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Glass (4K UHD Blu-ray Review)

Glass 4K ReviewI can’t say I ever thought the day would come where we’d be living in a world in which an exists a sequel to 2000’s Unbreakable whether lone two of them.   I knew there was always interest in the property, but given the downward spiral of M. Night Shayamalan’s career for awhile I never thought we’d see anything spectacular from him again.  A movie he wrote in 2010 called Devil kind of peaked my curiosity, but imagine my surprise when early reviews of 2016’s Split came with mentions of a tie-in to the Unbreakable universe.  That news practically broke the Internet (I’m exaggerating) and even further Split was actually a really great film to boot.  James McAvoy got robbed of an Academy nod for his exceptional performance, but I digress.  More importantly M. Night was suddenly back!  People were instantly in his corner and the third film in the trilogy, Glass, was fast-tracked for our viewing pleasure here now on 4K Ultra HD Blu-ray April 16th.

Glass 4K

Film 

Back in the day Unbreakable was billed as a comic book, superhero thriller film.  So I suppose that makes Glass of the same superhero comic genre and bloodline.  The latter mentioned title here is both directed and written by M. Night.  Bruce Willis, Samuel L. Jackson, Spencer Treat Clark and Charlayne Woodard reprise their Unbreakable roles, while James McAvoy and Anya Taylor-Joy return as their Split characters.  Sarah Paulson, Adam David Thompson and Luke Kirby round out the cast of Glass in brand new roles.  I also learned that a character utilized in Split was originally written for Unbreakable, but ultimately pulled from the script.  So I guess that’s why we had to wait 16 years to outfit the ending of Split within the Unbreakable narrative huh?  Needless to say Split was an overwhelming success and thus Glass was born and officially started on in 2017.

Now that we have all that history and housekeeping all the way let’s dive deeper into how Glass fits into the grand scheme of things here.  Everyone remembers how Split ends, right?  In Glass David Dunn (Willis) pursues Kevin Wendell Crumb’s (McAvoy) superhuman persona of The Beast (as seen in Split).  The latter is up to what he does best…kidnapping young girls.  Little do both these men know though is the fact that Elijah Price is in the mix too and he has a serious fetish for rich, complex comic book stories.  It should also be noted that Casey Cooke (Taylor-Joy) is alive and kicking in this film.  Why is her name so important?  Well it’s because she’s the only captive to have survived an encounter with The Beast (as seen in Split).  By the way are you enjoying these generic comic book character names?  Believe me the comic book themes don’t stop there. You’ll literally drown comic book mythology by the feature’s conclusion.

For many folks Glass is one of their most anticipated films of 2019.  Also, for these many folks I fear they will be severely disappointed.  For me it was initially a struggle to stay awake within the film’s first hour.  When explaining it to a friend later on he said to me “I heard it was just a lot of people sitting in chairs talking.”  He’s not too far off.  For many I feel Glass can be the cure for insomnia while others will truly geek out over the comic book mythology of it all.  Actually that’s the best way to describe Glass.  It’s an exercise in comic book theory and modern day superhero mythology, which dictates how everything “should” play out.  M. Night does not let you forget that either.  It gets to the point of almost being insulting at times, but I digress.

Glass is not a bad movie, but it’s initially less imaginative than what I thought it would be.  Truth be told though my second viewing here today was more fruitful since I knew exactly what to expect. I was able to enjoy it that much more, but I don’t believe it’s going to meet the wild expectations of the fans still clamoring to see it.  It tries to set up and promise a wild climax you never saw coming, but again here’s where the unimaginative statement comes in.  Like last year’s Halloween reboot we have nothing special here.  It just kind of fizzles instead of doing something really spectacular, but I get it. It’s the comic book ending M. Night wants. I’d take this any day over another disaster like Last Airbender or Village from M. Night.  That’s why for me Glass is just above average score-wise.  It’s definitely not the sequel I wanted to Split, but considering all things M. Night it could have been so much worse.  Quiet honestly the whole thing just has a very low energy vibe to it all, but with just enough juice due to the likable characters to keep you invested. Furthermore, how can you not love this incredible, pulsating score, but I digress again.

It’s these likable characters I speak of that ultimately allows Glass to swim and not sink.  Samuel always brings his A-game and while the material for McAvoy isn’t as strong as what he had to work with in Split he still absolutely steals the show here with his multiple personalities.  Unlike the fifth Die Hard film even Bruce Willis shows up for real in this third outing.  I can’t fault him for anything here.  Casey even has a purpose as awkward as it all is.  After we get out of all the talking chair sequences eventually some action does transpire, but ultimately its the convoluted weight of this comic book story forced upon us that makes the “glass” really fragile here.  It’s not the most imaginative and strongest of resolves, but we do achieve finality here.  Your mileage is going to completely vary here as a result.  I honestly don’t know what I was expecting with Glass, but I feel this is a small step backwards for M. Night considering how strong Split was.  The end of my small rant for now.

