Narrative like shattered ‘Glass’ makes new M. Night film a tough watch

This is the type of sinister chiaroscuro image that makes Glass worth a trip to the theater for noir fans. Images courtesy Universal Pictures.

3/10 Almost 20 years ago, M. Night Shyamalan was forbidden from using the words “comic book” to describe his 2000 movie Unbreakable, about translating comic book tropes into a gritty real-world setting, fearing that the recent Batman movies would scare audiences away from such a film. Instead, Unbreakable was marketed as a mystery-thriller in the vein of Shyamalan’s recent smash hit, The Sixth Sense.

In the intervening time period, we’ve seen comic book adaptations swing back to prominence, then its most auspicious and format-specific tropes cross over to film, then more and more obscure gimmick characters swim and size-shift into the mainstream. We’ve even seen Batman himself adapted a gritty, real-world series that was so successful Warner Bros. has been seeking to recreate it precisely ever since.

Now, after Shyamalan’s own concurrent descent into obscurity and recent rise back to popularity, he has finally made Glass, the long-awaited sequel to Unbreakable which brings comic books’ most auspicious and format-specific tropes to the big screen. Where Unbreakable released into a world of such deep skepticism surrounding comic books’ widespread popularity that it wasn’t allowed to be marketed as a comic book movie, Glass releases into a world in which the San Diego Comic-Con, where its trailer debuted last year, rapidly became the largest pop-culture festival in the world as soon as Marvel started spooling up its cinematic universe 10 years ago.

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The Möbius Strip- ‘Upside’ a surprise winner, BAFTA nominations

The Upside doubled its box office expectations last weekend, earning $20.4 million for a surprise No. 1 finish. Aquaman sunk to no. 2 for the first time with a strong $17.4 million in its fourth weekend and, somewhat astonishingly, becoming the first DCEU movie to cross the $1 billion mark worldwide. The weekend’s second major newcomer, A Dog’s Way Home, was the only other show to hit eight digits with $11.3 million- Box Office Mojo

The Upside overcame extraordinary odds on its path to No. 1, overcoming the Harvey Weinstein scandal in 2017 and the much more recent controversy surrounding star Kevin Hart- The Hollywood Reporter

Historically speaking, the Weinstein scandal is what really should have sunk things – here’s a small graveyard of recent films that had their release dates janked around because the attached studios couldn’t hold it together- Variety

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‘The Upside’ decently entertaining, has no story

Better not find any gay moments down here. Images courtesy STX Entertainment.

1/10 The Upside had its premiere all the way back in September 2017 at the Toronto International Film Festival, and was set for distribution March 9 of the next year. Unfortunately, that distribution was being handled by The Weinstein Company, which was hit by a small bit of scandal that October.

The Upside was one of several films dropped from release until another distributor could be found, in this case a partnership between STX Entertainment and The Weinstein Company’s remnants, Lantern Entertainment. Having been spared from the frying pan of The Weinstein Company, The Upside would release right into the fire Jan. 11, 2019, just over a month after star Kevin Hart stepped down as Oscar host a single day after getting the job because of backlash over homosexist tweets and jokes from earlier in his career.

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The most important films of 2018

Annual top 10 list are boring and dumb and stupid and dumb and boring and, and, and dumb. At Reel Entropy, we aspire to track movies over time, and as such, instead of bringing you personal picks for the best movies of 2018, we’re going to put together a list of what should be the most influential.

Images courtesy Walt Disney Studios Motion Pictures, Paramount Pictures, RLJE Films, Sony Pictures Releasing, Warner Bros. Pictures and Netflix, respectively.

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‘Vice’ wastes spectacular cast in disorganized docu-comedy

It me! Images courtesy Annapurna Pictures.

5/10 In 2015, tired of making Will Ferrell movies, Adam McKay wrote and directed The Big Short, a strange docu-comedy that aimed to explain to mass audiences how the 2008 economic collapse happened, and that movie won a ton of awards and nominations even though it was essentially just a more boring Wolf of Wall Street with more explicit moralizing about illegal stock market practices and the 2008 recession is really not that complicated anyway.

So here we are, three years later, and he made another one, this time going after former vice president Dick Cheney.

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