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Vaughn Stein
Margot Robbie, Simon Pegg, Mike Myers
Vaughn Stein

Murderous consequences unravel in the dead of night as various lives all intertwine at the hands of a mysterious criminal mastermind hell-bent on revenge.
Rated NR

Aspect Ratio: 1.78:1
English DTS-HD MA 5.1
Supplements Subtitles:

Runtime: 95 min.
Price: $29.97
Release Date: 6/26/2018

• “The Cast of Terminal” Featurette
• “Building the World of Terminal” Featurette
• “From Concept to Creation” Featurette
• Photo Gallery
• Previews


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Terminal [Blu-Ray] (2018)

Reviewed by Colin Jacobson (July 11, 2018)

A dark form of “neo-noir”, 2018’s Terminal takes us to a large, anonymous urban center. The action focuses around a small diner on the edge of town, where various parties accidentally come together.

In this setting, we meet a dying teacher named Bill (Simon Pegg), assassins Vince (Dexter Fletcher) and Alfred (Max Irons), and Annie (Margot Robbie), a waitress with a double life. A crime boss manipulates them, with deadly consequences.

Throw in Mike Myers and you get a pretty solid cast here. Unfortunately, a mishmash of genres and influences, Terminal wastes all of them.

Toss a rock at the screen and you’ll find an obvious precursor to pretty much every aspect of Terminal. Much of the movie opts for the uber-stylized noir feel of Sin City, and the visual design owes an immense debt to Blade Runner.

In terms of characters and patter, we get a significant nod toward Pulp Fiction in specific and Tarantino in general. Add so many Alice in Wonderland references that the movie doesn’t even bother to hide them and you wind up with a melange of influences in search of its own identity.

Which Terminal never finds, as it always remains little more than a catalog of references to other works. There’s nary an original moment to be found in this melting pot.

If Terminal bothered to go somewhere interesting or entertaining, I might not mind the lack of creativity. Unfortunately, the film pursues a convoluted plot that seems determined to “surprise” us with revelations at every turn, logic be damned.

Granted, we expect narrative surprises in the film like this. In theory, that’s part of the fun, as we’re eager to see who doublecrosses who and who turns out not to be what they seem.

Plenty of that arises in Terminal, but none of it feels organic. There’s a contrived feel to its twists that robs them of effectiveness.

All of this comes in a highly stylized, borderline camp package. The actors play their roles to the hilt, with little subtlety on display.

This means it looks like they enjoy themselves as they chew scenery, but the “cranked to 11” motif gets old after a while. The overamped characters grow tiresome and don’t maintain our attention.

I’ve certainly seen worse thrillers than Terminal, as even with the inconsistencies and silliness, it maintains the viewer’s attention – at least in a mild manner. Nonetheless, the end result doesn’t really hold up and it becomes a self-conscious failure.

The Disc Grades: Picture C+/ Audio B/ Bonus D+

Terminal appears in an aspect ratio of approximately 1.78:1 on this Blu-ray Disc. The film came with a surprisingly mushy presentation.

Which may well have been intentional and meant to fit the film’s general sense of oddness, but if so, I couldn’t figure out the logic involved, as plenty of the film looked fine. Sharpness was generally positive, as the majority of the flick offered good clarity, but enough exceptions occurred to become a distraction. These left us with a moderately soft impression at times.

No issues with jagged edges or shimmering occurred, and I saw no edge haloes. Print flaws also remained absent.

Colors went with a broad mix of garish tones. These leaned toward heavy blues, greens, reds, purples, pinks and yellows, all of which seemed a bit dense – though again, I suspect at least some of this stemmed from production design.

Blacks were dark and deep, while shadows appeared fairly clean and accurate. Much of the film looked fine, but the inconsistencies made this a lackluster presentation overall.

I found more consistency from the movie’s DTS-HD MA 5.1, though it never stood out as impressive. The soundscape accentuated music, as the score and songs used the five channels in an involving manner.

Effects had less to do, though they added life at times. The story featured enough violence to bring some bang to the picture, and general atmosphere seemed fine.

Audio quality worked well enough, with speech that appeared natural and concise. Effects proved accurate and full, with good dimensionality.

Music showed nice range and depth as well. The soundtrack never stood out as great, but it served the film in a satisfactory manner.

A few featurettes flesh out the disc, and these open with The Cast of Terminal. It goes for six minutes, 14 seconds and includes notes from writer/director Vaughn Stein and actors Margot Robbie, Simon Pegg, Dexter Fletcher, and Max Irons.

The show looks at cast, characters and performances. It does little more than praise the actors.

Building the World of Terminal lasts six minutes, 14 seconds and features Vaughn, Robbie, Fletcher, Myers, Irons, Pegg, director of photography Christopher Ross, production designer Richard Bullock, and hair/makeup designer Sallie Jaye.

“Building” looks at locations and various visual design choices made for the film. It lacks great depth but it offers a few useful insights.

For the final featurette, we get the two-minute, five-second From Concept to Creation. It offers a splitscreen comparison between concept art/storyboards and some finished scenes. It becomes a short but fun way to see the two sides.

A Photo Gallery presents 18 stills from the film. It’s eminently forgettable.

The disc opens with ads for The Limehouse Golem, Pilgrimage, and Brawl in Cell Block 99. No trailer for Terminal appears here.

All style and little substance, Terminal wastes a good cast. Though it occasionally threatens to turn into violent fun, the end result seems so muddled that it doesn’t go anywhere. The Blu-ray presents erratic visuals with generally positive audio and a handful of minor supplements. The film comes with potential but it doesn’t live up to hopes.

Viewer Film Ratings: 2 Stars Number of Votes: 1
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