Steelbook Collector's Edition
Features: Dolby EX 6.1 (English), DTS ES 6.1 (English). Two-disc set, featuring Steelbook packaging, several commentaries and featurettes, including an HBO First-Look documentary.
Distributor: 20th Century Fox
Movie Release: December 22, 2000
DVD Release: June 5, 2007
MPAA Rating: PG-13
Running Time: 2 hrs 23 mins
Current Price: Check Price / Purchase
- Great storyline
- Spectacular atmospheric scenes
- Intense situations
- Realistic dialogue
- Over two-hours of extra features, commentaries, and documentaries
- Dolby EX 6.1
- Realistic survival situations
- DTS ES 6.1
- Lucasfilm THX OPT MODE for easy calibration of your audio and video electronic components
- Audio commentary by Robert Zemeckis and the crew is a nice addition
Cast Away has multiple intertwined story threads, which is to be expected from Robert Zemeckis. In this particular movie, he pulls it off rather well. There are very subtle hints at certain points in the movie, and they aren't repeated to make sure you "get it". Cast Away is a film which makes you think about your own humanity, and whether you would have chosen the paths Chuck Noland did. Would you risk your life to sail off an island, only to have a chance at someone noticing you? Would you stay on the island, making the best of the situation, being free from any previous constraints?
- Be aware of your volume level when you switch to another movie--this movie requires the volume level to be higher than most movies
There are some really valuable moments in Cast Away, which might be overlooked for the action scenes and the island adventures. However, there are some dialogue gems to be found as well. When Chuck Noland talks with his coworker and discovers his wife has a fatal disease, we get a sense Chuck is rather distant from his interaction with coworkers, but yet dedicated to the job and the success of making sure the job is complete.
If you have a fairly good-sized widescreen television, the 1.85:1 Anamorphic film looks great. When Chuck Noland makes it to the highest point on the island, looking over the cliff, the scene looked inspiring and majestic.
HIGHLY RECOMMENDED PLUS
Being alone on an island is not the only angle of Cast Away. Initially, we see Tom Hanks' character being unable to express emotions and having difficulty expressing himself, but towards the end of his ordeal, we observe him expressing his need for "Wilson" as they are separated forever. This changes Mr. Noland, and gives him a new perspective on his life.
Cast Away is one of those movies where there is a group of resentment, not because of the movie itself, but the more you investigate how the movie was made, the more you come to understand the amount of computer generated effects were used, the inconsistencies, and how unreal the environment would be in real life. There will always be technical inconsistencies, and if we listen to the audio commentary with Robert Zemeckis, we learn just how problematic shooting this film was. Zemeckis and his talented team managed to create a movie which would be almost impossible to create only a short period before it was made.
A note about the lack of music during the movie. Can you hear any music during the movie? This was done by choice which makes the viewing experience much more personal. If more music was added during Chuck Noland's experiences, it would have distanced the viewer from the movie. Cast Away is a rare movie, which is almost a "silent movie" of the 21st Century, because the only sounds you hear, are those created from the scenes.
Another reason why Cast Away is still popular and repeatedly viewed, is the way Zemeckis created the perspective of you, the viewer, being a part of what Chuck Noland is a part of, and empathizing with Chuck Noland as he experiences critical points in the film. This is certainly not an easy task. Because you need to be extremely focused as a director, on the message of the film. As most of us know these days, there are many movies made which lose the viewer about 1/3 of the way through and by the time the movie is done, you feel cheated. Cast Away is just the opposite. It keeps you entertained throughout the entire two and a half hours.
- The Dolby EX and DTS ES soundtracks sounded wonderful. However, I noticed the volume needed to be turned WAY UP to get the most benefit. It seems to me the volume was mixed rather low. I compared the volume to a number of movies and they all were irritatingly loud, so it's definitely the Cast Away soundtrack. But the soundtrack itself is exceptional. Separation was full and dynamic, and with a widescreen television, I felt like I was right alongside Tom Hanks on an island.
- The first chapter of Cast Away reveals a lot of compression artifacts because of the tan and brown gradients. However, as I've stated before, this depends on the television size you're watching this on, and on my 50" plasma, I did notice the artifacts. But good news! After the first chapter, the film does a superb job of the video presentation. Interestingly, it's not until Chapter 28, when we see the artifacts once again, but this is because of the more extreme contrast of light and dark areas (cue up at around 2:00:00 into the movie and which begins the scene where Helen Hunt brings Tom Hanks into the garage...).
- There is a huge collection of extras on the second disc. Over two-hours of featurettes and documentaries. The Charlie Rose interview with Tom Hanks is a valuable resource for information. The audio commentary by Robert Zemeckis & crew also gives a more robust insight into the making of the movie.