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Invisible Agent (1942)
good, from a story by H.G. Wells
Jon Hall is an "Invisible Agent" in this 1942 films, from a story by H.G. Wells. The film also stars Ilona Massey, Peter Lorre, J. Edward Bromberg, and Sir Cedric Hardwicke. Wells was also responsible for the "Invisible Man" series from Universal.
During WW II, Frank Raymond (Hall) injects himself with a serum, invented by his grandfather, that renders him invisible. He parachutes into Germany on behalf of the Americans. He goes to the home of a well-connected woman (Massey) and listens in on her dinner conversation with a Reich member (Bromberg).
Raymond has a little too much fun ruining the meal, and it doesn't take a Germans after the formula, led by Conrad Stauffer (Hardwicke) to hear his story and realize the Invisible Agent is in their midst. Raymond, however, is not easy to catch and causes plenty of chaos.
Fun movie with fun effects. Too bad handsome Jon Hall was invisible for most of the film.
Voice in the Wind (1944)
a pianist escapes from war-torn Czechoslovakia during WW II
After playing Smetna's Maldau in Czechoslovakia, and accused of inciting anti-German feelings, pianist Jan Volny finds himself running from the Nazis in "Voice in the Wind" from 1944. This is a rarity - it's an independent film at a time when very few were made, due to the power of the movie studios.
Volny is tortured by the Nazis and sent to a concentration camp; however, he overpowers his captors and later boards a ship for Guadalupe. There he is known as El Hombre -- he has amnesia and remembers nothing of his past.
His wife, whom he left in the care of a friend in Czechoslovakia, finally lands in Guadalupe as well, but she is quite ill. She hears El Hombre playing the piano and realizes that it is Jan.
Very sad and depressing but full of heart and the human spirit.
The Unseen (1945)
Unlike what some sites say, "The Unseen" has nothing to do with "The Uninvited," which also starred Gail Russell. I suspect Paramount was just trying to get more traction out of the success of that movie. The Unseen also stars Joel McCrea, Herbert Marshall, Isobel Elsom, and Norman Lloyd.
Russell plays Elizabeth, the new governess for the two young children of a widower (David Fielding). The film begins with a murder being committed outside their house, and the victim drops her watch. When Elizabeth arrives, the murder has made the front page of the paper, and people are nervous.
Odd things go on, mostly having to do with the young boy, Barnaby, who makes mysterious phone calls, seems to have more money than he should, and also unlocks the door for someone every night. Meanwhile the house next door has been boarded up for 12 years, adding to a tense and mysterious atmosphere.
This movie is disjointed, with zero character development and rather surprising things not questioned or pursued, almost as if parts of the script was missing.
It's hard to watch the beautiful Gail Russell and realize the downward turn her life was already taking. Lots of sad Hollywood stories, but I'd put hers, Susan Peter's, and Sharon Tate's on top. Unlike Tate and Peters, though, Russell never intended to be an actress. Her beauty didn't go unnoticed once her family arrived in California, and they desperately needed the money a contract would bring. She was too nervous and fragile, and by the age of 36, she was dead from acute alcoholism.
Russell is much stronger as an actress that she was in The Uninvited - it's also a more forceful kind of role. However, it's obvious she's grown from experience after doing several films. McCrea is rather stiff (it's just that kind of role). He probably had to take the role to fulfill his contract.
I saw a bad print so the end was like watching a black screen, but I had the goings-on figured out - too many years of watching this type of film.
Lady in the Dark (1944)
Psychiatry takes a front seat
"Lady in the Dark" from 1944 is an adaptation of the Broadway musical of the same name, which starred Gertrude Lawrence and made a star out of Danny Kaye. Mischa Auer, Jon Hall, Ray Milland, and Gail Russell. Auer is in Kaye's role, and his show-stopping number, "Tchaikovsky" was cut.
Actually, the music in this version is incidental to the film. Ginger Rogers plays Liza, the editor of a fashion magazine. She sees a doctor because of headaches and inability to concentrate. He sends her to a psychiatrist (Barry Sullivan).
