This is Ron Salfen, “At The Movies,” and here’s my commentary on
two films opening today at the Majestic Theater in
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
, 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.
, the lazy Panda, dreaming of Kung Fu exploits, but actually stuck working in
his father’s noodle shop. The
setting is somewhere in ancient
, but, of course, everyone speaks English, and
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.
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
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