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Home » Culture and Criticism


Submitted by on January 28, 2011 – 3:25 PM21 Comments

Death Race 43, Sarah 13; 1 of 24 categories completed

Altogether satisfying! Salt reminds me of one of my favorite movies, The Fugitive: the action is exciting, the contrivances and twists seem deft instead of obtrusive, and the performances come as a pleasant surprise given the genre (Angelina Jolie, a bit over-glowery throughout, has a few nice bits at the end, and Liev Schreiber is great). It stays in constant motion, the flashbacks don't drag, and even the obvious sequel-baiting at the end isn't bothersome. It's just a snappy, perfectly buttered bucket of popcorn, and if I'd seen it in the theater, I'd have considered it a worthwhile ten bucks. Whether it'll win in its lone category, Sound Mixing, I can't say, but the DVD commentary track goes into informative detail about exactly that, around 30 minutes in.

Salt also answered a question I had about why Corey Stoll is going with that Magnum mustache on Law & Order: Los Angeles. It's because, without it, he looks exactly like Peter Sarsgaard.

But what the hell is up with Secretary of Defense Andre Braugher? Does he even have a line of dialogue? He's in the background of a scene, I get all excited that he's going to save the day some clever Homicide: Life on the Street way, and the next thing I know he's cut down by a hail of automatic ordnance before I've even heard him say anything. Henh?

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  • Sarah D. Bunting says:

    …My bad; he actually does have a few lines. It's still a little weird to me that they bothered using Braugher for a role that really doesn't need a name.

  • DuchessKitty says:

    I also found Salt to be completely entertaining. Hee hee about Corey Stoll's face without the mustache. I personally love his L&O look.

    Re: this misuse of Andre Braugher – there's got to be several minutes of scenes with him on the cutting room floor. Right? He's usually the go-to guy for adding gravitas to a film, and this time he was kind of a waste of space.

  • Ooh, Salt! I saw this on an airplane, thinking it would be "plane good." Turns out, it was just "good." I agree with you about the twists: The thing with her husband really surprised me and added a satisfying layer to the storytelling from that point forward. And though some have told me it was supes obvious, I was personally surprised by the big reveal about Who Knows What.

    Regarding Braugher: There was nothing in the commentary about him having a large role that was later cut down? I assumed that's what it was. Because otherwise… exactly. Why cast Frank Pembleton when you could just go to Starbucks, grab a stern looking businessmen, and pay him scale for a half-day's work?

  • Melissa says:

    Man, I also love The Fugitive, and I always end up getting stuck when it's on TBS or whatever. Recently realized I have retained about 60% of the dialogue, and I think I remember you referencing "hinky" once in one of your posts. It just sticks to my brain, somehow.

    I've heard a couple decent reviews of Salt. I'll add it to the Netflix queue.

  • Sarah D. Bunting says:

    @Blanko: Nope, nothing. They could have swapped the anonymous actor who played the president and Braugher; not sure why that didn't happen.

  • DuchessKitty says:

    Re: The anonymous actor playing the President

    I was so damn excited to see Hunt Block on the big screen that I think I actually screamed out loud for a second.

    I have loved this actor since he was Peter Hollister on Knots Landing. And then he went on to play characters in not one, not two, not three, but FOUR soap operas that I semi-regularly watched.


  • Sarah D. Bunting says:

    His name is HUNT BLOCK?! Amazing.

  • patricia says:

    @Sars: this has nothing to do with Salt, but on the subject of names, I don't know if you're watching Glee, but this season they instroduced this blond, Bieber-haired, kind of dumb, jock/guitar player, a Jason Mraz type who is always Soulfully Crooning. The actor who plays this kid is named Chord Overstreet. I only wish I could make up a name that awesome/awful/perfect.

  • Sarah D. Bunting says:

    I was pretty pleased with "Strap Worthbillion" back in the day:

  • Georgia says:

    And don't forget Josh Charles's character in Dead Poets' Society: Knox Overstreet. (Also, mmm . . . Josh Charles.)

  • Todd K says:

    Re: "It's still a little weird to me that they bothered using Braugher for a role that really doesn't need a name."

    I had a similar reaction to Victor Garber as "Assistant Bank Manager" in The Town.

  • Stephanie says:

    I am not kidding when I say I met someone the other night who was a dead ringer for Josh Charles. I was so excited by it I wanted to go home and tell my husband about it. He, however, is one of those people who literally fails to recognize Cate Blanchett in movies, so I knew he'd have no idea who Charles was. Harrumph.

  • Natalie says:

    @patricia: My douchey former ex used to call that combination "awesomeful."

  • Natalie says:

    Um, hi English language. I meant my douchey ex OR my former boyfriend, but not my former ex. There has been no soap style reunion.

  • Jesse says:

    But… but… Chord Overstreet is the actor's real name /tangent

  • Dorinda says:

    I really enjoyed Salt. It felt old fashioned somehow, but I mean that in a good way. Something about it felt like one of those solid, propulsive chase-thrillers of the past, so when you name-check The Fugitive, that seems right on. And I'm with you on the Braugher-bafflement–I kept thinking there was going to be a twist with him, like on CSI and whatnot when a random potential suspect just happens to be played by a former child star.

  • Jenn says:

    Maybe Braugher did the role as a favor to someone on the film? Or he was working on another project with someone on the film at the same time, and they just brought him in for the heck of it?

    Garber in The Town is awesome because he's Affleck's wife's Spy Daddy.

  • Jen S 1.0 says:

    Well, now I know why my lust is fuled by Cory, when I don't usually go for the bald/moustache combo–the Saarsgard's lurking under there! Yummy yum yum…salty.

    (see what I did there?)

  • Lis says:

    I also liked it (and was surprised.) The only thing that bugged a little (and this is not the movie's fault) was that I spent the whole time thinking "Gosh, how would Tom Cruise have played this differently?" which is due to the fact that apparently Tom Cruise was the original "Salt" but then dropped out to do Knight and Day.

  • exilednzer says:

    Add me to the list of people who enjoyed Salt. Perfectly entertaining.

  • mindy says:

    I just had this from Netflix over the weekend and was really pleasantly surprised by how much they did NOT give away in the commercial.

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