Movie review: Glass

Movie reviews

Hello!

And welcome to a review of the most highly anticipated January movie that disappointed a lot of people. This is Glass!

IMDb summary: Security guard David Dunn uses his supernatural abilities to track Kevin Wendell Crumb, a disturbed man who has twenty-four personalities.

M. Night Shyamalan

The movie was directed and written by M. Night Shyamalan – the director that swings from most loved to most hated in a heartbeat. Glass was the third film in the surprise superhero trilogy, also consisting of Unbreakable and Split. Glass was also the film that was supposed to solidify Shyamalan’s return to success after The Visit and Split acted as his comeback (if you don’t remember or have blocked those memories, The Last Airbender and After Earth were the depths he needed to come back from).

Writing

The movie’s script was not great. It had a superb premise and an interesting goal – to create a psychological, realistic, and grounded explanation of superheroes. However, the execution and the final product were questionable at best. While I haven’t seen Unbreakable, I loved Split, and I feel like Glass did injustice to both.

The narrative made little sense. The comic book metaphors sounded cool but fell apart when you thought twice about the . The promise of the big showdown was never kept and the big finale just fizzled out. The twists were not surprising but just a Shyamalan-ian gimmick at this point. The secret society reveal made no sense. The released videos seemed like they would also accomplish the opposite effect – not encourage powers but turn more people against the superheroes. The end that the characters met was cheap: all three of them deserved better, as they all have been interesting throughout these movies.

Directing

The direction of the film was fine. Glass was quite slow and not particularly engaging. The big third act remained just a promise, probably for financial reasons as CGI is expensive and Blumhouse likes making movies on the cheap. Some cool scenes were crafted by the director, I give him that. He also managed to work well with the actors to get amazing performances out of them. But that may be more because of the caliber of the actors.

Acting

Not surprisingly, James McAvoy was truly the standout of the film. Samuel L. Jackson was good too even if a bit cartoonish. Bruce Willis was also good and it was nice seeing him in a film that is not just B level/straight to DVD actioner. Sarah Paulson should get props for playing a senseless character with such conviction too.

In short, Glass was just a glass of disappointment. Wow, that pun makes no sense.

Rate: 2/5

Trailer: Glass trailer

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Movie review: The Post

Movie reviews

Hello!

Spielberg. Hanks. Streep. Need I say more? This is The Post!

IMDb summary: A cover-up that spanned four U.S. Presidents pushed the country’s first female newspaper publisher and a hard-driving editor to join an unprecedented battle between the press and the government.

Writing

The Post was written by Liz Hannah (a first-time writer on a movie) and Josh Singer (who worked on The Fifth Estate and Spotlight – two similar pictures to The Post). I thought that the writers did a really great job and I’d like to explore 3 particular aspects of their writing in a bit more detail. These are the journalism narrative, the commentary on war, and the character development.

To begin with, some of you may know that I once wanted to study journalism and this movie, with its display of amazing investigative journalism, reawakened that dream. The quote from Streep’s character, how news is the first rough draft of history, was brilliant and summed up everything that is great about true journalism. It was also incredibly interesting to see the relationship between the politicians and the press: how they not only used to be in cahoots (and started to be against each other after the events of 1971) but how members of the two occupations had personal relationships, thus, fighting against the politicians wasn’t just a job for journalists, but sometimes an attack on a friend. Hanks‘ characters line, about JFK being a friend rather than a source, perfectly encapsulated that whole conflict. In addition, The Post not only showcased the reporting side of journalism but the business parts of it too. The competition between newspapers, as well as the financial struggles of The Washington Post, were amazing to witness and helped to contextualize the particular events of the film.

The war commentary, as well as the insights into the faulty ideals of the American government, were also fascinating. The Post really showed how fragile American pride was and how the government was determined to put its citizens in jeopardy because they were afraid of embarrassment. And they still got embarrassed and have had a hard time working on that issue. Don’t even get me started on how they attempted to work around that problem with the 2016 election and dug themselves into an even deeper hole (and that’s only one of the parallels between the past events in the movie and the contemporary real ones).

The writing for Streep’s character is the third and last aspect I’d like to discuss. I found her whole character arc very interesting. To begin with, I didn’t think that Katharine Graham was a typical Streep character: she wasn’t untouchable Iron Lady. She was, at times, flustered and not always knew what to say. She was also very much part of her time: her lines about women not even knowing they could want more rang so true and opened my eyes to the fact that gender equality (and still not a full one) has not been a widespread thing for long, if the 1970s was still such a fighting ground for K. The said gender inequality was just perfectly seen in the fact that male characters would speak for her (she had to deal with a lot of manslapining); would question her decisions, or would even silence her. Lastly, the fact that journalism and all other business were dominated by white males also makes me question the legitimacy of the narrative cause it was just one kind of narrative.

Directing

Steven Spielberg (The BFG, so looking forward to Ready Player One) directed The Post and I’d place this film together with Bridge of Spies and Lincoln in his filmography. The picture opened with a battle scene and Spielberg knows how to direct those impeccably. I also loved how the initial focus of the film was on the papers and only then did it move to the actual subjects of this biography. The visualization of journalism – from looking for the sources to writing to printing to distributing – was amazing. I especially loved the sequences with the old school printing press and the one of overnight research at Hanks‘ character’s house. The gender inequality was also well visualized with that single scene of women sitting in a living room and men being left in the dining room. That rung so many visual bells to the 19th century and Downton Abbey, simultaneously. Lastly, the ending of the film – an obvious hint at the Watergate scandal – was spot-on and made me want to find out more about that it. Any recommendations for a good and somewhat accurate Watergate movie?

Acting

Meryl Streep (Suffragette, Florence Foster Jenkins) did a really stellar job with this complex role. Tom Hanks (The Circle, Inferno, Sully, A Hologram for the King, Bridge of Spies) was also really good as the confident, ‘no pulling punches’ editor. Sarah Paulson (Carol) didn’t really have much to do but she did have one great speech. Bob Odenkirk was amazing as one of the reporters at The Washington Post, while Matthew Rhys impressed as Daniel Ellsberg, the original whistleblower (he came way before Edward Snowden or WikiLeaks’ Julian Assange). It was also nice to see two Fargo’s alumni Carrie Coon (Gone Girl) and Jesse Plemons (American Made) in small roles.

In short, The Post was a complex yet straightforward biography that was well written, directed qualitatively and acted impeccably.

Rate: 4.5/5

Trailer: The Post trailer

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