“GLASS” is the third film in the unassuming superhero trilogy from M. Night Shyamalan which hit theaters in January and is now available to add to your home entertainment collection. When films are released on Blu-ray and DVD they often come packaged with a small collection of bonus-content, but this Blu-ray release comes with enough added material to easily compare it with Special Edition collections. From deleted scenes, to characters vignettes and behind-the-scenes footage to featurette’s. This collection of special-features truly is special, and it tops it all off with an alternate opening. So, lets dive into this release to see what all is included.
I enjoyed this film for what it was. I thought the performances were excellent and felt large sections of the story were absolutely compelling. Other directions the narrative went didn’t work for me as much and I feel the scope of the film overall was possibly too big. However, it was still a solid film that I enjoyed watching a second time at home. To see my full review on the film you can check out the link below.
Now let’s begin working through the mass of bonus-content starting with the alternate opening and the collection of deleted scenes. The alternate opening was a different direction from the McAvoy focused theatrical release. It was centered inside the Raven Hill Memorial Hospital and was a unique difference from the opening in the final-cut as it creates a curious looming curiosity rather than tension with the McAvoy opening. Added are 12 deleted scenes that were interesting to watch. Some were scene extensions and others would have been nice left in the film. However for pacing I can see why some where left on the editing room floor. Regardless, going back through them and hearing the introductions from Shyamalan was a great peek at this film from a creative aspect.
There was a segment called “A Conversation with James McAvoy and M. Night Shyamalan” that I found to be surprisingly enlightening in the sense of learning more about the creative processes of both. In this feature each one interviews the other and it was interesting to learn about the creative concepts of each. Such as the methods Shyamalan took into creating the world for the film. As well as exploring more of how McAvoy expanded his character personalities. In particular with diving deeper into the persona of The Beast. This was one of my favorite features because of that. It was filled with a ton of insight in a short time and with the natural conversation between them, it felt like being a fly on the wall listening in on two creative talents.
Also included were 10 featurette’s that break this film down from almost every angle possible. First was, “The Collection of Main Characters” which was split up into four categories, David Dunn, Elijah Price, Kevin Wendell Crumb, The Rest of the Family. This is a great featurette that explores the characters and the world of the story not only in “Glass” but working back to “Unbreakable” and “Split” to provide a quick snap-shot of the entire trilogy. It’s edited with commentary discussing the meaning of many character dynamics. In addition to exploring how, and why things were connected to quietly make this trilogy that no one at first knew, was a connected trilogy.
Next up was “Bringing the Team Back Together” which was a fun look back at the three films and the cast and crew who returned. This was a charming behind-the-scenes peek at the camaraderie of the crew and cast-off camera. It was fascinating to hear some of the personal accounts from the various actors to hear what they thought of Shyamalan as a director and a person to work with. This was a brief look inside the friendship that can grow over the years from working on films and it was a nice addition. Another vignette was called “Raven Hill Memorial” that provided an inside-look at the eerie new location for the film. Cast share their thoughts on what it was like filming inside this location and how it felt like a character in the film on its own. From a movie geek’s perspective, it was cool to see how the locations are used while filming and how it all translates to the final onscreen result.
The news group of featurette’s, “The Sound of Glass” “Enhancing the Spectacle” and “Breaking Glass: The Stunts” dive into the full spectrum of technical aspects behind this movie. Composer West Dylan Thordson speaks on his use of string instruments to create the creepy score. The visual-effects team talk about the uses of simplified special-effects to create the needed look of the film. They also explore the uses of practical-effects and stunt-work that was used to create the visual look of both The Beast and David Dunn’s abilities. Probably my favorite of all the features was “David Dunn vs. The Beast” which went in-depth and explored the construction of the epic battle in the film between these two men. Behind-the-scenes footage captures the film-making process of how the sequences were created, what effects were used, and so much more.
The last of the features were more focused on the development and creative side of the film which I find to be equally as interesting. “Glass Decoded” “Connecting the Glass Universe” “M. Night Shyamalan: Behind the Lens” and “Night Vision” all explore the creative aspect of the story-lines, the characters, the universe of everything, and the concepts behind the development process. Shyamalan speaks on his subtle use of colors in the film and their correlation to the comics that I found extremely interesting. The cast and crew talk about their experiences with their characters and expanding on them. They also share their views on Shyamalan as a creative storyteller and his methodology for connecting these films.
That covers the wide collection of features included on this release. If you are a fan of this film, then the Blu-ray is the way to go. It delivers the film in crisp vivid quality, and it’s filled with a complete package of material to learn everything you need to know about this film, and Shyamalan’s trilogy as well.