Psychology and psychiatry really hit their stride during World War II for obvious reasons. Though "Lady in the Dark" is dated in its views toward women, the unraveling of Liza's psyche through musical dreams is very entertaining.
Ginger Rogers is spectacular - a beautiful actress and dancer, she radiates light in her gorgeous gowns, which belie her normal non-dream office attire. She gives a touching performance of a conflicted, unhappy woman who can't embrace life but doesn't understand why.
Ray Milland is charming and funny as Charley, Liza's office nemesis, and Mischa Auer as the temperamental photographer is excellent. Jon Hall and Warner Baxter are very good, but their characters don't have the development of the other roles.
Probably the 1954 Lady in the Dark starring Ann Sothern is better and truer to the show. This Lady is worth seeing for Ginger.
Small Island (2009)
Lovely miniseries from 2009 starring Ruth Wilson, Naomie Harris, David Oyelowo, Roger Sloman, Ashley Walters, Benedict Cumberbatch.
The film begins right before World War II. Hortense (Wilson) and Michael (Walters) are Jamaicans who were raised together though not related. Hortense always assumed they would marry, but when she sees Michael kissing a married woman, she freaks. However, she never let go of the fantasy.
In order to get to London, though, which is her dream, she marries Gilbert (Oyelowo), another Jamaican. Once in England, they learn the hard lessons about the racism prevalent in the "mother country" and endure struggles.
The parallel story is that of Queenie and Bernard, both British - Bernard proposes and Queenie, not sure of her feelings, takes a chance and accepts. His father, shell-shocked from WW I, lives with them. When Bernard leaves for the service, Queenie meets Michael and falls for him. Meanwhile, she rents out rooms to Hortense and Gilbert. Thus, the two stories come together.
Someone wrote that "Small Island" draws you in - that's a great description. The characters are vivid, their stories poignant, and we care deeply about them.
It is so well made, and a beautiful story of lives intertwining and living through war and prejudice...and learning about love and friendship.
There's That Woman Again (1938)
I love Melvyn Douglas, I love Virginia Bruce, and I love screwball comedy.
However, in "There's That Woman Again," the Bruce character annoyed me for some reason. Her antics just seemed so ridiculous. Her husband (Douglas) seemed ready to kill her, and I could understand it.
There were some funny parts. Perhaps I just wasn't in the right kind of mood.
Meet Mr. Callaghan (1954)
Derrick De Marney stars in "Meet Mr. Callaghan" from 1954.
It's the story of a detective (de Marney) who survives job to job. He is approached by a wealthy woman, Cynthis (Harriette Johns) who needs his help. It's a slightly convoluted story, having to do with her stepfather's will, and another will he apparently hid.
Callaghan isn't a favorite of Inspector Gringall (Trevor Reid) so when a murder occurs, and Callaghan is able to supply Cynthis' alibi, Gringall is all over him and it.
Callaghan seems unconventional and a little bit borderline as far as the law, but we soon learn he's very clever and a step ahead of the police.
Derrick de Marney is fantastic as Slim Callaghan, with is crisp responses and a laid-back, never flustered approach. He really makes the film.
Very enjoyable British B that keeps you interested.
Home to Danger (1951)
kind of a mess
I love the British B noirs, but some of them are confusing - huge plot holes and a story that doesn't make sense.
A young woman, Barbara Cummings (Rona Anderson) comes back to the family estate after the suicide of her father - if that's what it was. When the will is read, she inherits everything rather than it going to his business partner, where it was supposed to go initially. It's suggested by the solicitor that she continue to help the children's charity -- her father has left it 500 pounds, and she suggests that part of her home can go to house children.
Well here's where it gets a little dicey. People are trying to kill her, having something to do with drugs. Somehow the head of this charity is involved. I admit I lost track. The business partner is involved as well, taking orders from someone who wants Barbara set up to be killed during a shooting party.
