Tuesday, June 22, 2004

The Terminal 

Steven Spielberg's latest is pretty damn shmaltzy... Even for him. But despite the incredibly dense sentimentality, I, ultimately, enjoyed this movie. I didn't by any means love it, but I was entertained enough that I'd recommend it. The film has such a winning charm about it, powered by the endearing performance of Tom Hanks -- who is just so damn likeable! Shit! His foil, however, is an abomination to screenwriting. The character played by Catherine Zeta Jones is, in a word, insipid. The fault doesn't fall so much on her as the writer. There are also about a handful of moments in the movie (let's say 4 or 5) that I wish were simply not there, but they're just throw-away jokes/lines that don't really impact the story.

What I find interesting about this film is that a lot of people, those with a hyper-critical eye at least, will be turned off by its positivity. That is to say, it might be too nice for some. It's a very bizarre critique to have, yet I heard it last night from friends who labeled the film as "unimportant." I don't believe this movie is trying to be important at all. To my friends' credit, it is very Hollywoodized as far as story is concerned, but it does have a heartfelt center and you can't help but root for the character to succeed even if his goals seem trivial (which they are not).

It feels so weird telling people that they probably wouldn't enjoy it because the conflict, so to speak, isn't dire.

The Terminal. Thumbs up. You can probably wait for it come out on video.

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