At The Movies 04.10.09
This is Ron Salfen, “At The Movies,” and here’s my commentary on films now showing at The Majestic Theater in Greenville .
“Fast and Furious” is currently No.1 in the country at the box office, and it’s all action/adventure.  Vin Diesel plays the muscle-bound, unsmiling tough guy whose merry little band of acrobat thieves in fast cars is run over by a powerful Mexican drug cartel.  Out for revenge, our hero infiltrates the cartel, along with an FBI guy also trying to go after the kingpin, and their unorthodox partnership gets involved in all manner of chase scenes and narrow escapes.   The women are just skinny models parading in skimpy outfits, we don’t have time for any real relationships here, because we’re too busy pursuing and being pursued.
“Hanna Montana” doesn’t have time for any relationships, either, because she’s too busy being the teenage pop star, concerts, tours, autograph-signings, but somehow she’s lost track of her true inner self, the country girl Miley Cyrus from the small town where they paint chicken coops by day and pick guitars on the front porch by night.  Miley reluctantly returns to her roots, at the insistence of her real-life Dad, Billy Ray Cyrus, and not only re-discovers her genuine self, she learns to croon a country ballad, and even finds a little local romance.  Hasn’t Disney made this movie before, and didn’t it star Hayley Mills?  Oh well, none of the teenage fans of Hanna Montana would remember that, anyway, so it’s all kind of cute and harmless.  Sure, the acting is inconsistent, but the music isn’t bad, and if you want “sweet” you sure won’t get it with “Fast And Furious,” or its wannabe clone “12 Rounds.”  In this “Rescue Your Helpless Girlfriend From the Clutches Of The Bad Guy” plot, Michael Cena, the former wrestler, might have the muscles of Vin Diesel, but his acting is even worse than Billy Ray Cyrus.  And the story gets kind of silly when he outruns a speeding car and leaps on to a moving helicopter.  If you’re going for the adrenaline rush, you’re better off with “Fast and Furious,” despite its dramatic limitations and complete lack of subtlety.  As they say in the biz, “It is what it is.”
This is Ron Salfen, “At The Movies,” for 93-5 KICK-FM