Sunday Sesh: Let’s Just Not Watch The Dark Tower

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Warning: probably mild spoilers, maybe, I dunno. I don’t really care because I’m mad. So how about this. Warning: very angery butthurt. That should do it.

Keep your eye on the ball.

It’s coming in, don’t take your eye off of it.

You’ve got the plan down. You know when to swing.

Keep your eye on the ball.

Everything comes down to this. 

All the work you’ve put in. 

Keep your eye on the ball.

SWINGANDAMISS.

And so begins a film franchise over a decade in the making, the first installment of Stephen King‘s The Dark Tower series. The books are a must-read for fans of basically anything–with traces of western, horror, sci-fi-fi, dystopia, and fantasy all playing equal parts–but the first movie that was released this weekend is a maybe-see only for those who haven’t read the 7-book series. I’m really not intending to be snooty here, but it genuinely feels as if screenwriter Akiva Goldsman and director Nikolaj Arcel took every book of the series, dumped the words into a big heaping pile, set that pile on fire, plucked out random words that didn’t get too badly burned, and tossed those into a screenplay and script.

The book series centers around Roland Deschain, the last gunslinger in a ruined world who relentlessly and obsessively moves toward the Dark Tower, a powerful structure that holds every parallel dimension and alternate world together. If the tower falls, the universe falls. His deep complexities in his relationships to others and to his own past drive the story forward, culminating in powerful ways throughout the books. The movie centers around Roland Deschain, a guy who’s real mad at another guy and wants to shoot him up real good. His unconvincing beef with the man in black doesn’t do much for the story you want to hear, boring the audience in powerful ways throughout the movie. I guess there are some good shooting parts and decent visuals.

Look, I hear all the time that you need to take movies separately from their books. I tend to think that’s a load of garbage, but I was honestly more ready to do that with this movie that any other adaptation I’ve seen (those who have read the book and understand the horn know what I mean). Even then, the mark is way too far off to ignore. Matthew McConaughey‘s Walter came across like a sleazy Vegas casino boss rather than the intensely enigmatic and frustratingly elusive Man in Black from the books, and his completely out-of-order association with the low men and Taheen at this point stripped him of his mystery and independent power. With far more time spent in New York than in Midworld, Roland’s hard-chiseled mystique is only barely hinted at, with a flimsy revenge plot being his sole motivator (gimme a break with Walter’s “stop breathing” hand gestures). More than anything else at this point, Roland should be motivated by the tower. He brushes that quest off for much of the movie, only returning to it because Jake’s mom died, I guess? Then Jake shoots a can, Roland shoots a machine and saves New York, and now Jake is a gunslinger. Put a Hollywood bow tie on it and never make another one, please.

I have way too many issues to name with this adaptation, and I didn’t want this post to turn into a novel on its own for which Arcel would butcher a movie adaption, but I want to strongly suggest that fans of the books should just leave this one alone.  It just really felt like the studio didn’t want to commit to a long and drawn out franchise à la Harry Potter, so it took cluttered aspects of each book and crammed them into a stuttering 90 minutes. Based on this movie, there is no Wolves of the Calla, and The Drawing of the Three apparently happens after The Wastelands and portions of Song of Susannah and The Dark Tower. And The Gunslinger, which could have been adapted to an excellent first movie with a little extra exposition, was hacked to pieces until you were basically left with the desert. No speaking ring, no palaver at the Western Sea, no under the mountain, no “other worlds than these.”

So go see it if you want, but keep your expectations aggressively low. You may enjoy a good portion of the action, but a botched order and stunted attempts at way too many things have utterly ruined any hope I have for long-term success here. Maybe it’s time for round three through the books. Talk Dark Tower below with me, or just go for an open swim.

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  • Lacertilian

    Friend/Film Reviewer/Anyone: “There’s this incredible new movie based on this super interesting concept, excellent direction, and special effects”.

    Me: “Who’s in it?”

    Everybody: “Matt McConaughey/Matt Damon/Tom Cruise”.

