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.

The Last Exorcism Part II

It looks like The Last Exorcism went the route of Blair Witch Project. Let me explain.

Blair Witch Project of course redefined horror, viral marketing, and basically introduced us to the found footage genre of film. The Last Exorcism didn’t do any of that, it was just another documentary based film. However (even if you never realized it), Blair Witch Project had a sequel, the Book Of Shadows and it was a “normal film” without the shaky cam feature.

Basically, this was a long winded way of saying that The Last Exorcism Part II also has switched filming techniques to the more standard technique. Just because “Book Of Shadows” was basically shunned and forgotten about with time, doesn’t mean that TLEp2 will also be shitty.

Sequel
Oh fuck me. What the hell is this poster?

This takes place hours after the first film, with Nell (Ashley Bell) being pretty dang freaky and possessed, running around other peoples homes. Don’t worry, they fix her up real nice. She gets sent off to a group home for troubled girls, after a nice psychological breakdown and she is fixed into realizing that possessions aren’t real and no one is out to get her.

Just kidding.

In fact, now that she is in the heart of New Orleans, everything is a lot weirder, especially when she starts seeing visions of her dad and other villagers, including nightmares of her past acts. But she wants to be normal! Not the crazy girl from the cult! She wants a boyfriend (Spencer Treat Clark), real friends (Julia Garner), and not a demon trying to seduce her into a killing fire making machine!

Too bad fate is a bitch. David Jensen, who looks far too much like Edward James Olmos, plays the helpful group home caretaker, and tries to keep her on the path away from all this religious mumbo-jumbo.

Tabe
I guess this is that new alternative massage and exorcism technique.

I apologize for the lack of detail in the plot description. Unfortunately, the first movie ends with a twist, and I don’t want to spoil that movie just to explain this one better! Who am I to give away one twist ending to help you figure out the sequel? This movie gives you a brief recap of the first movie events at the start, but does a pretty poor job of it.

When you compare part II to part I, part II is just a mess. Gone is any sort of subtlety, as from beginning to the end, it is entirely full of jump scares and hallucinations. In fact, a scene in the first film where Nell jumps at the camera and screams (a literal jump scare) is spliced into this film at least four times, thanks to Nell’s nightmares. It is weird that in her dreams she is imagining herself wild from someone else’s point of view, yeah?

This movie was so bad that by the end, I thought they were going to actually forget to include an exorcism. The exorcism in question was extremely different than your average movie exorcism, so there is a unique plus.  Unfortunately, most of the film is based on the plot from the last 10 minutes of the previous film, which in itself was confusing and left you with questions. Did this film answer the questions? Not at all! They basically ignored them and brought up even more confusing plot lines.

While the end of part I was rushed and confusing, the ending of this film is actually laughable and definitely bad. It almost felt Carrie-esque, but with no sense of fear involved. I was shaking my head the entire last few minutes, ready to get out of this mess of a film.

1 out of 4.