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

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Paddy C

All Hail The KING...
Sep 18, 2017
1,078
5,888
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Drogheda, Ireland
Maybe I had my head in the sand but I'd never heard that it was meant to be a sequel. I knew that as a single movie it was never meant to encompass the whole series of books and, as I stated previously, I enjoyed it for what it was.
Okay, I know it won't win an Oscar or anything but it still entertained me.
 

Gerald

Well-Known Member
Sep 8, 2011
2,068
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The Netherlands
Actually they can, and frequently do. In fact, it is highly likely that is exactly what happened in the case of this movie. It was largely shot (supposedly) and suddenly got pushed way back, and only after that delay did we get told it was sequel. Judging by the timing, I'm sure initial reactions from both studio and test audiences were unimpressive. Complaints from test audiences and studio probably included copious complaints about how little it had to do with the books. Thus begins more shooting and edits to try and salvage. Part of that process was to try and nip the negative reaction to the unfaithfulness to the source material by deciding it was a sequel.

*If you want more anecdotal evidence of that, consider that fabled Horn, upon which rests the entire notion that this was the sequel and the last time around. You will find it has NO importance in the film. In fact, it doesn't even appear in the film. There are numerous attempts to try and figure out if it might be in Roland's bag somewhere though. :) In fact, there is absolutely NOTHING in the film whatsoever that hints, states, or indicates that there was ever another turn of the wheel or that this is anything but a self-contained story. The only way we, the audience, know this is a sequel to the books is because they suddenly started telling us that out of the blue. The horn is not blown. This isn't a sequel. It isn't a pre-equal. It isn't an adaptation. It is just a mediocre to bad movie.



I'd watch it streaming, included in some subscription first before you drop the money. You might not want to own it.



And yet their fame did absolutely NOTHING for the film. Food for thought.
I thought you meant they would change it on base of INTERNET reactions, which would be too late to change and reshoot the movie a whole lot as it is too close to the release date.

I maintain that it was never meant as a regular adaptation, for the fact alone that they changed the books around, starting with 3, and including characters from later books even. The plan was always to tell the story in a different way, as a continuation of the books. It may not be that apparent from the first movie, but it could become clear in the story as late as the last movie (if there is to be a full series) that it is in fact a sequel.
The Horn of Eld IS in the movie, but it is done as an 'easter egg' (in Elba's words), so they probably plan to make it a plot point in subsequent movies. This is one of the reasons that I favour home viewing more and more over cinema, as it gives you a chance to directly recheck things you missed - especially with a film like this which contains lots of King -easter eggs.

Idris Elba Answers Huge Horn of Eld Question in The Dark Tower - MovieWeb

It is true that initial test screenings were negative, but not because it was not faithful to the series (which makes sense, because audiences are not made up by purely SK fans who know the books - those will obviously have interest in it, but it will most likely be a minority of the actual audience, and they will no doubt preferably select people who haven't read it just to see if the movie makes sense to non-readers), but because audiences found the film confusing. The reshoots were done to provide more backstory:

Was Dark Tower's Early Cut Heavily Reshot? | Screen Rant

It will be 16,95 at Zavvi. A ticket for the cinema costs 10,50 here, so the blu-ray is relatively cheap as you can watch it as often as you like and with as many people as you like. Whether I will get it rightaway or wait for it to drop further in price will depend on the extras - at least three or four deleted scenes were promised by the director, but hopefully there'll be more (preferably an audio-commentary which is one of the most in-depth ways to understand the making of a film, especially when it's done by writers/directors).

As for the fame of the actors doing nothing for the film, most reviews that were negative about the film at least praised the acting of the leads, especially Elba.
 

Gerald

Well-Known Member
Sep 8, 2011
2,068
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The Netherlands
The films problems are writing, Goldsman, Sony, MRC, a decade wasted costing tens of millions of dollars then abandoned, and perhaps a rush to get a product out before rights expired. That's just a guess.
There were perhaps too many parties involved with this film?

Goldsman has regularly been a problem for good scripts. Still, sometimes it's hard to tell what happens: his adaptation of The Da Vinci Code isn't regarded too highly, I think. Yet, I recently rewatched it right after Inferno and it is way better than that. Yet Inferno was written by David Koepp, generally a good writer and director. A script is one thing, what happens with it another.
Goldsman, on the other hand, also wrote well received films like A Beautiful Mind and A Time to Kill.
 