    Me:

    https://uploads.disquscdn.com/images/c907c4c0c96cc45b53c226a04aa0b0ad2eb01a71c9627e9daee5de8a64a98a45.jpg

    • frozengoatsheadupanunsarse

      Seems like lots of people like to talk about how Tom Cruise is a solid underrated actor, but the only films I’ve seen him be any good in are Interview With The Vampire and Collateral and I don’t think either was much of a stretch.

      • Dubby Fresh

        Tom Cruise is literally just Tom Cruise in every role he plays. It’s impossible to think of him as an actual character nowadays.

        • I have this problem with most big actors.

          • Dubby Fresh

            Same. Tom Hanks and Gary Oldman seem to be some of the only ones who don’t come off that way to me.

          • JWG

            Will Smith is 100% the worst at it, though.

            “..And Starring Will Smith as A Character Who Looks Like Will Smith But Whose Name Is Totally Not Will Smith So You Don’t Mistake Him For Will Smith, even though this film’s Will Smith (sorry, [Whatever His Name Is]) is based on a comic book, novel, or historical character who was never written or recorded as being anything like Will Smith but since Will Smith Can’t Play Anyone Except Will Smith We Totally Rewrote the Character to Basically Be Will Smith So We’d Only Have To Pay Him A Few Million More Than He’s Worth Just To Add ‘Star Name Power’ To Our Film (We Hope It Works!)”

          • Howard Dean

            Will Smith is 100% the worst at everything.

          • BobLoblaw

            The ones I really cant stand are the fad actors like Jason Segel, Rebel Wilson and the like that are shoved into everything imaginable while they are still a valid source of income.

        • Lacertilian

          buuutttt he dose all his own stuntz

          Oh great, so he’s cutting a trained/qualified hardworking stuntman out of his measly 3 days of pay per film too.
          Fucking scab.

      • He seems like a good actor. He also seems like he is completely devoid of personality, and allows other things in life to define him (like that pesky cult). So if it’s true that he’s pretty much an empty shell, I can see how acting would be a strong suit. A director can give him all kinds of notes and he’d just follow them, like a job.

      • I liked his role in Tropic Thunder, but beyond that, I have a hard time separating him from the Scientologist douchbag that he is.

        • Ted Nü-Djent ™

          You complete me.

      • TheGranulatingDarkSatanicMilfs

        I liked him in that South Park episode about the closets

      • Óðinn

        I haven’t seen those films, and I don’t like Cruise personally. I do have to admit that Magnolia and Edge of Tomorrow were good though. But yeah, he’s not underrated. Overrated, if anything. Plus, he’s in a weird-ass cult.

        • Count_Breznak

          He also has a tendency to play characters that are discribed as about double his actual height in the source material.

  • Brutalist_Receptacle

    “Not alright, not alright, not alright.”

  • Dubby Fresh

    I’ve long been convinced that The Dark Tower would be impossible to adapt to film. If it has to be adapted, it should be a tv show.

    • Brutalist_Receptacle

      BEST. STEPHEN KING ADAPTATION. EVER.
      https://youtu.be/F3J0iwwsq-w

    • Stockhausen

      Honestly, I really don’t think it’s impossible. It would just take a really dedicated studio, director, and crew to tackle each book individually or strategically combine some. Here’s my ideal breakdown for movies:

