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).

MoviePass Reinventing Business Model — Again

With its corporate (Helios and Matheson Analytics) parent’s stock delisted, theatrical ticket subscription service MoviePass is again attempting to reinvent its business model and relevance — this time without relying on exhibitor cooperation and revenue.

Following the previously announced MoviePass Entertainment Holdings integrating film production and exhibition, MoviePass said it plans to implement a new business model that prioritizes “self-generated” revenue.

Specifically, the fiscally-challenged ticket service plans to focus on “technological innovation” and “high-quality” content production through MoviePass (theatrical subscription service); MoviePass Films (original content production company) and Moviefone (multimedia media information and advertising service).

“Spending the last several months analyzing the many different aspects of our prior business model, in terms of what worked and what didn’t, I believe we’ve been able to illuminate the path forward,” Ted Farnsworth, CEO of HMNY, said in a statement.

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MoviePass CEO Mitch Lowe said the ticket service has gained a “tremendous amount” of insight into moviegoers and the industry over the past 18 months.

Indeed, the service, which launched to much fanfare offering consumers daily access to a theatrical screening for a monthly $9.95 fee, could never financially pay for the loss leader business model without exhibitor help — which the service never received.

As the fiscal losses mounted, HMNY’s stock plummeted. Exhibitors AMC Theatres and Cineworld launched their own ticket subscription services.

MoviePass, however, has apparently been successful in content production.

MoviePass Films, through co-founders co-founders Randall Emmett and George Furla, continue to generate films, including dramas with Bruce Willis (10 Minutes Gone) — the first of three titles with the actor, and Al Pacino and Meadow Williams in current production, Axis Sally.

In addition, Border, a Cannes-winning film MoviePass Films co-distributed with Neon Rated, was nominated for an Academy Award for Best Makeup and Hairstyling.

“We now have a winning combination that we believe will drive consumers to our films and re-energize casual moviegoers to go more often and see great films in local theaters,” said Lowe.

 

‘Glass’ Breaks Out on Digital April 2, Disc April 16 From Universal

Glass, from writer-director M. Night Shyamalan (The Sixth SenseSigns), is coming to digital (including Movies Anywhere) April 2 and to 4K Ultra HD, Blu-ray, DVD and on demand April 16 from Universal Pictures Home Entertainment.

The film earned $107.9 million in theaters.

Glass completes Shyamalan’s grounded-in-reality, comic-book thriller trilogy, started with Unbreakable and Split. It stars James McAvoy (SplitAtonement)Samuel L. Jackson (Hitman’s Bodyguard, “Avengers” Franchise, Unbreakable), Bruce Willis (Unbreakable, Die Hard), Sarah Paulson (Ocean’s Eight, “American Horror Story”) and Anya-Taylor Joy (SplitThe Witch). The story offers s closer look at the world of the Elijah Price, also known as Mr. Glass (Jackson), David Dunn (Willis) and Kevin Wendell Crumb (McAvoy) as they experience a series of escalating encounters in an escape from an asylum and embark on a battle of good versus evil.

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More than 60 minutes of special features on 4K UHD, Blu-ray and digital include:

  • “The Collection of Main Characters,”a look at all the main players and how they fit in the universe created by Shyamalan;
  • “Bringing the Team Back Together,” in which the cast and crew share personal stories of why Shyamalan’s productions feel like seeing family again;
  • “David Dunn vs. The Beast,” an in-depth look at the animalistic face-off between David Dunn and the Beast;
  • Glass Decoded,” in which Shyamalan unveils some secrets of continuity and style from across the trilogy;
  • “Breaking Glass: The Stunts,” about the stunts that show the superhuman strength of the Beast;
  • “Connecting the Glass Universe,” exploring Shyamalan’s stylistic approach to the trilogy and the concept of a comic book movie grounded in reality;
  • “M. Night Shyamalan: Behind the Lens,” in which the cast and crew discuss Shyamalan’s meticulous approach to storytelling;
  • “The Sound of Glass,” in which composer West Dylan Thordson elaborates on his use of string instruments to create tension, and explains why recording the score on-location enhanced the tone of the movie;
  • “Enhancing the Spectacle,” in which the VFX team provides details on the task of using CGI to intensify the narrative;
  • “Raven Hill Memorial,” about the Raven Hill Memorial Hospital location;
  • “Night Vision,” a look at the the storyboards and their similarity to the final shots in the film;
  • an alternate opening with an introduction by Shyamalan;
  • deleted scenes with introductions by director Shyamalan;
  • and “A Conversation with James McAvoy and M. Night Shyamalan.”

