Glass

BLU-RAY REVIEW:

Street Date 4/16/19;
Universal;
Thriller;
Box Office $111.04 million;
$28.98 DVD, $34.98 Blu-ray, $44.98 UHD BD;
Rated ‘PG-13’ for violence including some bloody images, thematic elements, and language.
Stars James McAvoy, Bruce Willis, Samuel L. Jackson, Anya Taylor-Joy, Sarah Paulson, Spencer Treat Clark, Charlayne Woodard.

After a career of gimmicky storytelling and a reputation for surprise plot twists, M. Night Shyamalan presents a class in subverting expectations with Glass.

However, the approach employed in connecting two of his most memorable films has left a lot of fans scratching their heads over whether it was worth the wait.

Fans of Shyamalan’s 2000 superhero movie deconstruction Unbreakable had been clamoring for a sequel since it was released, but hopes for one diminished as the years ticked away, particularly as the quality of the writer-director’s output declined in the eyes of critics and audiences alike.

In the midst of a bit of a career renaissance, however, Shyamalan dropped a cameo into 2016’s Split that brought the prospects of that long-awaited sequel back to the forefront.

In particular, with respect to spoiler concerns, an appearance by Bruce Willis in Split as his Unbreakable character teased an eventual confrontation between his strongman hero and the multiple personalities of James McAvoy’s Split psychopath.

And while they do face off in Glass, the bulk of the film involves them being captured and committed to an insane asylum for treatment alongside Unbreakable villain Mr. Glass (Samuel L. Jackson). Their doctor (Sarah Paulson) hopes to convince them that their abilities are not superhuman at all, but the result of self-delusion and some freaky but explainable physical tricks.

While it’s fun to see the lead trio and some of the supporting cast return to their roles, watching them end up in a group therapy session is not exactly where audiences were expecting this to go. Though with Mr. Glass involved, viewers can rest assured that whatever return to normalcy the doctor has in mind is probably not going to be in the cards, especially with a potential showdown over the fate of a highrise looming.

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McAvoy’s character from Split, it turns out, was originally from a draft of Unbreakable, but removed due to plot complications his presence was causing in the screenplay. As a result, the characters from the two films mesh well together and pave the way for a few more surprises Shyamalan has up his sleeve to round out what has come to be known as the “East-Rail 177 Trilogy,” after the train derailment that kicks off the first film.

According to Shyamalan in the Blu-ray bonus materials, the first cut of the film was 3 hours and 20 minutes, meaning that more than an hour was sliced out to achieve the final 2-hour-9-minute run time. About 14 minutes of this material is offered as deleted scenes on the disc, with optional introductions for each by Shyamalan. There’s also an alternate opening sequence that runs a couple of minutes as well.

The bulk of the extras are about 40 minutes of various behind-the-scenes featurettes, covering both the making of this film and the elements that were established in the two previous entries.

“The Collection of Main Characters” runs 8:43 and profiles both the three lead characters and the actors who play them.

“A Conversation With James McAvoy and M. Night Shyamalan” is a 5:10 segment of the pair interviewing each other.

The 2:54 “Bringing the Team Back Together” looks at the various members of the cast and crew who previously worked with Shyamalan.

The 2:16 “Raven Hill Memorial” chronicles filming at an old asylum, and the 1:56 “Night Vision” delves into bringing the film’s storyboards to life.

Rounding out the list are “David Dunn vs. The Beast” (2:11) “Glass Decoded” (2:52), “Breaking Glass: The Stunts” (1:28), “Connecting the Glass Universe” (2:54), “M. Night Shyamalan: Behind the Lens” (2:46), “The Sound of Glass” (1:50) and “Enhancing the Spectacle” (2:53).

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