Ang Lee may have one of the most diverse resumes of any working director; the man behind Sense & Sensibility, Brokeback Mountain, and Life of Pi has never shied away from the most daring of projects. Gemini Man, now streaming on Amazon Prime Video, is no exception. The groundbreaking sci-fi thriller pits a sniper played by Will Smith against a clone of his younger self, and the technology is mind-boggling. Is Lee’s latest flick a bullseye? Or does it miss the mark completely?
GEMINI MAN: STREAM IT OR SKIP IT?
The Gist: Will Smith stars as Henry Brogan, a career sniper for the Defense Intelligence Agency. After a job nearly goes wrong, he makes the decision to retire, and soon discovers that this job may end up costing him his life. As he tries to settle into his retirement, he meets a boat rental manager named Danny (Mary Elizabeth Winstead) who is actually a DIA agent sent to surveil Henry. The two wind up connecting and at the center of something much bigger than either of them every anticipated. It turns out that Henry’s last hit – the one that drove him to retirement – was actually an innocent man, a scientist employed by an elite private military sector called GEMINI. Now that Henry knows the truth, he must be eliminated. After he saves Danny from being assassinated, she decides to help him, and the two of them make a run for it.
Henry easily thwarts many of the individuals sent to kill him, but his world is turned upside down when he’s finally hunted by someone with eerily similar skills to his own. To Henry’s horror, he soon comes face to face with himself – well, the cloned, younger, stronger, faster version of himself. In a brilliant (and unhinged) move, the government cloned Henry – the most efficient killing machine in the world – without his knowledge. Now that the real Henry is in their way, they (and the coldblooded Clayton Verris, played by Clive Owen) have sent the clone to take him out… and take his place. As Henry and his clone discover the truth about what they are a part of, things get bloodier and the stakes get higher, until they’re finally forced to make decisions that will change their lives – and the course of history – forever.
What Movies Will It Remind You Of?: Gemini Man doesn’t try to reinvent the action movie wheel, and hits a lot of the same beats we’re used to seeing these days in franchises like Mission: Impossible and The Bourne movies, with a little of the doubles element from Looper tossed in.
Performance Worth Watching: Woof, these actors do the best they can with what they’re given, but there are very few standout performances in Gemini Man. And it’s a fantastic cast! Mary Elizabeth Winstead is one of my favorite working performers at the moment. Smith is great, per usual, as both himself and his clone, but it’s hard to know when the tears cried by his clone are real or computer-generated, and there’s still something just sliiiightly off about it all.
Memorable Dialogue: I gotta be honest. The dialogue in this movie was garbage. Even painful at times. I will concede that Smith’s performance helped sell some lines like “When I saw him, it was like I was seeing a ghost. Like every trigger I’ve ever pulled.” But for the most part, the conversations in Gemini Man are stilted, cliched, and generally lifeless.
Sex and Skin: Refreshingly so, this is not the kinda action thriller with crazy sweaty sexy scenes in between all the fighting. Or a giant age gap between a graying leading man and a fresh young ingenue. That is one point in Gemini Man‘s favor.
Our Take: Oh, I wanted Gemini Man to be good so badly! What a strange, soulless movie with so much squandered potential. The decision to shoot it at 120 frames per second (the typical movie is shot at 24!), creating a strange, hyperrealistic effect, one that makes you feel like you might be watching a video game play out. The film’s set pieces feel strangely underwhelming, the performances flat. And it almost makes the clone technology seem a little less convincing. This isn’t my biggest gripe with Gemini Man, but it’s certainly a large issue that might have helped it sing a little more as a thrilling, well, thriller.
