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  1. #1
    Senior Member Mal12345's Avatar
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    Default The Dark Tower (2017) - My Review

    As a non-jaded movie viewer who watches on average five new movies per year, I was completely swept away by the film adaption of Stephen King's "The Dark Tower." During the previews I kept busy eating my popcorn, but after the movie began I stopped munching and just stared with rapt attention. Having read only about 3.25 of the novels themselves, I had an idea of what to expect. I had previously read about the movie going through "production hell," but I can assure you the movie survived very well.

    I could have used an extra half-hour, maybe more, of the gunslinger and the kid.

    According to Wikipedia: 'Stephen King and Nikolaj Arcel have confirmed that the 2017 film The Dark Tower is a sequel to the events of The Dark Tower book series, following Roland Deschain on his "last time round" the cycle to the titular Dark Tower, equipped with the Horn of Eld. The film is set to be released on August 4, 2017 in 3D and 2D by Columbia Pictures. The film has been stated a combination of the first novel, The Gunslinger, and of The Waste Lands, while also incorporating significant story points from The Wind Through the Keyhole.' If you are skeptical of Wikipedia, then follow the citations there to see if they are valid points.

    The villain made for a nice change of pace from the usual fantasy fare. I most good vs. evil stories, the villain outshines the hero purely in terms of personality. This one was simply all business, as was Roland the hero.

    The "easter egg" in the crumbling theme park in mid-world was fun and easy to spot.

    I'm not one to look for flaws in movies because I'm in it for entertainment and am not, thankfully, a reviewer. But if they stand out severely I will be forced to spot them. The 'brick' window ledge that rebounded like rubber when a bad guy jumped on it was a pretty serious error, but it didn't involve a plot point so I'm not overly concerned with it. And the plot was simple enough, typical Stephen King fare: save the Dark Tower. And as usual, the weakest character turned out to be the strongest. The parts of the movie that took place on Earth took place, naturally, in New England.
    Last edited by Mal12345; 08-06-2017 at 01:18 PM.
    "If you try to build something that is idiot-proof, the universe will build a better idiot."
    I'm an extrovert trapped within an introverted soul.

  2. #2
    Senior Member Mal12345's Avatar
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    It gets harder and harder each year to find an honest critic or an honest movie review. So here's an example of an honest, good-natured, non-belligerent review that I found recently [SPOILERS]:

    "Not having read the books that this film is based on, I went into The Dark Tower with the hopes of having a good time at the movies, with a property that felt fresh. Now, this film isn't going to be winning any awards, but the majority of the reviews have been unabashedly awful for this film, and this is a rare occasion where I completely disagree. Going into a movie like this, as long as you're presented with likeable characters and a premise that's unique enough to hold your interest throughout the entire duration, shouldn't that be enough to at least warrant a mild recommendation? I acknowledge that this film isn't flawless, in fact, you can find numerous issues with it, but I personally found this film to be a lot of fun. Here is why I believe your best interest may be to ignore the poor reviews and form your own opinion. From the very beginning of this film, it promises big things to come. Whether it's just world-building in order to set-up potential sequels or to just simply expand your mind in order to make you enjoy the film at hand, this movie tries very hard to win you over in terms of originality. As young Jake Chambers (Tom Taylor) has horrific dreams of otherworldly goings on, he soon realizes that these visions of a deadly "man in black" and a gunslinger actually exist in the universe somewhere. Discovering a portal that sends him into this world, he quickly learns that he is meant for more. There is a lot to like about the chemistry between Idris Elba and Tom Taylor, as well as how menacingly believable Matthew McConaughey is as the "man in black." At its core, The Dark Tower is about the fact that this "man in black" wants to destroy the tower that binds every world together, in order to unleash hell on (all) Earths. While this is the backdrop of the film in general, the looming rivalry between McConaughey and Elba is really what made this film as enjoyable as it was. I was surprisingly shocked at how much I enjoyed this film for being unique and playing with classic stories, but it was the addition of these two A-List actors that put it over the edge. When their stories meet in the final act of this film, it's not extravagant, but it's satisfying nonetheless. If nothing else, I believe you will enjoy the performances that everyone gives throughout The Dark Tower. While watching this film, it will be very difficult not to nitpick certain elements throughout the majority of the film. The biggest issue this film suffers from is the fact that it seems to be stuffing far too many plot points into a very short 95 minutes. I normally like when a film is short and sweet, but if you have an entire universe of world building that you could be exploring, then why not add that extra 30 minutes? This film flies by, due to the fact that you meet characters, lose characters, jump from world to world, and it expects you to be along for a very quick ride, becoming emotionally invested in multiple things at once. For the most part, The Dark Tower does a good job at holding your attention, but it can feel quite rushed. Aside from that, there will be issues you have in terms of leaving characters in the dust in order to focus on the mains, which will be very frustrating for you, but again, it does its best in the end. In the end, I truly believe the critics are wrong about this film. I can see where the criticisms lie, but The Dark Tower has much more to offer as compensation. Yes, there are many ways that this could've been a better film, but I had quite a bit of fun with it. The script is a little sloppy and pretty rushed, the editing can be jarring at times, and the overall film feels too quick to fully take in, but it makes up for these issues with terrific performances, a unique world, cool action sequences, and a simple premise that many people should find easy and fun to watch. As I said, this movie won't be winning any awards, but it does deserve your attention. The Dark Tower is a surprisingly fun Fantasy flick."

