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The Dark Tower Movie Review (2017) | The Tower Fails to Stand

Fans of Stephen King, witness disappointment! The Dark Tower movie adaptation by Nikolaj Arcel is an undercooked meal that fails to do the book the justice it deserves. Hell, it even doesn’t stand as a good movie on its own. If it only had some eye popping action to shoot it forward, the movie would have been entertaining at least. But it is all so limited that you are forced to blurt out, “That’s it?” All this technology, and we let it all go to waste!

The movie is quite flippant in terms of its colossal import in the world of fantasy. Characters in the movie don’t evoke empathy. You fail to connect and the movie fragments into something insubstantial and forgetful even though it has a huge name of Stephen King in its backdrop.

Glib Direction of The Dark Tower Movie

The Dark Tower is paced too fast for a movie that calls for meticulous reflection. You want to be able to be in it, to feel what a child is going through. This brings to mind the extraordinary relatable tale of A Monster Calls. But The Dark Tower movie fails to make it to that enclave. Well if it couldn’t have possibly even reached that level of child’s mastication, at least it could have tried to connect. We don’t feel much agony of a child trying to make people listen in a world that’s secretively run by monsters.

the dark tower movie tom taylor as Jake Chambers

Introduction of the character Gunslinger played by Idris Elba feels so bland that you fail to understand how big they were or used to be. And that how important it was to be the righteous last man standing in a world that was about to be overrun by dark forces. Then there is the dark force – the Man in Black, Walter played by Matthew McConaughey, who plays a convincing smug villain without badass lines that we all know how brilliantly he aces.

You can’t stop what’s coming. Death always wins.

All the shallowness in dialogues written and the way things get directed take away the joy and thrill, and the out-worldliness that the movie should have banked on in the first place.

There’s no western feel to the movie, although it should have been something to do with that as originally thought of by Stephen King.  The Dark Tower movie mixes a lot of Stephen King novels to spit out an insipid work that is very easy to forget.

Plot of The Dark Tower Movie (Spoilers Ahead)

To begin with, we have a kid named Jake Chambers played by Tom Taylor who is having visions about a Man in Black, a Dark Tower, and a Gunslinger. Nobody believes him, he is having a hard time convincing them. His shrinks are no good. He has been dealing with the death of his father, and the fact that another man has moved in his house is eating him alive too. (Just imagine the possibility of how amazing we could have turned this into dramatically!) One day being sent off to shrinks.

Everyone who walks with you dies.

One day people from a psychiatric facility arrive to put him into a rehab. He recognizes them as monsters under human skins and escapes. He ends up visiting a forsaken ramshackle house from his dream that has a portal that takes him to a different world called Mid-World. It is a dystopian backdrop that is abounding with deserts and mountains and everything you could expect in a post-apocalyptic world.

Gunslinger

Jake ends up meeting the gunslinger from his dream Roland Deschain (Idris Elba) who has been looking for The Man in Black – Walter as well. He seeks vengeance since Walter had killed his father.

the dark tower idris elba fighting

Jake discovers that there is a Dark Tower at the center of the universe which Walter intends to destroy to let the dark forces in. It can only be destroyed by the screams of psychic children. (Such beautiful thinking! Stephen King take a bow!)

The tower will fall.

The Village

Roland takes Jake to a village in Mid-world to interpret Jake’s vision with the help of a seer. Arra (Claudia Kim) helps Jake identify his true psychic abilities and tells her about his “shine” how powerful it is. Although using the shine could alert Walter about his whereabouts. Walter figures out that he needs someone like Jake to destroy the Dark Tower singlehandedly. Trying to hunt Jake down, he goes and kills his stepfather and mother. While Arra tells Roland to visit New York where Walter’s base of operations is.

Walter figures out that he needs someone like Jake to destroy the Dark Tower singlehandedly.

I do not aim with my hand. He who aims with his hand has forgotten the face of his father. I aim with my eye. I do not shoot with my hand. He who shoots with his hand has forgotten the face of his father. I shoot with my mind. I do not kill with my gun. He who kills with his gun has forgotten the face of his father. I kill with my heart.

Trying to hunt Jake down, he goes and kills his stepfather and mother. While Arra tells Roland to visit New York where Walter’s base of operations is.

Walter sends of his minions “the Taheen” to attack Roland but he kills them all in a theatric display of action. Roland and Jake go back to New York as Jake is worried about his mother. He finds her remains at his house, and is heart broken. Roland promises to avenge them teaching him the basics of gun slinging and fighting.

You can order The Dark Tower from here:

The Final Showdown

Jake gets abducted by Walter and is strapped to a machine that uses psychic children’s shine to destroy the tower. Jake keeps resisting the machine and tells Roland about his whereabouts helping him to come for aid. Roland appears then as a final showdown happens with him and Walter.

