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Review: ‘Gemini Man’

Will Smith vs. Will Smith.

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Ang Lee brings us the next step in de-aging technology through Gemini Man, but does the rest of the film reach that high bar?

4.5/10

Trailer for Gemini Man, by Paramount.

As filmmaking technology advances, the ability to re-create actors and de-age them crawls further and further out of the uncanny valley and into a more believable reality.

While the technology itself is breaking barriers and bringing us closer to a completely digital form of filmmaking, it’s being used to mask over lazy screenwriting.

Gemini Man opens with a prologue that serves well to set up our main character, Henry Brogan (Will Smith), as the trained killer that he is. The movie then continues to try and build on this world where Brogan is a renowned soldier and how he’s gone through all of these events that led to him being as good as he is, yet it fails to resonate with the audience because it’s all talk and never seen.

The story is nothing new. At all. It’s your typical sci-fi, military story that has a corrupt military bad guy who claims to be in service of the United States and their beliefs of freedom in the most backwards way.

There’s very little suspense or surprise in the story as everything they try to spring on you can all be seen coming from a mile away, and it’s made even worse by the fact that the biggest twist in the movie is given away from the marketing.

What does keep the movie engaging in some capacity, however, are the performances. Will Smith, Mary Elizabeth Winstead and Benedict Wong are all very enjoyable to watch. This is a movie that Smith could have very easily phoned in for the sake of a paycheque, but he does bring some emotional weight to the role – I’d even go so far to say that he does better in this movie than as Deadshot in Suicide Squad.

Mary Elizabeth Winstead and Benedict Wong play Danny and Baron, respectively, and are able to riff off of Smith effortlessly and it makes the interactions between the three characters very enjoyable.

Lorne Balfe composed the score for the film, and it’s incredibly forgettable or completely unnoticeable, which is disappointing because I found his score to Mission: Impossible – Fallout absolutely incredible, so it’s a step down for him.

Ang Lee manages to make the movie look nice despite the lacklustre script. I saw the film in 3D/HFR (high frame rate). If you’re unfamiliar with HFR, it means the movie is shown in 48fps which gives it a ‘sped up’ look. I don’t think it added much to anything outside of a select few action scenes which I find disappointing as I greatly enjoyed HFR when I saw it used on The Hobbit trilogy in theatres.

In the end – Gemini Man is a very “middle-of-the-road” movie. It’s not the worst movie in the world, but there are far better movies you can see in theatres this weekend. Good performances and an interesting look at the advancement of technology don’t make up for a boring and over-used story that doesn’t try anything new. ■

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Entertainment

MGM holds preliminary talks to sell properties

The studio will be the next one looking to get rid of their assets.

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The studio has sought potentially interested companies in purchasing their assets which contain one of the biggest franchises in film history.

The film studio MGM (Metro Goldwyn Mayer) has sat down with interested buyers for their film assets which includes the James Bond catalog.

The two biggest interested parties are Apple and Netflix. The outcome of either one would lead to an interesting future for franchises like Bond where any subsequent instalments in the franchise could lead to streaming-only content.

Apple’s new streaming service launched with very little hype, at least in comparison to its recent competitor in Disney+, but adding something like James Bond to it could draw some subscribers, especially if any future movies, or series, are kept exclusively to Apple TV+.

Should either of these companies move ahead with the acquisition, it will also lend to a shift to the ‘big six’ of media companies, which include; Disney, Netflix, Amazon, Comcast, AT&T and Apple.

Aside from Bond, one of the other large properties coming with an MGM acquisition includes The Handmaid’s Tale which has been a popular show on Hulu for the past couple of years.

No finalized buys have been singled out. ■

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‘Captain Marvel 2’ officially in development

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Carol Danvers’ sequel has officially been greenlit at Marvel Studios and is aiming for a 2022 release.

Debuting twice in a small window of March – May 2019, Captain Marvel (Brie Larson) thundered into the MCU and became an icon for young women everywhere. Now, in a world post-Avengers: Endgame, Marvel Studios is moving ahead with a sequel for 2022.

Directors Anna Boden and Ryan Fleck, however, are not expected to return. Marvel is still looking to keep the female eye for the director’s chair but no frontrunners have been announced. Boden and Fleck will remain with Marvel Studios in some capacity, and are rumoured to be discussing an upcoming Disney+ property.

The film is expected to take place after the events of Avengers: Endgame despite the mild cliffhanger teased in the first film which hinted at a long-running war between Carol and Ronan The Accuser.

The sequel will be written by WandaVision scribe Magen McDonnell.

Captain Marvel 2 will come to theatres in 2022. ■

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‘Clone Wars’ trailer drops ahead of final season

The anticipation builds for a finale.

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Marketing material via Lucasfilm.

Get ready to fly back to a time in that galaxy far, far away you haven’t visited in six years.

Star Wars: The Clone Wars is returning for one more highly-anticipated seventh season and a trailer released on Wednesday has this galaxy buzzing with excitement.

It will of course release on Disney+, the streaming home of all Star Wars. Though in the past six months alone we got our first Star Wars live action TV series with The Mandalorian, the final film of the 40-year Skywalker Saga and a new video game with Fallen Order, fans are hungry for more.

There will be 12 episodes to bring an end to the iconic series with weekly releases starting on Feb. 21, a Friday.

Showrunner Dave Filoni returns to direct the new Clone Wars episodes, continuing the storylines introduced in the original series and exploring the events leading up to Star Wars: Revenge of the Sith.

Featured heavily in the trailer are fan favourite characters from the series and Star Wars universe as a whole. Anakin Skywalker, Ashoka Tano, Captain Rex, Darth Maul, Yoda and others are back for what appears to be a wild ride to the end.

The series ran for six seasons between 2008 and 2014 but it was cancelled when Disney purchased Star Wars from George Lucas, ending the much-beloved show without giving Filoni and his team a chance to properly bring it to a conclusion.

But now the director who was behind Star Wars: Rebels and played a big part in The Mandalorian is back to give The Clone Wars what it has always needed: a proper finish. ■

Reporting by Eli Ridder;
Editing by Nicholas Seles.
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