Radio 06.06.08


            This is Ron Salfen, “At The Movies,” and here’s my commentary on two films opening today at the Majestic Theater in Greenville :


What else needs to be said about an Adam Sandler movie where the hero (himself, of course) is an oversexed, overendowed, invincible ex-Israeli counter-terrorist agent, who becomes a hairdresser in New York , and falls for an Arab-American girl?  Well, the ending is sweet, but you have get through a lot of crudity and nudity to get there.  Enough said.

            Much more can be said about “Kung Fu Panda,” the animated fairy tale featuring the considerable voice talent of Jack Black.  He plays Po , the lazy Panda, dreaming of Kung Fu exploits, but actually stuck working in his father’s noodle shop.  The setting is somewhere in ancient China , but, of course, everyone speaks English, and Po is strictly 21st-century American slacker:  overweight, gabby, good-hearted, funny, in awe of high achievement, but somehow unable to focus even on his own ambitions.  But Fate intervenes, as imminent danger looms for the whole community:  a Kung Fu Master who has gone to the Dark Side (yes, there’s lots of Star Wars cosmology here) has escaped from prison and is terrorizing the countryside.  The advanced students of the local Master can’t defeat him, even by attacking him together.  But Po is somehow anointed to be the Chosen One, who will save all the people.  This unexpected calling mobilizes his unexplored assets:  strength, courage, perseverance, a willingness to learn, and an always-creative approach.  We like him because he is so full of fun, but never full of himself.  He doesn’t seem to have an arrogant bone in his big body, even when he does achieve success.  He handles all the acclamation with characteristic lightheartedness.  And we leave the theater feeling light-hearted, too, because here is Hollywood marshalling its considerable resources to give us a true family film that everyone can enjoy. 


This is Ron Salfen, “At The Movies,” for 93-5 KICK-FM