Gerald

Well-Known Member
Sep 8, 2011
2,068
6,739
The Netherlands
I doubt there will be a sequel, who wants it, you haven't even seen it.
Why I haven't seen it yet is a combination of a couple of things: the short playing time, the overall negative reception and the fact that I don't go that often to the cinema anymore (because there's already so much to watch at home, in terms of series mainly, and it's relatively expensive as you can only watch a movie once, or have to pay again; also I hate the waiting time for the blu-ray/dvd if I really liked it).

If there was no Internet to read the negative reactions, based on the trailer I would have gone to see it at the cinema for sure - I felt it was an exciting trailer even if it doesn't have the feel of the books.
I may not agree with the negative reactions at all (there are also loads of positive reviews on IMDb from readers and non-readers, some who give it full stars), but in combination with my other concerns it made me doubt if it was worth it.
 

Robert Gray

Well-Known Member
I thought you meant they would change it on base of INTERNET reactions, which would be too late to change and reshoot the movie a whole lot as it is too close to the release date.
No. As you have already surmised from context, I was talking about the in-house test audiences brought in with the first cut to see what they have. This is standard practice. Those audiences came in, not coincidentally, just before the sudden push back of the release date. The timing tells the story there.

I maintain that it was never meant as a regular adaptation, for the fact alone that they changed the books around, starting with 3, and including characters from later books even. The plan was always to tell the story in a different way, as a continuation of the books. It may not be that apparent from the first movie, but it could become clear in the story as late as the last movie (if there is to be a full series) that it is in fact a sequel.
Who knows? They went through so many scripts over the years and this one was thrown together so rapidly against a deadline of expiring rights that I don't think they cared one way or another what kind of adaptation it would be. ;)

The Horn of Eld IS in the movie, but it is done as an 'easter egg' (in Elba's words), so they probably plan to make it a plot point in subsequent movies. This is one of the reasons that I favour home viewing more and more over cinema, as it gives you a chance to directly recheck things you missed - especially with a film like this which contains lots of King -easter eggs.
The Easter Egg is one way of putting it, SPIN is how I put it. Have you seen it yet? It boggles my mind that you seem so passionate and argue so ardently and had't (as of a post or two ago) even seen it yet. It makes it very difficult to understand your motivations here.

I saw that. I found it to be quite amusing.


It is true that initial test screenings were negative, but not because it was not faithful to the series (which makes sense, because audiences are not made up by purely SK fans who know the books - those will obviously have interest in it, but it will most likely be a minority of the actual audience, and they will no doubt preferably select people who haven't read it just to see if the movie makes sense to non-readers), but because audiences found the film confusing. The reshoots were done to provide more backstory:
I'm trying to figure out what you are basing this on? They reason the test screenings were bad is because the film stunk. And if the reshoots were to make it less confusing, I can only imagine that the first cut had to have been truly bizarre and chaotic indeed. Again, I've seen the film. I haven't just read articles about it.

It will be 16,95 at Zavvi. A ticket for the cinema costs 10,50 here, so the blu-ray is relatively cheap as you can watch it as often as you like and with as many people as you like. Whether I will get it rightaway or wait for it to drop further in price will depend on the extras - at least three or four deleted scenes were promised by the director, but hopefully there'll be more (preferably an audio-commentary which is one of the most in-depth ways to understand the making of a film, especially when it's done by writers/directors).
I could care less about the extras. I don't buy the films for that. Either the film stands on its own two legs, i.e. I want to own it to watch it again, or not. I also don't trust either the Director or the Actors in regards to the commentary, because when a film bombs... said commentary becomes some kind of defensive screed. I don't need them to explain what went wrong. We saw what went wrong.

As for the fame of the actors doing nothing for the film, most reviews that were negative about the film at least praised the acting of the leads, especially Elba.
Hrm. I read a good deal of the reviews myself, and the only actor that really did well across them all was the actor playing Jake. He came out smelling like a rose (and deservedly so). The reviews of Idris and Matt were all over the place, but by in large they got "passing" remarks but nothing to write home about. Elba didn't get savaged in any, but neither did he light up the board. I am a fan of Idris Elba, but my own review of him would be that he phoned it in. Either that or the part was just so empty of calories there was little he could do to punch it up. To put that in context, he had a supporting roll in Pacific Rim in which he absolutely BLAZED (stole every scene he was in)... while in this film he was the nominal lead and the least interesting person on screen at any given time.
 