      Movie 1:
      -The Gunslinger plus Tower-specific exposition. Don’t leave anything out, the whole ordeal in Tull needs to be told to better understand Roland and his nature. The speaking ring, the events under the mountain, and the palaver with Walter’s mind-expanding monologue need full attention. Add the Tower-specific exposition because I remember finishing that book and thinking “I have no idea what the Dark Tower actually is,” which is not ideal for a movie audience (although I like the mystery).
      Movie 2:
      -Drawing of the Three plus the first half of The Wastelands. The movie ends just before the climactic scene in the house on Dutch Hill.
      Movie 3:
      -Quickly finish The Wastelands, possibly altering the Lud ordeal to a few really awesome shootout sequences that cut out the Tick Tock Man, and emphasize Roland’s shift toward caring about his friends and his efforts to save Jake. DO NOT LEAVE OUT RIVER CROSSING AND THE TOWNSFOLK’S REVERENCE FOR ROLAND, GILEAD, AND HIS GUNS.
      Movie 4:
      -Wizard and Glass. Leave out the dumb Wizard of Oz castle/reappearance of Walter and the Tick Tock Man at the end and end with them getting to Calla Brynn Sturgis. The end should start to work in Susannah’s ordeal (if that’s even necessary).
      Movie 5:
      -Wolves of the Calla with a huge, proper battle sequence at the culmination. I’ve heard a lot of criticism of how short that part is, but I honestly thought it felt right due to Roland’s repeated mentioning of how it’s always over in an instant. But for a movie, drag that junk out. The first 30-45 minutes can cover the Andy the Messenger Robot’s conspiracy with Benny’s dad and the truth of the wolves, then a good long battle sequence, then get a good ways into Song of Susannah. There would be plenty of justification to omit the whole Mordred thing based on his possession of the horn, so that could speed things along quite a bit and leave room to develop King’s involvement. And don’t you dare leave out Roland and Eddie’s battle with Balazar’s guys at the gas station/general store in Maine. This could be the first movie to significantly break the two hour mark.
      Movie 6:
      -The Dark Tower. Could be pretty variable depending on adaptations due to him having the horn. Spend more time in Discordia (maybe I’m biased) and maybe make that more than just a passing through point, which could then leave out Dandelo/Odd Lane. If he has the horn, presumably he still has his friends. If he has his friends, he may not need that whole Patrick/art thing, because that was fairly weak. They get to the tower together and save the day.

      So now that I’ve typed that out, you’re probably right. It should be a TV series.

      • Howard Dean

        Whoa, this is a great breakdown. I’d watch this series.

      • PostBlackenedWhaleGaze

        I haven’t seen the movie yet (and currently in the middle of the fourth book), but them leaving out scenes like when Roland and Walter speak and like 100 years pass was a big mistake. They could’ve made an awesome mindfuck moment with that.

        Or the line that Jake says before he falls in the mines, “there are other worlds than these” or whatever, then proceeds to fall to his death. That would’ve been great.

  • “The movie centers around Roland Deschain, a guy who’s real mad at another guy and wants to shoot him up real good”.

    Didn’t knew Stephen King based his book on the 99.9% of the Venezuelan culture.

    • On the real, good review. I’m going to probably watch it, but that quote is all I know from The Dark Tower *gvlp*.

      • Stockhausen

        Honestly, it’s worth a watch and you’ll probably enjoy it having not read the books. I know it doesn’t sound like it from the review, I actually enjoyed a good portion of it until the deviations became too significant.

    • TheGranulatingDarkSatanicMilfs

      Get drugs involved and you have got the Mexican culture

    • Óðinn

      Stephen King will do whatever it takes to make money.

  • Howard Dean

    Definitely will not watch this because I love the book series and I’ve heard nothing but bad things about this film. Complete poop.

    They done fucked up.

    • Dubby Fresh

      I was very skeptical when the trailer came out, but the reviews sealed it.

    • Stockhausen

      Stick to that. It’s not even a matter of “maybe the next installment will save it,” because this first movie cuts out SO. MUCH. POSSIBILITY. Wolves of the Calla isn’t really possible anymore, and anything leading to Algul Siento is going to have to be significantly reworked or omitted completely. That leaves Eddie’s fate up in the air, but since he and Susannah aren’t in this movie at all (despite covering points from all seven books) I have no real idea how that might be handled. The Drawing of the Three might happen in some weird order now, but The Wastelands probably won’t get a proper treatment because of how this movie glossed over it. Wizard and Glass is pretty standalone, and it’s supposed to be the focus of the forthcoming TV series I’ll inevitably power through, provided it actually happens. Anything after that is going to be contrived, packed with filler, and even more radically changed.

      • Howard Dean

        Yeah, that sounds terrible. No thanks!

        Instead I think I’ll plan to reread the books again someday when I have a bit more free time (and don’t already have a stack of new books waiting to be read).

  • Hollywood’s barely producing any original content anymore. It’s a constant barrage of sequels, remakes, adaptations and just plain garbage. I’m not familIar with the book, but I’m not shocked that they fucked this up. Maybe they did it intentionally so they can come back in a couple years and do a reboot.

