Movie News

MORIARTY Reviews UNBREAKABLE & QUILLS!!

Published at: Nov. 25, 2000, 6:05 p.m. CST

Hey, everyone. "Moriarty" here with some Rumblings From The Lab.

I’d like to talk about two films today. I’m going to talk about them together like this because I saw them both on the same day, Wednesday of this week, and because my experiences with the two are now tangled up together in my mind, and finally, because they both perfectly illustrate why I don’t believe film commentary ever boils down to a number between one and ten, a series of stars, or a thumb pointed up or down. These are both films that are worth seeing, they are both films that I think are flawed, and they are both going to polarize audiences to almost violent extremes. In the end, I prefer Philip Kaufman’s wicked new QUILLS to M. Night Shyamalan’s UNBREAKABLE, but I would urge you to see both, to make up your own mind.

It was a year ago, when I traveled to Austin for the first Butt-Numb-A-Thon, that I read the script to UNBREAKABLE, and when I published my script review for the film, I was attacked right away. Ironically, I was attacked not because I hated the script, but because I had reservations about it. It seems that many of you believe that there are only two positions on any film. We’ve seen the polarization in Talk Back after Talk Back, and we see it in newsgroups, and we see it at the CHUD message boards or on Corona’s new boards, or on any of a dozen other fanboy forums. It’s the school of thought that everything either "sucks" or "rules." And as a way of creating a real dialogue about a film, it’s useless.

Is UNBREAKABLE worthy of that dialogue? Yes. Yes, it is. I think the reactions we’ve seen so far illustrate that clearly. This isn’t a film like THE CELL or WHAT LIES BENEATH or M:I2 or, god forbid, BATTLEFIELD EARTH. This is a film like DARK CITY or BABE 2: PIG IN THE CITY or Baz Luhrmann’s ROMEO+JULIET. It’s a film that will attract passionate, dedicated fans. It’s also a film that will frustrate and infuriate viewers. I think it’s well-made in certain ways and totally misguided in other ways. There are things about it that I admire and respect, and there are things about it that I despise. My problems with the script really don’t have much bearing on how I felt about the final film, and I credit that to the fact that I can appreciate what Shyamalan is after as a filmmaker. The fact that I think his goal is confused and ultimately unsatisfying doesn’t change the fact that I think he brings a fair amount of skill to the table, and I can see him developing into a distinct and significant filmmaker.

My biggest problem with the film is the almost shocking lack of subtext. Starting right away with the portentious opening title card that spouts useless statistics about comic books, the film feels pedantic. We are lectured by Shyamalan about comic books and their role in our cultural life, but it feels to me like the writing of someone who has never purchased a comic book, who doesn’t understand the joy we find there. This is a real world superhero film. There’s no other way to describe it, and Shyamalan has made sure to eliminate all doubt with the way he constantly voices the idea, over and over. If that’s the case, then there’s one thing that’s missing, and it’s an important one to me as a viewer: there’s no joy. This is as dour and solemn and repressed as Woody Allen’s INTERIORS, and it’s a strange tonal choice that just doesn’t sit well with me. For my money, Kurt Busiek’s ASTRO CITY still strikes the best balance between light and dark in any of the "real world superhero" stories that I’ve read. Yes, there are terrible prices that must be paid when working with life and death. Yes, there is great weight that comes with the responsibility of these powers. But to be able to fly, to be stronger than anyone else, to have these enormous gifts... well, there’s joy in that, too.

There’s one moment in the film that works for me, completely, and it’s the closest M. Night comes to cracking a smile in the entire eleven and a half hour running time. It’s when David Dunn (Willis) and his son are working out in the basement of the house. I like the young actor, Spencer Treat Clark, and this performance proves that his good work in GLADIATOR was no fluke. His dawning awe at the idea that his father is someone special, the hero we all wish our fathers could be, is painted in this scene beautifully. As he keeps adding weight, then backing further and further away, watching, aching to believe, we’re with him. Shyamalan seems to have a real knack at working with young actors in a way that is reminiscent of Spielberg.

But it’s another major scene with Clark and Willis and Robin Wright Penn, who plays Willis’ estranged wife, that illustrates just how wrong this film can be. Instead of being an honest character step or a moment that’s earned, Shyamalan cheats us into a "big moment," the kind designed to show up on year-end Oscar specials. Clark’s desperate to prove that his father is the superhero that Elijah (Samuel L. Jackson) keeps claiming he is, so he loads his father’s gun and decides to shoot him. On the page, it looked good, but in the film, it’s embarrassing. It’s completely unmotivated and false, and it actually elicited laughter from the audience I saw it with. Not the nervous tense laughter of release, either, but mood-ruining belly laughs at how shrill and false a note the scene struck. It defused what should have been a powerful moment. For me, it’s the end of any hope for the picture. From there, things just keep getting worse.

A friend commented to me today that the film played like an elongated version of the first act of THE DEAD ZONE, and he’s right. In Cronenberg’s masterful adaptation of one of the best Stephen King thrillers, the film kicks into high gear when Johnny (Christopher Walken) shakes hands with a Presidential candidate, only to recognize evil in him. In this movie, David somehow manages to avoid even brushing Elijah for the entire running time of the movie, only to have Elijah shake his hand deliberately at the end, setting off the visions that reveal Elijah’s true nature to David. Far more than THE SIXTH SENSE, this is a film that relies on convenience and artifice to move the plot forward, slight as it is.

I think that the technical departments in this film did a superb job in executing the wishes of Shyamalan. His hand is evident in every element of what we see in the picture: the costuming, the cinematography, the set design, even the performances. He has boundless control, evidently, and is able to communicate his desires and find collaborators who are able to execute those desires to the letter. This time out, I think his ambition has overwhelmed him, and we’re left with much sound and fury about nothing. He lays the visual symbolism on with a trowel, making his point obvious with the way he dresses characters, the use of dual imagery (reflections in mirrors and upside-down imagery are recurrent themes in the film), and even in things like giving his main character a name that starts with the same letter, both first and last. David Dunn. Peter Parker. Bruce Banner. It’s all right there on the surface. You don’t have to dig to figure out what he’s after. And I resent being spoon-fed like this. There’s a point at which an artist seems to be coddling the audience, refusing to let them do the work and have the fun and figure it out.

I think Sam Jackson’s work in the film is weak, but I don’t know how he could have done anything else with the material. Shyamalan is fond of saying that he writes his material for certain actors, and it certainly feels like it here. The problem is, he’s written dialogue that sounds like other Jackson dialogue, that calls to mind other Jackson characters immediately, and we’re left with mannerisms, that familiar Holy Fire routine just set on smoulder, never really igniting into anything interesting or new. Willis fares somewhat better, continuing along the same line he’s walked with roles like 12 MONKEYS and THE SIXTH SENSE, but wearing the shtick well. I like Bruce bald and confused in films. He gives good sad. I wish the whole movie hadn’t been pitched at his volume and rhythm, though. I buy it in SIXTH SENSE; the kid’s afraid of the ghosts he sees, Bruce doesn’t know he’s dead, the mom’s at the end of her rope, and the wife’s in mourning. Everyone’s got a reason to talk in whispers. In this film, though, everyone but Jackson seems to be sleepwalking, still afraid to speak up. It’s the wrong energy for the film, and Shyamalan doesn’t help things by directing with his long, slow, single camera takes. They’re showy and they slow things down. By relying on these long uninterrupted shots and not allowing himself any closeups or cuts, Shyamalan makes the pace of the film deadly. In a few places, it pays off. There’s one shot, in the hospital where David wakes up, that actually uses both foreground and background to communicate, that pays off with a gruesome image that underscores just how remarkable David’s condition is. That’s visual storytelling working on a couple of levels at once. The interminable opening scene, though, shot between two seats on a train, just lays there, limp and langorous. Compare that scene to the marvelous "Gary and Celeste" moment in Soderbergh’s OUT OF SIGHT and tell me which one communicates the energy and the kick of flirting more clearly.

Another thing that didn’t sit well with me was the way David ends up killing the guy near the end of the movie, choking the life out of him. As I explained my objections to the moment to Harry and Father Geek the other day, they both brought up the idea that David just puts the guy in a sleeper hold, that he didn’t kill him. Either way, it’s a problem. If he killed him, then I don’t consider that heroic. It makes him no different than Elijah, and it cheapens the beat at the breakfast table the next day. If he just put him in a sleeper hold, it raises a million questions that Shyamalan failed to answer in any way.

There’s at least a dozen other scenes in the film I could name that bother me in one way or another, and it’s that accumlation of annoyance that finally tipped it for me. No matter what I think about individual bits and pieces of the film, the whole never comes together. Like STARSHIP TROOPERS, this is a film that will earn rabid fans, fans who will defend it using the "you didn’t get it" argument. Well, I got it. I just didn’t like it. I have no doubt that M. Night Shyamalan will continue to be a major player, and I still have faith that he’s a talent worth paying attention to. My disappointment with this film stems largely from the sense of frustration. I expected more. When someone has proven themselves capable of greatness, why shouldn’t that be what I expect of them?

It’s certainly what I expect when Philip Kaufman steps up, and he’s rewarded me with all manner of delights over the years. THE RIGHT STUFF, THE UNBEARABLE LIGHTNESS OF BEING, and HENRY & JUNE are all smart, adult pictures that have a distinct voice. This time, Kaufman’s working from a script by first-time screenwriter Doug Wright, who’s adapting his own play. The result is a sharp, sometimes even savage exploration of the way ideas can be weapons, the way words can wound, and the very nature of the responsibility that we as artists have to the world around us. Does art merely mirror the world in which its written, or does it shape that world, influence it? Is there such a thing as dangerous art? Can it spur someone to violence? And if so, should it be silenced?

These are all provocative questions, and the cast comes ready to play. Joaquin Phoenix is Abbe Coulmier, the man in charge of the French asylum where the Marquis De Sade (Geoffrey Rush) is being held. He believes he’s making progress with the Marquis by allowing him certain favors and privileges. What he doesn’t know is that chambermaid Madeline, played with a naughty gleam in her eye by Kate Winslet, has been smuggling manuscripts out of the asylum so that they can be published. Napoleon is so outraged at what the public is reading that he orders Dr. Royer-Collard (Michael Caine) to go to the asylum and crack down, to silence the Marquis for good. It’s a simple set-up for a battle of wills, and there’s really nothing to complicate the situation along the way. Dr. Royer-Collard finds himself stirred by the writings he’s trying to silence, and he goes to claim his promised bride Simone (played by the stunningly cute young Amelia Warner) from the convent where she’s being raised. As soon as the Marquis catches wind of the situation, he creates a satirical play that firmly rips Royer-Collard. This draws the battle lines quite clearly and paves the way for the film’s horrific finale.

Not once in the entire film is the word "censorship" spoken, leaving the larger discussions about the significance of what we’re watching to us, the audience. It’s apparent that Kaufman and Wright are making big points about big topics, but they never turn the film into a dry classroom lesson. Instead, the film has a rowdy, filthy sense of life to it, and it’s surprisingly fun in the first half. There’s a great deal of shock value to the writings of the Marquis, and theyr’e used strategically to illustrate the action that’s going on. They were very clever in terms of what they used. Like Larry Flynt, the Marquis has more value as a symbol of free speech than he does as an actual writer. I mean, this is the guy whose name was the eventual basis of the word "sadism." I’ve tried reading some of his actual work, and it’s not cute or coy or slighly naughty. It’s genuinely filthy, and Passolini’s SALO perfectly captured the almost inhuman quality of the work, rendering the film fairly unwatchable.

As with HENRY & JUNE, Kaufman’s made a film that seems informed by both the art and the artist. QUILLS is a clever mixture of fact and fiction, a way of using a real figure to tell a symbolic story. Some viewers will be bothered by the idea that this isn’t all fact, that it’s not "true." I think that what Kaufman and Wright have done is create something that gets at truth, that honestly deals with the issues raised. There are problems, to be sure. I think the very ending of the film is the weakest material, and part of the problem is that Joaquin Phoenix is given an unrealistic ending, a place that he has to go that isn’t earned. It feels like it’s hammering home points that have already been made, and it’s a shame. By pushing it too far, Kaufman actually undermines some of the great ideas that he’s already presented. Even with those flaws, though, I think this is important stuff, and it must be seen and discussed right now. As we continue to see the fallout from the recent Federal Trade Commission reports about film marketing, the questions that are raised by this film become even more vital. The answers to those questions are up to you, and we’ll see what effect the film has on the national dialogue.

UNBREAKABLE is, of course, open in theaters everywhere now, while QUILLS is going to be rolled out gradually in limited markets around the country. In both cases, I expect I’ll hear both negative and positive reactions from readers after they’ve seen the films. I’m fine with that. At least we’re finally getting films released that are worth discussion again instead of the dreck we’ve suffered through for most of the year. I’m looking forward to the next batch of movies I’m seeing in the weeks ahead. Until then...

"Moriarty" out.





Readers Talkback

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  • Nov. 25, 2000, 6:31 p.m. CST

    You have to look at Unbreakbale in the larger context

    by Bredon

    I dont know if you ever read "Preacher", by Garth Ennis, but its a good example of the kind of thing Im talking about. Individual issues of Preacher failed to impress me at the time they came out, but the trade paperbacks never do. Because I can see everything in the context it was meant to be seen in. Now, the film worked for me. I think it was the best of an (admittedly pitiable) year. I disagree with one of your main points. There is no joy in being Batman. Batman would trade all his years of heroics for his parents back. And David Dunn falls closer to that mold. But, I can see why you'd have problems with the film. But I'm confident the collected trilogy will answer all your questions, and blow you away.