Terence Fisher was a marvelous director. He really paid his dues with this one.
Stanley Baker has a small part as a devoted albeit slow servant, and tall, distinguished Guy Rolfe is a family friend who has romantic designs on the heroine.
This is the type of thriller where the ends don't all join up.What we know for certain from the very beginning is that Alan Wheatley is the murderer,simply because this is the role that he plays in nearly every film.However what is not quite as clear is why he is doing in all and sundry.We have Stanley Baker in a very early role playing a servant who is prepared to go to any lengths to protect his mistress.However there are too many unanswered questions.Like what is funny old Peter Jones doing in a role of a hit-man.Why is Alan Wheatley the head of a children's charity and a drug dealer at the same time.I could raise many points like this but none have a satisfactory answer.Thankfully it only lasts just over an hour so not much chance of getting bored.
so-so British B
A murder in "Blackout," a 1950 B also starring Dinah Sheridan.
Reed plays a blind man awaiting surgery for his condition. One night, he asks to go to a certain address, and the driver makes a mistake bringing him to the square with the street name and not the gardens with the same name. Therefore, he walks into the wrong house and nearly trips over a dead body.
The killers are still in the house but, realizing he's blind, knock him out and put him out on the street. When he regains consciousness, no one believes his story.
Somewhat convoluted. The Reed character regains his sight and sets out to solve the murder.
Truthfully, I either became confused or I stopped paying attention.
I will say that Maxwell Reed was quite the hunk in the Dirk Bogarde tradition, though not nearly as good an actor.
He was, however, a matinee idol for a short time and has the distinction of being Joan Collins' first husband. At the time, he was her favorite actor.
Recoil is one of those British B's I love so much. This one stars Kieron Moore and Elizabeth Sellars.
A woman (Sellars) poses as a crook in order to get evidence against the jewel thief who killed her father.
Pretty good - something about Sellars reminded me of Jackie O, around the eyes.
Good acting, interesting story.
No Trace (1950)
love these British films
"No Trace" from 1950 is about a mystery novelist (Hugh Sinclair) who finds himself being blackmailed about his past and murders the blackmailer. His secretary (Dinah Sheridan) sets out to solve the mystery of the man's murder.
I love these English B mysteries. It was fun to see The Fugitive's Barry Morse here as a young investigator and speaking with a British accent - he didn't on his most famous role, Lt. Gerard on The Fugitive.
My only problem with this film is I don't understand how the Sheridan character felt any affection for her boss, a cold, arrogant man.
Bond of Fear (1956)
No way would I have ever recognized John Colicos
It wasn't until the end of "Bond of Fear" that I remembered John Colicos was listed in the cast and realized who he was. Wow.
Dermot Walsh plays a dad taking his family on a trip in a caravan (trailer) when a wanted criminal, Dewar (Colicos) takes over the trip, keeping the son in the caravan with him, gun in tow, and ordering Walsh not to turn him in.
This I think was one of those "quota" films done in Britain, and I found it absorbing and well acted. The little boy was a riot. He tells Dewar, "I said a prayer for you." Dewar asks, what did you pray for? The boy says, "I won't tell you. It's horrible."
what if no one remembered the Beatles?
This is a cute and harmless film, courtesy of Danny Boyle.
The story concerns an aspiring musician, Jack Malik (Hamish Patel) who is discouraged about his lack of career and decides to quit. As he's on his way home, there's a worldwide blackout for something like 12 seconds. Danny plows into a bus and winds up in the hospital.
He soon realizes that the blackout wiped out a few parts of our culture - cigarettes, Coca Cola, and the Beatles. Jack seems to be the only person in the world who remembers the Fab Four. He starts singing Beatles songs as his own creations and becomes an international star.
The story is about what we all have in common and what happens if it's taken away - we lose that little piece that keeps us linked. It's also about a nightmare suffered by famous actors, musicians, artists, and writers - what happens when people realize I'm a fake? Many famous people, when their work is appreciated, feel like frauds.