    Right. I mean, what the fuck does the nattering nabobs of negativity crowd want anyway?
    "If you try to build something that is idiot-proof, the universe will build a better idiot."
    I'm an extrovert trapped within an introverted soul.

  3. #3
    Senior Member Mal12345's Avatar
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    Here's an example of a dumb review:
    "The Dark Tower looks promising, but that's only because you just saw all of its advertisements and promotions. As a fan of the books, you may not find the fun you end up reading in the books here. As a newcomer of the series, don't start here. There's pretty much reasons why not to, but that'll just defeat the purpose why I should tell you this when you could be reviewing all of this film's advertisements and promotions to find the answer."

    But haven't I been hearing that the promotions are bad? Dumb.
    "If you try to build something that is idiot-proof, the universe will build a better idiot."
    I'm an extrovert trapped within an introverted soul.

  4. #4
    Senior Member Mal12345's Avatar
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    Peter Rainer, so-called "Film critic," wrote: "The direction is fairly formulaic." Should I care? If a reviewer doesn't give me a reason to care about a point he's making, then it can easily be ignored. This reviewer hasn't even been around long enough to review Star Wars 1, 2, and 3, which also had formulaic directing ("camera 1, camera 2, camera 1, camera 2...").
    'The Dark Tower' is a forgettable 'Lord of the Rings'-'Matrix' mashup - CSMonitor.com

    The following review led RT to give the movie a "rotten" score although the reviewer, Mark Medley, scored it a 3.5 out of 5.
    Review: The Dark Tower’s epic fantasy gets a forgettable film treatment - The Globe and Mail

    But then again, I've never known RT.com to be an honest review site.

    I would never trust any black-and-white rating system such as fresh/rotten when movies in general are more complex than that, and as artistic creations, deserve a better rating system. Most rating systems include 5 stars and sometimes 4 or 10. RT.com is a piece of shit site.

    For example, this reviewer
    Review: ‘Dark Tower’ feels derivative, even generic - The Boston Globe
    gave The Dark Tower 2 out of 4 stars, which is fairly ambiguous. Yet RT.com says it is a "rotten" review.
    "If you try to build something that is idiot-proof, the universe will build a better idiot."
    I'm an extrovert trapped within an introverted soul.

  5. #5
    Senior Member Mal12345's Avatar
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    Some reviewers suffer from an attempt at verbosity while making themselves look like complete fools. Observe:

    "Assembled as a complex, completely confounding, mythological patchwork by screenwriters Akiva Goldsman, Jeff Pinkner, Anders Thomas Jensen and Danish director Nikolaj Arcel (“A Royal Affair”), it’s a choppy, incoherent hodge-podge of surreal chase/action sequences, a visual spectacle that’s confusingly edited by Alan Edward Bell and Dan Zimmerman."

    Complex? No. Completely confounding? Only to dumbasses. Mythological patchwork? Yes, it is a patchwork film based on an 8 or 9 novel series consisting of over 1,000,000 words. But if you've never heard of the book series and don't have that for comparison purposes, then the movie stands on its own right.

    "[I]t’s a choppy, incoherent hodge-podge." No, Superman Vs. Batman stands as an example of choppy incoherentness, although there is a better version of that movie than the one shown in theaters. (For comparison purposes, I found the very first Batman movie to be even more choppy and incoherent.)

    In fact, it's really very simple. There is Keystone Earth (our Earth), Mid-World (which, from the name, obviously stands in between worlds), and the Man in Black's base. There is also of course the Dark Tower which stands in the middle of all worlds, keeping it all together. I shouldn't have to explain this, but reviewers such as the one above obviously needed to spend more time studying Dick and Jane books in kindergarten.
    "If you try to build something that is idiot-proof, the universe will build a better idiot."
    I'm an extrovert trapped within an introverted soul.

