So tonite I decided I was gonna see one of two movies. It was either Dodgeball or The Terminal. I'm pretty sure I know exactly what Dodgeball is but I had no idea what The Terminal was about. And I figured that knowing nothing about something I've never seen was better than knowing everything about something else I've never seen. I did an involuntary media blackout on this movie (they're apparently burying it) so I knew nothing going in. I picked up 2 16oz buds and a pack of wasabi peas and settled in with a medium popcorn for what I expected to be a snoozefest. My expectations were not disappointed. It was a snoozefest -but that was the least of its problems.
As The Terminal clunked along one question kept coming up for me. Why would Stevie "I wear hats alot" Spielberg and Tom "Kip Wilson" Hanks and Zeta "I bang Michael Douglas" Jones pick this movie? Here's the plot. Kip plays some guy from Krickikvicstan or something (he spoke in a bad russian accent the whole time) who gets trapped at JFK airport because his country's government was overthrown and because of that they can't let him through immigration because he has "no country". So he's basically trapped in the airport because of some glitch in the system. They can't let him go to NYC or go home. Whatever. Zeta plays a hot stewardess with no rhyme or reason or character who sort of kind of has a half-assed romance with Kip.
The movie drags itself along in a nice clean friendly (yeah right) airport with bad plot and unrealistic twists and junky dialogue. So why? Why!? Why all this talent for this muck of craptastical crapfestivity? Why did this seem like a good idea? The script was nowhere. The idea wasn't that fresh. Moscow on the Hudson ran circles around this movie and that movie was half whatevery. So why?
About a half-hour in ---it hit me. It became clear why this movie was apparently such a "good" idea. Brands. Corporate branding. And products. Every other shot had a brand name. They were in a friggin airport! So we had United Airlines, Starbucks, Brookstone, Burger King, Swatch, Hugo Boss, Borders Books, Baja Fresh, Sbarro, Baskin Robbins, Godiva... and on and on and on and friggin ON. Let's have Kip carry around a can of Planters the whole movie too! This movie is a brand name showcase. A major league payday. And an absolute disgrace. Once the purpose of this movie hit me every ounce of charm or interest left the building and I was left overanalyzing this lump of forgetability -annoyed that I paid to see it. This movie should have been free! They already made their money 10 fold easy.
Spielberg who is one of my favorite directors should be way beyond this scammy shit. (How many yachts can you waterski behind? or/ Does Dreamworks need the money this badly?) Frankly, I would respect this high level of product placement if the script was there to distract me from it. If the movie needed to be made and product placement was unavoidable I say why not milk it. But I get the feeling this thing was totally cart before the horse. The gods of Hollywood got together and decided to be smarter than everyone. A movie set in an airport. No special effects. No high budget. No location changes. Nothing. Build the script around the brands.. Borders ponied up some big cash so let's get books involved! Burger King is coming through! Let's get a whopper in a scene! Kip needs a new suit! Hugo Boss said so!
The good news is the theater was maybe 2/3rds filled on opening weekend so it's definitely a big fat flop and the only people (besides the stragglers like me) that got ripped off were the corporations who got suckered into a Kip/Stevie love fest assuming it would be worth every penny. So that's good news. The better news is some of these corporations might think twice before dumping cash to stampbrand a movie regardless of who's directing and starring in it (but probably not. they're dumb star-f'ers.) Anyway, Kip and Stevie should be ashamed of their obvious greed. Hopefully their reputations will take a well deserved dent.
Three Good Things About This Movie
- Stanley Tucci co-starred and he did a nice acting job.
- An indian guy was cute and funny and he spun plates.
- I laughed maybe 5 or 6 times.
Three Bad Things About This Movie
- It completely falls apart and gets dreadful -and by the end it had this 'Aw fuck it...' feeling.
- It was distractingly unrealistic and sappy with an emotional payout like a single quarter in clinking down into the tray a slot machine.
- I felt like a sucker.
All in all I would recommend a complete boycott of this movie. On video. Forever. It deserves to be punished. Don't get me wrong I'm not against product placement when it's done in the right way. It can be done right. I'm impressed when it's smart. It's here to stay so we might as well get used to it. But at the very least we should do everything we can to squash this level of corporate greed. It's a wrong movie- especially coming from the caliber of starpower hanging out at this boring-ass airport who are now apparently resting on their laurels (aka bigass sack of cash).
PS. Before the movie started I dumped the wasabis into my popcorn and then immediately accidentally spilled some into the aisle. It got a smattering of applause in the theater. The guy across the aisle saw the wasabis in the spill and said, 'What are those?' I said, 'Umm. Wasabi peas.' He said, 'They sell those here?' I said, 'No. I brought em in and mixed em in.' He said, 'That's cool! So you do it all custom?' I said, 'Yeah'...And held up my 16oz. beer all toasty. His eyes lit up with a jealousy I haven't seen in a long time.