Glass 4K

Video 

The below video score and related critique of things here are based solely upon my viewing of the 4K Ultra HD Blu-ray presentation of Universal’s Glass.

  • Encoding: HEVC / H.265
  • Resolution: Native 4K (2160p)
  • Layers: BD-100
  • Dolby Vision: No (HDR 10)
  • Aspect Ratio: 2.39:1
  • Clarity/Detail: If I just said here that things look stunning throughout, would that be enough? The 4K Digital Intermediate looks chiseled and razor sharp throughout the picture’s runtime. Let’s start with the humans first. Stubble, wrinkles and freckles galore are on full display. However, it’s the textures throughout here that do me in from chips and cracks in painted surfaces to the yarns in sweaters, stitches in suits and whatnot. I also loved how you could clearly make out printed writing on paper formats within the film.
  • Depth: Depth in the overall image is in complete abundance here throughout. In fact I can’t think of a single moment in the 4K presentation where things weren’t three-dimensional and deep. Plenty of examples come to mind like city streets, underground subway stations, inside homes, the factory, tunnels, Raven Hill Memorial and so much more. Outstanding!
  • Black Levels: The black levels are all deep and inky throughout. If I only had one complaint it would be some of the early scenes were extremely dark, but not enough to ding this one in the looks department.
  • Color Reproduction: The colors throughout here are amaze balls, perfection at its finest. M. Night talks about them in one of the extras below, but wow they are bold and bright and almost like their own character throughout. They are like a real life comic book.
  • Flesh Tones: The skin tones all look natural, pleasing and authentic throughout.
  • Noise/Artifacts: Minus some very minus source noise I have zero complaints here so I’m moving along to the equally exceptional coverage of the audio surround track.

Audio 

Like I mentioned up above in the video section, the below audio score and critical comments of such are based solely upon my viewing of Universal’s 4K Ultra HD Blu-ray presentation of Glass.  I do want you to know that both the 4K UHD Disc and Blu-ray one comes armed with a Dolby Atmos surround track.

  • Audio Format(s): English Dolby Atmos and Dolby Digital 2.0, Spanish and French Dolby Digital Surround 5.1
  • Subtitles: English SDH, Spanish and French
  • Dynamics: The dynamics thrill you to no end here. The sense of tension the score creates is like a separate villain in itself within this 4K presentation. You’re literally engulfed in the powerful soundstage as the clock ticks on the comic book bang of an ending where absolutely no one is safe…unless you’re the dialogue. Not a single spoken word is lost in the shuffle of things here. Priority and directionality are paramount in recreating a sense of dread as effects ring out with the utmost of authenticity.
  • Height: There are plenty of examples of Atmos to go around here, but one of my favorite has to do with the Beast. There’s a sequence in the film’s beginning where he charges at Willis’ character from overhead and holy hell if it didn’t sound like he was above me. Wow! Other superb examples include thunder, rain, water pouring down, score and more.
  • Low Frequency Extension: Let the bass go boom! And it certainly does here. It’s an absolute all-star. The pulsating score is strong in this one as are the many thuds from the infrequent fight sequences that go down. One of my favorite heavyweight scenes is when the soldiers are dunking Willis’ head in a puddle. You literally feel like you’re drowning with him.
  • Surround Sound Presentation: Equally impressive is the immersion throughout here thanks to the surrounds and rears serving you endless ambiance such as city sounds, rain, thunder, the Beast growling and moving around everywhere, fight sequences and more.
  • Dialogue Reproduction: The dialogue levels are all loud, clear and intelligible throughout. And believe me this is a very dialogue heavy, intensified film.

Extras 

There’s a lot extras to go through here. However, just to whet your appetite you’ll get to go inside the mind of master of suspense M. Night Shyamalan to uncover the connections and references that bring the three films together in one shared universe.  You’ll also get to experience more than sixty minutes of never-before-seen features elaborating on his process and artistic vision including an in-depth look at the making of the film, deep insights on the characters, a never-before-seen alternate opening and deleted scenes.  In addition you already know you’re going to get a Digital HD version of the film too.  Furthermore, all of the extras are housed on both the 4K and 1080p Blu-ray Discs within the set here.  So what do you say we jump into the extras below and dissect them all?  Here we go!

