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Forrest Gump


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Initial post: Sep 7, 2012 10:46:33 AM PDT
Yeah, you've all seen it. Don't deny it. But I think it's time we've all had a nice, friendly group discussion about the film.

So I'd like to start things off by asking what you guys think of it. Personally, I love the film, but I haven't seen it in quite some time, so I'd have to watch the film again before posting any kind of review.

Of course, it's certainly not Robert Zemeckis' best work, and it's certainly not the best of 1994 (that honor I'd give to Pulp Fiction or Hoop Dreams), but it's not a bad film. I think the performances are really good (everyone raves about Tom Hanks but neglects Gary Sinise which is sad) and the screenplay is filled with many memorable one liners, but the question stands: is it a sweet, inspiring, heart-warming drama or a manipulative offensive piece of shlock?

I'll leave the answers up to you all.

Posted on Sep 7, 2012 10:57:47 AM PDT
Kacee says:
Pastor,
I've never watched it.

In reply to an earlier post on Sep 7, 2012 11:56:15 AM PDT
K. Rowley says:
"Personally, I love the film,.."

Film was Ok, book(s) were better IMO..

Forrest Gump & Gump & Co.

Posted on Sep 7, 2012 1:05:49 PM PDT
D. Larson says:
Hate it.

Hate it worse every time I think about it.

I'm hating it a little worse even now, right this minute.

Posted on Sep 7, 2012 1:34:21 PM PDT
I haven't watched it in some considerable time.

But it's a good film. It's not Zelig, to be sure. It is a bit too sentimental for my taste. But Hanks gives a remarkable performance; it is not a witless script. Certainly for that year (and most others!) Pulp Fiction was a better film--as, on the whole, was Quiz Show. (Not Hoop Dreams--what can be more distasteful than watching the corrupting influence of corporate sport? Besides which--Smith's 26th Film Rule: There are no good basketball films. Football, yes; baseball, yes; hockey (surprisingly), yes; car racing, surfing, and perhaps a few other sports, yes; but not basketball.) But Forrest Gump is far from the least worthy recipient of Oscar's biggest smile.

In reply to an earlier post on Sep 7, 2012 1:39:57 PM PDT
WAS: I'd say football is more corrupting than basketball. But that's a personal opinion.

In reply to an earlier post on Sep 7, 2012 1:46:26 PM PDT
Pastor: I just rewatched the film a little while ago. I will admit that it does have its gooey moments, but those moments are easily counterbalanced by its satirical approach (which is similar to that of Zelig, but not the same thing; in fact, the satire of this film resonates even stronger than Woody Allen's efforts). A mixture of satirizing the civil rights movement while simultaneously giving us a pure, uncorrupt soul in which he is rewarded by his actions--and so are some of those he's come across. And Jenny can be considered the epitaph of Forrest's journey, and his mother the epitaph of his morality. And in the case of the latter, her one act of kindness to Forrest at the beginning of the film will ultimately come to save her soul--inspite of the consequences in which her actions in life tragically caused.

Not a favorite of 1994 either, or of Robert Zemeckis for that matter, but it's easily the top 5 of the year, if not the top 3. Definitely fits my definition of a genuinely great film. Too bad Zemeckis's career never came anywhere near the merits of this particular picture, or even the likes of Used Cars, Back to the Future, or Who Framed Roger Rabbit (all of which are better). I sure hope that, with his animation studio having shut down following the catastrophic box office performance that is Mars Needs Moms, Flight marks a return to form for the director.

Posted on Sep 7, 2012 3:50:55 PM PDT
I like the film, but felt it was overated at the time, this was the same summer "Speed", "Maverick", "Clear & Present Danger", "True Lies", & yes, "Pulp Fiction" came out, & all seem to be sidelined & ignored in the media because they focused to much attention on "Forrest Gump", however, I feel Gary Sinise was shafted too, but hey, it is still entertaining to watch, what gets me is how many women love this movie but yet these same women would never give a guy like him the time of day.

In reply to an earlier post on Sep 7, 2012 4:16:45 PM PDT
Last edited by the author on Sep 7, 2012 4:19:21 PM PDT
Hikari says:
Cap'n Dan is the only reason I would tune in again. Though I do get a kick out of the part where Forrest encounters "Bubba", a man even more impaired than he is and displays the patience of Job for enduring Bubba's one-track monologue where shrimp are concerned. Probably the only time in Forrest's life where he got to be the smarter guy.

I admire Mr. Hanks' work in it . .he demonstrated his versatility by offering a performance as different as his Oscar-winning turn the year previous in "Philadelphia" as could be imagined. I do think sentiment trumped good judgement among the Academy when it awarded Tom the 1994 Oscar for Forrest. I think his performance in Apollo 13 was more deserving.

