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“Glass” Cracks With Confounding Comic Book Story

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Glass continues to prove a theory that writer/director M. Night Shyamalan is most at home when in the genre of horror thrillers. I say this as I regard his best films to be both Unbreakable and Split, despite both their endings featuring the Shyamalan hallmark of tricking the audience into watching the origins of a comic book movie. Now he ties these two films together in his ultimate crossover event. But while the first two films of this apparent trilogy had a brilliant build-up of terror, Glass goes full comic book mode, charging into the popular genre of the decade with scattershot commentary, more content to reference than reap.

All the players are assembled. Bruce Willis is back as David Dunn, trying to be the secret street hero of the super-strong figure The Overseer, with his son helping out on the tech side. Samuel L. Jackson returns to the role of Elijah, the man with fragile bones and a devilishly smart intellect, eager to push the narrative of heroes and villains that he prefers to be called Mr. Glass. And then there’s the latest addition to the circle of oddities, the split-personalities of Kevin, reprised by James McAvoy after his debut in 2016’s Split. Though all three play a key role in the events that follow, it’s ultimately McAvoy who steals the show for being so comfy in his role and having literally more character than Willis and Jackson who have to seriously dust off these roles after so long.

The story finds the three superpowered men being held in a correctional facility, under the watch of the intrigued and emotional Dr. Ellie Staple (Sarah Paulson). Convinced that there’s a rational explanation for the supernatural powers, Staple tries to convince the three men that they’ve become delusional with their abilities. This could be an interesting dynamic for the picture, where we’re not fully aware of how truthful these superheroes or supervillains are. But Mr. Glass knows better, acting as the M. Night of the picture who is not only aware of the realism in their abilities but can see every twist coming, even the third-act left-field reveal that comes off more standard than it should.

Per the Shyamalan method, the film starts off with great ideas and ultimately peters out by retreating to the twistedly ludicrous. That sense of screenwriting insanity usually makes his films a hoot but this time there’s a mundanity to it all, presenting a last-minute villain addition that feels more lazy than shocking. Perhaps the most perplexing aspect is how clunkily Shyamalan weaves in the elements of comic book culture that inspire both Mr. Glass and the plot itself. Both Glass and Staple continue spouting comic book tropes and lore like they’re on an episode of The Big Bang Theory, trying to out-nerd each other in their understandings of origins and limited editions. Always trying to keep things subversive, Shyamalan’s script refuses to take sides or say anything all that complete about the subject, merely shrugging his shoulders by the climax and tossing in a three-way battle of deeply disturbed men. One thing I can say for sure is that a handful of comic book fans are going to be deeply disappointed with the film not delivering the one scene the script constantly promises.

While Glass does present a new sort of film from Shyamalan, it’s ultimately a middling one that never builds up to anything as interesting as its characters. We never get a grander sense of The Overseer’s vigilantism, an intriguing theory from Glass, or even as many clever conversations with Kevin, aka The Horde. All are entirely beholden to the farfetched plot which has all been orchestrated by villain masterminds, doling out a cartoonish salvo of traps and surprises, many of which are yanked out of thin air. The manner in which this film settles for its comic book world without presenting anything all that new or insightful from the current crop of superhero cinema is enough to make one nostalgic for the more laughable twists of Shyamalan’s previous pictures.

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Izzy

Movie Magic: The De-Aging Technique of The Irishman

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Have you read Izzy yet? If so, you know that Izzy makes the apples that give the Gods their youth and immortality. It also seems Robert De Niro discovered one of Izzy’s apples too… In Martin Scorsese’s upcoming biographical film, he stars as Frank “The Irishman” Sheeran, a labor union leader and alleged hitman for the Bufalino crime family. The trailer for the movie, which will premieres NEXT WEEK (!), also features a “de-aged” De Niro. “We’re so used to watching them as the older faces,” Scorsese said in an interview on the A24 podcast. “Does it change the eyes at all? …If that’s the case, what was in the eyes that I liked? Was it intensity? Was it gravitas? Was it threat?…How do we get that? I don’t know.” Some might consider this magic and I for one can’t wait to see the impact of Izzy’s apples on screen for myself. 😉

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“Captain Marvel” Retains Top Slot at the Box Office

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It’s no surprise that in its second weekend, the first Marvel Cinematic Universe of 2019 is still riding high. Captain Marvel, the latest in the MCU with Brie Larson starring as the lead, generated another $69 million over the weekend, placing its domestic total at $266 million. Tallying up the international box office, the film’s global total to date is $760 million. Despite the online controversy, the film is looking to be another strong box office smash for Disney and Marvel.

