Movie Review: Gemini Man

“Gemini Man” is yet another sad example of special effects over a great screenplay. The special effects for Gemini Man are almost entirely about a new technology called “Face swapping AI”, where any person’s face can be superimposed on top of someone else’s image. This technology will also be used for the new Martin Scorsese film “The Irishman” that will be released on November 27th.

For this film, Will Smith is fighting a clone of himself, some 25-30 years younger and for most of this movie, the young Will Smith looks very realistic. Unfortunately, this amazing new effect is almost completely ruined at the very end of the film, when one of the last scenes has the young Will Smith looking very fake. For me, it was hard to believe that the quality of this technology did not follow through all the way to the end of the movie – how could this have been missed?

The problem with this story, accounting for the very low ratings of 26% on Rotten Tomatoes, is that its all about Henry Brogan, played by Will Smith, who is an assassin hired by the CIA and Danny Zakarweski played by Mary Elizabeth Winsted being chased from one part of the world to another for reasons that either made no sense or are too boring to even care about. There is not enough story here and considering the great director Ang Lee – it is hard to believe he read this script and thought it was good enough to make into a movie. It is almost as if Lee thought that the new special effects of using face replacement was enough to make up for a bad screenplay. It was not.

I am sure that Will Smith was hoping for a great movie comeback, but unfortunately this was not the one that is going to return him to the top of the box office. There was nobody in the theater I was in and with the low ratings on Rotten Tomatoes, this film will probably be out of most theaters by next week. There will never be a substitute for a great story idea, followed by months of hard work creating an equally great screenplay; one of the most difficult of all art forms. I agree with the low ratings on Rotten Tomatoes and do not recommend this movie.

Movie Review: El Camino: A Breaking Bad Movie

The problem with trying to follow arguably the greatest Television series of all time, “Breaking Bad” is how do you follow perfection and at the same time not tarnish the perfect last episode “Felina” that aired on September 29, 2013.

The reason why “El Camino: A Breaking Bad Movie” works is because Vince Gilligan, the writer and creator of Breaking Bad wrote and directed this movie. Breaking Bad is one of the greatest ideas for a drama series ever created where an average man, Walter White who teaches high school Chemistry slowly becomes a drug king pin, master criminal and murderer due to a series of events that started simply and exploded into out of control insanity. Throughout the entire Breaking Bad series, Gillian kept the tension at a very high level and constantly surprised the audience with many shocking scenes that have never been attempted before. The critics consensus is that Breaking Bad is the greatest TV show ever produced and I am in full agreement.

This movie follows Jesse Pinkman, played extremely well by Aaron Paul, right after the end of the final episode of Breaking Bad in an El Camino. What follows are a series of well written scenes of a desperate Pinkman who has to find some way of evading the police and somehow start a new life and this is the part of the story that has some connections to the Breaking Bad series. I thought the acting was very good throughout, including all of the new characters in this movie and several of the characters from Breaking Bad who return for this story.

The Rotten Tomatoes ratings for El Camino are a very high 94% and my rating is about 90%, meaning that this film is very good, but not great like many of the episodes of Breaking Bad.  I highly recommend El Camino.