Poll

If WB maintains plans to release TENET in theaters 7/17 (CCI weekend) will you go?

Yes
1 (14.3%)
No
4 (57.1%)
I'll wait to see what the world is like July 17
2 (28.6%)

Total Members Voted: 7

Voting closed: August 03, 2020, 11:36:14 AM


Author Topic: TENET - Nolan's latest plowing ahead to open in theaters  (Read 1272 times)

Offline perc2100

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Re: TENET - Nolan's latest plowing ahead to open in theaters
« Reply #15 on: January 12, 2021, 08:30:04 AM »
Finally caught up to TENET last night.  The film has only two types of scenes: 1)characters give exposition dumps 2)huge action set-pieces.  Sometimes it pulls a 'ROCKY IV' and has multiple exposition dumps in a row: like, a character will be in a meeting where another character will exposition dump and send the other character off to meet with another character who will do another exposition dump.  I don't think the film "story" (I use 'story' fairly loosely) is as confusing as it is non-existent.  TENET feels like Nolan had a crazy idea he just never figured out how to coherently communicate. 

That being said, I kinda like it!

John David Washington is a legit movie star.  I really liked him in BLACKKKLANSMAN (as did Nolan, which is how/why he was cast in TENET), but he kicks it up a few notches here and really shines.  Kenneth Branagh is also having fun as the bad guy.  The action set pieces are indeed off-the-hook impressively done: staging, effects craft, shooting, editing.  As much as I love THE DARK KNIGHT, some of the action is really edited/shot poorly (like the Batpod chase is almost a textbook example of poor editing/staging in the sense that it REALLY muddles film 'geography' and is fairly incoherent beyond "good guy chasing bad guy" base levels); Nolan has clearly learned a lot since those days a decade ago and TENET action feels like legit pique Nolan's talents.

TENET feels like Nolan expanding (broadly) on ideas he had in MEMENTO with a ginormous budget but less to say.  I truly believe he just didn't know how to effectively communicate his crazy story into a visual medium.  But for me, at least, it worked juuuuuust enough to not be pissed that I spend 2.5+ hours watching the film.  The forward/backward action stuff is a clever idea that's executed superbly, even if the whole inversion concept doesn't really make a ton of sense: at least the film makes sense within its own 'universe,' and I can respect that aspect.

Part of me feels like a far more interesting film would be the documentary of Nolan pitching the bug nuts crazy idea to WB and WB then immediately handing him a quarter of a billion dollars to shoot this insane idea!  I realize at this point Nolan is handed a blank check from WB to keep him happy (at least they did; they kinda took a bath on TENET mostly due to COVID, so I'll be curious to see if his next film is a bit more scaled back) because of all he's "given" WB: "A Nolan Film" is a genre unto itself nowadays, and I respect that for the most part.  Pulitzer Prize-winning film critique Roger Ebert liked to talk about films with "mumbo jumbo quotient," and it would've been fun to read what he had to say about TENET: a film Roger likely would've said had a "high mumbo jumbo quotient."  He too would go along with the silly and the insane as long as the movie entertained him, and I wonder if TENET would've crossed the line into 'too much' mumbo jumbo for him, or if he would've had fun with the spectacle and admired the craft (with the exception of Washington and Branagh I'm not sure any of the other acting is all that commendable - not bad, mind you, but more..."serviceable" than good).

TENET is a rare film that I don't know if I'd recommend it other than for sheer curiosity value.  I think this film is for a particular audience, and I don't know exactly who it is.  I suspect plenty of folks will be into the action and will just go along with the mumbo jumbo exposition dumps to get to the next amazing action scene.  I found the action well made, and was at least fascinated by the mumbo jumbo.  I don't think this is a film I feel the need to see again any time soon, but it was a ride I didn't regret.

Offline MickeyJack

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Re: TENET - Nolan's latest plowing ahead to open in theaters
« Reply #16 on: January 12, 2021, 08:52:06 AM »
I just watched it this weekend. I'm a huge Christopher Nolan fan. Not everyone has the patience, but whether I track with the whole film or not, there is always something that completely blows me away. Nolan could film paint drying, and I would watch it. I have to agree with you on every single point you made in your critique.

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Re: TENET - Nolan's latest plowing ahead to open in theaters
« Reply #17 on: Today at 02:43:17 AM »

