For me, Glass and Split quality ranges between 8.5 and 9. Some scenes have some visible compression, but generally the footage looks good. Unbreakable footage is noticeably softer and grainier and wavers between 7 and 8.5. Deleted scenes don't look great in contrast, but could be a lot worse - obviously these are not something the editor has much control over.
Some really great visual editing, particularly in terms of drawing parallels between the composition of shots and the animation for credits etc., though I do have some gripes:
1:42 - it's quite obvious here that she's talking in this shot originally because of the way her head is moving.
18:32 - framerate drops noticeably here. I would recommend using something like RIFE to slow down footage smoothly. A couple of other instances in the gallery during this scene look like frames are dropping, though it's a bit more subtle. Happens again at 20:10 and at various other points in the edit. I noted the ones that felt most jarring to me.
21:20 - dialogue seems slightly out of sync in this scene.
2:15:12 - this shot seemed a bit too quick
2:38:46 - framerate drops
Sometimes dropped framerate slo mo is used stylistically, but here I think it just comes off as jarring. It's just not an ideal way to slow down footage and it doesn't come across well.
As an aside, some of the deleted scenes looked a little stuttery or like frames were being dropped, which made me wonder if they were originally at a different framerate to the theatrical film? This would also account for the slight syncing issue i picked up on with one of them.
8:15 - quite a significant drop in visual quality and a noticeable shift to stereo for this scene, which i'd assume is deleted footage. Not much can be done about the visual, but since the scene is more or less just dialogue, the audio could be shifted to be chiefly centre speaker, and some ambience could be added to better integrate it into the surround track.
14:31 - I can't remember if this is in the original or not, but something sounds off with this audio transition. It's possibly because even though it transitions to having the TV in the background, the cut is made in the middle of a piece of dialogue that isn't resumed in the following shot.
14:55 - woman types but the sound vanishes due to a crossfade. Transition itself is smooth, it just seems odd that we no longer hear her typing.
30:48 - audio pop
1:25:28 - "is someone there"? sounds added, chiefly because of how loud and dry it is.
1:29:43 - audio pop
1:35:00ish - here the audio of Anya Joy's character saying "Kevin Wendell Crumb" is used in a scene with the therapist. I honestly couldn't tell if it was meant to be a trippy touch/reference to something or if Wraith was trying to sell the line as the voice of the therapist, but either way it threw me off and I think the edit would be better off without it.
2:06:00 - audio pop
2:37:10 - it sounds like two scores start to clash here as another fades in. I'm not sure if it's intentional, as it seems to go on for a while? But it's highly dissonant. I guess it could be in the original movie, but it came across a bit odd to me.
2:47:46 - there are two audio pops here. Happens for a few seconds.
3:03:24 - very obvious crossfade between scores here
There were other audio pops, but I didn't want to keep pausing to note them all and some were pretty quiet. I noted down the loudest ones. I'd assume most of them are a random occurrence, though sometimes they can be caused by bits of audio that haven't been faded at the end (doesn't necessarily register on timeline playback, but can cause problems on render).
UGS is very well paced and the more quiet/contemplative/cerebral take on the material suits the lengthy 3-hour runtime better (and being 30 minutes shorter than SUG is also welcome). I enjoyed this a lot and I think it works much better than SUG overall. One of my criticisms of SUG was that the Split narrative felt too present and a little out of place with everything else, but here the material is reversed and things work much better; here the audience are kept more in the dark, with things chiefly from Kevin's therapist's perspective (which also lends itself more naturally as something to cut between footage from other films) - the Split footage alone would make for a great short edit. I also loved what was done with the station scene. Very creative. There are a few moments around this point where the narratives get properly intertwined and some really nice visual parallels are made.
Towards the end, Glass again becomes the dominant footage but it feels like a very natural transition. Things play out similarly to SUG, but the perspective is shifted slightly and the ending makes an interesting suggestion for interpretation. I won't spoil it, but Wraith knows what I mean. Somehow I think the ending (last scene before credits) made the lack of foreshadowing for the organisation a bit more palatable. In general, that aspect seems toned down compared to SUG and yet seemed to work better for me (or maybe it's just growing on me).
Great work, Wraith! IMO, SUG walked so UGS could run ;)
Couple of small things:
- In spite of being well paced, I do thing it would be POSSIBLE to split this into two parts or - failing that - place a small interval. I think something like this would be valued. I found I had to watch it in two parts anyway, and the fade out around 1:40ish made for a great halfway point, since it concludes significant chunks of the split and unbreakable narrative and transitions more into the second act of glass.
- The post-credits scene felt like it undercut the suggestion brought by the closing scene, personally. Equally, maybe I read more into the implication of that final scene than Wraith intended? :P
Enjoyment is mainly marred by the visual issues; the majority of audio things are quite subtle, though the pops could be distracting. Overall, I enjoyed this massively and feel that this is several steps up from SUG (not that SUG isn't good, just that this feels to me like a much more natural fit for the material). Generally really satisfying narratively, lots of nice parallels. Although I did pick up on some audio things, the majority of stuff across 3 hours is obviously very well executed. My biggest qualm is probably to do with the inconsistent framerate. It's a pet peeve of mine and really takes me out of the edit.
Knowing Wraith I'm sure a version 2 will surface, but either way: highly recommended!
Thank you so much for your kind words and constructive comments (with timestamps).
I will take out the polish and apply vigorously...
V2 will follow in due course.
Taken by itself this is still a great edit of a trillogy down to one epic story. It's remarkable how different of a narrative Wraith was able to put together from the same source material. Highly recomended!
While I think I prefer the companion edit on balance, both are great pieces of work.
Hope that whoever I get around to seeing the original Glass it doesn't disappoint!
It is an interesting experience knowing the characters from Split Unbreakable Glass and uncovering new depths about them within this edit as such in a way Unbreakable Glass Split almost feels like a sequel to Split Unbreakable Glass though given it’s more streamlined and condensed approach it could very well be a predecessor for Split Unbreakable Glass.
I say this as it leaves questions that yield answers in said predecessor and the same applies if the viewing order is reversed as such regardless of the journey the destination will yield answers but the choice on where to start that journey will offer differing and intriguing perspectives into the world that M. Night Shyamalan created and that Wraith enhanced through the use of his non linear narrative structure but alas which is the better edit?
In terms of audience recommendation I would say that if one is looking for a more streamlined and focused experience than my recommendations go to Unbreakable Glass Split however if one is looking for an expansive experience that builds upon the mystery and world building than my recommendations go to Split Unbreakable Glass but as for me well I feel Unbreakable Glass Split has better pacing and relatability to the films main protagonist Split Unbreakable Glass has the superior narrative structure as it revolves around the greater scope of it’s world.
Once more, I'm taken aback by your eloquent analogy in your review. which spins a more accurate representation of the project's intentions than mu hamfisted descriptions.
Thank once more for sharing those insighs and observations without spoilers for those who may be considering going on this journey.