Christopher Nolan - Appreciation Thread

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  • Mallory wrote: »
    Also, an amusing connection (of sorts) to Skyfall
    Mendes is often accused of nicking ideas from Nolans TDK, well now Nolan has lifted a plot point straight from Skyfall. They use recovered bullets to track the next link in the chain early on, much like in SF, they use a bullet to track down Patrice. [\Spoiler]

    Didn't think of that!
  • Posts: 696
    90 minutes away from watching the film! I know next to nothing so I'm pretty much going in blind. Fingers crossed!
  • DaltonCraig007DaltonCraig007 They say, "Evil prevails when good men fail to act." What they ought to say is, "Evil prevails."
    edited August 2020 Posts: 15,534
    Kananga wrote: »
    Who went to see the film today? Was it a packed house?

    At 50% capacity, less than half of the available seats were taken. So about 25% of all seats under normal conditions were filled. It is still the most crowded showing I've been to since re-opening. France box office numbers have been sinking since July.
  • Posts: 681
    This movie is why I almost wished God existed, so that I can thank him/her for making it unlikely that Nolan will ever direct Bond. Spielberg was a missed opportunity, Nolan is a welcome blessing.

    The bloke is really bad at characterisation and any sense of sensuality. Two essential things that Bond really needs. Who wants to see a modest, sexless Bond film? No one. That’s who.
  • JamesCraigJamesCraig Ancient Rome
    Posts: 3,497
    This movie is why I almost wished God existed, so that I can thank him/her for making it unlikely that Nolan will ever direct Bond. Spielberg was a missed opportunity, Nolan is a welcome blessing.

    The bloke is really bad at characterisation and any sense of sensuality. Two essential things that Bond really needs. Who wants to see a modest, sexless Bond film? No one. That’s who.

    This movie has NOTHING to do with Bond. At all. Nolan has never made a "sensual" movie, that's true, but who's to say that he couldn't do that with 007?

  • MalloryMallory Do mosquitoes have friends?
    Posts: 1,741
    The sound mix was *really* bad. I struggled throughout with what the characters were saying (all of them), they were just drowned out by the soundtrack. For a set-up and dialogue heavy film, that isnt great.
  • Posts: 1,150
    Mallory wrote: »
    The sound mix was *really* bad. I struggled throughout with what the characters were saying (all of them), they were just drowned out by the soundtrack. For a set-up and dialogue heavy film, that isnt great.
    Yes, the sound mix was particularly bad anytime someone was speaking with a mask on.

  • Mallory wrote: »
    The sound mix was *really* bad. I struggled throughout with what the characters were saying (all of them), they were just drowned out by the soundtrack. For a set-up and dialogue heavy film, that isnt great.

    Yeah it seemed to accompany every dialogue scene!
  • MakeshiftPythonMakeshiftPython Omaha, NE
    Posts: 6,539
    Not surprised to read about the sound mix. It's become a persistently annoying trait in Nolan's films. I actually remember going to the special screening with the original Bane ADR and you literally could not understand a word he was saying 90% of the time. The re-recorded ADR for the final cut was an immense improvement.
  • JamesCraigJamesCraig Ancient Rome
    Posts: 3,497
    I must admit that at times I could barely understand Bane...
  • Posts: 696
    I wanted to love Tenet but I'm not really sure I liked it. I'm going to have to watch it again. The opening was fine, but I was hoping the movie would continue to get better. I felt at arms length the whole movie as the story was very hard to follow. Films like Inception and Interstellar show that Nolan can pull off these high-concept stories without the audience feeling confused. The pacing is really off as it felt like being in a pinball machine for the first hour. It is a well directed movie, with some really phenomenally great action sequences but it was hard to care with the amount of talky scenes in the movie. I usually love John David Washington but I felt the script let him down. Debicki gave my favourite performance of the film.

    I haven't watched all of Nolan's films, mainly his earlier films, but I can comfortably say this is my least favourite film of his that I have seen. I'll give this movie the benefit of the doubt for now as I'm sure a second viewing may make it better, but this film shows that studios sometimes need to reign directors in a little as it feels like WB just said yes to everything Nolan wanted to do, which may neglect certain audience members.
  • matt_umatt_u better known as Mr. Roark
    edited August 2020 Posts: 4,264
    I said I was excited... I came out frustrated.

    First reason: the film itself. Tenet is all about the experience of witnessing Nolan playing with the notion of time within cinema. It’s a bold and crazy attempt on reflecting of those notions but as story, it sucks. The characters are embarrassingly dull and their interactions are even worse. I hated the score as well. The production values on the other hand are majestic.

    Second reason: going to the movies this way is painful. Distancing, wearing a mask throughout the film, giving your number to the cinema guy before in case someone in the theater would test positive in the future.

    Not a good experience. If NTTD will come out in November I’ll go, but beside Bond I’m done with the theaters with this kind of rules.
  • Red_SnowRed_Snow Australia
    Posts: 2,349
    Saw on it the biggest screen at the local cinema. Only 6 people in a cinema that holds about 240.

