Christopher Nolan - Appreciation Thread

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  • GadgetManGadgetMan Lagos, Nigeria
    Posts: 3,845
    Ludwig Goransson's TENET score was released today. What a Score! I can't stop listening to it. Goransson might have given himself another Oscar nomination.
  • MalloryMallory Are you ready to get back to work?
    Posts: 1,445
    @GadgetMan It will be nice to listen to it at an acceptable decibel amount! 😂
  • GadgetManGadgetMan Lagos, Nigeria
    Posts: 3,845
    Mallory wrote: »
    @GadgetMan It will be nice to listen to it at an acceptable decibel amount! 😂

    Lol, Yeah, @Mallory....but it's fine though.
  • RichardTheBruceRichardTheBruce I'm motivated by my Duty.
    Posts: 9,145
    Saw TENET after work. Complex. I couldn't understand absolutely every plot point or every piece of dialog due to the masks and background noises in the scenes. Enough to be totally engaged for sure.

    I loved it. Will see it again tomorrow with the family. No Bond trailer tonight, looking forward to that on the big screen as well. A movie experience to remember for sure.
  • ThunderfingerThunderfinger Enemy of the state
    Posts: 41,641
    Saw TENET after work. Complex. I couldn't understand absolutely every plot point or every piece of dialog due to the masks and background noises in the scenes. Enough to be totally engaged for sure.

    I loved it. Will see it again tomorrow with the family. No Bond trailer tonight, looking forward to that on the big screen as well. A movie experience to remember for sure.

    I had the fortune of seeing it with subtitles, so had no problem following any of it. I can understand people who didn t catch some of the dialogue getting confused at times. The trailers shown here were for The New Mutants and a Norwegian film, Børning 3. There weren t many people attending, which was quite lovely. The only extra precautions taken were I had to give my phone number, and that people were scattered.
  • RichardTheBruceRichardTheBruce I'm motivated by my Duty.
    Posts: 9,145
    That's on my mind to search out the subtitles accommodation for my wife, @Thunderfinger. For myself, it's actually enjoyable to return to the film for discovery and to relish the moments I already keyed in on.

    I greatly enjoyed the simultaneously complex but straightforward presentation and ethos behind things. It's golden Nolan makes films his way.
  • ThunderfingerThunderfinger Enemy of the state
    Posts: 41,641
    That's on my mind to search out the subtitles accommodation for my wife, @Thunderfinger. For myself, it's actually enjoyable to return to the film for discovery and to relish the moments I already keyed in on.

    I greatly enjoyed the simultaneously complex but straightforward presentation and ethos behind things. It's golden Nolan makes films his way.

    Probably movie of the year. This has probably been mentioned before, but it s hardly a coincidence that the title is a palindrome.
  • RichardTheBruceRichardTheBruce I'm motivated by my Duty.
    Posts: 9,145
    Martin Blank: Dooon't rush to judgment on that until all the facts are in.

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  • DaltonCraig007DaltonCraig007 They say, "Evil prevails when good men fail to act." What they ought to say is, "Evil prevails."
    edited September 2020 Posts: 15,534
    Poor word of mouth is lowering Tenet's projected opening weekend in China to $30 million. Roughly the same as Dunkirk (which made $50 million total in China). It was projected to open to $45 million, but a very slow opening day has ruined the chances of that number being possible.

    The domestic box office opening weekend for Tenet is projected to be around $24,500,000.

    China's total (based on opening weekend)* + Domestic's total (based on opening weekend) + current international total would put Tenet at around $250 million world-wide. On a budget of $200 million.

    * Assuming the film's legs are strong, which sadly does not seem to be the case based on audience reaction.
  • ThunderfingerThunderfinger Enemy of the state
    Posts: 41,641
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    The rebus dates back to the Roman Empire.
  • RichardTheBruceRichardTheBruce I'm motivated by my Duty.
    Posts: 9,145
    Saw TENET again last night, this time with the family and in a better theater. Definitely benefitted from familiarity and a superior sound system.

