If you read the label on a box of chocolates you'll know exactly what you're gonna get. Life isn't like that in Forrest Gump, however, which is one of the reasons why this movie divided appreciative audiences from hard-hearted critics like few others before it. Audiences responded to the Frank Capra-style sentimentality of this warm-hearted tale of a good ol' American boy making his way in the world without ever losing his pure and simple innocence. Critics, however, were made uneasy by the apparently reactionary subtext to the parallel lives of Forrest and his girlfriend... Jenny. Her fate, contrasted with his, suggests a triumph for plain ol' American values over dangerous freethinking hippies and liberals. Whether the movie is just unadulterated sentiment or right-wing propaganda, one thing at least was acknowledged by all: that Forrest Gump displays all the craftsmanship of one of Hollywood's most inventive directors and features a central performance from an actor renowned for his total commitment to every role. Thanks to Robert Zemeckis and Tom Hanks, even the most cynical critic will find it hard not to shed at least one tear by the end of this undeniably engrossing movie. The soundtrack is great, too. On the DVD: another good two-disc set gives fans of Gump and budding filmmakers alike plenty to enjoy. The anamorphic picture and Dolby Surround on Disc 1 do full justice to Zemeckis' vision, which is accompanied by two commentaries: one from the director, producer Steve Starkey and production designer Rick Carter, and another one from producer Wendy Finerman. Disc 2 has the usual making of documentary (30 mins), plus some neat featurettes on the production and sound design and the many special effects shots (including how they made Gary Sinise lose his legs). In addition there are some screen tests of Robin Wright and a very young Haley Joel (The Sixth Sense) Osment, plus trailers and a photo gallery. All in all this is a worthwhile package. --Mark Walker [show more]
Forrest (a brilliant Tom Hanks) is sitting on a bench at a bus-stop. His attitude immediately appears unusual, especially when approaching men and women that occasionally and alternatively come to sit next to him. He seems very fond of telling them the incredible story of his life, which is presented as a long sequence of events quite different in nature, from tragic and moving to absurd and hilarious.
This means that you"re not going to see a particularly funny or sad movie. Neither is it a celebration of the mythical USA where even a man of subnormal intelligence can live a successful life. Then you may ask what it is all about. Maybe the apparently gullible (but in the end ingenious in his way) Forrest Gump is trying to teach something in an objectively uncommon manner. Definitely, imagining the development of USA society through thirty years (more or less) seen by a mentally handicapped man is a weird and revolutionary idea... at least so it seemed in the early nineties.
More than the plain direction of Robert Zemeckis, the thrilling soundtrack is worthy of remark. Every single moment is perfectly accomplished by an accurately chosen (and generally famous) song or piece of music.
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Please note this is a region 2 DVD and will require a region 2 (Europe) or region Free DVD Player in order to play. The story of Forrest Gump, an innocent and childlike man, who found himself present for many of the most memorable events in American history from the 1950s through to the 1970s. Forrest, however, was for the most part, totally oblivious to the significance of his actions... Based on the novel by Winston Groom. Actors Tom Hanks, Sally Field, Gary Sinise, Mykelti Williamson, Robin Wright Penn, Ian Hart, Siobhan Fallon & Haley Joel Osment Director Robert Zemeckis Certificate 12 years and over Year 1994 Screen Widescreen 2.35:1 Anamorphic Languages English - Dolby Digital (5.1) Subtitles Czech ; English ; English for the hearing impaired ; German ; Hungarian ; Polish ; Turkish Duration 2 hours and 21 minutes (approx)