CHUD.com Community › Forums › THE MAIN SEWER › Focused Film Discussion › The Dark Tower (2017) Post-release
New Posts  All Forums:Forum Nav:

The Dark Tower (2017) Post-release

post #1 of 51
Thread Starter 

Haven't read a sentence from any of the Dark Tower books.  Just got back from seeing the movie with someone who's read them all.

 

To my uneducated eyes, this was pretty generic and forgettable stuff.  I was amusing myself throughout the first twenty minutes by pretending like it was a remake of RETURN TO OZ filtered through a YA blandifier.  You may laugh, but look at the setup:

 

- Kid dreams about a fantasy world that no one else believes in.

- Caretakers consequently think the kid is bonkers and resolve to ship him off to an asylum for treatment.

- Asylum people are evil so the kid runs away, getting transported to the fantasy world.

- First location in the fantasy world is a desolate desert.

 

...that's around the time the movie stopped giving me enough parallels to continue the game.  Considering there's like thirty books I was expecting something oppressively confusing and dense, but the story was pretty basic and easy to follow, and what really hampers engagement is just lousy momentum and the fact that this feels interchangeable with fifty other movies.  And it's damn anti-climactic that Matthew McConaughey is able to kill people by commanding them to die yet is as vulnerable to bullets as I am.

 

I'm curious to know what book readers make of this.  My companion only offered that "they didn't explain enough," suggesting that there's Easter eggs that will only be meaningful to those with background knowledge.  For instance there was a brief moment where some random orbs got shown that were audibly recognized to be more than random orbs by my companion.  Stuff like that.  Do the books do anything to explain why the Mid-World has rabbits and sheep but no chickens?

 

From an infidel's perspective, this was two shrugs out of four.

post #2 of 51

As requested this time last year:

 

Quote:
Originally Posted by FilmNerdJamie View Post
 

"For Geeks Only" comes to mind. World of Warcraft geeks, to be specific. 

 

I'm the easiest of easy lays when it comes to any Medieval-era/fantasy epic with knights in armor being heroic and kicking ass. And I couldn't tell you what the Hell was going on.

 

You have to know the games and universe beforehand to understand this. It makes zero effort to assess the material for a general audience. Which is sorta admirable... but then you remind yourself this is a $200-$300M blockbuster with the intent of launching a film franchise. It kinda helps if you explain shit to Joe Sixpack (or Nerd Poster me, in this case) and at least have a certain logic at hand. Something Jackson did with the Lord of the Rings, Milius with Conan the Barbarian and Boorman with Excalibur.


 

Warning: Spoiler! (Click to show)

It's all over the place. Things happen. For reasons. Characters we know as good guys (Ben Foster) turn bad. For reasons. Oh he's possessed? By what? How? Why? *Shrugs* I dunno.

 

And it has the arrogance to end on a "See You in 2 Years..." note with half the main cast dead and closing on baby orc Moses parable. Which again... I guess is from the games?

 

In many ways, this reminds me of Ridley Scott's Legend - the U.S. theatrical cut.

 

If you're into the series, then God bless ya. You'll enjoy this. Maybe. I hope. But for me, this was pretty terribad.

 

Quote:
Originally Posted by Headless Fett View Post
 

I want to cut and paste this for when the post release thread for The Dark Tower pops up next year.

 

Leaving tonight's screening, this made me think back to Star Wars, The Matrix and Terminator. Very simple, easy to assess stories that were surrounded by a deeper sense of mythology and world-building. The Dark Tower desperately needed to be that.

 

Thinking back on the various failed-attempts (including the Ron Howard-directed, Javier Bardem-starring film trilogy with accompanying limited-run TV series companions between each installment - you fellas remember that), the filmmakers just overthought this to the extreme. And yet by that same token, so many of those details just go unexplained or glossed over including the use of Shining (First I rolled my eyes by the obvious connection... but by the eighth or so mention, I was ready to throw my phone at the screen), what exactly does The Man in Black plan to achieve by bringing down the Tower... not to mention why is it such a big deal for him and how/why is Roland the only human being not effected by his dark powers... among other issues.

