Pet Peeves & Spoilers (Lots of Spoilers)

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Robert Gray

Well-Known Member
I've had some time to digest the film and think about some of the various things that really bothered me. By in large, these are smaller things which were rather important in that they stuck in my craw. What is more, most of them are self-inflicted wounds that simply should not have happened, even following the film's own internal logic. So, let's begin:

1. The film did not start with the book's opening line. This is simply unforgivable. The man in black fled across the desert, and the gunslinger followed. That opening line is iconic, sets the mood, and would have fit their narrative just fine. The film could have opened on that with an unseen Jake narrating it, i.e. talking to us or perhaps shrink. It is a strong opening. It needed to be there.

2. The Bond villain opening was bad. The film starting with the classic bad guy setup of whatever it is they are doing that is evil (Bond villains capture subs, steal shuttles, etc.) is old hat. It didn't set the right tone here. They could have thrown this in a little later to tie this into the earthquakes and Jake's psychiatric scene without disrupting their idea for the story and it would have been fine. This scene, however, also introduces some other problems.

3. The bond opening (and throughout) introduces the other children who have been kidnapped (all clearly innocent) who are not only hostages, but also being tortured when put into the machine which launches the psychic artillery. What about them? If you hang a gun above the fireplace it must go off later. If you introduce innocent victims, the heroes should at last try to save them. Jake, at least, is well aware of the other children. He clearly cares about his world. No thought or effort is given to them. They are left to die in the classic exploding Bond villain base. The children are a loose end that could have been tied off by the evil guys in some horrific way, or they needed to be saved. They needed to at least be mentioned.

4. Hollywood pretty. The entire cast is Hollywood pretty. Never in all my many readings did I imagine that Midworld was populated with attractive, healthy folks whose outfits would fit in very well at a Steampunk Convention. We are told how rough Midworld is in the film, how it has moved on, but there is no evidence of that except for the mutant-looking trackers.

5. The gunslinger draws down on a young, unarmed boy whom he had to have just watch desperately go for a flask of water. This introduction to Roland in the film was just awful. Roland, all changes aside, is supposed to be a Gunslinger, i.e. so fast that he draws when he is going to shoot. He doesn't do thug intimidation; he doesn't have to do so. In the book, he ignores the guy sneaking up on him at the bar and never bothers to draw his gun. A few words were enough. Like a Samurai of ancient Japan, the gunslinger's guns rarely come out because when they are drawn, they mean business. Roland is supposed to be so good that he wouldn't draw until he had to, and that would be a millisecond before the target was dead. So this new Roland, alert and hard to sneak up on, had to see the boy staggering through the sand, noisily trying to follow him, desperately go for the flask, drink water, and clearly be unarmed. This same Roland drew on the boy, held a gun on him like someone knocking over a convenience store. It felt wrong. It was wrong. The gunslingers of the old movies from which Roland was in part drawn wouldn't do that. It felt craven.

6. The vengeance thing didn't quite wash. To some degree this is a pet peeve based on my knowledge of the books, but that doesn't invalidate it. If this is supposed to be some sort of sequel, then we have to accept other things also. Roland's dad died in the books too. Everyone Roland loves died. That didn't turn him into a vengeance seeking, apathetic coward before, so why did it now? It makes no sense. Roland wants to capture Walter so he can get to the Tower in the books. It is a means to an end. The film says Roland wants to kill the Man in Black because he killed his father. That isn't enough in within the context of the film. How are we to respect the Gunslingers of this world when they are so easily swayed? This Roland (the same one that draws down on children) seems very undisciplined. We cannot imagine, based on the film, that becoming a gunslinger is hard. In fact, based on the film alone all it takes to be a gunslinger is have a gun. Meh.

7. We get no flashback to Roland's coming of age test. This is also unforgivable because it was part of the first book, revealed a lot about gunslingers, and was part of that important connection between Roland and Jake. It would have solved a lot of problems in the film by proving to us the kind of training the gunslingers got to make them living weapons, shown us another reason for Roland to hate the Man in Black, given us some reason the Man in Black hates Roland, and.... well about a hundred other reasons. It would have supported character. Aside from it being in the book, it would have covered some of these other holes in their plot.

