We kick off the week with the new Ang Lee film, Gemini Man. Will Smith plays Henry Brogan, a career hitman on the verge of retirement. But when he finds a mysterious young assassin out to get him, he soon discovers his former boss, Clay Verris (Clive Owen), has created a clone of Henry to take him out to bury all evidence of Verris’ actions over the years. With the help of a young agent who is also targeted (Mary Elizabeth Winstead), Henry must find a way to defeat a younger, faster version of himself if he is to survive at all.
Gemini Man gained much controversy upon theatrical release due to Lee’s decision to film the movie at 60fps giving it a sharp and very detailed look, but also took away much of the usual 24fps look that movies have had forever. The results are mixed with a stunningly clear picture, especially in 4K, but an overall look that is much more akin to security camera footage than a cinematic movie look. The movie itself is an 80s/90s throwback with some spectacularly staged action sequences and solid performances by Smith and Winstead. The CG used for the younger version of Smith is also a mixed bag though. Many scenes are totally convincing and photorealistic, while a handful of scenes are just flat out bad. This may be due to the film’s troubled production and lack of budget to properly finish the film, but it is distracting in some scenes. Overall Gemini Man is a curious experiment but a fun action film overall.
Next up is the Blu-ray debut of one of the most beloved trilogies of the 80s, Beverly Hills Cop. The films follow Detroit police detective Axel Foley, who travels to Beverly Hills, California to investigate the suspected murder of an old friend. While there, Axel befriends two rigid detectives, Rosewood (Judge Reinhold) and Taggart (John Ashton) who help him solve the murder while eventually becoming close friends. The second film follows Axel as he tries to solve a series of crimes including the attempted murder of Captain Bogomil (Ronny Cox) and the third film finds Axel investigating a counterfeiting ring operating out of a theme park.
The Beverly Hills Cop series is arguably Eddie Murphy’s most well known role and definitely a fan favorite. The first film directed by Martin Brest is the best of the bunch, a perfect action comedy with superb comic performances across the board as well as great action. The second film is almost as good as the original, directed by Tony Scott with amped up action, still lots of great humor, and the addition of Brigitte Neilsen as the memorable villain. Part III is the most disliked of the series, which is unbelievable considering it is directed by comedy veteran John Landis. Overall the film feels neutered and was probably the fault of the studio moreso than Landis. Still, there are some solid laughs and good action scenes, and Murphy is still great as Axel. This new Beverly Hills Cop Trilogy is reasonably priced and a must own for Murphy fans.
Lastly this week is the new comedy Jexi. Adam Devine plays Phil, a lonely man who can’t seem to connect with women and is in a dead end job writing Top 10 lists for a demanding boss. But when he gets a new phone with built in A.I. named Jexi (Rose Byrne) that helps him get his life together, Phil’s life starts to look up and meet a great woman named Cate (Alexandra Shipp). But as he becomes less dependent on his phone, Jexi's artificial intelligence morphs into a tech nightmare determined to keep Phil all to herself, even if it means ruining his chances of finding success.
Jexi is a strange film but ultimately very funny thanks to Devine’s comedy timing and the brilliant voice work of Rose Byrne. Watching Devine argue and even get romantic with a phone is pretty damn funny it itself, but to blend this sci fi thriller element with the romantic comedy vibe is a fresh mix that works well. Check out Jexi for something a little different with plenty of laughs and a nice dark edge to it.
Also of note this week is the Oscar Nominated film from Robert Eggers, The Lighthouse, starring Willem Dafoe and Robert Pattinson, a new Collector’s Edition release of the classic Richard Pryor film Brewster’s Millions with John Candy, and the new Aaron Eckhart police thriller Line of Duty.
Until next week movie lovers!
DVD and Blu-ray Releases for Tuesday January 14, 2020
Beverly Hills Cop 3 Movie Collection*
Brewster's Millions (1985) - Collector's Edition*
Britt-Marie Was Here
Butterbean's Café: Let's Get Cooking!
Dad/I'm Not Rappaport Double Feature*
DCU: Batman and Harley Quinn
Demons of the Mind (1971)*
Heroes/Eddie Macon's Run Double Feature*
Indiscretion of an American Wife (1953)*
Just Visiting (2001)*
Krypton: The Complete Second & Final Season
Line of Duty
Maid in Manhattan*
Night Patrol (1984)*
Pain and Glory
Reservation Road/Return to Paradise Double Feature*
Room at the Top (1959)*
Scooby-Doo and the Snow Creatures
The Death & Life of John F. Donovan
The Fugitive Kind (1960)* - Criterion Collection
The Good Fairy (1935)*
The Great McGinty (1940)*
The Mindy Project: The Complete Series*
The Mummy's Shroud (1967)*
The Turkey Bowl
The War Lord (1965)*
The Whisperers (1967)*
Ulzana's Raid (1972)*
Veep: The Final Season
*Catalog Blu-ray debut