    • BobLoblaw

      Why think of something original when you can just switch the genders and tell the same story.

      • Óðinn

        People a gonna be piiiissed when they find out that Magic Mike is being remade with an all female cast. 😉

        • Stockhausen

          Coyote Ugly is getting a re-re-boot?!

        • BobLoblaw

          Wasnt Magic Mike just a male Showgirls?

          • Óðinn

            Probably.

    • Óðinn

      Maybe they can throw in Spider-Man and Batman too. 😉

    • Stockhausen

      Yeah that constant pattern kills me. I despise this years-long rut the industry has been in with reboots, sequels, superhero garbage, and adaptations being the sole focus. I hung on to and followed The Dark Tower adaptation progress for years and years because it’s such a different type of story, and a proper rendering would have felt genuinely fresh. I can list a billion ways that the Lord of the Rings movies really screwed up from the books, but the scope and diehard focus of that franchise was an adaption that I felt was truly worth it. I was hoping for the same thing with The Dark Tower. But in the Year ov our Lord 2017, when the bazillionth unrelated Spider Man movie was just released, I was a fool to get my hopes up.

      Side note: Have you seen The Road? That’s another book adaptation that was wonderfully executed. Maybe Viggo Mortenson (who was in LotR and The Road) is the key to success.

      • Yes, I saw that and enjoyed having not read the book. I like Cormac McCarthy based on my love for the No Country For Old Men movie and have heard that’s pretty faithful to the book. Thought The Conselor was good as well. I particularly enjoy the fact that it was not well received because it basically didn’t have a happy ending.

  • Fine Sexy Ladies

    This really makes me hope that the remake of It doesn’t blow.

    • TheGranulatingDarkSatanicMilfs

      When I was a wee lad, the 1990 TV adaptation used to scare me so much I could not see it all the way to the end; I’d usually turn off the TV about an hour into it.

      Then one day I decided to man up and watch it all the way to the end, saw the stupid ending with the giant puppet spider, and ever since that day I don’t find it scary anymore

      • Stockhausen

        Yeah the puppet spider scene was abysmally weak. Now it taints the whole movie for me.

        • Strapping Old Fart

          Exactly.

    • JWG

      This goes both for the inevitable remake of it, and of the remake of IT…

    • Óðinn

      TBH, it (or It) will probably suck. But, it is possible that it won’t. We’ll just have to wait and see.

  • Joaquin Stick

    I’m probably going to wrongly not follow your advice and see it anyway. I don’t know why. I read the series again recently just to prep for the movie so I feel like I have to? Maybe if they sell enough tickets they’ll make that true-to-the-book Wizard and Glass TV series they keep promising.

    • Stockhausen

      I feel you. I felt like I had to see the movie, just like I’ll have to see all future installments no matter how bad I know they’re going to be. I went in with the lowest expectations and honestly enjoyed a decent amount of it, but even when I was enjoying it I definitely did not feel like I was watching The Dark Tower.

  • GoatForest

    Ok. I wasn’t psyched for this movie anyway. I’ll dodge it.

  • KJM, Anla’Shok

    Dang. That’s too bad.

  • KJM, Anla’Shok

    Once on a long ago birthday, 2 different friends who didn’t know each other at all both got me the deluxe paperback version of Drawing Of The Three as a gift.

  • Lone Biker of the Apocalypse

    This is rather heartbreaking to read – the seven main Dark Tower books may collectively be the best thing I’ve ever read. I only started on them after reading every other SK book my local library had, and by about halfway through The Drawing of the Three, I was hooked. https://uploads.disquscdn.com/images/c833f8ef841b6955233a1e36961c61c0d5e438903b16a82beecab754e54a7198.jpg

  • gacharicmeatspin

    Ya know, I overheard some “anti-SJWs” complianing that gunslinger is portrayed by a black guy in this movie, and thought: “whatever”. Some months later I found out that there’s a pre-teen orgy in King’s “It”. So I looked it up on reddit and fans were like: “It’s all symbolism, it’s justifiable” and shit. You know what, motherfuckers? “Dark Tower” symbolizes big black cock and you deserve this shit, you degenerates.

