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Share your thoughts after viewing the movie **DEFINITE SPOILERS**

Discussion in 'The Dark Tower' started by Moderator, Aug 3, 2017.

  1. Franco0827

    Franco0827 New Member

    Well, just sat in the Movie Theater, to Watch this Movie. But couldn't bear the Movie.
    The Story is so intricate, The Story, should have been in 3 Episodes. Instead, we get a cut up version that was so Bad, I couldn't bear it. It seems to me, that Mr King didn't have a part, in making this Movie. If he did, I cannot believe he cared about the quality.
    I was expecting something on the order of The Lord of The Rings, depth. Instead, I got a bad Trailer. Sad! I waited for a Decade, for these books, to come to The Big Screen. I was completely let down.
     
  2. recitador

    recitador Speed Reader

    i didn't take it as he was trying to become king of the demons, it seemed more like he was into chaos for chaos' sake. some people are crazy like that. or as ole alfred said in that one batman movie, "some people just want to watch the world burn"
     
  3. Mr. Chips

    Mr. Chips Well-Known Member

    I saw this today and couldn't help but think of our discussion on this thread lately
     

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  4. Robert Gray

    Robert Gray Well-Known Member

    My concerns, nitpicks if you will, were based on the film not even being consistent with itself. If I am to accept this is a sequel, i.e. a picking up where the the last one left off, then it should be picking back up in the desert with the previous history of the books intact. That doesn't mean an alternate reality Gunslinger, implying there are lots of other Rolands out there, but the one and the same we saw at the end of the book series. The horn was given to him to suggest that there is hope the journey can come to an end. So the film contradicts its basic premise of being a sequel because it isn't; it is an alternate reality. We know where a sequel would pick up and it wouldn't involve all that alternate backstory history. If it did, why the heck does he have the horn? I know this sounds a bit retentive, but these things matter to me. Moreover, if this is a sequel and Roland has just been given the horn as a sign of hope and gone through the adventures we followed which brought him back from being strange and jaded, why would he now be fatalistic and have given up the quest, i.e. everything that drove him? It would seem the horn had the opposite effect it was supposed to have. Do you see my point? It is silly.
     
  5. FlakeNoir

    FlakeNoir Beta Tester Moderator

    Welcome to the site, I've just moved your post to an existing DT movie discussion.
     
  6. johntfs

    johntfs Well-Known Member

    See my problem with that is that it's ultimately kind of dull. "Blah! I am the evilest evil that ever eviled 'cause I just super, duper, ooper pooper loves me some evil!" just lacks creativity. Don't give me the guy who knows (and loves) that he's the villain. Give me the guy who "knows" he's the hero. The guy who is making the hard choices to take down the Tower for a perceived good. Give me the villain I can almost root for because he's so sure he's really the hero.

    Sort of, but I look at it that different things have happened because circumstances changed to allow Roland to have the horn. Sacrifices needed to be made to allow the Tower to change things to get him the horn. One of those things is perhaps that the Man in Black is different and in a stronger position to actively attack the Tower. With the Tower seemingly doomed to fall before Roland can reach it, he lost hope. Jake, a different, full-of-shine Jake was needed to shine to light Roland's path and rekindle his hope. The movie worked for me. And there was plenty of room for more sequels.
     
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  7. Robert Gray

    Robert Gray Well-Known Member

    I understand where you are coming from here but that would negate free will utterly, the entire concept of having to "stand and be true." The books end with the Gunslinger starting at the desert again, i.e. a very specific point in his journey. It doesn't jump back to his youth. It jumps back to right before his greatest failure (and the one where he failed to stand). He is back in the desert not too long before he would have met Jake. Up to that point, all his failures had been honest failures, i.e. where he did "stand and be true" but simply failed. He was still fighting the good fight so to speak. Roland's reappearance in the desert, already at a certain age and point along his journey has to have MEANING. The film, billing itself as a sequel, throws that meaning out. To me, retentive as I am about a story being consistent to itself, that is unforgivable.

    I'll go a step further, sequels should only be made if they are at least as good as the original. In other words, the movie Aliens (while different from the original) certainly rises to its source material. It brings something new to the table and honors the source material by matching it. Terminator II is the same in that it equals if not surpasses its source. The sheer audacity of saying this is a sequel and wrapping up the main problem of seven books as just an "introduction" to the world is weird. To bill this as a sequel means being worthy of the source. It isn't. The most charitable any of us are being is that it wasn't bad. Is anyone here really willing to say this is as good as the books, albeit different? I'm not setting an impossible standard. I'm not moving the goalposts. I'm simply addressing the movie on its own merits and taking it at its words that it is a sequel. As a sequel it fails. It is anti-climactic. This is a battle for the entire multiverse and is effectively resolved in the time it takes me to build up a really good sneeze.