  • Nov. 25, 2000, 6:39 p.m. CST

    Unreakable Thoughts....

    by abner ravenwood

    I thought that Unbreakable really took off during the scene in the train station....when David Dunne embraces his "powers" and accepts his destiny. I just wish there was more of that. I think Unbreakable could've been incredible but I think Shymalan just didn't have the confidence to follow through. I think perhaps he held himself back like he held back his camera in those long, lingering master shots. I can imagine him being too afraid to let this fully take-off...it gets awfully close but never really does....even though I like it........ And what's with David Dunne and his wife seeming to be so forgetful??? During several scenes they strained really hard trying to remember the past. And David didn't remember the 'drowning incident' very well....is that a clue of things to come??? I kept wondering what that meant through the whole thing...anyone else???? By coincidence, I rented 'The Dead Zone' and watched it immediately after 'Unbreakable'. I thought about how interesting it would've been if David Dunne was more afraid of his powers. Perhaps if they had more of that otherworldly nature. His powers didn't torment him at all...'gifts' can be curses, after all. Maybe it might've been more interesting if he was so strong that in his past he almost killed someone during a football game or a fight or something...in other words, fearing his powers because as a younger man, they overwhelmed him and he lost control...I thought the movie had many inspired moments but took too long getting there. And I wish Shymalan hadn't held himself back......

  • Nov. 25, 2000, 6:53 p.m. CST

    Moriarty is (respectfully) jaded by comic-book lore

    by swandiver

    I have to respectfully disagree with Moriarty and others for the faults they are expressing. If I understand one of the criticisms of the critics, they believe that we were "spoon-fed" all the clues such as color, names, appearances, conversations, etc. Yet for someone who has almost never read comic books, I didn't catch ANY of that and I was totally surprised by the ending. Now, for the last three days I've been going back in my head trying to see all the clues. That's the sign of a good movie, when I can't stop thinking about it (and in a positive manner). I think the critics are looking at this movie not as a movie for the general viewing public, but they expect that it was written for hard-core comic book fans, and wanted something that would satisfy the most jaded comic-book readers. That's not approaching it from the right perspective. That would be like attacking Star Wars because it used human lead characters to make them more accessible to a human audience. I know that's a crude analogy but it's the best I could come up with at the moment. A second criticism that Moriarty and others have is that it moved too slow, and wasn't filled with more joy. But I think these critics are ignoring the motives of the characters. David has sacrificed his dreams (football) to be with his wife, and this has led to incredible resentment against his wife, a failing marriage, and a deep unhappiness with his career and life. He appears numb because he IS numb, sleepwalking through a boring, unfulfilled life when knows deep down that he was meant for more. David's wife is trying to cope with a failing marriage and an estranged husband. David's son is trying to cope with parents who have become distant from him and from each other. And then Elijah, well my god look at all he's trying to cope with. Of COURSE the characters are going to have little joy in them. But guess what--as Bruce Willis slowly accepts his "fate," that deep-down sadness slowly dissipates from himself, his wife, and his son. Does this mean they're supposed to start jumping around with glee? No, they've all been through alot, and they're all just tentatively staring on the very first few hesitant steps of a new life together. Of course they're going to be reserved in their newfound happiness. As for the kid with the gun scene, he's been traumatized by his parent's failing marriage and distance from him, he finally sees a glimmer of hope in having something POSITIVE about his family, and then his father seems to be totally closing off that hope. The kid cracked, and it didn't surprise me at all. I though the scene was highly intense, and the laughter came when the kid knew where the bullets were when David thought the kid didn't. After that, there was no more laughter during that scene from anyone in the theatre. As for David killing the maniac, I think that scene can be interpreted in two wasy. One, he just made the guy go unconscious. Two (and I tend to agree with this interpretation) David actually killed him. Is this perhaps flawed morality? Yes. Is David a flawed human being, and hence, a flawed superhero? Yes. Why must he be black and white? Besides, this guy was trying to kill David and it was self-defense. David either needed to kill or be killed, so I don't think the morality is that ambiguous or troubling. Moriarty says that he got it but didn't like it, but I would (again, respectfully) say that maybe Moriarty *didn't* quite get *all* of it, and perhaps should take another look at the film with these thoughts in mind. I didn't think the film was perfect, but it was one of the two or three best films I've seen this year, and I think the critics are being overly critical and missing many of the points the film made. Respectfully yours, Swandiver (long time reader, first time poster on AICN)

  • Nov. 25, 2000, 7:19 p.m. CST

    Unbreakable

    by stevieb1972

    Some ideas. I agree with opinion on the tone and the pacing. As my wife put it, why didn't m. night turn on some lights? I think the observations regarding the long single-take shots and how they affected the pacing were right on. While I enjoyed the pun off the title (look mom, it's an "unbreakable" shot!)it did drag the pace. Interesting reference to the "Out of Sight" trunk sequence. Origially, Soderbergh shot it in one long take, put that in the first cut and then watched that scene bomb at the test screenings. So he went back and cut up the sequence. M. Night maybe should have re-thought some of those long takes (especially the "flirt on the train" and the "Mr. Glass in the Comic Store" scenes. I thought the upside down and reflected camera angles were great. I didn't feel spoon fed at all. We were being prepared for Elijiah Price revelation on his twisted and backward point of view. I loved the shot when Elijiah's Mom first give him the comic book. As he turns the comic right side up, the camera rotates to keep it upsidedown to us. I really would have liked to see more episodes of heroism on David Dunn's part. One foiled home invation does not a hero make. I was very encouraged by the news that M. Night plans to make this the first part of a trilogy. Maybe the reason it feels like the first act of "dead zoze" is because it is indeeed a first act. I eagerly anticipate the next two installments. Stevieb1972

  • Nov. 25, 2000, 7:35 p.m. CST

    Unbreakable

    by RockStarJebus

    To Swandiver: very well said, i totally agree. Personally i took it as David did not kill the guy but put him to sleep. obviously i could be wrong, but that's the impression i got. So, Moriarty, when you said "If he just put him in a sleeper hold, it raises a million questions that Shyamalan failed to answer in any way." ... what questions? I'd like to know, because it didn't raise any questions for me. You have just as much right to dislike the movie as i do to like it, so i do respect you're review. I'd appreciate it though if you would elaborate on that comment.

  • Nov. 25, 2000, 8:09 p.m. CST

    Shyamalan treats his characters as real people

    by neovsmatrix

    that's why David Dunne doesn't remember that ONE incident where he almost drowned until the principal reminded him of it. It was a traumatic experience for him, an isolated incident that he has repressed in his mind. How plausible is that? Very, in my opinion. I can't remember all the bad things that happened to me as a child either. Hell, I barely remember what life was like for me 10 years ago. So it's not a stretch for me to believe David has some repressed memories of the water scene and he couldn't initialy remember his vulnerability. He's phobic of water though, but that doesn't mean he knows WHY. It's an irrational fear, or in this case rational since that's supposed to be his one weaknes. People shouldn't feel the need to be told the reasons why a character is as forgetful as he is, because it's a part of human nature and it's a very common experience. By the way, I think Moriarty's using his own theory of what a comic book movie should be like to judge this movie, and that shouldn't apply. When critics saw X-Men a lot of them complained, "where's the tongue-in-cheek humor, the action sequences, etc?" What? Superhero movies are supposed to be made in a certain way, filmed a certain way, or told a certain way? I think that's ridiculous, and I think it's hypocritical of people to complain there's nothign unique being offered in Hollywood these days when movies like Unbreakable come out. They redefine the genre. If you don't like it, that's your prerogative, but I see no rulebook saying superhero movies should be done in any particular way. Finally, we have a unique vision that doesn't treat the audience like idiots. By the way, even though I'm ranting about the criticism of the superhero concept, I still think this film can be interpreted another way, and it would still make sense. I think the comic book element/superhero element isn't quite what drives this movie. That's just what drives Elijah in this movie. Shyamalan uses the comic book as a motif for explaining the supernatural, for Elijah's motivation, etc. But the film itself ISN'T just a superhero movie. It's much more than that. All of David's powers are grounded in reality. There are two powers he has: superhuman strength, and superhuman instinct. Ok, so this movie deals in the supernatural. But Elijah MAKES this movie into a superhero film, the movie itself doesn't. It sounds odd, but in a way, I think it makes sense. As for David Dunne's supernatural powers, those "visions" he has could just be a manifestation of his instincts. I don't really think the movie gives you a clearcut answer as to whether David's "visions" were something he was born with or something he developed. In fact, I believe the movie hinted at the latter, but let audiences believe whatever they got out of the movie. For instance, in the stadium, Elijah says that maybe comic book powers are really exaggerations of what can be so simply explained as instinct. We even see David's deduction process when he passes by the man with the gun who was followed by Elijah later. And Shyamalan's cameo itself may prove to be another clue as to showing David as fallible. If he is fallible, then David probably just has supernatural instincts developed from his security guard training. Remember, David thought Shyamalan had drugs in the stadium, searches him, and finds nothing. What I think this story really parallels is the Sherlock Holmes and Professor Moriarty rivalry. That, mixed in with a little of the supernatural to create what is, I believe, one of the best movies I've seen in a long time. Of course, this is just my opinion.

  • Nov. 25, 2000, 8:17 p.m. CST

    Insightful Review, oh Evil One

    by Prankster

    Moriarty continues to nail down certain thoughts of my own with spooky precision. I *did* sort of frown at the "strangulation" scene, thinking, "Did he kill him? Cause that's not what a superhero would do..." Whether or not Dunn is a "flawed superhero" or not isn't the issue; after that incident he's being portrayed as a true hero, so if he killed the guy it's just wrong. This is a major complaint I have with most superhero movies and even modern superhero comics (like Spawn). Superheroes don't use guns, and they don't kill villains (if the villain has to die, he'll fall off a cliff by accident or something--only to pop up again later, of course). And Moriarty's comment about pacing is also right. This movie was given the same structure and tone as The Sixth Sense, when it needed something totally different--to move faster, for starters, to be brighter and more energetic, and to have less hushed reverence. I appreciate that Willis was more "alive" here than in Sense, but he was still too mopey and grim. Surviving a train accident is going to give you at least a little bit of a high. And so is fighting crime--Dunn even SAYS he feels happier and more satisfied, but we don't freakin' SEE it. And the stuff with the wife and kid--what the hell? Why was there NO PAYOFF at all? After seeing the movie, I thought it would have been not only logical but a vast improvement to the story if the big secret had come at the beginning of the 3rd act, and then the wife and kid had been kidnapped and Dunn had to get them back. But no. Anyway, I could pick it apart all day and yet, in some ways at least, I liked it. The only really crippling flaw is the sluggish pace and the way nothing happens until the end. I realize you had to tone it down to maintain the "realism" but there should have been a lot more pseudo-superheroics. Also, Quills (which I know this Talkback isn't going to be about, mostly) is still a damn good film. Check it out, seriously.

  • Nov. 25, 2000, 8:35 p.m. CST

    MORIARTY, YOU DROPPED THE BIG FUCKING SIXTH SENSE SPOILER WITHOU

    by Critical Bill

  • Nov. 25, 2000, 8:55 p.m. CST

    Critical Bill has been on Mars for a while...

    by tbrosz

    Anyone who hasn't copped to the Big Ending by now (after the film has been on video for weeks), and who at the same time frequents this site and the talkbacks, is just too far off the end of the pier for me to have any sympathy for them. By the way, Rosebud was his sled.

  • Nov. 25, 2000, 9:13 p.m. CST

    Real people..

    by scudd

    As far as Willis' character killing at the end of Unbreakable...if he did, so what? He had just walked into this house, found two people dead, two others tied up. The guy pushed him into the pool and tried to kill him. David was probably losing his rationality with every grizzly discovery. Then this freak has the audacity to go back to spitting beer on one of his dead victims? David wasnt a hero. He had supernatural powers. Even Spider-man killed once, albeit on accident, he did kill. I think it was an honest reaction to an excrucitiating situation. Bravo, Night. I think you nailed it on the head.

  • Nov. 25, 2000, 9:23 p.m. CST

    Unbreakable broke

    by Buck Welbutrin

    After the Unbreakable showing, what post-film chatter I overheard was of the "I want my money back" variety. I don't fault it that harshly, but I share Moriarty's frustration, that Unbreakable should have been a different movie. So to you hardcore Shyamalanistas -- Harry -- I say go ahead, fight the good fight; too bad it won't unbreak Unbreakable.

  • Nov. 25, 2000, 9:26 p.m. CST

    I don't think he's supposed to be heroic...

    by X-Girls

    He's an average guy with superhuman powers and doesn't know how to handle it, realistic, too realistic a take on it ?, a Spider-Man for the watered down age of today, or this moment. It's like, Mr. Glass wanted him to be a good guy, but the point is, in real life, there are no pure good or pure evil people.

  • Nov. 25, 2000, 9:33 p.m. CST

    Unbreakable Trilogy

    by X-Girls

    It's hard to judge a movie that's a first installment of three parts, we've only seen a bit, the future movies may erase your problems with it or make them bigger, either way, there's no excuse for not entertaining and fulfilling most audiences as M.Night knows he can.

