WSR Detailed LaserDisc Review

Forrest Gump

Reviewed In Issue 13 Of Widescreen Review® Stars:
Tom Hamks, Robin Wright, Gary Sinise, Mykelti Williamson, Sally Field.

WSR Review Scores
Picture Rating: 5
Sound Rating: 3.5
Download WSR Review
Reference Systems
Critics' Composite Score:
Internet Links

The “making of” companion piece is entertaining and shows how the special effects wizards created the amazing visual illusions that help to endear repeated viewings. The emphasis is on character portrayal and the blue screen special effects techniques used for the illusion of Forrest’s encounters with luminaries and the blue socks that allowed Gary Senese’s Lt. Dan scenes as an amputee to be more real and believable. You’ll also discover how the ping-pong ball and feather were computer generated images and how those scenes and others were filmed.

DVD General Information
(Studio/Distributor): Paramount Home Video
(Catalog Number): LV32583-2WS
(MPAA Rating): PG13
(Retail Price): $$49.98
(Running Time In Minutes): 142
(Color Type): Color
(Chaptered/Scene Access): Yes
(Closed Captioned): Yes
(Theatrical Release): 1994
(LD Release Date): 4/1/95
(THX® Digitally Mastered): Yes

Credits Information
(Director): Robert Zemeckis
(Screenplay/Written By): Eric Roth
(Story): NA
(Music): Alan Silvestri
(Director Of Photography):
(Production Designer): Rick Carter
(Visual Effects):
(Costume Designer):
(Editor): Arthur Schmidt
(Supervising Sound Editors):
(Re-Recording Mixers):
(Executive Producers): NA
(Co-Producers): Charles Newirth
(Producers): Wendy Finerman, Steve Tisch & Steve Starkey

DVD Picture Information
(Principal Photography):
(Theatrical Aspect Ratio): 2.35:1
(Measured LaserDisc Aspect Ratio): 2.28:1

DVD Sound Information
(DVD Soundtrack): Dolby Digital
(Theatrical Sound): DTS & Dolby Digital
(Theatrical Re-Issue Soundtrack):
(Remastered Dolby Digital):
(Remastered DTS Digital Surround):
(Additional Languages):

WSR Narrative Review
Story Synopsis:
The story is told in a series of flashbacks as Forrest 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 movie is dear, wonderfully entertaining and inspirational as Forrest captures our hearts with simple messages that ring true. Forrest Gump is a metaphor for a lot of what is constant, and decent and good about America.

LaserDisc Picture:
While the theatrical aspect ratio was 2.35:1 the LaserDisc has been recomposed at 2.28:1. The transfer was the result of high definition mastering and color correction on the Rank Cintel Mark III HD telecine. The HD master was then down-converted to D-1 and mastered for LaserDisc, each stage quality assured by THX® Laser Disc Program personnel. The picture is extremely sharp and de-tailed and color fidelity and contrast are excellent. Shadow detail and black resolution are exemplary with solid dark scenes that contain no distracting grain, noise or artifacts.

LaserDisc Soundtrack:
While the picture quality is outstanding, the soundtrack is disappointing. Gump’s reference to “... a box of chocolates—you never know what you’re going to get” aptly depicts the uneven and unexpected nature of the 5.1 soundtrack. Surround envelopment is virtually absent for about 90 percent of the movie. Don’t fault your new AC-3® processor or RF-equipped LaserDisc player when you don’t hear a sound out of the discrete stereo surrounds in the 5.1 mode. There are no surrounds—well... except for 30 seconds here and there or a minute or two there. What’s the point of the 5.1 palette if it isn’t used? Creative license in this case is dim-witted. Theatrically, I found the soundtrack wanting as well.
(Surround Bass Below 50Hz):
(Aggressive System Surround):
(Intense 25Hz Bass):
(Deep Bass Challenging):
(Aggressive 0.1 LFE):
(Holosonic Soundfield):
(Aggressive Split Surround):
(Center Back Surround Imaging):
(Directionalized Dialogue):
Superb Sound Effects Recording Quality:
Superb Music Score Recording Quality:
Superb Special Visual Effects Quality:
Superb Color Fidelity:
Superb Cinematography:
Reference LaserDisc:
Collector Edition: