Monday, August 2, 2010

dinner and a movie: Salt

Welcome back to my Monday morning recap of my no-longer-Friday-night date with myself. I've been working Friday nights for the past few months, and I've missed both enjoying a movie and dinner and recapping them. I've decided to keep this feature on Monday morning, and I hope to find time each week to squeeze in a film at my favorite independent movie theater in Albany and my favorite restaurant, New World Bistro Bar.
The backstory: I'm a huge fan of Angelina Jolie, and I've been eager to see Salt ever since Tom Cruise dropped out and Angelina took over his role. I'm thrilled the day has come when gender-blind casting of a summer adventure film can exist. To further entice me, part of the film was shot right here in Albany last summer. Who knew our I-787 interchange closely resembles D.C.'s? It was fun to see some of our local landmarks in the trailer.

The basics: Evelyn Salt is a CIA agent accused of being part of a brilliantly cool (for a fictional spy movie) Russian plan to infiltrate the U.S. and one day wreak havoc.

My thoughts: Action movies are rather hit or miss for me. I'm not necessarily a fan of action for the sake of action. I like to think while watching films. Action in the midst of mystery and intrigue is delightful, and Salt is full of all three. The script is intelligent, and the plot moves so quickly you don't have time to stop and think about the reality. My brain was active throughout the movie, and I relished ever hint about Salt's true desires. Truthfully, I'm not a fan of Tom Cruise, and I cannot imagine this movie being good with him in it, but Angelina was awesome. She was powerful, smart and mysterious. I didn't care if she was a good spy or a dirty one: I was rooting for her desired outcome even when I didn't know what it was.

The verdict: Salt is everything a summer film should be: captivating, intelligent, enchanting, short, and slightly preposterous once you start to think about it after the credits roll. I cannot wait to see it again.

Rating: 5 stars (out of 5)
Length: 100 minutes
Release date: It's in theaters now.
Source: I paid to see it the Spectrum Theatres

After the film, I headed to New World Bistro Bar, my favorite restaurant in Albany. After seeing the perfect summer film, I had a wonderful summer meal on an uncomfortably hot night. There was fresh white sangria made with strawberries, peaches, apples and grapes. It was delicious. Because the night was so hot, I had a light, fresh dinner of baby octopus ceviche. It was so heavenly I contemplated ordering a second helping of it, but I settled on a second glass of sangria instead, and I wasn't disappointed!

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