As for the premieres for the weekend, and there were plenty, they were all over the map. Just below Captain Marvel was the animated adventure Wonder Park, bringing in $16 million, another film with controversy when the director’s name was removed from the picture after sexual harassment charges. Five Feet Apart, the dying teen drama about a romance amid cystic fibrosis, only came in at #3 with a weekend gross of $13 million. And debuting the lowest in the top 10 for debuts was Captive State, a sci-fi dystopian tale, only making $3 million. The film debuted so low the little film No Manches Frida 2 was able to sneak about it at #6 with a gross of $3.8 million.

Drops were fairly low all around for the returning films, mostly because Captain Marvel was dominating the previous weekend. The only milestone worth noting is that The LEGO Movie 2, after six weeks at the box office, finally cracked $100 million. And the sun is now setting on Green Book’s post-Oscar run by coming in at #10 for the final weekend of its top 10 run over the past few weeks.

View the full top ten weekend box office results below:

Captain Marvel ($69,318,000)

Wonder Park ($16,000,000)

Five Feet Apart ($13,150,000)

How to Train Your Dragon: The Hidden World ($9,345,000)

Tyler Perry’s A Madea Family Funeral ($8,085,000)

No Manches Frida 2 ($3,894,000)

Captive State ($3,163,000)

The LEGO Movie 2: The Second Part ($2,135,000)

Alita: Battle Angel ($1,900,000)

Green Book ($1,277,000)

Next weekend, Captain Marvel may very well have some competition when Jordan Peele’s new horror film Us hits over 3,600 theaters.

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“Dragon” Continues To Soar, “Funeral” Close Behind, “Green Book” Back

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With little competition for the weekend, How to Train Your Dragon: The Hidden World, the third in the animated fantasy saga, was able to secure the box office once more. In its second weekend, the animated epic made $30 million to push its domestic total to $97 million. So far the film has done about the same as the previous film and is on track to stay in the top 10 for a few more weeks in March.

Debuts this weekend were small with one big exception. Tyler Perry’s latest Madea film, A Madea Family Funeral, naturally made a relatively big splash with its dedicated audience. Starting at #2, the film made $27 million for its first weekend. No word on the budget yet but it’s most likely on a budget as most Tyler Perry productions are, so it’s safe to call this a success, especially for debuting with a box office so close to Dragon.

The rest of the premieres were not as strong at all. Greta, the new thriller starring Chloe Moretz, debuted all the way down at #8 with $4.5 million box office. To be fair, however, the film was in a constant battle for its spot as three other films also reported earnings around $4 million for the weekend. Of note, Green Book, fresh off winning the Academy Award for Best Picture one weekend ago, splashed back into more theaters to arise even higher in the top 10 with its domestic total now sitting at $73 million. Don’t count on it remaining there long as bigger blockbusters will be swooping as we plow through the last remnants of winter movies.

Check out the full listing of the top 10 box office weekend results below:

How to Train Your Dragon: The Hidden World ($30,046,000)

Tyler Perry’s A Madea Family Funeral ($27,050,000)

Alita: Battle Angel ($7,000,000)

The LEGO Movie 2: The Second Part ($6,615,000)

Green Book ($4,711,000)

Fighting With My Family ($4,691,284)

Isn’t it Romantic ($4,645,000)

Greta ($4,585,000)

What Men Want ($2,700,000)

Happy Death Day 2U ($2,516,000)

Next weekend is once again all about Marvel as their latest superhero solo film, Captain Marvel, will be appearing in 4,100 theaters.

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