Glass

Surprise, its M. Night Shyamalan! He has been on a bit of an upswing lately. After he did The Visit, which was better than expected. And after he did Split, which was really great thanks to acting performances and of course, a surprise sequel.

Now, with Glass, we find ourselves with a trilogy no one would have expected a few years ago. Split works really well as a sequel to Unbreakable, maybe more so because no one expected it to be a sequel.

Unbreakable still holds up today, as a slow origin story and realizing that one might be something greater than everyone else around him. With Glass he has quite a task. Can he fully combine these two films, and bring about some sort of resolution? Because I don’t think anyone is expecting it to continue after Glass, into some just Shyamalan franchise of supers. An update is what we want, not a never ending story.

But hey, I am willing to change my mind should this be awesome.

Door
“Yo lady. Check that door. It’s glass, isn’t it?”

It turns out, that the more I talk about really what goes on in this movie, the more I might accidentally give away in terms of it its plot. As of now, Kevin Crumb and company (James McAvoy) have created the Beast and are causing havok, doing their own thing. Casey (Anya Taylor-Joy) is returning to her regular life, and is in a better home situation.

Dunn (Bruce Willis) runs his own security business, while also spending time looking for people to help, and right now, The Beast. His son (Spencer Treat Clark) is now grown up, but still on his side and his “tech base guy”.

Elijah Price (Samuel L. Jackson) has been in a mental hospital for some time, and his mom (Charlayne Woodard) is still alive! And we also have Dr. Ellie Staple (Sarah Paulson) as a psychiatrist, who has a very specific niche.

Also starring Luke Kirby and Adam David Thompson as workers.

Ceiling
What a climatic battle of super people! Wait

First of all, I think general audiences are going to HATE Glass. We have the potential ending of a franchise, two superhuman forces coming to collide. Is it going to be an epic game of cat and mouse? Is it going to be a huge brawl after huge brawl? How is he going to make it feel realistic like Unbreakable?

No, nothing like that. Instead, most of what I imagine people will suspect is going to happen really quickly, and the other 85% of the movie will be something you did not expect. I know I didn’t, but I didn’t see a trailer and so went in with my own regular expectations.

Now I am not saying where it went was bad, it was just extremely weird and unexpected. Specifically, Paulson’s character I really hated, and yet, we were supposed to hate her. There was just other things off with it. The situation she was in, her conversations, they didn’t feel natural so it took me out of the realism they were going for.

This is a lot more than anyone bargained for. And for a lot of the film, I was still sort of digging it. I didn’t think the direction was bad. But the ending. The ending is a mess of “twists” and what felt like a never ending movie. This movie at 129 minutes feels like its three hours. It is very slow paced, and feels like there are multiple regular ending spots.

McAvoy is still fan-fucking-tastic. What we wanted was to see more of his sides, and I lost count, but I think we get to see the rest of his many faces. We get a lot of long shots of him going between his voices, and it is great to see the many transformations.

Samuel L. Jackson is not utilized enough, Bruce Willis looks great (and old) but is too quiet and also under utilized. We need more updates, damn it. It was great to see Clark and Woodward back after so long, replacing them would have been lame.

And finally, I am pretty sure the timing is really off in the movie. It sounds like they said it took place only 3 weeks after Split. Did it? No idea. But if so, then all this talk of 19 years is bullshit, unless Split took place in the future compared to when it came out. And if Glass is only 3 weeks later, from a few years ago, some of the references made don’t make sense. Damn it, I hate it when timelines are confusing and characters can reference songs that aren’t out yet.

Let’s end the review on this note. Again, Glass is weird, it tries to do something different. It succeeded at being different. And I don’t think people will be happy with that difference.

2 out of 4.

A Dog’s Purpose

Dog films are all the rage now. Just look at the last two reviews on my website. But in reality, despite this mini awkward dog theme, actual dog movies are NOT popular like they were in the 1990’s and 2000’s. They pop up every once in awhile and usually try to kill a dog by the end of it in order to get all pet owners to cry and feel nostalgic about past pets and current pets.