A gimmick can’t keep a movie afloat. That’s the truth. And while it is totally exciting and mind-blowing to see how far technology has come, Will Smith and his clone aren’t able to make Gemini Man work on their own. The script is clunky and on occasion eye-roll inducing; the scenes that involve the discovery of the clone and his origins are genuinely painful to endure – it feels like stuff from an introductory screenwriting class. We don’t want to be spoon-fed. We can figure it out. And if Gemini Man had let us do a little more of the homework ourselves, it would be a much better movie. But instead, it decides to put on a dazzling light show that leaves you feeling pretty empty by the end, an entertaining but forgettable (and kind of terrifying?) glimpse of what the future of filmmaking may hold. The story, though? Well, there isn’t much of that here. And with a director and a cast like this, there are very few excuses for it.
It’s not that Gemini Man is offensively bad or particularly difficult to watch; it’s exactly the kind of movie you might let play on the TV while you move around the house doing other things, or choose if it’s free on an airplane. It’s passable. It’s fun. With a few tweaks, it could have been a great, mindless summer popcorn movie. But when there are top-notch, emotionally impactful action movies coming out by the handful these days, Gemini Man doesn’t come anywhere near making the mark. It just doesn’t have the heart.
Our Call: SKIP IT. While the technology and visuals are undeniably breathtaking, Gemini Man doesn’t really have a soul (or much of a script). It’s a real shame, because at its core, the concept is actually a pretty interesting one, but a gimmick can’t save a movie. While it may make acceptable airplane viewing fare, a few minutes of this film make it obvious that there’s a reason it was in development hell for two decades.
Jade Budowski is a freelance writer with a knack for ruining punchlines and harboring dad-aged celebrity crushes. Follow her on Twitter: @jadebudowski.
Stream Gemini Man on Amazon Prime Video
The Advantages of Online Casino Welcome Bonuses
When it comes to online gambling, the industry is thriving in 2020. Although casinos are banned in many countries, people still find ways to enjoy their favorite games of chance. However, considering the level of competition on the market, it may be difficult for a beginner to find a good online platform and take advantage of all offers. In this article, you will learn the benefits of casinos’ welcome bonuses.
What Is a Sign-Up Bonus?
As we have already established, the industry is growing rapidly and companies are desperately looking for new ways to attract customers. A welcome bonus is often used by online casinos to get new leads and players in the future. However, the best casino bonuses can be easily used to the player’s advantage. Here are the main reasons you should not neglect this offer.
- It saves your money
Quite obvious, right? Well, this is the main reason why you should always use welcome bonuses in online gambling: it is always better to not risk your own money. It is especially true for beginners. Since they have no experience, it is fairly common for beginners to lose their initial investment and be done with gambling for good. However, if you use your welcome bonus as a way of getting the basics skills, the chances of success will rise significantly.
- It allows you to try several games
Another common issue beginners face is a lack of understanding of which types of games they want to try: slots, roulette, baccarat, blackjack, etc. If you use your sign-up bonus, you will be able to play several games and choose the ones you like better. Moreover, you can take advantage of a welcome bonus on several online gambling platforms. That way you will try out even more options.
- It will make future gambling more profitable
Besides beneficial sign-up bonuses, good online casinos usually have great loyalty programs. For instance, the company may double up to five first deposits on the platform. If you invest 100 USD, you will get 200 USD to your account. More money — more games — more chances of winning.
Although a welcome bonus is a great way of upping your gambling game, there are a few things you should pay attention to. Firstly, a good bonus does not equal a good platform. Before choosing a casino, make sure that the company is legal and trustworthy. Since there are many scams right now, it is essential if you want to save your money. Moreover, check the available deposit/withdrawal methods and their terms.
We hope that this article has shown the true power of online casinos’ welcome bonuses and how you can use them to your own advantage. Follow our tips while choosing a platform and enjoy the best gambling experience.
3 Key Mistakes to Avoid When Playing Blackjack
Blackjack is the most popular casino game in the world. The card game, sometimes referred to as ‘21’, accounts for an average of 31 percent of all casino table traffic – this is consistent both online and in physical casinos. For reference, the second most popular is roulette (24%) followed by poker (21%).
