‘The Forty-Year-Old Version’ raps a new beat in a classic city

Not to be confused with Steve Carell — that’s a different 40-year-old — Radha Blank is an aspiring playwright in New York. Keyword: aspiring. Despite having won a “30 Under 30” award, the last decade of her life has been a rollercoaster ride with a lot more drops than climbs. These days, she’s teaching theatre… Continue reading ‘The Forty-Year-Old Version’ raps a new beat in a classic city

‘Dick Johnson Is Dead’ breathes life into 2020 moviegoing

Dick Johnson is dead. Well, sort of. Not really. The 86-year-old psychologist is still kicking but with a little less verve than usual. He’s scheduling different clients at the same time, asking the same questions only minutes apart and just the other day, he drove through a construction site on four flat tires. Like his… Continue reading ‘Dick Johnson Is Dead’ breathes life into 2020 moviegoing

‘The Devil All the Time’ entertains despite its sins

“The Devil All the Time” is bad. But boy, is it the best kind of bad! Worse than a bad movie, in my opinion, is a forgettable one. You know the kind I’m talking about — those movies that exit your brain the second the credits have rolled, the kind you see on cable a… Continue reading ‘The Devil All the Time’ entertains despite its sins

‘Mulan’ brings honor to no one

Disney live action remakes are a special kind of cinematic purgatory. Few of them are truly irredeemable; you can always count on lavish production design, ornate costumes and some solid VFX. But in service of what? “Cinderella,” “Beauty and the Beast,” “Aladdin” — these movies are soulless. I’m not sure a studio has ever been… Continue reading ‘Mulan’ brings honor to no one

‘I’m Thinking of Ending Things,’ but where to begin?

How do you solve a problem like Charlie Kaufman? Perhaps “problem” is the wrong word. Puzzle? Riddle? Rabbit hole? The Oscar-winning screenwriter of “Being John Malkovich” and “Eternal Sunshine of the Spotless Mind” — more recently the director of “Synecdoche, New York” and “Anomalisa” — is one of my favorite filmmakers, but he doesn’t make… Continue reading ‘I’m Thinking of Ending Things,’ but where to begin?