 

Elba and McConaughey do the best they could but come across as kinda awkward. The latter felt like large chunks of his performance (especially his actually being menacing) was left on the cutting room floor. And just never felt the tension between them. The kid is a kid. He's fine... I guess?

 

Keep going back and forth if this or King Arthur: Legend of the Sword was the bigger clusterfuck this summer. The latter was reshot to Hell and then stitched together like Frankenstein's monster. This feels more akin to the aforementioned Warcraft (and in turn, the US cut of Ridley Scott's Legend).

post #3 of 51
Thread Starter 
So when did Glen Mazzara become the goto Developer Of Beloved Genre Property Spinoffs? He penned a prequel to The Shining, made that badly reviewed Omen TV show, and now has been signed to run the Dark Tower show.
post #4 of 51
Fucking ghost town in here. I actually had to do a search for this thread. Goddamn thread for girl Ghostbusters is getting more play right now and it's a year old. Christ.

Anyhoo-- I thought "The Dark Tower" was pretty okay! I 'm not a King superfan, but I have read most* of the series and enjoy them a lot, so I understand the disappointment and frustration that this isn't the sweeping and complex epic you'd want from an adaptation.

I really do try to leave my expectations at the door when I see movies, though, and even at that, this turned out to be a somewhat generic fantasy adventure that isn't trying for anything too challenging. But I still think it's a successful one by those modest aims. I was entertained.

I see it as the kind of picture that, had it come out before the world moved on and we got the glut of high-end, critically praised fantasy-sci-fi-adventure-superhero stuff we've had this century, people would be looking at it as a promising start. Idris was good. The kid was good. McConaghey was alright alright alright. Liked some of the action, and that it did just throw a mix of sci-fi and sorcery, and gunplay very matter-of-factly on the screen without much in the way of explanation. Once upon a time that would be considered awfully weird. But the world has moved on.

Doesn't look like it's in the cards, but I wish this would do well enough to ensure that TV series (I love "Wizard and Glass") and some more features. There is a lot-- a lot-- of room for improvement, but I'd like to see this franchise get the chance, with more confidence in the material and some more money. Oh well.

*I read and re-read the first 3-4 books faithfully, almost as they were released, growing up, but fell off of reading King entirely in the break after "Wizard and Glass". I am eventually going to finish the series. Hopefully I won't have to be hit by a van first.
post #5 of 51
Thread Starter 

The movie wasn't terrible.  Terrible would have been preferable to such a limp nothing.

 

I do feel for the book fans on this one. Like, I've never read the books, but there's no way they garnered the following they did by being an also-ran YA fantasy burn off completely indistinguishable from fifty other things.  Give me an interesting trainwreck over serviceable inertness any day of the week.

post #6 of 51
Looks like this made 19 million.
post #7 of 51

post #8 of 51
Even though I was ultimately disappointed in the film, I am still pulling for the television series. It was a modestly budgeted summer movie and the second largest opening for a SK film behind 1408. It should make a profit in the end.

I love Elba as Roland and Jake was great too, so I'll follow continuing adventures. The film itself was too focused on Jake as the audience surrogate. It makes sense, but it ends up feeling like Roland appearing in Jake's story instead if the other way around. The movie works despite this though. I was hoping it wouldn't pull the punch at the end and have Roland forced to shoot Jake to save the tower, but that must have been the reshoots.

Anyway, a tv series could still fix many issues, just because we were given so little about Roland it allows lots of opportunity to course correct in a series format.

It's probably dead though.
post #9 of 51

The "Dark Tower Cinematic Universe" will put on the shelf alongside the "Ghostbusters Cinematic Universe + animated film" never to be spoken of again.

post #10 of 51

Please add the "Tom Cruise Monsterverse" to it as well.

post #11 of 51
I really can't wait to see what kind of awful and silly reading the Hollywood bean counters will take on the failure of this movie since they already decided cowboy hats weren't going to make money.
post #12 of 51

I had no problem with them pulling elements forward from future books for this.  It makes perfect sense to do it; King certainly didn't have most aspects of elements like the Breakers or the Taheen and the Low Men or Maerlyn's Rainbow in mind when he was writing The Gunslinger but the filmmakers have the ability to use that stuff from the start.  It was an exciting possibility.

