What REALLY goes on in a job interview? Find out in the new revision of "Sweaty Palms: The Neglected Art of Being Interviewed" (Warner Books) by Tony Medley, updated for the world of the Internet . Over 500,000 copies in print and the only book on the job interview written by an experienced interviewer, one who has conducted thousands of interviews. This is the truth, not the ivory tower speculations of those who write but have no actual experience. "One of the top five books every job seeker should read," says Hotjobs.com. Now available on Kindle.

Safe House (9/10)

by Tony Medley

Run time 115 minutes.

Not for children.

This is a tense thriller with inexperienced CIA agent Ryan Reynolds trying to protect and, at the same time, bring in rogue agent  Denzell Washington in Cape Town, South Africa. There are lots of mysterious people trying to kill Denzell.

This doesn't present the CIA in a good light. I might have objected at one time, but from what I've learned about our Members of Congress and all the politicians who have occupied and worked in the executive branch since 1988 and the shenanigans in the courts, especially the Los Angeles Superior Court, what goes on in this movie can't be easily discounted.

This is extremely well-directed by Daniel Espinosa, a Swede directing his first American movie and his first exposure to major stars (Washington has a producing credit), from a good script by David Guggenheim, with help from uncredited writers John Lee, Terry George, and Espinosa himself. Given all the people who worked on the script, it's mind-boggling that they all have Denzell utter an appallingly ungrammatical comment about a "connection between you and I" that was like fingernails drawn across a blackboard for me. It's not as if his character is an idiot; in fact, he's painted as extremely bright. It's bad enough for professional writers not to know basic grammar, but didn't anybody catch this? Are Denzell and everyone who looked at the dailies so illiterate they didn't say, "Wait a minute; this doesn't sound right?"

This has one firefight after another with car chases and rooftop chases thrown in. They go on from beginning to end. There's not much time for thinking in this film, although Reynolds does a terrific job conveying a guy thrown into something he never imagined in his wildest dreams and winging it.

Washington and Reynolds give wonderful performances, ably backed up by a good cast that includes Vera Farmiga and Brendan Gleeson. Equally compelling is the cinematography (Oliver Wood, who also shot the Matt Damon "Jason Bourne" films, which used similar technique), although the plethora of shots using cinéma vérité techniques highlighted by hand held cameras and cuts so quick they might make one dizzy, could be bothersome to some viewers. There are quite a few violent fights and the cuts are so fast that the gore of the actual knives and things going into bodies isn't actually seen. But it can certainly be heard. The sound is also a big part of this movie. Every time something happens, you not only see it, you hear it, emphasized. The amplified sound, like the splendid music (Ramin Djawadi), add immeasurably to the high tension that pervades throughout.

February 8, 2012