Gerald

Well-Known Member
Sep 8, 2011
2,068
6,739
The Netherlands
It says in the Screen Rant article, that the audience got CONFUSED by the mythology:

"The execs’ concerns seemed to be borne out when test audiences reacted negatively to Arcel’s cut, becoming confused by the film’s labyrinthine mythology."

That is something completely different than them saying that it stunk. You can still like something, but just find it confusing. Clearly you dislike the film strongly, so you interpret it as they thought the film stunk.
Basically a discussion with someone who dislikes something totally is kind of useless, as they will interpret anything negatively and laugh at every argument.

I may agree or not agree it is bad. It's out at the end of December for home release, so that's most likely the earliest I will give my own opinion on it.
 

Howard33

New Member
Oct 11, 2017
1
2
54
I want to emphasize again that for anyone who is expecting or disappointed that this is a straight adaptation, this isn't it. As has been reported, it is another journey on the wheel, one that takes place after the 7th book. Unless you can watch with an open mind and be receptive to that, you're probably not going to enjoy this.

Those who have read the books will recognize elements that have been included from several books in this journey and there were a few times when I would have an aha moment as I recognized a location or character. Not to mention all of the easter eggs of other books, and it would take me another time or two watching to catch them all.

I'll confess I was one of those who at first was disappointed with the casting as I'd been caught up in that iconic description of the blue eyes but I thought Idris Elba did a good job of capturing the steeliness of Roland. It didn't take long before I was able to embrace him as a different version of Roland on another level of the Tower. I didn't even notice until someone else mentioned afterwards that he never wore a hat as Roland did. He did well portraying Roland's unintended humor when commenting about keystone world so there are several scenes that will make you laugh just like you probably did when reading the books.

Tom Taylor did a terrific job as Jake and I hope they'll continue with him even though he's going through his teenage growth spurt in real life.

I think Matthew McConaughey got Walter's ruthlessness as that comes across front and center. Not having seen a lot of his other films that might have influenced me about his performance, I may not have caught his just being Matthew McConaughey that others have been concerned about.

Some have mentioned being concerned about the length of the film, but I really didn't even notice it as I was caught up in the story. There weren't any parts that seemed to drag for me. Overall, I think the film captures the essence of the story and works as a new journey for Roland.

This film is an abomination of SK's life long work. 1% accurate 99% garbage. Worst adaptation EVER!!! of any book/s.
 

Robert Gray

Well-Known Member
Maybe si, maybe no. Apparently some folks disagree (at #26):

Every Stephen King Movie, Ranked From Worst to Best
I have a bone to pick with that ranking. I actually enjoy Maximum Overdrive. It sure as hell is better than Sleepwalkers. :) I think #26 is roughly fair for the Dark Tower film. It isn't the worst film I ever saw. It is just Meh. We want more than Meh for the Opus. :) Hell.... I liked Maximum Overdrive better than I like the Dark Tower film.
 

Gerald

Well-Known Member
Sep 8, 2011
2,068
6,739
The Netherlands
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Robert Gray

Well-Known Member
A Royal Affair, Arcel's most acclaimed film (which also meant the international breakthrough for Alicia Vikander) doesn't have a director's commentary, so it seems he doesn't do those.
Given the Producer Akiva Goldsman's foot in mouth disease demonstrated in regards to this project before the film's release, I feel pretty confident there will do one for this film. He strikes me as the kind of person who is going to double down, use it as a platform, and explain to the people who snubbed his film how wrong they were. So even if we don't hear from him directly, I have a feeling we will be hearing from the Director and others. The studio still has to recoup money and making the special release as "exciting" as possible with commentary of a certain sort will probably be seen as a useful tactic. If you can't tell, I'm not impressed with this crew.

*Also don't forget that Akiva Goldsman also was likely the primer writer of the script, which was by far the WEAKEST part of the project. Actors, no matter how good, can only do so much unless they are given something to work with.
 
