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Cast Away
Academy Award® Nominee
A man who is isolated on an island after a plane crash is forced to transform himself in order to survive both physically and emotionally.

Starring Tom Hanks, Helen Hunt

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Reviews Summary

Please Note: Reader Reviews are submitted by the readers of The BigScreen Cinema Guide and represent their own personal opinions regarding this movie, and do not represent the views of The BigScreen Cinema Guide, or any of its associated entities.

Dec 23, 2000
Like the Titanic, you already know most of what this movie is about. Tom Hanks, crash landing, years on a deserted island, etc....

But like the Titanic, it's the details that fill out the story that makes this a movie that you must see.

Tom Hanks, dedicated FexEd employee on a flight over the Ocean in 1995, crash lands and washes up on the shore of a deserted island hundreds of miles from where anyone would be looking for him.

This is a tale of his love for his girlfriend (Helen Hunt) and how that love affects him while stranded for 4 long years.

Robert Zemeckis and Tom Hanks team up again (Forrest Gump) for what I believe is an Oscar caliber performance.

Copyright 2000 - Ron Higgins

No unauthorized publication or distribution without the consent of Ron Higgins.
[--- Good ---]by  
Dec 24, 2000
Cast Away was a pretty good film. The acting, and camera work was great. The story, even though interesting, lagged in many places. Just pay attention to the music in the end, and you'll know what the director is trying to say. ;)
Dec 25, 2000
The action and special effects are great and worth watching. The only drawback to the movie was the slow and uninteresting start.
[--- See Now! ---]by  
Dec 28, 2000
Excellent movie. I can't understand how "Mansa" could say it lagged in many places. Howevever, I do agree that it had a slow start, but it was only setting the stage for a really great movie.
[--- See Now! ---]by  
Dec 30, 2000
Great movie! I had the sense that I was watching an actual event. It is nicely divided into three segments - before island, on island and after island. The first establishes the nature and life of the main character. The second (and longest) removes him from that life and watches his struggle to survive. No extraneous melodrama, no ponderous music, just one man very alone coping with the physical and emotinal basics of existance. The final segment returns him to the world, a changed man returning to a changed world.

Great plot, great character development, intelligently executed and, as a bonus, the crash scene perspective and special effects were excellent.
[--- See Now! ---]by  
Dec 31, 2000
Tom Hanks deserves an award for his acting in this movie. It was a very good movie.
[--- See Now! ---]by  
Jan 1, 2001
Wow. What else is there to say. Tom Hanks gives a shining performance, made especially difficult by the fact that for most of the movie, he has nothing but a volleyball to talk to. Also, there is no music for the entire time Tom is on the island.

The movie generates some humor in many parts, but also some sequences that made the audience I was in gasp in horror and fright. Oh yeah, and the scenery is pretty good, too.

Beware of previews, however. Some have made this movie out to be an action-packed rollercoaster ride. Don't buy it. Most of this movie is an emotional, character-driven piece of art. Go see it, enjoy it, and be sure to tell all your friends how it ends :)
[--- Good ---]by  
Jan 2, 2001
In the theater one-character dramas in which an actir portrays some historical character are opportunities for an actor's tour-de-force to come through. In Cast Away, 75 minutes of the film is spent with Tom Hanks' character Chuck Nolan who attempts to survive a plane crash. This is a very lengthy part of the film and one wonders if all of it were necessary. There are no cheap emotional shots in this film. The epilogue takes care of that.

And the movie is not an adventure. In fact there is surprising littl emotional content in the film. The separation of Nolan from his friend Wilson is traumatic for Nolan, but the emotional effect on the viewer is almost nil. The viewer remains rooted to reality if even if Nolan isn't. In choosing this film, I did not see others that would have provided more entertainment value. But this may be a film to come back simply for those 75 minutes.
[--- Good ---]by  
Jan 4, 2001
Robert Zemeckis sticks with the slow methodical camera style he used heavily in Contact and to a smaller degree Forest Gump. This movie is a slow mover--and not all too exciting. It's more of a thinking type movie.

It's not a movie about feeling good--but how a man changes through various lifetime disapointments and challenges. This movie was lacking in some areas, but, still worth watching.
Jan 4, 2001
Put Tom Hanks on an island, season lightly with a few set pieces, and give him a reason for living. After two hours, if Robert Zemeckis has done everything right, you have an Oscar-worthy performance.