It’s easy to understand blackjack’s popularity. It’s a simple game to grasp and offers players a mix of luck and skill: luck in the cards that are drawn, skill over how those cards are dealt and a player’s eventual hand. Compare that to roulette, which is based entirely on luck, and poker, which has a huge skill element to it.
However, while the beauty of blackjack is in its simplicity, there are also a number of complexities to the game, and as is the case with almost anything in life, you learn more from mistakes than successes.
With that in mind, here are three key mistakes to avoid when playing blackjack that can significantly increase your chances of winning, while limiting your losses.
Choosing the Wrong Table
Before a single card is drawn, being at the wrong table – whether live or online – is the first mistake to avoid.
First of all, each blackjack table will have different minimum bet requirements so avoid choosing one that is out of your budget. For instance, if you choose a table with a $100 minimum bet and your budget is $200, you might only play two hands.
Secondly, check the payout odds on the blackjack table. These are typically 6:5 and 3:2 and will affect how much gets paid out when you hit blackjack and land other bonus wins. Where possible, choose a 3:2 table as it pays out higher.
Thirdly, choose between a virtual and a live table. This is not so much a mistake to avoid but more comes down to personal preference. Virtual tables allow players to play against an automated computer, so you can play at your own pace, while live tables are usually quicker paced as human dealers are keen to move the game along.
When to Hit and Stand
As a general rule, most blackjack players know to hit when the hand is 12 and to stand when the hand equals 17. However, there are plenty of variables to consider that could influence when to hit and stand. Getting these right can really boost your chances of beating the house, while getting it wrong could prove costly.
One key move to implement is to always hit on a soft 17 – when the two cards are an ace and a six. This means that if you draw a 10 or picture card (jack, queen, king), then you convert your hand into a hard 17. It also gives greater flexibility if you draw a smaller value card as the ace can be used as a one.
While many players adopt a strict ‘never bust’ policy, meaning they always stand when their hand equals 12 or more, this can be ill-advised as it depends almost entirely on the dealer going bust.
Instead, analyze the value of your two cards compared to the dealer’s first card and weigh up the risk factor in drawing another card before the dealer draws their second. As a strict rule, if your first two cards equal 17 or more, then stand – anything else can be hit depending on the situation.
When to Split and Double
If you are playing in a blackjack tournament, either online or live, learning when to split and double can make all the difference to your chances of success. The same also applies to individual games of blackjack.
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Splitting is when you split two cards when dealt the same value cards, so a pair of eights for example. Doubling is when you are given the option to double your bet after being dealt your initial two cards.
While it can be tempting to split and double at every opportunity to increase your winning, doing at the right time is the key.
It is not recommended to split when:
- You are dealt two picture cards or two 10s
- You are dealt two 9s
- You are dealt two 5s
- The dealer holds a 10 or picture card
It is best to split when:
- You are dealt two 8s
- You are dealt two aces
- The dealer holds a 5 or 6 (as this is the highest probability of a bust)
Similar to knowing when to hit and stand, take a brief moment to assess the dealer’s drawn card compared to your own two cards and determine whether the probabilities are in your favour.
Likewise, knowing when to double down – when not to double down – can change the complexities of your blackjack game. A simple rule to know when to double is if your two cards equal 10 and the dealer’s card is between 2-9. Additionally, if you hold an ace, you can consider a double as these have the flexibility of playing as 11 or 1. But if the dealer’s card is an ace, ignore the double.
Blackjack may be a simple game but there are some important strategies to keep in mind next time you head to the virtual or live table. The game itself is still rooted in luck so there are never any guarantees to long-term success. However, by keeping these three important rules in mind, you can at least avoid making avoidable mistakes.
Top 5 Entertainment Activities for College Students
The life of college students is sometimes too complicated. They have to face tons of homework assignments that steal their time. Many students get stressed because of continuous learning. They seem to forget how to relax. If you’re a busy student, you should remember that you’re still young and shouldn’t waste this precious life stage. You can undertake some entertainment activities sometimes. Take your friends and organize funny games to unwind and let off some pressure. We asked writing experts from a professional essay service Smart Writing Service to share their ideas and provide you with top-5 entertainment activities for college students you may like.