Darkness is your weapon, guns are mine.

The Dark Tower movie still Idris Elba and Matthew McConaughey

He shoots Walter eventually bending laws of Physics, though it looked rad, it will bewilder you. Ronan then destroys the machine saving all the other children.

Jake: It’s a hotdog.
Ronan: Savages! What breed?

When Ronan is set to return to Mid-World he asks Jake to join him which Jake accepts.

Curtain falls.

The Final Verdict

It wouldn’t be wrong to ask for a better director for The Dark Tower movie. Someone needs to reimagine things and write a better screenplay. I have even a better idea! Turn this into a slow paced and ravishing TV series, and you can engage audience all over again.

Check out the trailer of The Dark Tower here:

 

Get Out Movie Review (2017) | An Intriguing Inventive Mystery

Get Out Movie is sheer genius. It is all because of the concept it entails and its remarkable execution. It puts in you a genuine feeling of horror and keeps you riveted throughout. That’s its biggest strength. That and the amazing story that it carries.

Jordan Peele marks his debut as director in style with a flick that will have you jumping on your seat. It is a breathtaking joyride that is abounding with ingenious revelations, and as you watch on and the threads untangle there is a sense of complacent satisfaction you get in the end that is beyond compare.

Plot Summary of Get Out Movie

Daniel Kaluuya plays Chris Washington who is being invited by Rose Armitage, his white girlfriend, played by Allison Williams to her parents. The otherwise appearing normal family which constitutes of Catherine Keener as Rose’s Mom, and Bradley Whitford as Dad and Caleb Landry Jones as Rose’s brother Jeremy seem to be layering up lies. It becomes obvious to Chris when he talks to the black groundskeeper Walter and housekeeper Georgina that they are all hiding something. Chris goes on to unveil it and then ending up getting trapped into the great horrifying mystery of the Armitages.

still of daniel kaluuya in get out movie

Horror Feel

Get Out movie gives you the chills in a weird way. And no it isn’t a ghastly chill that coats around ghost elements. But instead it packs in some genuine horror in the form of its secret. A secret that would pop your eyes open just like it did for Chris. It builds up on it, its secret as people turn to gaze at Chris, or stop talking when they realize he is out of the scene. You hear your heart skip a beat when you see all the strange happenings. The way he is treated will have you scratching your head for a while until, of course, when the slow revelation begins to happen.

A mind is a  terrible thing to waste.

Everything has been beautifully done, and Jordan Peele makes sure there is plenty of sub-plots left to unfurl. Each of them have been aptly timed. And when you see them reach its revealing end you realize and come to appreciate the genius of Jordan Peele.

You can order Get Out from here:

The Sunken Place (Spoilers Ahead)

If you haven’t watched Get Out movie yet, it would be advisable to stop right here. Because what I am about to discuss will give away the nub of the entire story.

Get Out is beautifully balanced over the concept of hypnotism. While it breaks the general stereotypes people have in mind about hypnotism with an apt sarcasm coming from Chris, it aggrandizes hypnosis altogether by showing its real power. And it is a nightmare for those who consider hypnosis to be a mere meditative game.

We all go through that feeling of being trapped inside our body but what if that happens literally? Jordan milks that concept by presenting us The Sunken Place. A place inside our very own body where we are no longer in control. It is projected in the form of eternal darkness where we end up levitating losing ourselves. All we could do is see but what follows after ends up appearing like a dream.

It is the Sunken place that swallows Chris away as he falls inside his body, a concept that is so beautifully depicted that you can’t help but brood about it for hours. It is also very poetic if you look at it. As if you are shrinking from within and you have been eaten away by yourself. Like your soul has gone dormant and you have become a mere robot for the world to see. Don’t you get that feeling sometimes?

Other Points

It is hard not to notice how uncontrived things are deliberately kept. Get Out tags a realistic feel to it which is extraordinarily amplified by the characters the movie retain. They have all acted brilliantly keeping things as casual as they are supposed to be in the beginning.

You were one of my favorites.

Even at the time of the major outbreak when things begin to crumble and fall, the actors stack up a realistic feel to it. You become thoroughly engrossed and begin to relate with the protagonist. Watching him flutter and flee is hands down one of the most gratifying feeling you get.

By the time the movie reaches its culmination point it banks on some gore that we could have certainly lived without. Some might argue that the level of villainy the antagonists bring to the table is something that deserves an end like that. However the gore even though really satisfying to watch was an unnecessary inclusion. But then again it all depends on people’s taste.

