I just got back from a sneak preview of the new Tom Hanks movie, The Terminal. Hanks plays an eastern-bloc immigrant who gets stranded in JFK for nine months when he falls through the proverbial cracks in the INS (or Homeland Security) as he attempts to enter NYC. SPOILER TALK BELOW! It starts as a journey movie about a man on a quest who is struggling to overcome adversity encountered on that quest. Now, these types of stories are as old as Plato, but along the way, this movie stops really being about the quest and turns into a character-driven existential comedy starring some really cool character actors and their adventures in the middle of JFK. If you go to see this movie, the beginning and middle are, hands down, the best parts of the film. To watch this Forrest Gump-like character build a life in an airport, of all places, was just fucking hysterically funny. The little Indian dude that plays the custodian absolutely steals the movie – really funny little dude. The big black dude who played the principal on that High School show that used to be on fox (I can’t think of the name of the show but the actor’s name is Chi McBride, I think) is really funny as well. The ending, however, sucked. All of a sudden we went away from the really, really funny characters and cleverly written scenes taking place in the middle of the airport to a vaguely strange and altogether unsatisfying end to the quest the Hanks character was embarking upon at the start of the movie. The really cool characters that dominated and defined the movie for the first 2/3 are all sort of forgotten for a tacked-on and rather unsatisfying ending. Cliff’s notes – Go see The Terminal for the first 2/3 and prepare to be unsatisfied by the ending.