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A view on Blu-ray by Gary W. Tooze

 

Forrest Gump 2-disc Sapphire Series [Blu-ray]

 

(Robert Zemeckis, 1994)

 

   
Also available in Chocolate Box Giftset  

 

Review by Gary Tooze

 

Production:

Theatrical: Paramount Pictures

Video: Paramount Home Video

 

Disc:

Region: FREE! (as verified by the Momitsu region FREE Blu-ray player)

Runtime: 2:22:09.395

Disc Size: 42,365,660,777 bytes

Feature Size: 36,673,142,784 bytes

Video Bitrate: 26.56 Mbps

Chapters: 19

Case: Standard Blu-ray case

Release date: November 3rd, 2009

 

Video:

Aspect ratio: 2.35:1

Resolution: 1080p / 23.976 fps

Video codec: MPEG-4 AVC Video

 

Audio:

DTS-HD Master Audio English 4094 kbps 5.1 / 48 kHz / 4094 kbps / 24-bit (DTS Core: 5.1 / 48 kHz / 1509 kbps / 24-bit)
Dolby Digital Audio French 640 kbps 5.1 / 48 kHz / 640 kbps
Dolby Digital Audio Spanish 640 kbps 5.1 / 48 kHz / 640 kbps
Dolby Digital Audio English 224 kbps 2.0 / 48 kHz / 224 kbps / Dolby Surround
Dolby Digital Audio English 224 kbps 2.0 / 48 kHz / 224 kbps / Dolby Surround

 

Subtitles:

English (SDH), English, French, Portuguese, Spanish, none

 

Extras:

• Commentary with Robert Zemeckis, Steve Starkey and Rick Carter
Commentary by Wendy Finerman

• Musical Signposts to History - Introduction by Ben Fong-Torres (3:54 in HD!) Music as "Chronological Set Design" for the Times of Forrest Gump  - when Treble clef appears click to activate

Disc 2

• Greenbow Diary (25:59 in HD!)
The Art of Screenplay Adaptation (26:57 in HD!)
Getting Past Impossible - Forrest Gump and The Visual Effects Revolution (27:04 in HD!)
Little Forrest (14:48 in HD!)
An Evening with Forrest Gump (55:08 in HD!)
Easter Eggs - Groom on Gump
Archival Special Features (Make-Up SD - 8:03, Sound SD 7:59, Production Design 7:18, Screen Tests etc.)

 

Bitrate:

 

 

Description: The title character leads viewers through an accidental travelogue of U.S. social history from the early 1960s through the present in this revisionist fable. Vietnam, desegregation, Watergate, and more are presented from the perspective of Tom Hanks's loveably slow-witted Forrest Gump as he finds himself embroiled in situations he can't quite comprehend. Hanks leads an excellent cast, featuring Robin Wright Penn as Jenny, Forrest's lifelong love; Gary Sinise as the irascible Lt. Dan, his Vietnam superior; Mykelti Williamson as Bubba, a shrimp- loving soldier; and Sally Fields as his devoted mother. Robert Zemeckis's emotional, heartwarming film garnered 13 Academy Award nominations and six wins, including Best Picture, Director, Actor--Tom Hanks, and Adapted Screenplay.

 

 

The Film:

I've never met anyone like Forrest Gump in a movie before, and for that matter I've never seen a movie quite like "Forrest Gump." Any attempt to describe him will risk making the movie seem more conventional than it is, but let me try. It's a comedy, I guess. Or maybe a drama. Or a dream.

The screenplay by Eric Roth has the complexity of modern fiction, not the formulas of modern movies. Its hero, played by Tom Hanks, is a thoroughly decent man with an IQ of 75, who manages between the 1950s and the 1980s to become involved in every major event in American history. And he survives them all with only honesty and niceness as his shields.

And yet this is not a heartwarming story about a mentally retarded man. That cubbyhole is much too small and limiting for Forrest Gump. The movie is more of a meditation on our times, as seen through the eyes of a man who lacks cynicism and takes things for exactly what they are. Watch him carefully and you will understand why some people are criticized for being "too clever by half." Forrest is clever by just exactly enough.

Excerpt from Roger Ebert at the Chicago Sun-Times located HERE

 

 


Image :    NOTE: The below Blu-ray captures were ripped directly from the Blu-ray disc.
 

Forrest Gump looks very good on Blu-ray in Paramount's Sapphire Series release. Detail is strong and grain is apparent in backgrounds. Most importantly I don't see heavy-handed use of digital manipulations - like DNR and I noted only minor edge-enhancement - plus there was an instance of chroma in Gump's coat. When I zoom in extensively the grain succumbs to some erratic, and suspicious, blockiness but this might only be an issue for those who project. I can't really pinpoint it. Overall it appears quite adept with a reasonably gloss-free 1080P rendering. Colors - notably red, greens and blues stand out well and look very bright and clean. The archival sequences still look eerily real with much heavier grain. On some Blu-rays we can lose the 'disbelief' factor when effects, and things like make-up, become very noticeable - but I didn't find this true for Forrest Gump on my 60" display. Skin tones aren't unnaturally warm and contrast exhibits healthy, rich black levels. There is some great scenery in the film and it can be quite breathtaking in motion. Forrest Gump has a lot of outdoor scenes and is very bright with few darker instances. This Blu-ray has a crisp, genuine feel with blemishes fully absent. I hope the screen captures give you a good idea of the appearance.

