First published March 23, 2006, at GJSentinel.com.
“How many days of your life have you been sick?”
David Dunn (played by Bruce Willis) is a man sadly moving through a midlife crisis until he becomes the only person out of hundreds to survive a train derailment in director M. Night Shyamalan’s “Unbreakable.” Then he finds a note under his windshield wiper, asking the question above, and things get really interesting.
David Dunn, see, goes on to meet the man who wrote the note – Elijah Price, a.k.a. “Mr. Glass” (Samuel L. Jackson, wearing a hairstyle inspired by Frederick Douglass) – and eventually accepts he has the ability to be a superhero, of sorts, in a real world that isn’t as much fun as the pages of most comic books.
“Unbreakable David Dunn” is a new model kit produced by KOMA Designs and available from Amok Time. It’s a 1/5 scale resin kit, 14 inches tall, five parts, includes two hoods, and sculpted by … well, all I know is the sculptor is “a real fan of this movie who wishes to remain anonymous,” according to Paul, a producer of the kit. It’s limited to 20 to 30 castings, one of which my wife, Lisa, pre-ordered for me at Christmas. The kit comes unbuilt and unpainted; the one in the pictures was painted by Saul Alvarez.
A Mr. Glass kit is also in the works from Koma.
“Unbreakable” was an acquired taste for me. First time through I sort of liked it, thought some scenes were well done but overall it was so low-key I didn’t spend much time on the edge of my seat. The ending wasn’t as big a surprise as the one in Shyamalan’s previous film, “The Sixth Sense,” but I didn’t see it coming. When the movie ended, I flipped off the TV and pretty much said, “Eh.”
Then I couldn’t get it out of my head. I bought the DVD the next week and have viewed the movie five or six times since then. Last time, when I knew this kit would arrive in my mail before long, I paid particular attention to some scenes toward the end when David battles a murderous home invader, and I started plotting ways to make his slicker look wet and dripping, like he just got out of a pool and is ready to return to the battle.
Don’t know what I’m talking about? Rent the movie. Even if you hate it – which, honestly, seems to be about half the people who watch it – it’ll still be a better way to pass two hours than most of what the networks air these days. Plus, the DVD set’s second disc includes a documentary that’s fascinating viewing for longtime comic fans like me, featuring interviews with Denny O’Neil, Trina Robbins, Will Eisner, Alex Ross, Frank Miller, Dave Gibbons and more.
Paul was kind enough to answer a few questions through e-mail.
Me: You say you’re a fan of the movie “Unbreakable”. Did you like that movie the first time you saw it, or did you keep returning to it and feel it growing on you?
Paul: I was in the minority, I think. The movie took hold of me immediately. I remember most people in the theater walking out clicking their tongues saying “ahh it was no ‘Sixth Sense’…”
I had to wake my girlfriend up, I was ready to shout, “WHERE DID ANYONE SAY IT WAS ‘THE SIXTH SENSE’!”
I am a comic book fan or fanatic and thought: If there ever were real superheroes/villains, that is how they would behave, rationalize their existence and function in a “realistic” world.
Me: This is a two-parter: Did the ending of “Unbreakable” surprise you or had you figured out the twist? And what do you consider the all-time-best surprise ending to a movie?
Paul: The ending I did see coming, but still loved the payoff. Samuel Jackson revealing himelf as “Mr. Glass” in the end monologue, I could watch a million times.
All-time best twist endings? That’s a tough one, for me I’ve got a few favorites (no particular order): “Planet of the Apes”, “The Usual Suspects”, “The Sixth Sense”, “Psycho”, “Seven” and “SpongeBob SquarePants”, I never thought David Hasselhoff would save the day like that!
Me: Do you expect this kit to be a quick seller or is it simply a labor of love?
Paul: My friends have dubbed this kit “Unsellable”, another friend who does not like the movie called it “Unwatchable”. However, if I ever listened to anyone but myself I would be in a different business right now. Modeling as a whole is a labor of love, almost a lost art form. The feeling of accomplishment when you are done seeing your project through is the best reward. It is something that cannot be understood unless you are a part of it. Some projects you break even, some you may not. LOVE is what keeps this hobby going. Many companies/people do not understand it. Garage kits are about love, not money, and that, dear readers, is why the hobby will be around forever.