    This is the first time I've ever fallen asleep at the cinemas. The constant effort straining to hear what characters were saying really makes it hard to get into the film. Overall the characters, except Robert Pattinison, who is a stand out, are dull and uninteresting, and really lack anything you can connect to. It's hard to care about any of them. For such an interesting concept, I feel Nolan really has created the dullest story possible. Such wasted potential.

    For a film dealing with the manipulation of time, you will likely forget the plot in real time.
  • Creasy47Creasy47 In Cuba with Natalya.Moderator
    Posts: 37,423
    Sounds like the visuals demand a theatrical visit but the sound mixing makes it almost impossible to focus on the dialogue and plot points that are unfolding. Shame.
  • matt_umatt_u better known as Mr. Roark
    Posts: 4,264
    The dialogues are pretty dull, so perhaps is better to just focus on the visual side. After the prologue the film basically starts with a character saying to JDW and the audience itself: Don’t try to understand it. Feel it.

    I don’t know if that’s arrogant or ridiculous.
  • Red_SnowRed_Snow Australia
    Posts: 2,349
    After Bohemian Rhapsody won Best Editing, I wouldn't be surprised if Tenet won Best Sound Mixing >_>
  • In the vein of Spectre winning Best Song?
  • Yikes, definitely sounds like a rental. I'm sure visually it's beautiful on the big screen. But at home, with subtitles will have a better experience.
  • Creasy47Creasy47 In Cuba with Natalya.Moderator
    Posts: 37,423
    Yikes, definitely sounds like a rental. I'm sure visually it's beautiful on the big screen. But at home, with subtitles will have a better experience.

    That's honestly my line of thinking now, too. Save myself some money and have a better, more clear first viewing of the film when the time comes.
  • Posts: 631
    Cinemas really need Tenet to be a smash hit right now in order to stay afloat
  • matt_umatt_u better known as Mr. Roark
    Posts: 4,264
    Cinemas really need Tenet to be a smash hit right now in order to stay afloat

    Given the abstruse nature of the film, I bet it won’t be the case...
  • DenbighDenbigh UK
    edited August 2020 Posts: 5,006
    So I just got back from the film. I had quite a rollercoaster of an experience.

    I agree with most that the film's standouts are the visuals, Robert Pattinson and for me, even Elizabeth Debicki. John David Washington unfortunately feels incredibly lackluster and doesn't do much to really prove himself as the lead, which is a shame considering I've enjoyed his performances elsewhere, but to be honest, besides what he actually does on screen, their isn't much depth to him or any other character, although I did enjoy the little screentime, Aaron Taylor-Johnson had.

    The film will definitely require a second viewing, and at this moment in time, I definitely need some to think the film's plot over, as you can get lost. My biggest qualm with the film is the pacing of the first half. I don't think we spend enough time in one place to really connect with anyone. The scenes are short and you're almost trying to catch up with yourself.
  • Red_SnowRed_Snow Australia
    Posts: 2,349
    Yikes, definitely sounds like a rental. I'm sure visually it's beautiful on the big screen. But at home, with subtitles will have a better experience.

    It seems in trying to create the ultimate theatrical experience, Nolan has created the perfect at DVD experience. Assuming the subtitlers can understand what's being said.
  • DaltonCraig007DaltonCraig007 They say, "Evil prevails when good men fail to act." What they ought to say is, "Evil prevails."
    edited August 2020 Posts: 15,534
    Tenet is opening at number 1 in the UK, France, Germany, Italy, Spain, Poland, Australia, Netherlands, Taiwan to encouraging numbers.

    Tenet is however tanking in South Korea, which was expected to be one of its biggest markets. The $15 million opening is now down to $6 million/$7 million. And there is now a real possibility that South Korean cinemas nation-wide may be ordered to shut down due to the second wave of the Covid-19 pandemic.

    https://deadline.com/2020/08/tenet-christopher-nolan-the-eight-hundred-imax-china-international-box-office-1203024679/
  • MakeshiftPythonMakeshiftPython Omaha, NE
    Posts: 6,539
    In certain theaters there is an option to wear special glasses that provides subtitles for the hearing impaired. I think those might come in handy for those who don't want to strain listening to bad sound mixing.
  • edited September 2020 Posts: 4,364
    matt_u wrote: »
    I said I was excited... I came out frustrated.

    tenor-9.gif

    I echo this sentiment entirely.

    I really wanted to love Tenet. However, it's such a dull thud of a movie. Which is odd, as this is clearly Nolan trying to make an entertaining action film. Nonetheless, you exit the cinema a little less energised than you were going in.

    I was desperately trying to keep up with the plot. But - around two-thirds in - I started wondering if either I was just too stupid to understand it, or the storytelling was dismal. I think it's the latter. Eventually, I just gave up and waited for it to finish so I could go home.


    John David Washington is a naturally charismatic performer (the first shot we see him is a doozy). But he’s weirdly muted here. Though he does a great job in the action and looks damn good in those gorgeous suits. Also, the spark he’s supposed to have with Elizabeth Debecki isn’t there, which leaves a big motivation problem in the latter stages of the film. This dynamic doesn't work and Tenet is a very sexless and staid film.