Who Are You?
Students, especially freshmen, don’t know each other perfectly. They may be taken by surprise when some of them tell something quite unexpected about their hobbies, preferences, and so on. If you want to know other students better, suggest playing a game called “Who Are You”.
Form at least three teams. If there are many folks, you can form more teams. Choose a speaker of the game. It may be even one of your teachers or professors. All groups will be given topics to discuss. The speaker is supposed to announce a new topic every few minutes. You may discuss and answer the following topics:
- What is the greatest challenge you are facing?
- What do you like or hate most about yourself?
- What is your greatest value in life?
- What emotions do you express easily?
- What is the most valuable thing in friendship?
- Who you want to become in five years?
- What is your major objective for next year?
- Is there something you want to improve about yourself?
- What motto do you try to live by?
- Where would you like to travel?
- If you were to study abroad, what country would that be?
Students should write their answers on index cards. The speaker should gather the answers of every student and shuffle them. Afterward, he/she redistributes them randomly to students. Each person should guess whose card he/she is holding. Play this game after you spend some time together and already know at least something about one another.
Another fun activity is “Sentence Completion.” Most people like it because it’s commonly accompanied by laughter and good mood. It’s necessary to prepare a list of sentences. Those sentences should have a beginning, but with no end. Every student should finish the sentence he/she gets. Oftentimes, students give funny answers. At times, they are quite serious, and we can learn something important about other students. Here are several sentence beginnings you may choose:
- Before I came to college, I was interested in…
- When I was a child, I wanted to become…
- The best moment I remember most about high school is…
- My favorite pet is…
- The things I value most are…
- Five years from now I hope to be…
- My greatest personality trait is…
- My favorite subject at high school was…
- If I could change one thing in the world, it would be…
- My greatest fear is…
- After I graduate from college, I…
The Reception Line
You may likewise try another entertaining activity for college students. It is called “The Reception Line.” Gather all the mates eager to participate. Divide yourselves into two groups. If you form more, it won’t fit the rules of the game. Each person talks to the person in front of him/her until he/she must move. The person at the end of one line goes to the end of the other line. This method makes it possible to meet new people. Thus, students will learn more about each other. You can make shifts every next topic or set a limit. For example, the pair should discuss 5 topics and afterward move to change partners. Here are some interesting topics to discuss:
- Where would you like to travel?
- What motto do you try to follow?
- What is your favorite movie?
- What music do you like?
- What is your favorite hobby?
- Why did you choose this college?
- What do you like about college life the most?
You can likewise suggest a game, which offers only two options. It’s called “Take Sides.” Create a list of questions with two answers. Students should obligatorily choose one of them. Afterward, you may discuss the answers. Let everyone explain his/her choices. Thus, you’ll learn more about each other, and it will bring you closer. Here are several suggestions:
- Watermelon or banana?
- Sweat or bitter?
- Short trips every weekend or a journey around the world for three months?
- Partying or hiking?
- Listen or speak?
- Rock or pop?
- Morning or night?
- Superman or Batman?
- Robocop or Terminator?
- Harry Potter or the Lord of the Rings?
- Los Angeles or New York?
- Liberal or conservative?
- American football or ice hockey?
My Most Embarrassing Moment
You can likewise tell each other about the most embarrassing moments. It’s important to be honest and don’t imagine a story that never took place. All the participants should agree on this term. Commonly, it is a very entertaining activity. Students tell funny stories they’ve been through. It commonly makes them closer.
These activities for college students are very simple to follow. They are really entertaining. Mind that we have mentioned only 5 of them. However, you can try a hundred activities more. Use our examples to have fun and relax. They may inspire you and your friends to look for other entertaining activities.