In Jack's case, of course, he is one. As he gets ready for his first album, all the people and success start to get to him. And it's causing him to lose his girlfriend (Lily James).
I think another point here is that if the Beatles hadn't existed, we would have had to invent them. Their contribution to our world and our music is incredible. This is a fun film; don't look for Citizen Kane.
Charité at War (2019)
Germany in WW II - no picnic
"Charite at War" covers the German hospital during World War II.
The film focuses on Anni (Mala Emde), her doctor husband Arthur (Artjom Gilz), the brilliant surgeon Sauerbruch, and Anni's brother (Otto Jannik Schumann), an in-the-closet gay. Given Rule 175, homosexuals who were caught were arrested and worse.
The group at the hospital reflects the differing views of citizens under Hitler's restrictions, some of whom display delusional thinking. Artur works with disabled children who are wards of the state as he works to develop a new vaccine. These children are eventually sent to another hospital, where Artur believes the children receive treatment, though the truth is, they are exterminated.
Sauerbruch goes along with Hitler's restrictions, but he believes he has a duty to all patients, and that includes Jews. He himself spoke to the Minister of Justice to end the extermination of children - and believes it is no longer happening.
Anni is a would-be doctor studying with Sauerbruch. Anni is comfortable that she and Artur have the correct genes. However, their new baby, Karin, possibly has hydrocephalus. This means she has to be reported and transferred, and that they may be sterilized. Instead, they treat the baby at home and then appeal to Sauerbruch for help. She and Artur face a crisis in their beliefs and in their marriage.
Otto falls in love with a male attendant at the hospital. There is a young nurse after him, who presses him for a commitment before he leaves for the service. When she doesn't get it, trouble ensues.
A cruel doctor accuses soldiers in the infirmary of faking their illness or wounded themselves, and they are sent for execution.
Meanwhile Germany is losing the war, and everyone hopes it will be over soon. Nobody seems to like Hitler. Sauerbruch thinks he's crazy. But they all live with terror.
Toward the end of the film, we see what Hitler sent out to fight - teenage boys. Pathetic.
An interesting cross-section of those who are secret spies and just plain keeping secrets as they try to get through their lives and survive Hitler.
"Charite at War" is depressing, and we see how the German people suffered. Toward the end of the war, there was no water, no supplies at the hospital, nothing, as doctors use liquor to sterilize their hands and anesthetize the patients.
And that's what happens when someone tells you that some people are superior to others, and anything that goes wrong with the country is the fault of these lesser people.
I'd say never forget, but it seems as though we have.
Private Detective (1939)
Jane in those blond years
Jane Wyman stars as an aggressive detective driving her fiance police detective Dick Foran nuts in "Private Detective" from 1939. The film also stars Dick Foran and Maxie Rosenbloom.
The story concerns the murder of a man (John Eldredge) who has won custody of his son after a court fight with his wife (Mona Dickson). She's a suspect, but there are others. The Wyman character is determined to find out whodunit.
Wyman was no less of a good actress when she became a brunette, but the roles she got were different. I absolutely love her as a blond, always have, and she seemed to get feistier roles that were more fun. Just an opinion. She was quite a talent - she could sing, act, and was a fine artist.
Fun, fast film, o the short side but that is perfect for a film of this type.
Secret Obsession (2019)
I'm no genius, but I knew this entire story before even watching it.
Brenda Strong's character was very resourceful. She's very pretty and for what this was, a decent actress.
The Strange Awakening (1958)
This British director was known for quota films, i.e., quick ones to meet the British cinema requirement. "Strange Awakening" from 1958 is one of these. But it's a British B movie and I can't resist them.
The film stars Lex "Tarzan" Barker, a tall, blond, and handsome American actor, who is attacked by a hitchhiker and wakes up in a hospital with no I.D. and no memory. He finds out that he is Gordy Friend, the ne'er-to-do-well son of a wealthy man who has just died a month earlier. He finds out that he lives in a huge mansion in the Nice/Cannes area, has a wife, a sister, and a mother.
