They are hated or loved depending on your
circumstance. Airports can be the beginning of an adventure, a happy
start, a sad end, an ordinary trip from A to B. They can become overnight
stays for stranded passengers. But rarely do they become home in the way
the airport in "The Terminal" does for Viktor Navorski (Tom
Spielberg and Tom Hanks, a combination especially able to bring a quality of
wistfulness to almost anything, do just that here. In a situation
otherwise claustrophobic and frustrating, they have made the story of Viktor a
tale of sweet resourcefulness.
Viktor approaches customs after landing, his eye catches a breaking story on a
TV monitor. Krakozia, his Eastern European homeland has been swallowed up
by a military coup that sentences Viktor to indefinite life in the airport.
He is homeless and stateless. Manhattan waits outside the terminal door,
but Viktor is forbidden to pass through the gate. He can't get a visa
without a passport and he can't get a passport without a country.
unintelligible at the beginning of his stay, Viktor learns English as he makes a
nest in an unused corner of the terminal. He finds friends among the
airport workers and a possible romance with Catherine Zeta-Jones. He also
runs headlong into the humorless, by-the-book bureaucrat, Frank Dixon (Stanley
Tucci) who intones, "You are currently a citizen of nowhere."
Tom Hanks invests every scene with his own original take on this principled
visitor to the most barren of American landscapes. Neither the script nor
the cast live up to Hanks, so this becomes simply a good movie, not a great one.
in the summer mediocrity of the multiplex are two films you might want to skip
unless your air conditioning is broken. "Stepford Wives"
unfolds in that meaty time when post war America's attention turned to
inventions for home and hearth for the war weary. Metaphorically - and
actually, Stepford was, and is, "Connecticut's family paradise."
The uniform of the Stepford moment: big hats, pearls, small prints,
cinched waists. Instead of a clever satire of a world of romance and
chiffon, we are treated to "perfected women," actual robots whose
cranial nano chips are prone to breakage. The conforming wives of the '50s
are marvelous targets for wit. As real time robots, they are just plain
dull. Glenn Close and Christopher Walken are frightening to behold in this
movie that was made before anyone figured out what to do with it.
tremendous variety of sub-culture movies from terrific to terrible, "Dodge
Ball" is probably the worst. Ben Stiller's character is so ugly it
will be hard to think of him as anybody else. Rarely have producers
assembled as unappetizing a group of lowlifes in one story. Someone on
screen talks about being a "skidmark on the underpants of society."
More likely, this whole thing is a stain on the career of a fine actor.
Tom Hanks in "The Terminal" wins on all counts.
Copyright (c) Illusion
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