Then the movie also kind of escalates by the end. You don’t expect it to pace up so quickly towards the finish line. The editing is great but the subtle concept ends up not being exploited enough.

Then there is the apparent demarcation it brings by thickening the line of black and white. It exploits that line too by pointing out all the good things the black have and are capable of that the whites want. That they are only rooting for them because of self-interest. Even though the concept is an intellectual thought it comes from the womb of a despicable issue that should die down with time.

The Final Verdict

Get Out movie is a beautifully written horror flick that chugs forward with the help of its astounding concept. It banks on some gore too. But all of it is so satisfactory to watch that you can’t applaud Jordan Peele enough to have thought something so inventive and original in the first place.

It is an intelligible and well crafted mystery movie that should not be missed for the world.

Check out our other movie reviews where Jordan Peele was involved one way or the other.

Check out the trailer of Get Out movie here:

Alien Covenant Review (2017) | The Monstrosity Continues

Ridley Scott‘s Alien Covenant turns out exactly what we expected it to be. Filling in the shoes of a proper sequel Prometheus deserved. It is properly written in terms of story for the better half, then for the remaining half banks on mere cheap thrills to escape from what it aspires to be. Owing to that it ends up having a predictable story-line written to reach a certain end. And you see it coming from far away.

Ridley Scott does make great sci-fi and space movies. A wink at his last project The Martian of course. There’s no doubting him when there is the concept of space entailed. But it is that sense of complacency around this topic, I guess, that is making him a tad predictable. He has been overlooking a lot of things whilst doing so, and that’s not good news for his fans. For instance, he has tuned down considerably on horror. The concept of an alien on the ship is no longer giving us the chills. Why is that? Too much of it? I don’t know.

The Timeline of the Alien Franchise

Alien Covenant is on perfect lines of the Alien timeline which is appearing to be filling in all the right gaps. With the prequel Prometheus setting a new benchmark to pave a purpose, connecting everything has become a lot more fun. Alien Covenant answers a lot of questions and that makes delving into it an intriguing affair.

Here is the timeline we have so far:

93 AD – An Engineer sacrificing himself in a waterfall scene from Prometheus.

2023 AD – Weyland’s speech.

2089 AD – Discovering a star map in Scottish cave

2093 AD – Prometheus expedition.

2094 AD – Destruction of Prometheus. David and Elizabeth Shaw survive.

2104 AD – Alien Covenant film

2124 AD – Alien film

2183 AD – Aliens film

2184 AD – Aliens 3 film

2386 AD – Alien: Resurrection

Forgotten the previous parts? You can order the Alien Anthology from here:

Michael Fassbender as David: Case Study (Spoilers)

Michael Fassbender as David remains the heart and soul of the movie. Just like the prequel where he is the root of the evil, he imparts direction to the Covenant tale as well, showing up at just the right moment. Michael Fassbender also plays Walter who is an advanced android version of David, built to take care of the Covenant ship.

The conversation the duo has wherein David teaches Walter how to play a flute is deep in a way if you pay attention. David is trying to earn Walter’s trust, one of his own kind, at the same time trying to expand the dormant code in him. With Walter bound by his inabilities to channel creation, David helps him show that creation is possible for everyone.

It is poetic in a way if you realize that in real life too people are often convinced that they are not up for creation. But the truth of life is that creation is everything, and that’s what David intends to do. We can find him being mesmerized with the concept of creation when he helps a Facehugger incubate the captain.

The Crime of Our Species

David gets the primal truth behind it. The only setback is that he considers our species to be unworthy of existence. The poetic thing in this whole setup is that just like Engineers created us and then found us to be detrimental, they decided to kill us. In a similar fashion, we too created an android like David, and then by the end realized, his kind should be stopped too, like Walter trying to kill David on discovering about its deformities.

Michael Fassbender as David playing God in Alien Covenant movie

That’s the circle of life that keeps on going. It is befitting in a way as per Shelley‘s poem that David quotes:

Look on my works, ye Mighty, and despair.

The conversation David has with Peter Weyland (Guy Pearce) in the prologue takes us back in time when David was created. With Weyland asking David to serve him and then asking him to join him in seeking answers about his creators has been beautifully presented. David chooses his own name by looking at the eponymous Michaelangelo’s statue. In a way, it depicts his power to be able to do wish for things the way he likes. He isn’t meant to serve, it’s clear from his gestures. His loathsome demeanour to be asked to serve him tea lets you feel how grand he wishes his life to be, and he hates being tied as a servant. He is quick to sense malevolence as well, and his reaction to it is well calculated.