    • Óðinn

      Plus, it’s a Stephen King story. He’s not really a very talented writer. Prolific, yes. But his writing just isn’t very good.

      • Carlos Parlo

        Harold Bloom is just a hater. Seriously, there’s more than a little jealousy in every critique of King he’s ever made. I think King is seriously under-appreciated by the literary “elite” simply because he’s sold so many goddam books. It’ll take 100 years or so to know how his work stacks up but as a popular writer who captures a time, place and tone and just throttles an enjoyable story forward I find very few comparable writers. 11/22/63, The Stand, Wizard and Glass and several others rank with the best popular fiction written in the U.S.

        • Óðinn

          Yes. He is popular and prolific. No question.

  • Me

    Roland is white. I had zero interest after I found out this guy was cast.

    • BobLoblaw

      Hes also from another universe….

      • Óðinn

        The Fox universe? 😉

      • Me

        ….and?

        • BobLoblaw

          They should have cast a reptilian.

          • Me

            Roland has always been tall, lanky, white, blue eyes…..having a black Roland really messes up book 2 and his relationship with Odetta. The whole thing was just a disaster. I hope sequels are shelved.

          • Stockhausen

            That image of Roland was a really tough one to let go for me, but I do think Idris Elba did a great job of portraying a hardened, weary guy with the weight of the world on his shoulders (though for a lot of wrong reasons, like I listed above). That being said, I don’t think I’ll ever truly let go of the Clint Eastwood image that’s been in my mind for years and years.
            And the tension between Detta and Roland in the book is definitely race-driven, but I think that could be an easy fix in an on-screen adaptation. Eddie is with Roland at that point in the book and they’re working together to bring Detta/Odetta back, and I could easily see Detta hating Idris Elba’s Roland as something of a “race traitor” for his relationship with Eddie, which would easily fit with her character. Not to mention she’s already an angry person who was forcefully dragged from her world into a completely alien one.
            But either way, the movie was a disaster. I would like it to be quickly forgotten then restarted as a Netflix series over a few seasons.

          • Óðinn
          • Óðinn
    • gacharicmeatspin

      “Dark Tower” stands for BBC.

    • KJM, Anla’Shok

      Cucks!! They’re all cucks I tells ya!!

  • Óðinn

    I’m not familiar with the Dark Tower stories. But apparently, many whiny fanboys are butthurt because Idris Elba was cast in this movie. They don’t think his skin color is acceptable.

    http://www.cinemablend.com/new/Dark-Tower-Producer-Has-Blunt-Message-Who-Don-t-Like-Idris-Elba-105537.html

    • BobLoblaw

      I was unaware of that being a criticism until this post. After looking into it and seeing Akiva Goldsman’s explanation it becomes problematic. When you say that the criticism that comes from changing a characters race is nothing more than racism, you downplay every argument against whitewashing. That or you hold some ridiculous double standard, I think they call it cognitive dissonance. Look no further than Netflix’s Iron Fist for this. A white character was cast as white and the internet was in a completely ignorant uproar.

      • Óðinn

        I didn’t have a problem with either character being cast personally.

        • BobLoblaw

          I couldnt care less who they cast in what as I will only care about maybe 2 movies a year (whether they are in theaters or not isnt a part of that) that are usually devoid of these fabricated controversies. How long before they blame the “racist assholes” for poor ticket sales a la the Ghostbusters remake?

          • Óðinn

            I work in the film industry. Usually, that’s what casting is about, the ticket sales. That’s why many characters get “whitewashed”. Scarlett Johansson gets to play Ghost in the Shell because she guarantees ticket sales. An unknown Japanese actress would not likely get the anywhere the ticket sales for a major budget Hollywood movie. They really only have one shot at the box office. It’s partly because she has star power, and in the United States, race is a part of why people would’t see a movie about a Japanese woman. Let’s not pretend that it’s not a factor.

