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on June 24, 2001
If you were expecting another Robinson Crusoe then this movie is not for you. This movie deals with the human aspect of being removed from everything you know and having to deal with not having the familiar around to keep you comfortable. If you are looking for exciting fights with the natives and constructing amazing devices from coconut shells and bamboo then you may want to go watch Robinson Crusoe or Gilligans Island. This was, I believe, probably a very difficult movie to make and probably even harder to sell the idea to a studio. Like I said earlier this is not Robinson Crusoe and you aren't given a lot of action to watch but what you are given is a look at just how man deals with what he's dealt. How many times have you found yourself having a conversation with ,well yourself, when no one else is around? Now take away all that you have and all your family and friends and, for that matter everything you have, how would you deal with it? A volleyball might just become a good friend. I don't think this movie would ever have seen the light of day if it hadn't been brought forward by such box office powerhouses as Hanks and Zemeckis and I don't know anyone else who could have pulled it off better than Hanks. So I recommend that you watch this movie but don't watch it for a survivalist action adventure flick watch it for what it is, a statement on the human condition and just how one man copes with what life throws his way.
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on October 12, 2001
What other actor could we spend nearly 3hrs with and never once feel the need to glance at our watch or worry that we're getting to the end of our popcorn? This is not a movie that tricks us into thinking we got our money's worth. No musclebound hero wages a one man war against injustice. Music will not swell at opportune moments coaxing our tear ducts into over-drive. We don't have to take sides and nobody gets naked. Sounds dull, huh? Well, if your interests tend toward pretty/handsome, fast, loud, manipulative and titillating, don't bother seeing this movie. On the other hand, if you prefer substance over flash then this is the movie you'll want to see. In my opinion, Tom Hanks gives a performance that, over time, will come to be known as one of the single most magnificent acting accomplishments ever. It's hard to explain, but somehow Hanks allows us to re-visit and vicariously share the feeling of the first time. His physical and emotional transformation is nothing short of miraculous. You'll want to pay particular attention to his initial reactions to sounds the island makes. I laughed and cried at how he is repeatedly tricked into thinking he is getting the hang of his predicament. Also of interest is his characters' realization that he really doesn't know what he knows. But it's a good thing because it leaves him open to possibilities and ultimate triumph.The rest of the movie and the other performances are incidental. There is just enough of it to make us understand why his not being in that world matters.Don't watch this movie with any expectaions. Erase the blackboard; let Tom Hanks fill it in!
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on August 8, 2008
Disc One: CAST AWAY
Letterboxed - Anamorphic - 1.85:1
Audio:
DTS 6.1 ES - English
Dolby Digital 6.1 EX - English
Dolby Surround - English
Dolby Surround - French

Additional Release Material:
Audio Commentary - 1. Robert Zemeckis - Director, Don Burgess - Director of Photography, Ken Ralston - Visual Effects Supervisor, Carey Villegas - Co-Visual Effects Supervisor, Randy Thom - Sound Designer
Interactive Features:
Scene Access
Interactive Menus

Disc Two: Bonus Features
Featurettes - 1. "The Making of CAST AWAY"
2. "S.T.O.P.: Surviving as a Castaway"
3. "The Island"
4. "Wilson: The Life & Death of a Hollywood Extra"

Special Effects Vignettes with Audio Commentary
Charlie Rose Interview with Tom Hanks
Trailers - 1. 2 Original Theatrical Trailers
2. 10 TV Spots
Interactive Features:
Scene Access
Interactive Menus
Text/ Photo Galleries:
Stills Gallery
Storyboard Galleries
Concepual Art
Illustrations
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on December 30, 2007
I own movies in both HD DVD and Blu-Ray formats so I've seen very many HD movies and am well familiar with the formats capabilities.

