The Corner

Books, Arts & Manners

Through a Glass, Slowly

Bruce Willis in Glass (Universal Picures/Trailer image via YouTube)

So I saw Glass. I liked it. But I didn’t love it. I’ll avoid all spoilers.

What I liked: It closed the circle on the trilogy with some integrity. I don’t know if M. Night Shyamalan intended it to be a trilogy when he made Unbreakable, but there were enough callbacks that it felt like the organic conclusion to the story — while leaving room for sequels in the franchise. Shyamalan doesn’t quite get the credit he deserves (except from Sonny Bunch) for kind of being ahead of the curve on the live-action superhero genre. Which is ironic because one of the things Shyamalan does is err on the side of keeping the superhuman action . . . human. And that’s refreshing in a weird way. We’re so drenched in CGI action with buildings being hurled and whatnot, that seeing mere cars being shoved seems almost endearing.

What I didn’t like: It’s way too slow and long. Shyamalan is one of the rare writer-directors who typically has a really solid understanding of how to start a movie — to seduce you into the premise — and often a great idea for an ending (though sometimes he swings and misses) but really struggles with the middle. Sometimes it works great, as in The Sixth Sense, but more often it drags because he’s really just trying to persuade the audience that the ending will be worth the wait. And when it’s not, the price of the middle isn’t recouped by the payoff at the end. He’s also hurt by the fact that he sticks to this formula fairly uniformly, so the audience is more likely to get impatient for the twist. That’s what I didn’t like about Split. The big reveal at the end didn’t shock me nearly enough. Glass doesn’t have that problem. I think the payoff at the end is pretty good. But my God, the middle drags along. He could have cut 20 minutes out of the middle and it would have only improved it.

Still, as with Split and Unbreakable (which also dragged in the middle), Glass feels like it will stay with me in ways that many other movies don’t. The slow bits melt away in the memory, like the boring bits on an adventurous long drive. I have other complaints about little things, but as I promised not to traffic in spoilers, I’ll leave them for another time. If you liked the first two, I think you should see it. If you didn’t, I can’t imagine why you’d bother.

Most Popular

White House

The Impeachment Clock

Adam Schiff’s impeachment inquiry is incoherent. Given the impossibility of a senatorial conviction, the only strategy is to taint the president with the brand of impeachment and weaken him in the 2020 election. Yet Schiff seems to have no sense that the worm has already turned. Far from tormenting Trump and ... Read More
White House

The Impeachment Clock

Adam Schiff’s impeachment inquiry is incoherent. Given the impossibility of a senatorial conviction, the only strategy is to taint the president with the brand of impeachment and weaken him in the 2020 election. Yet Schiff seems to have no sense that the worm has already turned. Far from tormenting Trump and ... Read More
Economy & Business

Who Owns FedEx?

You may have seen (or heard on a podcast) that Fred Smith so vehemently objects to the New York Times report contending that FedEx paid nothing in federal taxes that he's challenged New York Times publisher A. G. Sulzberger to a public debate and pointed out that "the New York Times paid zero federal income tax ... Read More
Economy & Business

Who Owns FedEx?

You may have seen (or heard on a podcast) that Fred Smith so vehemently objects to the New York Times report contending that FedEx paid nothing in federal taxes that he's challenged New York Times publisher A. G. Sulzberger to a public debate and pointed out that "the New York Times paid zero federal income tax ... Read More
Elections

Warren’s Wealth Tax Is Unethical

Senator Warren would impose a 2 percent annual tax on wealth above $50 million, and a 6 percent annual tax on wealth above $1 billion. These numbers may seem small, but remember that they would be applied every year. With wealth taxes, small numbers have large effects. Applied to an asset yielding a steady ... Read More
Elections

Warren’s Wealth Tax Is Unethical

Senator Warren would impose a 2 percent annual tax on wealth above $50 million, and a 6 percent annual tax on wealth above $1 billion. These numbers may seem small, but remember that they would be applied every year. With wealth taxes, small numbers have large effects. Applied to an asset yielding a steady ... Read More
Immigration

The ‘Welfare Magnet’ for Immigrants

That term refers to a controversial concept -- and a salient one, given the Trump administration's efforts to make it harder for immigrants to use welfare in the U.S. A new study finds that there's something to it: Immigrants were more likely to come to Denmark when they could get more welfare there. From the ... Read More
Immigration

The ‘Welfare Magnet’ for Immigrants

That term refers to a controversial concept -- and a salient one, given the Trump administration's efforts to make it harder for immigrants to use welfare in the U.S. A new study finds that there's something to it: Immigrants were more likely to come to Denmark when they could get more welfare there. From the ... Read More