 

DVD special features include the alternate opening, deleted scenes and “A Conversation with James McAvoy and M. Night Shyamalan.”

Kelly LeBrock Starring in Big Screen Entertainment Group’s First Streaming Video Series

Eighties siren Kelly LeBrock (Weird Science, The Woman in Red) stars in Big Screen Entertainment Group’s pending over-the-top mystery series streaming on Facebook Watch, BSEG’s YouTube channel and IGTV, Instagram’s new video platform.

“Tales From a Hidden Chamber” is an eight-part series with episodes running upwards of 15 minutes each. The series, about what lurks behind a two-way mirror, also stars Erin Cahill (“How I Met Your Mother”) and aims to expand BSEG’s online presence.

Big Screen’s recent theatrical releases include the reboot of Papillion, starring Charlie Hunnam (“Sons of Anarchy”) and Rami Malek (“Mr. Robot,” Bohemian Rhapsody); Death Wish, starring Bruce Willis, and Wild Oats, starring Shirley MacLaine, Jessica Lange and Demi Moore.

“Our goal is to make Big Screen a well-known brand over social media,” says Sandro Monetti, BSEG’s head of content development.

Creating content for the Web increases visibility, awareness and sales of the company’s films, according to “Hidden Chamber” creator/director Stephen Eckelberry.

“The days of relying solely on distributors to promote independent product are over,” said Eckelberry, adding that with self-distribution on the Internet a reality, social media is the key to boosting sales and expanding one’s brand.

This series will be released the third week of April.

 

MoviePass Films Inks Bruce Willis for Three New Projects

While its parent company – Helios and Matheson Analytics – lost $137 million in the most-recent fiscal period, with the stock worth about 1.6 cents, that hasn’t stopped MoviePass Films from signing Bruce Willis to a three-film deal.

Willis, who recently finished filming drama 10 Minutes Gone for Emmett/Furla/Oasis Films, agreed to the new deal with the production company he has made 14 movies (such as 16 Blocks and Lay the Favorite) for over his career.

Helios and Matheson Analytics, which owns and operates fiscally-challenged subscription theatrical ticket service, MoviePass, acquired Emmett/Furla/Oasis Films earlier this year, renaming the unit MoviePass Films.

Willis’ first movie in the new deal is Trauma Center, which reportedly begins filming in Miami in February.

“After 15 years, I look forward to continuing to work with Randall [Emmett] and George [Furla] in the coming year,” Willis said in a statement.

 

Fox Releases New ‘Die Hard’ Christmas Trailer

Is Die Hard a Christmas movie?

While the debate over that question continues to rage online, 20th Century Fox is certainly marketing the heck out of the premise that it is.

Using a banner labeling the film “The Greatest Christmas Story Ever Told,” Fox is touting its Die Hard Blu-ray re-releases with a new holiday-themed trailer for the film.

While the action film is set during Christmas and the holiday season is a key element of the film’s plot, its lack of a cheery family atmosphere and ‘R’ rating have left many viewers hesitant to rank it with the likes of It’s a Wonderful Life, Miracle on 34th Street, Elf and A Christmas Story.

On the other hand, the film’s screenwriter, Steven E. de Souza, has said it should be considered a Christmas movie.

For his part, star Bruce Willis weighed in by saying it was a “Bruce Willis movie” during his recent Comedy Central roast.

Fox, in announcing the new trailer, also released a “Die Hard” Christmas poem:

‘Twas the night before Christmas, at Nakatomi Plaza,
The office party was festive, but soon interrupted by drama.
Hans Gruber and his men, had forced their way in,
And taken everyone hostage, trapping them within.
But how could they know, there was a cop up above,
John McClane had arrived, to win back his wife’s love.
He would take them all out, winning everyone’s praise,
Welcoming Christmas Day, with his favorite catchphrase.
YIPPEE KI YAY!

The trailer ends with the tagline “Christmas Movie? Yippee Ki Yes!”

Fox recently released a Die Hard: Christmas Edition Blu-ray for the film’s 30th anniversary that comes with Christmas sweater box art and four exclusive holiday cards.

In addition, all five “Die Hard” films are now available on 4K digital.

