has an average rating of 7.3 on IMDb
1080p in AVC MPEG-4 on a 50gb disc
DTS-HD 5.1 Master Audio
include a Trivia Track but are slim
– 143 minutes
Overall Verdict – Highly Recommended
— Review written by: Brendan Surpless
The Movie Itself is Directed by Robert Zemeckis (most known for another film starring Tom Hanks in 1994′s Forrest Gump). Chuck (Tom Hanks) is a Fedex employee who, on Christmas Eve, is called in to transport a package overseas. Saying goodbye to his finance (Helen Hunt), someone who has wanted marriage for quite sometime, Chuck boards the plane promising that he’ll see his love very soon. Naturally the unthinkable happens. Halfway during the flight, the plane runs into a large amount of turbulence, thus causing the plane to come to a crashing halt (in the ocean of course). Stranded on an island with no survivors but himself, Chuck must now struggle to accept life in a state of being alone in a film that, for the most part, is engaging solely because of the powerhouse performance by Hanks.
Casting an actor like Tom Hanks here where the camera is solely on him for well over an hour would be quite the daring prospect with any other star. But what Hanks does so well is not only learn how to act in the roles he has chosen, but rather he actually becomes the character of the film. Losing well over 20 pounds for this role, Hanks is quite absorbing in this role showcasing intense emotion as he begins to wonder how he’ll be able to survive. Playing off the idea of an attempt to adapt to his surroundings, how exactly Chuck uses and learns to live with this island he’s stranded on, is made all that more important due to the acting of Hanks. Hanks just feels like he actually lived on a stranded island for one month just to learn the dynamics of the role.
A film like Castaway succeeds not only because of the excellent by Hanks, but also because the story is quite interesting. The thought of being trapped on an island as a film might seem odd at first, but the methods used by Hanks and Zemeckis are similar to what made their other collaboration Forrest Gump so great. Just as we did with the life of Forrest Gump, we become involved and intwined in Chuck not wanting him to give up and succumb to the island and being alone. It’s quite amazing to think that Hollywood is so confident with Hanks that they would leave him on camera for a majority of the film (they’re trying this with Will Smith in I Am Legend as well). No wonder that Hanks is such a bankable actor. While some of points (like the ending) didn’t quite click with me (I felt the ending was too simple and sudden), Castaway is still an absorbing effort.
Video Quality on this release is 1080p in AVC MPEG-4 on a BD-50 (50 gigabyte Dual-Layered Blu-ray Disc). Colors were crisp and birhgt, but not in the manner that they ever became smeared or blurred. Darker sequences also looked quite intense. I personally loved the shots where Chuck was in his “cave home”. Take a look around and see all the little details that were never seen before. What a transfer here folks! Considering that a majority of the film takes place on an island with lush, beautiful scenery (take a look at the scene where Chuck is at the top of the island), I expected nothing but perfection here, which is exactly what I got! “5 Star Rating” all the way here, FOX.
Audio Quality on this release is in DTS HD 5.1 Master Audio @1.5Mbps. The latest version of the film on DVD had both a DTS ES and Dolby Digital EX 5.1 (technically really 6.1) audio presentation. However regardless the lack of anything over 5.1 surround, this does seem to honestly offer a big improvement over those with the DTS HD 5.1 Master Audio and it’s lossless type of audio presentation. The scene where the plane crashes sounds so phenomenal it’s easily one of the scariest audio mixes out there, for that scene alone. It personally had me on the edge of my seat and I’ve seen this film many times. The new sound mix here just grabbed me more than on past DVD releases.
- Audio Commentary with Crew and director Robert Zemeckis: Serving more as a commentary for all you technical junkies out there, all the participants provided us with a ton of information ranging from shooting locales to technical aspects (cameras and sound). Worth a listen if you’re more interested in the physical aspects of how a film is shot and completed.
- Trivia Track: Exclusive to this Blu-Ray edition of the film, we’re given another one of Fox’s Trivia Tracks. While not as good as some of their recent efforts, I still appreciate that the folks at Fox are at least trying to include some type of exclusive extras.
- Trailers: Here we get the following trailers presented in HD. Castaway, Men of Honor, A Night at the Museum, Devil Wears Prada and Kingdom of Heaven.