    Loved it even more, understanding more of Nolan's internal logic to this created world. As a thread through the story he sold me on The Protagonist and why he does what he does. His sense of duty. It's touched on several times to make sense of things, not least at story's end.

    Movie theater experience was fine, I have a couple anecdotal things. Walking to our theater I could hear the sound of the No Time To Die from another--but it wasn't shown in ours. I'll have to see it with a future visit.

    Last, the Mulan 27 May banner was on display. Unless there's some contractual thing involved, they need to extricate it.
  • edited September 2020 Posts: 2,408
    Saw it last night (with hands over my ears at certain points). For a movie to get audiences back out to the cinema again after lockdown, Nolan has done the seemingly impossible by making a film that would be far better watched at home, with the volume control in hand.

    First the sound - definitely the worst experience I have ever had at the cinema. I knew something was up right from the off, as the Bond trailer was too quiet, and the Dolby advert didn't come on either. Something wasn't right.

    I complained to Vue 3 times during the film, because the dialogue scenes were too quiet. Then someone tampered with it and the action scenes became truly deafening. Later the manager admitted they had initially turned the sound down due to several complaints earlier yesterday about it being too loud. This has to be a first for me. That a chain cinema felt the need to tamper with the standard set volume.

    So it was like watching a movie at home with a bad surround system. First you turn it up during the quieter moments so you can hear dialogue better, then turn it down again when all hell breaks loose, and every channel gets pushed to the max. Unfortunately in the cinema we had no such control at our disposal. How this sound got mixed and given a thumbs up as good to go is truly baffling. The dialogue is barely audible throughout.

    Then the story. Too difficult to follow. I was lost from the beginning. People say you need to watch it a few times to understand it better, but is that the sign of a great film, or a great filmmaking talent? That it is incoherent to many on first viewing?

    I was a huge fan of Nolan before seeing this, as he was my ideal choice as director for Bond. Thank Christ Babs stood her ground and didn't choose him as director. This proved the man is only human, and does have it in him to make a bad movie after all. This is Nolan's 1941 moment, without doubt. Let loose with no reigns, and he is a bad director. Nolan is no Kubrick (another director who could get absolute control over a major Hollywood budget), and this film proves it once and for all. Nolan indulged to excess, and the film suffers greatly because of it.

    An abysmal mess of a movie, which is a crying shame, because there were some great ideas in there trying to get out, just let down by bad storytelling and an absolutely shocking sound mix. The person who did it should never work in film again, although Nolan needs to share the blame too, as he had ultimate control over this.
  • DaltonCraig007DaltonCraig007 They say, "Evil prevails when good men fail to act." What they ought to say is, "Evil prevails."
    Posts: 15,534
    Tenet opening weekend in China: $35,050,000.

    Tenet US opening weekend: between $9,750,000 to $10,500,000.

    Tenet second international weekend: $52,000,000.

    Tenet current word-wide total: $150,000,000.

    Tenet has barely beaten the opening domestic weekend of The New Mutants.
  • Creasy47Creasy47 In Cuba with Natalya.Moderator
    Posts: 34,988
    Oof, that's not ideal at all.
  • MalloryMallory Are you ready to get back to work?
    Posts: 1,445
    Thats not good. But we’re not in a world anymore where a film lives or dies on its opening weekend. This is now a marathon and Tenet is the only film in town for a very long time.

    But barely $10m is poor, no two ways about it.
  • DaltonCraig007DaltonCraig007 They say, "Evil prevails when good men fail to act." What they ought to say is, "Evil prevails."
    edited September 2020 Posts: 15,534
    Mallory wrote: »
    Thats not good. But we’re not in a world anymore where a film lives or dies on its opening weekend. This is now a marathon and Tenet is the only film in town for a very long time.

    But barely $10m is poor, no two ways about it.

