Movie Review: Glass (2019)

What a weird franchise this is. Supernatural drama “Unbreakable” in 2000, turning out to be a superhero origin. Horror movie “Split” in 2017, turning out to be a secret sequel to “Unbreakable”. And now we get the culmination of that entire thing. What a strange and wonderful world we live in.

Ladies and gentlemen… “Glass”.

Ever since his emergence 19 years ago, David Dunn (Bruce Willis) has continued to stop bad guys as a cloaked superhero. And as he’s using his abilities to do this, he’ll run in to his old acquaintance Elijah Price (Samuel L. Jackson), as well as the recently emerged Kevin Wendell Crumb (James McAvoy). It’s really hard to talk about this plot without spoiling stuff, so that’s where I’m leaving it. I will however say, don’t fully expect “Unbreakable”, and don’t expect a big, climactic superhero action movie. It’s like a hybrid of the superhero breakdown stuff from “Unbreakable” and some of the psychological thriller vibes from “Split”. And for the most part I think it’s really solid, I was thoroughly entertained by the plot here and found it really interesting from a storytelling standpoint. Though the attentive reader also noticed the use of “for the most part”, and that does ring true. I really enjoyed where the plot went for most of it, but by the end I felt weirdly unsatisfied. It’s when we get to the final act and the ending. It’s entertaining and pretty well handled, but it felt just a tad off. So yeah, good plot, even if the ending leaves a bit to be desired.

The characters in this are pretty interesting and overall quite entertaining. First up we have James McAvoy as Kevin Wendell Crumb, the man with 24 personalities living in his noggin, all vying for some time in the spotlight. And like with “Split”, McAvoy has to go between these different personalities, which can be tough for many actors. But McAvoy nails it, sometimes bouncing between them faster than you can “M. Night Shyamalan”. He’s incredible in the role. Next we have Bruce Willis as David Dunn, the seemingly unbreakable (HA) man. Seeing how he’s evolved as a person since last we (fully) saw him is quite interesting, and he does have some decent character development throughout. And Willis is pretty good in the role, you can tell that he’s actually trying to act here, compared to a lot of other things he’s done recently. And we of course also have Samuel L. Jackson reprising his role as Elijah Price/Mr. Glass. It takes a while for him to get going, but when he does, he’s one of the best parts of the group of characters. And Jackson is great in the role. We also get supporting turns from people like Sarah Paulson, Anya Taylor-Joy, Spencer Treat Clark, Charlayne Woodard, Luke Kirby, and more, all doing very well in their respective roles.

As with “Split”, the score for “Glass” was composed by West Dylan Thordson, and it was great. It does emulate some of the stuff that James Newton Howard did with “Unbreakable” without making it come off as a ripoff. But it does also have a lot of horror cues, which of course are nods towards “Split”. And the finished product is an emotional, tense, and overall well done score that works very well for the movie.

As you all know by now, “Glass” was written and directed by M. Night Shyamalan, and I think he did a damn fine job on that front. You can tell that he’s gotten most of his groove back, which gives us a lot of fun details throughout that adds to the experience, whether it’s a thing in the background, or the use of colors throughout to symbolize the different characters. This is old school Shyamalan working on a somewhat more ambitious scale than his first few movies, which works quite well here. And the cinematography by Mike Gioulakis (who also worked on “Split”) is pretty damn good too.

This movie just came out, but has so far gotten quite the mixed reception. On Rotten Tomatoes it has a 36% positive rating. On Metacritic it has a score of 42/100. And on imdb.com it has a score of 7,4/10 (as of writing).

While it doesn’t stick the landing, “Glass” is still a really well done movie and a decent enough conclusion to this trilogy. It has a good plot, good characters, great performances, great music, and great directing/cinematography. As previously mentioned, the ending isn’t the most satisfying, which is what brings the score down a bit. Time for my final score. *Ahem*. My final score for “Glass” is an 8,75/10. So while it is flawed, it’s still worth buying.

My review of “Glass” is now completed.

