The Morning Watch is a recurring feature that highlights a handful of noteworthy videos from around the web. They could be video essays, fanmade productions, featurettes, short films, hilarious sketches, or just anything that has to do with our favorite movies and TV shows.
In this edition, director M. Night Shyamalan and co-stars James McAvoy and Sarah Paulson break down fan theories from Reddit about Glass. Plus, check out some of the Best Supporting Animals from film and television, and find out how many times the words “yes” and “no” are said in the entire Star Wars franchise. Read More »
January is usually dead when it comes to the box office, but this month has brought some high performers. Last weekend, The Upside surprised everyone by over-performing and taking the top spot away from Aquaman. This weekend, Glass landed in the top spot, albeit a little under expectations. But the real surprise came from the debut of FUNimation Dragon Ball Super: Broly, a low key release that somehow ended up landing the #3 spot.
Get the full rundown of Glass box office and the rest of the weekend chart below. Read More »
“Please enjoy this film that took 19 years to make!”
This sentence greeted me as I sat down at a pre-release screening of Glass last week, as the final part of a letter from its writer/producer/director M. Night Shyamalan to the audience. The upshot of the letter was basically, “Please don’t spoil Glass” (which I’m about to do, so…sorry!) but I could not help but latch onto that last sentence as I steeled myself for the crossover between two of Shyamalan’s earlier films, Unbreakable and Split. As a fan of the former film, a meditation on loneliness as filtered through a comic-book lens, I was hopeful that this follow-up was worth the wait.
Now that I’ve seen Glass, I fear that it would’ve taken the director at least another 19 years to make this movie any good.
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Spoilers for Glass follow,obviously.
M. Night Shyamalan has completed his superhero trilogy with Glass, now playing in theaters everywhere. The film brings together both Unbreakable and Split for a denouement that left many critics (myself included) rather cold. In my humble opinion, the Glass ending feels like a betrayal of everything I held dear about Unbreakable. But according to Shyamalan himself, he always intended to end his saga this way.
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(Welcome to The Unpopular Opinion, a series where a writer goes to the defense of a much-maligned film or sets their sights on a movie seemingly beloved by all. In this edition: M. Night Shyamalan‘s critically lambasted Glass is actually good!)
Reactions from critics to the Unbreakable trilogy have grown increasingly divisive with each film – not unlike reactions to M. Night Shyamalan’s work as a whole. It was only years later, after the subsequent surge of studio attempts to make “gritty” and “grounded” superhero movies, that appreciation for Unbreakable began to swell. And despite being hailed as part of Shyamalan’s comeback, Split received more negative reviews than its predecessor upon its release in 2017.
Two years later, it’s hardly surprising that Shyamalan’s trilogy-capper, Glass, has fared far worse among most critics than the films before it, and yet I find it to be a near-perfect culmination – and escalation – of this particular narrative. Glass continues the subversion and dissection of the superhero genre, while continuing to explore the compelling thematic elements at work in its predecessors – particularly those in Split. The cleverness of Glass extends beyond its mere plot points and transcends the expected Shyamalan twists, with a thoughtful aesthetic and self-aware implementation of the filmmaker’s more heavy-handed tendencies.
This post contains spoilers for Glass.
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The box office tracking numbers have arrived, and M. Night Shyamalan‘s new superhero sequel Glass could end up having the highest-grossing opening weekend of any of his films thus far. Meanwhile, The LEGO Movie 2: The Second Part is currently on track for an opening somewhere between $45-$55 million in its first weekend, a significant drop from $69 million the original movie pulled in during that stretch. Get more details below.
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Want to know how M. Night Shyamalan got back on top after falling from grace? He paid his way. The filmmaker, who has Glass hitting theaters this week, has been self-financing his recent films – The Visit, Split and now Glass. Shyamalan puts up the money for the movies himself, enabling him to maintain creative control. It’s a gamble, and so far, it’s paid off, and helped him reclaim box office (if not always critical) glory.
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Cool Posts From Around the Web:
The first act of The Incredibles is still the fairest portrayal of what superhero home life would look like. The flurry of domestic bliss and panic mirrors a lot of families with young children, but there’s an additional anxious hum to the rhythm of their lives. That fear of being caught, of suppressing who they are for the “greater good” of a fearful, misinformed larger society imbues every choice they make.
Yet it’s only one family. One view on what it might be like for a very small group of super powered humans trying to fit into the suburban model of peaceful boredom.
Unfortunately, there aren’t enough stories of real people living in superhero universes and superheroes living realistically in the world. Chris Evangelista’s review of Glass – which he opened by reliving the pleasant surprise of learning Unbreakable was about comic books – was another reminder of that. That’s one reason M. Night Shyamalan’s original film hit so hard in 2000. It came during the superhero genre’s puberty, treating those figures with far more respect than the average spandex fantasy and dissecting the human psyche behind grand acts of heroism long before The Dark Knight‘s literal prisoners dilemma.
Treating super people as people is still rare. What’s even more fascinating is that Marvel and DC’s dominance has created a world where the standard story involves superheroes navigating a world where everyone accepts that superheroes exist, creating a subgenre of movies about people who may or not be super trying to survive in a world where people think they’re crazy. It’s a subgenre to which Glass now belongs.
I’m assuming you’ll fire up Unbreakable (they’re alive, damn it!) and Split, so here are 6 other movies to wrap your supervillain mind around.
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It’s a new year, but the 44th season of Saturday Night Live is only halfway done. The late night sketch series returns this weekend with first-time host Rachel Brosnahan, who has been getting acclaim and awards left and right for her leading role on the Amazon series The Marvelous Mrs. Maisel. Then later this month, SNL will bring even more characters out of James McAvoy beyond those he plays as the split personality monster from M. Night Shyamalan’s Split and the upcoming Glass. Read More »