I'm going to pause on these peeves at the lucky number seven, in honor of the Losers, because I have something to do and I want to leave a few of the other ones that REALLY bother me for other people to post. If some more of the ones that bug me don't get enumerated by someone else, I'll add them when I get back.
 

bhill

Legendary Member
Dec 15, 2009
239
701
Kinda like the devil is supposed to hate the guardian angel....ya know. no specific reason, it just is.
 
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recitador

Speed Reader
Sep 3, 2016
1,750
8,262
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well, i didn't dislike the movie overall, but a few things caught my attention as a bit out of place:

roland using a propane tank as a bomb. something that he shouldn't have even known the function of to begin with.

the over usage of the word shine.

the convenience of the portal network and the villagers having any idea how to use it.

i agree that the opening line of the book seemed a bit forced in where they put it, and the way they inserted it.
 

Robert Gray

Well-Known Member
I'd love to reiterate that having seen the 1st season of American Gods, based on Gaiman's book of the same name, that the team who made that is the one that needs to be enlisted to do a canon Dark Tower series. And when I say CANON I mean telling the story of the books, adapted as faithfully as the medium allows. This means no sequel. It means it will have to be entirely recast. The cast of the movie is supposedly the next turn of some broken wheel, a mote in mind of Gan if you as me. You can't get back to canon without a clean page. I would prefer they start with the first book and do it right. I do not think starting with Wizard and Glass is the correct order. Young Roland only holds our attention and means something to us by the contrast with old Roland. It will be a mistake to do it that way.
 

Steffen

Well-Known Member
Aug 9, 2015
2,215
12,686
I'd love to reiterate that having seen the 1st season of American Gods, based on Gaiman's book of the same name, that the team who made that is the one that needs to be enlisted to do a canon Dark Tower series. And when I say CANON I mean telling the story of the books, adapted as faithfully as the medium allows. This means no sequel. It means it will have to be entirely recast. The cast of the movie is supposedly the next turn of some broken wheel, a mote in mind of Gan if you as me. You can't get back to canon without a clean page. I would prefer they start with the first book and do it right. I do not think starting with Wizard and Glass is the correct order. Young Roland only holds our attention and means something to us by the contrast with old Roland. It will be a mistake to do it that way.
Man, you're preaching to the choir here. But as long as the film rights remain with Akiva Goldsman, I have zero hope of seeing a good adaptation of this work. Maybe in a few years down the road when someone else acquires the property, but not now.
 

johntfs

Well-Known Member
Nov 18, 2008
277
966
5. The gunslinger draws down on a young, unarmed boy whom he had to have just watch desperately go for a flask of water. This introduction to Roland in the film was just awful. Roland, all changes aside, is supposed to be a Gunslinger, i.e. so fast that he draws when he is going to shoot. He doesn't do thug intimidation; he doesn't have to do so. In the book, he ignores the guy sneaking up on him at the bar and never bothers to draw his gun. A few words were enough. Like a Samurai of ancient Japan, the gunslinger's guns rarely come out because when they are drawn, they mean business. Roland is supposed to be so good that he wouldn't draw until he had to, and that would be a millisecond before the target was dead. So this new Roland, alert and hard to sneak up on, had to see the boy staggering through the sand, noisily trying to follow him, desperately go for the flask, drink water, and clearly be unarmed. This same Roland drew on the boy, held a gun on him like someone knocking over a convenience store. It felt wrong. It was wrong. The gunslingers of the old movies from which Roland was in part drawn wouldn't do that. It felt craven.
I kind of liked that because it speaks to the idea that Roland isn't really a gunslinger any more. That he aims and shoots with his hand, kills with his gun and has on some level forgotten the face of his father even as he seeks to avenge him. That scene sets up the dynamic between Jake and Roland. Jake needs Roland to save the worlds, including his own. Roland ultimately needs Jake to save or reclaim his path and soul to help him truly remember the face of his father.
 
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