It is easy money. A Dog’s Purpose is based on a book that a lot of people liked and read, so it should have made money. Then it had a silly controversy a whole week before it came out, people decided not to see it, and here I am today, hoping it is terrible because it came out in January.

But really, I want to note that the idea behind the movie is brilliant. If dying pets makes people love the movie, buy it on DVD and give the movie money, then why not have the main dog more than once? Why not a whole handful of times?

There is tear jerking, and there is tear sucking out of you with an industrial vacuum.

Boyhood
I think an alternative title for this movie might have been Doghood.

The movie has dogs, people, and a lot of both. If you are the type of person who gets sad over the death of pets, you are goign to get really fucking sad in this movie.

Because our main dog (Josh Gad) who goes by many names, so I will just call him Dog, is going to die over and over again. This Dog is wondering what his purpose in life is. He likes to play and have fun he guesses, and there are humans that tell him to do things, but what is he here for?

So he hangs out with a kid who grows up into an adult. He hangs out with a lady in school. He is in an abusive home. He is a dog for a cop! He does so much more, but really, he just wants that stomach scratched.

Featuring a hot mess of people though, so here we go: Britt Robertson, Bryce Gheisar, Dennis Quaid, John Ortiz, Juliet Rylance, K.J. Apa, Kirby Howell-Baptiste, Logan Miller, Luke Kirby, and Peggy Lipton.

Doggie
I wonder how many humans die in this movie? More than dogs?

A Dog’s Purpose is a waste of time. For dog lovers, cat lovers, and human lovers alike. Now, I have never made a movie before, but I have to imagine that making the audience care about a pet has got to be pretty easy. I imagine it is one of the easiest tasks ever to make someone cry in a theater by having the pet go bye bye, second only to a relative.

And yet, after watching A Dog’s Purpose, which had at least five dogs, I think, I found myself unable to make a connection with most of them. In fact, some of them, the deaths came sort of out of nowhere. And not in a “Oh no, tragedy, death!” shocking sort of way. Just a “Oh, this is the end of this plot line I guess, let’s move on” sort of way. They just did a poor job of making me care.

Maybe a big element to get someone to care about the pet is time with the pet, but a common narrator sound just isn’t good enough. I wasn’t feeling the stories, I wasn’t feeling the other humans, I just didn’t care.

And a dog movie, where the dog dies so many ties, that fails to make me cry? Just feels a bit shallow and rushed. No emotional connection, means not a good drama film.

0 out of 4.

Touched With Fire

Just like you, I didn’t know a lot about Touched With Fire before watching it. (Okay, I guess for most of you, you probably haven’t seen it either). Virtually no advertising, a super limited release, and well, that is all that I need to say.

It is of course based on a book, and some people thought the book was good enough to be a movie. [Editor’s note: The movie isn’t the book, they just use the real research book with this title. Check it out!]

According to some article on the internet, this whole movie might be a big fuck you to Scientology from Katie Holmes, some how. So let’s go in with that excitement!


Space
I didn’t read the article. I don’t know how to read.

Carla (Katie Holmes) once ran out into the desert with some friends in college, and forced herself to stare at the sun. This is technically not relevant, but it is a good starting off point. She is a poet, and she is manic depressive. She has been living on her own, but she went off of her meds again and accidentally checked herself into a psychiatric hospital.

But at the hospital, she met Marco/Luna (Luke Kirby), who also finds himself checked in on the same day. Not to make light of his situation, but he is obsessed with the moon and believes he comes from another planet. He is also a poet, but more of a rapper, and he understands that most of the great artists and poets of the last hundred years have been manic.

Needless to say, they fall in love. Kind of. They escalate each others conditions to a point of extreme mania, so they then find themselves separated, depressed, and longing to find each other again.