MGM Studios Ups Q3 Home Entertainment Revenue 30%

MGM Studios Nov. 15 reported third-quarter (ended Sept. 30) home entertainment revenue of $21.8 million, which was up 30% from revenue of $16.9 million during the previous-year period.

The studio attributed the increase to digital sales of Tomb Raider and ongoing domestic home entertainment distribution of Death Wish and Every Day, plus continued distribution of library content.

Indeed, the Tomb Raider prequel rebootwith Alicia Vikander reprising Angelina Jolie’s Lara Croft character, has generated $12.6 million in combined DVD/Blu-ray Disc units sales since its June 12 release by Warner Bros. Home Entertainment, according to The-Numbers.com. The film is the 28th best-selling disc in 2018.

Death Wish, starring Bruce Willis in a remake of the classic 1973 revenge thriller that starred the late Charles Bronson, has sold $7.4 million in disc sales since its June 5 retail street date.

Home entertainment revenue for the prior-year’s quarter primarily included distribution of The Belko Experiment, The Magnificent Seven and library content.

In television programming, home entertainment and related revenue was $7.9 million, which was largely in line with $8 million in revenue last year. Revenue in each period was primarily driven by the strong retail performance of The Handmaid’s Tale (seasons 1 and 2).

The latter doesn’t include disc sales of season 2, which isn’t available until Dec. 4 from MGM Studios Home Entertainment.

Through nine months of the fiscal year, home entertainment movie revenue is up 16% to $78.1 million from $67.5 million last year. Revenue drivers included previously mentioned movie titles, in addition to ongoing revenue from Spectre, The Hobbit trilogy and additional library content.

Television program home entertainment revenue increased 26% to $26.9 million from $21.3 million last year – again driven by The Handmaid’s Tale.

MoviePass Films Invests in Sports-Themed Documentary

MoviePass Films, the theatrical ticket subscription service’s content acquisition unit, Nov. 1 announced an agreement with Art of Sport, the newly-formed, sports-centric distribution entity behind upcoming feature-length documentary, In Search of Greatness.

MoviePass Films, which is owned by MoviePass parent Helios and Matheson Analytics, has come on as an investor and strategic marketing partner ahead of the film’s early-November theatrical release.

In Search Of Greatness, directed by documentarian Gabe Polsky, best known for Red Army, which debuted in Cannes in 2014, and his work on Nat Geo’s Emmy-award-winning TV show, “Genius,” examines the importance of creativity in determining athletic ability, in addition to analyzing the roles nature and nurture play in the development of young athletes.

The film, which includes interviews with hockey legend Wayne Gretzky, superstar wide receiver Jerry Rice, and soccer icon Pele, opens in 11 major U.S. markets on Nov. 2, and expands to theaters across North America by mid-month.

“We are pleased to be able to continue supporting independent creators and helping them bring their artistic visions to life on the big screen,” MoviePass Films chairman Ted Farnsworth and co-CEO Randall Emmett, said in a statement.

The investment follows a busy month of deal-making for the MoviePass Films. In September, it partnered with indie distributor Neon to co-release Reinaldo Marcus Green’s Sundance award-winner Monsters and Men (currently in theaters), and is preparing to co-release the second film in that partnership, Ali Abassi’s Cannes award-winner Border (which debuts in theaters this week).

MoviePass Films also recently wrapped production on its Bruce Willis-starrer 10 Minutes Gone and green-lit Neil Marshall’s The Reckoning, which starts production in Wales in January. The MoviePass Films team intends to produce 10-12 films annually, in addition to acquiring 8-10 films per year, starting in 2019.

MoviePass Films via MoviePass and Moviefone, will mount a marketing campaign to support the film’s success, while in theaters. In Search of Greatness will be made available to MoviePass subscribers as a “Bonus Movie,” which will not count toward their monthly in-theater movie ticket allotment. MoviePass™ subscribers will also have a chance to attend the films’ red-carpet premieres and receive other special perks throughout the duration of the partnership.

 

 

‘Schlock,’ ‘Twelve Monkeys,’ Italian ‘Torso’ Due on Blu-ray From Arrow and MVD in October

A collection of horror, a sci-fi classic and a British classic are coming out on Blu-ray from Arrow Video and MVD Entertainment Group in October.