Alien Covenant: The Plot Thickens

When you look at the plot of the movie it is in a way similar to that of the original Alien movie with a crew encountering a signal in space coming from a planet. In reality, they were headed towards Origae-6 as their mission to colonize a planet favourable for life. However, they encounter a radio transmission coming from a nearby planet that forces them to check it out since it promised an atmosphere resembling that of Earth.

On reaching there with a Lander to investigate, they find the crashed Prometheus ship (from the prequel) and discover that it was once piloted by Elizabeth Shaw. On their way back two of their team members get infected by alien spores. We are introduced to Neomorphs then who burst out from the infected people, and attack the rest of the crew. Their Lander gets destroyed in the process, Walter loses his hand trying to save Daniels (Katherine Waterston); that’s when David appears out of nowhere scaring the Neomorphs away.

They follow him to a temple like structure which used to be inhabited by Engineers on the planet. David claims that while arriving on the planet, one of the black goo containers accidentally dropped killing all the Engineers in the process. Also, that owing to the chaos, the ship had crashed and killed Shaw.

Neomorphs Return

One of the surviving Neomorphs attack one of the crew members, who is then later killed by Captain Oram (Billy Crudup) fuming David up. On demanding to know what was he doing on the planet, David takes Oram to a chamber of eggs where Facehuggers laid dormant. He reveals that he used black goo as a catalyst to experiment on wasps to create a Xenomorph the ones we used to see in all the Alien Movies.

He then coaxes Oram into taking a closer look, tacking him against a Facehugger that goes on to kill Oram and then later becoming a Protomorph – an advanced version of neomorph. Walter figures out David’s truth that it was him who had killed all the engineers on the planet by releasing the black goo, and Shaw too who had ended up being a mere sacrifice for his experiment.

Sensing danger David shuts Walter down and attacks Daniels. Walter being the advanced version of David, restarts himself and then confronts David, the fate of which we are deliberately not shown. (You think it was hard to guess?)

protomorph from alien covenant

Meanwhile, the Covenant arrives on the planet to extract the remaining crew with the help of some intermittent communication and a beacon that Daniels uses. The Protomorph follows them attacking the ship trying to make its way inside however is killed by Daniels who uses a crane arm to slay it.

Another Protomorph

There is a Protomorph loose inside the ship after the Covenant is inbound for Origae-6 once again. It had gestated in one of the crew members somehow and goes on to kill two more. With the help of Walter on the controls, Daniels manages to flush it out in space.

As the crew return to their pods for stasis once again, Walter is busy tucking them into sleep. With Daniels being the last one to go, she tells Walter about her dream to build a cabin on Origae-6. But when she realizes Walter doesn’t understand what she is talking about, she sees through him since she had confided about the cabin with Walter once. She realizes it was David all along!

David closes the stasis pod deliberately after which we find him planting two Facehugger embryos amongst the remaining human embryos as the curtain falls.

Major Drawbacks

I think in an attempt to meet what Alien had originally set out on achieving, Ridley Scott has lost focus from the primal question of our existence. While the reason to love Prometheus was to have that inquisitiveness in us to find out the true cause of our origin, with Alien Covenant that question has simply ended up becoming a riddle. While there was so much we could have done with how Shaw could have at least had a shot at knowing more about Engineers, Alien Covenant simply destroys everything in its wake. It doesn’t even let us have a good look at them, or to figure why did they make us in the first place. More importantly, if we were mere experiments like David, why were they bent on killing us?

Instead of answering or even venturing into that enclave Ridley chooses to thrill fans with cheap shots of a Protomorph attacking people in the bathroom, letting them bask in the gore of chestbusters and spinebusters, finding it important enough to show the cliched act of jettisoning, of deliberately keeping people alone to become bait meat and other such dispensable bits.

The predictable stuff that you see from miles away was David cutting his locks to look like Walter. And then Ridley Scott intentionally cutting off the frame to not show the fate, David and Walter were about to come across in their face off. It is almost like he thinks he is being clever but the whole world knows there was nothing subtle about it. You can see the movie being rushed towards its climax as if the only surprise Ridley wished to keep was David under the wraps. It would have been great if Daniels had seen through the android she was always around. But alas! she was too dumb to see through what we figured hours ago.

The Final Verdict

Alien Covenant is great when you have stories to connect. It sieves right in with the timeline it is successfully augmenting itself to. It feels great if you look at the plot from David’s perversion, he is on his way to become a creator himself after all. The flick almost makes you want to question, what if our creator is a monster akin to David?

The movie is great in terms of theatrics, gives you ample focus to focus on, and is well written. But at the same time, it banks on those age-old cheap thrills which are no longer as breathtaking if you have been following the franchise up closely. We are way past waiting for an alien to show up from behind to sneak attack us.

You can check out the trailer of Alien Covenant here: