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#026 Robert Zemeckis: Forrest Gump vs. Beowulf




Download MP3 In today's episode Nate and Austin compare Robert Zemeckis' best and worst rated films, Forrest Gump (1994) and Beowulf (2007), respectively. Austin has seen Forrest Gump an alarming amount of times, Nate needs to stop watching movies he enjoyed as a child, and they both worry about the increasing rate of gun fire happening outside their window. Check back next Sunday at 7pm PST where we will compare Richard Linklater's Before Sunrise (1995) and Bad News Bears (2005), his best and worst rated films.

Also check out this test footage filmed during production of Forrest Gump: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=vMIkqVRtXzw


Warcraft Notes
Worst Rated
PLOT: The warrior Beowulf must fight and defeat the monster Grendel who is terrorizing Denmark, and later, Grendel's mother, who begins killing out of revenge.
  • Ratings: IMDb 6.3 | RT 71% C / 50% A
  • Released: 2007
  • Director: Robert Zemeckis (Back to the Future, Cast Away, Flight)
  • Writer(s): Neil Gaiman and Roger Avary (screenplay), Anonymous (original poem)
  • Cinematographer: Robert Presley (The Polar Express, A Christmas Carol)
  • Notable actors: Robin Wright, Anthony Hopkins, John Malkovich, Crispin Glover, Ray Winstone, Brendan Gleeson, Angelina Jolie
  • Budget: $150 million
  • Box office: $196.4 million
  • Fun Facts:
    • According Ray Winstone, he and his fellow cast spent days filming in blue skintight suit, "showing up all your lumps and bumps in all the wrong places. Which can be hard when you're standing in front of Angelina Jolie Pitt, who looks stunning in hers."
    • Based on the oldest known written story in a language purporting to be English.
    • Most of the time when Grendel is talking in the movie, he is speaking Old English, the language in which the original poem was written, which in sound resembles modern Swedish. Interestingly, he never speaks in the original poem. He only sings a song of sorrow (which most people take to be a wail) when Beowulf rips off his arm.
    • According to visual effects supervisor Jerome Chen, close to 300 cameras were used, compared with 64 to 72 for The Polar Express (2004).
    • Crispin Glover's first project with director Robert Zemeckis since Back to the Future (1985).


Moon Notes
Best Rated
PLOT: Forrest Gump, while not intelligent, has accidentally been present at many historic moments, but his true love, Jenny Curran, eludes him.
  • Ratings: IMDb 8.8 | RT 72% C / 95% A
  • Released: 1994
  • Director: Robert Zemeckis (Back to the Future, Cast Away, Flight)
  • Writer(s): Winston Groom (novel), Eric Roth (screenplay)
  • Cinematographer: Don Burgess (Source Code, Spider-Man, Cast Away)
  • Notable actors: Tom Hanks, Sally Field, Peter Dobson, Siobhan Fallon Hogan, Robin Wright, Gary Sinise, Haley Joel Osment
  • Budget: $55 million
  • Box office: $677.9 million
  • Fun Facts:
    • When Forrest gets up to talk at the Vietnam rally in Washington, the microphone plug is pulled and you cannot hear him. According to Tom Hanks, he says, "Sometimes when people go to Vietnam, they go home to their mommas without any legs. Sometimes they don't go home at all. That's a bad thing. That's all I have to say about that."
    • Tom Hanks wasn't paid for the film. Instead he took percentage points which ultimately netted him in the region of $40 million.
    • With every transition of Forrest's age, one thing remains the same - in the first scene of each transition he wears a blue plaid shirt.
    • The line, "My name is Forrest Gump. People call me Forrest Gump," was ad libbed by Tom Hanks while filming the scene and director Robert Zemeckis liked it so much that he decided to keep it in.
    • Tom Hanks' younger brother Jim Hanks doubled for him in many of his numerous running sequences.
    • Tom Hanks signed onto the film after an hour and a half of reading the script but agreed to take the role only on the condition that the film was historically accurate. He initially wanted to ease Forrest's pronounced Southern accent, but was eventually persuaded by director Robert Zemeckis to portray the heavy accent stressed in the novel and patterned his accent after Michael Conner Humphreys (young Forrest) who actually talked that way.
    • The actor who plays the reporter on the scene when Tom Hanks visits Washington DC after his tour in Vietnam was, himself, an actual tourist from Atlanta, Georgia. He happened to be on Capitol Hill that day with his wife, and was asked to read.
    • Forrest and Dan's Shrimp Emporium "Bubba Gump", is now a themed restaurant in 33 locations around the world in the U.S., Japan, China, Mexico, Malaysia, Philippines, Indonesia and the UK. There is one at the entrance to the Universal theme parks in Orlando, Florida, at the Anaheim Gardenwalk in walking distance from Disneyland Park(TM) in Anaheim, California in the Los Angeles area, at Pleasure Pier in Galveston, Cannery Row, Texas, and at the Mall of America in Bloomington, Minnesota.

  Intro music: Calm The Fuck Down - Broke For Free / CC BY 3.0  


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