gaming since 1997

Terminal Special Edition, The

Viktor Navorski (Hanks) arrives at JFK airport in New York and wants to go to the Ramada Inn. However, during his flight, Krakozhia – the small Eastern-European country where he lives – has been taken over and both his visum and passport are no longer valid for entry in the United States until the American government accepts the new government of Krakozhia. Fank Dixon (Tucci) informs Viktor of this problem and tells him that he cannot leave the airport but since Viktor doesn’t speak any English, he doesn’t really understand what is happening. When Dixon leaves Viktor with a couple of meal bonds, a telephone card and a beeper, Viktor only understands that he has to wait in the International Transfer Terminal until his papers get approved. Within no time he looses his meal vouchers and has to find some means to earn money. Seeing that he isn’t the dumbest of his country, he easily finds out that some ways to earn enough to pay for meals and in the meantime he lives at Gate 67, a gate that’s being completely rebuilt.

Dixon begins to see Viktor as a major problem, especially since he has the opportunity to become the general manager of the airport and having a problem on his mind is the last thing he wants. He decides to suggest to Vikto that he leaves the airport, in the thought that if Viktor would do this, he would be arrested by the police and no longer be Dixon’s problem. When Viktor refuses to do this and stays in the International Transer Terminal, Dixon really becomes frustrated. Meanwhile, Viktor is starting to make friends amongst the people that work in the terminal and even starts to have romantic feelings about the beautiful stewardess Amalia (Zeta-Jones). After a while, Viktor gets a job by a local contractor as he’s been doing some great work in the rebuilding of the terminal and this makes Dixon really furious. And that while Dixon only wants to know why Viktor wants to go to the Ramada Inn and what is in the peanut can that he’s carrying along.

Sound and Vision:
The image is sharp and contains lots of detail, has good contrast and shadow depth. There’s a decent level of black while the colors are bright. Certain scenes look a bit soft because of the manipulations Spielberg and camera man Kaminski have done but things like compression errors and grain are not present.

We get a dynamic and warm Dolby Digital 5.1 mix with a fair amount of bass. The surround channels are used scarsely and mostly only for extra atmosphere in the form of music along with a couple of effects from planes flying by. A good transfer overall, but what makes me wonder is why the original English track is only available in DD5.1 while the French dubbed version gets a DTS track. Really curious…

– Booking The Flight: Just over 8 minutes of info on how the idea for the movie came to exist and how the research was done before the start of shooting
– Waiting For The Flight: Building The Terminal: The terminal set was built completely in a hangar. This feature shows how the set builders created it.
– Boarding: The People Of The Terminal: interviews with Tom Hanks, Catherine Zeta-Jones, Spielberg and the actors that play the employees who Viktor meets. The interviews are set up in three parts but can be played as one feature.
– Making Of: A decent Making Of with interview fragments with cast & crew and Behind-the-scenes footage.
– The Music of The Terminal: Spielberg and John Williams tell about the music they wanted for the movie and how they made it. In total almost 6 minutes.
– Airport Stories: Some of the cast & crew tell about things they’ve encountered at airports
– Photo Gallery: 60 color pictures that were made during the shooting of the film.

The Terminal is a combination between comedy and drama, but most of all it’s a human movie. I liked it alot, not because of outright hilarious happenings but due to the modest humour and most of all because of how recognisable everything seems. You may not believe it, but Spielberg based this movie on what really happened at the French airport De Gaulle where an Iran refugee didn’t have the right papers to enter France but couldn’t go back to his own country. Of course, The Terminal is entertainment so it needs a romantic side, but the acting is so well done that the romantic side-part doesn’t cloud the movie at all.

Universal delivers again a decent transfer, but the reason why there’s a French dubbed DTS track while the original soundtrack has to do with Dolby Digital 5.1 remains unclear. The extras are very interesting and a good addition to the dvd. I would suggest this movie to anyone.

Our Score:

posted in: DVD, Reviews, Universal

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