Hey hey hey! It’s my favorite time of the week again. How are things with everyone? I trust work was good? If not, there’s always the theater to put a smile on that face… as it did last weekend 🙂 I hope so. Let’s see what’s happening there this time around!
Oh boy. I have to say I’m not fond of this new direction in film making. I mean, I’m all for technological advancement, but this sort of digital manipulation could cause some big problems with the art as a whole.
The story is about a successful spec forces agent (Will Smith) trying to retire—until a former enemy decides to use gene technology to get back at him. The movie itself is hobbled by a crappy screenplay. You know the usual flaws: boring dialogue, predictability and such (Rian Johnson’s LOOPER dealt with the same subject in a fantastic way. It’s a pity he took on STAR WARS and used his plot-subverting talents in a way that backfired badly). It makes for a somewhat boring flick, but there’s something more important happening here I want you to see.
Digital technology played a big part in the making of this film. The filmmakers used tech to de-age Smith: they shot the scenes with him in it, then overlaid his face with a different, digitally created version (which is obvious in a bad way in some places). Complete digital versions of actors have already been used in one or two instances in other movies: Leia and General Tarkin in ROGUE ONE, for instance (brilliant flick, by the way). The problem is what happens when this technique is applied on a large scale in the industry (which will probably happen).
It’s annoying, but right now there’s a certain form of quality control exerted due to the usual barriers of scheduling issues, personality conflicts, and such, when you’re casting a flesh-and-blood actor. The moment you start using a virtual actor instead of the real one, all those problems vanish. However, this sort of digital manipulation effectively strips the film of its humanity. Important components of the magic in films, such as improvisation, will cease to exist. We’ll never again get anything like that stunningly moving ‘tears in the rain’ speech by the late Rutger Hauer.
But I’m moaning in vain. People in general are ‘so busy cloning dinosaurs, that no one ever ponders upon whether they should be cloned.’ Of course, at the end of GEMINI MAN, all sorts of thorny issues are beautifully wrapped up. If only lessons learned here would endure in the real world.
Director Ang Lee shot this film in 120 frames per second (films are usually shot 24 fps), and in high-definition: 4K 3D… not sure why, because as of now it may be viewed only as 2K 3D (a small example about no one thinking about consequences. This film probably took a couple hundred million to make), and even that is available only in a few theaters. All the imagery is starkly is in focus—things in the background as well as the foreground, which makes the images look clinical instead of pleasingly artistic. The glares are almost painful, as in real life… again, interesting, but is that what you really want in a film? And if you suffer from motion sickness, you may actually experience some queasy moments. Check out the trailer:
The other option this weekend. Such extremes, right? It stars Adam Devine as a phone-addicted dumb*** who needs fate to cut him off from that isolating piece of technology. It may almost be the better option… hmmm. Devine is hilarious as only he can be. It also has Rose Byrne as the (unrelenting) AI, Wanda Sykes as a salesperson, Alexandra Shipp as the love interest, and also Michael Pena. Of course it’s predictable, but it actually entertains! Plus it’s comedic and makes you feel good about life in general. I don’t know about you, but I need that now. Here’s the trailer:
Here’s to good times! I’ll be right here if you need me… and there, at the theater!