The Big Clock

Quite the cast with Laughton, Milland, O’Sullivan, Elsa Lanchester (in a comedic turn), Harry Morgan (I don’t think he says a word) and an uncredited cameo by Noelle Neill. The strange thing is the shifting tone, from dark to comedic and back, as if the director was never sure what kind of film he wanted to make. Lots of good supporting performances. Worth a watch simply for all the familiar faces.

JOHN WICK 3

Truly amazing action film, but I admit to wearying of the endless chop-socky in the third act. Some of those scenes could easily have been trimmed. Great ending, though. Ready for Chap. 4 in 2021.

THE WIFE

A rather dull flick where you sit around waiting for the big reveal that you sussed out in the first ten minutes but you’re hoping it’s not that because it’s too obvious. I didn’t think Glenn Close was any better in this than in a dozen other roles (frankly, she wasn’t given a lot to work with). In its favor I can say it’s a lot better than Roma.  FF=1

THE PREDATOR

I came up with a log line while watching this: “Predator meets The Dream Team” (the Keaton film). I could give you a cliche countdown, starting with the savant child and psycho NSA-type agent, but I’ll simply sum them up for you: Been there, done that. FF=2.

A SIMPLE FAVOR

An entertaining, well-acted, and surprisingly funny mystery in the Gone Girl subgenre. Kendrick and Lively are super as mismatched friends working their way through a forgettable plot. I like that the script anticipates the audience: Just when I’m thinking, oh, they’re gaslighting her, Stephanie asks, “Are you Diabolique-ing me?” (and even better reference). Very much worth a look. FF=0

THE CASTLE OF FU MANCHU

I watched this because I’d seen all the other Chris Lee Fu Manchus and I’m a completist. It really is as bad as they say. Was there a script? Wasn’t the central threat stolen from Vonnegut’s Cat’s Cradle? The only good thing was the extra feature backgrounding the origins of the Devil Doctor. I was familiar with the info (they even delve into the mustache controversy) but a naive viewer would find it highly informative. FF=4.5