Moderator / Reviewer
- Apr 4, 2017
My AV System
- Preamp, Processor or Receiver
- Yamaha TRS-7850 Atmos Receiver
- Other Amp
- Peavy IPR 3000 for subs
- Universal / Blu-ray / CD Player
- Sony ubx800 4K UHD Player
- Front Speakers
- Cheap Thrills Mains
- Center Channel Speaker
- Cheap Thrills Center
- Surround Speakers
- Volt 10 Surrounds
- Surround Back Speakers
- Volt 10 Rear Surrounds
- Rear Height Speakers
- Volt 6 Overheads
- 2x Marty subs (full size with SI 18's)
- Video Display Device
- Sony 85 inch X950H FALD TV
Ang Lee has always been a very passionate and intuitive director. Not all of his films work, but he really puts his heart and soul into them. He’s made some INCREDIBLE films in multiple different genres over the year (my mother’s favorite film is Sense and Sensibility), but lately he’s become really impassioned with moving visual film making in a new direction. One of his opinions is that without CHANGING something in film making, it is going to die out due to being stagnant. With that in mind he has pressed forward into making films in different frame rates and using much higher tech digital cameras to try and create a different feel and texture to the movie watching experience.
Gemini Man is his long awaited technical masterpiece, having been in production hell for well over a decade (almost two really) as the studios have awaited for the technology to catch up with Lee’s vision. Shot with 120fps 3D cameras, Gemini Man is a visually stunning film, but one that very well may be extremely controversial depending on HOW you watch the movie. There are only a few theaters in the entire U.S. that can project 120 fps 3D film, so many theaters were forced to show it in 120 fps 2D, or 60 fps 2D (and in some cases, not even that depending on studio age), so each person got to see it slightly differently. The Blu-ray format is only capable of traditional 24 fps viewing, but the 4K UHD disc (much like Billy Lynn’s Long Halftime Walk) is capable of 60 fps in 2D (no physical format is has the 3D presentation), and watching the two back to back produced a drastically different experience.
I’m honestly not sure whether the near two decade wait was worth it really. I understand that Ang Lee was using the movie as a vehicle for the 120 fps cinematography, but the story REALLY suffers quite a bit, while the video thrives. The film is about as deep as a paper mache tiger and really only serves as a near two hour vehicle for Ang Lee’s visual vision. If you watched the trailer then you know that there are no hidden secrets or plot for you to unravel. Will Smith is Henry Brogan, a government assassin who just wants to return after killing his 72nd mark. With his kills weighing heavily on his heart, Brogan settles down to fish, only to receive some information from an old friend that puts him at risk. His old agency, headed up by one Clay Verris (Clive Owen), wants him dead for that information, and sends after him the only person who can kill the best assassin in the world. Himself.
The only problem is, the film is a bit TOO thin in the plot department. I don’t mind big, dumb, action movies at all. In fact I revel in them. But Gemini Man is so paper thin than the only thing holding it together is the incredible visuals and Will Smith’s Charisma. Benedict Wong, Clive Owen and Mary Elizabeth Winstead do their best with what they’re given, but the script really hamstrings their efforts at being anything other than stereotypes. Will Smith is honestly the best part of the whole cast, as he proves that he has most certainly not lost the charm and charisma that shot him to stardom in the 1990s. Ironically he gets to play two characters as well. Even though there’s a heavy layer of digital manipulation over the face of his stunt double, as they did in Rogue One for Princess Leia and Tarkin, he voices the young man simultaneously as Henry.
Rated PG-13, violence and action throughout, and brief strong language
4K Video: Video:
Now, this portion of the video review is nothing but my subjective opinion. I haven’t held it against the video score at all, and is just my subjective take on the whole HFR issue. To me it was like watching a documentary or something. My brain couldn’t come to grips with the high frame rate soap opera look, despite the obvious increases in detail and clarity on the 4K disc. It completely took me out of the film and felt like I was watching the nature channel instead of a movie. Pop out the 4K UHD disc and put in the Blu-ray and suddenly I felt like I was watching a movie again. My brain accepted that it was a movie and I could enjoy it once more. Otherwise the 4K high frame rate really took me out of it and I had a very difficult time watching it.
• Alternate Opening
• Deleted Scenes
• The Genesis of Gemini Man
• Facing Your Younger Self
• The Future Is Now
• Setting the Action
• Next Level Detail
• The Vision of Ang Lee
For a film that has been in pre-production for almost two decades (so long that Harrison Ford, Clint Eastwood and even Nic Cage were once attached as the leads), I was expecting something a bit “more” if you know what I mean. The movie is a technological marvel as Ang Lee has really pushed the limits of high frame rate technology, but the story is just a paper thin framework for him to hang all of the technology on, and my enjoyment suffered as a result. I won’t lie. The 4K UHD disc is not going to be for everyone, and even though it was a marvel to watch, I guiltily enjoyed the Blu-ray more, as it felt like a real movie to me, rather than a soap opera tech experiment. That being said, both discs are reference material for their particular formats and the stunning audio mix is present on both discs.
Starring: Will Smith, Clive Owen, Mary Elizabeth Winstead, Benedict Wong, Douglass Hodge, Ralph Brown
Directed by: Ang Lee
Written by: David Benioff, Billy Ray, Darren Lemke
Aspect Ratio: 1.85:1 HEVC
Audio: English: Dolby Atmos (Dolby TrueHD 7.1 Core), Spanish, French DD 5.1
Subtitles: English SDH, French, Spanish
Runtime: 117 Minutes
Blu-ray Release Date: January 14th, 2020
Recommendation: Decent Watch