It's a little suspicious because in the first scene, the guy's wife, Iris, leaves on a trip. So we know this is a set-up from the beginning.
It drags its way to an incomplete end. I mean, we know why he is impersonating Gordy, but that's about it. He knows his real name but does he remember who he is? And what about poor Iris? There is no indication that this character regains his memory.
The acting isn't bad - Nora Swinburne, Lisa Gastoni, and Carole Mathews acquit themselves well. Barker wasn't much of an actor. He was a popular Tarzan and later on became a huge star in Germany, where he eventually made his home. Never let it be said Arlene Dahl and Lana Turner didn't know a handsome face when they saw one - they were both married to him.
Our Souls at Night (2017)
Two legends come together in an old-fashioned love story
Robert Redford and Jane Fonda - two of the biggest names in film history - have been a wonderful partnership on film since their first film together 50+ years ago. They reunite here in "Our Souls at Night" from 2017, and they're as delightful as ever.
It's the story of a widow, Addie (Fonda) and widower (Redford), neighbors --two lonely people who make a connection. It's not really a love connection at first -- it's more of a reaching out and communicating. Eventually Louis (Redford) becomes involved in helping out with Addie's grandson, Jamie and they slowly become entwined in each other's lives.
This isn't a fast-moving CGI film with cartoon characters. These are real people in their twilight years who in a way are still finding themselves and find one another.
Fonda gives an amazing performance - having seen her in Book Club and Grace & Frankie - this is no old lady. Yet for this role, she walks like she's older and at times seems a little doddering. And believe it or not, at 80 years old, it's an act! In Book Club, her boyfriend was Don Johnson, and in Grace & Frankie, it's Peter Gallagher, nearly 20 years her junior.
Nevertheless, she and Redford are perfectly suited to one another and make a beautiful couple. This is a sweet, thoughtful film. It's for my generation. I loved it.
Not sure what the problem is
I'm a bit confused, and perhaps I need to stop watching anything.
First of all, I'm a sucker for British mystery, suspense, anything. I've seen thousands , from Hammer B movies to Masterpiece Theater ad infinitum. I am going out on a limb and saying I really enjoyed this. It concerns a teenage girl who goes missing after a party, and one by one, neighbors in a gated community are connected to it. I thought it was very well done.
From the reviews I read on this site, the general feeling seemed to be (1) it was a soap opera; (2) the acting was bad and one-dimensional; and (3) Michael C. Hall's attempt at a British accent was laughable.
First off, it was a miniseries, and because it continued from episode to episode, it had some soap opera elements. I didn't mind that. I found it suspenseful and intriguing. A few people said they weren't sure if it was a drama or a comedy. That is because there were a few segments that were dark comedy. Again, before today, I didn't know drama could not have any comedy in it and vice versa.
I have no understanding -NONE - of how anyone can say with a straight face, given their impressive list of credits, that Michael C. Hall, Amanda Abbington, Marc Warren, and Audrey Fleurot - all of whom I've seen do other things - can't act, are one dimensional, or bad. Ridiculous.
Okay, Michael C. Hall's accent. I've been to England, I have British friends, I watch enormous amounts of British shows -- and I fail to see what was wrong with his accent except that he didn't sound like Dexter.
At first I thought the people complaining were actually Brits - my sister lived in England, came home with a British accent, and her friends in England were still teasing her about her American accent - so they hear something we don't. But no. Sorry, I would love for someone to tell me what was wrong with his voice.
Anyway, I thought this was good, compelling, and kept me interested.
All can say is, Rufus Sewell - hubba hubba.
Wow - Zen is a marvelous series about a Venetian police detective, Zen, played by Sewell. He works in Rome and is known for scrupulous honesty and incorruptibility. Because of this, he is often approached by officials to take care of politically uncomfortable situations. When he does, in return, he asks for a favor.
