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Or, why the finale of the “Unbreakable” trilogy is actually good

Screencap: Mr. Glass; image derived from trailer teaser.

M. Night Shyamalan’s Glass (2019), the third and seemingly final installment in the superhero trilogy that began with Unbreakable (2000) and continued with Split (2016), is a criminally underappreciated film. When it came out two years ago, I was legitimately baffled by its overly negative reception and so came to write an extensive defense article that delved into why it has been largely misunderstood, as well as why it constitutes a legitimately great film.

Since then, I’ve found a number of other writers, whose perspectives on Glass mirrored my…


Variations Newsletter Link:

A short, blog-like post about The Terminator (1984, dir. James Cameron). I explain how it functions as a horror movie and discuss some of the choices made by Cameron when it comes to the storytelling.


Reprints Newsletter Link:

The first part of a long essay, where I attempt to argue that Glass (2019, dir. M. Night Shyamalan) is actually a great movie that was misunderstood by mainstream critics and audiences. Here, I focus on the film’s reception, discuss what its story is actually about and why it is set in a world, where comic books are still niche.


Unstable Texts Newsletter Link:

A follow up to my earlier article on Deleted Scenes, which discusses the concept of "inferred versions" of a text, whose existence can be deduced from available evidence in excised footage, theatrical trailers, production notes, and other paratexts. Films discussed include All the Money in the World (2017) and Sonic the Hedgehog (2020).


I've always felt that Renner's Hawkeye was underrated. I think at least in part the character's reputation stems from the real-life drama surrounding actor Jeremy Renner.


Textual Variations Newsletter Link:

I discuss a number of things about deleted scenes, having written the article in the form of a “q-and-a.” Some of the questions I ask include: “What are deleted scenes? Why do they exist? What do they tell us about a movie (its production, its internal history, etc.)? Do they affect the plot of a film?”


Textual Variations Newsletter Link:

I discuss the characteristics that distinguish iTunes from similar digital media platforms such as Netflix and Amazon to make a case for it being the next best thing after physical media. This includes the presence of bonus materials on iTunes film releases and the ability to download iTunes purchases.

It is the first of what I hope to be a series of posts that discusses iTunes and/or Apple TV as a means of watching movies and television.

Mikhail L. Skoptsov

Brown University graduate with a PHD in Modern Culture and Media. Critic and scholar of film, television, and new media. https://textualvariations.substack.com/

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