  6. #6
    @.~*virinaĉo*~.@ Totenkindly's Avatar
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    I like how you needed to create a new special snowflake thread because you did not want to sully your review in the actual thread we were discussing it in, that you created months ago.

    yeah. So you liked the movie. It doesn't mean that the critics are wrong. It just means you happened to like the movie for whatever reason -- I have trouble understanding why you did, but fine, you liked it. So stop apologizing and/or trying to ridicule the bulk of critics who hated it, or dismissing their opinions; and just LIKE it regardless. You're allowed to like whatever you want.
    "Hey Capa -- We're only stardust." ~ "Sunshine"

    “Pleasure to me is wonder—the unexplored, the unexpected, the thing that is hidden and the changeless thing that lurks behind superficial mutability. To trace the remote in the immediate; the eternal in the ephemeral; the past in the present; the infinite in the finite; these are to me the springs of delight and beauty.” ~ H.P. Lovecraft

  7. #7
    Senior Member Mal12345's Avatar
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    Here is a hilariously bad review which pretty well sums up all of the "rotten" reviews:
    How Family-Friendly Is The Dark Tower? << Rotten Tomatoes – Movie and TV News

    "The long-awaited big-screen version of the revered Stephen King series will be too much for young viewers [how do you know?], yet not enough for everyone else [agreed, the movie is a bit short]. It’s about portals and time travel and monsters and gun battles [time travel?], but while the original mythology is dense, director Nikolaj Arcel’s adaptation of it feels truncated and rushed [I could have used more of the gunslinger and the kid, that's true, but from the sound of it the reviewer couldn't wait for the movie to end anyway so why complain about it being rushed?]. Idris Elba stars as the legendary Gunslinger, who’s long been searching for the devilish Man in Black (Matthew McConaughey) to keep him from destroying the Dark Tower, which stands in the middle of the universe to protect against evil forces. Only the psychically gifted Jake (Tom Taylor), a misfit Manhattan kid who’s had visions of such destruction, can save us all. While the visual effects often look muddled [where? I saw no muddled visual effects], the violence within them is unmistakable: vicious beasts that attack out of nowhere [sometimes, but they are plot-worthy beasts which sometimes serve to bring the gunslinger in a more empathetic relationship with the kid]; fiery, hellish images of mass suffering [where was this???]; prolonged gun fights that result in many casualties [the movie does have a Matrix-worthy gun fight sequence]. Children are abducted from around the world and placed in torturous devices to do The Man in Black’s bidding [the children scream but we aren't told that they are torturous devices]. Both Jake and the Gunslinger must deal with the deaths of people who are important to them [and how does this ruin it for the kiddies???]. And McConaughey’s character also has psychic powers, which he usually uses to kill people [just like the realistic video games kids play these days]. Overall, it’s not very good, but it is intense. OK for tweens and older."

    That sounds like a movie review from, perhaps, Granny Clampett.


    "I reckon that a little buckshot might persuade you pesky little varmints to heed my warning about violent movies. Now get on outta here. Git!"
    "If you try to build something that is idiot-proof, the universe will build a better idiot."
    I'm an extrovert trapped within an introverted soul.

  8. #8
    Senior Member Mal12345's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Totenkindly View Post
    I like how you needed to create a new special snowflake thread because you did not want to sully your review in the actual thread we were discussing it in, that you created months ago.

    yeah. So you liked the movie. It doesn't mean that the critics are wrong. It just means you happened to like the movie for whatever reason -- I have trouble understanding why you did, but fine, you liked it. So stop apologizing and/or trying to ridicule the bulk of critics who hated it, or dismissing their opinions; and just LIKE it regardless. You're allowed to like whatever you want.
    My opinion about Rottentomatoes.com has been on record for a long time here. The black-and-white rating system is worthless. The site is also paid off by movie studios to give fresh ratings.
    "If you try to build something that is idiot-proof, the universe will build a better idiot."
    I'm an extrovert trapped within an introverted soul.

  9. #9
    Senior Member Mal12345's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Totenkindly View Post
    I like how you needed to create a new special snowflake thread because you did not want to sully your review in the actual thread we were discussing it in, that you created months ago.

    yeah. So you liked the movie. It doesn't mean that the critics are wrong. It just means you happened to like the movie for whatever reason -- I have trouble understanding why you did, but fine, you liked it. So stop apologizing and/or trying to ridicule the bulk of critics who hated it, or dismissing their opinions; and just LIKE it regardless. You're allowed to like whatever you want.
    By the way, where do you get the idea that the bulk of reviewers hated it? RT has two sources, so-called established critics, and the fan critics. The fans gave this movie 68% approval, and I didn't bother to look at any of the reviews to see which ones RT.com slanted toward the "rotten" category (which they always do).

