TV Party Tonight! #72

TV Party Tonight! #72

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Monday, 15 July 2019
COLUMN

Forest Gump
25
th Anniversary 4k/Blu-ray combo

Boy, Forest Gump hit me like a ton of bricks. Even though we’re celebrating (well, I’m sure SOMEONE is celebrating) its 25th anniversary, I only saw it for the first time like 10 years ago. And that’s because the movie was so inescapable, I felt like I already knew it. I had seen clips, scenes had been described to me and in conversations and the movie had been quoted so often that I felt like I had seen it. Also, we’re still not sure what to make of Tom Hanks playing someone of Forest Gump’s mental challenges (if that’s even an issue). They mocked it in Tropic Thunder, and again I knew what they were referencing even though I had never seen Forest Gump. Then I saw the movie, and I loved it. But imagine being put in a position of wanting to discuss a movie that’s been discussed to death already for 10 years. Maybe this new 25th edition of the movie will bring me some closure?

I’m not going to all out say that Forest Gump is a magical movie, but it’s ALMOST a magical movie. Or there’s some magic somewhere. Or we’re not being shown all the cards here. Do I need to summarize this movie at this point? A “simple” man leads a full rich life and experiences some of the major events of the past century and makes the world a better place. But really, Forrest Gump is as much about history as it is about tenacity. Rewatching it so many years later, I realize this movie plays out in segments, almost like episodes in a series. My wife, who doesn’t care to rewatch the movie, tuned into certain segments that she remembers enjoying (like the Reflecting Pool, the shrimp boating, and the wedding: spoiler alert!). She stands by her decision that this isn’t a good movie, but recognizes that there are some great parts in it. I, of course, think it’s a great movie all the way, and am more interested in dichotomy between Forest and Jenny. Forest changed and even defined history, while Jenny got caught up in it. Forest was able to overcome his childhood challenges, while Jenny had a much harder time. It’s Forest who is Jenny’s moral compass and saves her life just about every time they reunite. It’s truly an epic story told in terms everyone can understand.

It only makes sense that a movie in the AFI 100 list would get the 4K treatment. The video and audio transfers are great and the discs come loaded with special features like commentary tracks, production design, locations, makeup, and special effects (which, shockingly, have NOT aged so well). It’s a great package for what is arguably an important movie.

Forest Gump is an American classic that needs to be reckoned with for its sheer tenacity. It might not be for everyone but it certainly belongs in the collection of a movie fan.

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