Most of the problems with Junior’s animation are in his nose and upper lip, but only when he’s speaking. It could be that shooting at a normal frame rate would make this digital recreation of a younger Will Smith look much better. Images courtesy Paramount Pictures.
3/10 Gemini Man, and its key concept of using one actor in two roles as both the lead character and his clone, has been in development in some form since 1997, when writer Darren Lemke sold the concept to Disney. In that timespan, between Disney not really developing the project and anyone who did want to push forward also wanting to wait for technology to catch up, it’s been rewritten by six different writers — final screenplay credits went to Lemke, Billy Ray and David Benioff — had four different directors attached and 11 different actors attached to lead at different points, including Harrison Ford, Mel Gibson, Nicolas Cage, Tom Cruise and Sean Connery. All this waiting and all this maneuvering was only for the technology to finally be employed in this uncurious, easily forgettable film.
In Gemini Man, accomplished assassin Henry Brogan (Will Smith) retires from his shadowy government organization to spend more time with his remaining humanity. For reasons that either are never made clear or were buried in boring dialogue scenes I wasn’t really paying attention to, his superior, Clay Varris (Clive Owen) immediately sends a much younger assassin to kill him — Brogan’s genetic clone, known only as Junior (also Smith, created with a combination of motion capture and de-aging digital effects).
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Tagged #ang lee, #mary elizabeth winstead, #Netflix, #paramount pictures, #will smith, Benedict Wong, Clive Owen, Gemini Man, High Frame Rate, Looper, Star Trek: Nemesis
The character designs are tightly grounded in the original comics. Images courtesy United Artists Releasing.
3/10 I didn’t really know how I felt about The Addams Family as a property going into last weekend. The Barry Sonnenfeld movies straddle my birth in 1992, causing them to have a massive cultural influence on me despite my having never sat down and watched them until the runup to this new movie. One of the first special effects exhibits I ever saw was on these movies.
I started preparing for this new Addams Family with the firm belief that these characters should never be animated, ignorant of the fact they began as comic strips back in 1938 and this new animated movie is meant to be designed around those comics. This property is definitely ripe for revisitation, and it could have been really cool – Christina Ricci, who played Wednesday Addams in the Sonnenfeld films, is 39, a year younger than Angelica Huston was when she played her mother, Morticia – and I guess I can’t object to it being a cartoon.
I do object to this particular cartoon, however.
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Tagged #charlize theron, #donald trump, #Oscar Isaac, Addams Family, Angelica Huston, Anti-Semitism, Barry Sonnenfeld, chloe grace moretz, Christina Ricci, Finn Wolfhard, intentional community, Joker, Maleficent: Mistress of Evil, New Jersey, The Addams Family
Images courtesy Warner Bros. Pictures.
5/10 Joker has been the talk of film media pretty much constantly since its Venice Film Festival debut Aug. 31 where it earned an eight-minute ovation and the Golden Lion. Between critical adulation and emerging worry that the film’s release would be marred by a mass shooting, the question on everyone’s lips was, is Joker a masterpiece or an irresponsible call to violence?
It’s both. It is extremely both.
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Tagged #aurora theater, #batman begins, #bernie sanders, #donald trump, #hillary clinton, #man of steel, #martin scorsese, #robert de niro, #suicide squad, #the dark knight, #venice film festival, #warner bros., 13 Reasons Why, Contrapoints, DCEU, Golden Lion, Heath Ledger, Hildur Guðnadóttir, incels, It's extremely both, Joaquin Phoenix, Joker, Lawrence Sher, Scott Silver, Taxi Driver, Todd Phillips, We live in a society
Images courtesy LD Entertainment.
2/10 The highest praise you could give Judy that it’s a comprehensive rundown in the poorest, most predictable instincts that go into making this kind of movie and a master class in what not to do.
The film recalls the last months in the life of Judy Garland (Renée Zellweger and Darci Shaw) when she headlined at Talk of the Town in London. Judy focuses on her as a hollow, drugged-out wreck of an old showgirl who can’t finish her sets, but can still belt out one or two performances of the ages per night. The film ends just a few months before her death. It also flashes back to her youth when she was first hooked on pills by her own mother to make her work long hours and routinely denied food among other horrifying abuses, but not often enough to bum anybody out. Continue reading