‘The Dark Tower’ Review

 

The_Dark_Tower_teaser_posterThe Dark Tower is a sci-fi western film based off of Stephen King’s eight-book series. The film actually serves as a sequel to the events of the seventh book The Dark Tower series. The story of the film is very straightforward. Basically what you see in the trailers is the plot of the film. The boy, Jake Chambers, has visions of the Man in Black and the Gunslinger. He finds a portal to Mid-World where he luckily runs into the Gunslinger and they team up to stop the Man in Black from destroying all worlds via destroying the Dark Tower. We are given a little exposition on what the purpose of the tower is in a scene that is reminiscent to Thor explaining the nine realms to Jane in the first Thor film. Going into this film I did not read any of the books as I expected that I would be brought up to speed on the details that happened within their pages. However, the film did not go into much detail on any of the characters, let alone provide any backstory for them. Idris Elba and Matthew McConaughey are fantastic actors and they do their best with the roles of Roland Deschain, the Gunslinger, and Walter Padick, the Man in Black. Their characters have an interesting dynamic that would have played better if they had more screen time together. Newcomer, Tom Taylor, did a fine job as Jake Chambers. He had great chemistry with Idris Elba and most of the scenes they had together worked well. A few of the jokes the writers tried did not translate well on-screen, but that can happen in any film. The mythology that the film sets up is pretty great and they leave the ending open for more sequels. I did have a good time watching it, but I would not have minded if it were 30 minutes to an hour longer. A film of this nature should be longer, especially if they intend to use it to set up a franchise. I feel some of the issues with this film sit with the director. He is not as seasoned as some other filmmakers and probably was not ready for a film of this caliber. Originally, J. J. Abrams was attached to direct when the film was first being produced back in 2007, but ultimately those plans fell through. I could only imagine how great this film could have turned out in the hands of a director like Nolan or Abrams because they understand sci-fi so well. I give The Dark Tower a Normal 6.5/10. I’m interested in seeing more from this universe, so hopefully, it makes enough money to warrant a sequel, prequel, or even a Netflix continuation.

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‘Star Trek Into Darkness’ Review

 

Wow, just wow! This is a sequel done right, as it is exceedingly better than its predecessor! Star Trek Into Darkness joins the ranks of The Dark Knight, Spider-Man 2, and The Godfather: Part II in terms of great sequels. This movie was exciting, daring, tragic, and a had a little comedy thrown in as well. I dare say it’s an Oscar-worthy film. Star Trek Into Darkness picks up sometime after the first film with the crew of The USS Enterprise on a mission to observe a primitive planet. This mission ends with Spock stuck in a volcano and Kirk deciding to save him thus revealing alien life to the natives. Of course, Spock is saved, but Kirk’s recklessness and lies about the mission get him booted from the captaincy of The USS Enterprise. The ship is returned to Admiral Pike and just because he still believes in him, makes Kirk his First Officer. Spock, the former First Officer, was transferred to another ship. Soon after there is a bombing of a Starfleet library in London, orchestrated by John Harrison. He is revealed to be a rogue Starfleet agent who is staging a one-man war against the Federation. A quick turn of events forces Kirk back into the captaincy of  The USS Enterprise and allows him to go after Harrison. My favorite characters in this film were Kirk, Spock, and Harrison. It was the interaction between these three people that drove the plot forward. I must say Harrison is one of the best villains I have ever seen in a film. Cold, quick, and clever, he single-handedly caused more damage to Starfleet than I thought possible. He is not a totally heartless villain though, as it is his heart that drives him on his mission against Starfleet. Spock in this film is more Vulcan than human. We learn later that this is because of the emotional weight he felt after losing his planet and mother. After seeing that he’d rather not feel that much hurt again. In this film, we see a more mature Kirk who would do anything for his crew. Yet he hasn’t changed much as he still sleeps with alien women and doesn’t follow anyone’s rules but his own. This film slightly mirrors Star Trek II: The Wrath of Khan for obvious reasons that I won’t spoil in this review. J. J. Abrams has done a terrific job this time around. I felt as if he made the film just for me. There was a scene where I was getting tired of hearing Bones’ metaphors and Kirk pops in and says  “stop with the metaphors”. I was dead tired from working both of my jobs when I saw this and I thought I was going to fall asleep. This film didn’t let that happen at all, I’m not even sure if I blinked. Clearly, I’m exaggerating, but you get the point. I give Star Trek Into Darkness an Excellent 10/10 because even If it wasn’t Kirk somebody yelled …Khaaaaaaaaaan!!!