Watched – 12 August 2017

I downloaded a whole host of films and television shows to take with me on vacation and I watched absolutely none of them. Upon returning from vacation though, I caught a couple films in the theater and watched Game of Thrones. Here’s what I thought.

The Dark Tower – 3*

There are three ways to look at The Dark Tower, Nikolaj Arcel’s adaptation of Stephen King’s epic fantasy series. The first is from the perspective of someone that has no idea what The Dark Tower is. Maybe the trailers intrigued you to look this one up, I don’t know. But if you are Dark Tower blind, maybe this film works well for you. It has good performances from Idris Elba and Matthew McConaughey, some excellent visuals, and some solid action scenes, wrapped in a story that probably makes no sense to you. So, like Transformers but with actors that give a crap.

I can’t really look at the film that way because The Dark Tower is one of my favorite things ever. So the second way to look at it is as an adaptation of that series. This is how I looked at it going in to the theater. And as an adaptation it sucks. The only things it gets right are Roland (Elba), The Man in Black (McConaughey), Jake, and the look of Mid-World. Everything else, is off by about 1000 miles. Instead of Roland being the main character, they put Jake as the lead and it (excuse my language here) it fucks with the tone in a bad way. Still seeing Roland and The Man in Black on screen is a dream come true for me, even if they screwed it up.

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The third way to look at it, which I started to think about as I drove home from the theater, is a direct spoiler to the book series. So, if you don’t want the books to be spoiled, scroll down to Atomic Blonde in another paragraph.

At the end of the seventh book, The Dark Tower, we find out that Roland’s quest is a loop. After all, Ka is a wheel and everything loops back on itself over time. So this film, The Dark Tower, is a new iteration of Roland’s quest and a sequel of sorts to the books, making the movie not an adaptation of the series but a continuation of it. Both King himself and director Arcel have said as much about it as well. This doesn’t fix the problems that the film has but, it is an interesting take nonetheless. And it makes me just kind of fall in the middle on my rating.

Atomic Blonde – 3*

I went in to Atomic Blonde impressed by the trailers and the glowing praise from some critics. Hearing things like, Atomic Blonde has one of the best fight scenes ever put to film in it, had me excited to see it. It looked like John Wick but with the kick-ass Charlize Theron in the lead and it was set in the 80s. Turns out, like a lot of things, Atomic Blonde’s praises were sung a little too high. Atomic Blonde is perfectly fine. The action is brutal (but nowhere near the best I’ve ever seen), Theron is solid in it, and the soundtrack is very good. But it’s not much more than that. That’s also quite OK.

Atomic Blonde (2017) Charlize Theron

In Progress

Game of Thrones Season 7

So, I think the last time I talked about GoT, I was maybe not super in love with the start of the season. A lot of action seemed intent on destroying the progress made over the last two seasons. Well, I’ve turned the corner and wow, the last two episodes were excellent. And man the ambush by the Dothraki and Drogon was amazing television. I can’t wait to see the fallout of this in the coming episodes.

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That is it for this week. This week I am hoping to get out and see Annabelle: Creation and maybe finally wrap up Westworld. Let me know if you’d like me to watch something and more importantly what you thought about some of these if you’ve seen them.

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