  • Nov. 25, 2000, 9:37 p.m. CST

    LACK OF IMAGINATION

    by YUMASEVEN

    I just can't believe some of the reviews that have been coming out for this movie. Almost everyone starts out with the phrase "nothing like the sixth sense". But the last time I checked, part II wasn't in the title anywhere. As for the choking scene, most people pass out first before they choke to death. They don't die. That's what he was trying to accomplish. Not kill, but to subdue. Also, if you noticed, the walls were being smashed in as David struck them. Totally cool. From this post, you would think that I'm running around telling everyone I know to see this film. But I'm not. The pace is slow, sometimes dreadfully slow. But as with most of the great works, written or celluiod. What matters most is an engaging stories, with real people, that make you think about the possiblities that they all bring to you attention. So, is this movie the best one I have ever seen, NO. Top five? Hell Yes. I makes you think and feel. That's what I pay 5.50 for and that's what I got.

  • Nov. 25, 2000, 9:39 p.m. CST

    What Unbreakable is truly about . . .

    by boomstick81

    M. Night likes to have a underlining theme in his movies. For the Sixth Sense, the theme was communication. Communication between Willis and Osment, and between his wife. There is Osement with dead people and his mom. And, then there is the mother with Osment and her mother. For Unbreakable it is fullfillment. Either with Willis' characer or Jackson's character. It seems M. Night likes to use extreme stories to get his themes across. That's why I think Unbreakable had a very good ending. It ended when both characters were fullfilled. The main point of the movie wasn't about superheros or comic books, just something M. Night used to tell a story. Knowing the backbone for a story, such as this, makes a movie much better for me. And, hopefully it helps people understand the ending better.

  • Nov. 25, 2000, 9:41 p.m. CST

    Moriarty Sucks! He probably liked crap movies like 2001 and Blad

    by Mr Glass

    Yo! just saw this movie and it is great! Fuck all the people who didn't like this movie! This movie will stand the test of time as the best movie ever and go into the annals of history with the other modern comic classics of our time such as Godzilla and Batman and Robin! This movie is even better than Phantom Menace if you can believe that any film could compete with the likes of Jar Jar Binks. Heck this movie even blows Speed 2- one of the pinnacles of action and suspense- dare I say, OUT OF THE WATER! excuse the pun. This movie is the bomb diggity bomb. Sweet sassy Molassey! I couln't believe the performances that were evoked in this movie. Ever seen Mario Van Peebles in that awesome movie Solo? or how about Bill Bellamy in one of the greatest heralded performances ever in Booty Call? Or Dennis Rodman in Double Team? Well if you can believe it, Bruce Willis is better than most of those, except for Bill Bellamy- he's the man! Everyone should go see this movie! If they don't, they should be lined outside the street and have a pit bull crush their balls with his teeth while a vulture poops on their head and then shot execution style through the head for their blasphemy! And did I mention the director is M. Night Shymalan? The Greatest Director of all time! He is truly the most god gifted man on the planet! Did you see the interview he had where he stated the secret of his success is becuase he "became aware of what others were not aware of" -The man is a Genius! Fuck Einstein, he only hypothesized relativity. M. Night Shymalan made me believe that ghosts are real! I always wondered why my cabinet drawers always are open and why it get's cold in the winter. Now, I know that the reason why is because ghosts migrate to the north during the fall! M. Night is also damn cute too! I may be a 35 year old, overweight, white male but to be honest M. Night makes my Dick Hard! I was practically creaming in my pants when he made his appearance as a drug dealer! That guy is the most handsome man on the planet! The Phantom Menace used to be my favourite movie until sixth sense came out but now the champion of film is definitely Unbreakable! I can't wait for this movie to come out on VHS so I can put it next to my Backstreet Boys and N sync CD's. Hey speaking of Backstreet Boys. You guys got to listen to the new Black and Blue album! It rocks and it rocks hard! It's almost as good as Limp Bizket's hot dog flavored water. It'a mad ill y'all! Those Backstreet boys know how to turn the party up! You guys should also pick up 98 degrees revelation! Give Me just one night! Una Noche! Give me just one more movie! Shymalan!. I'm waiting for ya! Oh Yeah! If you don't see Unbreakable you are a pathetic loser nothing scumbag so everyone should go see it!

  • Nov. 25, 2000, 10:03 p.m. CST

    oh FUCK NO!!!

    by X-Girls

    I forget to put in my user name and a brilliant post is lost forever! ....Let's see, Mr. Glass, is not bad, he is a bitter freak, he has always worshipped heroes and identified with villians, since he can never hope to be a hero, he embraces evil and becomes a villian, going so far as to dress up ridiculously and live his life where he's always fit, as the freak, over the top, turning our world into a real-life comic. Are any of the characters orphans? -I haven't seen the flick, sorry, my parents won't take me, and I like playing the psychologist. That's all I can remember of my original post.

  • Nov. 25, 2000, 10:11 p.m. CST

    Newspaper

    by Ender Wiggin

    If you look closely at the newspaper that Dunn hands his kid the next morning you can see that it says that three were found dead. It's in the article below the picture of the sketch of Dunn.

  • Nov. 25, 2000, 10:13 p.m. CST

    Unbreakable smart film

    by The Big T

    I dont speak up much on this board anymore but damm it Unbreakable was one of the best films i have seen this year. Those "slow moments" are called character development scenes. They are necessary to the movie. Without them the movie is garbage okay. The whole films point was to show a comic book story in a realistic setting with no fancy shmancy super powers (although i will admit bruce's sixth sense was a bit far fetched but i cared so much about the character at that point i just said hey its a movie) so i salute you M. Night and wish you well. Big T out

  • Nov. 25, 2000, 10:18 p.m. CST

    Spoiler warning?

    by devil0509

    I've already seen Unbreakable (and liked it quite a bit - perhaps I went into it without the expectations that Moriarty did), so the spoiler didn't ruin anything for me. But, Moriarty, I thought AICN had a principle about not giving away specific plot details from the final acts of movies without big fat spoiler warnings...

  • Nov. 25, 2000, 10:34 p.m. CST

    Unbreakable review

    by jorson2

    For what it's worth, I agree with Moriarty. Maybe my feeling towards "Unbreakable" are not quite as negative -- more indifferent than anything -- but it ought to be what comic book fans want. After all, which of us HASN'T considered the possiblity of there being a real life scenario that mirrors the essence of a comic book, superhero situation? The great part is that M. Night had the guts to try and pull it off, and he did so if not 100% successfully, at least well enough to prove it CAN be done. And the point he makes about comic books is true. They are our myths. The Greeks had their stories about the Gods - both heroic and villainous. Batman, Superman, Spiderman, Spawn... they're all like mythic American gods. Even if the movie does get off track a few times, one of its major points is just what I said above, and if nothing else, if successful at the box office, should make the general public have more respect and desire for comic books considering the industry's recent dry spells in sells.

  • Nov. 25, 2000, 10:43 p.m. CST

    more rants! Unbelievable

    by X-Girls

    Mr. Glass sounds like his condition has made him strong-willed and David sounds all scared for a superhero, it's as though he has SO much potential, but his fears are keeping him back, and Mr. Glass is strong in spite of it, that's his advantage, and it's anyone's guess who the title 'Unbreakable' refers to, there will be arguements. With Glass' dialogue Sam Jackson typical variety, I think he's hoping for a small, cult hit, all the better for Sam's frat-boy fans who will no doubt go on drinking binges at certain times throughout the flick. --I wonder which movie will be the most like a comic book when the sequels are all finished, Matrix, Unbreakable or some comic book movies, it'd be interesting to have the 'comic-based' flicks based in reality, while more 'realistic' movies like Unbreakable turn and Matrix, etc. turn into full-fledged costumed superhero comic-style flicks, who knows!

  • Nov. 25, 2000, 11:10 p.m. CST

    I'd prefer Harry's review any time of the day than Mortiary's, h

    by Zombie Vig

    That says it all and please Mortiary, stick with the script reviewing job.

  • Nov. 25, 2000, 11:14 p.m. CST

    One shouldn't judge a film based on expectations

    by Sternwood

    Judge the film based on what it is. Not on what you'd like. Is Citizen Kane or Psycho flawed because a misguided critic might prefer color? Obviously, no. Nor is this film flawed because it is not Astro City. Yes, Astro City is the best purist Superhero story in recent memory. It is not the only one possible. Unbreakable is very much in line with the current real-world/superhero motif going on in comic books. Above and beyond that, it is a great superhero story about a man discovering his abilities and his place in the world. Above and beyond that, it is a solid piece of filmic story-telling by someone who understands the language of film (and there most certainly is such a thing).

  • Nov. 25, 2000, 11:16 p.m. CST

    Dear MidNight Shamalamadingdong and Professor Moriarty:

    by Bari Umenema

    Excellent review on Professor's part, so good and in depth and detailed that, with all the other posts I've read on this and the other two boards, I no longer have to see this movie AT ALL. I will not spend a single penny on it ever (I'll just wait til it's on free network TV) because MidNight Shamalamadingdong is a RAGING EGOMANIAC and all-around fuckwad asshole who thinks he's KING OF THE WORLD! That's right MidNight I'm talkin' to you pal, I saw you on that TV interview saying you wanted to make A BLOCKBUSTER, THE NUMBER ONE FILM OF THE YEAR, A SURE-FIRE BEST PICTURE OSCAR NOMINEE AND POTENTIAL WINNER. Well drop dead you Indian putz, your script for Unbreakable sucks shit but because you had the ability to woo Bruce and Sam and the cachet of a God from 6th Sense you got paid $10,000,000 for the script and your lackadaisical direction. So you don't need my money nor does Disney. However I will pay to see Quills, it sounds far more interesting than Unbreakable. So to wrap this rant up: Shamalamadingdong is a Raging Egomaniacal Asshole Prodigy who was blessed with cinematic ability and got lucky with a cult phenomenon then tried to duplicate it with the same leading man. Next!

  • Nov. 25, 2000, 11:18 p.m. CST

    Dear MidNight Shamalamadingdong and Professor Moriarty:

    by Bari Umenema

    Excellent review on Professor's part, so good and in depth and detailed that, with all the other posts I've read on this and the other two boards, I no longer have to see this movie AT ALL. I will not spend a single penny on it ever (I'll just wait til it's on free network TV) because MidNight Shamalamadingdong is a RAGING EGOMANIAC and all-around fuckwad asshole who thinks he's KING OF THE WORLD! That's right MidNight I'm talkin' to you pal, I saw you on that TV interview saying you wanted to make A BLOCKBUSTER, THE NUMBER ONE FILM OF THE YEAR, A SURE-FIRE BEST PICTURE OSCAR NOMINEE AND POTENTIAL WINNER. Well drop dead you Indian putz, your script for Unbreakable sucks shit but because you had the ability to woo Bruce and Sam and the cachet of a God from 6th Sense you got paid $10,000,000 for the script and your lackadaisical direction. So you don't need my money nor does Disney. However I will pay to see Quills, it sounds far more interesting than Unbreakable. So to wrap this rant up: Shamalamadingdong is a Raging Egomaniacal Asshole Prodigy who was blessed with cinematic ability and got lucky with a cult phenomenon then tried to duplicate it with the same leading man. Next!

  • Nov. 25, 2000, 11:24 p.m. CST

    You know what? I have no idea whether or not I liked this film.

    by Lenny Nero

    I kinda agree with Moriarty, but I really can't have an opinion of this movie until I see it again. Sometimes it seemed dreadfully slow, but after seeing it, I've given it a great deal of thought. Here are my problems with the movie. SPOILERS! DON'T SAY I DIDN'T WARN YOU!!! The plot was pretty much predictable, and there were no surprises. It might just have been me, but were we supposed to believe for one second that David Dunn was NOT unbreakable? It just seemed that we knew from the start what was going on. Were we supposed to sympathize with Elijah/Mr. Glass? I knew from the first scene with Eammon Walker (ever since seeing him on OZ I associate him with doom) that Elijah was evil. Also, his purple trenchcoat is a dead givaway that he's a villain. Then again, I still might like the approach that this movie takes. Basically, it was a blue collar MATRIX, with nearly the exact same plot. I expected Elijah to say, in his deep foreboding Larry Fisburne voice "He is the one." This movie, with me, at least, will be a great movie IF AND ONLY IF it has sequels. This is a true "origin" story, and it doesn't stand alone at all without at least one sequel. I know I hate sequels, but this one NEEDS one. This movie could be great folks. Go out there and buy a ticket just so we can get a true follow-up, and not just being left with that weird and wide-open ending.

  • Nov. 25, 2000, 11:25 p.m. CST

    Dear MidNight Shamalamadingdong and Professor Moriarty:

    by Bari Umenema

    Excellent review on Professor's part, so good and in depth and detailed that, with all the other posts I've read on this and the other two boards, I no longer have to see this movie AT ALL. I will not spend a single penny on it ever (I'll just wait til it's on free network TV) because MidNight Shamalamadingdong is a RAGING EGOMANIAC and all-around fuckwad asshole who thinks he's KING OF THE WORLD. That's right MidNight I'm talkin' to you pal, I saw you on that TV interview saying you wanted to make A BLOCKBUSTER, THE NUMBER ONE FILM OF THE YEAR, A SURE-FIRE BEST PICTURE OSCAR NOMINEE AND POTENTIAL WINNER. Well drop dead you Indian putz, your script for Unbreakable sucks shit but because you had the ability to woo Bruce and Sam and the cachet of a God from 6th Sense you got paid $10,000,000 for the script and your lackadaisical direction. So you don't need my money nor does Disney. However I will pay to see Quills, it sounds far more interesting than Unbreakable. So to wrap this rant up: Shamalamadingdong is a Raging Egomaniacal Asshole Prodigy who was blessed with cinematic ability and got lucky with a cult phenomenon then tried to duplicate it with the same leading man. Next!

