TATM: Talkin’ About The Movies #275: The Dark Tower & Detroit




The last Gunslinger, Roland Deschain (Idris Elba), has been locked in an eternal battle with Walter O’Dim (Matthew McConaughey), also known as the Man in Black, determined to prevent him from toppling the Dark Tower, which holds the universe together. With the fate of the worlds at stake, good and evil will collide in the ultimate battle as only Roland can defend the Tower from the Man in Black.


This is based off of Stephen King’s long-going series of books that dates back to 1985 and I, myself, am not acquainted to the books myself so I went into this completely blind with no previous knowledge of the original source material and just going on what I saw in the marketing.

And overall…..yeah, this is still a pretty lame movie, mostly because it basically is for the most part a pilot episode for a TV show, or at least it feels like it. There’s never any point in this movie where it felt like an epic story was about to unfold and it was basically about introducing these characters, getting out exposition, and have a underwhelming battle in the climax.

Matthew McConaughey and Idris Elba do decent acting in this movie and manage to keep you invested in what’s going on but that’s to be expected from both of them with the reputations they have at this point.

The overall action is decent here, the setpieces look nice enough, and there’s a lot of potential that can be done with this franchise.

But the biggest problem with the film comes in how it’s presented. Again, the idea that the general plot is played out for essentially to be a pilot episode-esque storyline for this with also elements taken from Last Action Hero, in fact this whole movie kind of plays out like Last Action Hero, just minus the movies aspect and it’s almost the same film.

Even at 90 minutes long, which for an action movie is incredibly short and you would think that’d be a good thing for this movie, it still drags on and on like one of King’s overlong three hour miniseries.

I don’t consider The Dark Tower to be on the same level that something like King Arthur: Legend Of The Sword or The Mummy were because you can see that the effort is there to try to turn this into a franchise and not just be a quick cash grab like what WB and Universal did earlier this year. That still doesn’t make Dark Tower any better, it is a very disappointing film because of the potential that was surrounding it going in. As somebody who never read the source material, even somebody like me didn’t like this one all that much. Under better direction, better writing, and better keeping Sony Pictures out of the way for the love of god tactics, The Dark Tower still has the potential to become a really good franchise in the future.




A police raid in Detroit in 1967 results in a multi-day riot. The story is centered on the Algiers Motel incident, which occurred in Detroit, Michigan on July 25, 1967, during the racially charged 12th Street Riot. It involves the death of three black men and the beatings of nine other people: seven black men and two white women.


Kathryn Bigelow is one of the real defining action directors out there, making a name for herself directing such films as Point Break, Strange Days, The Hurt Locker, & Zero Dark Thirty so you know you’re in for a great movie when her name is attached to a project.

And Detroit is definitely another winner for Bigelow, delivering a very tight and intense period drama that can also be as topical today as it was 50 years ago.

It also helps to have Mark Boal, the writer of Hurt Locker and Zero Dark Thirty, to write a great script that akins to Kathryn Bigelow’s directing style and can allow actors to showcase how good their performances can be.

The performances in this movie are excellent, great young actors John Boyega, Will Poulter, Jacob Latimore, Jason Mitchell, and Jack Reynor just to name a few get to showcase excellent performances while the more seasoned actors like Anthony Mackie and John Krasinski also work well here too.

Bigelow’s direction is once again top-notch and creates effective sequences of both action and drama nicely along with some great cinematography by Barry Ackroyd and the music by James Newton Howard is very solid too.

There’s nothing really bad I can say about Detroit as a film, it’s overall a really good movie, great acting all around, nice cinematography, excellent direction, great writing, and it’s a really good movie, maybe a little generic for the format the story goes in but overall there’s more than enough here to make this one of the year’s standout films.

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Posted in TATM: Talkin' About The Movies

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