It's baffling to me though that, with all of those insane ideas to play with, they managed to strip mine every last interesting bit out of all the ideas they did pull forward.  The Wizard's Glass is basically just a freaking hologram desk.  The addiction metaphor with the Breakers and their 'good vibes' is replaced with generic screaming kids in a sci-fi chair.  The cheap, lazy step-dad substitution with Elmer Chambers.  Maybe I missed it in my boredom, but did they even mention Ka once?  I do have a problem with that. 

post #13 of 51

I'm of two minds on this. Looking at it from a non-reader perspective, it's completely mediocre and whatever. Very YA. Very generic. I can't quite place where I've seen this movie before, but we've all seen this movie before. Elba and McCounaghey are good, but really wasted.

 

But oh god, as a book reader. There's the point OVER HERE, and there's Akiva Goldsman WAAAAAY THE FUCK OVER THERE and never the twain shall meet. It's sloppy, messy and stupid. Why the fuck can the Tower be destroyed by a kid? Who the fuck designed this? Mads Mikkelsen? That's a terrible idea. 

 

All I wanted them to do was not fuck up the opening line. And they done FUCKED UP THE OPENING LINE. Even worse, they said the opening line in a shitty VO and it made no sense because the MiB wasn't fleeing anywhere. What a fuck awful film, from a reader perspective.

 

I can, however, forgive it all if at one point during the series, Roland and Co actually visit the set of the Dark Tower series and/or meet Goldsman and Rothman in a room and the latter two never make it out alive. 

post #14 of 51

At this point, Im starting to think there is a conspiracy to keep Elba from being the massive star he deserves to be.

post #15 of 51
Maybe he's just shitty in picking the right movies to do. See also Bryan Cranston.
post #16 of 51
Quote:
Originally Posted by superlaser View Post

I had no problem with them pulling elements forward from future books for this.  It makes perfect sense to do it; King certainly didn't have most aspects of elements like the Breakers or the Taheen and the Low Men or Maerlyn's Rainbow in mind when he was writing The Gunslinger but the filmmakers have the ability to use that stuff from the start.  It was an exciting possibility.
It's baffling to me though that, with all of those insane ideas to play with, they managed to strip mine every last interesting bit out of all the ideas they did pull forward.  The Wizard's Glass is basically just a freaking hologram desk.  The addiction metaphor with the Breakers and their 'good vibes' is replaced with generic screaming kids in a sci-fi chair.  The cheap, lazy step-dad substitution with Elmer Chambers.  Maybe I missed it in my boredom, but did they even mention Ka once?  I do have a problem with that. 

Nope. No mention of Ka at all. That bugged the shit out of me as well. Roland was reduced to a single purpose in the film. Revenge. It changes everything about the character, but it could have been fine if they would have shown more of Roland. As it is he just appears as a player in Jake's story. Besides the flashback vision Jake has to Jericho Hill (which looked embarrassingly like a scene out of a Syfy film) we don't meet Roland until a third of the way into the damn movie.

Roland isn't just a guy that cab reload real fast and can kill very well. He has a romantic spiritual side to him that is non religious but nonetheless strong. Ka is how this is represented. Fate, providence, whatever. He puts his faith in that and it is essential to his character. Not a peep from him about any of this in the film as is.

I get trying to keep exposition to a minimum in a film about multiple worlds and all, but not only do they keep it to a minimum but not that much actually happens in the film. Hell, three quarters of the film takes place in NYC.
post #17 of 51
Saw this a few minutes ago.
Solid but absolutely forgettable, which is a massive fuck up considering the scope, power and popularity of its source material.
All the elements are there; good directing and photography, design and feel, great actors that embodied their characters,...but the story and pace is all wrong, not just because of the condensing of the source material, but also because of the removal of its soul and spirit.
It's a cliff notes version of the novels, made not to adapt the original material to the screen, but to the audience.
It's basically a repeat of the same errors and fuck ups V for Vendetta, The Golden Compass, Legend of the Seeker and other adaptations of their like; they get everything right except the soul and mind of their source material.
This cast and team deserved a better movie, a better script and a better studio.