  • Nov. 25, 2000, 11:26 p.m. CST

    Bari Umenema

    by Sternwood

    Kubrick was an ego maniac. That does not make him any less the filmaker. Not that Shayamalan is anywhere near a Kubrick. Not that he does not merit criticism. But, ego-maniacal behavior does not have any effect on the merit (or lack thereof) on the film.

  • I'm not going into reason's why, his post is reason enough. Although, I can see how that could be satirical in tone, but it seems so serious to me. So.... sincere. Anyway, if you truly do speak like that (mad yo!, etc.) I pity you. If not, more power to you for the scathing post.

  • Nov. 25, 2000, 11:29 p.m. CST

    comment for Bredon, comment for Moriarty

    by busorama

    Bredon- Batman doesn't feel joy? I direct your attention to Frank Miller's The Dark Knight Returns Vol. 1, pg. 34: "This should be agony. I should be a mass of aching muscle--broken, spent, unable to move. And, were I an older man, I surely would...but I'm a man of thirty--of twenty again. The rain on my chest is a baptism--I'm born again. I smell their fear--and it is sweet." The kind of deranged joy only Batman could feel, but joy nonetheless. I'm not saying David Dunn should be running around like he's high on ecstasy all the time, but I did want to point out that even the most haunted, dour crime-fighters DO enjoy what they do. God, I'm such a geek. As for Moriarty- Excellent review. I've been trying to write a review for my college paper, and I can't do it in any length short enough to be published, and then your review comes along and echoes my feelings exactly, particularly your comment about Shyamalan coddling the audience--I read in an interview with him that he won't put anything in a movie that he thinks the "Gumps", i.e. the general American public, won't get. That kind of pandering may win him fame, fortune and Oscars in the short run, but in the long run his movies will get worse and worse and his audience will disappear. And that would be a shame, because the man has too much talent to be wasted like that. Thank you for actually thinking about the movie, unlike some people (cough Harry cough). Just as a general comment, I'd like to say something about the ending for everybody out in TalkBack land. The ending is not a knock-knock joke. The question is not, "Did you get it?" or "Were you surprised?" It may be a surprise ending, but its success is not based on whether or not it surprised you. Its success should be based on whether or not it worked as an ending, and for my money, it didn't. It should have been the twist at the end of Act II, with at least thirty more minutes of film left for Bruce and Sam to fight it out (literally or figuratively). You can say Unbreakable is supposed to be part one of a trilogy, but that doesn't mean it shouldn't have a decent ending. Star Wars had an real ending. Even The Phantom Menace had a real ending. Just something to think about.

  • Nov. 25, 2000, 11:32 p.m. CST

    Mr. Glass (thank you Jarek)

    by Sternwood

    I like the film, but please don't try to help, Mr. Glass, because you obviously do not know much about film.

  • Nov. 25, 2000, 11:48 p.m. CST

    Just put me down for what he said..

    by Lizzybeth

    That pretty much sums it up for me. Some good moments, but it could have been much better. Some of it was cringe-inducing (especially the half-hearted attempts to show comics as a archetypical medium, sitting Elijah in front of an Egyptian motif does not explain that in and of itself, it could have been explained better, and where did that water/kryptonite thing come from? Lame plot device? Yep.) I hope M Night S will learn from this one, at least, and do better in the future.

  • Nov. 26, 2000, 12:07 a.m. CST

    Dunn feels no joy?

    by Subject Zero

    I tend to disagree. Remember at the end after he gets the rapist? He carries his wife to their bedroom and lies down with her. I think that moment captured his joy without the need to show his face at all! I do agree that some parts felt kind of slow, but I think M. Night pulled off an incredible movie. I think the problem with it for some people is how they're eating the movie (figuratively of course). It's meant to be chewed slowly, sort of savouring the taste after every scene.

  • Nov. 26, 2000, 12:11 a.m. CST

    One of the many wonderful elements that Shyamalan implants in hi

    by docsisx

    One of Mori's problems with "Unbreakable" was that Dunne managed to not brush against Elijah throughout the entire film until the end. This is one of the "hows", it is why David doesn't realize Elijah's true nature until the ending. What I just said was obvious. What doesn't seem so obvious to Moriarity is that Dunne not brushing against Elijah is an extremely plausible "how". Elijah scared Dunne, with his strange theories and stalking and following. Never are the two characters kind-hearted towards each other, they are cold towards one another...touch for them, is out of the question...until the last scene in which Elijah (and M. Night himself) offers the perfect "touch". As far as Unbreakable being a joyless comic book movie you are right..it took fucking long enough for them to finally make one. Unbreakable hosted the same tone as Frank Miller's graphic novels "Dark Night Returns" and "Batman: Year One"... which is just as fun as a an "X-Men" comic. Unbreakable didn't necessarily have to be Archie or Garfield Moriarity. What Unbreakable did was take a comic book scenario push it into the real world with real characters and real aftermaths and somehow, through the "hows" and the twists and turns it took, it ended up becoming none other than your typical, wonderful, beautiful first edition, limited edition, comic book...the good guy vs. the bad guy. Conversely Mori, it seems as though you are the one who has never picked up a comic, not Mr. Shyamalan.

  • Nov. 26, 2000, 1:06 a.m. CST

    He did not kill...

    by Shrike

    I saw the film twice this week and the first time I thought that Willis had killed the guy. On second veiwing I did not take my eyes off the man as he lay on the floor. He is very obviously breathing as he lays there. Now whether it's just bad acting (couldn't hold his breath) or is intentional I don't know. But he IS breathing. I think they should have made it more obvious if that was the intent, like have it in bold type in the paper that he shows his son the next morning. As for me, I loved the film and so did my friends who saw it with me.

  • Nov. 26, 2000, 1:16 a.m. CST

    A More Measured Response

    by Voila

    Harry and Moriarity once again overstate their thumbs up/thumbs down cases. While it is of course respectable to possess unbridled passion for popcorn movies (which is not an aspersion but an industry acknowledged designation), it is odd that their passion rarely leads them to reviews that don't regularly miss the point. I have only one simple statement to make here ( SPOILER material follows): Night made ONE significant mistake with this film that should cause him to reconsider his pre-premier ban on his wife seeing his scripts and movies; though he lovingly and delicately builds a 90 minute trance of uncertainty over David's unbreakability and then gives us the scene that should be the money shot when David Acts Heroic and Saves The Day, i.e., he blows the whole thing by having Superdave strangle the killer. Now I ask you: if you have a scene where Superdave's kid is pointing a gun at him but doesn't shoot, a gun that, in retrospect, had it shot Superdave, wouldn't have hurt him, Why Oh Why are viewers supposed to be stoked in the climax when Superdave displays the remarkable ability to....survive repeated impact with drywall? The failure of the movie to be a Great Movie (defined as one that works from head to toe) is that it doesn't pay off the perfect build (and concept) by providing us a Really Cool Scene where the Hero Himself discovers he's Unbreakable (via a knife that doesn't cut his flesh, a bullet that bounces off, a fall of more than--gracious!--two stories. This scene, or its abscence, undermines the viewer's ability to revel in the Coolness of Everyman Becomes Superhero. And it's too bad because the build to that point (and the excellent last scene) are otherwise wonderfully wrought. Night forgot to show us the money. And whether it's a trilogy or not, Something momentous should have been shown at the climax beyond a bit of wrasslin'.

  • Nov. 26, 2000, 1:16 a.m. CST

    The Unbreakable Villain

    by Baldeagle

    The first time I saw UNBREAKABLE I enjoyed the film, but I was left with many questions. Why does David choke the home invader to death at the end of the movie? I gave it some thought and drew a conclusion the second time I saw the movie. Near the end of the movie, when David goes to visit Elijah he spends some time talking to Elijah's mother about comic book villains. She refers to two kinds of villains, a Soldier villain that fights the hero with his hands, (the home invader) and a criminal mastermind that fights the hero with his mind (Elijah). I gave this some thought and I have drawn a very tenative conclusion. It is obvious that the home invader was supposed to represent a 'soldier' villain, is he also UNDREAKABLE? It would stand to reason that if her were, then the only way to defeat him would be for David to choke him down, just as he did in the film. If you watch closely when the villain enters the house you can see that he easily overpowers the father with one hand when he forces the door open.

  • Nov. 26, 2000, 1:27 a.m. CST

    Moriarty I just saw your caricature. A dapper old gentleman with

    by Benjamin Horne

    And Unbreakable was terrific. You just didn't "get it."

  • Nov. 26, 2000, 1:35 a.m. CST

    Well, I thought Sam Jackson's was the best performance, actually

    by Andy Travis

    Especially if you watch the film again, knowing the ending. He gives a portrait of a seriously screwed up human being. Watch the scene of him catatonic in the comic book store. It's about a thousand times more disturbing knowing what you know in the end. But that's my take on it. By the way, who says David KILLED the janitor? It IS possible to make a guy pass out by applying enough pressure to his throat, but this doesn't KILL him...unless you do it hard enough. Not that I've ever done this...ahem...

  • Nov. 26, 2000, 2:21 a.m. CST

    Yes, he DID KILL THE GUY at the end

    by Dark Ix

    I can't believe this is even being debated. When Dunne shows the newspaper to his son the next morning, it clearly states that "3 found dead" and that 2 of the dead were the parents (who we also saw dead). The 3rd is clearly the guy Dunne choked - there ISN'T ANYONE ELSE. Maybe you caught the actor breathing - but that's his problem. Clearly, he was meant to be dead. Frankly I think a lot of the crits related to this film are from the age-old fanboy problem - in this case, the comics fanboy, of which Moriarty is clearly one. News flash for you guys - there are a lot of folks out there who go to movies but don't give a shit about comics, ok? Maybe from a comic-fanboy perspective the movie is flawed. I'll still take it over most of the other shit released this year like the Grinch. Peace Ix

  • Nov. 26, 2000, 2:25 a.m. CST

    Moriarty, we had people like you during the Revolution. We calle

    by Benjamin Horne

  • Nov. 26, 2000, 2:36 a.m. CST

    re: spoiling endings

    by roctiv

    I'd like to comment on this only because I've heard a lot of other people making the bizarre suggestion that it's okay to disclose a movie's ending without warning if it's been around for a while. Is there some deadline by which we're all supposed to see THE SIXTH SENSE? Sure, it'd be wise to see it as soon as possible (along with thousands of other movies with surprise twists) to avoid having it spoiled for you, just as it's a good idea to install an alarm in your home to discourage theft, but that doesn't excuse movie-spoilers any more than it does burglars.

  • Nov. 26, 2000, 3:05 a.m. CST

    trilogy?

    by Mumbleboy

    I feel that the Unbreakable was weak as a stand alone film but that if it would be good if it was the first in a trilogy. The slowness of the pacing helped me to accept the realness of it. At first the action, if you can call it that, seemed to be really underplayed. Still not enough cuts. I don't remember more than 2 different angles used in it. I could be wrong about that but, in any case, I felt that by underplaying it, by using somewhat POV shots, it drew me into the world as it was painting it. Oh, well...

  • Nov. 26, 2000, 3:18 a.m. CST

    jarring ending and then some

    by DIRTYOLDBASTARD

    For those who feel the ending of Unbreakable was abrubt and took you out of the movie I agree. It did the same for me, but guess what, I loved it. The ending haunts me. Ever had a really weird dream with a very intence tone and suddenly the tone shifts... an abrubt revelation is made and then... BAM! You wake up. I have, and that's what the ending felt like... to me. This film has haunted me for days. Images from it float through my mind and are the first things I see when I wake up. Last time this happened was American Psycho... The Beach... Matrix... films as TRANCE instead of, or as well as, narrative. Movies that insidiously change your perception of reality. Kubrick was a master of this and that's one of the main reasons he's revered and remembered. This is currently not the most fashionable or critically favored style for film... especially if said films spring from the studio system or even America. NewRose Hotel is a perfect example.... probably one of Abel Ferrara's best films (and an indie) it was reviled or ignored (ie. misunderstood) by the few critics who bothered to watch it. I watched ot twice in one night the first time I saw it. Better the second time... they complained the story was weak.... well the film was not about narrative... but emotion and obsession and what those things mean. Sorry they missed out. Unbreakable is a European art film disguised as a Bruce Willis ballbuster. It's genius. If it starred Asians and had subtitles... I seriously suspect there'd be no doubt about that in anyones mind.

