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4 of 4 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Life's a beach
Chuck Noland is a man who lives by the clock. Working for Federal Express he accounts for every second of his life and lives for efficiency. His Xmas 1995 dinner is interrupted when work calls him away to supervise a flight to Malaysia. He promises his girlfriend Kelly that he'll be right back. He doesn't realize he's making a promise he can't keep.

While...
Published on 24 July 2012 by Inspector Gadget

versus
14 of 16 people found the following review helpful
1.0 out of 5 stars Bluray Review
This is a very barebones transfer to Bluray and extremely disappointing. I did a back to back comparison with the DVD and the image quality is not the improvement you'd expect from Bluray and doesn't seem to be of the quality discussed in reviews of the US Bluray release.

There are no special features, not even the director`s commentary audio track, which the...
Published on 8 Aug 2012 by smcdermot


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4 of 4 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Life's a beach, 24 July 2012
By 
Inspector Gadget "Go Go Gadget Reviews" (On the trail of Doctor Claw) - See all my reviews
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This review is from: Cast Away [Blu-ray] [Region Free] (Blu-ray)
Chuck Noland is a man who lives by the clock. Working for Federal Express he accounts for every second of his life and lives for efficiency. His Xmas 1995 dinner is interrupted when work calls him away to supervise a flight to Malaysia. He promises his girlfriend Kelly that he'll be right back. He doesn't realize he's making a promise he can't keep.

While passing over the Pacific his plane enters a storm and ditches into the ocean, very violently. Chuck is the only survivor of the flight and manages to escape into the water with a life raft, but loses the radio transmitter in the process. When morning breaks he discovers that he has washed-up on an uninhabited island. Rescue does not come, and Chuck must figure out how to survive while torturing himself with memories of Kelly.

In an annoying cop-out, the film then jumps to Four Years Later where Chuck has reverted to a cave-man appearance. He's not a happy man, but his outlook changes when a steel section of a port-a-john washes up on the beach. Using a analemma he has etched onto a cave wall, Chuck is STILL keeping track of time and plans an escape from the island using the sheet of steel as a sail for his rickety raft to freedom.

Cast Away (not Castaway) has lovely sound design and photography (why Zemeckis chose to shoot it in 1.85:1 is rather odd though, as many shots seem uncomfortably tight), and really immerses you in the threatening silence of the island. It actually reminds me a lot of the video game Myst in that respect. But the film is book-ended by boredom. The only part I ever really watch is the middle section on the island. Skipping over Chuck's 4-year transformation from mailman to caveman was bad enough, but once he eventually makes his escape from the island the movie skips over the 4-weeks of his reintroduction to society, which is yet another cop-out.

Zemeckis attempts far too much ambiguity with Cast Away. It's usually a sign of a writer/director attempting to cover-up failings with mystery, but Cast Away is a better script than that and it comes across as just being pretentious. The middle section of the film is intriguing. The non-island scenes haven't got a leg to stand on.