Edit: It also feels like there was a lot of cutting done to this movie; I'm betting the studio streamlined it to be more of a stand alone movie for the masses.
Edited by ryoken - 8/30/17 at 8:25pm
post #18 of 51
Quote:
Originally Posted by ryoken View Post

Solid but absolutely forgettable

 

Kind of contradiction, no?

post #19 of 51
Quote:
Originally Posted by t3cii View Post
 

 

Kind of contradiction, no?

Not really.

Its solid in that the film works and is fun, but its nothing remarkable or impressive.

Which doesnt befit an adaptation of such a massive, popular and dense source material.

Its an enjoyable fantasy adventure film, but "enjoyable fantasy adventure" shouldnt be the best praise for a movie adaptation of King's magnum opus.

Did I enjoy it? Yes.

Would I had loved it if it was an hour longer, expanded the world and characters and was more complex and darker, more in tone with the source material? Hell yes.

post #20 of 51

What the fuck did I just watch?

 

According to the end credits, the government of South Africa accepts no responsibility for the content of this film. Typical!

 

For reference, I'm up to the beginning of the 4th book, and I've skimmed a little info on the later books and ending.

 

As others have said, this might be a passable movie on the version of Earth where Dark Tower is a YA book series. Actually, 'YA' is a strong term for some parts of it. Walter's ghetto ass HQ was like something out of a Neverending Story sequel.

 

They turned Walter into the friggin Purple Man from Jessica Jones? Uggggggghhhh.

 

The shooting script is a travesty. They took a bare bones Point A to Point B back to Point A screenwriting tutorial blueprint, sprinkled random little bits and pieces of the books in there, streamlined it, then hired another guy to streamline the streamline, then cut it down to 87 minutes, well past the point of incomprehensibility.

 

"Pitch us your vision for this amazing world, Akiva."

"Fathers die, so sad. Boy's mom die, he mad. Walterman, he bad. Roland shoot Walter, now he glad."

"Brilliant! But can you streamline it a little more?"

 

It looked decent enough, but nothing to get excited over. I didn't come out of it hating the director, but it's impossible to tell if there was anything more of interest going on before the savage editing. Probably not.

post #21 of 51
What the fuck am I watching? This is some dumb garbage.
post #22 of 51

The Dark Tower mythology needed a VERY careful hand to make it not dumb as fuck.

 

Like Frank Darabont.  

post #23 of 51
There's no way The Snowman can be worse than what I just watched. No fucking way!
post #24 of 51

So you loved it?

post #25 of 51
Even beer didn't help.
post #26 of 51
Quote:
Originally Posted by Dalyn View Post

Even beer didn't help.
You know what would have helped? A screenplay written by someone who had actually read the books and not just a Wikipedia summary.
post #27 of 51
I know. About halfway through the movie I told my wife I wasn't disappointed. I was pissed. I told her that several years ago, Stephen King sold the rights to the Lost sides for 19 bucks (or was it a dollar?) because he met with them, knew they got it, and was confident in them doing the story justice. I know people here have strong opinions on those dudes, but I'm confident that whatever they had in mind would have been way better than that cheap piece of muddled shit that was actually made.
post #28 of 51
Big fan of the books who did not get to see the film because there was no press screening and there’s no way in hell I was going to pay for ticket.

Just got this from Netflix.

For all the many, MANY things wrong, the first and most obvious thing is: MM and Elba played the wrong parts; their roles should have been switched.

Fuck all the rest of this noise.
post #29 of 51
Quote:
Originally Posted by erik myers View Post

Big fan of the books who did not get to see the film because there was no press screening and there’s no way in hell I was going to pay for ticket.

Just got this from Netflix.

For all the many, MANY things wrong, the first and most obvious thing is: MM and Elba played the wrong parts; their roles should have been switched.