  • The Collection of Main Characters (HD, 8:42) – Here we have a look at all the main players and how they fit in the universe created by filmmaker M. Night Shyamalan.  The cast and the filmmakers all talk about their characters below, their history within the franchise, purposes, etc.
    • David Dunn
    • Elijah Price
    • Kevin Wendell Crumb
    • The Rest of the Family
  • Bringing the Team Back Together (HD, 2:54) –  M. Night Shyamalan is famous for working with many of the same crew from film to film.  In this piece, cast and crew share personal stories of why Shyamalan’s productions feel like seeing family again since some of their families now work on them and some have been together since Unbreakable too.
  • David Dunn vs. The Beast (HD, 2:11) –  Here we have an in-depth look at the animalistic face-off between David Dunn and The Beast.  I was very sad to learn it wasn’t James actually doing the running charge outside the hospital.
  • Glass Decoded (HD, 2:52) –  M. Night Shyamalan unveils some secrets of continuity and style from across the Glass trilogy.  I especially love how he discusses the coloring of the movies.
  • Breaking Glass: The Stunts (HD, 1:21) –  The superhuman strength of The Beast is best illustrated in the stunts. Here we take a behind the scenes look into the methods of executing stunts in the film.
  • Connecting the Glass Universe (HD, 2:54) – In this extra we explore M. Night Shyamalan’s stylistic approach to the Glass trilogy and the unconventional concept of a comic book movie grounded in reality.
  • M. Night Shyamalan: Behind the Lens (HD, 2:46) –  The cast and crew discuss Shyamalan’s dedicated and meticulous approach to storytelling.  The actors all love it.
  • The Sound of Glass (HD, 1:50) –  These extras on how the score is made are always my favorite.  Composer West Dylan Thordson elaborates on his use of string instruments to create tension, and explains why recording the score on-location enhanced the tone of Glass.  It was so cool to learn this score was actually recorded in the psychiatric hospital where filming took place.  I loved how he discussed creating the tension through clock sounds, percussions and even unpicking in strings.  Brilliance in the making here!
  • Enhancing the Spectacle (HD, 2:53) – The VFX team provides details on the rewarding task of using CGI as an effective tool to intensify the narrative of Glass.  M. Night discusses how they had to compete with Marvel on 1/10 the budget.  They went into detail about the CG tarp on the water tower and the veins in the Beast.
  • Raven Hill Memorial (HD, 2:16) – Here you get to roam the long corridors of Raven Hill Memorial Hospital, a defunct and abandoned medical hospital, and see why the cast and crew describe the eerie location as its own character in the film.
  • Night Vision (HD, 1:56) – Here you can take a look at the early stages of Glass by examining the storyboards and their remarkable similarity to the final shots in the film.
  • Alternate Opening (HD, 2:12) – An introduction by director M. Night Shyamalan is optionally available here.  The main difference here is this all takes place within Raven Hill Memorial and shows them prepping things for the arrival of the two captured superheroes.
  • Deleted Scenes (HD, 13:37) – These deleted scenes have optional introductions by director M. Night Shyamalan with the ability to Play All.
    • David Alone at Bar
    • Patricia Talks to Cheerleaders
    • David Encounters Pierce
    • Casey in Art Class
    • Dr. Staple Explains Machine
    • Mrs. Price in Waiting Room
    • Mrs. Price Talks to Elijah
    • Dr. Staple Drinks Tea
    • Pierce Checks Elijah’s Room
    • Mrs. Price Tells Elijah About Surgery
    • David Submits to Dr. Staple
    • Patients Worship The Beast
  • A Conversation with James McAvoy and M. Night Shyamalan (HD, 5:10) – Star James McAvoy and Producer/Writer/Director M. Night Shyamalan discuss the importance of originality when creating a film in this genre.  It’s basically an interview they both conduct on each other and M. Night officially calls Glass a comic book thriller.

Summary 

Your mileage is definitely going to vary with Glass.  I don’t know whether to recommend it to you or not.  However, I can recommend this one on its technical merits alone.  It looks and sounds amazing plus it has a lot of quick, fun extras.  I know from my experience that I liked Glass a lot more the second time around, but that’s only because I knew what movie I was walking into.  If you go into Glass expecting another Unbreakable or Split, you’re going to be extremely let down like I was my first viewing theatrically.  So take these words as caution and go into Glass on 4K disc knowing you’re getting the best bang for your buck presentation-wise and you’re seeing an original tale different from everything you’d expect.

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DISCLAIMER: This 4K Ultra HD Blu-ray review was judged and graded using the following 4K certified Ultra HD Premium television set found here and player here.  Make sure to check out all our 4K Ultra HD Blu-ray reviews archived here.  The images used above within the review are not actual 4K screenshots.  They are for illustrative purposes only.  

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Glass

Comic Books You To Death on

4K Ultra HD Blu-ray

April 16th

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Glass 4K Review

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Owner/Writer/Reviewer/Editor, Dreamer, Producer, Agent of Love, Film Lover, Writer of Screenplays and a Devoted Apostle to all things Ford Mustangs (the real ones with V8's!). Some of my favorite films include FIGHT CLUB, MOULIN ROUGE, THE DARK KNIGHT, STAR WARS alongside television shows such as SEINFELD, 24, SANFORD & SON and even the often loathed in the geek community BIG BANG THEORY. Outside of my three lives I live I also enjoy spending time with my girlfriend and our three girls (of the furry kind).

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