The Terminal

The TerminalA Steven Spielberg and Tom Hanks pairing is pretty hard to beat. This film is about traveller Viktor Nivorski who has landed at JFK airport. Going through customs, his country has had a coupe and the United States does not recognize the new leadership, and the result, Viktor cannot be admitted to the U.S., nor can he return home. He is stuck to live at the airport being unable to speak very much English at all. This makes for a very interesting plot, his dealing with people and where he sleeps and eats. There are some really good side stories in this film too, which gives everyone a nice mental break from being stranded.

Tom Hanks (Forrest Gump, Apollo 13) does an exceptional job in his role. Although he has become such an icon, it is hard to let it sink in that he can’t speak English since we have seen him do it so much. Not o let that worry you, he is such a great actor that it doesn’t take long until you are completely absorbed in the character and you really don’t notice it. He has some very memorable scenes, pushing benches together to try to make a bed, squeezing ketchup packets onto crackers, and picking out his suite from the store window. The unnoticed performance has to go to Stanley Tucci (Big Night, The Devil Wears Prada) who plays Frank the head of the customs office, who really wants to get rid of Viktor and let him be someone else’s problem. Catherine Zeta-Jones (Best supporting actress Chicago) is basically in the same role she seems to play. She is still attractive and endearing, which is why she was cast for the part to begin with.

Steven Spielberg (Saving Private Ryan, Schindler’s List), what else can you say about him. He can basically direct what ever he wants, and does a marvelous job at it. The mentioned “suit shopping” scene, was great work, as Tom Hanks is seeing what suit to buy by looking at his reflection in the window superimposing himself over the suits on display. This isn’t ‘ best, but it doesn’t have to be his best  to get a top notch film. This is magical film almost with fairy tale qualities about it. I would recommend this film for anyone to see.

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Catch Me If You Can

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You can usually count on Steven Spielberg (Schindler’s List) to deliver, and he does. This movie is a pretty good account of Frank Abagnale Jr., who takes being an impostor and forger to a whole new level. Leaving his house at an early age, he pretends to be be school teachers, airline pilots and doctors, and of course gets the hefty pay checks! Although he really never saw his father again, Chrispopher Walken (Pulp Fiction) plays Frank Sr and is a good sounding board for Frank Jr., played by Leonardo DiCaprio. (Titanic, The Aviator) After years of running from the FBI, Carl Hanratty played by Tom Hanks (Best Actor Philadelphia, Forrest Gump) finally rescues him from a French prison to take him back to the United States, just to be incarcerated there. Hanratty seeing his talents eventually recruits him to serve out his sentence helping the FBI as an adviser. 

Leonardo DiCaprio gives a very good performance showing love for his father, and the rest of his family as he is on the run. Christopher Walken was very good, but to me he seems to play the same character over and over again. Nice performances from those who had smaller parts, Amy Adams (Doubt) and Martin Sheen (The Departed).

I imagine most have seen this film, but if you haven’t, take the time to watch this one. It is a very well acted well crafted film, from the opening cut paper look title sequences to the soundtrack. The is great cinema storytelling!

Eagle Eye

Eagle Eye

Eagle Eye seems to take an idea from Enemy of the State or The Conversation, “Big Brother is watching.” The problem I think this movie faces is that is the one trick they do and they just beat it to death. “Duck now.” “Run down the stairs.” “Answer the phone.” Give me a break. And the idea that a computer system can tie into that many things…subway signs, pay phones…you name it. It really became a one trick pony and seemed to be their only device to move the plot along.

I wasn’t really bored to death with this movie. But there weren’t really any outstanding performances. Billy Bob Thornton is always interesting to watch and was maybe teh one highlight for me.  Watching it on bluray, the picture quality was nice very good blacks and bright colors. Glad the movie looked good, because it was a pretty average movie. Surprised to see Spielberg’s name attached to this. But then again the name Spielberg is also on Transformers

Minority Report

Minority Report 

All around great fun movie. Exactly what you would expect from Steven Spielberg. The action scenes had outstanding special effects, especially the vertical chase scene with Tom Cruise jumping from car to car as they shuffle up and down. Even after being dazzled by special effects, there is a well written story behind it all. Predicting the future, and the thoughts of a “police” society, arresting people before a murder happens…did it happen, would it have happened….do we have a choice in our own fate? Very thought provoking ideas. 

All of the performances were about what I thought they would be and what you would expect from this group of actors. The one thing, and it is very minor, that I didn’t like was Peter Stormare (Fargo) had one to many “cheesy” lines. One would have been ok, but three forced in there in a matter of minutes was a bit much. Not that it ruined the movie for me at all. Most of you have probably seen this, but if you haven’t, go watch this one right away, you will be glad you did.