Tag Archives: mindy kaling

LATE NIGHT (2019) – My rating: 8/10

Late Night is a comedy-drama directed by Nisha Ganatra from a screenplay by Mindy Kaling. Amazon Studios bought the domestic distribution rights for a record $13 million. The plot follows the host of a late-night talk show who teams up with her new female staff writer in an attempt to save her position and her career.  Late Night is definitely a feel-good movie that’s funny and heart felt, all while it’s also addressing diversity.

Legendary talk-show host Katherine Newbury (Emma Thompson) is a pioneer in her field. The only woman ever to have a long-running program on late night, she keeps her “all male” writers’ on a short leash, not even knowing their names. She is stern, unsympathetic, selfish and self centered, so after her ratings plummeted, rumors started swirling that Katherine is a “woman who hates women”.  To make matters worse, Katherine also hears she is being replaced by a younger, hipper male host Daniel Tennant (Ike Barinholtz, so she demands that her team of writers make her funny and relevant again. Katherine’s right-hand-man Brad (Denis O’Hare), under pressure, impulsively hires Molly Patel, (Mindy Kaling) a chemical plant efficiency expert from suburban Pennsylvania, as the first and only female (who, by the way, has never written comedy), to join Katherine’s writing staff.  As a lifelong fan, Molly is determined to prove she’s not just a diversity hire, but the one person who can turn her idol’s career around. Going against everything Katherine has staked her reputation on, she urges her to make the show more contemporary, authentic and personal, a move that could make Molly’s career ― or send her back to the chemical plant for good, as well as end Katherine’s career in the process.

Late Night is a charming, funny film that gives you a rest from all the current events of today.  The cast is brilliant and the chemistry between Emma Thompson and Mindy Kaling gives you all kinds of “warm fuzzzys”.  Emma brought reality to her character as she made a believer out of me.  There’s a lot more to this story. I was thoroughly entertained as I laughed, clapped and backed some policies out loud.  John Lithgow, who played Katherine’s husband Walter,  was convincing as the understanding husband who is sick but still able to mingle.  The film received positive reviews from critics, with praise for its social satire and commentary, as well as Thompson’s performance. I highly recommend Late Night to all.  There’s a good messages in it for everyone.  Check It Out!

 

OCEAN’S 8 (2018) – My rating: 7/10

Ocean’s 8 (stylized onscreen as Ocean’s Eight) is a comedy directed by Gary Ross and written by Ross and Olivia Milch. The film is a spin-off from Steven Soderbergh’s Ocean’s trilogy and features an ensemble cast.  Ocean’s 8 follows a group of women, led by Debbie Ocean, who plan on robbing a very expensive necklace, after serving time for a crime she actually didn’t commit.

 

**** THIS PLOT HAS SOME SPOILERS **** 

Debbie Ocean (Sandra Bullock), the younger sister of the late Danny Ocean (character from the previous Oceans 11 through 13), spends five years, eight months and twelve days in prison planning a heist. Debbie convinces her partner-in-crime and friend Lou (Cate Blanchett) to join forces with her while she proceeds to recruit a jewelry maker,  Amita (Mindy Kaling), a profiteer, Tammy (Sarah Paulson), a street hustler, Constance (Awkwafina), a computer cracker, Leslie a.k.a. Nine Ball (Rihanna), and a fashion designer, Rose Weil (Helena Bonham Carter). The film reveals in a flashback that Debbie’s ex-lover, Claude Becker (Richard Armitage), had involved her in a fraudulent scheme, then testified against her, which resulted in the 5+ years prison sentence she served. However, unbeknownst to Becker and as payback, Debbie chooses him to be the scapegoat for the plot to steal the Toussaint, a $150 million necklace to be worn by Daphne Kluger (Anne Hathaway), at New York City’s star-studded annual Met Gala.

Cast who appeared in a reprised, cameo role:
Dakota Fanning cameos as Penelope Stern
Elliott Gould reprises his role as Reuben Tishkoff
Shaobo Qin reprise his roles as  “The Amazing” Yen
Marlo Thomas, Dana Ivey, Mary Louise Wilson and Elizabeth Ashley cameos as actresses who help the crew shift their stolen gems.

These celebrities make cameo appearances as themselves:
Anna Wintour, Zayn Malik, Katie Holmes, Maria Sharapova, Serena Williams, Kim Kardashian, Adriana Lima, Kylie Jenner, Alexander Wang, Nina Cuso, Kendall Jenner, Gigi Hadid, Lily Aldridge, Olivia Munn, Zac Posen, Hailey Baldwin, Derek Blasberg, Heidi Klum and Lauren Santo Domingo.

I didn’t know what to expect from this movie but I have now formed an opinion that Ocean’s 8 was somewhat entertaining and somewhat boring and very unbelievable.  While the premise was okay, the overall execution was ridiculous and sloppy.  I think this film could have been thought out better before presenting it, especially to the Ocean’s trilogy fans.  Speaking of presentation, I thought Cate Blanchett looked fabulously beautiful, I hardly recognized her.  That’s not to say she isn’t beautiful all the time, it’s just to say she was especially beautiful in Ocean’s 8.  My recommendation is to wait for the DVD.  It’ll be an enjoyable night of watching movies at best!

INSIDE OUT (2015) – My rating: 5.5/10

InsideOutAnimated movies are really not my thing.  I didn’t like Inside Out mostly because the characters talked much to much. Most of the voices were too high pitched and fast paced.  That combination really got on my last nerve.  The dialogue seemed redundant because the subject was repeated over and over again.  The concept is five characters: Joy (Amy Poehler), Sadness (Phylis Smith), Fear (Bill Hader), Anger (Lewis Black) and Disgust (Mindy Kaling) all reside in the mind of Riley Anderson (Kaitlyn Dias) and their function is to keep Riley mostly happy from her childhood up through her teens and beyond.  Their task becomes particularly more challenging when Riley’s parents (Diane Lane and Kyle MacLachlan) move the family from Minnesota to San Francisco where Riley must now adjust to a new life.  The personified team don’t seem to be too stable themselves.  They are always bickering about the best way to go about their task and everyone seems to rely on one person, the matriarch of the their family.  The whole scenario of keeping Riley happy didn’t seem likely because these five characters in her mind kept botching their task causing Riley to be unhappy.  This would truly be nerve racking to anyone but a child.  So my advice to an adult would be “try and stay away from noisy children movies”.  I don’t know if there was a shortage of animated films this year, but Inside Out was nominated the best in its category.  Either I’m out of touch or I’m just way too old for the likes of Inside Out.  With that said, I don’t think there’s any danger seeing it on on DVD and if you’re contemplating renting this movie, you’re probably getting it for your child or grand child.  So, I say go for it.  The children will most likely love it.

[INSIDE OUT is nominated for Best Animated Feature and Original Screenplay]