Shyamalan's 'Glass' is Engaging Almost Until the End

I don’t think anyone will deny that M. Night Shyamalan is a great storyteller. He initially proved that with the release of The Sixth Sense. The symbolism of the color red, the odd scenes that made very little sense until the end of the movie and of course, the amazing twist that nobody saw coming. That incredible twist has almost been the director’s undoing. Since 1999, not one of his other movie’s endings have had the same impact, but he continues to try.

In 2000, Mr. Shyamalan hoped that lightening would strike twice with Unbreakable which also starred Bruce Willis. Like The Sixth Sense, Unbreakable was a mystery only this time, the story featured the lone survivor of a train crash who left the accident without a scratch on him and an incredibly fragile, wheelchair-bound, comic book enthusiast which appeared to be the polar opposite. The story was intriguing, but basically fell apart near the end when the twist was revealed. Now almost 19 years later, the same thing ha…

Independent 'My Son' is Surprisingly Realistic

Cadon (Restin Burk) and Jess (Kate Randall) discuss how to get their son back.

Not too long ago I received some flak from a promoter of a faith-based film that I gave a fairly negative review. As a fellow Christian, I want to be supportive of other believer’s projects, but as a reviewer, I want to critique art for what it is. He tried to reason with me saying that film’s production had a limited budget and that I shouldn’t expect a Christian film to be Oscar-worthy. In response, I told him that I believe in doing the best you can with what you got. The film he presented me was not the best it could be. The writing was poor. The acting was poor. The music was poor. The film meant well, but it wasn’t a well-made movie.

Contrast that experience to one I just had watching the film, My Son. It too featured actors who have never acted before and was put together on a shoe-string budget, but this film (and others like it) proves that low budget Christian films can be made well. Much can be done with a good story.

Produced by Retta Vision Motion Pictures (a ministry of Retta Baptist Church in Rendon, TX.) and FlyRock Media, My Son is unlike many Christian films before it. For one, it’s rated “R.” This is due to scenes of violence and drug use, but probably should have a rating a PG or PG-13. Most of the violence is off-screen and isn’t gratuitous.

Jess (Kate Randall) is a single mother doing her best to care for her young son Austin. She lives with new boyfriend, Cadon (Restin Burk) who is barely making ends meet for just himself let alone a family. Their questionable living arrangement causes concern for Jess’ parents James and Sharri Clarke (Chuck Kitchens and Paige Easterling) who fight for custody of Austin and win. Desperate to get their son back, Jess and Cadon go to extreme measures which lead to a shooting at a local church.

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