I've enjoyed previous movies done by this pair immensely. Forrest Gump was a great story, and showed what could be done by combining their talents. Likewise, Contact and Back to the Future showed that Zemeckis has what it takes to make enjoyable movies. Tom Hanks is almost a sure thing when it comes to good movies.

These facts made me think that Cast Away was going to be a great movie. It was good, but it wasn't great.

Hanks should be commended for capturing the viewer's attention with his solo performance for a length of time that exceeds many movies. He deserves a Best Actor nomination on this alone. In fact, the island scenes are so good, I could have seen more of them.

It's no great secret that he is rescued, since that's in every promo for the movie. It's at this point where an effective movie goes from great to good.

While I can't find particular fault with anything that happens after he returns home, I left the theater dissatisfied with what I saw. Perhaps it was the inbalance between the time spent wrapping up that final act compared to the rest of the movie. You spend so much time involved with this guy and hoping that he gets rescued, and then when he does, everything is done and over with so quickly, you feel a little cheated by the experience.

Maybe it will take a second viewing to fully appreciate the work as a whole, and I would be willing to see it again, even at full-price admission. If you like Tom Hanks and Robert Zemeckis, check any high expectations at the door and enjoy this film.

Best of the year it's not, but considering what a pitiful year it was for movie releases, it does rank up there and is well worth the price of admission.
[--- Good ---]by  
Jan 4, 2001
The movie was very good and should be seen in a movie theater. But what's up with the ending?! I felt kinda cheated!
[--- See Now! ---]by  
Jan 7, 2001
This movie was very good. There was definitely more to it than it showed in the previews, or than I expected. There turned out to be sorta a love story at the end-but I'll let you figure that out yourself.

Definitely a good movie to see-Tom Hanks does a great job!
[--- Good ---]by  
Jan 12, 2001
The visual effects were great! Very realistic. Unless you have a big screen with theatre system, this is a must see at the theatre. Tom Hanks, as usual was top notch.

The only part I think that could of been done different was the ending. More on the outcome, for closure. Too much left in the air.
[--- Good ---]by  
Jan 19, 2001
For me, a lot of this movie was really intense. From the plane crash on to where Tom Hanks is on the deserted island, I was enthralled.

Watching him survive on the island was fascinating. And when he made himself a friend I thought it was some great acting, especially later in the movie.

It's hard to explain but I really enjoyed the movie. The ending was kind of blah, but as a whole it was great!!
[--- Good ---]by  
Jan 19, 2001
good, but predictable. You will not be disappointed.
[--- Wait for Rental ---]by  
Jan 19, 2001
I'm sorry but this movie (including the "surprise" ending) left me cold. Tom Hanks did a good job on his character but Helen Hunt did her normal wooden portrayal.

The special effects were just a bit too much for me as they didn't really show what was happening. I was shifting about quite a bit at the length of this movie too. It just was not worth the price of admission.
[--- Good ---]by  
Feb 3, 2001
I didn't think this movie was as great as everybody makes it out to be, but I would say that it was a good movie and definitely worth seeing. I am a big fan of Tom Hanks and usually any movie he is in is at least interesting to watch.
[--- Good ---]by  
Feb 9, 2001
This was a pretty good movie. The special effects were stunning, and I agree that Tom Hanks did an excellent job talking to himself and a volleyball.

It included some action and some funny parts and some just plain regular parts. It is, however a little boring in some places and they leave a LOT of things hanging at the end.

All in all, it was fun watching Tom Hanks get stranded on a deserted island and puncture himself several times. Go see this movie at a theatre.
[--- Wait for Rental ---]by  
Feb 10, 2001
Watching 'Cast Away' is like watching two and a half hours of south pacific scenery footage with only Tom Hanks's marvelous performance to remind me that I was viewing a piece of narrative entertainment. Hanks's acting is brilliant which is possibly the only credible part of the film. 'Cast Away' reunites director Robert Zemeckis (Back To The Future, What Lies Beneath) and actor Tom Hanks (Philadelphia, Saving Private Ryan) in their second collaboration since the classic 'Forrest Gump' (1994).

