusses the novel and how it was transferred to the big screen. Entertaining, and extremely informative, this commentary is good as well. She doesn’t always speak throughout the film, however, for fans of the film, they won’t be disappointed.

Insert disc two and you will find a ton of additional extras. First off is a 30-minute documentary called “Through The Eyes of Forrest Gump” that contains several cast and visual effects artists interviews. This piece was obviously done before the release of the film and is highly promotionally, but it is very interesting and deserves a look.

Next are four new featurettes, “Seeing Is Believing” which are very short, but give the viewer information on the visual effects of the film. Very good if you want to see how movie magic was created.

There are also 11 segments of unfinished extended scenes that did not make the final cut of the film. They are narrated by effects supervisors Ken Ralston and Stephen Rosenbaum which give insight into why the particular scene was not included. As a bonus, two of the segments feature a sequence where Forrest meets Martin Luther King Jr. and George Bush that were no where to be seen in the film. Both are very good in my opinion.

“Through the Ears of Forrest Gump” contains five sequences that detail the film’s sound effects. These were interesting and informative, however, I didn’t think they were as strong as the previous extras.

“The Magic of Makeup” is a short featurette, featuring makeup supervisor Dan Striepeke who discusses the influence of certain make-up trends in the time periods being depicted in the film. Once again, interesting, but not too strong. If you are a make-up artist or an aspiring make-up artist, you may find this to be a great feature.

The last featurette is “Building the World of Gump” which utilizes film clips and conceptual drawings of Forrest Gump’s world. This featurette also shows the sets that were created for the film and includes an interview with production designer Rick Carter.

Finally, Paramount has included three screen tests from Robin Wright with Tom Hanks, Haley Joel Osment, and the actors who portray young Forrest and young Jenny; a still gallery and the theatrical trailers for the film.

Forrest Gump
Overall
Paramount has released an outstanding special edition of this Oscar winning film! This Oscar winning film looks superior and belongs on the shelf of everyone’s collection. Fans of Forrest Gump will not be disappointed. For those who have never seen this film, I welcome you to the world of Forrest Gump! Go get it, cause in this instance, you know what you are gonna get!


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