    Even the time travel stuff doesn't quite work. Despite all the nifty bits of reverse chronology, there’s little that lingers in the imagination in the same way as some of the sequences in Memento or Inception. Instead, the time-wimey stuff just exacerbates quite how messy and unintelligible the plot is.

    Speaking of the plot; I have zero idea of the what, how or why of anything that occurs in Tenet. It's a shockingly incoherent movie. For example, in the scene the Protagonist gets caught by Sator after the car chase. Even measured against Nolan’s usual origami plots, Tenet stretched my comprehension to its limits.

    2956.jpg?width=660&quality=85&auto=format&fit=max&s=9189ed6ce0c530df8d5bfd4a2b02dbcb

    Indeed, take away the time-bending gimmick, and Tenet really is just a series of timidly generic set pieces: heists, car chases, bomb disposals, more heists. But gosh, Nolan does blow stuff up good. And that’s not nothing. This is a big-screen film in that sense.

    Debicki has an interesting enough role and she's good for a couple of scenes. But the whole 'mother' angle feels so very trite and the final shot is unearned. It's Pattinson (and his terrific jawline) that steals the show. His louche and suave spy is a gem. When he's in his military gear for the finale, I only saw James Bond (JDW also could make a convincing Bond). The suggestion of a Doctor Who-River Song dynamic between their characters is devastatingly unexplored here. It almost feels like there is a better movie that Tenet is teasing us with here.

    Nolan usually does a great job with villains, but Sator is embarrassingly bad. Once again, he's a collection of token cliches and Branagh's ham spoils. Also, the whole Fitbit gag isn't funny; I look forward to it dating in another 5 years.

    However, all the characters are really cyphers. They are saddled with Nolan's dreadful exposition-laden, undergrad dissertation theorising. Which isn't helped as you can hardly hear a word due to the sound-mixing.

    I did bloody loved the score by Ludwig Goransson though. Also, another shout-out to the suits.....

    rev-1-MGR-00881-MSG_High_Res_JPEG-1597969169-928x523.jpg

    I saw it today at the BFI IMAX at Waterloo (which was around 50% full for those interested). Some of those shots in 70mm are quite something. Most of the film plays in the square aspect ratio. The action is something else: That plane crash! The opening opera siege! (The latter is my favourite; the first 5 minutes are pretty terrific and intense)

    mYDRRFd6BJgqfxjAyPYEX9.jpg

    But, overall, this is a bad film and Nolan's worst.

    ⭐⭐/5
  • edited August 2020 Posts: 5,735
    Good ideia, poorly executed. One of Nolan's worst, IMO.

    Awful casting with no charisma. No one in this film has the presence to be a protagonist, ironically. Ro-Pat looks like something someone scraped from the sole a shoe (as ever), and J.D. Washington can't hold a candle to daddy. Debicki reprised her role from the Night Manager (it's the same bloody character), and didn't Branagh play a similar character in a Jack Ryan film? Kudos to Himesh Patel and Taylor-Johnson for bringing some x-factor to their characters.

    About the plot, I got it, I understood every single bit and I guessed most of it throughout. I once wrote a complicated novel about Time, and I get it that it's not easy to execute this sort of gimmick, but this is cinema, and Nolan needed 10 hours of a TV series to introduce these concepts.

    Also, this was Thunderball 2.0, or 3.0 if you're anal about it. A villain on a yacht with a girl under his thumb and a "radioactive/nuclear" world menacing plot? How original.

    It's a soulless film, we don't spend enough time in a place to appreciate it.The soundtrack, if I can call it that, is appalling. And again, IMO, van Hoytema is the most overrated cinematographer in the business (again, even a tv series like The Night Manager looked better).

    The freeway scene was the dullest since the 3rd Matrix film. The plane crash was well crafted (better than CR's, even if that one never did fully happen). There were also one or two blatant continuity errors, particularly in the very end.

    Oh well, I'm a Nolan fan, but I'm not his worshiper. One thing is for certain, I don't want him near a Bond film. Ever.

    And that's my review, if I can call it that ;)
  • Saw this last night. Can't say that I followed every last plot detail on first viewing but I found it to be a thrilling experience and masterfully crafted from an aesthetic/film making standpoint. That being said, there's not much here as far as emotionality or character development. The concept of time inversion is the star of the film and most of the characters are objects used to explore (and explain) this concept rather than fleshed out people with well drawn arcs, motivation, etc. I think going in with that expectation makes it a much more enjoyable experience.

  • JamesCraigJamesCraig Ancient Rome
    Posts: 3,497
    There was a double booking so I haven't seen it yet. :((
  • Posts: 681
    And again, IMO, van Hoytema is the most overrated cinematographer in the business

    You can call the DP of Her, Ad Astra, Tinker Tailor Soldier Spy, Let the Right One In and Dunkirk overrated all you bloody want. It will reflect on you, not him.
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