Carla’s parents are played by Christine Lahti and Bruce Altman, and Marco’s dad is Griffin Dunne. Also Maryann Urbano plays their doctor.

Night
Stars. Moons. And this painting. Alien theory checks out!

When they first introduced Luna, I hated him immediately. I thought the movie was trying too hard. The camera kept moving like someone had just run up a flight of stairs and couldn’t keep it straight. I assume to show his current state of mind, but it just pissed me off and I was hoping he wouldn’t have a big role.

But as the film continued, he grew on me. Carla grew on me. The two embracing their condition, not seeing it as an illness or a crutch, but living their lives without drugs or help. I was right there with them. I was thinking “Man, fuck these doctors. Fuck their parents for trying to ‘help!’ Just let them love each other, damn it!” And thus, the movie had me right where it wanted.

I got caught up in the emotions and was cheering for ill people to not get help. It was a weird position in retrospect to be in, but damn, the acting from Kirby and Holmes came out strong and I was left unprepared. Hell, Kirby reminded me of a young Mark Ruffalo, but I don’t know if that is just his general look or because he was recently bipolar in Infinitely Polar Bear. It was a roller coaster. Because they were manics, they were constantly going to extremes and it perfectly captured everything for the viewer.

And yes, there are some disturbing scenes as well. This is a drama, not a happy comedy.

It is well acted from the leads, a good job from everyone overall.

3 out of 4.

Take This Waltz

If you have heard of Take This Waltz, there is generally only one reason why.

Because this is the Indie-Canadian movie originally rumored, then confirmed, to have a naked Sarah Silverman. I am sure there is 95% of you that just don’t know the movie, but the other 5%? Yeah, it is because of that reason.

Waltz
To be fair, there is tons of naked women in this movie. All shapes and sizes. Fully. Let this not be the main reason to watch the movie, mmkay?

We got this girl, Margot (Michelle Williams) who is on vacation! Woo, she feels lonely there, but some guy in the tour group keeps joking around. Same guy ends up being next to her on the plane. Same guy ends up leaving “near her” so he can just walk from her house when they share the cab. Dude lives two houses over and across the street. How crazy! (And potentially stalkerish).

Pretty amazing how they never really met. Especially if Daniel’s (Luke Kirby) job is one of those cart things, where people can ride, being pulled by someone running. Probably decent pay, and good for working out. But also, Margot is married. To a Lou (Seth Rogen) who makes cooking books, dealing with chicken recipes. They eat a lot of chicken.

They have been married for five years, but Margot doesn’t feel loved as much. Lou jokes around a lot, and she feels like her advances are being ignored, while he has become complacent. But this neighbor, he is a new, and interesting, and probably can fulfil her sexually. Should she leave her husband for him, or just fool around a bit?

Hos be hoin’.

Take This Rogen
Sarah Silverman is also barely in this movie. Just a sober sister. Michelle Williams is naked way more often.

I was ready to bash this movie so hard. Fucking double standards in film. Women cheating on their spouses tend to be acceptable because they are finding themselves, or something. Men cheating are generally always pigs and bad people. Fuck that. She does try to be open with her emotions, but she does a bad job of it, and apparently “too late” for Seth to see anything as wrong. Generally the best time to deal with problems is not when you are walking out of the door.

But hey, the movie ends up not painting her as some hero figure. (Spoilers?) By the end, turns out she just wanted something new. But eventually new things become old things (a quote from an old black woman in the shower scenes), and she gets bored of it too. She realizes she done fucked up, and she is kind of a horrible person. I loved that ending a lot more.

I’m not saying you have to stay with the one you marry (although it’d be nice). Just you know, try to work shit out. Don’t run away from your problems. Realize that couples can fight. Etc.

In other news, this movie felt very real in the good way. Nice emotions going on, and pretty nice acting. Those Canadians can make some good things people.

3 out of 4.