Though it was made in 2011, the show doesn't rely on DNA, computers, forensics, though they might play into the plot. They have cell phones and that's about it.
Filmed in Rome, it is absolutely stunning to look at, with the actors impeccably dressed, especially Sewell. Caterina Murino, who plays the boss' secretary, is beautiful and does a nice job as a conflicted woman.
But let's talk about Sewell. First off, the man is gorgeous and with that soft-spoken voice, you could faint. He's very sexy. I wish he would play James Bond. I'd run to the theater. Zen is cool under pressure and never gives away what he's thinking. He manages to do what he's been asked to do and keep it above-board, even if he's unconventional.
I didn't read the reviews but I imagine there's something somewhere about the British accents in Italy. Well, they're not speaking English with an Italian accent. They are speaking Italian. It's an old acting convention. Otherwise, Chekov plays would be done with Russian accents.
Very good. Wish there were more episodes.
Unfortunately there were only three episodes so it's unclear if this was a miniseries or supposed to be a series - it was nicely wrapped up.
Four Days (1951)
okay if some of the action isn't always clear
"Four Days" from 1951 is one of those British B movies that I love. You can tell the film was made in probably the four days of the title, but there are some interesting camera shots and one great fight.
Hugh McDermott plays Francis, a man whose business is in trouble; as a result, he's been neglecting his wife Lucienne (Kathleen Byron). A ne'er do well, Johnny (Peter Reynolds), one of her husband's employees, has been making time with her.
When Francis returns unexpectedly from a successful trip to America, he catches Johnny and Lucienne together. Johnny's been forging company checks, and looming over him is the fact that Francis now will certainly turn him in. Panicked, Lucienne spikes Francis' brandy with pills. It's not a success. The next day, Francis attempts suicide and when he comes to, he doesn't remember anything of the previous four days.
Well, here's a man whose built his company from nothing. He's just made an important deal that will return them to earlier success and, finding the wife he's been ignoring has a boyfriend, decides to throw himself off of a cliff. Odd. I found it odd.
One of the reasons it was unclear to me I guess is because I'm dense or maybe the attempted murder scene threw me off. Johnny is also going to drink brandy until Francis signals him not to. He then knocks Francis' glass from his hand. Francis in turn has a fit and throws the brandy decanter across the room. I admit I thought he was angry with Johnny but I guess he did realize that Francis was trying to kill him.
The other thing that was a little curious to me was that Lucienne was ready to leave this guy and suddenly she hates Johnny and is madly in love with her husband again.
Someone said the film could have been great if it had ended earlier - I actually could have used a little more development.
Nevertheless, the acting was fine - Byron went on to have a very important role in Black Narcissus and worked into the 20th Century. Not a great beauty, she nevertheless has a compelling look. McDermott went on to character roles - here, he is very dapper.
Youth - it's about aging.
Youth is a beautifully and thoughtfully made film by Paul Sorrentino - about aging. Caine and Keitel are two old men, best friends, staying in a fancy Swiss hotel for the summer.
Fred Ballinger (Caine) is a famous conductor/composer, now retired, and Keitel is a film director, Mick Boyle, who is working on his film while at the hotel, putting the script together with the actors who will appear in it. Ballinger's daughter (Weisz) is her father's assistant, and she is staying with him.
An emissary for Queen Elizabeth visits Ballinger to ask him to conduct his own composition, Simple Songs, for Prince Philip's birthday. He refuses. That portion is based on a situation with Ricardo Muti, who could not agree with the Queen on repertoire and ultimately refused to conduct a concert.
Michael Caine gives a great performance as a man who feels his life is over. He comes off as being much more fragile than we usually see him, even at his age. He has some very funny dialogue. Harvey Keitel is wonderful as a man going forward, feeding off the energy of the young actors with whom he is working. Rachel Weisz as Lena is heartfelt as a woman who has both anger and love for her father. I saw her on stage - she's so stunning it's ridiculous.
The scenery and the music are flawless.
