Bob Zemeckis' "CASTAWAY" is an unusual film for the director. First, it's actually quite good, and secondly, it's less overly-concerned with satisfying the lowest common denominator, in the way his crappy "BACK TO THE FUTURE" films always did. Tom Hanks stars as Chuck Noland, a FedEx engineer, who is anything but carefree. His entire life appears to be almost mechanical, including the relationship he has with his fiancÚ. All of this changes dramatically after he becomes the lone survivor of a sensational plane crash at sea, becoming a "castaway" on a deserted island. His only company are items from "FEDEX" packages that have washed ashore, including a volleyball he aptly names "Wilson."
Most of the film has little dialogue, as Hanks must carry the film alone for a great majority of the running time. His and the viewer's experience is transcendent at times. There's a lot of soul-searching, re-awakening, and breath-taking imagery throughout, and the unsettled, powerful ending makes the film even more satisfying for the manner it chose to take a road less traveled in "typical" Hollywood films.
FOX has provided a 1080p/AVC MPEG-4 transfer with the correct 1.85:1 aspect ratio. The environment plays a significant role in "CASTAWAY" and this blu-ray transfer does an outstanding job in providing rich colors and deep blacks and grays to enhance the stunning imagery, inherent in the exotic island location and its surroundings for most of the film. The beginning and end portion of the film are the only moments wherein colors are restrained( apparently by intent) and fail to jump off the screen. "CASTAWAY" achieves reference quality for BLU-RAY.
FOX has provided a DTS-HD Lossless MASTER AUDIO mix for this release, and it is definitely one of the best mixes available on blu-ray, hd-dvd or dvd, thus far. While the "DTS" mix found on the dvd was spectacular and rivaled most other dvds, this DTS-HD Lossless Master Audio mix, is even far superior to "that" mix! "CASTAWAY" is certainly not an action film. However, the mix provided is stunningly crafted, showcasing how important effects, and even silence, can be to a given scene's impact. The plane crash near the film's beginning offers a benchmark example of what the format is capable of achieving with a culmination of great discrete, panning and surround effects, coming together in a expertly crafted design. The DTS-HD Lossless Master Audio mix is OUTSTANDING, from BEGINNING TO END!
FOX has carried over an audio commentary from the dvd, and offers the trailer in full HD. Unfortunately, all of the documentary materials from the dvd special edition are absent.