The story is told in a series of flashbacks as Forrest Gump sits chatting with various strangers while waiting for a bus on a sidewalk bench. Born with an IQ in the mid-70s and a spine with "more curves than a country road," the Savannah-born Gump ultimately overcomes the impossible with a fleetness of foot that catapults him to success as an All-American football player, Vietnam war hero, and shrimping businessman. The simple-minded Forrest captures our hearts with simple messages that ring with complex inspiration. Forrest Gump is a metaphor for a lot of what is constant and decent and good about America. Based on the novel by Winston Groom. Winner of six Academy Awards, including Best Picture. (Gary Reber)
Special features on Disc One include commentary with Robert Zemeckis, Steve Starkey, and Rick Carter; another commentary track with Wendy Finerman; and an interactive "Musical Signposts To History," where Rock Critic Ben Fong-Torres guides you through the songs that serve as a chronological set design for the life and times of Forrest Gump. New special features on Disc Two include the following featurettes: Greenbow Diary (HD 25:59), The Art Of Screenplay Adaptation (HD 26:58), Getting Past Impossible—Forrest Gump And The Visual Effects Revolution (HD 27:04), Little Forrest (HD 14:48), and An Evening With Forrest Gump (HD 55:08). Archival special features on Disc Two include the following featurettes The Make-Up Of Forrest Gump (SD 08:03); Through The Ears Of Forrest Gump—Sound Design (SD 02:29), which features interview material with Sound Designer Randy Thom and includes short segments on The Bike, Crowds, Vietnam, Rain, and Ping Pong; and Building The World Of Gump—Production Design (SD 07:18). Seeing Is Believing—The Visual Effects Of Forrest Gump offers segments that include Run Forrest, Run; Martin Luther King, Jr.; George Wallace; Vietnam; Ping Pong With George Bush; Lyndon B. Johnson; Enhancing Reality; Dick Cavett And John Lennon; and Richard Nixon. There are also three screen tests with Michael Conner Humphreys and Hanna R. Hall, two screen tests with Robin Wright, and two screen tests with Haley Joel Osment; and trailers.
As with the previously reviewed anamorphically enhanced 2.40:1 DVD in Issue 53, the 2.35:1 picture exhibits pleasing quality throughout. Images are sharp and nicely detailed, though, finer details are still smeared. The focus is nearly always in the near-field, leaving the background defocused and soft. Colors are well balanced, with accurately rendered fleshtones and deep blacks. Contrast and shadow delineation exhibit excellent balance. Pervious artifacts are absent, including the hard edges, due to unnecessary edge enhancement. There are a few scenes in which its presence is not noticed. Overall, the imagery is improved, with better color fidelity and resolution. (Gary Reber)
As with the Dolby® Digital 5.1-channel discrete soundtrack previously reviewed in Issue 53, the sound design has been deliberately styled to be conservative in terms of dimensional scope. Even during the Vietnam War sequence, the soundstage is substantially balanced toward the screen. The sense of spaciousness is noticeable at times, with gentle spread throughout the listening space. The majority of the soundtrack is dialogue- and music-driven, and Alan Silvestri's music score has been nicely recorded, with an amply expansive spread across the screen and occasional spread into the surrounds. The slightly dated recording is apparent, mostly with the dialogue. As might be expected, deep bass becomes powerful and intense during poignant moments, with extension to below 25 Hz, and although the .1 LFE is active, most of the low-frequency energy comes from the screen channels. This is a soundtrack of a relatively quiescent nature that seems to effectively serve its storytelling objective but is underwhelming nonetheless. (Gary Reber/Perry Sun)