  • I would like to give a new look on the partisan v. non-partisan reviews this Talk-Back seems to be generating. I used to be a reader/collector of comics when I was younger (mostly Marvel, not a value judgement just a statement so you can see my level of commitment). To this day I love all manner of mythology and still think fondly back to the great stories that are burned into my memory. When I heard that M. Night was releasing a new movie I went out of my way to block any preconcieved notions of what the movie was about, and I finally got to see it this weekend, and I think it is fantastic. SPOILERS-----> I had no idea it was about superheroes and so the comic book thing at the beginning just got me thinking, but was expecting a completely different film. I think this movie captures so much of what is missing in films today. It was willing to take a real risk and tell a story without big effects and flummery. From the flirting scene to the credits I was hooked. I was dissapointed by some of the discussions I heard while exiting the theatre. Everyone including myself wanted to see a "proper demonstration" of his powers, but the story would have been broken by such a revelation. While not addressed in the movie I will assume that Dunne was not a comic collector in his youth. So given zero knowledge of a completely unbelieveable situation what would you do? Everyone with a negative review always comes back to the kitchen scene. While I think this scene would be ruined by a rowdy theatre I thought it was great. I didn't and still don't know if Dunne is truly invulnerable or just very tough. I can remember the enemy but in the Secret Wars Hawkeye is being charged by some dweeb with red leggings and a white shirt talking about how he can stop a .38. Hawkeye warns him that the bow hits a little harder than a .38 and proceeds to show him by plugging him in the heart.... How would you test your invulnerability if you discovered its "potential" tomorrow. I guarantee you wouldn't chop at your hand with an axe, let alone shoot yourself in the chest. I gone rambling here a bit so let me just wrap it up... With a solid grounding in comics and zero knowledge about the plot I found Unbreakable to be great. A totally new genre that should not be evaluated against Batman or Superman. In the end my final comment is in agreement with at least one of Moriarty's points, and that is this movie at least warrants discussion. And I only hope that this further opens the door to more movies that take a little risk, but I think we all know that we should just prepare for knockoffs.

  • Nov. 26, 2000, 4:54 a.m. CST

    A good point raised regarding spoilers.

    by Andy Travis

    I saw Sixth Sense about three weeks after it came out. I had heard the media-blitz that followed it's meteoric rise, and knew there was a surprise twist- ending. I kept that in the back of my head and about halfway through the film I put two and two together and realized "Hey, he's dead." I knew there was a surprise ending in Unbreakable, and once again figured it out halfway through. I understand that the "surprise-ending" gets 'em into theaters (in theory), but it works both ways. Now, as far as spoilers on internet sites like this one, at first there were some "Spoiler Warnings" here and there, but now it's virtually a free-for-all. The only thing to do is to avoid any post about the movie until you see it. Self-control.

  • Nov. 26, 2000, 8:44 a.m. CST

    missed opportunity

    by O_Propeliea

    I'll start by saying i enjoyed this film. I'll continue by saying that my interest in mythology is more classical than comic book, but I have enjoyed comics and other elements of modern fantasy. I think the idea of comics as mythology needs a great deal more scrutiny than can be given here before i buy into it fully, but it's an indea worth discussion if not outright acceptance. Okay, enough with the preface. Unbreakable left me filling unsatisfied in a way not unlike Gladiator in the sense that i felt like there was a real gem beneath the rough but it just wasn't quite refined well enough--or perhaps more precisely, the cutting had been a little off. I think most of the film works well though the abrupt ending is a little forced for good story-telling and I definitely felt cheated. There wasn't enough sympathy in my mind for Elijah for the ending to work. I needed elijah to belive he had done good to such an extent that the audience was left questioning whether he had been right in sacrificing lives to create his super hero. It needed to not just be about him but about all the potential good that could be done. Secondly, I needed Willis' character to realize the impossibility of his situation. There's a moment in the train station when our hero is starting his mission where he spreads his arms--similiar to a crucificied Christ--and feels for the sinners amongst us. then theres the sweeping horror/sadness as the worlds crimes are laid at his feet in quick succession. In less than a minute he's faced with theft, rape, and murder. The world is full of evil and he is only one man who must choose. There should have so much more done with this. It's arguably the most dramatic aspect of the hero story. A man destined to stop evil so prevelant he can never fully succeed. letting some darkness go avenged and choosing which evil's are greater. In Western mythology Christ has it easy, he dies knowing those who wish to follow may escape the suffering because in one fell swoop he has died for all our sins. The hero of Unbreakable has no such assurances. He cannot in one act of sacrifice eliminate all sins. He must choose which to avenge and stop in so doing let countless other evils survive. Worse yet, he belives that he is fated to be man's protector yet he is utterly incapable of fulfilling this role. He can stop a chosen few acts of evil but never turn the tide. It is a futile fight that cannot be won. This is the dramatic reality of the real hero and the missed opportunity of Unbreakable.

  • Nov. 26, 2000, 9:08 a.m. CST

    You shouln't read scripts

    by shady73

    It seems that Moriarty missed out on a really awesome movie experience because he read the script a friggin' year before he saw the movie. This is painfully obvious in his interpretation of how the "son with a gun" scene 'should have' been handled. It was supposed to be humorous, yet tense, and it was. People are supposed to laugh. Obviously, if Moriarty was directing he would have done it differently. Too bad. That was really a movie you should know nothing about going in to truly enjoy. I was surprised how much I enjoyed it because I am the only person on the planet who hated "The Sixth Sense" becuaseI figured out what the plot twist was going to be immediately when Bruce Willis' character was shot point-blank in the guts (and if you've ever seen "Jacobs Ladder", you should have too. Also, everyone in the packed theater I saw "Unbreakable" with loved it and clapped at the end.

  • Nov. 26, 2000, 9:38 a.m. CST

    You hit the nail right on the head, Moriarty.

    by geekzapoppin

    I must agree with you on every point. The film had some good ideas, but the execution was heavy-handed and self-indulgent. I really wanted to love this film. I did. I loved THE SIXTH SENSE and feel like Shyamalan has talent. I just feel like he went overboard with this one with his ever-present camera work and overt symbolism. I'm sorry that most of you folks can't seem to accept dissenting opinions and feel the need to attack those with whom you differ. It's sad, really.

  • Nov. 26, 2000, 11:30 a.m. CST

    I agree with Zerocorpse's analysis...

    by neovsmatrix

    to an extent. I still think David IS Unbreakable to a point. I don't think he's invulnerable to a bullet or cuts in his skin or anything like that. But he has unbreakable bones, and I think THAT'S what the scene with David struggling with the thug and banging against the wall is trying to communicate to the audience. He has superhuman strength and instincts, but that's it. He's not immortal, or invulnerable. As for water being his weakness, I don't think it is lame at all. After all, he IS phobic of water, and some people have a natural reaction of opening their mouths when water submerges them. In a way, it IS his kryptonite, but not in the comic book way really. I do think David Dunne goes on to protect and save people after Elijah is imprisoned, but I also think Elijah has created a rivalry for himself. Something to fight for, in which he is the villain and David's the hero. However, even if David is TRULY unbreakable to no extent and bullets don't kill him, that scene which shows him banging against the wall, still works in my opinion. Of course, we'll only really see the truth behind David's powers if there's a sequel (which I hope there will be). This was definitely my favorite movie of the year though. By the way, even though his wife survived the car wreck, it was because of David. Doesn't mean she's invulnerable at all or anything. David saved her, because he wasn't harmed in the crash. Is that just lucky? I don't think so. We even see him tear out that door with a little effort, and we see him, a person who's never even lifted beyond 275, lift 350. I think those are pretty good signs of his superhuman strength.

  • Nov. 26, 2000, 11:35 a.m. CST

    Meanwhile, not far away...

    by Call me Mr Glass

    I'm not usually someone that ventures into talkbacks, but for this movie I thought that I'd make an exception. Now I have sat back while all you people have bashed some fairly, if not very good films. The Grinch? True, it was not as good as the classic Chuck Jones cartoon, but it was fun and a good movie nonetheless. It was one of those movies that makes you feel like a little kid again. It had a few problems, but Ron Howard did all he could, and Jim Carrey was bouncing off the walls. I watched while you all jumped on the bandwagon to say that What Lies Beneath was a piece of shit, when it wasn't. I thought it was a nice tip of the hat to Hitchcock by another fantastic director, Robert Zemeckis. Can anyone of you argue that the bathtub sequence alone wasn't one of the most suspeceful ever put on screen? And I can just imagine sometime in the near future there will be a talkback for Hannibal, or Spiderman, which from the directors, budget, and cast, I feel will be very fine films also, and what will happen? One person will say IT SUCKED! and then all the rest of you will band together and say, yeah, it did suck, the lighting wasn't right, or this line should have been this way, or losing Jodie Foster killed it, or Doc Ock should have been in it, or something. None of you ever seem to take a film for what you see on screen, you almost always are disapointed. I'd like to see your definition of a good movie one day on here. Just draw up a schematic and show me the way that you decide your judgement of a film, or do you simply flip a coin? Now, I'm not trying to oversell anything, or piss people off, it's just that I love movies, and in doing so I give movies this much when I walk into the theater: A fair chance. I gave that fair chance to Unbreakable and came out of the theater 1) thinking I had just seen a damn fine film 2) In utter delight of the surprise ending 3) And great happiness for the fact that we now have another good director to add to the ranks. The film was a comic book movie, and a good one at that. No pyrotechnics, no rubber nipples, no sparks flying from beneath Alicia Silverstone's ass, er...uh, I mean motorcycle. It took comic books and set them in a real world setting. Bruce Willis? He was the hero we want to be, because he was real. Sam Jackson? A great villain in the purest form. Think about it, the best villains are always the ones we've gotten to know, like Michael Corleone, Darth Vader, Hannibla Lecter, and Sam Jackson's Mr. Glass ranks up with the baddest of the bad. The direction was slightly different from the Sixth Sense, a little grittier I thought, but not bad. Robin Wright Penn was a good supporter, the kid was good. And the fact that this is only part of a trilogy? terrific. I agree completely with Harry, who it seems is one of the few reviwers on here that wants to like a movie when he goes into the theater. I thought this was a superior film to the Sixth Sense. Oh, and by the way, those of you who are whining about telling the ending to the Sixth Sense? It was one of the biggest movies of all time with arguably the best word of mouth, and in the last year and a half at theaters, video, and DVD, you didn't take two hours out to see it? Go buy a damn VCR or DVD player and rent one of the most impactful movies of recent memory. Not that difficult. They called me Mr. Glass

  • Nov. 26, 2000, 12:54 p.m. CST

    The "son with a gun" scene.

    by Studio Lackey

    Everyone (except for shady73) who has mentioned this scene, where David's son holds a gun on him, threatening to shoot him to prove David's invulnerability, seems to think it was meant to be dead serious, and since audiences laughed, it was an ineptly done scene. News flash: the scene was played for laughs! It was an initially tense situation that M. Night defused at several points with comic relief. Yes, the audience chuckled, and so did I, because (and the film acknowledges this) the situation was both frightening AND absurd. The fact that Moriarty completely missed this subtle yet crucial point pretty much invalidates his entire review: if he can't figure out this one simple scene, he clearly hasn't understood the film as a whole. The wrongheadedness of his other comments supports this conclusion. Sorry, professor -- usually I admire and respect your views, but this time you've really dropped the ball.

  • Nov. 26, 2000, 1:02 p.m. CST

    One more point:

    by Studio Lackey

    One thing that is clearly emerging from the debate over this film is that people who went in with specific expectations were doomed to be disappointed. Moriarty, with his inside info, went in expecting a certain kind of superhero film; not getting it, he proceeds to blame M. Night instead of his own preconceptions and sense that he did not get what he thought he was going to get. On the other hand, I hear from many people who went in, as I did, "cold," with zero knowledge of the film and zero expectations, that they were pleasantly surprised. I think that a movie like Unbreakable, which is very different and very subtle in its expression, requires an open-mindedness and willingness to clear your mind of preconceived notions of what a superhero film should be. People who can deal with that, will have a good time at this flick. People who just want what they want, won't.

  • Nov. 26, 2000, 1:13 p.m. CST

    Okay, just ONE more point

    by Studio Lackey

    and then I'll shut up. Re: the question of "Did David kill the Orange Suit Guy"...I think that, if you accept the thematic premise of the film as a real-world reinvention of the superhero myth, then it makes sense if David did kill him. This notion that superheroes don't kill villains is grounded in a comic book sense of nobility that doesn't work in the real world. Honestly -- if Batman existed in the real world, with the kind of insane rage that would drive a man to put on a bat costume and fight evil, does anyone really think he'd never kill any of the scumbags he encountered in his work? What M. Night is accurately pointing out is that the superhero genre is primarily about VIGILANTISM -- people taking the law into their own hands. David Dunne, in playing judge, jury, and executioner to this rapist/murderer, is simply doing what all vigilantes do, which is to dispense justice as he sees fit, regardless of any greater moral or legal code.

  • Nov. 26, 2000, 1:40 p.m. CST

    Unbreakable review

    by 'Splosion

    Moriarty, I want to refrain from calling you an ass outright; these talk backs too often come down to simple name calling. I do want to say that I think that you've seen and perhaps reviewed too many movies. You come across as feeling superior which makes your apparent moments of confusion (your comments regarding the scene on the train) seem all the more pitiable. Don't worry though, I'm sure everyone still thinks you're fantastically keen, being able to pick out imagery and techniques such as using a single camera for long takes as you can. Ps. I'm sorry you let the audience's reaction affect your feelings in such a drastic way. I'm sure you'll one day overcome this problem.

