The Terminal

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DreamWorks Pictures presents a film directed by Steven Spielberg. Written by Sacha Gervasi and Jeff Nathanson. Running time: 121 minutes. Rated PG-13 (for brief language and drug references).

What is it about Steven Spielberg that makes me turn a blind eye toward any mediocrity that may exist in his films? It could be because his films, as a whole, are usually quite brilliant. To say that I’m a fan of Mr. Spielberg is to commit a large understatement. So it is fair to say that his films, more than anyone else’s, must live up to a lot of expectation.

The Terminal has its ups and downs, arrivals and delays but for the most part, ups and delays. We all already know it’s about Tom Hanks’ character Viktor, who loses his country while in route to New York. So that happened. After getting over a bit of a language barrier he befriends most of the staff at the airport and makes the world a better place for everyone except himself and some girl, who was just trying to close her suitcase. He meets Amelia (Catherine Zeta-Douglas), falls for her and would probably have lived happily ever after if she wasn’t such a lousy trollop. This film is about patience, waiting and faith, which conveniently go hand in hand in hand. Viktor is waiting for war to end in his home country and Amelia is waiting for some dufus, with grey hair, to leave his wife. This story is also about us the audience waiting to see what it is that Viktor has in a very mysterious and much eluded to peanut can. The good news is, you do find out what is so god damn important about the stupid peanut can. The bad news is it’s not the meaning of life. Rather the meaning of Viktor’s trip to America. Yet, in a sense, is the meaning of this film. There I go justifying cheesy sentiment as true art all because this film says, “Directed by Steven Spielberg.” However, I don’t want to give the impression that there is a lot to justify in this film. Spielberg knows exactly where to put the camera and Hanks really creates a genuinely lovable character, despite an accent. It’s amazing, to me, that one of the most recognizable American actors can really sink into this middle eastern European and make me, not only, forget about it, but believe it as well.

This film has many surprises and just as many delightful “Spielbergian” moments that had, not only me, but the whole audience loving it and laughing constantly. This film has a lot of competition right now with Harry Potter and Spider Man so it won’t make a “Spielberg” amount of money, but it guarantees any one who sees it to have a great time. That is, unless, you despise cheesy sentiment, Tom Hanks, airport terminals, Stanley Tucci playing an unlikable character, the guy not ending up with the girl, very predictable and unnecessary last lines, unbelievable “MacGyver” like crafting scenarios, Tom Hanks, ridiculous marriage proposals, janitors delighting in watching people slip on wet floors, Star Bucks, Tom Hanks, jazz, humanity, your own mother, my feelings, the feelings of others around you, Frank Capra, people who know who Frank Capra is, my mother, E.T., a really good steak sandwich, women with good teeth, Jesus, knee high socks, Richard Dreyfuss, shiny floors and most of all Steven Spielberg.

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~ by fumikaelson on June 22, 2004.

5 Responses to “The Terminal”

  1. Spielberg is a good director, but you give him to much credit. This is film, is pretty good, a lot better then some of his movies that he did. Example Jurassic Park, and Minority Report. It is a little length, but hey that is what is was getting at right?
    What about that Japanese director that influenced modernday film making? Talk about him. Review some of his movies.

  2. Spielberg is a good director, but you give him to much credit. This is film, is pretty good, a lot better then some of his movies that he did. Example Jurassic Park, and Minority Report. It is a little length, but hey that is what is was getting at right?
    What about that Japanese director that influenced modernday film making? Talk about him. Review some of his movies.

  3. Darn it,I really wish I could see The Terminal…it sounds like something right up my alley.

    Just wanted to pop in and say I’ve enjoyed all of your reviews,but Harry Potter is alot better than you let on, and there werent THAT many special effects that George Lucas deserves mention.This installment was alot less special effect-based in comparison with the first two.And,well,I love Harry Potter.

    Dare I guess that the other “anonymous” posting on this site is Ashley?

    Looking forward to more reviews,Alana

  4. Darn it,I really wish I could see The Terminal…it sounds like something right up my alley.

    Just wanted to pop in and say I’ve enjoyed all of your reviews,but Harry Potter is alot better than you let on, and there werent THAT many special effects that George Lucas deserves mention.This installment was alot less special effect-based in comparison with the first two.And,well,I love Harry Potter.

    Dare I guess that the other “anonymous” posting on this site is Ashley?

    Looking forward to more reviews,Alana

  5. We went and saw this touching movie today. It is good to see this kind of movie in the midst of all the other stuff that is floating around out there, not saying I see a lot. I loved it and I love dear Tom, great accent, Stanley is so cute – why do they have to make him a meany, except at the very end. A make you feel good movie, thanks Mr. Spielberg.

    Mary/Mom

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