Cover Art and Menus: 6/10
I kind of like this cover. It’s minimal, if not a little too intentionally minimal. Oh, you just can’t please me. I like the composition. I don’t like the gun, or the skeleton face. Other than that I would almost, almost have this as a mini poster to hang on an unused part of a wall. The menu is standard, so there’s not much to say about it.
- The Ultimate Female Action Hero – It’s the 21st century people, that means it’s time to start creating more women who rule the action world! Angelina is not my favorite, or at least hasn’t been in the past, but this little extra and this movie might sway me:)
- Spy Disguise: The Looks Of Evelyn Salt –She’s a woman of a few different looks, so we get the make-up and costume discussion.
- Radio Interview With Director Phillip Noyce – I like public radio, and this reminds me of those artsy shows and I like it. Who needs video when you have radio?
- Filmmaker Commentary – More from the director, talking, talking. If you love this movie you will be investing a lot of time with the 3 versions AND this commentary, but it might be worth it for the true SALT lover.
- False Identity Creating A New Reality –More packaged interviews and behind the scenes all about the special effects of a movie trying to skirt the line between a gritty reality and a certain fantasy action story.
- Salt Declassified The Making Of Salt – Produced DVD extra goodness, but the good kind of goodness. It’s all nicely packaged with interviews and some behind the scenes action. There is a lot of information and has the element of making me like the movie a bit more.
- The Real Agents – Movie people love to “learn” from the real people behind characters in their stories. How does a CIA agent really handle a gun, tuck and roll, look stern and sexy? Oh, all that research is so worth it.
- The Modern Master Of The Political Thriller: Phillip Noyce – A director who likes to dig his teeth into some dark twisty characters and stories. I like knowing about filmmakers and when they open up about their enthusiasm for their movies it’s that much better.
- Spy Cam PIP Track – More behind the scenes stuff you can gather into your brain by watching the movie, yet again.
- Movie IQ – While you watch the movie you can turn on this feature that offers you a database of all the details about the movie. Each scene can be examined by the push of a button. Find out what that song is, who that guy is, what other movies has that woman been in…pretty good, but only for a later viewing of the movie, not my first time through.
The Movie: 7/10
At this moment I am watching Antiques Roadshow and they are featuring a dress worn by Marilyn Monroe in Some Like it Hot. What does this have to do with Salt? Well, in fifty years what item that Angelina Jolie wore in Salt or other movies will be valued at over $200,000.00? As the dude who owns the Marilyn dress stands there in shock I yell “Sell it!!” as my participatory Roadshow viewing event.
Do you reckon there is something about our generation of movie star icons that just loses a bit of that Hollywood shine, or glamor, or mystique? Will the many costumes, wigs, and weapons used in this movie be on Roadshow bringing that kind of money? Hmmm I don’t think so, but I’ll just have to keep watching.
As for the movie, I liked it. I had a really good time with the big action and intensity that Jolie brings to even the quietest moments. If you know me, you know it’s a little strange that I am saying anything so boldly positive about Angelina J. I am either maturing, or softening, or being brainwashed slowly to be more fond of her. I’ll chalk it up to maturity, both of us. For Salt she brings so many different ingredients to the mix that I was mesmerized at times. She’s subtle when the scene calls for tepid retrospection. She’s ballsy when she’s got to kick some ass. She’s got that overly Hollywood-Jolie-Ass-Kissing-Close-Up syndrome from time to time, but I won’t blame her for that. I might be closer to becoming a fan, tune in for later reviews to see if the love fest continues.
The story of Salt is a tad unique. It’s not crazy original, but there are enough twists and turns and unexpected moments that kept my eyes wide open and even a few gasps that surprised me. I pushed back in my seat a couple of times when they threw some stunts at us that just really stand out as new, something I haven’t seen before. That’s hard to do when your brain is so full of action movies from nearly four decades of watching movies.
The stunts and action sequences are really gutsy. I like hard hitting crashes and fights. I don’t need ultra reality, but when you feel like the sound is pumping out from a real life car crash or fisticuffs it’s visceral and satisfying. Good fights, I have to say. Even if I do like the story and the character a lot, it’s the action and the liveliness of the whole movie that make it such an event.
I won’t say it’s perfect, or even in my top range of movies, but it’s pushing up there as a fun experience with all those ingredients combined, liking Jolie more and more, the action, the story, the exciting visuals, it’s just a good time at the movies. If that black coat or fur hat Angelina wore in the movie show up on the Roadshow in 100 years and someone says it’s worth $200,000.00 bring me back from the great beyond so I can watch with shock and amazement and can yell “Sell it!!” at whatever viewing device that’s been invented by then.
Audio & Video: 8/10
The last Blu-Ray of the year happens to be one of the best when it comes to presentation. Presented in 2.40:1 widescreen using the AVC codec, some of the scenes here are jaw droppingly good. Check out the funeral scene inside the church to see the detail this disk offers. Of course, if you are a fan of Jolie and are looking for lots of close up shots of those lips of hers in HD, this disc has you covered 🙂
The DTS-HD Master audio mix is really lively with lots of use of the rear surrounds.The motorcycle chase in particular really makes it sound like that bike is in the room with you. There are the occasional muffled lines (especially from Liev Schrieber) but those problems are few and far between.
I really enjoyed Salt, it’s the perfect popcorn movie for fans of Spy thrillers, I do feel at this point that you could put Angelina into any action movie (shes becoming the female Tom Cruise, does her own stunts as well) and it will be enjoyable. Recommended!
For just under 20 bucks you can get this Blu-Ray edition of Salt and that’s actually a pretty good bargain for what you get. I might not feel the need to own it, but it is a rewatchable flick, so consider the cost per view it might just work out to be a value for money. You do have the option to watch the movie about 5 times with all the versions and extras and so that’s only $4 per view, not bad. It’s a good deal for an entertaining movie and lots of extras.
Overall Score 7/10