Being one of my favorite movies, Cast Away's release in Hi-Def got me very excited. I'm a big fan of the movie and give the movie itself 5 stars but am only reviewing the quality of this release here. The opening sequence where the FedEx truck drives up and picks up the package for delivery to Russia looks only slightly better than the standard DVD. When the truck opens up and the Russia scene starts it looks a lot better, but still more like 720p quality. Through the rest of the movie the HD quality stays about the same, decent but not great. It's certainly a step up from DVD but there are a few scenes that seem to be no better than my 2 disc DVD edition. The best looking scenes are the closeup scenes where the HD quality becomes more apparent but it still doesn't look anywhere near as good as other HD titles I own. Some of the best looking HD titles I own are: The Matrix collection, 2001, The Fifth Element, Apollo 13, Fear and Loathing in Las Vegas, Pirates of the Caribbean, and number of others.

While watching the movie and examining the quality I came to the thought that it might not be the transfer that's the issue but possibly it was the director of photography's filming. It looks like the DP tried hard to keep a balance of focus between the actor and the background thereby not getting a truly sharp focus. I could be wrong but this is what it looked like. The 5.1 surround sound was fantastic. I didn't notice any difference between my DVD and Blu-ray versions, though I do admit I really didn't examine the audio.

Overall the movie was nice but I was let down as I was expecting better, especially from a movie with such a great environment. If you own the 2 disc DVD keep in mind the 2 disc set has all those extras and this hi-def release does not. So you may want to hold onto your set. Don't go getting Cast Away expecting the same HD quality you see in all those top notch movies that people use to showcase the format. It still looks great and certainly better than DVD just not leaps and bounds better for most of the scenes. Again, I can't say for sure but it may simply have been the way it was filmed.

Viewed on:
Sony PS3 (latest update)
Samsung LN-T5265F 52" LCD 1080P (calibrated)
Toshiba 5.1 surround sound system
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on June 20, 2008
I own the original DVD version of the film and love it; it's one of my very favorite movies. So I was pretty excited to see it out on Blu-ray and picked it up. I knew that the island scenes would be amazing with the higher resolution...

I was wrong.

I'm seeing this in other movies, too. Some films, like the Pirates of the Carribean series are so sharp they makes your eyes hurt. Cast Away looked so much like the regular DVD version I though I'd bought the old format version.

I'm convinced there must be a cheap fast way and an expensive right way to issue a blu-ray film, and I'm convinced the studio took the easy way out on this one. Since I've got both version it's easy to compare, and sad to say, the blu-ray isn't worth the money. It's an awesome story, but I expected more from the blu-ray experience. Other movies do.
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on June 6, 2001
I went to see Cast Away with some trepidation. Although I enjoy Tom Hanks' acting, I wasn't at all sure that he could carry the movie given what I'd heard about it, and his promotional appearances and interviews didn't quell my misgivings. But I'm pleased to report that I was totally won over. Quite simply, this is Hollywood at its best. Although it dips rather expectedly into a bit of the sentimentality of Forest Gump in the final few minutes, all involved can be forgiven on the strength of the rest of the film. That Hanks lost the Oscar for best actor to Russell Crowe of Gladiator is only proof that the Oscars are devoid of whatever artistic integrity they might once have had. Hanks, in his role as Chuck Noland, is superb in this film. I was surprised that critics and reviewers haven't made more of what I saw to be the real core of the film--the drama of Noland's return. While watching Noland (the name can't be coincidental!) surviving through ingenuity on his island was fascinating, the story's emotional heart is played out upon his return, when he finds out he's been cast away by his fiancee. The depiction of the deeply conflicted couple trapped in a horrible situation between love and responsibility was completely convincing. Most highly recommended.
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on September 8, 2003
If you watch Cast Away simply as a movie then you will lose a powerful opportunity for introspection.
The power of this movie lies in its applicability to everyone. To Hanks' character the island is far more than a hunk of rock in the South Pacific. It represents a huge hurdle for him to clear and in clearing it his coming to grips with his life and who he is.
Regardless of who you are there are times in life that relegate us to times and situations of frustrating solitude, our own islands, if you will. We, like Hanks' character, run ourselves crazy trying to work things out ourselves only to discover, as he did, "that we have power over nothing." We also learn that if we keep on breathing and living "tomorrow the sun will rise and who knows what the tide could bring."
Expertly acted by Tom Hanks, Cast Away invites us to put ourselves in his shoes and imagine what we would do.
Yes, the script is predictable but it goes well beyond the story on the screen. Watch it and apply it to your own islands, whatever they may be, and this movie will be one that you find yourself watching again and again.
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on January 12, 2005
Tom Hanks and Robert Zemeckis teams again and deliver a nice film. It is not as good as "Forrest Gump" but is a very viewable movie.

