This is Ron Salfen, “At The
Movies,” and here’s my commentary on two new films opening
this week at The Majestic Theater in Greenville :
Of A Shopaholic” is the extreme “chick
flick” featuring even more wardrobe obsession and even less romance
than usual. Isla
Fisher plays someone so obsessed with buying clothes that she’s
developed a genuine spending addiction. Such incredible
self-absorption, to the point of self-destructive self-loathing, is rarely
cute or funny, but it is predictable.
“The International” is James
Bond the way it ought to be played. Instead of this
angry, brooding, action hero with narrow patriotism and no conscience, how
about Louis Salinger (Clive
Owen), Interpol agent? He’s still handsome, in a
rough-cut kind of way, but he’s not relying on techno-gadgets and suave
romancing. Instead, it’s old-style detective work.
It seems there is a huge European banking firm that has positioned
itself as the primary bank of choice for arms dealers, money
launderers, and those with incentive to destabilize governments.
This is big, high-stakes illegal operation, and it is the big boys who
play it. They stop at nothing, and they systematically
eliminate any potential obstacle. If bribery won’t work,
then there’s always extortion, or simple elimination. The
beleaguered Salinger has been tracking these guys, hoping to get an insider to
talk to him. When he finally does get a nibble, his partner
is killed. He’s working with the DA of New York City,
Eleanor Whitman (Naomi Watts),
but in the end, because she has a family, she has to let him do the dirty work
of getting close enough to these white collar thugs in Armani
suits that they begin to feel threatened, and come after him, thus
exposing themselves. Chase scenes, coldblooded
assassinations, international urban venues, complex plot, viewers discovering
evidence along with the characters----an old-school thriller, both intelligent
and i ntriguing.
This is Ron Salfen, “At The Movies,”
for 93-5 KICK-FM.