This is Ron Salfen, “At The
Movies,” and here’s my commentary on a couple of films opening this
weekend at The Majestic Theater in Greenville :
for Dogs” is one of those cute
kids’ movies where the primary characters are well-scrubbed
teenagers, who are smart, resourceful, and winsome. The
adults around them are absent, inept, irrelevant, or just plain mean.
The plot involves the teenagers secretly taking care of stray
dogs in a vacant house. You know you’re
going to be in for some pooper-scooper jokes. And you can
expect maybe the slightest hint of adolescent romance. If
you’re a dog lover, you’ll definitely be rooting for the kids to rescue
their orphan mutts from the local
animal shelter and its bumbling dogcatchers. Despite
the predictable story line, “Hotel for Dogs” is actually kinda cute and
quirky, if you don’t think about it too much.
Speaking of kinda cute and quirky, if
you don’t think about it too much, “Paul Blart: Mall
Cop” is the whimsical tale of an ordinary security guard, played by Kevin
James of “King of
Queens” fame), accidentally getting to be the hero when a gang of
toughs take over the mall. Paul Blart is
big, fat, clumsy, and underachieving, but sweet and sentimental: he’s
committed to his young daughter (they live with his mother, played by the
Knight), and he’s smitten with a high-school kind of crush on Amy (Jayma
Mays), the sweet, slender young lady at the hair extension kiosk.
Their relationship is refreshingly awkward, reticent, and understated.
Aside from the viewer needing to suspend more disbelief than usual, an
unexpected bonus is the sheer athleticism of the bad
guys, who, it turns out, were recruited from actual competitors of the
extreme “X” games. “Paul Blart” is not great
filmmaking, but it is warm-hearted, and harmless family fun.
This is Ron Salfen, “At The Movies,”
for 93-5 KICK-FM.