I can't say much more about this film - you either get it or you don't. It's about aging, how you choose to deal with it, love, looking back, looking forward, memories, and one other big thing - youth.
Agent of Influence (2002)
Pathetic - not the movie, the real-life situation
"Agent of Influence" from 2002 is the disturbing true story of the CIA's framing of the Canadian Ambassador to the USSR (Christopher Plummer) by exposing him as a Russian agent. In so doing, they want to force him to implicate the Prime Minister at the time, Pearson. It stars Christopher Plummer, Marina Orsini, Ted Whittall, and Shaun Johnson.
With the exception of Plummer, the acting ranged from good to so-so - Marina Orsini, I think in an attempt to sound American, did her more subtle scenes the best. Plummer as usual was amazing as a man in failing health coming up against the ruination of his career at the hands of the CIA. The incident took place in 1964; the real story was finally revealed in 1980.
The older I get, the more disgusted I get by our government's antics. Sad statement.
Hilarious, watchable trash
Renee Zelwegger stars with Jane Levy, Blake Jenner, and Keith Powers in "What/If" which is supposedly a TV series. I'm not sure of the concept, as this season was resolved. But you never know. It could be an anthology series.
"What/If" is a scream - it's about a demon right out of hell (Zelwegger) - put it this way, when she enters a room there's thunder and lightning. Her life is based on manipulating people and ruining lives. She sets her sights on the bright proprietor. Lisa (Jane Levy) of a start-up company, Emigen, and offers to fund the company to the tune of $20 million, help her get clinical trials and FDA approval - all with an eye to destroying her, though we don't know how. The only price she extracts from Lisa is that she gets to spend a night with Lisa's husband Sean (Jenner). And what goes on during that night can never be revealed to her by Sean -- or Lisa forfeits the company. Lisa and Sean feel it's worth the gamble, having apparently seen Indecent Proposal.
With its over the top presentation, What/If would have been maybe mildly interesting, but the writers had to throw in a couple of ridiculous subplots. The heavy message was: everyone has secrets, truth will out, and it's time to fess up. Alas it's too poorly executed, littered with cliches.
Zelwegger looks gorgeous, and we know she's a wonderful actress. She does well with her role - ruthless, cunning, and you just know underneath there's some vulnerability somewhere. Also to me anyway she has one of the all-time great voices - it can be sexy, cold, cunning, you name it.
Heavy-duty Basic Instinct music, the thunder, the lightning - over the top? Yup. Watchable - if you take it as high camp and are a Zelwegger fan.
Late Night (2019)
good light film for the summer
Emma Thompson and Nisha Ganatra star along with Hugh Dancy in "Late Night," an Amazon film from 2019.
Thompson plays the British host of an American late night show, a job she has had for 20-plus years. Lately - like in the last ten - the ratings have been slipping. Now in her fifties, Katharine Newberry is discovering that her acerbic wit and patricianism is no longer current. She doesn't really know anyone on her writing staff, some of which have been with the show for 27 years; none of them are allowed on the set; they're all men; the show has no social media presence. A shakeup is needed.
Newberry insists a woman be hired, and a young woman from a chemical lab, Molly Patel (Kaling) iwho wants to be a writer is brought into the hostile situation where she is not taken seriously. But her fresh approach and lack of boundaries impresses Newberry.
I actually thought this film would be better. It's good, a kind of feel-good film, with Mindy Kaling absolutely delightful as Molly, who hard-working, earnest, honest, talented, and has to develop a thick skin.
The role of Katherine was written for Emma Thompson; yet I'm not sure she was totally right for the role, at least the way she played it. She's a wonderful actress and gave us a highly-developed characterization, and it's not that she can't DO comedy, she can - but she doesn't quite come off as a comedienne. I can't explain it any better than that. I could almost see a real out there actress like Helena Bonham Carter or a real-life comedienne like Miranda Hart pulling it off better.
Enjoyable; I liked it better than Devil Wears Prada, which was so over-hyped that you thought you were seeing Citizen Kane.