With the release of Glass in less than 2 weeks (January 18th), we’ll just keep this one article with an ongoing list of articles on the movie-related frenzy that is hitting the feeds, and anything notable about the articles that are worth clicking a link for (or not).
In all likelihood the comments on articles will be depressingly enthusiastic about the movie with little room for criticism or plural-positive advocacy efforts. Let’s hope it’s one of Shyamalan’s flops — though it is not CP’s stance that anyone should put their money on it.
Update: Well, I get to eat my words! Now we have not 1 but 2 (no — 3!) scathing reviews from singular-normative press.
Update January 23rd: Overall the reviews put this as a middling movie. Some like it, some say it’s B-rated, but everyone agrees overall that the movie has flaws of timing and excessive talking about itself or trying to explicitly reveal the cleverness of its director/writer. The unevenness of the roles for the headline actors is another downfall.
This is not a must-see movie in itself; that’s for y’all to determine for yourselves.
- Cerberus Plural / Film — hot off the presses: The Crisses, Cerberus Plural founder and editor, goes to the movies on opening-day (local) and adds their own guide to Glass for movie-goers (and movie-avoiders) — with light reading and non-spoiler reviews at the top, and then spiraling all the way down to full-movie-ending-spoiling box-office-wrecking potential. Don’t miss it.
- Daily Orange / Screen Time — this review actually seems to think the film is “well-shot” in spite of others not liking the cinematography.
- East Idaho News / Movies — a mostly-positive review 4/5 stars. “One that I’ve been thinking about since I saw the film is the idea that society tries to isolate and beat down individuals that stand out too much from the crowd.” — true, that. No content warnings.
- The Hollywood Reporter / Heat-Vision — a conversational tone of reviews by a set of people we don’t know taking their turns to build on one another’s observations of Glass but mainly missing all the points. Like saying comics are for children — they need to see Dr. Marsten and the Wonder Women for a recap of who comics really are for, and some of their very interesting and suggestive history. I suppose they’re people who supposedly know what they’re talking about, but it’s hard to take people so ignorant of history seriously. Superhero comics are no more for children than early cartoons like Popeye and Betty Boop were. Content warning: doesn’t speak respectfully about McAvoy’s character itself, using words that may be harmful to those who read it; it’s right in the first paragraph to boot.
- Houma Today / Entertainment — a positive review overall, but also says “…won’t be on my top 10 list for 2019.” Finds it satisfying as a sequel.
- Kera News / Fresh Air — 6-minute audio recording with transcript of review by film critic Justin Chang from the LA Times. “Shyamalan’s lesson is that superheroes are real. Our stories are all connected. And whatever makes you different is also what makes you awesome. It’s an inspiring message, but it doesn’t feel like the stuff of revelation.”
- San Francisco Chronicle / Datebook — Mick LaSalle completely tears Glass apart on pacing, wasted talent, and Shyamalanitis. (basically getting in your own way by squishing inspiration with overthinking) Quotable: “…what’s impossible not to notice is that McAvoy seems to have picked the wrong movie for which to win an Oscar…”
- New York Times / Movies — Manohla Dargis reviews Glass and tears it apart. “…everything falls to pieces in a poorly conceptualized and staged blowout…maybe a screenwriting partner who could help him separate his A material from his B, C and D ideas…” & “…female characters, a lineup of clichés….”
- Thillist / Entertainment — review with spoilers of the tie-ins between the movies.
- Vox — In Alissa Wilkinson’s 2/5 review, there’s a kindly recap of the plot upshots of Split and Unbreakable in a brief only-what’s-necessary way. The reviewer makes their disappointment with the film very clear throughout their writing, from the review title (“M. Night Shyamalan’s Glass is half-empty and deeply unsatisfying: The movie ends the trilogy that began with Unbreakable and Split — and diminishes both in retrospect.”) to the end of the article. Gems: “Glass feels so inert,” Split is “a much weaker film than Unbreakable,” and “frayed and sagging.” Wilkinson does point out the disparity of the ablism in the film: “What was troubling about Split was its suggestion that your trauma is your superpower — that in a sense, it’s people who have experienced horrific things (particularly in childhood) who are best suited to survive in the world.” And you should read the review to find out the rest of the ableist and patriarchal essence of the film, because it’s actually quite a good observation. Upshot: “Glass feels like fan service that tries too hard to replicate earlier success, and manages to diminish both Unbreakable and Split in retrospect.” Content advisory: a brief mention of bullying and violence of side-character villains David Dunn dispatches on-screen.