The Blu Ray comes to the UK market courtesy of Dreamworks. Formally a Universal release on DVD in the UK, Cast Away was released by Fox in the American market on DVD in 2001 and BD way back in 2007. The UK release features a different transfer, framed at 1.78:1, in 1080p with DTS HD-MA sound. All of the extras featured on the US release have been thrown out, giving this $430 million film a cheap home video presentation. The US release is region-locked, so UK fans of the film are stuck with this. Don't pay more than a budget price.
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47 of 51 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars A LESSON IN LONELINESS, 4 Nov 2001
This is such a good film, thought provoking, realistic and un-glamourised. Its the kind of film that will play on your mind and become even better as you relive it in your mind. Its an eye opener to how many distractions we have in our lives, and what it could be like if they were all taken away in a blink of an eye. The movie asks this question, is it a blessing or a curse to survive such a crash?
The whole scene of the plane crashing is terrifyingly real. You'll be holding your breath for a while.... The style used to make the island part of the movie is very effective at making the viewer uncomfortable. No music score whatsoever until very near the end which is very noticeable when it happens, like a breath of fresh air. You can feel though out the film, conscious decisions to not use tools like voice-overs to fill the silence. This I feel, keeps the viewer more at a distance from Chuck's feelings, but ultimately drags the viewer deeper into the miserable situation he is in, making the whole film more interactive in a way. Which is probably why the film has not been to everyone's tastes.
Castaway has left me with a similar feeling as when I saw new version of 'The Thin Red Line' Although almost in opposite ways, its very spiritual, like staring death in the face. Keep breathing, remind yourself who you used to be. Chuck has a picture of his girl. That old light at the end of the cave. And let's not forget Wilson, the best friend guy could have. :-)
The DVD is worth every penny. Quality is what you'd expect. There is also a massive interview with Tom Hanks, which he not only talks about Castaway, but Saving Private Ryan, Band of Brothers, and That thing you do. Ever since my all time favourite movie "Joe versus the volcano" Tom has just got a bigger and bigger star, and this film shows us why.
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24 of 26 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars **********BLU-RAY REVIEW*********, 4 July 2012
By 
The usual suspect (2nd aisle on the right, top shelf) - See all my reviews
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This review is from: Cast Away [Blu-ray] [Region Free] (Blu-ray)
I've only ever seen Castaway in dribs and drabs. Somehow I would always end up watching 20 mins here and there when it was on TV. I saw it was about to come out on BD so I thought I'd finally force myself to watch it as a whole.
I wouldn't say it's one of my favourite movies of all time but it's still a good watch. A great story portrayed thoroughly by the director and Tom Hanks.

The HD quality is very good. Obviously, I don't have the DVD but I can say 100% that this will be worth the upgrade. The audio is very good also and adds plenty of atmosphere to many of the scenes.

Languages and subs are well catered for:

Languages: French DD5.1; German DD5.1; Italian DD5.1; Japanese DD5.1; Portuguese DD5.1; Spanish (Castillian) DD5.1; Spanish (Latin) DD5.1;

Subs: English, English (SDH), Danish, Dutch, Finnish, French, German, Italian, Japanese, Norwegian, Portuguese, Spanish and Swedish.

