Friends may be gone, but at least Netflix still has another lengthy story about a gang of lovable pals navigating the intricacies of life in their twenties: The Irishman. Yeah, despite the fact that the protagonist of Martin Scorsese's mob epic is played by 76-year-old Robert De Niro, we flashback to him when he's "as young as 24" thanks to de-aging visual effects technology. With a budget of more than $140 million dollars, Industrial Light and Magic took a break from animating X-Wings and digitally removing dollar signs from Harrison Ford's eyes to pioneer a new technique for making old-ass actors look young.
Now that's obviously a lot of money to spend on a movie where none of the characters are recruited by Nick Fury, but at least the results are ... not great?
While the movie has been raking in critical acclaim and award nominations, at times it feels like the cast of Goodfellas somehow infected by The Polar Express. It's basically the prestige-cinema equivalent of the 30 Rock meme of Steve Buscemi holding a skateboard. Despite the fact that he's literally referred to as "kid" De Niro never really looks like an actual young human being and moves with all the spryness and urgency of early bird buffet patron.
But salvation has come in the form of some random YouTuber, who specializes in Deepfake videos, using their skills to redo some of The Irishman's effects to look less like creepy Madame Tussauds' rejects.
Even more surprising, apparently this process only took seven days using "free software". Which isn't to say it's perfect, it's still creepy as hell-- but so is the finished movie. Maybe if we all pool together a few bucks they'll take a whack at turning the cast of Cats into actual cats instead of the NSFW section of DeviantArt.
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