What a strange little trilogy.

Series Review: Rectify – Season 1 (2013)

rectify-season-1-02

Time for another series review (Yippee?). But this time we are stepping it down a little bit and instead of reviewing an entire show, we are only having a look at the first season of a show. This is a format I will go by if a show has multiple seasons and I have started it after I created my series reviews. So you won’t see any season-by-season reviews of “Arrow” or “Hell on Wheels” or other shows, those will get full on reviews whenever the show wrap up and I have finished them. Now that this disclaimer has been issued, let’s review this show.

Ladies and gentlemen, let’s all have a look at the first season of… “Rectify”.

Daniel Holden (Aden Young) has been on death row for 19 years after he raped and murdered his girlfriend. Although DNA evidence has now, after all this time, shown that it might not have been Daniel who did it. So now he is released back into the world, to reunite with his family which has changed a lot in the 19 years he’s been locked up. So we get to follow Daniel as he has to try to reintegrate himself into society with the help of his family. We also get to see how his family and other people try to cope with Daniel back out. Not gonna lie… I fucking loved the plot here. It’s incredibly fascinating to see how this man who has been locked away from society for so long try to become part of it again. Also, it’s a very quiet show. It is really about the little things in life, even though his release is a pretty damn big event. But like I said, it is a quiet show… until the explosive season finale which I will not spoil because I’m nice like that. But yeah, I found the drama extremely riveting and I loved it all.

The characters all feel fleshed out, unique and very real. Despite all being fictional characters made up for this show, they all feel like very real people. And I think part of that is because of some really good writing. Then of course also have the very grounded performances. Aden Young as Daniel is fantastic, giving a very subdued and quiet performance. I don’t know about you, but if I would get released after spending 19 years in isolation, I think I’d have a hard time fitting in, just like Daniel. And Young manages to capture that perfectly in his overall fantastic performance. Abigail Spencer plays Daniel’s younger sister, Amantha and she is pretty great in the show too. Her character is a little more talkative and “happy” (in lack of a better word) even though it’s weird for her that her older brother’s out of jail, and she is fantastic in her role. Every actor does in fact give a performance that is on one of two levels; great or fantastic. Also, I forgot to mention that the characters are very deep as well. Which is great because it just improves everything so much.

The score was done by composer Gabriel Mann and I have to say that it is one of the best scores I have ever heard. It is a very contemplative and thought provoking score, which perfectly suits the plot of the show in that sense. It is also overall very beautiful with perfect use of the instruments to create any mood the show wants to portray, even if it already does that perfectly through the writing and the acting. I would put it like this: The style of the score is a mix of the intro to Avenged Sevenfold’s “Afterlife” and the overall score of the show “Justified”. I don’t know if that is a good comparison, but we’ll go with it anyway. Despite my weird comparison, I think the score is pretty fantastic.

This show looks gorgeous. The directing is fantastic and so is the cinematography. It’s pretty stylish and unique in it’s look, but I don’t complain, it looks great and fits the show perfectly. Also, while I won’t compare too much here, there can be a lot of parallels drawn to “Breaking Bad” in the show’s overall style. But I guess that might come from the producers of “Rectify” who apparently also worked on “Breaking Bad”. And while I see a few similarities in style, “Rectify” does enough unique things to stand out as it’s own thing.

This show has been overall really well-received. Of course we are only taking a look at season 1 here, but still. On Rotten Tomatoes the season has a 90% positive rating and a “Fresh” certification. On Metacritic it has a score of 82/100. And imdb.com has no average per season, so I’m just linking you to the overall imdb page.

“Rectify” season 1 is a great way to start up a show. It has a thought provoking & terrific plot, fantastic characters & performances, fantastic music, terrific directing & cinematography and some overall great drama. Time for my final score. *Ahem*. My final score for the first season of “Rectify” is a 9,89/10. It gets the “SEAL OF APPROVAL!”.
Seal of Approval

Season 1 of “Rectify” is now reviewed.

Sentenced to die, condemned to live.