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Robert Gray

Well-Known Member
I do want to be fair to Akiva Goldsmith; he has written some winners. His strength is in certain kinds of projects, and when he sticks to those they work. Unfortunately, he doesn't stick to them. He has written (or co-written) about five truly great scripts and been properly lauded for them. Unfortunately, he has written far more losers. A simple truth is that while he likes fantasy and action, he is awful at it. He should stick to projects like Practical Magic, Cinderella Man, and A Beautiful Mind. If you are familiar with these films they are all about personal relationships, and while there is a hint of fantasy in Practical Magic, that isn't what makes it strong. He needs to stay away from science fiction and fantasy entirely. We don't need anymore Batman Forever and their ilk. For something more recent, we don't need more junk like Transformers: The Last Knight or things like the 5th Wave. I think it is long past time Hollywood started hiring its writers based on their strengths. The problem is he was a damn Producer for The Dark Tower film, so he got a large say in who would write it. Never have your damn Producer writing the script. Who is going to be able to say "NO... this doesn't work?"
 

MandarkC

Active Member
Mar 11, 2014
26
93
London, United Kingdom
You know what? As a major DT fan, especially of the universe, I don't think the movie did that great a job at selling DT to non-DT readers. HOWEVER, I did enjoy Walter, Roland and Jake. I also love the amount of easter eggs thrown in there. They definitely will be doing more movies on this though because there was no Eddie, no Susannah, no Callahan, and no Oy (unless I missed a flashback scene). They focused mainly on the breakers, Roland+ Jake and Walter+Roland storyline in this, so they gotta be doing more. Definitely too much content in DT to be able to cover well in just one movie. Independent of the books, I thought it was pretty fun as a viewing experience. Still haven't made up my mind about how i feel about it as a DT fan though. But i don't hate it!
 

Kurben

The Fool on the Hill
Apr 12, 2014
9,263
62,057
55
sweden
Not a great movie. As so many King movies. And i get it wasn't a straight adaptation. Jake was great, he carried the movie. Idris Elba was uninteresting as Roland. He did his job but nothing to write home about. Walter/The Man In Black was slightly better but wasn't close to Jake. Well made action adventure but nothing else. The universe of Roland did not come across well i thought. I'll be kind and give it a 3/5 because of Jake and that its well made. Not a movie to return to really.
 

Paddy C

All Hail The KING...
Sep 18, 2017
1,078
5,888
53
Drogheda, Ireland
Not a great movie. As so many King movies. And i get it wasn't a straight adaptation. Jake was great, he carried the movie. Idris Elba was uninteresting as Roland. He did his job but nothing to write home about. Walter/The Man In Black was slightly better but wasn't close to Jake. Well made action adventure but nothing else. The universe of Roland did not come across well i thought. I'll be kind and give it a 3/5 because of Jake and that its well made. Not a movie to return to really.
Great review, Kurben. Nice to see another Constant Reader giving it the 'benefit of the doubt'
I agree that 'Jake' was the standout performance.
 

kingricefan

All-being, keeper of Space, Time & Dimension.
Jul 11, 2006
29,654
124,966
Spokane, WA
Great review, Kurben. Nice to see another Constant Reader giving it the 'benefit of the doubt'
I agree that 'Jake' was the standout performance.
Off topic but I was out checking thrift stores for books and came across an old paperback that has a short story written by Robert Bloch titled 'Constant Reader'. =D
 

kingricefan

All-being, keeper of Space, Time & Dimension.
Jul 11, 2006
29,654
124,966
Spokane, WA
My best friend saw this last night with her parents and husband. None of them are King fans. Husband fell asleep (he worked a lot of overtime at his job so give him a break here) and the other three really liked it. None of them knew anything about the Dark Tower. They enjoyed it a lot. And none of them were confused as to what was going on.
 

Dadofmany

New Member
Oct 28, 2017
1
4
Knowing that they could NEVER do any kind of straight adaptation of this series, I didn't expect it to be just like the books, but what disturbed me most is how much they downplayed everything. They made Walter look like Dr. Evil, running his little minions when he is not really that small. The defeatist attitude of Roland, not really the driving quest you expect of a knight like him. Also the village, not enough of the reverence for the gunslingers and not enough of the mystery of the ones that came before and North Central Positronics. I don't think they did enough to establish the ancient nature of the whole thing. Just kind of jumped right into the middle without ANY backstory. The cast was pretty good and would have done more with better writing. Not being any kind of regular on boards like this, my opinion may not count for much, but there it is. Still, I'll have to see any further movies and if the TV series happens, I'll be there too. Just feels like it was not enough. Hoping for more the next go round.
 
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