- Collider — Reviewer Vinnie Mancuso gives the film a ‘B’ rating, critiques the low-cost production quality and hyper-focus on McAvoy, and a hint about a Shyamalan-twist ending that will leave many disappointed, even though Mancuso can’t help but marvel at it after processing. Content-warning: Mancuso also has chosen to attack Shyamalan with the misuse of “split personality” and apply it to the director of the film as an insult or critique about inconsistency. Best quote: “Glass is still a spectacle, but in a singularly un-Marvel manner. It’s not gods dropping from the sky, it’s gods toiling in the Earth. Think The Flash getting caught in a traffic jam or The Hulk filing a W-2.”
- ScreenDaily — Fionnuala Halligan thoroughly trounces Glass with high-brow film-critic ease and fancy terminology. The film is “a lo-fi rumination,” “intermittently intriguing,” “a grungy curio which struggles with it’s own world-building….” Not exactly film-poster tidbits you’d want summarizing your work. It’s been said before, but it’s mentioned that there’s no recap of Unbreakable and that many film-goers were unlikely to see it when it was released. It’s noted that budget was dedicated to the cast more than the production itself, that the therapist character, Dr. Ellie Staple (Sarah Paulson), is implausible (who uses “perspicacious” in a sentence?), and the film blatantly explains itself on-screen [Editor: which is a funny nod to comic super-villains revealing their evil plan, but may frustrate movie-goers as much as it frustrated reviewers Halligan & Mancuso]. Upshot: “Throughout his career, Shyamalan has scored highly on ideas; it’s often the execution which lets him down.” Content Advisory: This review is respectful of DID (“…the physically-pumped McAvoy’s ‘horde’, a rapidly-moving cast of personalities designed to protect abuse survivor Kevin Crumb.”) in spite of being about a disrespectful movie, though given the fact that it covers Glass, and the reviewer not being overly plural-aware, it does have some potentially grating details. (Example: Why not capitalize “Horde”? It’s a proper noun in this case — that’s just grammatical English.)
Glass Spoilers, Clips and Trailers
- 7 News Miami / Entertainment — has clips of interviews for each major player in the movie, and commentary on the movie before it came out. Calls DID “multiple personality disorder” which is what it was called in the Dark Ages, right? Video transcript below video container.
- Mirror / Film — Lewis Knight’s article is titled “Glass ending explained” — it’s not explained. It’s just a scene-by-scene retelling.
- Comicbook.com / Movies — Interviewer Brandon Davis and Samuel L. Jackson hint that there was a different ending, and it was changed during filming due to current events making the original ending unacceptable.
- Comicbook.com / Horror — Patrick Cavanaugh shows new exclusive clip of Elijah Price (Mr. Glass played by Jackson) and Patricia in one of the complained-about talking about it’s own cleverness scenes. It’s embedded in an article about Jackson wanting a sequel to Unbreakable.
- ScreenRant / SR Originals — John Orquiolo missive ties together the 3 films, and explains how Kevin Crumb shows up as a child with his mother in the train station in Unbreakable. The tie-in is a great spoiler-level theory and helps make sense of where Mr. Glass ties the McAvoy and Willis characters together. It also explains what was cut from Unbreakable that may end up shown in Glass: the visual scene that David gets when he bumps into scary Mother Crumb.
- the “exclusive” Fandango Trailer is the standout feature of this CinemaBlend article — from other reviewers we know that Dr. Staple has a gimmic to force plurals to switch (good luck) involving flashing lights. In the Fandago Trailer scene we can see Mr. Glass abusing this technology to manipulate Kevin&. The scene may be very highly triggering — 3 of Kevin&’s team-Horde residents front including Hedwig from Split, and an evangelical preacher. Ignore the text, it’s covered better everywhere else.