Schlock from director John Landis hits Blu-ray Oct. 16. The comedy pays tribute to monster movies of the past as it follows a prehistoric ape named Shlock on a rampage throughout southern California. The genre mashup launched the career of Landis and makeup effects wizard Rick Baker. The Blu-ray comes with a new 4K restoration. Special features include an audio commentary with both Landis and Baker; a new video interview with author and critic Kim Newman; “Birth of a Schlock,” a 2017 video interview with Landis; an archival video interview with cinematographer Bob Collins; 1972, 1979 and 1982 U.S. theatrical trailers; and U.S. radio spots.

Due Oct. 23 is Jim Van Bebber’s blood-soaked cult classic Deadbeat at Dawn. It’s the story of Goose, a gang leader trying to go straight until his girlfriend is brutally murdered by his rivals. Now pulled back into the world he was desperately trying to escape, Goose is hell-bent on getting retribution. The 1980s feature comes with a new 2K restoration and bonus content including a new audio commentary with Van Bebber, actor Paul Harper and guest Cody Lee Hardin, moderated by filmmaker Victor Bonacore; Jim VanBebber, Deadbeat Forever!, a new retrospective documentary on VanBebber and the Deadbeat legacy by filmmaker Victor Bonacore, featuring first-time interviews, rare footage, VanBebber’s college films and more; an archival 1986 behind-the-scenes documentary,  Nate Pennington’s VHS documentary on a failed Deadbeat shoot; outtakes, newly transferred in HD; four newly-restored VanBebber short films; “Jim VanBebber Music Video Collection,” featuring never-before-seen director’s cuts; Chunkblower, a promotional trailer for an unfinished Gary Blair Smith-produced gore-soaked feature film; an image gallery; and a reversible sleeve featuring newly commissioned artwork by Peter Strain.

Oct. 30 comes Sergio Martio’s Italian film Torso on Blu-ray. The giallo about a sex-craved maniac prowling the streets of Perugia looking for his latest victim is a favorite of Quentin Tarantino’s. The Blu-ray features a new 2K restoration of both the 94-minute Italian cut and the 90-minute English cut. Bonus features include new audio commentary by Kat Ellinger, author of All the Colours of Sergio Martino; a new video interview with co-writer/director Martino; a new video interview with actor Luc Merenda; a new video interview with co-writer Ernesto Gastaldi; a new video interview with filmmaker Federica Martino, daughter of Martino; a new video interview with Mikel J. Koven, author of La Dolce Morte: Vernacular Cinema and the Italian Giallo Film; a 2017 Abertoir International Horror Festival Q&A with Martino; Italian and English theatrical trailers; and a reversible sleeve featuring original and newly commissioned artwork by Adam Rabalais.

Also coming Oct. 30 on Blu-ray is Terry Gilliam’s 1990s sci-fi classic, Twelve Monkeys. Based on a short film by Chris Marker, Twelve Monkeys opens up in 1996 with a group known as the Army of Twelve Monkeys releasing a deadly virus upon the world. Flash forward to the year 2035 where Bruce Willis is ordered to travel back in time to find a cure. The film was nominated for two Oscars. The Blu-ray features a new 4K restoration approved by Gilliam. Bonus features include audio commentary by Gilliam and producer Charles Roven; The Hamster Factor and Other Tales of Twelve Monkeys, a feature-length making-of documentary by Keith Fulton and Louis Pepe (Lost in La Mancha); an image galley; a theatrical trailer; and a reversible sleeve featuring original and newly commissioned artwork by Gary Pullin.

In a change of pace Oct. 23, Arrow Academy will release Distant Voices, Still Lives on Blu-ray. The debut from director Terence Davies allows viewers to peer into the life of a working-class family in 1940s and 1950s Liverpool, England. The new 4K restoration was carried out by the British Film Institute. Bonus features include commentary by Davies; an interview with Davies; an Interview with art director Miki van Zwanenberg; a theatrical trailer; a reversible sleeve featuring original and newly commissioned artwork by Jennifer Dionisio; and for the first pressing only, an Illustrated collector’s booklet featuring new writing on the film by critic Christina Newland plus archive essays.

Action Movie ‘Reprisal’ Arrives on Disc and Digital Oct. 16

Lionsgate will release the action film Reprisal on Blu-ray, DVD and digitally Oct. 16.

The film stars Frank Grillo as a bank manager who, after his co-worker is killed in a heist, teams with an ex-cop neighbor (Bruce Willis) to track down the thief and avenge the assault, all while trying to keep his family safe.

The Reprisal Blu-ray, DVD and digital release includes a making-of featurette and interviews with the cast and filmmakers.

The film is currently available on demand.