Please distribute this URL as you see fit. By Ted Baldwin
Amusing, isn't it?
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Survivor, party of five!
     Tom Hanks will probably get another academy award for this piece, but it should go to Crowe for Gladiator. Hanks has an amazing turn as a Robinson Crusoe with no Friday, cannibals or room to grow on. It is all about his surviving on an island for four years and how he adapts.

     I dare say if not for the hugely popular Survivor TV series, this would be seen a something more of an event. But hey, if a fat fag (in his words TYVM.) like Richard Hatch can make it with minimal support from CBS, anybody can. So some of the bloom is off that rose. (Considering all the support CBS gave Al Gore, he could probably live on the island until the next millennium)

     What they don't do here, is discuss Hanks' changed perceptions of what time is and does to him, as manager for Fed Ex absolutely getting it there on time to his tenure as Island Master with nothing to deliver except the occasional witticism to an athropomorphic volley ball with bad hair.

     Still, Cast Away is very intriguing, and his journey is emotionally draining. Spared much of the island the way Kubrick spared us boot camp in Full Metal Jacket, we nevertheless get the idea that aloneness on a tropic isle is no picnic.
     Finally, I feel the full analysis of his return to civilization is left unexamined - certainly in today's world there would be lawsuits and book deals and job offers and media overkill. The film exits on a graceful note, but it just does not do that much for me.

     There is a hellaciously impressive shot looking out of the FedEx airport terminal at the long field of aircraft. It is probably one of the tightest and most profitable airlines ever conceived, and it is really remarkable that it all started as a paper in college. Amazing.

     I wonder how they managed to get FedEx to let them crash the plane on screen - seems like it might put a fear in the public about FedEx planes crashing, but then again, the whole show is one long love affair with FedEx, to no detriment.

     Helen Hunt is terrific as the girlfriend who couldn't wait for him to "be right back", and Nick Searcy, who I really like on TV's Seven Days Time Travel series, is caring, thoughtful, and sensitive.

     This is my pick for third best of 2000, behind Gladiator and Patriot, followed by Erin Brockovich and The Grinch. Snap. Just like that.
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