Friday, January 18, 2019

Review: Glass

Release date: January 18, 2019
Running time: 129 minutes
Starring: James McAvoy, Bruce Willis, Samuel L. Jacksonn  

Glass is M. Night Shyamalan's movie that merges 2017's Split with his 2000 hit, Unbreakable.  The film is a long time coming, with advertisements touting that this is a sequel 19 years in the making.  And make no mistake, this is a true follow up to both of those movies.  Shyamalan pulls off a pretty incredible feat by including the main characters from both Split and Unbreakable in Glass; including the main supporting characters from each film.  The same actors from 19 years ago return to reprise their roles in this film.  Much like the age spanning of Boyhood, this lends an air of authenticity to the overall project and I was impressed by the attention to detail.  

That being said, Glass is very different from what I expected.  I was expecting a more traditional super hero movie but I should have known better.  Glass is not an action movie, and it is barely a super hero movie.  It is Shyamalan's take on a real world super hero genre; a heroes living among us scenario without the flash and set pieces of more traditional super hero films.  As one might expect, it is similar to Shyamalan's previous movies in this universe.  Both Unbreakable and Split spent more time discussing and developing characters, than on super hero-style exploits, and Glass is no different.  

Similar to those movies, Glass is a slowly-paced exploration.  A large part of the movie is one-on-one dialogue, most of which involves the three main actors: McAvoy, Willis, and Jackson.  Each of the main characters does a great job reprising their role and McAvoy puts on a show as 23 distinct characters, often switching between them rapidly and unpredictably.  Willis and Jackson are both great reprising their roles from Unbreakable, but they are overshadowed by McAvoy's brilliance.  

Overall, I enjoyed Shyamalan's super hero universe more than I expected, but I can see why people would criticize this film.  It is slow, has more exposition than action, and is sometimes ridiculous.  The dialog can be at times without any subtlety, or just have a nonrelated shift to get some point across.  You will know if you are interested in this movie based on whether you liked Unbreakable and Split.  But if you have the patience for Shyamalan's vision of a super hero universe, it presents an interesting premise and a chance to revisit some fantastic characters.  

If you liked unbreakable and split, watch it, otherwise:

Rent it

Thursday, January 17, 2019


Old school magic meets the modern world in this epic adventure. Alex (Louis Ashbourne Serkis) thinks he's just another nobody, until he stumbles upon the mythical sword in the stone, Excalibur. Now, he must unite his friends and enemies into a band of knights and, together with the legendary wizard Merlin (Sir Patrick Stewart), take on the wicked enchantress Morgana (Rebecca Ferguson). With the future at stake, Alex must become the great leader he never dreamed he could be.


Opens in theaters on Friday, January 25th                    

Director: Joe Cornish

Cast: Louis Ashbourne Serkis, Dean Chaumoo, Tom Taylor, Rhianna Dorris, Angus Imrie, with Rebecca Ferguson and Patrick Stewart

Synopsis: Old school magic meets the modern world in the epic adventure THE KID WHO WOULD BE KING. Alex (Ashbourne Serkis) thinks he’s just another nobody, until he stumbles upon the mythical Sword in the Stone, Excalibur. Now, he must unite his friends and enemies into a band of knights and, together with the legendary wizard Merlin (Stewart), take on the wicked enchantress Morgana (Ferguson). With the future at stake, Alex must become the great leader he never dreamed he could be.

Rating: PG

Screening Details:

Wednesday, January 23rd, 2019
6:30 pm
Regal Gallery Place

Claim your Passes HERE

As always, screenings are first-come, first-served so please arrive early to ensure you get a seat.

Tuesday, January 15, 2019

Screening: MISS BALA

Miss Bala (Miss Bullet) is an upcoming American-Mexican action thriller film, directed by Catherine Hardwicke, from a screenplay by Gareth Dunnet-Alcocer. It is based on the 2011 film of the same name, directed by Gerardo Naranjo, from a screenplay by Naranjo and Mauricio Katz.It stars Gina Rodriguez, Ismael Cruz Córdova and Anthony Mackie.

It is scheduled to be released on February 1, 2019, by Columbia Pictures.

Gloria (Gina Rodriguez) who is a makeup artist from Los Angeles, visits her best friend Suzu in Tijuana, Mexico. But then Suzu suddenly disappears at a nightclub. In the course of her search and rescue for her, Gloria gets kidnapped and forced to smuggle laundered money for a drug cartel. She works her way into the good graces of its leader Lino as well as the DEA, which also takes part in this case.Gloria must turn the tables on everyone to escape and finds a power she never knew she had as she navigates a dangerous world of cross-border crime. Surviving will require all of her cunning, inventiveness, and strength.

Screening Details:

Wednesday, January 30th
Regal Majestic

Claim your Passes HERE

As always, screenings are first-come, first-served so please arrive early to ensure you get a seat.

Friday, January 11, 2019

Review: The Upside

Release date: January 11, 2019
Running time: 125 minutes
Starring: Nicole Kidman, Kevin Hart, Bryan Cranston  

The Upside focuses on the working relationship of a wealthy paraplegic and a down on his
luck ex-con.  The unlikely friends could not be more different, but end up being exactly what each other needs at that time.  The film is a remake of the absolutely phenomenal French film, The Intouchables, which was one of my favorite movies of 2011.  This remake, thankfully, doesn't fall into the Hollywood trap of redoing what already worked in the first movie--it simply updates the movie to the current timeline and sets the film in America.  Much of the plot, pacing, and characters of the film are the same as those in The Intouchables, and that is a good thing.

The biggest concern I had with this remake was whether the American cast could match the wonderful friendship of the French film.  Thankfully, Kevin Hart and Bryan Cranston are up to the task.  Their friendship is just as unlikely in this film, and their chemistry is apparent from the beginning.  Kevin Hart is funny and engaging, someone that you root for the entire film.  And Bryan Cranston is wonderful as someone who has everything yet lost everything.  This is a movie where the main attraction is seeing the relationship grow, and thankfully these two are up to the task. 

If there are complaints about this movie, it's that it feels unnecessary.  I have already gushed about The Intouchables, and the fact that The Upside kept so close to the original source is a blessing and a curse.  On the one hand, it followed in the wonderful footsteps of a stellar film. On the other hand, it feels like the movie is not necessary and doesn't offer anything that the original didn't 7 years earlier.  The updates to technology are welcome, but not explored more than a few voice commands that are used, and the American environment doesn't feel that different from what was already presented.  Additionally, Hart's character is not as easily likable as the man from the first film, and although I do like some of his new jokes, they included new plot and situations that lead to too convenient character changes.

However, at its core The Upside keeps almost everything that made The Intouchables such a phenomenal film.  Sure, it is not necessary, but if you haven't seen the original, just want to revisit this touching story, or would prefer English audio over subtitles, then give The Upside a watch.  

Watch it.