Gemini Man

I did my laundry and took the bus over to Jack London Square to see “Gemini Man.” It was a movie with a concept that was not so thrilling, and the technology behind the picture was more interesting than the routine spy plot. Our screening was interrupted by a problem with the projector, making the screen go black. After about five minutes, the movie restarted a couple of scenes before the break. This wasn’t like the old days, when the film might break inside the projector. At one point in the story, Will Smith’s group wonders how the opposition always seems to know where he is. The answer was predictable. I remember it when I was a kid watching The Partridge Family episode “Me and My Shadow.” Some parts of this movie remind me of the Frankenstein story, and I also had to think about the stories of sperm donors who years later discover that they are the father of many children. The action sequences are not fantastic, but they’re entertaining enough, although I can’t stand those impossible moments like someone falling off a motorcycle going at full speed onto pavement, escaping even the slightest injury. I think I first noticed the technology that took years off an actor’s face in the Guardians of the Galaxy movie with Kurt Russell. I think it looked reasonably good most of the time. I wondered about cloning technology, too. Would there be a problem with cloning a clone, for example? If Will Smith was such a precious secret agent, they should have made about a hundred clones of him, leading to a scene like “Being John Malkovich.” That says something about the plot to “Gemini Man,” that it is on the edge of ridiculousness and hilarity. I’m not sure that you can just consider a clone of yourself as one of the family. I’m thinking here of the musical “Oliver!” It’s clear we’re going to get along. The attempts to incorporate ethical issues of cloning and the meaning of what it is to be human were terrible. We’re not taking the subject matter of this movie seriously. I didn’t see this film at the high frame rate that has been discussed in various reviews, but now I am curious about it. I didn’t want to think about the issue of Will Smith looking at his younger self, and the meaning of it in his real life. His middle age and our middle age don’t compare. Two of the other stars in the picture were Mary Elizabeth Winstead and Benedict Wong. The audience seemed to like them. Clive Owen had some moments that made everyone groan. This movie has to be considered a disappointment coming from Ang Lee, and its box office numbers were behind “Joker” and “The Addams Family.” We’re not going to remember this year for “Gemini Man.” Some of the people who died on October 16 include Gene Krupa (1973), Dan Dailey (1978), Art Blakey (1990), Shirley Booth (1992), James A. Michener (1997), Jean Shepherd (1999), Deborah Kerr (2007), and Barbara Billingsley (2010). Today is a birthday for Tim Robbins (61), Suzanne Somers (73) and Angela Lansbury (94). According to the Brandon Brooks Rewind radio segment for October 16, the New Yardbirds performed their first show at the Marquee Club in London in 1968. In 1969, Leonard Chess died of a heart attack. In 1972, the members of Creedence Clearwater Revival announced their breakup. In 1976, Stevie Wonder’s “Songs in the Key of Life” reached Number One on the album chart. In 1992, Sinéad O’Connor was booed at a Bob Dylan tribute concert at Madison Square Garden. In 2003, Simon and Garfunkel opened their Old Friends concert tour in Wilkes-Barre, Pennsylvania. In 2010, Barbara Billingsley, who played June Cleaver in the Leave It to Beaver television series, died at age 84 in Los Angeles.

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