    Let's go a bit further in now, as in the Last Battle from the Chronicles of Narnia. Let's dig deep. You say there is plenty of room for more sequels. About what? The series called the DT series for a reason. They already saved it. They already defeated Walter (pretty easily I might add), who has been redesigned to be the main baddie. They would have to undo that death or be inconsistent with themselves to later reveal it was never Walter and the Tower is still in jeopardy. Like a bad horror movie that simply undoes all the works of the hero in the last five minutes (Freddy is still undefeated), the entire first film won't matter. That is bad writing. I suppose they could just have Roland and Jake run off to be gunslingers fighting for stakes LESS than the universe, but that is the problem with setting the bar so high, running before we learn to walk. After all, how many times can you save the multiverse before it becomes old hat? Heck let's talk about the simple solutions and lessons in which it instructs. This film says, "life is not complicated and all things can be solved with a bullet." The opposite was true in the books; the DT series teaches that life is complicated and that not all problems are solved with a gun. In fact, neither Walter or the real Big Bad are killed by Roland.

    I know people want to like this film; I wanted to like it. But let's not let our desire to like it blind us to the problems with the writing. It isn't good. It is about as bare bones and lazy as it could possibly be without being a cartoon from the 80s. There is no depth to the characters. Their motivations are not conflicted. Everything is black and white. Everything is a straight line and everything is something we have seen before (and not in the books). Most of us didn't like the writing in Twilight (and for damn good reason) but are you seriously going to try and defend the writing for this screenplay? How is it different? There are films that are thoughtful and conflicted. It is possible to do it on the screen. In fact, some real conflict and less savory motivations are what set things up for proper sequels. Whereas the lesson of the Twilight seems to be, "you only matter with a boyfriend and your life is meaningless without one," the Dark Tower movie can be summed up with a hearty yell from cartoon G.I. Joe soldiers. "YO JOE!"

    I'm not trying to be needlessly cruel here. I'm just being honest. The cinematography is pretty. The actors all did adequate (or fine in the case of Jake) jobs portraying their paper thin characters. The story isn't there. It is empty calories. It doesn't get credit from me for the good writing in the books simply because it has named the characters after them. It isn't a terrible film. It isn't a bad film. It is a "meh" film. Can you enjoy popcorn and be adequately entertained? Sure. The problem is adequate isn't enough. They weren't stepping up and making a sequel to some B-Movie. My personal bias (and it applies to all movies) is that they are pass or fail. They are either GREAT or they are meh. I would not be able to look myself in the mirror if I fudged for the film and convinced myself it was good simply because I want to like it.
     
    Last edited: Aug 12, 2017
  8. GNTLGNT

    GNTLGNT The idiot is IN

    [​IMG]
     
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  9. Robert Gray

    Robert Gray Well-Known Member

    I got so wrapped up in that other stuff that I failed to address something about your argument that is really against my grain. What you are suggesting, if true, means the film is NOT a sequel. It would be a reboot, not unlike the new Star Trek series wherein time travel rewrote the history of the universe so we could learn to meet a slightly different Kirk and Spock all over again. It would be a reboot written by someone else.

    I cannot even begin to address how horrific that would be to me, i.e. to ERASE everything the Gunslinger and his companions endured to replace it with this anemic redo. If Roland is unique, i.e. he has no Twinner, then everything that has happened, happened. It means his return to the desert will move him forward through alternate turns of the wheel and meeting up with alternate versions of his old companions, or better yet new people. But if, as you suggest, this is simply an alteration by Gan in the past, altering things to God's preference, this has all been a meaningless game. God becomes a mean kid with an ant farm. This time around I will change history and give him the horn, alter all his family relationships, how he became what he is, and even make him a fatalistic guy driven only by revenge. Do you see what I was talking about in regards to free will? Do you see what I'm talking about in regards to meaning?
     
  10. Steffen

    Steffen Well-Known Member

    I'm going to see it again tonight with a buddy of mine. Good thing I just messaged him a reminder to pick up the tickets. Idiot thought we were going to see a Bollywood film. I think he's drunk at work.
     