 

CLICK EACH BLU-RAY CAPTURE TO SEE ALL IMAGES IN FULL 1920X1080 RESOLUTION

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Audio :

The DTS-HD Master 5.1 track at 4094 kbps is rock solid. While predominantly dialogue heavy - when aggression does occur, as in the battle sequences or hurricane, the bass wakes up and your sub-woofer gets some exercise. Alan Silvestri's theme is gently repeated throughout the film - sounding as tight and crisp as I have ever heard. It's no 'demo' mix but as far as replicating the cinema experience I can't see how it could be much better. An over abundance of unnatural depth and range wouldn't suit the film's gentle demeanor. There are optional subtitles and my Momitsu has identified it as being a region FREE disc playable on Blu-ray machines worldwide.

 

 

Extras :

The two audio commentary tracks on the feature disc are duplicated from the last DVD edition. Robert Zemeckis, producer Steve Starkey and production designer Rick Carter were each recorded separately for theirs and director Zemeckis does most of the speaking. It is expectantly a bit scattered but still interesting. Producer Wendy Finerman does an excellent job dealing a lot with the move from script-to-screen. Also remaining from the last 2-disc DVD are the 7 screen tests with Michael Conner Humphreys and Hanna R. Hall (3) - Robin Wright (2) - and Haley Joel Osment (2) and some, now listed as 'archival', short featurettes on production, make-up, sound and visual effects - plus the trailers. This batch is relegated to the second dual-layered Blu-ray disc. While the films runs you can access the Musical Signposts to History with a 4-minute introduction by Ben Fong-Torres. Music as "Chronological Set Design" for the Times of Forrest Gump - when Treble clef appears click to activate the American pop and rock music from the film. The rest of the featurettes - all on disc 2 - are all in HD. Greenbow Diary is 26-minutes on the South Carolina locations of the shoots, The Art of Screenplay Adaptation runs 27-minutes, Getting Past Impossible - Forrest Gump and The Visual Effects Revolution is also 27-minutes and Little Forrest lasts 15. The most interesting for fans of the film will be the, almost hour long, 'Evening with Forrest Gump' where Tom Hanks, Gary Sinise, Robert Zemeckis and Eric Roth sit onstage and discuss the film with occasional questions posed by a University of Southern California student audience after a screening. It has some value and many might find it worth watching although it goes by quite quickly.

 

 

BOTTOM LINE:
It's so easy to be cynical these days. One doesn't have to appreciate this film for coyly revisiting modern American history in both newsworthy and cultural veins. In simplest terms it's really a sweet, amusing film with some very intelligent and cute referencing. Those who caustically snub their nose - should really learn to have some fun. In Forrest Gump Robert Zemeckis gives a clinic on thorough and detailed filmmaking perfection. This is another great Paramount Blu-ray. I don't know what the "Chocolate Giftset' package entails but I'm sure fans of the film will thoroughly enjoy this Blu-ray - so, yes, it has our full endorsement. 

Gary Tooze

October 24th, 2009

 

 

   
Also available in Chocolate Box Giftset  

 

About the Reviewer: Hello, fellow Beavers! I have been interested in film since I viewed a Chaplin festival on PBS when I was around 9 years old. I credit DVD with expanding my horizons to fill an almost ravenous desire to seek out new film experiences. I currently own approximately 9500 DVDs and have reviewed over 3500 myself. I appreciate my discussion Listserv for furthering my film education and inspiring me to continue running DVDBeaver. Plus a healthy thanks to those who donate and use our Amazon links.

Although I never wanted to become one of those guys who focused 'too much' on image and sound quality - I find HD is swiftly pushing me in that direction. So be it, but film will always be my first love and I list my favorites on the old YMdb site now accessible HERE.  

Gary's Home Theatre:

60-Inch Class (59.58” Diagonal) 1080p Pioneer KURO Plasma Flat Panel HDTV PDP6020-FD

Oppo Digital BDP-83 Universal Region FREE Blu-ray/SACD Player
Momitsu - BDP-899 Region FREE Blu-ray player
Marantz SA8001 Super Audio CD Player
Marantz SR7002 THX Select2 Surround Receiver
Tannoy DC6-T (fronts) + Energy (centre, rear, subwoofer) speakers (5.1)

APC AV 1.5 kVA H Type Power Conditioner 120V

Gary W. Tooze

 

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