Strikes You're Out
In “Late Night,” Katherine Newbury (Emma Thompson) is a
late-night talk show host who has always prided herself on taking the high
road, and striving for quality and excellence.
In other words, B-O-R-I-N-G. Though she's won several Emmys, her
ratings have been slipping for years, and finally, the network has told
her this is her last season, and she can either cheerfully introduce her
successor or just go quietly. She
Realizing that she's become so out-of-touch with her own show that
she doesn't even know the names of her own writers, she finally notices
that they're all white males, as is her stage manager.
And she never leaves the studio and goes out on the street to talk
to people. So she decides that
she really needs a different voice, so here comes Molly Patel (Mindy
Kaling), whose previous work experience has been....quality control in a
Despite the two significant main characters, the rest is completely
formulaic: Molly struggles to
find acceptance, but gets Katherine to re-think some things.
Ratings start to rise again. And
yes, by the end, we overthrow the white patriarchy and everything is
“Late Night” really can't decide whether to be a comedy or a
drama, and misses a lot of opportunity for one-liners among a crew that's
supposed to be good at them. The
best moments, actually, are the tender ones, with Katherine and her ailing
husband, Walter (John Lithgow). The
rest just doesn't have the substance to keep us interested.
And while we're on the superficial, “John Wick: Chapter Three-Parabellum”
is nothing but non-stop violence. Keanu
Reeves reprises his title role, and there's a very loose plot about some
kind of secret organization that the mortal combatants supposedly answer
to, but really, it's all just an excuse for more knife fights, gun fights,
car chases (and crashes), sword fights, you name it, it's a weapon.
Even for movie violence, it's particularly egregious (think nails
to the forehead and knife points to the eye).
There's no letup, and there's nothing remotely redemptive, and in
the end, it's completely pointless.
“A Dog's Journey” at least tries to be a feel-good film, but
the premise is preposterous: a
dog dies but comes back in the form of another dog, who somehow finds a
connection with the same family, then that happens three more times.
As if there's such a thing as quadruple dog reincarnation?
Well, at least there's a romance in there somewhere, but its impact
is muted by some angry family estrangement, as if we're trying so hard to
“keep it real” that we're disappointing the family-centered audience.
Not even all the dogs are lovable, and all the discordant notes
here makes this movie seem out of tune with itself.
These three offerings deserve to be at the bottom of your “must