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Better read than dead, dead here meaning supporting a bad movie.


Oy oi, don’t go bringing BvS into this discussion. Anyway Dark Tower remains a potentially good movie for now until I determine otherwise.


I feel your pain, Bernadette. As a huge King fan, I really wanted this film to be an awesome success. Unfortunately, while his horror and fantasy books read like great cinema, the best adaptations of King’s work have been the smaller, more reality-based stories like Misery, The Body (Stand By Me), and Apt Pupil.


I had a soft spot for Dreamcatcher.

I know he’s not so “PC” a character archetype, but Duddits is adorable.


It’s hilarious when movies are buried so effectively before they’re even released and/or seen. It becomes a self-fulfilling prophecy when they fail.


Hey, it’s the one thing Sony’s movie department is effective at!

We’ve found it!


Sounds like absolutely no one had any faith in this actually working. I mean, it’s a movie that glorifies shooting people. That’s just deadly in this day and age, right? They even had the trailers talking about how cool it is. It’s a whole concept that has become hopefully anachronistic since King originally conceived it. He wanted to make a kind of fantasy Western, and for his fans the whole thing is kind of hugely important, but it’s just so hard to explain otherwise. And so when they finally tried to make a movie out of it…I haven’t read more than Gunslinger and Wind Through the Keyhole. This movie is legitimately the only way I want to try the story again. I can’t understand how trying to summarize the thing for audiences who will likely never read the seven-book series is such a bad thing. I mean, Game of Thrones is massively popular. On TV. But how many of its viewers have actually read any of the books? Same with The Walking Dead, right? None of these are exactly Harry Potter. It’s the same reason the Divergent series petered out at the movies, because someone assumed it was another Twilight, another Hunger Games. But what made those movies so popular was because they made for dynamic, distinctive movies, too, besides the books. I can tell you that the Hunger Games books were never as popular as the Twilight books. But they were, at least at the start, more popular movies.


I’d be okay with changes if yeah, it looked like a fantasy western - but it just looks like any generic YA novel setting.


But see, I don’t get that at all. I mean, the stars are literally men in their 40s. That’s literally the opposite of YA. (Or maybe, Grumpy Old Men. But you get the point.)


Just the general feel of “Earth is the important thing” and the “kid who has the special gift” (which is something Patrick Deepneau had, not Jake) and then playing off Randall Flagg as his boring, “talk slowly and evvviiiilly”, villain and the gray of everything and the mech stuff being more prevalent.

There’s nothing interesting in this.



The “generic YA setting” thing is accurate, by the way, insofar as so much YA material is set in the same kind of dystopia as Dark Tower was from the start. The interesting thing is that there are two guys who are opposing each other in a fundamental way, and that yeah, some punk kid is motivating one of them to continue. The kid is an audience surrogate. Like Robin. Or Spider-Man.


I mean, Jake was an audience surrogate at the first, but the sense of quest and adventure was always at the forefront.

This is “Save the Earth because Earth is important, and this Dark Tower thing connects two worlds”. It’s just a bland way to present it.

And mentioning Patrick Deepneau of Insomnia made me realize that Insomnia would have been a great movie.


Except how else do you explain…the name of the movie? The series? Without some explanation, it’s entirely pointless. It’s like arguing the One Ring is pointless, when it’s the reason for the whole Fellowship of the Ring. That’s what the Dark Tower always was, a lure for the characters in this series, like the need to travel to Mordor, because the One Ring is too powerful for anyone to safely use, and the Dark Tower is too powerful to be messed with. Except the Dark Tower must be preserved whereas the One Ring must be destroyed. They’re very similar stories, but the Dark Tower always began with a simple image (“The man in black fled across the desert, and the gunslinger followed.”), and it’s hard to get around that, hard to jump right to the fellowship, er, ka-tet.


I’m not saying to get around that, point out where I did. Just saying the way they’re portraying it in advertising materials is so bland and Earth focused.

It has no style/


Well, because they’re trying to sell a concept which admittedly a large percentage of the potential audience will not think is as good an idea (sexy guns!) as the story necessarily believes. So they try their hardest to sell the concept (sexy guns!), and hope it works. When clearly it isn’t.


That’s not the concept though.
It’s Lord of the Rings meets Spaghetti Westerns.


Well, yeah, but the main character is identified as “the gunslinger” (it’s the title of the first book an’ everything!), so the concept is also first and foremost “sexy guns.” Which like Green Lantern is a concept that’s harder to explain now than it was decades ago. I bet if Hal Jordan had spent more time in space battling aliens and less time on Earth, that movie would’ve been a huge success, regardless of the perceived lack of quality put into the production. But it instead came across as a mess of trying to explain a superhero who was new to just about everyone expected to show up in the theater. The same goes for Dark Tower. If the movie had focused on what works in movies right now (teams) rather than what worked years ago (driven solo guy), there wouldn’t be so many questions being asked about its quality, or demands on what it should be doing.


Actually he’s more like an exaggerated version of Clint Eastwood in Leone films, down to that character’s flaws being brought to the forefront and examined.

The Gunslinger is a title, just as Eastwood was “The Man with No Name”. Because it’s more evocative and it detaches the character from the reader and the rest of the cast in those movies. Blondie, Gunslinger, it’s all the same diff.

Sure guns play a huge role, but the take away from the novel is not those - but the fact that Roland is a cold merciless douche. Loyal to nothing but the quest.


It’s exactly like trying to explain Frank Miller’s Sin City concept to mass audiences. It’s just never going to happen, no matter how well executed. They’re trying to sell the wrong concept to the wrong audience. Even Eastwood hasn’t been able to reliably pull off the Man with No Name persona in recent decades. His most distinctive hits in a starring role have been Unforgiven (the all-but “last Western”) and Gran Torino (Crotchety Old Man Times A Thousand).

Call Elba “the gunslinger” and say it’s just a name, and you’re missing the huge disconnect, because you’re too close to the material. You know what he’s supposed to be. But everyone currently failing to make heads or tails of the concept is just not getting it. They’re confused in the same way you think it looks like generic YA material.

Roland was a warrior (as the Warren Zevon song goes), and not just a “gunslinger.” But they chose to define him as a gunslinger, because they had no confidence in the material.


Once or twice a year I try to read the Wikipedia summary of the Dark Tower plot-yeah, still trying.