Cast Away Redux

Discussion in 'Movies' started by Les Samuel, Jan 6, 2004.

  1. Les Samuel

    Les Samuel Stunt Coordinator

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    I believe the first TV broadcast of Cast Away was on ABC last night. While I personally thought the film was just ok and did not merit the long running time I do like the last half hour to forty five minutes. I like his re-adjusting to society, I find it amusing. I think it's amusing though because of the acting of Tom Hanks. In fact he's probably why the movie in general did well. Often here though we always wonder if another actor was in the place of another actor in a film how would that film fare with the public. I wonder what caliber of actor could have pulled this off. My vote would go to Jeff Bridges although he would not have the sexy money appeal of Hanks at the Box Office. He would have done a wonderful job. Who do you think could pull off Hanks character?
     
  2. Rich Malloy

    Rich Malloy Producer

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    I really, really liked this movie all the way through Hank's character's late-night reunion with Helen Hunt's character... after that fine scene, just so many ladles of worthless hooey. Making the protagonist express in words the lessons learned is never an especially good idea, IMO, and particularly when all contradictions, complications and emotional complexities are ejected and the whole damn enterprise is reduced to so much Hallmark schmaltz ("you keep on going 'cause you never know what the tide will bring in" blah blah). It's almost as tired and hamhanded as using an actual crossroads as a metaphor for, um, a crossroads. Sigh. It was so good up to the point. Nearly Antonioni-esque.

    (But the poor narrative choices of the denouement don't quite ruin it for me. I still think it's a good flick.)
     
  3. DaveGR

    DaveGR Stunt Coordinator

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    I seen it before of course,but I think thats the first time in like 10 years ive watched a film on regular tv. its quite painful to watch being hacked apart by commercials.
     
  4. Jason_Els

    Jason_Els Screenwriter

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    And that is so very much the problem. No way on Earth (yes, I capitalize Earth), that Castaway should be shown on TV. It just ruins the experience. A major part of what makes this film work are the jarring changes in the tempo of Hanks's life. The pre-island sequences show us a very busy man leading a very busy life but not one impossible or so unfamiliar to us. The island scenes (which I believe are actually too short), give us Hanks living at a natural, transcendental pace. As the earlier film revs-up our psychological pace, the central part slows it down. Post-island, Hanks finds he doesn't fit in with the world he left behind but the pace of the island life stays with him. He becomes the calm in the maelstrom.

    I find the island scenes remarkably peaceful to watch; almost hypnotic in their effect. By the end of those scenes I feel placid and serene. Certainly that's the intent of the director. We're to identify with Hanks from the beginning to end so that when he returns to society we feel as uncomfortable as he does. Castaway is a treatise on transcendentalism for the post-modern age. It makes us question what we value in our lives and how quality of life deteriorates as life is accelerated beyond our ability to have time for what is truly important.

    The "island effect", so crucial to appreciating this film, is impossible to achieve if the film is broken into arbitrary sequences punctuated with whiz-bang, buy-it-now, new-and-improved TV commercials. With commercials thrown in the viewer is distracted, never able to empathize with Hanks enough to experience what he is because too often the viewer is broken away from the film. Rather than make the island scenes tranquil and introspective, the ads make them dull and lifeless.

    I also go so far as to state that a good home theater is the best venue for the film-- unless you have an entire theater to yourself. Castaway focuses on one man's internal relationship with his life and the choices he makes with it. It's really not about his romance with Hunt though that serves as a motivating factor for him during the island scenes. The movie addresses us as individuals, isolating us in the process so that when Hanks returns to the world off-island we feel the same discomfort he does. Viewing Castaway by one's self reinforces that sense, by physically isolating us from the outside world. Immersion becomes easier and more effective. In a home theater the violent scenes become shocking and the peaceful scenes become relaxing. A large widescreen better expresses the vast expanses of space we see in the film and that is very necessary. Castaway is a film that relies heavily on the widescreen experience to complete the immersion process.

    I'm so sorry you had to see it for the first time on TV. I suggest that you rent the DVD (must have digital sound to let this film bloom around you) and watch it again if you have a widescreen display and a digital surround setup. If you still don't like it after that then hey, you tried. But Castaway really is a wonderful movie with a timely message. Give it another try and see if your feelings don't change.
     
  5. Mikel_Cooperman

    Mikel_Cooperman Producer

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    I am surprised that real movie fans would even watch movies on Television.
    It ruins up the whole experience.

    I didnt care for the movie myself. What was the message? You cant come home again?
    Not a horrible movie but I would never see it again.
     