Runtime: 144mins
No extras - not even a free volleyball!
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Entertaining, involving, contemplative, 17 Jan 2003
I have been impressed by Tom Hanks acting. His onscreen persona somehow projects into your life for a short while, as you see him act out the role he plays. As an actor, he involves his audience - which is hard onscreen as there is no direct audience contact.
The concept of the trails and learning experiences that being "Castaway" would bring has always had an appeal to me. Intuition? Initiative? Survival? Health? Psychology? Sanity? Hope? Expectation? Despair? Recovery? Frustration? Those left behind? Re-integration with society?
All these issues are touched upon in this film with excellent screen play and directorship. The island he is on could almost be paradise, if it were not a prison. It is not just a prison due to it's location, but also the geogrpahical characteristics of the Island make it very hard to escape. It is fascinating to see how he deals with and overcomes these frustrations and challenges. Look out for "Wilson", is he "real" or not? I felt a sense of loss when he floated away... (you will have to watch it to find out.)
You don't normally expect special effects in a film of this type, but the plane crash is probably the most harrowing you will ever see. Also great thought went into the camera shots, some very technical manouveres carried out.
The other side of the coin is the effect on the people who presumed he was dead. What about the problems when that person is finally discovered... if you lost someone this way, you still loved them at the point they went. So you could rebuild your life, but that love you had is still "alive", in effect that relationship might not have had "closure". What happens if that person comes back? The portrayal in this film provokes contemplation on how we as individuals would react by how we feel about what we see onscreen.
Finally, the ending of the film leaves room for hope. There is a thread that run's throughout the film that I didn't appreciate until the end, but it is key to the survival of this individual.
I saw the trailers for this film, and wanted to view it in the cinema, but it just passed by for one reason or another. Then I heard reports that some people found it boring, so it passed me by on DVD as well, until one day circumstance meant I did finally watch it. I think it is a long film, I say "I think" because it went very quickly for me, which is a good indication I enjoyed watching it.
Certainly I would recommend you watch this film, if not own it on DVD. I don't think it is the type of film I would watch very often, but will always be in memory. If you think you will get good usage out of this DVD or are a Tom Hanks fan, then certainly buy it, watch it, show it to your mates etc. If not, try and borrow it off someone else.
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15 of 17 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars An undoubted masterpiece, 24 Feb 2003
Tom Hanks never gives a bad performance. And Robert Zemeckis very rarely produces a bad film. Let that be the premise to my review of an undoubted masterpiece of film.
Cast Away is a bold, brave and risky film, yet Tom Hanks and director Robert Zemeckis were nicely rewarded at the box office (if not the Oscars!) in the latter stages of 2000, and the early parts of 2001, and indeed right throughout its cinematic release.
On DVD, the Cast Away package is enhanced by the decent features on the bonus disc: there are lots of documentaries and featurettes, plus an informative audio commentary from Zemeckis and his production team.
The film itself is fantastic. It starts slowly and ends slowly, but I suppose most viewers will be most eager to catch the middle section of the movie, where Chuck (Hanks) and Wilson are stranded on the island - for a full 4 years!
For much of the movie, think 'silence'. It is basically a silent movie for an hour or so, for being stranded on a desert island is obviously a very lonely experience. It will become clear very quickly to Chuck that he has no immediate means of food, water, shelter, nor fire. His hopes of survival are constantly tempered by bouts of depression, exhaustion and a series of physical injuries. He resigns himself to the fact that he will probably die on that island. Very touching.
How on earth Tom Hanks didn't win his 3rd Oscar for that awesome performance I'll never know! It's a performance that will be very difficult to supersede. Hanks even had to repeat his infamous 'Philadelphia' weight-loss to make his food-deprived stay on the island all the more realistic.
In my opinion, this film has wonderful scenery (filmed on a remote island in the Pacific Ocean), very good cinematography, a decent score from Alan Silvestri (although we hear no music for the middle section of the film), but it really is Tom Hanks as Fed-Ex worker, Chuck Nolan, who steals the show with an exceptional demonstration of why he is considered the best actor in the world today.
At the Oscars in 2001, Gladiator swept the board, leaving Cast Away with virtually nothing. Sometimes there is just no justice at awards ceremonies.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Cast Away, 18 Aug 2009
By 
Spider Monkey (UK) - See all my reviews
(HALL OF FAME REVIEWER)    (TOP 500 REVIEWER)   
It's surprising just how good `Cast Away' is. I mean, who would've thought a film about a man alone on a desert island would be so riveting? Maybe that is testament to Tom Hanks who turns out a star performance here. The location and scenery are also amazing and the direction shows it off to excellent effect. This film follows Chuck Noland (Hanks) as he survives a plane crash and has to live on a deserted island in the middle of the pacific ocean for four years. You live his loneliness and trials as he struggles to survive and learn the skill necessary to get by. In fact the scene when he finally learns to make fire, and his reaction to it, never fails to raise a smile and you truly feel his jubilation. The middle section of the film on the island is very quiet, as previously noted in other reviews, but it doesn't drag and only heightens the isolation Noland must feel. Hanks keeps you engrossed by his every nuance and movement he makes. It's only when Noland begins to unwrap FedEx parcels (from the plane crash) and finds a Wilson Volley ball, that he paints a face onto, does he start talking again. It actually become quite touching to see him interact with an inanimate object and must be one of the most unique on-screen relationships ever! The ending is a little `Hollywood' and cheesy, but not excessively so and I'll admit to a lump in my throat briefly towards the end. This is a simple premise, excellently executed and although I've seen this film many times it never gets boring or any less gripping. Well worth a watch.