- Comicbook.com / Horror — New ‘Glass‘ Story Details Revealed — features the latest trailer (Comic-Con version), mentions of unused footage from Unbreakable making the cut, a run-down of the film premise & timeframe in relation to Split. In a move away from “realistic”, the therapist in the movies uses a camera-flash-like “technique” to force Kevin&/Horde’s residents to front.
Recaps & Spoilers of Split and Unbreakable
- ScreenRant / SR Originals — Q. V. Hough ranks and reviews all 3 movies criticizing them side-by-side. May or may not be worth a read — at this point we are exhausted by the number of articles (especially ScreenRant’s other click-baity titles) so we admittedly didn’t fully read this set of reviews to give content warnings.
- SuperHeroHype / Weekend Watch — this article by Taylor Salan is mostly a run-down of somewhat recent YouTube videos with minimal commentary. Before you watch over an hour of 6-12-minute videos, let’s give you which are stand-outs and save you loads of time, and say you should just listen to them and don’t bother watching the videos: they all have images from the movies and may be disturbing. “Unbreakable And Split’s Story In 9 Minutes”: if you’ve seen them and don’t need reminders, skip. The 3 “Oral History” (one for each film) interviews are actually informative and interesting, so if you want to spend over 6 minutes of your life on each one, listen. We recommend you skip the “Powers Explained” videos except for the one on Mr. Glass. Dunn & Kevin&/Horde/Beast’s powers are known from the films, and the one on Split is not very respectful of people with plural issues. The theory behind powers for Mr. Glass is good, and worth listening. This will cost you: the total of the recommendations is 35-40 minutes — maybe put on some earplugs and do laundry or dishes while listening.
- Collider‘s Matt Goldberg’s article “What You Need to Know About ‘Unbreakable’ Before Seeing ‘Glass’” is a good spoiler-filled synopsis of the 2000 Bruce Willis movie.
- Another Glass clip of a fight between The Horde (Kevin&, played by McAvoy) and Overseer (David Dunn, played by Willis), further reducing the need to spend to get a taste of the film, courtesy of Comic Book Review & Entertainment Weekly‘s exclusive clip (embedded). The text is vapid compared to other resources. The film clip requires content warnings for extreme physical and graphic violence. The lousy camera-work gives credence to the poor ratings the movie is getting.
- 10 Daily / Views — Everything You Need To Know About ‘Glass‘, M Night Shyamalan’s Surprise Sequel — includes spoilers for Unbreakable and Split to help catch viewers up, pokes fun at Shyamalan, and gets some spoiler details wrong.
Actor Interviews & Commentaries
- Another McAvoy interview (brief) for The List (UK) on how he worked hard to perfect his role&.
- NBC News Right Now KNDO KNDU has a very brief interview with actors Paulson and McAvoy. McAvoy says he chose “one driving characteristic” for each of the 24 plural system residents depicted in the film. It makes it sound like a very narrow/unidimensional version of method acting.
- The Scottish Sun / TV & Showbiz — ‘NO HUNK’ James McAvoy says not being a sex symbol helped his Hollywood career as his ‘average’ looks landed him wider range of roles — mostly about the actor, but there’s an embedded video of the Comic-Con trailer of Glass
- Wired.com / Culture — The 25 Movies We Already Can’t Wait to See in 2019 — short, exuberant, no new info.
- The Australian — has put their article “A Man of Many Parts” behind a paywall.
- CinemaBlend / Features — A wildly inaccurate, and now incomplete, guide to the “Horde’s” Identities from Glass — already a misnomer because these are not all Horde members. The Horde is a subsystem of Kevin& who is loyal to the Beast.
- Esquire / Entertainment — Not to be left out, author Matt Miller comes out with a not-well-thought-through list of questionable moments in Glass, some of which were already answered by the movie rather than plot holes, if they were actually paying attention.
- Insider / Entertainment — A rundown of all the characters (uh, alters?) of Kevin& in Glass.
Here’s the stuff we haven’t read, and haven’t reviewed but has popped up in the news. There’s probably more than anyone needs to know above. But just to keep everything in one place, here goes: