I am still trying to catch up here. Still 6 movies behind. We went to our favorite movie theater and saw......
I want to talk about our favorite movie theater for a second. I am a HUGE customer loyalty type of guy. South Shore theater here in Milwaukee has earned our loyalty so the majority of movies we see are there. I have noticed some signs of the place going downhill though. Right now these signs are small (a broken window pane hasn't been replaced for a month. A dead mouse was outside the exit door for weeks. The movies posters on the marquees haven't been changed.). I know these are no big deal, taken one at a time, but on the whole, the experience at this theater is degrading.
Ok, anyway....GLASS was something special.
I want to say that again for emphasis. Glass was something special.
It was, at times, unsatisfying. It won't end up being my favorite movie of the year.
But, it was something special.
Glass felt, to me, like a master storyteller at the top of his game producing his Magnum opus.
Glass is the third of the Unbreakable, Split unplanned trilogy. I don't even want to argue this. When Shamylan was making Unbreakable, he was not planning for this.
The framework of this movie. Good lord, I just sat in my seat and soaked it all in.
Opening: Bruce Willis is revealed to be working with his son running a security company. They are actively tracking the Horde (James Mcavoys character from Split). He is killing women and they are out to stop him. We see some establishing type shots of the Horde terrorizing cheerleaders and Bruce Willis stopping crimes.
It's all very effective. We know the status of some of the main characters and their motives. We are already into the story.
Second part: Bruce Willis and the Horde battle. The cheerleaders are freed. Bruce Willis is winning the battle when outside forces intervene and capture both the hero and villain. the battle is understated for a super hero battle but it's a really good scene. the capture plants the first seeds of something more happening here.
Main act: The two characters are taken to a hospital of some sort where we are reintroduced to Mr. Glass (Samuel L. Jackson). So, there is a woman there that is trying to treat the three of them. She is attempting to convince them that they are Imagining their powers.
There is a lot of "fishy" stuff here. It is all very effective. The "hospital" is severely short staffed. The credentials of the woman are sketchy. The amount that she knows about each character is weird.
Ending: Glass, Horde and Bruce WIllis fight it out and they all die.
POSTSCRIPT: This is the usual shamamalamn twist. The woman doctor is part of a secret society tasked with keeping beings of power secret throughout time. The special people in the lives of the supers (Willis's son, Glasses mother and the girl from split) Manage to get a recording of the final battle out on to the interweb.....fade to black.
Just the way the story is told. It is obvious that every single syllable uttered and every single facial expression (and everything else) was agonized over by the filmmaker. Its soooooo immersive.
The two battles between Horde and Bruce Willis are really good. Understated but good.
McAvoy and Jackson are amazing in the movie. I know they won't be thought of in Oscar season, but their performances are very good...as is the performance of the actor who plays willis' son.
The world building. By the end of the movie, I wanted more and more and more. Like I said, it's so immersive.
The air of mystery. You just never quite knew if you were seeing what you were seeing. It put the audience in the shoes of the characters. Very effective.
The cinematography. The scenes were all shot in a real world way....but a very detailed real world way.
The opening scenes where Bruce WIllis and his son are working together were all great scenes...felt like a logical next step for the Unbreakable movie.
Did I mention Sam Jackson. His "Glass" character ended up feeling like the center of the movie even though he didn't even appear until well into the story. His part was so well written, directed and acted. He ALWAYS feels in control of the action. That was definitely planned. EVen when he is being mocked in a vegetative type state by orderlies he still exudes strength and power.
The way all the characters were arrayed during the final battle. It just felt exactly like comic book panels come to life. In fact, each scene felt almost like a separate comic panel. Really cool and for sure on purpose.
They do a good job of making old man WIllis still look strong and vital.
It was a little unsatisfying at times. I mean, Bruce Willis gets drowned in a puddle by a normal dude.
Bruce WIllis. God he sucks. I know he was the biggest actor in the world when Unbreakable was made. But he sucks now and this movie suffered for it. He just mumbles tonelessly through most of his lines. There are two scenes that stand out.
1) When Glass is wheeled into the room with him and Horde in the hospital, there should have been a strong visceral reaction...anger, hatred, fear. Willis couldn't pull any of it off. His muttered "you've got to be kidding me" was awful.
2) He and the Horde see each other across a hallway when both of their cell doors are left open briefly. Mcavoy's Horde goes into histrionics. Willis just stares. badly.
Glasses final victory. First off, its posthumous which is unsatisfying. Also, we don't get to really see it. His plan to "out" the supers to the world works, but we see no results. Again, it's unsatisfying.
There are moments where each super (well, not glass) actually doubts whether they are super. It's the only part of this movie that doesn't make sense. Willis and Mcavoy have displayed superhuman abilities dozens of times in this movie alone and in two or three scenes the "doctor lady" makes them doubt.
Amazingly well crafted tale. Best movie of the year so far.