Why I don’t care for movies anymore

I just finished watching The Terminal. What a disappointment.

On a business trip in Europe last fall, I picked up a book called The Terminal Man, the true story of Merhan Karimi Nasseri, also known as “Sir Alfred”. The book is a fascinating story of an odd man in strange circumstances. I could not put the book down. Neither could my wife.

The movie is loosely (very loosely) based on the real-life story of Sir Alfred. Supposedly, Spielberg paid hundreds of thousands of dollars to Sir Alfred for the movie rights. But art poorly imitates life. In the book, Nasseri is on a quest to return to England and find his mother. In the movie, the character is a bumbling tourist looking for an autograph. In the book, Sir Alfred is helped by the airport doctor and by a noted French human rights attorney. In the movie, Tom Hanks is helped out by a bunch of misfit airport workers. I could go on, but you get the point.

It is sad that Hollywood settles for such pabulum. And also sad that Terminal Man is not in print in the US. (Looks like Powell’s in Portland has a copy — hurry and get one now!).

(P.S. A few months ago, I decided to check out Sir Alfred on the Boutiquaire level of CDG 1. He’s still there, and was even weirder than I expected).

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