            In the case of this film (Dark Tower), it sounds like acting ability and possibly the Directors own vision and politics played a role in the casting. But so what? If anything, racist asshats don’t get blamed for enough in America. Idris Elba is a talented actor. I didn’t see the Ghostbusters movie, but I read the online comments from whiny fanboys, the same ineffectual little boys who were a part Gamergate, Metalgate, etc., and they got mad because women were cast in a film. Big fucking deal. Since when is The Ghostbusters so sacred? And Yeah, that Milo Yiannopoulos paedophile was fomenting racial hatred about one of the actresses in the movie, and his fucktard fans followed along. It was way out of line. He was comparing her to a monkey. As far as I’m concerned, somebody should drag Yiannopoulos outside and kick his teeth down his throat.

          • BobLoblaw

            Theres scumbags everywhere. Of course “star power” plays a role and Idris Elba being an excellent actor in his prime makes him a good choice, especially when you can stir up some controversy along with it. It doesnt make it bold or artistic just smart from a business perspective. The casting of Ghostbusters didnt bother me as much as it being a shoddily put together remake cash grab. When it didnt do well it was because of misogyny, same scapegoat that Amy Schumer used on her last atrocious attempt at standup. I certainly hope you dont think im some alt right douche for seing hypocrisy.

          • Óðinn

            Amy Schumer is just objectively not funny.

            Nah. Don’t think you’re an alt right douche. I didn’t see Ghostbusters. The first one was bad enough. I was surprised by the level of outrage though. I still can’t see why it matters that women were cast in the movie. Why do people need to get mad about that? I just don’t feel that way at all. Although I understand what you mean, I disagree about the hypocrisy. If whitewashing wasn’t a real issue, I’d agree with you. I think the power relations when it comes to casting fall heavily in favor of white actors in America. So I don’t see it a hypocritical to cast a non-white actor, even if I think the Director may have done it on purpose. He’s not doing it because he dislikes white people, or because he thinks white people can’t handle the role. If anything, he’s doing it, in part, to point out the issue of whitewashing. But, of course, you’re free to have your opinion. We’re still friends.

          • BobLoblaw

            BFFs but its textbook hypocrisy to defend the changing of one characters race/gender but denounce another based solely on the gender/race and not story or context. It is literally the same thing.

          • Óðinn

            In a vacuum, maybe. But this a social issue.

            I see it as:
            a) Changing a character’s race to a white character to appeal to a largely white audience (some of whom are racist, consciously or not), in an effort to make more money.

            or

            b) Changing a character’s race from a white character, in one of the rare cases that you think you can, in an effort to point out the problem with item “a”.

          • BobLoblaw

            Youre giving them way too much credit for pointing out problems. Its money and nothing more. How can you make more money from a base product? Have some form of controversy, bonus points if the controversy makes you look good and you can denounce any criticism with an easy word like racism or misogyny. Death at a Funeral (hope you never saw it) had an almost simultaneous release of a white version in Europe and a black version in the U.S. Was that some grand social statement? Or is it easier explained as appealing to a group specifically and if so is that wrong?

          • Óðinn

            Well, to certain extent, I am guessing. I didn’t cast Idris Elba, so I don’t know the reasons 100%. Casting a man for his dark skin color to make more money would be a change from the usual though. Can’t say that’s why they did it either, although I know it doesn’t usually work that way.

            I’m not too familiar with Death at a Funeral, but it was one British version, and then the one in the U.S. I doubt that particular film was a statement. I don’t even think The Dark Tower as a “grand” statement. A social statement by the Director, perhaps. It’s not uncommon to remake British films and dumb them down for American audiences. In this case, and I could be wrong, the idea to remake the film was Chris Rock’s, and he also stars in the film. He’s African American. But the specific group in this case was Americans.

          • BobLoblaw

            I was wrong about how closeley they were released. I thought they were almost released in the same year. Im not saying the movie was “blackwashed”, just that it isnt necessarily wrong or evil to target a certain demographic and the criticisms of that practice are usually mired in double standards.