  11. kingricefan

    kingricefan All-being, keeper of Space, Time & Dimension.

    He's not a surgeon, is he? Or a pilot? Or a bus driver? :eyebrow:
     
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  12. Steffen

    Steffen Well-Known Member

    Fortunately not. ;-D Nah, his store is right next to the cineplex we go to. But he's...forgetful.
     
  13. johntfs

    johntfs Well-Known Member

    Walter was redesigned to be the main baddie of this movie. The Crimson King is still very much a thing in this world/multiverse. Having Walter turn out to be a minion or lieutenant or simply unwitting tool of the King takes away none of his threat in this movie and allows the King to be an ongoing menace in future installments.
     
  14. Vivy

    Vivy New Member

    Who wrote this story?
     
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  15. GNTLGNT

    GNTLGNT The idiot is IN

    ...meaning what? ....what story???...Spidey is referring to this film as someone else's interpretation of Roland's next journey....not canon, just entertainment....
     
  16. Philzilla

    Philzilla Well-Known Member

    Lots of people had a hand in the screenplay, which is probably why it is so generic.
    or "Meh" as...
    This is right on the money. This movie never knew the face of its father.

    The finished product reeks of a studio that had no confidence in their film or no understanding of how to move forward. Another legendary Sony craptacular effort in the annals of the industry. They never broke the books and found a story they could tell so they just moved from plot point to plot point with exposition in between.

    Why is Jake the protagonist in the Gunslinger's story? Should have called this movie Harry Potter and the Dark Tower.

    Ten years, three directors and all they came up with was about 88 minutes of actual movie? Seriously?

    They didn't understand Roland's quest, but who cares it's Jake's film.

    Roland's "fish out of water" schtick was amusing, but is was better in Star Trek IV: The Voyage Home..... and a thousand other movies. So, double dumbass to you too!

    "The man in black fled across the desert, and the Gunslinger followed."
    Seriously? That's how I get this? :facepalm_smiley: It's easy guys, You should open the film by showing a man in black fleeing across the desert, and a gunslinger following. This might be the best first sentence King ever wrote to one of his books. But that isn't how the movie called The Dark Tower does it. And though I kinda enjoyed that part in the theater, I'm starting to find it laughable. This is a movie that makes you think, but not in a good way, in a "WTF were they thinking?" way. Shame, Shame, Shame.......

    Dumped in, out of place easter egg fan service is no substitute for plot and chacterization. Just shows a lack of imagination.

    Edward Cantor "Eddie" Dean disappointed me in the beginning, now I am so relieved his good name is nowhere near this coulda been.

    "The Shine", we get it.

    The Gunslinger has no character arc. Though to be fair, none of the characters are especially interesting to me.

    Why doesn't Wooderson's magic work on the Gunslinger? Shhhh, don't talk about that. And what's Wooderson's motivation? Why does he want to do these things?

    If there is a prequel TV series, which I doubt because who wants one anyway after this unfocused generic Summer slop, I will begrudgingly watch, but if the first episode is more of the same, I'll read a book instead, or maybe watch GOT.
     
  17. Steffen

    Steffen Well-Known Member

    Here are my thoughts after watching this film again last night.

    In order to give some context to my review, I’ll state a few things I’ve mentioned before. As the title of this thread warns, there are spoilers here.

    * Yes, I am one of the legion of fans disappointed that the producers did not take a different (i.e. more faithful) approach to adapting the books.

    * I too was initially puzzled by the casting of Idris Elba, mostly because I already had this vision of the traditional blue-eyed western archetype built up in my mind for the last few decades (I started reading the series when I was a wee lad in the 80s). However, I had no doubt whatsoever that Elba could capably embody the character. Watch Luther and you’ll understand the online cry for him to be the new James Bond. The dude has got it down: the swagger, the charm, the acting ability, the looks, he is the complete package.

    * The moment I saw Mr King's "Last Time Around" tweet and then the follow-up announcement explaining that the film is the final cycle of Roland's journey, I thought: okay, that's interesting. Obviously not what I want, but the creative team now have the luxury of cherry-picking parts of the entire series to weave an entirely new narrative which should be intriguing not to mention being able to translate it better for cinema. I’m game.

    * I was disappointed when Ron Howard left the project and Akiva Goldsman remained in charge. Akiva Goldsman has a poor track record of adapting any genre material that isn't a straight-up drama. The ensuing trailers and limited marketing/promotion didn’t exactly fill me with anticipation.