    Unless Wonder Woman 1984 gets delayed, as it comes out in just under 4 weeks from now. 2 weeks after that, Candyman and Death on the Nile are releasing, and another 2 weeks later is Black Widow which will further take screens away from Tenet.
  • The film rightly deserves to tank - big time!
  • CraigMooreOHMSSCraigMooreOHMSS Dublin, Ireland
    Posts: 6,476
    The thing is that, regardless of what one thought of the film, we kind of need it to do well in order to help ensure we get other releases this year.
  • matt_umatt_u better known as Mr. Roark
    edited September 2020 Posts: 3,502
    Waiting for tomorrow’s WB total, but if those unofficial US numbers will be confirmed, well, that’s catastrophic. I don’t see WB sacrificing WW84 in a month, IF this is what the US box office can make.

    EDIT: Deadline reports $20+ millions (counting Canada as well where the film came out last week).
  • DaltonCraig007DaltonCraig007 They say, "Evil prevails when good men fail to act." What they ought to say is, "Evil prevails."
    edited September 2020 Posts: 15,534
    UPDATE: Warner Bros. has finally released the official numbers: Tenet has grossed an estimated $20.2M through Labor Day weekend domestically (including all preview & Canadian grosses).

    That is a 4 day domestic opening weekend of $20,2 million, instead of the normal 3 days. If you remove the Canadian box office results, Tenet has barely grossed $10 million at the US box office this weekend. It was projected to open at $25 million.
  • matt_u wrote: »
    I said I was excited... I came out frustrated.

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    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.

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    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.....

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    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)

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

    ⭐⭐/5

    So....I ventured back to theatres today to see Tenet. Firstly, it was a great experience (and even saw the Dune teaser!).

    I feel this is a movie designed to be seen multiple times. In fact, a number of my criticisms above feel somewhat redundant on a second viewing. Tenet is, effectively, a puzzle and part of the draw is finding all the angles and seeing how the strings are brought together.

    I found it to be a deeply immersive and, actually, a pretty fun film. I think my initial criticisms stand, but there is something deeply complex and about this film that beggars repeat viewing. Nolan has clearly done his best to tie the story into as neat a bow as he can, and it is fairly seamless once you know where to look.

    It almost felt like the film was revealing itself to me in a new way the second time around. It was helped by the sound-mix not being so overbearing so I could now hear the dialogue (though the score was less impressive in the mix in this cinema - which I suppose I could trade-off on second viewing).

    But this is a deeply stylish, complex and gorgeous espionage thriller. Even if it is flawed, it is certainly ambitious. That in itself is worth your time. The fact Nolan has that much faith in his audience to keep up with him is pretty great testament to his faith in the audience. In this respect, Tenet is definitely worth a rewatch. If it's still in cinemas in November, I'll be sure to venture out and catch it again...

    I'll upgrade my rating to ⭐⭐⭐⭐/5

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  • RichardTheBruceRichardTheBruce I'm motivated by my Duty.
    Posts: 9,145
    Folks can take it or leave it, of course.

    Seeing it twice, I think part of why I'm taking to the film is that I'm reacting to it as an immersive experience. That was already on my mind before being mentioned above. I'd heard the feedback that dialog was difficult to hear (glad for that), and that's cooked into the assault on the opera house/other scenes with the masks and industrial backgrounds and more.

    Reminds me how the intense opening to Quantum of Solace turned some folks off on their first viewing, frustrating complete understanding of every detail for what's going on. But there's plenty of sound and vision to follow the action and plot through those sequences.

    So Tosca's not for everyone is my thought. And it's good Nolan does things his way.

