Steven Spielberg’s 22nd film, The Terminal, finally arrives on Blu-ray from Paramount (who controls DreamWorks’ deep catalog). This third collaboration with actor Tom Hanks may be one of Spielberg’s most underrated and “forgotten” treasures, largely ignored by both critics and moviegoers during its initial theatrical run in 2004.
Distributed By: N/A
Video Resolution and Encode: 1080P/AVC
Aspect Ratio: 1.85:1
Audio: English 5.1 DTS-HDMA, Spanish 5.1 DD, French 5.1 DD, Other
Subtitles: English, English SDH, Spanish, French, Portuguese
Run Time: 2 Hr. 9 Min.
Package Includes: Blu-rayBlu-ray Eco keepcase
Disc Type: BD50 (dual layer)
Release Date: 05/06/2014
Viktor Navorski (Tom Hanks) is a man without a country. Upon arriving at JFK airport in New York City from his native Krakozhia, his passport and travel visa are confiscated by US Customs Director Frank Dixon (Stanley Tucci) in response to the US no longer recognizing Viktor’s home country after a military coup. Dixon allows Viktor to wander through the international transit lounge until the matter gets resolved, warning him that without a visa, he cannot leave the airport and will be arrested if he does so. Dixon is bucking for a promotion, hoping that Viktor will simply give up and leave, becoming someone else’s problem. But Viktor decides to wait it out, and in the process (over several months) makes a home at the airport, learns English, finds a job, makes friends with many of the airport staff, plays matchmaker between food service worker Enrique Cruz (Diego Luna) and INS officer Dolores Torres (Zoe Saldana), and falls in love with flight attendant Amelia Warren (Catherine Zeta-Jones).Hanks, as usual, is extremely likable in the role of Viktor, immersing himself completely, and in many ways is a nod to his earlier comedic roles in films such as Splash, The Man With One Red Shoe, and The Money Pit, embracing both slapstick and innocence. Zeta-Jones portrays Amelia with much sympathy, a hopeless romantic who can’t help falling for men she knows she will never have. And Stanley Tucci is near-perfect as the by-the-books Customs director Dixon, he’s a hard-nose, but never takes any pleasure in doing so. Spielberg has complete trust in his cast, crew, and material, and uses them well, crafting a feel-good movie that could have been a total disaster. But the real star of the film is the terminal sets themselves, particularly the transit lounge, built by production designer Alex McDowell (who had worked with Spielberg previously on Minority Report) on two abandoned airplane hangars at Palmdale Regional Airport in California, and photographed and lit beautifully by cinematographer Janusz Kaminski.
The Production Rating: 4/5
The AVC-encoded 1080p transfer retains the film’s intended 1.85:1 theatrical aspect ratio, with well-saturated colors, excellent contrast, and exquisite detail (the grain structure in the granite floors are quite evident). Speaking of grain, the transfer retains much of the original film grain, providing a nice, cinematic image.
Video Rating: 4/5 3D Rating: NA
The DTS-HD Master Audio 5.1 track provides clear dialogue with some nice atmospheric effects and wide dynamic range for its music score. The sound design is subtle, as surrounds are used to replicate the sounds of a bustling airport, including public address messages, airplanes landing and taking off, as well as crowd noise.
Audio Rating: 4/5
The special features from the 3-disc DVD release have been ported over for this Blu-ray, with the exception of the soundtrack CD.Booking the Flight: The Script, The Story (480i; 8:06): Spielberg discusses how he choose to direct the film, as well as the writers and producers discussing the inspirations for the film.Waiting for the Flight: Building The Terminal (480i; 12:19): Spielberg and Production Designer Alex McDowell discuss how the set was constructed.Boarding: The People of The Terminal (480i)Tom Hanks is Viktor (7:38)Catherine Zeta-Jones is Amelia (8:40)Viktor’s World (15:29): A look at the supporting players.Take Off: Making The Terminal (480i; 17:13): An overview on the making of the film, with some repetition from other featurettes.In Flight Service: The Music of The Terminal (480i; 5:53): A look at John Williams’ score for the film.Landing: Airport Stories (480i; 5:41): The cast and crew share memories from making the film.Photo Gallery (1080p): A collection of stills from the film.Theatrical Trailer 1 (1080p; 2:31)Theatrical Trailer 2 (1080p; 1:24)
Special Features Rating: 3.5/5
The Terminal is an enjoyable film, and has aged very well. The Blu-ray will not disappoint fans of the film, its director, or its stars, and the film even contains a humorous reference to J.J. Abrams’ Star Trek before that film was even cast.
Overall Rating: 4/5
Reviewed By: Todd Erwin
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