Fuck all the rest of this noise.

Big nope on that- the one thing that works in the film is Elba as a taciturn, grim and jaded Roland, and MM oozing evil and snark as Walter.
post #30 of 51
I think that MM would make a great Flagg in THE STAND.

But Elba all in black? With his presence ?

Besides, this needs to be a fantasy Western. It’s not a Western. Dude like looks like he just got his clothes off the wardrobe rack.

Everything about this film is wrong.
post #31 of 51
Once Roland gets to Keystone Earth, the only thing separating this from BEASTMASTER 2 or MASTERS OF THE UNIVERSE is the production value, cheap as it is.
post #32 of 51

Oh yeah, I saw this a while back.

 

God, what a piece of fucking shit that vomits all over the books. I didn't have a problem with the casting but the characters are the book ones in name only. And what they're replaced with is just the most rote garbage they could come up with. 

 

Just avoid it like the plague. 

post #33 of 51
Quote:
Originally Posted by erik myers View Post

Everything about this film is wrong.
That's all you need to say.
post #34 of 51
It’s a 95-minute movie where Roland doesn’t enter the story until half an hour in.

And then Walter and Roland are opening Stargates to move between worlds?

WHAT THE FUCK IS THIS MOVIE
post #35 of 51
Hey! I will not have Masters of the Universe’s name besmirched. That film is wonderful.
post #36 of 51
Quote:
Originally Posted by erik myers View Post

It’s a 95-minute movie where Roland doesn’t enter the story until half an hour in.

And then Walter and Roland are opening Stargates to move between worlds?

WHAT THE FUCK IS THIS MOVIE

Stargates that sound like 90s fax machines!
post #37 of 51

I saw this opening weekend, full of fear and trepidation. Then immediately dropped it in my mind's Recycle Bin. Because it was such a disappointment.

 

Looking back now, it's certainly not a good movie, but it's one I feel a lot less antipathy for. It's such a footnote to the enormity of the novels that it's become a lot more forgivable. Look at someone's failed attempt at this! They didn't even get close, that's how weird the books are!

post #38 of 51
But the film doesn’t even try to be as weird as the books. If anything, it tries to downplay that aspect.
post #39 of 51
I agree?

They tried to make it easily palatable, and utterly failed. It still weird as shit, even with all the conventional YA stuff shuffled in.
post #40 of 51

As soon as I saw Walter use the mind of a child to shoot literal rays of pain at the Tower my immediate thought was "uh, oh".  

 

It's funny how this manages to have the weird stuff like that and still somehow be painfully generic. 

post #41 of 51

What's the point of doing the Dark Tower if it's not weird as FUCK?

post #42 of 51
Quote:
Originally Posted by Freeman View Post
 

What's the point of doing the Dark Tower if it's not weird as FUCK?

PG 13 money?

post #43 of 51

That sweet sweet PG 13 cash!

post #44 of 51

Yeah...this movie is rolling in the dough...

post #45 of 51
Can’t wait fir the sequel!
And TV series!

Wait
post #46 of 51
Quote:
Originally Posted by Codename View Post

As soon as I saw Walter use the mind of a child to shoot literal rays of pain at the Tower my immediate thought was "uh, oh".  

It's funny how this manages to have the weird stuff like that and still somehow be painfully generic. 
That was the moment that made me feel there’s nothing to salvage from this version. They took something as interesting as the breaker/addiction metaphor and the ‘roont’ kids and streamlined it into THAT thinking this was better.
post #47 of 51

Well, at least we have one good Dark Tower on film.

 

post #48 of 51

It's gonna be like that huh racist?

post #49 of 51

Hey, c'mon, that gif is clearly both black AND white.

post #50 of 51
I see that the TV series has a placeholder IMDB Page.

Has production started? Or is this completely DOA?
New Posts  All Forums:Forum Nav:
  Return Home
  Back to Forum: Focused Film Discussion
CHUD.com Community › Forums › THE MAIN SEWER › Focused Film Discussion › The Dark Tower (2017) Post-release