  6. Matt Stone

    Matt Stone Lead Actor

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    I'm with Rich all the way. The messages that the film tries to convey are overused and done in too conventional a manor. It's pain-by-numbers film-making, IMO.

    That being said, Zemeckis was able to maintain a damn good environment when Hanks was stuck on the island. Not a horrible film, just too bland for my taste.
     
  7. Les Samuel

    Les Samuel Stunt Coordinator

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    Jason_els


    I feel that statement was directed towards me. I rented Castaway on DVD when it first came out and unfortunately it just fell very flat for me, it was boring indeed. I was speaking to a friend who saw it in the theater and he mentioned the numerous amount of folks sleeping. This movie is a tough sell during the island scenes because you're watching him interacting with.................himself. Again, the movie did well because of Hanks, however I think Jeff Bridges would have been able to pull off the same performance but not the same Box Office money if he were the star.
     
  8. JonZ

    JonZ Lead Actor

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    My only gripe with Castaway was the quick transition back to society. Hes rescued and on the plane heading home.

    I would have liked to see his reaction to be handed a pair of shoes, or a toothbrush etc after being without for so long.
     
  9. Chris Atkins

    Chris Atkins Producer

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  10. Jonathan Perregaux

    Jonathan Perregaux Screenwriter

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    I totally agree with Jason. Television ALWAYS ruins movies.
     
  11. Holadem

    Holadem Lead Actor

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    [snip random OT rambling]
    There was such a scene, beautiful in it's subtlety. His ex lit a candle, or perhaps a stove with a match or a lighter. His expression was a mix amusement and perhaps sadness.

    Anymore would have made the movie even worse, and turned it into you standard predictable "man gets back to western civilization with new perspective" kinda crap.

    Same reason I find myself unable to really enjoy Back to the Future anymore: The shock and reactions from finding oneself in another time, just like getting back to civilization, have been done to death since. Marty's constant surprise at everything that's different, followed by a knowing (wink wink) remark got old fast this time around.

    Also, even after such a long absence, getting back to the technicalities of the life you were born into is much easier than you think. The real challenge, as war veterans know, is gettng back psychologically.

    --
    H
     
  12. Dave_Brown

    Dave_Brown Supporting Actor

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    Maybe I'm off base, but I thought the question was who else could have played the lead role, not did you or didn't you enjoy the film as a whole? [​IMG]
     
  13. MattBu

    MattBu Stunt Coordinator

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    Poor Les, his thread has been completely hijacked.

    I dont think Jeff Bridges could have touched this role. He's not vulnerable enough. I think that Harrison Ford would have been very interesting in this role.
     
  14. Les Samuel

    Les Samuel Stunt Coordinator

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    Thank you Matt and Dave [​IMG]

    As for Harrison, he's has the sexy box office appeal. I guess he could do it as well. What about William H Macy? He has NO SEXY box office appeal
    [​IMG]
     
  15. BrianMagog

    BrianMagog Stunt Coordinator

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    Kevin Spacey would have been interesting in that role. Maybe George Clooney could've pulled it off?
     
  16. Les Samuel

    Les Samuel Stunt Coordinator

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    Kevin Spacey is an excellent choice. Can't get enough of that odd movie K-Pax. [​IMG]

    You are joking about Clooney right?
     
  17. David Fisher

    David Fisher Stunt Coordinator

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    I watched the TV broadcast with a couple friends, because it's a great movie to sit and laugh at. It's definitely a movie that deserves OAR.


    Here's the question that I like to ask about the movie...

    Would today's mainstream movie audience even care about this movie unless it featured a star like Hanks or Crowe?

    The movie isn't bad, but it's like eating a $50 hamburger. Sure it's high-quality, sure you can extract some type of statements about life from the experience. But at the end of the day, you could've eaten the same hamburger (or shot the same film) at 1/5 of the price.
     
  18. Alex Spindler

    Alex Spindler Producer

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    Who I could see successful in the role: Denzel Washington. He's, in my eyes at least, managed to provide a real common man feel that seems to reach everyone. He's also someone I could see handling the desert scenes as well as Hanks did without a costar.

    That or Kate Winslet. [​IMG]
     
  19. Dennis Pagoulatos

    Dennis Pagoulatos Supporting Actor

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    After seeing Solaris, I believe Clooney could have pulled it off. Not nearly as well as Hanks, but he would have done a great job. I think Harrison Ford would have been my second choice for the role after Hanks though...

    -Dennis
     

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