The story recreates in some measure the experiences of Robinson Crusoe transposed to our times. A plane crash launches suddenly a FedEx executive on a desert island and leaves him all by himself. His options are very few and the abrupt jump from modern civilization to a stone age's environment is a harsh experience to be sure.
Chuck Noland, as his famous predecessor, stubbornly fights to survive in that precarious background. Worst of all the debris he is able to collect, are by far, less useful than Robinson's. Still he sticks to life.
The last part of the motion picture faces the watcher with a complex and heartbreaking dilemma.

It is not an easy task to keep the audience's attention with great part of the action limited to this barren surroundings. Nevertheless Tom Hanks gives one of his best performances, including a physical transformation, which took him more than a year to accomplish.

All in all it is a very commendable film for different audiences. Enjoy!
Reviewed by Max Yofre.
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on September 9, 2006
About 90% of the film you only see one actor, one person on the screen: no one else expect that one man...
But even though he is the only one, it gives the movie such a powerfull feeling and emotion created by that man and the place he is on, that those 90% of the film is the thing that is keeping you watching till the very end of the credits.

Tom Hanks gives the performace of a Life time. He is the perfect choice to play the stranded man who lives on a totally deserted island for a long time. His acting is what keeps the movie alive for sure. If they had put an actor in this leading role that couldn't act, the movie wouldn't have been that maqnificent at all.

The power of the film lies in the lonelyness. Tom Hanks' character is totally alone on the island as he tries to survive. The brilliance also lies in the sounds of the island. It was a terrific move of the filmmakers to have no music at all when the main character is on the island. You will only hear the sea, the wind and the sounds the character makes. It gives a sense of pure realism and it gives the feeling that you are right there with him.
But when there is music, Alan Silvestri has composed a brilliant theme that brings the emotion up in you.
And if you have 5.1 surround sound like I have, the sounds and the music will be an even greater experience.

It looked like a impossible task: making a film that would actually work where there is only one character on the screen, where there is no music, and where the location is but one place. But believe me: they have pulled it off for sure. My congrats to the filmmakers!

So get ready for an experience of a lifetime. If you like emotional films that keep you interested till the very end, then I deeply reccomend you this motion film! Get those tissues ready, and be pulled into the world of "Cast Away", a film you won't forget and leaves an everlasting memory in your mind.
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on December 22, 2000
Tom Hanks is simply amazing. Director Robert Zemeckis(Forrest Gump) and Hanks have combined again and succeeded again.
The film opens with Hanks, a Federal Express employee, in Russia drilling the Fed Ex employees there about better time management. His job for Fed Ex apparently takes him all over the place and leaves little time for his girlfriend played by Helen Hunt. Another assignment takes him off and while trying to avoid a storm the plane crashes. This is where the movie really gets going. Hanks lands on an island and finds himself completely alone. This turns out to be quite a compelling character study as he tackles the most basic of needs while trying to keep hope. Four years pass and Hanks is still there and he finally decides to leave. Unfortunatly as the previews showed us he makes it and then...
Since Zemeckis decided to let the audience know ahead of time that Hanks is saved the only real suspense is whether or not he will get Hunt back. This does not really matter because the film is good one way or another. Hanks is brilliant. Very few actors could tackle a project like this and still keep it interesting and engaging, especially for as long as he does in this film. The island is definatly the best part of this movie and the rest is not as compelling. However it is a fantastic character study and one of the best films of the year.
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