On DVD & Blu-Ray: April 16, 2019

Nineteen years after writer/director M. Night Shyamalan's sophomore effort, Unbreakable, and two years after he confirmed his return to form with Split, the unique auteur has concocted what is the third film in an unlikely, but not so unlikely trilogy given the twist in Unbreakable was that all-along viewers were watching the origin story of a new hero and his arch nemesis yet were unaware of it. Like Unbreakable, Split was marketed under the guise of a different genre than what its true intentions held and when that original, James Newton Howard score re-emerged in those final moments of Split almost two years ago to the weekend it was one of the greatest "twists" I've ever had the pleasure of experiencing in a theater. This inadvertently created an issue for Shyamalan though, as with this trilogy-capper, Glass, there is no disguising what genre this film belongs to: this is a super hero movie through and through. And so, for a director who has made a name and a career off of the misdirect and/or "twist ending" the challenge in penning his first, unabashed sequel would be that of how might he might continue building these characters organically while integrating them into one another's respective worlds as well as framing the continuation of their story through a device that would satisfy the intrigue and sustain the investment. The idea that James McAvoy's "Beast" or Kevin Wendall Crumb as we know he truly exists is in the same world as Bruce Willis' David Dunn and Samuel L. Jackson's Elijah Price made for some exciting prospects, but where would Shyamalan actually go with things? How would these three individuals find their way across one another's paths and even if they happened to meet-what might it ultimately amount to? These are big questions that require much ambition and follow-through and while Shyamalan has been saying since Unbreakable opened in 2000 that he's had ideas or plans for a follow-up the time has finally come to put up or shut-up and for the most part, it's a good thing Shyamalan doesn't shut-up. With Glass, the filmmaker certainly has much to communicate and much he wants to say, but one will be hard pressed to figure out how all of these (broken) pieces are meant to fit together. Video review here. Full review here. C-

The Kid Who Would be King takes the Arthurian legend, drops it into modern day Britain, and puts a Stranger Things twist on it in the hopes of capturing some of the magic of those live-action adventure flicks for kids that were more prominent in the early to mid-nineties. The Kid Who Would Be King is immediately appealing and don't get me wrong, has its charms, but as one sits and experiences the film it can't help but become evident that this charm largely is due to the fact audiences simply don't see this type of movie as often anymore. Were we still to get a handful of these kinds of movies every year odds are The Kid Who Would Be King would fall somewhere in the bottom half of the barrel, but given the rarity of its genre and style of its execution it can't help but to feel a little more special. Writer/director Joe Cornish, who is largely known for directing 2011's Attack the Black and introducing the world to a nineteen-year-old John Boyega, but who is also a frequent collaborator of Edgar Wright's and who has worked on screenplays for the filmmaker including Ant-Man and Hot Fuzz, has decided to place his own twist on this traditional hero's journey of a story that we've seen numerous versions and interpretations of since the beginning of cinema. Unfortunately, Cornish's twist on the material isn't exactly fresh or unique in any form that inspires something of a revitalized hope in this live-action children's genre which is rather disappointing given the way in which his previous film took certain tropes of the alien invasion film and spiced them up with a unique location and wicked sense of humor; it was fun because it featured conventional story beats upended by unconventional protagonists whereas The Kid Who Would Be King, which essentially has all of the same elements minus the R-rating, displays half the energy and even less of the creativity that seemed to surge through Attack the Block's veins. Cornish displays fits and starts of both as there is a certain energy to moments and flashes of innate creativity in others, but overall the film feels patched together and somewhat choppy-as if Cornish is never able to fall naturally into the groove he wants this story to find and thus the final product defaulting to this collection of overused themes and narrative devices that feels flat and rather bland. Cornish ultimately doesn't even attempt much of a twist on these beats, but more plays to the strength of them which-thankfully-is more than enough to keep the target audience entertained if not completely entranced. Video review here. Full review here. C

Keanu Reeves and Alice Eve star in this drama/sci-fi/thriller about a daring synthetic biologist who, after a car accident kills his family, will stop at nothing to bring them back, even if it means pitting himself against a government-controlled laboratory, a police task force, and the physical laws of science. I almost saw Replicas in theaters, but the cheap and cheese factor here dissuaded me from staying up too late the night I would have had the option to screen it. To follow-up, I doubt I'll get around to it anytime soon if ever.

No comments:

Post a Comment