Feel free to check out my blog which can be found on my profile page.
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3 of 3 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Superb. Hanks is a one man show !, 31 Jan 2002
By 
A lot of hype about this film, and I really thought I wouldn't enjoy it. I was wrong. The crash scene at the start was amazing. And what follows is unlike any film I've ever seen. Not many actors could pull it off. A truely enjoyable story that I could easily watch again and again.
BUY IT !!!
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22 of 25 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Another masterpiece from the team of Zemeckis and Hanks!, 20 Aug 2001
I waited over a year to see Forrest Gump and as soon as I heard that the same director and actor were working on another film together I had to see it. As in Forrest Gump, Castaway is both gripping and moving. The script itself is incredibly crafted and Hanks' acting is once again second to none. This film is an absolute must see for any true movie lover!
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7 of 8 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars A palpable, incredibly emotional experience, 16 April 2003
By 
Daniel Jolley "darkgenius" (Shelby, North Carolina USA) - See all my reviews
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Cast Away is just an amazing cinematic achievement. You don't just watch this movie; you really have to devote an entire night to it; it's just that powerful and moving. At almost two and a half hours in length, it is uncommonly long in and of itself (but it does not feel long to the enthralled viewer); figure in all of the incredible special features included in the 2-disc special edition, and you are looking at a whole night's worth of rich entertainment. Cast Away has just about everything you could want in a movie: romance, adventure, action, heartbreak, suspense, mystery, nature at its most ugly and most beautiful, you name it; most importantly, it manages, after several cathartic moments, to leave one with a sense of hope and a strange kind of joy. Tom Hanks takes us on an emotional roller coaster ride, and he deserves a tremendous amount of credit for making this film work as perfectly as it does. There really isn't a lot of dialogue during the time on the island; long drawn-out moments focus on Hanks' expression, body language, and emotion. When he finds a friend to talk to in Wilson, he makes that character really come alive and become a very real character in the film.
Don't think that this is just another Robinson Crusoe remake. Chuck Noland (Hanks) is an obsessive, deeply committed system engineer for FedEx. Everything for him must be planned and executed according to the limits of time, and so he is truly a duck out of water when his plane goes down in the middle of the Pacific Ocean and leaves him stranded all alone on a deserted island. Time is meaningless for him here, but he has a picture of the woman he loves with him to help him go on living when it would be so easy to just give up. He learns to survive on his own in the tropical environment, but not without much pain and battles with hopelessness. When the situation threatens to overwhelm him, the character of Wilson comes along. Wilson is a volleyball, but he has a face framed with Chuck's own blood and becomes the personification of the world of people he longs to return to. After four years on the island, Wilson is a true companion whom Chuck talks to, argues with, but dearly loves as a very real friend. The escape attempt from the island is very powerful, containing within itself more important truths and examples of the human spirit than I can name. It is also where the first tears begin to well up in my eyes. You might expect this type of film to end with a long-overdue rescue and return to a happy life, but in Cast Away, the real human drama is just getting started at this point. Chuck's return home to his friends and the woman he loves is so much more than bittersweet; having seemingly lost everyone and everything he cared for four years earlier, his miraculous return becomes another tale of great loss. This movie is a real tear-jerker; just when you think it's time to rejoice, you are met with more poignant heartbreak. Hope never dies, though, and the writers do a tremendous job of subtly presenting that heart-warming message.
I love Wilson; he is such a great character that, volleyball or not, I think he should have been nominated for a best supporting actor award. Amazingly, he really slipped into the movie by accident, yet much of this movie's power is conveyed through him. The inclusion of a featurette on the life and death of Wilson on the second DVD is a testament to his importance to this story. This second DVD is filled with an incredible selection of bonus features: features on the making of the film, its special effects, and a look at the beautiful and bonafide island paradise location of the filming; there is an interview of Tom Hanks by Charlie Rose, a survivalist documentary, and a movie-length commentary as well. You can't ask more from a movie than Cast Away gives you, and you can't ask for more from a DVD than this two-disc special edition delivers.
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14 of 16 people found the following review helpful
1.0 out of 5 stars Bluray Review, 8 Aug 2012
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This review is from: Cast Away [Blu-ray] [Region Free] (Blu-ray)
This is a very barebones transfer to Bluray and extremely disappointing. I did a back to back comparison with the DVD and the image quality is not the improvement you'd expect from Bluray and doesn't seem to be of the quality discussed in reviews of the US Bluray release.

There are no special features, not even the director`s commentary audio track, which the Bluray surely has the space for. I'd recommend either sticking with the original DVD release or getting the US Bluray as it has so much more included.
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Cast Away [Blu-ray] [Region Free]
Cast Away [Blu-ray] [Region Free] by Robert Zemeckis (Blu-ray - 2012)
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