TOO LATE FOR TEARS (KILLER BAIT)

I watched this 1949 noir thriller without knowing its tangled history. Lizabeth Scott, Dan Duryea, and Don Defore (eventually of “Hazel” fame) star in a screenplay that’s a lot busier than most noirs of the period (i.e., the plot keeps accelerating instead of plodding). Typical noir situation of one bad decision leading to another and another until someone is murdered. Lizabeth Scott isn’t the most expressive actress, but love that voice! I won’t go into the copyright travails here. (https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Too_Late_for_Tears)

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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.

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 MEG

As you might expect, The Meg is dumb. But it’s fun dumb. It’s dumb in the way its characters always choose the option that will put them in the most jeopardy. This is not necessarily good for their lifespan, but it’s good for those of us watching from our cushy recliners. I, for one, appreciate the action set pieces sparked by their dumb choices. I think The Meg incorporates just about every big monster cliche, but so what? You’re treated to great sets and a great monster. A perfect summer movie. Feel free to turn up your nose. I had a great time. (No FF — seen in theater)

BOMBSHELL: THE HEDDY LAMARR STORY

I found this documentary fascinating. A brilliant, beautiful, and very troubled woman. Her revolutionary technology could have shortened WWII if it hadn’t been shelved — supposedly because its inventor was a woman and, really, what do women know about radio frequencies and guidance systems? Definitely worth your time.  FF=0