Directed by Steven Spielberg.
Written by Sacha Gervasi and Jeff Nathanson.
Starring Tom Hanks, Catherine Zeta-Jones and Stanley Tucci.
Release Year: 2004
Review Date: 7/6/04
Jennifer and I stopped in to the local
multiplex on a rainy day to see "The Terminal", and even on the way
in, Jennifer knew the score.
"Well, hopefully, this will be okay," she
started in. "Reviews haven't been too good!"
And, she was right, as I thought, as many
critics thought..."The Terminal" is incredibly average, in almost
new and creative ways given the pedigree of the people involved.
For all of his genius, Steven Spielberg has, with this and
"Catch Me If You Can", really moved into an interesting stage of
his career; one could argue that he hasn't made a great film in six
"Minority Report" and
"A.I." haven't exactly set the world on fire. Tom Hanks,
playing a vaguely Russian/Czech/Polish guy named Victor from
Krakozhia, a made-up place somewhere in Eastern Europe, isn't very
interesting and gets a mild chuckle for his antics here and there
throughout the film, but not much more. Catherine Zeta-Jones,
who seems to grow more beautiful every film even IF I didn't think
she could look any better after seeing
"Intolerable Cruelty", almost needs to give her Oscar back after
some of the dogshit acting she puts on for her work in "The
Terminal." Really, some of it is that bad.
But, throughout the l o n g journey we take
with Victor as he tries to find a way out of JFK Airport in New York
City, the filmmakers do build up some genuine charm in the Victor
character, his situation, and why he came to New York in the first
place. And, I give a lot of the film's credit to its sharp
supporting cast, led by Chi McBride, Diego Luna (from one of my
"Y Tu Mama Tambien") and Kumar Pallana as the janitor Gupta, who
has a couple of great lines and even better mugs to the camera.
As a group of the airport's service workers, these three make many
of the tweener sequences work, with some great chemistry and some
funny gags, like a hammy dinner sequence late in the film with our
two leads. Even the folks that work in all of those airport
outlet stores are funny too...this is important to pad your flick
with some good stuff to fill in the cracks, especially when your
main story seems to have nowhere to go about 30 minutes into the
How is this film so average? I still
can't figure it out. What I do know is that about fifteen
minutes after leaving the theater, I had completely forgotten what
some of the characters' names were in "The Terminal"...which, maybe
speaks louder than any more babbling from me.
Comments? Drop me a line at
Bellview Rating System:
"Opening Weekend": This is
the highest rating a movie can receive. Reserved for movies that
exhibit the highest level of acting, plot, character development,
setting...or Salma Hayek. Not necessarily in that order.
"$X.XX Show": This price
changes each year due to the inflation of movie prices; currently,
it is the $9.50 Show. While not technically perfect, this is a
movie that will still entertain you at a very high level.
"Undercover Brother" falls into this category; it's no "Casablanca",
but you'll have a great time watching. The $9.50 Show won't win any
Oscars, but you'll be quoting lines from the thing for ages (see
"Matinee": An average movie
that merits no more than a $6.50 viewing at your local theater.
Seeing it for less than $9.50 will make you feel a lot better about
yourself. A movie like "Blue Crush" fits this category; you leave
the theater saying "That wasn't too bad...man, did you see that
Lakers game last night?"
"Rental": This rating
indicates a movie that you see in the previews and say to your
friend, "I'll be sure to miss that one." Mostly forgettable, you
couldn't lose too much by going to Hollywood Video and paying $3 to
watch it with your sig other, but you would only do that if the
video store was out of copies of "Ronin." If you can, see this
movie for free. This is what your TV Guide would give "one and a
"Hard Vice": This rating is
the bottom of the barrel. A movie that only six other human beings
have witnessed, this is the worst movie I have ever seen. A Shannon
Tweed "thriller," it is so bad as to be funny during almost every
one of its 84 minutes, and includes the worst ending ever put into a
movie. Marginally worse than "Cabin Boy", "The Avengers" or
"Leonard, Part 6", this rating means that you should avoid this
movie at all costs, or no costs, EVEN IF YOU CAN SEE IT FOR FREE!
(Warning: strong profanity will be used in all reviews of "Hard