          • Stockhausen

            For what it’s worth, I think some confusion and minor backlash in the case of The Dark Tower was justified, as Stephen King has always talked about modeling Roland directly from Clint Eastwood for the 40+ years he’s written/envisioned The Dark Tower story. There’s constant talk of Roland’s steely “blue bombardier’s eyes” throughout the series, and that Eastwood-like, Spaghetti Western image of Roland has been genuinely iconic for decades in the minds of fans. I had no problem with Idris Elba’s casting and his performance was one of the few bright spots in the movie, but it didn’t settle well when I first heard he would be Roland the same way anyone different from Clint Eastwood wouldn’t settle well. His casting felt a bit like what Bob described as “[having] some form of controversy, bonus points if the controversy makes you look good and you can denounce any criticism with an easy word like racism or misogyny.” I don’t think it was purely that, because he was more than qualified for the role on acting merit, but it was a jarring choice because what I mentioned above. So like I said, I think some confusion and minor backlash (emphasis on minor) was justified. Unfortunately, the internet doesn’t do too well with “minor” backlash and jumps straight to the worst traits of humanity.

          • Óðinn

            Yeah. I do understand that. Thanks, Stockhausen. I’m still not sold on a major film studio deliberately courting unnecessary controversy to promote a film. Even for major film studios, spending well over $50 million on a film is a gamble to a certain extent. When films lose money, it’s a big deal. Pissing off racist” joe six packs” by casting someone for controversy isn’t something they’d likely want to do. If anything, film studios want only good press about their films. Bad press is way too much of a risk. You could literally lose $50 million (or more) on one film. This is an action film with lots of gunplay. Racist middle-America types make up a great deal of that audience. I’d guess that it’s more likely that Sony didn’t think it would be an issue. I’m a Hollywood liberal elite, so I see racism as a real issue, not something to dismiss casually as the reason a film went bad. I doubt the executives at Sony see it that way either. Either way, Sony’s not going to feel better because they can say they’re better than a bunch of racists. Everybody already knows that’s true. They genuinely want the film to succeed.

            I do get your point though. I guess Game of Thrones didn’t follow the books exactly. I may have felt some minor disappointment.

            …I guess I forgot to rant about it on the internet. 😉

          • Stockhausen

            Yeah you definitely make some good points, I agree that no Hollywood studio is going to potentially blow 50 million to look good by “courting unnecessary controversy” (good phrase). While I do think diehard fans had decent justifications to rationally say “Hey hold on a second,” I think Sony wrote it off as a non-issue because A) Idris Elba is a great actor, and B) The book series has more of a cult following and not nearly the widespread fanbase as something like Harry Potter or whatever young adult stuff is being adapted now, and C) The preceding reasons give enough padding for Bob’s point I mentioned not to be too much of a risk. I can’t imagine C was a primary motivator because that would be really shallow and risky, and I don’t think that would be the case for a liberal-yet-money-minded institution like any Hollywood studio. All that is to say I agree with both of you while fully acknowledging that my opinions are formed from thousands of miles away from where these things are happening, possibly rendering them slightly moot. I’d like to thing we’re at some sort of agreement, albeit from somewhat different angles.
            And Sony kinda succeeded, because The Dark Tower did well in opening weekend box-office figures. But in critical reception…it…uh…….LOL.

          • gacharicmeatspin

            Bro, I was on Gamergate’s side back in the day, even though I wasn’t an active supporter, and yeah, some ignorant bigots tagged along, but the main issue was corruption in press. Secondary was completely surrel and messed up influence of far left on gaming outlets, and lemme tell ya, far left is just as fucked up as far right, and god knows what the hell does either have to do with vidjagames. It wasn’t really some unfounded whining, shit was pretty absurd.

            And I think Milo Yiannopoulos is gay, not paedophile, which isn’t any better, I guess. But that’s neither here nor there.

          • Óðinn

            Um…Okay. Thanks.

  • Hotdog Clifford

    I had a bad feeling when I saw the first trailer. It just seemed to me that whoever was making the movie had not even read the books.

  • Óðinn

    Now, can we talk about the casting of Matthew McMonaughey?

  • Strapping Old Fart

    OK, thanks for the heads up, I’ll avoid it. As I avoided every Stephen King adaptation ever after seeing It. How sad, an honest attempt at this magnificient series would have been interesting.

  • Howard Dean

    I was behind a pickup truck with the vanity plate “Ka-Tet” this morning. Wasn’t expecting that.

  • Mike A. Buonpastore

    Nailed it.