Oh, and hey, look who turns up in support to Hanks AGAIN and gets shafted AGAIN--Gary Sinise! His Ken Mattingly-on-the-ground becomes the heart of the movie after the astronauts' survival depends on him. We lost a great American hero in Neil Armstrong recently--but Ken Mattingly is as much a hero, just not as sung. He never made it to the moon, but he saved three lives. It was truly Providential that the only person with the ability to understand what Lovell and his crew were dealing with and therefore save them was exposed to measles and grounded.

Of course, the one supporting turn in Apollo 13 that eclipses them all is Ed Harris as "Gene", the guy who wears a vest like it's a superhero cape.

Posted on Sep 7, 2012 10:59:29 PM PDT
Kacee says:
I think Tom's performance in Cast Away was terrific as well as Apollo 13. The latter is one of our most favourite films, ie hubby, daughter and me.

Posted on Sep 8, 2012 3:08:07 PM PDT
'Forrest Gump' is a wonderful, imaginative film and it featured what is, to date, one of the two best acting performances that Tom Hanks has ever given (along with 'Philadelphia').

In my opinion, Hanks comes across as a polished professional doing his job in 'Apollo 13', and while the film is good, it is not extraordinary. I thought 'Cast Away' was a stone cold bore from start to finish.

In reply to an earlier post on Sep 8, 2012 5:14:05 PM PDT
stevign says:
I don't see anything wrong with it. As a film it was fun escapism and the actors did a good job.

In reply to an earlier post on Sep 8, 2012 5:15:18 PM PDT
stevign says:
You're thinking too much D.

In reply to an earlier post on Sep 9, 2012 7:19:00 PM PDT
D. Larson says:
No, everyone else is thinking too little.

Box of chock-lits my ripe, firm, perfectly-cleft gluteal extremity. Gump is a cloying mass of indegestible pap, a festering pile of melodramatic cuteness, an affront to history. And that history stuff was cute about once. Once.

Gump heaps me, it tasks me. I see in Gump an outrageous strenth with malice sinewing it. Tis is the thing behind Gump I chiefly hate, the malignant thing that has plagued mankind since time began, the Gump that maws and mutilates our race, not killing us outright but leaving us to live on, with half and heart and half a lung!

. And Hanks? I might cite what Robert Downey Jr tells Ben Stiller in "Tropic Thunder": "Everybody knows you never go full retard!"

In reply to an earlier post on Sep 9, 2012 7:43:21 PM PDT
stevign says:
Perhaps you should concentrate more on Moby Grape than Moby Dick.

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=mJcvpLrmyJM

Posted on Sep 9, 2012 8:49:34 PM PDT
D. Robinson says:
I wouldn't say it's offensive, but it is manipulative and over praised. It gets more depressing every time I watch it.

Highlights are Gary Sinise and the music. Lowlights include the insistence on inserting Forrest into every major event of the Sixties, and Hanks Southern accent which makes him sound even dumber than he actually is.

In reply to an earlier post on Sep 9, 2012 10:13:11 PM PDT
Balok says:
@stevign:

> Perhaps you should concentrate more on Moby Grape than Moby Dick.

I would, if Matthew Katz would allow someone competent to put out remastered versions of Moby Grape's discography.

In reply to an earlier post on Sep 9, 2012 11:20:13 PM PDT
stevign says:
That would be nice.

Posted on Sep 10, 2012 2:25:57 PM PDT
Some people seem to hate the movie because of it's message to do the best you can with whatever opportunities come your way (rather than have the government hand it to you maybe?) I only accuse it of "piling on." Having Jenny become a cocaine snorting disco prostitute was over the top. I'm not sure Forrest should have been a football star, war hero, ping pong champion, AND fishing boat tycoon.

But worst of all were the parts where he jogged from coast to coast and invested in Apple corporation. Some movie executives or Tom Hanks himself should have lobbied to get those last few minutes removed from the final edit. They sort of broke the charm.

In reply to an earlier post on Sep 11, 2012 4:57:26 AM PDT
Balok says:
@mr. critic:

> Some people seem to hate the movie because of it's message to do the best you can with whatever
> opportunities come your way (rather than have the government hand it to you maybe?)

Some people seem to hate it because it seems to appeal mostly to the illiterate set. And others seem to hate it because the technique of inserting a fictional character into historical film clips had already been done much more cleverly in _Zelig_, and the premise of using a not-very-bright character being taken for a genius or guru had been used to much better satirical effect in _Being There_. I hated it for both reasons, not to mention the cynicism with which the film's makers treated the girlfriend-dies-of-AIDS subplot (i.e. they knew full well that most of the people to whom the movie was meant to appeal would not notice that it undermines the premise of the movie).