  • Nov. 26, 2000, 1:44 p.m. CST

    eh..... I respect your opinion but your too DARN ANALYTICAL!!!!!

    by llamaguru

    sure that's nice and all but reading too deep into this isn't the answer. Shylaman did a great job telling how a man might react if he were a real life superhero, what he'd do, and how he'd react. Sure I can see why people would think it sucks," It moves too slow and it's stupid, I don't get it" that all alright but in my opinion it's just that those people that think that have no imagination or patience...that bugs me a little. Some movies are meant to be analyzed... like the Sixth Sense and Unbreakable....it's not about that stupid "underlying meaning" of a movie or if it has a message on what the director had for breakfast when he thought about this movie....but it's about trying to figure out the end, to see if you get all the clues, like a mystery novel. If you always read too deep into movies, your gonna get burned more often than not.....enjoy it

  • Nov. 26, 2000, 2:22 p.m. CST

    MORIARITY IS 100% RIGHT

    by inkymae

    I DONT HAVE ANY COMMENTS TO SAY BECAUSE MORIARITY NAILED MY EXACT FEELINGS ABOUT THIS MOVIE. LOVED THE CONCEPT. HATED THE MOVIE. M. Night has gotten big headed with the success of Sixth Sense and in this movie he has proven to be fallible.

  • Nov. 26, 2000, 3:02 p.m. CST

    well that comment was lame, and here's how it is geeks

    by llamaguru

    well I think that comment was stupid.... Shaylaman did NOT get a big head about this....that's just wrong.... I'm one not to take either side but look at this.....it's not meant to be like the Sixth Sense, you can't even compare them in the same way. 2 totally different movies people are bound to like one more than the other. It was made to tell a story, a great story, not meat to get little suck up geeks trying to find the art value in stuff, but the sad thing is that bunches of movies get the money from people like that. Who scrutinize things so much that no more blood can come out.

  • Nov. 26, 2000, 3:05 p.m. CST

    Possibly...

    by BobbyDigital

    The worst review of a movie I have ever had the misfortune of reading...I don't know anything about the film so I thought a quick read of the review would fill me in...How wrong was I? Pleae, if you're gonna review a film, a least outline the plot you arse.

  • Nov. 26, 2000, 3:14 p.m. CST

    Unbreakable was a great film....

    by Sigfrid_VonShrnk

    Unbreakable was better then people give credit. I think the whole movie worked for me, those of you who hate it because of its "out of place and cheesy" scenes need to understand this was made as a modern comic book. Comic books have out of place and cheesy parts, but if you notice the "out of place and cheesy" scenes of unbreakable were subtle and less exaggerated, just like Mr. Glass thought comic books were like history, but more exaggerated. This was an example of the essence of a great art of story telling, and how it works. The parallel between hero and villain was so generously portrayed with amazing performances by both Willis and Jackson. Frankly, I think this was more ambitious then the sixth sense. Why? Just look at all the controversy its stirring up, there are so many people wanting to hate, and arguing there point as there is people who love it and arguing there points. This a truly driving movie either way, and think everyone should see it over such craptasic goo as "the grinch"!

  • Nov. 26, 2000, 3:17 p.m. CST

    Unbreakable II???

    by Packy McCracken

    If there is a trilogy, I would imagine it would run something like this... Part II...David Dunn becomes The Slicker on a regular basis. His son knows, but his wife thinks he's seeing someone with all his nights out and faltering explanations. The son is sworn to secrecy, but falls apart when mom throws dad out. Son acts out in school and begins telling kids that dad is The Slicker. Son feels inadequate as he has no "superpowers" and is now ostricized as the weird kid who thinks his dad is a superhero. The Slicker quickly attracts the attention of law enforcement. The people of Philadelphia are, for the most part, pro-Slicker. However, the insurance companies want him held liable for any and all property destroyed or damaged and pressure the mayor to find him. Think Batman: Year One, only he's not particularly clever. A kid at his son's school tells his father (who works at a major insurance company) about this Dunn kid who says his dad is The Slicker. The father, bucking for a promotion, looks into it and, since David Dunn received massive coverage for surviving the train wreck, decides it's not completely far-fetched. The insurance investigators follow Dunn and catch him in the act. They pass his identity on to the police and he is arrested as DNA samples tie him to the locations of the appearances of The Slicker. The public wants him freed and he is when the DA acknowledges there is no way a jury will ever convict. Dunn returns home to a dozen claims suits from the insurance companies. His only method of earning money is through endorsements. He becomes the celebrity spokesman for Master Lock's new line of "Unbreakable" door locks and J. Peterman's Slicker Slicker. His wife returns home as he gives up vigilantism. The movie ends with Mr. Glass being denied release and his mother vowing to carry out his nefarious plans. Part III...Living the good life in a big house outside the city, David Dunn is happy with his wife and son, now 17. He stopped fighting crime 2 years ago, but still helps people in need when he can. He's a satisfied man. A bomb kills 70 people at a department store. David Dunn recieves a note from Mr. Glass hinting at his involvement. David turns it over to police and Mr. Glass and his mother are indicted and he is sentenced to death. What? You expected him to escape? How? Climbing the wall? Tunneling out? Hiding in the linens? This is supposed to be the real world. A guy that fragile can't do anything physical. He "confessed" to killing 500 people and was promptly incarcerated for it, so he's hardly a genius. I honestly don't see much need for one sequel, much less two. It's a great concept and an interesting movie, but hardly a great one. I look forward to Night's next movie, as he has a unique and expressive point of view, but will write this one off as a noble effort that paid off sporadically. Let your imaginations flesh out the fate of David Dunn and Mr. Glass. My guess is it will be much more satisfying than what ends up on screen.

  • Nov. 26, 2000, 5:05 p.m. CST

    The Villain

    by Doctor Biotic

    Previously, I had read Harry's reveiw where it instructed all involved to see the movie, then read on. Well, I did and I can't say I hate this movie. But it did lack something that is necessary for it to be extraordinary (at least for me). And that is...where is the villain? Sure, we know that Mr. Glass is the villain in the end (and probably before that for some of you), but that doesn't count for me. I didn't have anyone to root against. And that makes for poor moviemaking. Okay, so it was the first in a trilogy. But so was Star Wars (actually, number 4 to be exact but for the purposes of this discussion...). M. Night really needs to take a look at the Hero's Journey, and read it over and over again. To have a hero, to have someone to root for, you need someone to root against. I believe the word is "antogonist." Not some serial killer in the end that seems to exist solely for the purpose of making David heroic. If this were that kind of story, it's been done before and much better.

  • Nov. 26, 2000, 5:10 p.m. CST

    To clear something up...

    by Loki Trickster

    I don't know if this has been mentioned before, since I haven't read through the Talkbacks, but the guy is clearly killed in the movie by Dunn. The news headline the next day reads something like "Three dead" saying how the parents and the assailant were killed. Take that how you will. -Loki

  • Nov. 26, 2000, 5:57 p.m. CST

    Why keep calling him SecurityMan?

    by PonceMan

    I say his name is Unbreakable. Sure, it's an adjective, not a noun...but come on! "SecurityMan"?

  • Nov. 26, 2000, 6:35 p.m. CST

    Sternwood suck me off!

    by Mr Glass

    Screw U man! I love this movie more than I love shaving my testicles! I can't help it if I want to sing it's praises on the top of every mountain.This movie is definitely the BEST MOVIE IN HISTORY! This movie in the words of the great rapper Vanilla Ice is "not a zero but a hero!" This movie is the mack daddy of all! Raise the Roof Y'all! Screw those movies like schindler's list and silence of the lambs! Those pretentious pieces of dog shit were made for the elitist bastards who think they know what art is, Unbreakable is a movie unlike any other. It is groundbreaking and takes many risks like my other favourite movie of the year BATTLEFIELD EARTH! Yeah, I know a lot of people didn't like this movie but it was unwarranted. The performance by Travolta will soon be rewarded with a richly deserved Oscar for best actor unless Bruce willis can trip him up with another strong performance in Unbreakable. My tope five films for 2000 is 1. Unbreakable, 2. Battlefield Earth, 3. Gone in 60 seconds, 4.Big mama's house and 5.Boys and Girls- This movie had me laughing my ass off! Freddy prinze is the man, screw you playahatas you jus jealous! DO NOT GO SEE - 1. crouching tiger hidden dragon -stupid karate crap with chinese people in it! 2. Gladiator - didn't we see this movie when it was called ben-hur! 3. Requiem for a dream- Utter complete garbage, 4. Chicken Run -Fucking claymation? in this day and age? we want computer graphics! AVOID THESE SHIT MOVIES Like the Plague! UNBREAKABLE is the best movie ever! I dreamed that one day a movie like this would be made and it has come true! If you don't go see the movie may your children be born with down syndrome or some other fucked up disease! UNBREAKABLE FOREVOR! Mr. Glass will never be broken, especially by the likes of you stern-got-small-wood

  • Nov. 26, 2000, 6:37 p.m. CST

    Sternwood suck me off!

    by Mr Glass

    Screw U man! I love this movie more than I love shaving my testicles! I can't help it if I want to sing it's praises on the top of every mountain.This movie is definitely the BEST MOVIE IN HISTORY! This movie in the words of the great rapper Vanilla Ice is "not a zero but a hero!" This movie is the mack daddy of all! Raise the Roof Y'all! Screw those movies like schindler's list and silence of the lambs! Those pretentious pieces of dog shit were made for the elitist bastards who think they know what art is, Unbreakable is a movie unlike any other. It is groundbreaking and takes many risks like my other favourite movie of the year BATTLEFIELD EARTH! Yeah, I know a lot of people didn't like this movie but it was unwarranted. The performance by Travolta will soon be rewarded with a richly deserved Oscar for best actor unless Bruce willis can trip him up with another strong performance in Unbreakable. My tope five films for 2000 is 1. Unbreakable, 2. Battlefield Earth, 3. Gone in 60 seconds, 4.Big mama's house and 5.Boys and Girls- This movie had me laughing my ass off! Freddy prinze is the man, screw you playahatas you jus jealous! DO NOT GO SEE - 1. crouching tiger hidden dragon -stupid karate crap with chinese people in it! 2. Gladiator - didn't we see this movie when it was called ben-hur! 3. Requiem for a dream- Utter complete garbage, 4. Chicken Run -Fucking claymation? in this day and age? we want computer graphics! AVOID THESE SHIT MOVIES Like the Plague! UNBREAKABLE is the best movie ever! I dreamed that one day a movie like this would be made and it has come true! If you don't go see the movie may your children be born with down syndrome or some other fucked up disease! UNBREAKABLE FOREVOR! Mr. Glass will never be broken, especially by the likes of you stern-got-small-wood

  • Nov. 26, 2000, 6:45 p.m. CST

    It's only a Movie. Huh? well what about the 2 hours of your life

    by crouchingtiger

    How can people say "it's only a movie don't get so serious about it". Well, when you live in manhattan and you pay $9.50 to see a movie and double that when you take a girl and you waste your money on shit like Battlefield Earth and Godzilla and hours of your young precious life on drivel that is supposed to be entertaining then it's more than a movie isn't it? People should have the right to rant if they don't like shit movies! it's the American way!

  • Nov. 26, 2000, 7:44 p.m. CST

    For once, Moriarty has it just right!

    by rubycanoe

  • Nov. 26, 2000, 8:27 p.m. CST

    I'm sick of Critics

    by Azrael37

    Does anyone else feel like they're getting talked down to with this review? I mean I consider myself to be quite the movie guru, and when someone tells me that a movie I like is not good and then tells me I'm an idiot for liking it, just really pisses me off. Moriarty has made a couple of comments that just really tick me off. First, about the movie being spoon-fed to you; when dealing with comics, most of the audience is not going to have an intimate knowledge of the comic world like fanboys, so at some point it becomes necessary to give the audience cliff notes. 2nd, you always expect greatness from great directors, come on let's look at Spielberg, I thought Saving Private Ryan was horrendous...."Tell me I'm a good man..." Come on, what a crap way to end a movie. 3rd, Willis' son in the movie was atrocious. I found myself wanting to slap the kid all the way through the movie. He was overacting and completely unbelieveable as a child in a soon to be broken home. 4th, did you ever consider that the scene with gun was supposed to be funny...I've seen the movie twice and both times the audience has laughed at it. And 5th and final, this is supposedly part of a trilogy. I don't think it's fair to judge a planned storyline on one of the three films. Come on, if we all did that then there would be no hope for the rest of the Star Wars franchise.

  • Nov. 26, 2000, 9:15 p.m. CST

    RE: reading the script first

    by Lance Rock

    With a movie like this, which contains a twist at the end, I don't see how you can give an unbiased review when you've read the script a year ago. Anyway....the film worked for me, but yes, I did think there were flaws. My biggest problem was the ending--why not show Mr. Glass in the asylum? Maybe it was an editorial decision, but the titles felt tacked onto what was a great mood piece.

  • Nov. 26, 2000, 11:06 p.m. CST

    THE SLEEPER HOLD DIDN'T KILL HIM...THE KIDS DID!!!

    by gyalwa

    When Dunn left the killer was still breathing. Then the kids went up and shoved that pool pole up his ass and out his throat.

