Urine Couch Movie Club: Forrest Gump

1994 retarded man movie

Rating: 15/20

Plot: Terminally dumb guy Forrest Gump, habitually in the right historical place at the right historical time, bumbles his way through a few tumultuous decades of America. He meets presidents, becomes a war hero, starts a successful shrimp business, hooks up with the hot drug addict who just so happens to be his childhood sweetheart, and runs a lot. It's all mildly entertaining.

There are tons of things that I really like about this movie. I like the cynical look at the American landscape during the 60s-80s, and there are a lot of funny moments. Robert Zemeckis, when he's not busy giving innocent children terrifying nightmares with those creepy cartoons he's currently unleashing, is real good at creating that artificial movie magic. Most of the credit comes from the special effects wizardry of putting the titular retard in archival footage of presidents or removing Lt. Dan's legs. But the delicate floatings of a bookend feather, the too-clean Hollywoody Vietnam scenes, and the period details are also very well done. I always thought this meandered a little too much and seemed thematically or satirically uneven, but then I read the book which has Gump in outer space and shit which makes the film version seem simple and straightforward by comparison. Great performances from top to bottom. I never really thought Tom Hanks deserved that second Oscar for this performance, but he really does a good job at humanizing this character who could have easily been ruined by a Jim Carrey. I believe this is the first time I ever noticed Gary Sinese, and I liked the depth and arc of his character. This is bursting with music, undoubtedly an attempt to make crusty old hippies all nostalgic. Overall, it's a movie that I can like without really crossing the line into loving territories because it just goes too far too often, yanking at heartstrings like a demented harpist and stretching a character just a little too thin. My favorite part: when young Forrest is running and his leg braces break off. It would have been better if the technical geniuses responsible for giving Clark those rubbery legs in Superman would have done their thing. Pulp Fiction should have won the Best Picture, by the way.


Kairow said...

I always wondered what the letter Little Forest put on the grave said.

"Dear Mom,

Dad forgot how to make food again..."

cory said...

So let me get this straight...midget is a no go, but retard is OK? I want both.

Even if I wasn't outraged by maybe the Academy's worst moment, I still remain one of six people in America that doesn't really like this movie. The acting is fine (by the way, Sinese was in "Of Mice and Men" two years previously), but it all comes down to a borderline ridiculous concept and mainly the fact that Forrest is invulnerable. With the exception of the film's one great scene where he is emotionally vulnerable when concerned about whether his son is a retard (it feels wrong just writing that), I know Forrest is never going to be hurt, no matter what the danger. The lack of emotional investment just makes me irritated that this gimmicky film is so beloved, made a trillion bucks, and sprung catchphrases that took a decade to sort of go away. A 12.

Barry said...

Its Being There remade with a more athletic lead character. The movie is NOT about Forrest Gump, but about how the people around him are idiots, and how Gump is just moving through their lives. Its over the top, and so freaking cynical that for a movie that seems to be all about fun, its joyless.

Hanks is terrific in this. Think about it....do you actually think of that being Tom Hanks at any point in the movie? Does any part of Tom Hanks very well known personality show through at any moment? It really is great acting, because he becomes the character. And yes, he shows a lot of emotion in it. You feel for him when Bubbah dies...and when his mother dies....and when Robin Wright Slut dies. Cory pointed out when Forrest is worried about that Sixth Sense kid being retarded as a good acting moment.

I would have changed up the academy awards though. I would have given Hanks the Oscar for this movie and Cast Away. Russell Crowe could have the best actor Oscar for LA Confidential (No male cast member of that movie was nominated) and screw the over the top Nicholson performance in As Good As it Gets. Greg Kinnear gave the best performance in that film anyway.

There...solved it all.

Oh and I give Gump a 15.....I liked too many individual scenes too much. When little Forrest is running from the bullies, when Big Forrest is playing football for Alabama.....I really enjoyed when big Forrest used his retard strength to beat the living snot out of the abusive hippy. As a whole movie its too long, and we can all agree that Pulp Fiction and The Usual Suspects and Quiz Show...and yes, even Four Weddings and a Funeral, were better movies, but it really was a great year in film, and this is not a bad movie...just not a great one.

rio blanco racing said...

actually with cory on this one. i saw it opening day and thought what a great movie, but then i grew up. it is over the top hollywood film making. 10-12 somewhere in there. also that voice is like a cheese grater to the balls.

Shane said...

Cheese grater to the balls? Are you referring to Hanks' work or my impression?

Gump's a big Hollywood movie, generally the kind that I don't like, but I just kind of have a soft spot for it for whatever reason. It hits the right nerves for me, probably because I grew up in the 60s.