The reason for the divorce of Miley Cyrus' parents (Tish and Billy Ray Cyrus) might be the affair Tish possibly had with Bret Michaels. He's still regarded as the Poison frontman, you know. - NYDN
Kiefer Sutherland and Chris Noth are heading to Broadway to star in a revival of Jason Miller's play, "That Champion Season." Don't they seem like they'd spit into the audience SO MUCH? - Yahoo
Vince Neil and Bethenny Frankel are the only recognizable people who will be on ABC's new celebrity skating show. What a waste of a new show based on one person's struggle to physically rehab themselves after starring on a reality show. - Deadline
MTV apologized to GLAAD for a series of comments made by the Jersey Shore cast that referred to one of The Situation's conquests as a trangendered individual during the reunion special. Now if only the network would apologize for ruining our lives. - The Wrap
Mariah Carey will not tell us what sex she wants her baby to be because she doesn't want to pressure it. I could have sworn she would have been a Gwyneth Paltrow-sized heliparent! - Huffpo
Jay-Z is hinting that he might run for president one day. - Digital Spy
Aaron Sorkin, the most realistic dialog man ever and king of all treacherous conflicts between friends, is writing a Harry Houdini musical for Hugh Jackman. Jackpot. - NYMag
George W. Bush blames Kanye West for causing him the worst moment in his presidency during the celebrity benefit for Hurricane Katrina, when Kanye said Bush doesn't care about black people. Mike Myers is the only one not milking this. - Hollywood Reporter
Glamour Magazine named Fergie one of their women of the year. That is, of course, probably under the assumption she and the rest of the Black Eyed Peas didn't steal "I Gotta Feelin'." - MTV, NYMag
Salt the propulsive new thriller from Phillip Noyce (Clear and Present Danger Patriot Games) has been dubbed “Bourne with boobs ” but that label isn’t entirely accurate. In the role of Evelyn Salt a CIA staffer hunted by her own agency after a Russian defector fingers her in a plot to murder Russia’s president Angelina Jolie keeps her two most potent weapons holstered hidden under pantsuits and trenchcoats and the various other components of a super-spy wardrobe that proudly emphasizes function over flash.
But flash is one thing Salt never lacks for. Its breathless cat-and-mouse game hits full-throttle almost from the outset when a former KGB officer named Orlov (Daniel Olbrychski) stumbles into a CIA interrogation room and begins spilling details of a vast conspiracy. Back in the ‘70s hardline elements of the Soviet regime launched an ambitious new front in the Cold War flooding the western world with orphans trained to infiltrate the security complexes of their adopted homelands and wait patiently — decades if necessary — for the order to initiate a series of assassinations intended to trigger a devastating nuclear clash between the superpowers from which the treacherous Reds would emerge triumphant.
The Soviet Union may have long ago collapsed (or did it? Hmmm...) but its army of brainwashed killer orphan spies remains in place and if this crazy Orlov fellow is to be believed they stand poised to reignite the Cold War. It’s a preposterous — even idiotic — scheme but no more so than any of our government’s various harebrained proposals to kill Castro back in the ‘60s. As such the CIA treats it with grave seriousness even the part that that pegs Salt who just happens to be a Russian-born orphan herself as a key player in the conspiracy.
Salt bristles at the accusation but suspecting a set-up she opts to flee rather than face interrogation from her bosses Winter (Liev Schreiber) and Peabody (Chiwetel Ejiofor). A former field agent she’s been confined to a desk job since a clandestine operation in North Korea went south leaving her with a nasty shiner and a rather unremarkable German boyfriend (now her unremarkable German husband). She’s clearly kept up her training during while cubicle-bound however and in a blaze of resourceful thinking and devastating Parkour Fu she fends off a dozen or so agents of questionable competence and takes to the streets where she sets about to clear her name and unravel the Commie orphan conspiracy before the authorities can catch up with her. That is if she isn’t a part of the conspiracy.
The premise which aims to resurrect Cold War tensions and graft them onto a modern-day spy thriller is absurdly clever — and cleverly absurd. But Kurt Wimmer’s screenplay isn’t satisfied with the merely clever and absurd — it must be mind-blowing. Salt is one of those thrillers that ladles out its backstory slowly and in tiny portions every once in a while dropping a revelatory bombshell that effectively blows the lid off everything that happened beforehand. No one is who they seem and every action every gesture no matter how seemingly trivial is imbued with some kind of grand significance. The effect of piling on one insane twist after another has the effect of gradually diluting the narrative. When anything is possible nothing really matters.
But spy thrillers by definition trade in the preposterous and the principal function of the summer blockbuster is to entertain. In that regard Salt more than fulfills its charge. Noyce wisely keeps the story moving at pace that allows little time for asking uncomfortable questions or poking holes in the film’s frail plot. And he has an able partner in the infinitely versatile Jolie who having already exhibited formidable action-hero chops in Wanted and the Tomb Raider films proves remarkably adept at the spy game as well.
It’s well-known that Jolie wasn’t the first choice to star in Salt joining the project only after Tom Cruise dropped out citing the story’s growing similarities to the Mission: Impossible films. But she’s more than just a capable replacement; she’s a welcome upgrade over Cruise not least because she’s over a decade younger (and a few inches taller) than her predecessor. Should Brad Bird require a pinch-hitter for Ethan Hunt he knows where to look.