  • Nov. 26, 2000, 11:26 p.m. CST

    A good example of a bad review

    by Veidt

    Moriarty tries hard to bring a case against Unbreakable but it just isn't cutting it - at least not on the fronts he's coming from. First off, he "resents being spoon-fed". Well, everything from The Green Mile to Fight Club has at some point been accused of "spoon-feeding" the audience. It wasn't true of those films and it's not true of Unbreakable. And if he resents Unbreakable for Shyamalan's use of mirrors and reflections to foreshadow plot points, then he must resent Hitchcock's Psycho for the same reason. And as far as audience laughter breaking out during the scene with Willis' son and the gun, there was no such reaction along those lines at the screening I was at. And even if there were - who cares? There were more than a few instances of inappropriate laughter when I saw The Exorcist re-release - should I consider that a failing of the film or evidence that some audiences are just plain immature? In regards to any Dead Zone comparisons, it'd be good to remember that the main knock against that film at the time of its initial release was that in compressing the events of the novel to film length, the narrative became too episodic - just hustling Johnny from one incident to the next. And to compare Astro City to Unbreakable is way off base. As brilliant a book as that is, it's coming from a totally different slant than Unbreakable. Astro City is clearly taking place in a "comic book" world in which superheroes - spandex, gadgets, sidekicks, superteams and all - are a common part of everyday life and have been for some time. Unbreakable is square in our world where the only place superheroes and villains have ever lived is between the pages of comic books. And does Willis kill the intruder he battles at the climax? I'm not sure. But if he did, would that really make him less of a hero? Well, only if you're a total priss. Had he wasted Mr. Glass in cold blood at the end, that would've been clearly unheroic. But in a life-or-death struggle with a psycho that he knows has already killed without any provocation? To protect the people he came to save as well as himself lethal force wouldn't seem out of line. If superheroes did exist in the "real" world, then surely - realistically - this is the way many battles would play out. He hangs on until the bad guy goes down, period. No one-liners, no grandstanding moves, no time for bullshit. Unbreakable isn't a perfect film - few are. But I do think that it's a more accomplished work than The Sixth Sense and one of the year's best films.

  • Nov. 27, 2000, 12:41 a.m. CST

    Half & Half= Unbreakable

    by The Founder

    I loved the premise of the story,but I only liked the movie. I understand some of the gripes that Moriarty had with the film.The movie was seemed to move slow at some points, and that was basically my biggest problem.I was expecting a little more action after Dunn accepted that he had powers and went out to help people.I really enjoyed the scene when he rescued the inprisoned family,and I do agree that Dunn(Willis) shouldn't have killed him(or if he didn't Shaymalan should have informed us) The way Mr.Glass(Jackson)was searching for Dunn I was expecting him to know all about the unbreakable man and why he was unbreakable, and he mentioned that he was someone to protect us...but from whom or what?I felt as though their was some mystic answer behind this unbreakable man,and it ended up being nothing,but if this is supposed to be a triolgy then we may get more answers....I certainly hope so.The ending was that much of a shocker to me ,and as a matter of fact I thought it was going to be bigger, but I would like to have seen Mr.Glss as a friend in the end and with a more threating villian,but I can accept Glass as the arch enemy.I just hope Shaymalan put a little more thought and action in the next flick if their is to be one.To sum up the movie...I liked it,but with a few resevations.

  • Nov. 27, 2000, 3:52 a.m. CST

    Regarding Andy Travis' post

    by roctiv

    Yeah, you're right that folks should avoid posts and reviews about a movie they haven't seen yet...I learned this the hard way! That, and they should see it as soon as possible. I think though that Critical Bill up there was upset with Moriarty because he disclosed the ending of a movie that wasn't the subject of his review. There might be people who saw UNBREAKABLE and figured they could read anything about it now and BOOM, up pops the SIXTH SENSE ending, which they might have never seen. By the way, I agree with what you said about Samuel Jackson - he was awesome.

  • Nov. 27, 2000, 7:32 a.m. CST

    big fat reply to the unbreakable review

    by warrenEBB

    "this is a film that will earn rabid fans, fans who will defend it using the 'you didn

  • Nov. 27, 2000, 8:16 a.m. CST

    Feeling Joy

    by Madrox

    The reviewer mentioned a near lack of joy in Unbreakable. The stacking of weights being the notable exeption. I felt it there and in other moments of the film as well. I /really/ felt joy and awe in the 30th Street Station scene when Dunn tests out his psychic ability on the crowd of commuters. Joy rose in me when the camera framed the back of Dunn and his Security poncho. But it wasn't a poncho. It was a cape. A cape that instantly reminded me of Reeve in Superman. Another moment was when Dunn was having breakfast with Joseph and he slid the morning paper toward him. To share in your father's secret identity and knowing that you were right all along.

  • Nov. 27, 2000, 8:27 a.m. CST

    "Unbreakable"

    by Theta

    I do agree that "Unbreakable" deserves a more complicated dialogue, but I think at the same time you miss the point of the movie. David has given up a lot for his family, because he feels that if he hadn't he would lose them. Think about it, this guy could have been the kind of massively rich and whitebread football hero we all know and hate. Instead he's a security guard, which seems to pay pretty well, but still, it doesn't have the glory that David wants. However, DAVID IS NOT HAPPY and his worldview reflects this. That's the reason there's no joy. His wife's total disgust towards violence makes his superheroism a mixed blessing; he can never tell her, and if he's ever caught, he stands a good chance of losing his marriage. The gun scene isn't embarassing at all, far from it! It's great! We know David has powers, but not the extent of them. For all we know he's just got more lifting power than he realized, at that point. The suspense is razor-sharp and I think it's a great job. But at least you like the movie. I want to smack Jay Carr of the Boston Globe, and every other critic whose whining boils down to "This wasn't the Sixth Sense again!!!" Jesus Christ, where are you with the pump shotguns when they're needed?

  • Nov. 27, 2000, 8:39 a.m. CST

    Almost Terrific

    by Ted Terrific

    Unbreakable was almost terrific. It was slow going at times (scenes without cuts are very difficult to pull off). But there was a terrific story there. What was missing was a good ending - What William Goldman calls the most important part of a movie - and I agree. We needed to see a confrontation between Glass and Dunn. A slam-bang ending (and it could still be in the "realistic" style of the rest of the film) would improve this immeasurably.

  • Nov. 27, 2000, 9:51 a.m. CST

    What a turkey!

    by Hungryjack

    This movie was the pits! What should we call the super hero? Captain Headlock? My theater oversold and I watched the movie sitting in the aisle. Maybe that's why it felt like it drug on so long. Security asked me for my ticket stub about fifteen minutes before the end of the movie. In retrospect, I wish they would have thrown me out.

  • Nov. 27, 2000, 2:03 p.m. CST

    A lesson about "subtext"

    by Napolean Wilson

    To say that a movie - any movie - has a "shocking lack of subtext" is just asinine, not to mention grossly uneducated. EVERY story, told in ANY medium, automatically has a subtext. That's just a fact, which any English teacher will be happy to confirm for you. Any story that's told - whether it be Camus' The Stranger or an episode of Three's Company - has a deeper text of social, personal, or mythic meaning that lies beneath the outer narrative. Subtext is largely an element that develops organically within a story, independant of conscious effort by an author. An author may purposefully want to hit on certain themes or reference certain symbolism but any good author (of screenplays, of novels, of comic books) knows that as long as they focus on the story that a legitimate subtext will be found there regardless. Unbreakable is no exception to that because there ARE no exceptions to that.

  • Nov. 27, 2000, 4:12 p.m. CST

    Regarding Call me Mr Glass

    by roctiv

    Actually, I did see THE SIXTH SENSE, back in its theatrical release, and was pleasantly surprised by the ending, having avoided people who wanted to tell it to me. One thing I wouldn't have known to avoid is reviews of other movies...so I'm bothered by those like Moriarty's that reveal it unexpectedly. I don't understand why you feel people have an obligation to see it as soon as possible just because it's a big critically acclaimed film out on video. Are we all supposed to see every such movie (and every such book and comic book and what have you?) within a year or so of its release, and deserve to have it spoiled for us if we don't?

  • Nov. 27, 2000, 5:33 p.m. CST

    doesn't anyone want to talk about Quills?

    by HeywoodFloyd

    i mean, enough already. i know you guys all saw it this weekend, but come on, this is like the 3rd or 4th talkback on this flick--get over it. ps-i think you should actually let the film leave the theaters before you take a character's name from it for your geek user id.

  • Nov. 27, 2000, 6:27 p.m. CST

    My idea for the next Unbreakable movie

    by Sam McAbee

    Maybe the second film can be called Inedible. It can be about a crippled cook with no taste buds, named Gerald Icetope AKA Mr. Bland who spends his life cooking inedible and horrible food, searching for the one man who will enjoy his cooking. He finds that man after hearing about a guy named Edgar Eggs who is the only man to ever win the Texas State Hard Boiled Eggs and Yogurt Eating Compotion by eating over 400 hard boiled eggs and 300 containers of Bananas

  • Nov. 27, 2000, 10:50 p.m. CST

    Lemme pop in here to make one simple point:

    by Dave_F

    The thing that's bugging me about this otherwise quite interesting Talkback is how the word "comics" is used synonymously with "superheroes". Superheroes are a *genre*. Comics are a *medium*. A MEDIUM. And like any medium (radio, television, film, prose), capable of exploring any genre or combination of genres in existence. Speaking of comics as though the medium equals only superheroes is a symptom of the close-minded attitude that keeps American comics in the kiddie ghetto. And nearly every single post here is doing it. Shyamalan did it in "Unbreakable" too. It's a matter of semantics, but by no means a trivial one. I mean, Harry says, "Comic books for me have been about the mythology of mankind", only to mention comic creators like Eisner, Crumb, and Shelton in the next sentence and completely subvert himself. Not a ONE of those guys wrote about superheroes or mythology! My humble request is this: please don't use the broad term "comics" when you really mean something as specific as "superheroes". The Europeans and the Japanese have flourishing comic book traditions with nary a superhero in sight. When they hear the word "comics", it could mean anything from the surreal science fiction of Moebius to the political melodrama of Kaiji Kawaguchi's "Eagle" to the romantic comedies of Rumiko Takahashi. The thing is, American comics have that same diversity, but we just can't seem to get past that goddamn fucking mental block of comics = superheroes. It drives me insane.

  • Nov. 28, 2000, 1:21 a.m. CST

    No Moriarty.... YOU DIDN'T GET IT!!

    by Ted Striker

    This was a well written review -- but you missed the boat entirely!!To re-empasize an earlier point made here -- "News flash: the scene with the kid about to shoot his dad was played for laughs! It was an initially tense situation that M. Night defused at several points with comic relief. Yes, the audience chuckled, and so did I, because (and the film acknowledges this) the situation was both frightening AND absurd..." Come on Moriarity, do you really think more than 1% of the viewing audience REALLY got the fact David Dunn's name begins with the same letter as does Peter Parker's? You're nuts if you do, and perhaps you're being a bit too intellectually-high-and-mighty in this review... Harry's review picked up on the insights you completely missed. I'VE GOT A QUESTION FOR YOU, MORIARTY: Did you wake up this morning with an overwhelming feeling of sadness? David Dunn did for 15 years because he wasn't doing what brought him JOY -- I know for a fact Harry doesn't, because he's truly found his calling, his bliss... Just as Dunn did at the end of Unbrakeable. IT HAS BEGUN.

  • Nov. 28, 2000, 2:33 a.m. CST

    Never thought this would happen, but ...

    by Sterling Wolfe

    I agree with Moriarty about straight down the line. And, for one, I did not read the script before seeing the film tonight, and, I avoided places like this like the plague before seeing it, so I *had* no preconceptions about it. Yeh, those were words I used tonight talking about it with the gal who saw it with me. Ponderous and pedantic. Don't get me wrong, I still enjoyed the film, but also think it to be a truly flawed work. I think the revelation here is Quills. Truly memorable. GREAT writing, some great performances, and a way of getting a message across that is anything *but* ponderous and pedantic. Even if you don't think Quills will be your type of film, give it a chance. It's not harlequin chick flick nonsense that it might seem to be in previews. Final note: Over the last couple of years, it seems that MANY reviewers and sites just are *clueless* when they're spoiling a film. I'm staring to learn to just avoid reviews like the plague before seeing a film. And on this film, I received an e-mail warning NOT to let anybody say ANYTHING about the film. It would be awfully nice if reviewers have the slightest concept of when they are spoiling a film, but I really dont' think many care any more even to give it thought, let alone to take a whole five extra seconds and give a warning. Truly selfish. www.themachineisdead.com

