THE DARK TOWER (2017)
Dir. - Nikolaj Arcel
Cast: Idris Elba, Matthew McConaughey, Tom Taylor, Claudia Kim Jackie Earle Haley, Fran Kranz, Abbey Lee,
Screenplay - Akiva Goldsman, Jeff Pinkner, Anders Thomas Jensen, Nikolaj Arcel
Based on THE DARK TOWER novels by Stephen King
Music - Tom Holkenborg
Dir. of Photograpy
- Rasmus Videbaek
Edited by - Alan Edward Bell,
Running Time: 95 mins.
Dist.: Columbia / Sony
(**** on a scale of 1-5)
VAULTED TREASURES: MOVIES AND MORE YOU NEVER KNEW ABOUT, YOU FORGOT, ... OR FORGOT TO LOVE THE FIRST TIME AROUND. IT'S OKAY, WE'LL FORGIVE YOU!
And speaking of "forgive", forgive me if this sounds a tad arrogant. It isn't, I swear! It's more a matter of "I just really don't care!". Now, "Is that any better?" you may ask. Hell yeah, it is! Arrogance is self-aggrandizingly insufferable. "I don't care" simply means one's opinion concerning what one likes and dislikes is based upon one's own decision making process and / or (for whatever random reasons in that infinitesimal universe) one's predilections, tastes and what fires / triggers one's own imagination regardless of the tastes, predilections et al of everyone else out there, ... or even Rotten Tomatoes' (they themselves admit) unscientific aggregate scoring process. That kind of positive "I don't care" mentality (as opposed to the negative and often self destructive kind) is not only "okay", I've always thought it downright necessary.
What many people just can't seem to fathom however is that this doesn't mean my take is "right" while someone else's is "wrong", ... or vice versa. It just means (for whatever reason) my take is MY take, and I enjoy that take just as another should enjoy THEIRS without caring what I think or feel about it, or why. That said, this isn't any kind of "review" or "apology" or "debate bait" concerning summer 2017's film adaptation of THE DARK TOWER as directed by Nikolaj Arcel and based upon the series of novels by Stephen King. As I said, I really don't care whether you liked it or not, ... which isn't the same as "I don't care that you have an opinion". It's important and necessary that you do. Now, as long as we're all clear and cool on that ...
I picked up THE DARK TOWER on Blu-ray the other day, and did a rewatch earlier tonight. Twas the night after Christmas, and all through the house, Craig had been so exhausted from the previous days activities he fell asleep on the couch. Hey, that rhymes! He awoke, popped the Blu into the player, cranked the sound (an awesome 5:1 mix) and actually liked it even more now than he did when he saw it theatrically - which is saying something because he really dug it back then too. Now, for those who say, "It isn't Stephen King's DARK TOWER books!", well, yeah, no sh*t Sherlock! Oh, and this part is a little arrogant - fair warning. The first DARK TOWER novel "The Gunslinger" (which King envisioned as a cross between Tolkein's LORD OF THE RINGS stories and Leone's "Dollars" trilogy of Spaghetti Westerns) was published in 1982 before some of you out there reading this were even born. So, re-phrasing Danny Glover in LETHAL WEAPON, "I was familiar with THE DARK TOWER before (some of) you were even an itch in your Daddy's pants". Always loved that line.
Well, let's maybe say it's at least there for those who can see around the fact that their favorite scene from THE DARK TOWER books maybe didn't make it into the narrative cut of this introductory chapter. Me personally, I'll take the subtext, characters and thematics (as that's what truly makes King "King") over the monsters and interdimensional bells and whistles any day of the week, ... as much as I DO happen to love all of those bells and whistles in and of themselves. At any rate ...
Plans are still on for the TV continuation, and Elba and Taylor are at present slated to reprise their roles. That could change of course depending upon how long, and under what circumstances, the TV incarnation takes to get into gear. And while McConaughey didn't commit beforehand to return as The Man In Black (time and contractual matters will later determine such), he was mentioned as a favored candidate by some to portray "Randall Flagg" (an earlier physical representation of the "Man In Black" character) in the still-in-development big screen version of King's THE STAND.
Oh, and in keeping with the Leone western parallels, McConaughey's character is a deliberate (albeit satanic) knock-off of Lee Van Cleef in opposition to Elba's "Eastwood / Man With No Name" - right down to both McConaughey and Van Cleef always being decked out from head to toe in black. For those familiar with King's 1984 "medieval" fantasy novel THE EYES OF THE DRAGON, you'll recall that "Flagg" is the central villain of that one too. And in keeping with the more Joseph Campbell-like mythic crossover elements within THE DARK TOWER (hints of which also even pop up in Stephen King and Peter Straub's novel THE TALISMAN, by the way), we also know that the Gunslinger's pistols are fashioned from the metal of Arthur's Excalibur sword. Yeah, there's a lot of inter-connectedness going on here.
Think I'll do yet another early A.M. viewing. In the meantime ...
"Never forget the Face of Your Fathers". And ...