    * Whenever I watch any film based on an existing source (book, play, comic, etc.), I always critique it based on two criteria: how well it holds up as a film on its own, and how well it adapts the source material. Understandably, it's difficult to separate the two sometimes. That’s why I went to see this film twice, the second time with a friend of mine who isn’t familiar with SK’s works and thus doesn’t have the baggage or attachment that I do.

    * I pay little attention to reviews or review sites. I make up my mind whether I want to see a film based on the story, creative and casting teams involved, and the trailers. Critics don’t pay for my ticket, so if any money gets wasted, it's mine and mine alone, and life will go on. Since I don't have clout in the entertainment industry or a hundred million dollars to produce my own film, I risk walking away disappointed but hey, there are too many unread books or unwatched films to wallow in my dismay.


    I’ll start off with how it holds up as far as adapting the source material (bearing in mind that this is a continuation of Roland’s journey). This is a very bare-bones adaptation. A lot of the rich mythology has been eschewed in favour of an introductory line giving a simplistic explanation of the Tower’s place in the Universe, followed by a Cliff’s Notes sprinkling throughout the first act of the principal elements: the Gunslinger, the Man in Black, the Devar-Toi’s role in attacking the Tower and the ensuing effect on all realities (but mostly Mid-World and our own Keystone Earth). While it does a serviceable (is that even a word? Forgive me, Sai King) enough job, I think the setup would have benefited from a brief prologue similar to that in Fellowship of the Ring. Remember that lovely introduction with Galadriel narrating the history of the One Ring and Sauron’s larger intent? It gave the audience just what we needed to know and allowed us to uncover the larger mythology during the course of the three films. I think employing a similar storytelling device would have started off this film on a more solid footing. For instance, Roland is first seen in one of Jake's visions, where the Gunslinger and his father face down Walter. It’s not a bad scene, but I thought it was an ineffective way of introducing the true protagonist of the story. The first time we actually “meet” Roland is after Jake escapes to Mid-World, and the former draws his gun on the young boy who just wants a drink of water. I thought this was a splendid way of introducing Roland, and the showdown between father, son and the Man in Black should have been shuffled down a little later in the narrative.

    The cinematography is quite good. The scenes filmed in South Africa are enhanced with just the right touch of CGI, making for a Mid-World that is truly beautiful in its desolation. The film’s short running time works against this though, as the viewer really wants to spend a little more time exploring this alien terrain with its ancient relics hinting at connections with other worlds. But it’s a nice touch after seeing all this and then switching back to New York with its harsh neon lighting and huge concrete structures. While the special effects were pretty good, I do wish the threat to Roland and Jake in the forest was less a CGI-creation and instead some stuntmen in prosthetics playing Slow Mutants. Any excuse for Roland to show off more gunplay (more on that later). Seeing the Taheen/Low Men was nice as well.

    The performances were good all around. I want to say they were excellent, but the actors do the best they can with what little they are given. Very little of King’s weighty dialogue and drama is seen here, something I blame squarely on Akiva Goldsman being the chief creative force behind this film. The story is told from Jake’s point of view, but unlike some reviews I’ve read, I didn’t think the characters of Roland or Walter were short-changed because of it. Tom Taylor is quite good here as Jake, especially touching in the scenes showing his grief over Walter’s cruelty. Matthew McConaughey is superb in every scene. I love how he gets in everyone’s personal space as a way of unsettling them, oozing charm and venom. His facial tics, body language, the way he enunciates his words, his casual acts of cruelty and pettiness, this guy IS the Walkin’ Dude. I wish somehow Sony would have also gotten the rights to The Stand so they could bring him back to play Randall Flagg. He is that good. And what of Idris Elba? Well, Mr Elba is every bit the haunted, cold, tragic hero that we need our Roland Deschain to be. And when he draws his guns? Man, you’d better GTFO of that guy’s way, because he doesn’t exactly waste bullets. The shootout at the Dixie Pig is particularly impressive, although Hollywood’s obsession with hyper-stylized stunts made me wince at the sight of Roland shooting his guns sideways like a common thug or while jumping off a balcony. What impedes Elba’s performance here is the same for all the characters. The film’s perfunctory dialogue, rushed pace and unwillingness to flesh out the characters undermine the material, preventing the key players from elevating it to anything approaching the greatness this story deserves. The inhabitants of the Dixie Pig, for instance, are wasted here. I was looking forward to seeing Jackie Earle Hayley as the vampire Sayre, but the film instead treats him as a glorified lackey. Indeed, the inhabitants of the Dixie Pig are just shabbily dressed miscreants rather than the mish-mash of other-worldly creatures that should have added to the weird mystique of this film.

    Speaking of perfunctory dialogue, this film really had either too many writers or not enough good ones. I was dismayed at the often lack of elegance in the exchanges between some characters. Reference to Jake’s “shine” for instance is painfully overused. Roland’s speech patterns are not as sophisticated at times as they should be. Elba brings a subdued regal air to Roland, and his dialogue should have been brought up-to-scratch to enhance this quality. I know this sounds like a minor quibble, but more attention should also have been paid to the residents of Mid-World sounding distinct from us Keystone dwellers.

    Is this a bad film? Certainly not. Taken on its own merits, I’d say it was a decent action film and a fun evening at the cinema. My friend who knows zip about Stephen King’s books said as much, but commented that he was confused about the mythology it was trying to establish. He pointed to the All Hail the Crimson King graffiti appearing throughout the movie as an example. Is the Crimson King Walter, or someone else? After Roland and Walter have their final confrontation at the film’s climax, does a threat to The Tower still exist? Where are Roland and Jake rushing off to, and why? Why does the final scene show that painting of the rose on the wall? And my friend is right. This film shows the wear-and-tear of too many cooks in the kitchen. And here is where my issue with the short running time becomes relevant. An extra fifteen minutes paying more attention to character beats and motivation, as well as properly shaping the mythology would have made for a less confusing and well above-average fantasy action piece. As it stands, poor storytelling choices fail to properly convey the magnitude or imperative of Roland’s quest or establish the lore of The Dark Tower, leaving the audience (the non-King readers) at the end of the film with questions arising more out of confusion than a genuine passion to know what comes next.

    That being said, do I want a sequel? Yes I do, but not simply because I am a Stephen King fan. As a fan of movies in general, I believe that while this film has its shortcomings, there is nothing so broken that it can’t be improved by putting a better creative team in charge, including and especially a more competent writer. Yes, the King fanboy in me wants to see The Tower and its field of roses (it wasn’t shown here), and I am truly saddened by the throwaway mention in this film of the opening line in The Gunslinger novel (I waited so many years to see that line used properly in a film, and it wasn’t). However, I think what’s established in this first film can certainly be expanded and improved on. I also think that even some of the major changes introduced by this film (and its conceit of being a continuation of the books) can be used by clever enough writers to present an effective sequel that honours Mr King’s epic.

    Bottom-line: anyone looking for a faithful adaptation of the books, you won't find it here (but you already knew that from the Last Time Around tweet). If you're in the mood for a fun fantasy-action movie, you'll like this. Yes, I had my problems with it, but I also had fun watching Roland and Walter go at each other. Enough fun to want another film. Let's see what happens.
     
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  18. HollyGolightly

    HollyGolightly Well-Known Member

    I loved it! I was totally prepared to be disappointed, and I wasn't. It did feel a bit rushed - I wish there had been another half hour at least. But having read the books, I knew what was up. I found 3 Easter Eggs - were there more? I'm not good at paying attention to the movie and the side details. I loved Idris' performance. I thought Jake was great. I actually liked the re-telling of their first encounter - with a different spin. The Gunslinger was pretty sad in that regard - how things ended with Jake in the book, I mean. I liked that it was parts of Wolves, parts of Book 7, references to Tull and the Wastelands, house demons. I can't complain about anything except the length.

    Here's a way for those of you truly upset by it maybe to reconcile it your head. Think of all those Gregory Maguire books - Wicked, and the like. He picked parts of a real piece of literature and put a different spin on them. I bought After Alice today and it made me think of this. No one ever said it would be a verbatim re-telling of the epic that is The Dark Tower. And could anyone ever do it to anyone's satisfaction? Not likely.

    Just my thoughts for you. It was definitely worth the ticket price.

    Now, is there an Easter Egg thread for The Dark Tower? I have a feeling I missed a bunch.
     
  19. Steffen

    Steffen Well-Known Member

    That's a good idea. I picked up a few (It, 1408, Christine, The Shining), but missed some. I hope someone starts a separate thread for this.
     
  20. danie

    danie I am whatever you say I am.

    What a great review. You are quite a writer. :)
     

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