Radio 02.13.09
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 :
Confessions 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.