The Review, which celebrated its 50th anniversary last night at Town Hall, found its niche almost immediately, and has been largely immune to the shifts in the business of cultural production and criticism, enduring for five decades and retaining its spot as the elite platform for probing, diverse cultural criticism and argument, right to the present day.
As I waited around outside, two other older ladies, each with small, rectangular pieces of cardboard proclaiming that they, too, were looking for tickets, got into a bickering argument when a gentleman in an overcoat decided to give one of the women his spare ticket; the other woman exhibited the injured manner of one whose cab has been stolen. “Can you believe that?” the ticketless woman said repeatedly, to anyone who would listen, shaking her head in disgust.
The anticipatory doomsaying surrounding John Carter, the impassioned live-action adaptation by Wall-E director Andrew Stanton of Edgar Rice Burroughs’s A Princess of Mars, is pretty disheartening. There have been whole think pieces speculating about what will happen if the film stinks, how harshly we should judge it, how much stink are we in for, how much slack should we give such a lousy but original film, etc. But the thing is, John Carter’s pretty good, if you forget about all of that and just watch it.(5)