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The Terminal
DVD disk
Nov 23, 2004 By: Indiana Sev
The Terminal order
Director:
Steven Spielberg

Actors:
Tom Hanks
Stanley Tucci
Catherine Zeta-Jones

Rating:
Movie:
Extras:
Overall:

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WHAT'S IT ABOUT?
Upon arriving at New Yorks JFK airport, Viktor Navorski (Hanks) is told that due to an internal war that broke out in his native Krakozia, he is not only forbidden entry into the U.S. but also cannot return back home until the matter is resolved. So, Viktor is forced to lead a limbo existence within the confines of the airport where he learns to fend for himself, learn the language and fall in love; all while dealing with a giant prick of a customs supervisor (Tucci) who cant seem to integrate humanity into any of his duties.
IS IT A GOOD MOVIE?
THE TERMINAL is very much like Spielbergs previous effort CATCH ME IF YOU CAN. Theyre both relatively light, comedic films with scattered, yet credible doses of heavy drama sprinkled around. They both also left me with a feeling of deep satisfaction in the end. If you like to pick nits, then its a guarantee that you wont enjoy this film, there are at least a dozen elements in the plot that you will have to dismiss as fantastical necessities in order to make this movie work for you. For example, the officials are way too casual and unprofessional in handling Viktors case and informing him of his situation upon his arrival, he barely speaks and understands two words of English and yet they just send him off into the airport with some food vouchers and a beeper. But, of course, had they gotten a decent translator for him, a good place to sleep and a representative from his embassy to see him, there wouldnt be much of a movie, and even if there were, it wouldnt be charming or funny in the least. And thats the key word when describing this movie - charm; from Hanks mastery of an innocent Russian-type dialect and accent, to the three airport employees that he befriends in the airport (Diego Luna, Barry Shabaka Hanley and Kumar Pallana), there is a magical and dreamy quality to everything in this movie, you just have to let it take you under its spell and dont analyze it too much; this movie isnt meant for that

Ironically, through his adventures in the airport, Viktor sees both the good and bad sides of human nature and ends up experiencing the diversity of the people, the compassion, acceptance, togetherness and love that America is capable of without ever leaving the airport. Now if you think thats a candy-coated, cornball outlook on life, than youre just the type of person who should see this movie. Much like Frank Capras films, to which this movie is heavily compared, THE TERMINAL depicts what brings out the best in people, how many things are possible instead of impossible, how good can always conquer evil and all the rest of that cheery be-bop. In short, its hopeful, and like Capras most celebrated film ITS A WONDERFUL LIFE, it lets all the underdogs of the planet know that the world can always be a rosy place, if your attitude is right. My only complaint is that as good as Zeta-Jones is in the movie, I honestly think their relationship hindered the movie somewhat and took away a lot of the momentum. In short, I think the movie would have been just as successful in what it was trying to accomplish without a forced romantic interest like that. Then again, last I checked, Spielbergs one of the best directors that ever lived and I still havent cracked the top 10, so
THE EXTRAS
There werent any extras in the edition I reviewed, but there is a special edition out there with tons of extra features.
FINAL DIAGNOSIS
This movie was as enjoyable as it was when I caught it at the cinema earlier this year. Itll make you smile from beginning to end and confirm the fact that Steven Spielberg, for the most part, is incapable of doing wrong in any shape, way or form. His heart is always in the right place. Dont buy this particular version, but theres a special edition of THE TERMINAL out there that is well worth your bucks.
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