    IMDB.com, which is an honest movie site, gave it 6 out of 10 stars based on reviews. So the 18% at RT.com seems very much slanted toward the negative for whatever reason (e.g., RT wasn't bribed into give it a fresh rating).
    "If you try to build something that is idiot-proof, the universe will build a better idiot."
    I'm an extrovert trapped within an introverted soul.

  10. #10
    Senior Member Mal12345's Avatar
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    Here's another dork review from apparently-a-movie-critic-or-whatever-substitutes-for-a-real-life:

    HiT Reviews: 'The Dark Tower,' 'An Inconvenient Sequel' - Hollywood in Toto

    "Idris Elba is Roland, the last of the gunslingers in a realm called Mid-World. He’s out to stop the Man in Black (Matthew McConaughey), obsessed with destroying the Dark Tower.
    What’s that?
    It’s the massive structure that, if toppled, spells doom for multiple realms. Or something like that."

    This anonymous either reviewer paid no attention while watching it - or he did not watch it - or he's just a negative know-it-all-probably-a-know-it-all-college-student.

    When someone says "something like that," it usually indicates that they don't care. If, in this case, the anonymous reviewer doesn't care about the movie, then he's just trying to substitute his feelings for your own with sarcastic assertions.

    '“The Dark Tower” is breezy, no doubt. The story zips by, with every situation teasing subplots, characters and themes that demand more attention.
    No chance.'

    No shit. It's a 95-minute one-off movie, not a trilogy or quadrology. The reviewer gets a 10 out of 10 stars for being Captain Obvious.

    "Elba, good in any role that comes his way, imbues Roland with a weariness that’s barely in the script. He’s a physical presence, too, but we can’t grasp the scope of his powers. He fires bullets that have a life of their own, and he can make mystical kill shots by furrowing his brow.
    For some reason he can resist the Man in Black’s spells. Audiences aren’t so lucky."

    Well, you sir are not the audience, you are a pseudo-intellectual critic. Your opinion is nothing compared to the box-office take generated by the *audience*. And The Dark Tower topped the box office in its premiere weekend.

    "McConaughey gets what a deliciously wicked movie villain demands. A quiet, ethereal foe who whispers instead of shouting. His character is confusing all the same. He’s everywhere at once but can’t track down a wayward teen? Like every other element in the film, his Man in Black is undernourished. But he looks smashing in his all-black ensembles."

    No sir, you are the one who is confused. So please pay attention. Walter (the name of the bad guy, which you probably didn't know until now) can't be everywhere at once. Nor is he portrayed as being everywhere at once. Sure, he gets around because he's a wizard. But that doesn't give him the power to track down one individual out of billions in multiple realms of existence.

    "So why is he so focused on knocking down that tower? Just what is Mid-World, anyway? And is any of this meant to satisfy King fans? If not, what’s the point?"

    Because "he" (Walter) wants to unleash demonic forces from beyond the realms. This was stated in the movie which you didn't pay attention to. Mid-World is a world in between worlds. Is this meant to satisfy King fans? I don't know. (Was your review designed to satisfy King fans?) So what's the point if not? Maybe to introduce a new TV series, or something like that. GOOGLE IT.
    LMGTFY
    Also, the answer to why knock down the Dark Tower was stated in the trailer itself:

    "FAST FACT: Jake’s “Shine” powers in “The Dark Tower” are the same mystical force young Danny taps into with Stephen King’s “The Shining” novel."

    DERRRRRRRRRR.

    "Things get even more weird when the grim story gives way to wacky, fish-out-of-water comedy. Roland finds himself in Jake’s world, where he wolfs down hot dogs (what breed?) and quaffs soft drinks. The laughs arrive right on cue. The damage to the film’s tonal structure is considerable."

    As I recall, these scenes came from the first or second novel in the series. You could have mentioned the ER (or ED as they call it now) scene for even more Vaudevillian slap-stick comedy that was borrowed from the books.

    "To be fair, the Sabrett hot dog product placement gets this critic’s full endorsement."

    There were barely any shameless product placements. Even the soda brand was obscured by Roland's hand. The pain killers looked like various colors of candy, probably so that they couldn't be identified as any particular pain killer or brand.
    "If you try to build something that is idiot-proof, the universe will build a better idiot."
    I'm an extrovert trapped within an introverted soul.

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