> But worst of all were the parts where he jogged from coast to coast

That was actually the only decent part of the movie -- it was used to show that everyone else was just as dumb as he was, if not dumber.

In reply to an earlier post on Sep 11, 2012 5:31:26 AM PDT
Last edited by the author on Sep 11, 2012 7:58:54 AM PDT
W.T. says:
To be honest, Tom Hanks' performance was not a difficult one to do. Forrest Gump is an easy character to play (as just about all of us have proven among friends at one point or another with a surprisingly accurate recreation). Gary Sinise has the one memorable, challenging role in the movie that deserved a nomination.

"Forrest Gump" is a deeper movie than it gets credit for. Yes, it's heart-warming and sentimental, but there's also a lot of counter-subversive commentary going on about who are the simpletons and who aren't in modern society. On a thematic level, the movie is a (mostly, but not always) gentle indictment of the way most people live their lives pursuing the path they think leads to happiness or success. Jenny is all of us being savaged by "the world" because in hubris we think "simple" and "stupid" are synonymous, leading us to have unnecessarily complicated lives filled with drama.

In reply to an earlier post on Sep 11, 2012 7:43:08 AM PDT
D. Larson says:
Thank you. A fellow Gump hater. An Antigumpite. Good to see someones's got the common sense to view Gump as being a shallow manipulative satire that thinks it's way cleverer than it is.

I don't mind manipultive, but Gump, as Peter Griffin so wittily observed, "insists on itself".

We can now go back to disagreeing about everything else.

In reply to an earlier post on Sep 11, 2012 8:13:02 AM PDT
Balok: The character of Forrest Gump never imitates anyone else nor is he ever mistaken for a genius. He simply finds a place on an historic football team due to his freakish speed, saves a few lives in Vietnam mostly because he is too stupid to understand the danger, then becomes ping pong champion (there goes the freakish speed again.)

The movie can be accepted on a very superficial level or it can be interpreted that throughout history, natural talents sometimes compensate for a lack of intelligence or wisdom. I didn't find the character of Jenny handled in a cynical way. People who used heroin, prostituted themselves, or had sex with club hopping swinging bisexuals in the early 1980's sometimes did die of AIDS. I think a viewer can be very intelligent and not be offended. It's just history.

In reply to an earlier post on Sep 11, 2012 8:25:56 AM PDT
Hikari says:
@D.
>>>Peter Griffin so wittily observed, "insists on itself".

Did he? I thought that was "The English Patient". Peter is quite the prolific, if repetitive, movie critic.

I wouldn't call myself a "Gump hater", per se. Cheerfully manipulative, and too much of it was made of it at awards time. Hated the Jenny character; loved Cap'n Dan, who was about the only honestly dark adult character in the enterprise, ie, realistic. Love Gary Sinise anyway, no matter what he does. He went on to found a charitable organization named after Cap'n Dan, so some good came out of his involvement in that movie, even if he didn't win a Supporting Actor Oscar as he should have. Did seem like a not particularly imaginative Zelig copy, and Mr. Hanks, along with Dustin Hoffman prove that 'going full retard' isn't terribly difficult to do, if you're willing to play the clown and have no regard for your dignity. A subtle, nuanced performance is much more difficult to pull off.
----
As for "The English Patient", I will continue to defiantly like it, no matter what Peter Griffin, Elaine Venes & the other haters say. It has flaws, principally Kristen Scott Thomas's snotty Katharine who was impossible to like a jot, but otherwise, I think it's the best the desert has looked on film since "Lawrence of Arabia". Regardless of what one thinks of the two ostensible leads, Juliette Binoche, Willem Dafoe, Naveen Andrews, Jurgen Prochnow and Kevin Whately are all sublime.

In reply to an earlier post on Sep 11, 2012 11:45:26 AM PDT
D. Larson says:
Actually, H, it's "The Godfather". The family is discussing Best Movies, and Peter shocks them by saying about "The Godfather" that he did not care for it. When everyone protests that it's the perfect movie, Peter states his objection: It insists on itself.

While I'd have a deuce of a time putting into words exactly what that means, I sort of get what he's on about. It is a tad self-important. But unlike Gump, Godfather has a lot to be important about.

"English"? I might have said before, and will bore you with again, that it's OK. It's neither a work of genius, nor an abominable excresence on the body of cinema. Because Larry David wrote Elaine as dissing it, generations following have dissed it in turn, despite 90% of them never having see it. You'd really have to go out of your way to see "English"; it's not exactly a basic cable staple. And I don't recall any art house revivals. Like the Road Warrior, it lives now only in my memories.
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Discussion in:  Movie forum
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Initial post:  Sep 7, 2012
Latest post:  Mar 27, 2013

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