Shyamalan's dirty teeth 

click to enlarge PHOTO BY JESSICA KOURKOUNIS. UNIVERSAL PICTURES - dark night M. Night Shyamalan's latest movie, Glass, mashes up characters from Unbreakable and Split.
  • Photo by Jessica Kourkounis. Universal Pictures
  • dark night M. Night Shyamalan's latest movie, Glass, mashes up characters from Unbreakable and Split.

I'm thinking of going down to Toad Hall and getting a bumper sticker printed: "Life is too short to watch M. Night Shyamalan movies."

Which is unfortunate because the only new movie opening this week is Glass, Shyamalan's latest and a super-hero crossover that mashes up characters and ideas from two of his previous (and least-shitty) films.

Unbreakable (2000) starred Bruce Willis as an everyday dude empowered with super strength, and Samuel L. Jackson as an evil dick comic nerd who keeps putting people in danger in hopes of luring one of these everyday superheroes from hiding. Split (2016) starred James McAvoy as a dude with a severe multiple personality disorder and Anya Taylor-Joy as the teen girl he kidnaps. I bring these up because by all accounts, you will enjoy Glass more if you've recently re-watched these others.

Beginning just a few weeks after the end of Split, McAvoy's "Horde" of personalities is on the run with Unbreakable hero David Dunn hot on his trail. After the opening fight, both are captured and sent to a criminal psych ward run by Dr. Staple (Sarah Paulson from Oceans 8), and guess who else is in there?

Sam Jackson's wheelchair-bound supervillain. So it's a "comic book" movie contained to a hospital where the "battle scenes" are mostly just dialogue. It's an interesting premise and someone like Aaron Sorkin (The Social Network, Molly's Game) could probably make a compelling film out of superheroes and villains talking at each other, but Shyamalan is not Sorkin. And so, I fear, this one will underdeliver, as Shyamalan always does.

On the other hand, some people think Shyamalan is brilliant and live for his end-twist style and swing-for-the-fences fearlessness. The good news with this one is the acting talent is on point.

Willis is a legend. McAvoy is solid. Paulson brings fresh vulnerability, emotion and humour and Sam Jackson is the most bankable movie star ever (120 movies and $13 billion box office worldwide. For comparison, Harrison Ford weighs in at just under $9 billion on 42 movies, and Nicolas Cage can claim $4.7 billion over 58 movies).

For my money, the only superhero movie worth watching right now is Spider-Man: Into the Spider-Verse, an animated powerhouse that watches and feels like a comic book come to life. Freshly spider-bitten teen Miles Morales watches Spider-Man die trying to stop giant badass Kingpin from using a dimension-warping machine to try and bring back his dead family.

Then a handful of Spider-Heroes from other dimensions start popping up, and the fun rolls on from there. This flick captures the essence of Spider-Man perfectly and it's also the best comic movie of the year, hands down.

On the small screen, I can barely recommend this one with a clear conscious (seriously, stop reading right now), because this flick is probably gonna give a whole bunch of you anxiety about the potential deathtraps that lurk in your own mouths!!!!

Root Cause is a documentary starring Frazer Bailey, a young, healthy Aussie filmmaker who finds himself experiencing anxiety and chronic fatigue syndrome. The medical solutions don't seem to work so then strap in and ride a biological rollercoaster right to your spine/brain/heart/coffin.

Fear not, the film says not everyone with a root canal is gonna keel over immediately (because we all have different immunities) but the general message was nothing short of grim. The thing about science is you don't want to jump to conclusions and it's really difficult to prove anything when it comes to the human body (plus, a placebo can give you benefits and side effects so who knows what anything means) but Root Cause is both fascinating (and terrifying) and hopefully furthers a conversation that can help people. (Note: there are a lot of weird, oddly sexualized montages in this flick, the Aussies might be ahead of us in tooth science, but they are still a weird, macho, beach culture. Don't say anything though, or they'll punch you in the teeth!)



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