“At The Movies” 11.21.08
            This is Ron Salfen, “At The Movies,” and here’s my commentary on 3 films opening today at the The Majestic Theater in Greenville .
            “Bolt” is an animated feature for the whole family, about a Hollywood dog named Bolt (the voice of John Travolta), and his Human (the voice of Miley Cyrus), a teenage girl, and the basic plot line is that Dog Saves Girl.  Bolt even thinks he really does have superpowers.  But then he is mistakenly shipped to New York City, where he finds out he’s just an ordinary mutt, and then comes the long journey home where he adjusts to who he really is, and reunites with his “Human” as a real dog, after all.  Good moral about making a difference even without superpowers.
            In “Twilight” we’re back to superpowers again, only this time it’s vampires.  A teenaged girl moves from sunny Arizona to the gloomy Pacific Northwest to live with her Dad, who’s a small-town police chief.  At the new high school she falls for a weird, creepy, guy with piercing eyes and really pale skin.  And thus begins a very strange romance straddling two worlds, the living and the undead.  Stephenie Meyer’s wildly popular first novel is now on the silver screen, and after its inevitable box office success we can expect more glittering, brooding vampire guys to get giggly girls to swooning and screeching.  Go figure.
            In “Changeling” there’s neither heart-warming reunion nor offbeat romance, but instead, a truly harrowing tale from 80 years ago in California . Christine Collins (Angelina Jolie), a single Mom, was at work one Saturday when her son was kidnapped.  The police at first do nothing.  Then they accuse her of lying.  When she persists for months, they finally produce some lost boy from Tennessee and tell her they found her son, but she insists it isn’t him.  Then they tell her she’s crazy, and actually manage to get her institutionalized.  Her only advocate is, of all people, a Presbyterian minister (John Malkovich), who loudly calls on the press to call the police department to account, and the ensuing scandal convinced everybody that a few people and procedures needed changing.  Hard to watch, but strong performances and a true story.
            This is Ron Salfen, “At The Movies,” for 93.5 KICK-FM.