After a quick view into Chuck Noland (Hanks)'s everyday life as a Federal Express manager obsessed with time management and Elvis Presley, we see Chuck biding farewell to his fiancee Kelly Frears, played by Helen Hunt (Twister, As Good As It Gets) by the FedEx plane on Christmas Eve, promising he will return before New Year. The plane then crashes and Chuck conveniently inflates a raft and drifts overnight to a tropical island. Holding fast to the watch with Kelly's photo in it as the constant reminder of home, Chuck begins his four years' isolation with only a volleyball as his companion. Chuck eventually escapes the island and returns home to find life has moved on without him.

In some of the scenes of this movie, I was struck by the feeling of 'paying to see a feature length commercial' on a big screen because the running hours of 'Cast Away' do not reflect its simplistic plot. The story could be told in a 45 second television commercial spot, or moreover, in its trailer. We are unable to escape the FedEx logo or the image that everyone in the company is in this a big happy, caring family. In view that Noland's desperate situation was a result of his employment, it is hard to imagine anyone in his shoes would still uphold the ethics of FedEx. But Chuck soon reacts as he should when he decides to open the washed up parcels to aid his survival. Subconscious advertising may be unavoidable in film today, but the FedEx signage and Chuck's Wilson volleyball, crudely named 'Wilson', make corporate branding a major issue in this movie. This blatant advertising is in bad taste and not a positive contribution to what should have been a solid film, despite its weak narrative.

The castaway on the island is clearly the only worthwhile section of the film and deserves a special mention. Noland's struggle to adapt to island life is colourfully documented, evolving from an accident-prone urban victim to a fully fledge 'Survivor' finalist. It is difficult to empathise with Noland in his early survival attempts because the images is of a comic rather than a tragic nature, in particular, the scene where Noland desperately tries to break the coconut. I can't help but think that Noland's misfortunes could have been prevented if he had watched key episodes of MacGyver as in-flight entertainment! Hanks's admirable performance, however, is what really makes this film and his relationship with Wilson is by far the most thoughtful aspect of the film. Although the inanimate Wilson is non-interactive, Hanks manages to breathe life into the volleyball as a character in the film and deliver the only dialogue in what might have been a silent picture. This being the perfect opportunity for Hanks to show off his impressive acting skills and I was deeply moved by his performance in Wilson's poignant exiting scene.

The island is portrayed as just another location in the film and the setting is too picturesque to show any character. The element which I think is left unexplored in the film, is the notion of the island being Noland's jailer. Given the fact that Wilson has his own character, it was a shame to see the island appearing no more alive than a Club Med video.

In conclusion, 'Cast Away' is disappointing due to its inability to surprise, but with the terrific performance by Hanks, it does become a well watchable picture. Despite criticisms that Hanks always chooses to play 'Joe Public' characters put in extraordinary situations, he clearly is uncompromising and excels at what he does best. This is more than I can say for Zemeckis, who, at least for now, should also stick to what he does best: directing lighter entertainment.
Feb 15, 2001
Tom Hanks' new movie is no big deal, but his acting is. He plays a Castaway who was on an island for four year due to a plance crash. Seeing Hanks talking to himself is almost as fun as watching the movie.
Apr 4, 2001
Brill performance by Tom Hanks and some excellent directing and camera work.

Along with many other people, I left the theatre a little disappointed with the ending. However, after contemplating it later I couldn’t decide what would have made it any better. I guess some questions are better off not answered.

Other than that I couldn’t really find fault with this movie (Not that I was looking for any) and would recommend it to anyone who likes a good story and enjoys the acting talents of Tom Hanks.

7/10 glenk@foxit.com.au (Feel free to contact me)

Unauthorized publication or distribution without the consent of Glen Kimberley is actively encouraged. (As long as you let me know) I will not track you down, kill your family, rape your dog, burn your house down or bang a supermarket trolley into your car door.
[--- See Now! ---]by  
May 24, 2001
I thought the movie was great. Its probably out to rent already, but you've got to see it. very humorous and full of twists.
[--- Good ---]by  
Jun 18, 2001
Acting and effects are what made this a goodie, it was also really interesting. The only thing that I thought could have been way better was the ending! It was long and left you hanging at the end....it made you not know how to feel about it.

I liked how when he was trapped on the island they put some comedy in it which made it better I think. I also liked the effects when the plane crashed. It's a good movie to see but just keep in mind not to expect a big happy ending...
[--- See Now! ---]by  
Jun 18, 2001
Great Movie! One of those that is best on the big screen. This movie is for people who like movies that make them think. Definatly not for people who's intrests lie along the lines of Die Hard and nothing else. Tom Hanks is at his best!

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