Homefront movie
7.25 out of 10
The Hunger Games: Catching Fire movie
8.75 out of 10
Disney's Frozen movie
10.0 out of 10
Delivery Man movie
6.75 out of 10
8.25 out of 10

Sunday, July 25, 2010


Maybe Change To A Low Sodium Diet
[Angelina Jolie, Liev Schreiber, Daniel Olbrychski, Chiwetel Ejiofor]

Image from online.wsj.com

RANT: Nothing really to rant about today, except the fact that I have neglected my rviewing duties this week. On Saturday, I went to Hershey Park in Pennsylvania for a day trip. It was brutal weather near 100 degrees, but that didn't deter me from riding all of the major coasters. The "Comet" was cool, "Fahrenheit" was hot, "Storm Runner" was electric, and the "Wildcat" should be put down. In recent years, Hershey has added and expanded a water park inside their park, which had movie protege, Conner, running his parents ragged throughout the waterworks. Leaving at 6:30am and returning at 2am, it was a great extended day trip for fun in the sun and hanging with friends. With all of that said, will "Salt" be the roller coaster ride as promised? As you can see, I am dedicated enough to ride real coasters to be sure!

SYNOPSIS: CIA agent, Evelyn Salt, is accused of being a Russian sleeper agent who will kill the Russian President by the end of the day. Soon on the run from both the CIA and FBI, Salt uses her skills as an operative to elude capture. As she attempts to uncover the truth, her actions only cast more doubt as to her true motives.

Phillip Noyce, best known for "Patriot Games", "Clear and Present Danger", "The Saint" and "The Bone Collector", brings a script from Kurt Wimmer to the screen. Both he and Wimmer have enough pedigree to bring a charged political spy thriller to the audiences. One of the critics said that "Salt" is better and "sexier" than the "Bourne" movies, but is it? Angelina may be more sexy than Matt Damon, but the comparison of story is a matter entirely different.

There is no doubt that the sequences of Salt on the run are spectacular. Jolie gives us epic foot chases, starting from the CIA front company headquarters, back to her apartment, onto the highways, and beyond. According to Comic-con reports from Jolie, she was left with scars as a result of her stunt work. I applaud her efforts to the job and can rightfully say that any scars received gave the audience what they asked for. The problem is not the action, it is the story itself.

Jolie's Salt is accused of being a Russian sleeper spy on track to kill the Russian President as he speaks at the funeral of the Amerian vice president. All of this starts when a Russian defector comes in off of the street with a story of children trained from an early age as agents, claiming that Salt is one of them. She fears for her reputation, her career, but mostly for her husband who may be used as a pawn. The audience feels for her predicament as she experts her escape from C.I.A custody. She even finds time to put her dog in good hands while she eludes the government agents and find traces of where her husband may be. But as we twist down the rabbit hole with Salt, we start to question her allegiances and her motives. Because of that, I found that I lost my resolve to support her and empathize with her. And without giving more story away, Salt performs more acts that downright put her in the category of traitor for me.

As intricate as the story may be, if the audience cannot get behind the protagonist throughout the film all may be lost. Whether Salt is villainous or virtuous is not the issue. I have rooted for Gibson's Porter in "Payback" and Gollum in "LOTR: The Two Towers". But to have a character be both villainous or virtuous, both honorable and without remorse, playing both sides of the fence, regardless of the attempts of the storyteller to intrigue us, sometimes does not spice things up.

Worth: Matinee or Netflix

I am also trying out a new rating system shown below based on reader reaction to my somewhat complex monetary rating scale. I will give both ratings and see what kind of reaction I muster. A movie can receive up to 5 popcorn buckets. Why popcorn buckets? Because I am a slave to the thousand + calorie delight! Enjoy!

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