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  • Posts: 7,087
    Interesting to read your second review, @Pierce2Daniel. I probably have to see the film for a second time myself if it can improve the experience this much.
  • TripAcesTripAces Universal Exports
    edited September 2020 Posts: 4,284
    Saw it tonight. First thoughts:

    1. Not among Nolan's best efforts.
    2. Goransson's score is fantastic...I had him on the short list for Bond 25 a few years ago.
    3. Quite similar to Inception
    4. This is close to what a Nolan Bond film might look/feel like.
    5. Speaking of Bond: I am more convinced than ever that Pattinson would have made a great James Bond.
    6. No sound problems at my theater.
    7. Did I get this right? Neil was Kat's son?
    8. Damn, is Elizabeth Debicki sexy.
  • edited September 2020 Posts: 4,350
    jobo wrote: »
    Interesting to read your second review, @Pierce2Daniel. I probably have to see the film for a second time myself if it can improve the experience this much.

    Absolutely...So much of my enjoyment the second time stemmed from actually being able to hear the bloody film's dialogue! Initially, I went to the BFI IMAX, which was an a amazing experience, but the dialogue was close to inaudible. Everything else was VERY LOUD. The second theatre I went to was a local one. They had clearly lowered the mix.

    This time, the score was turned down and the dialogue was turned up. A good example is the car chase where Gorannson's score was more of a low hum. At the IMAX, the sound on the chase nearly blew my head off. I saw the film yesterday with 3 other people - who were all seeing it for the first time - and they all understood the plot no problem. Sound is so so important to a film as complex as Tenet.
    TripAces wrote: »
    Saw it tonight. First thoughts:

    7. Did I get this right? Neil was Kat's son?
    8. Damn, is Elizabeth Debicki sexy.

    I think it's implied heavily that Max is Neil....After all, the last thing Neil said was 'See you at the beginning' and during that final sequence, whilst you can hear Neil narrating something poignant and the Protagonist watches Kat and Neil walk off. Plus, 'Neil' is the last 4 letters of 'Maximilien' backwards.

    That ending with Kat and Max felt pate and cliched the first time I saw Tenet. But the second time, it's puzzle-book ambiguity began to emerge.

    Also, Debicki is a marvellous actress. But 'sexy' is not a word I'd describe her with. She's elegant and regal instead. It's one of the big problems that Tenet has, it's a very chaste film. So sexless and lacking a sense of mischief. Something the Bond films always did well....

    Really the 'Neil' character should have been made to be a woman. That was the real 'Bond girl' of the film. I could imagine Natalie Dormer in the role...though R-Patz was immensely charming as the English dandy.

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  • GadgetManGadgetMan Lagos, Nigeria
    Posts: 3,845
  • DaltonCraig007DaltonCraig007 They say, "Evil prevails when good men fail to act." What they ought to say is, "Evil prevails."
    edited September 2020 Posts: 15,534
    GadgetMan wrote: »

    Doesn't explain why Tenet has grossed so low domestically ($11 million). That's just over $4 million more than The New Mutants's opening weekend.
  • GadgetManGadgetMan Lagos, Nigeria
    Posts: 3,845
    GadgetMan wrote: »

    Doesn't explain why Tenet has grossed so low domestically ($11 million). That's just over $4 million more than The New Mutants's opening weekend.

    Yeah. It's just that The Eight Hundred is now on 336.3million from a budget of 80million. So I thought that is huge considering the times we live in.
  • Posts: 587
    GadgetMan wrote: »

    Doesn't explain why Tenet has grossed so low domestically ($11 million). That's just over $4 million more than The New Mutants's opening weekend.

    You do know covid is still prevailing in the Gucci states right?
  • DaltonCraig007DaltonCraig007 They say, "Evil prevails when good men fail to act." What they ought to say is, "Evil prevails."
    Posts: 15,534
    GadgetMan wrote: »

    Doesn't explain why Tenet has grossed so low domestically ($11 million). That's just over $4 million more than The New Mutants's opening weekend.

    You do know covid is still prevailing in the Gucci states right?

    Let me rephrase the question: whose brilliant was it to release a $200 million budget film in the middle of a global pandemic? A $11 million opening might seem strong given the current situation, but it is an abysmal number when putting the budget into consideration. Tenet will need legs not achieved since Titanic to even reach $100 milllion domestic. It is likely that the last chance this film had of breaking even has disappeared after this weekend.
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