It’s good to see Shyamalan back (to a degree) in form, to the extent that he’s recovered his basic mojo as a yarn spinner. But Glass occupies us without haunting us; it’s more busy than it is stirring or exciting.
The first part of the film gets some airy momentum going. Then, however, we learn the secret of what the characters have in common, and it gives you that slightly sinking feeling of one contrivance too many.
Even though Second Act shouldn’t work, it does (sort of). It’s got flow, a certain knowing ticky-tackiness about its own contrivances. You know you’re watching a connect-the-dots comedy, but the dots sparkle. And Lopez gives her first star performance in a while. Age has enriched her talent; she brings curlicues of experience to every scene.
The film is far from incompetent, and it brims with ambition, but too much of the time what’s happening just sits there. It’s a lavishly odd concoction, like a feel-good movie for OCD miniature-world Barbie-doll fetishists.
In the piercing and perceptive documentary Divide and Conquer: The Story of Roger Ailes, it’s fascinating, in an outrageous and distressing way, to witness the moment when Ailes transformed the nation’s political landscape virtually overnight.
Viewers hooked on the spectacle of demonic possession tend to like their satanic tropes served neat. The Possession of Hannah Grace serves them sloppy, if not without a certain random soupçon of grisly style.
Robin Hood is no classic, but if it sometimes seems like it’s trying to be “Baz Luhrmann’s Robin Hood,” more power to it. The movie is a diverting live-wire lark — one that, for my money, gets closer to the spirit of what Robin Hood is about than the logy 1991 Kevin Costner version or the dismal 2010 Russell Crowe version.
The effect is ecstatic; she sounds like the holiest of trumpets, with every note piercingly bright yet as soft as velvet. Listening to Franklin, you feel like you could ride that voice into the heavens. She’s not just a singer, she’s a human chariot.
For anyone who grew up with “How the Grinch Stole Christmas,” The Grinch won’t replace it, yet it’s nimble and affectionate in a way that can hook today’s children, and more than a few adults, by conjuring a feeling that comes close enough.