  • Nov. 28, 2000, 12:56 p.m. CST

    Have to agree with Moriarty on this one. Unbreakable was terribl

    by CatHerder

    Some people will say that a person "just didn't get it" if they disagree with them. Too bad. So much for having a "discussion". But then again, what is one to expect? Moriarty, I agree with you. AfroSheen, good points. This movie was really, really flawed. Perhaps one of the main problems with this film is in its usage of music to cover up the lack of dramatic elements in the story. The music was great, mind you. But it was also a bit of a cheat to use such soaring soundtrack to propell the story forward. Let's think about how the music was used in the film: whenever there was something mysterious or supposedly moving going on, the soundtrack would kick in. Such music colored the emotions of the audience during the subtle acting moments, and made those moments see like they actually accomplished something in the story, propelling the storyline forward. But did it? No. Unfortunately it did not. The music was a cheat. And if you see the film over again, I think you will see that. Exposition? Not much in this film. Nor is there very much exposition in comic books, but then again, comic books don't come with soundtracks, nor do they come with special effects, nor can they provide variable frame rates to either give us slow motion or fast motion. Fans of this movie seem to be arguing with Moriarty and others on this board who have had gripes with this movie because the fans believe that the critics "just don't get it", because the film is "like a comic book" or because there is some sort of great big step being taken by the filmmaker because we would all like to believe in superheros and Shyamalan wants us to help us believe it. Nevertheless, films are not comic books. If you want to entertain yourself with comic books on the screen, you have to concede that there are multiple dimension to film that expose the 1-dimensionality of comic book drama. Don't get me wrong. I love comic books. Been collecting for the last twenty-odd years. I think I understand pretty well the references that people are making about the comic book titles people have been using to compare with this movie. However, film is not comic books. There are still plenty of issues of drama that are lacking. Characterizations need to be firmly fleshed out. Emotional elements -- issues of character motivation need to be considered. Why do the characters do what they need to do? Should we watch them for twenty-to-thirty minutes of the screen time walking around almost aimlessly asking other people if they remember when they've been sick? I feel that this film was a sad attempt at originality. What Shyamalan was trying to do was to create a sense of mystery and wonder like Spielberg always does in his films. But did he? If you remember how the film plays out, I think you'll agree that it doesn't. As far as the long master shots, another element is the lack of sound. In dramatic circles, SILENCE is actually considered to be the loudest sound one can make. And in keeping with that fact, Shyalaman seems to be packing this film with a bit too much silence in order to evoke something emotional in us. Ever see at SAUL BASS stuff? He did a lot of the title scenes in the beginning of Hitchcock films. If you ever get a chance, see some Saul Bass stuff. It'll be good medicine. This late-great graphic artist/filmmaker virtually created the heightened montage that we now take for granted. I believe there was one film (I know I'll get flamed for this because the name of the film escapes me) but it has to do with the hours before Mathatma Gandhi's death. Well, in that montage (which is really wonderful) you see a clock ticking ticking ticking... Well, the music score keeps up its ominous presence while every few seconds we see a closer picture of the hands of time ticking towards the time of Gandhi's assassination. What does it mean? It symbolizes the power of the medium (something comic books can never adequately do), and it suggests far more than what it really is, thus creating mystery and awe. Well, in the same way, that's what happens with this film. A lot of silent moments, a lot of cheats using soundtracks, and a lot of unexplained aspects of who David Dunn is, all in an attempt to create an illusion of grandeur which is definitely suggested through the music but not truly actualized through the drama.

  • Nov. 28, 2000, 1:08 p.m. CST

    Greatness...

    by paulus22

    You state that if someone shows greatness, you should expect that of them. I disagreee. Greatness is a fleeting thing. The greatest of the great are only so occasionally, and those are the moments that shine. M. Night is an excellent filmmaker. But going into a movie expecting the highest heights is only setting yourself up for disappointment. I went into "Unbreakable" expecting a decent flick, but NOT expecting it to be as perfect as "The Sixth Sense." I always try to enjoy a film on its own merits. And I LOVED this one. Taken on its own, as a COMIC BOOK MOVIE, as real or fake as you want it to be, it worked. It worked extremely well. I think that M. Night did an amazing thing with this idea...he created a comic book movie for intelligent film lovers. And he IS great for that!

  • Nov. 28, 2000, 5:19 p.m. CST

    Get out of my mind, Moriarty!!!

    by My2cents

    I felt as if you read my mind regarding your review of "Unbreakable!" Word for word I almost wrote in the same exact review when I saw a screening of "Unbreakable" at BAFTA last Tuesday (Nov. 21st). I knew you had evil powers, but now I'm scared!

  • Nov. 28, 2000, 7:15 p.m. CST

    Moriarty is right about Unbreakable...

    by Obscure Homage

    I usually disagree with the majority of Moriarty's reviews, but I think his critical look at Unbreakable is pretty accurate. I expected him to cop out and jump on the Harry/ludicrous praise bandwagon, but he stuck to his guns and he made a very convincing case for the films blatant inconsistencies. The only credit that I'm willing to bestow upon this film is the fact that it was very well made in a directional and visual sense, everything else is suspect to critcism. I've come to the conclusion that all of the AICN Unbreakable supporters have got to be Disney employees or friends and relatives of M.Night Shymalan and the rest of the cast/crew because everyone I've talked to in the non internet world has absolutely trashed the film. Buy THE CELL on dvd!!

  • Nov. 28, 2000, 11:09 p.m. CST

    A secret ending

    by tigerpanda

    Thanks, Moriarty, for writing such a thorough and interesting analyis of unbroken. I share your frustration with the tone of the piece, and your respect for this skilled new film maker. I wonder, though, if it doesn't have a secret ending grinning at us beneath our very noses. Here is my logic: One of the reasons I could not engage fully with this film was the overbearing silimarity I felt to watching the Sixth Sense, in which the whole film is tailor made to trick the viewer into seeing something that he believes is real, which is not. The films feel so similar to me, I feel it must be an intentional reference, or a hint, that we might be playing the same guessing game. Is the same technique at work here? And if so, what is the secret ending? The secret: In the first scene following the train wreck (which we percieve as just a flash of light), David Dunn answers a series of questions from a doctor, while a figure, broken and bleeding in the foreground, is prophesized to die from his injuries. Could not that figure be David Dunn, and the entire movie afterwards a hallucination of a man on the brink of death? My evidence: Everything in the film seemed to re-affirm this suggestion to me. For exanmple, there was only the one survivor apart from Dunn, and his identity was purposefully conceled. Also, the fog that Dunn and his wife waded through to recall memories of the past articulated a strange and unreal world, and one not fully realized, as though on the edge of a dream. Further, the slow progression to "unbreakability" illustrated the wish for a sure supernatural ability to withstand the very accident that was killing him. Finally, that the movie became so comic book like, with credits at the end, and Mr.Glass' character developing more of a villainous black and purple wardrobe throughout the length of the film, only seemed to heighten the sense of longing that such a world might exist. A dying man might long for just that. If there is a trilogy, I would not be surprised to discover that the final shot in the third film would reveal the crushed and broken body of the real Dunn after the train wreck. I had alot of fun mulling over this film, and I hope you have as much thinking about this secret ending. Tigerpanda

  • Nov. 28, 2000, 11:35 p.m. CST

    A secret ending

    by tigerpanda

    Thanks, Moriarty, for writing such a thorough and interesting analyis of unbroken. I share your frustration with the tone of the piece, and your respect for this skilled new film maker. I wonder, though, if it doesn't have a secret ending grinning at us beneath our very noses. Here is my logic: One of the reasons I could not engage fully with this film was the overbearing silimarity I felt to watching the Sixth Sense, in which the whole film is tailor made to trick the viewer into seeing something that he believes is real, which is not. The films feel so similar to me, I feel it must be an intentional reference, or a hint, that we might be playing the same guessing game. Is the same technique at work here? And if so, what is the secret ending? The secret: In the first scene following the train wreck (which we percieve as just a flash of light), David Dunn answers a series of questions from a doctor, while a figure, broken and bleeding in the foreground, is prophesized to die from his injuries. Could not that figure be David Dunn, and the entire movie afterwards a hallucination of a man on the brink of death? My evidence: Everything in the film seemed to re-affirm this suggestion to me. For exanmple, there was only the one survivor apart from Dunn, and his identity was purposefully conceled. Also, the fog that Dunn and his wife waded through to recall memories of the past articulated a strange and unreal world, and one not fully realized, as though on the edge of a dream. Further, the slow progression to "unbreakability" illustrated the wish for a sure supernatural ability to withstand the very accident that was killing him. Finally, that the movie became so comic book like, with credits at the end, and Mr.Glass' character developing more of a villainous black and purple wardrobe throughout the length of the film, only seemed to heighten the sense of longing that such a world might exist. A dying man might long for just that. If there is a trilogy, I would not be surprised to discover that the final shot in the third film would reveal the crushed and broken body of the real Dunn after the train wreck. I had alot of fun mulling over this film, and I hope you have as much thinking about this secret ending. Tigerpanda

  • Nov. 29, 2000, 1:11 a.m. CST

    TO: TigerPanda. An interesting idea, but...

    by CatHerder

    TigerPanda, A very interesting idea. But a few thoughts why this might not be plausible as an answer: 1.) The opening title cards which explained the obsession of the comic book collector. The only workaround there would be if Dunn was a comic book collector, but after establishing the character in the film we get no hint that the comic book collector in the movie is David Dunn. Usually, if we're talking about creating a believable foreshadowing, you'd expect something like that. 2.) The title cards at the end which explain what has happened to both David Dunn and Elijah. Well, for a title card to exist means that the storyteller -- supposedly the most objective person connected to the story -- is lying about what really happened to both of these two characters. As fantastic as that might be as a real plot twist, the entire idea of setting up a frame of reality by which the audience can relate to the characters only to destroy it without any foreshadowing would only cause to lose the audience, wouldn't it? It's like watching the STING -- a real classic -- with a narrator telling you that the Feds in the end are the real deal. You buy it, there's no foreshadowing there but there are enough openings in the plot to allow the audience to make this transition with joy and elation. There just doesn't seem to be much material in this film to give it that much credence. Then again, we did not see the train wreck. So if there was one, and if David Dunn IS in some wishful place dreaming about being unbreakable, then it would be pretty unrealistic to assume that the audience would really accept the real "reality" as it were when it is finally revealed. Wouldn't it? Even in Star Wars, there is hesitation in Obi Won Kenobi's explanation to Luke about the mystery of Luke's father. We do not know why Obi Won hesitates, but that sort of action is still the foreshadowing needed for us to realize that this is an open issue that could be anything. Not really the case in Unbelievable. There is no necessary foreshadowing. Even in the Sixth Sense, there is a moment when we get the feeling that Bruce Willis' character may have died in his wife's arms. But then the plot moves on two years into the future. Anyway, it's a great idea. But I don't know if it would really fly as a plausible plot twist. Then again, monkeys might fly out of my butt, so who knows? Peace.

  • Nov. 29, 2000, 2:45 a.m. CST

    Moriarity

    by Gomez

    Thank you, sir. As always I find your insight / critiques intelligent and well-rationalized. I also thought "Unbreakable" had many problems. I thought the idea was terrific and the payoff rather titillating but, indeed, this movie lacked any meaningful subtext. Furthermore, I think the director confused a slow pace for true character development. These people were sketches... so much less than the tone of the movie seem to suggest. The gun scene was also met by laughter in the show I saw and lacked any artistic credability. It's a shame really - I think there was a real opportunity here. I wanted so much to like this film more but, ultimately, had to recognize it for the clever failure it was.

  • Nov. 29, 2000, 4:14 a.m. CST

    Moriarty is WRONG

    by neovsmatrix

    Sorry, but that's what I think he is: wrong about Unbreakable. I think he misses the whole point about that comic book comment at the very beginning. It doesn't apply to the whole movie, but it does introduce the element in the movie. It is the one motivation Elijah has that audiences are supposed to relate and understand. Also, the shocking "lack of joy" Moriarty mentions is completely off-base here. What is David supposed to do once he discovers his powers: dance? He goes out to do what he was supposed to do from the beginning. He's afraid at first, but once he does his first good deed, we see him more at peace with his life. He finally is able to be closer to wife and son, and he finally accepts who he is. Also, Moriarty's claim that Shyamalan never picked up any comic books or doesn't understand comic books is only coming from his own perspective. Comic books can mean different things to other people. We only are presented with Elijah's view of comic books, the way he values them. Doesn't mean there aren't people who treat and like comic books for different reasons. As for the lack of subtext and character development, I think he's really stretching here. This movie doesn't go through scenes like it's pressed for time. It always takes its time to set up character motivations, and each time it does, we see more of what makes the character tick. Again, I think he is wrong here. This movie was much better than he makes it out to be and it definitely is better than any of the idiotic movies out for the holidays right now such as Charlie's Angels and The Grinch.

  • Nov. 29, 2000, 12:44 p.m. CST

    Did he kill Maintenance Man???

    by gyalwa

    The answer is no. David Dunn did not kill Maintenance Man. He was shown breathing when Dunn left. The reason the newspaper shows "three dead" is because the kids killed him before the police arrived. Wouldn't you? I hope this puts an end to the debate.

  • Jan. 9, 2002, 4:51 p.m. CST

    All alone

    by Mr Sinister

    So this is what it feels like sitting and writing for yourself with no one there to read and listen. Not that I'm complaining, this is actually quite nice. Maybe in a few years time someone will notice this little post. They'll probably think "what a sad, lonely little person". But I'm not. I'm actually quite happy with the state I'm in at the time. At least I try to be. It's not easy, you know? The soundtrack to Unbreakable is heard through my earphones for the moment. Don't really agree with Moriarty on the film, quite liked it actually. But maybe it's just the soundtrack. A good soundtrack can really make a film for me. Oh, if you just happen to be buzzing by say hi, I might respond. parridius@hotmail.com

  • Feb. 1, 2003, 5:53 a.m. CST

    Last!

    by 2LeggedFreak

    Harrys review was spot on with this and Moriarty I am afraid that its true; You just didn't get it. Just one point...the lack of joy. Well this film had a guy rebuilding his relationship with his family...a relationship that was dust at the beginning. For many people that was the joy in the film. As for whooey I can fly , well that belonged in a different film...as a great Super Hero is heard to say very often...with Great Power comes Great Responsibility...and responsibility is a big downer Mori. Perhaps this was a film for family guys to understand and appreciate better...a superhero for the middle aged ? Whatever I loved it. Oh and Mr Sinister...Hi