Offline perc2100

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Re: TENET - Nolan's latest plowing ahead to open in theaters
« Reply #17 on: January 12, 2021, 08:56:37 AM »
One other aspect about TENET I truly enjoyed was Ludwig Göransson's score.  I really enjoy Göransson's composing in general; his "The Mandalorian" stuff perfect capture the western + samurai vibe within the SW universe well, and his BLACK PANTHER music is outstanding.  Here he gives Nolan's film a truly unique soundscape with his music: not exactly industrial-sounding, pretty percussive and articulate.  One thing I picked up on is that just like the film, the 'melodies' are written so that they work both forward & backwards melodically and structurally: I think it even has a slightly different modality forwards and backward - like, one 'direction' has a major key sound while the other a more 'minor' and darker sound.  It was most obvious to me during the big land-battle scene at the end, with the Red & Blue team attacking from both 'sides' of time (forward and inverted), though it was a concept that was on my mind pretty early on.  Göransson is a pretty outside-the-box thinking composer so I suspected he had some tricks up his sleeve!  Even if you don't pay attention in depth to music I think the music itself not only works really well with the film, but feels incredibly unique in a Nolan film.  Nolan typically uses Hans Zimmer, and in this case Zimmer had to pass because he was working on DUNE.  Göransson has a unique sound of his own, and the way he meshes his sound w/Nolan's visual style creates a really distinctive timbral experience that I really dug.  Ludwig Göransson is quickly (for me) becoming a musical voice that I'm seeking out and wanting to hear more of, and I'm glad he's had opportunities not only in the indie world (he was college roommates with director Ryan Coogler and has scored all of his films starting with the award-winning short Coogler made at USC, as well as FRUITVALE STATION), as well as the mainstream (TENET, BLACK PANTHER, "The Mandalorian," CREED, etc).  I dunno if he's a mainstream musical voice, but his stuff works so well with the films, and especially here in TENET
« Last Edit: January 12, 2021, 09:01:30 AM by perc2100 »

Offline lliving

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Re: TENET - Nolan's latest plowing ahead to open in theaters
« Reply #18 on: January 17, 2021, 06:28:20 AM »
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Finally caught up to TENET last night.  The film has only two types of scenes: 1)characters give exposition dumps 2)huge action set-pieces.  Sometimes it pulls a 'ROCKY IV' and has multiple exposition dumps in a row: like, a character will be in a meeting where another character will exposition dump and send the other character off to meet with another character who will do another exposition dump.  I don't think the film "story" (I use 'story' fairly loosely) is as confusing as it is non-existent.  TENET feels like Nolan had a crazy idea he just never figured out how to coherently communicate. 

That being said, I kinda like it!

John David Washington is a legit movie star.  I really liked him in BLACKKKLANSMAN (as did Nolan, which is how/why he was cast in TENET), but he kicks it up a few notches here and really shines.  Kenneth Branagh is also having fun as the bad guy.  The action set pieces are indeed off-the-hook impressively done: staging, effects craft, shooting, editing.  As much as I love THE DARK KNIGHT, some of the action is really edited/shot poorly (like the Batpod chase is almost a textbook example of poor editing/staging in the sense that it REALLY muddles film 'geography' and is fairly incoherent beyond "good guy chasing bad guy" base levels); Nolan has clearly learned a lot since those days a decade ago and TENET action feels like legit pique Nolan's talents.

TENET feels like Nolan expanding (broadly) on ideas he had in MEMENTO with a ginormous budget but less to say.  I truly believe he just didn't know how to effectively communicate his crazy story into a visual medium.  But for me, at least, it worked juuuuuust enough to not be pissed that I spend 2.5+ hours watching the film.  The forward/backward action stuff is a clever idea that's executed superbly, even if the whole inversion concept doesn't really make a ton of sense: at least the film makes sense within its own 'universe,' and I can respect that aspect.

Part of me feels like a far more interesting film would be the documentary of Nolan pitching the bug nuts crazy idea to WB and WB then immediately handing him a quarter of a billion dollars to shoot this insane idea!  I realize at this point Nolan is handed a blank check from WB to keep him happy (at least they did; they kinda took a bath on TENET mostly due to COVID, so I'll be curious to see if his next film is a bit more scaled back) because of all he's "given" WB: "A Nolan Film" is a genre unto itself nowadays, and I respect that for the most part.  Pulitzer Prize-winning film critique Roger Ebert liked to talk about films with "mumbo jumbo quotient," and it would've been fun to read what he had to say about TENET: a film Roger likely would've said had a "high mumbo jumbo quotient."  He too would go along with the silly and the insane as long as the movie entertained him, and I wonder if TENET would've crossed the line into 'too much' mumbo jumbo for him, or if he would've had fun with the spectacle and admired the craft (with the exception of Washington and Branagh I'm not sure any of the other acting is all that commendable - not bad, mind you, but more..."serviceable" than good).

TENET is a rare film that I don't know if I'd recommend it other than for sheer curiosity value.  I think this film is for a particular audience, and I don't know exactly who it is.  I suspect plenty of folks will be into the action and will just go along with the mumbo jumbo exposition dumps to get to the next amazing action scene.  I found the action well made, and was at least fascinated by the mumbo jumbo.  I don't think this is a film I feel the need to see again any time soon, but it was a ride I didn't regret.
Always enjoy your movie insights, and have been looking forward to seeing your thoughts on TENET.  I enjoyed John David Washington in this role as well and thought some of criticism of his acting seemed more about Nolan.  Frankly, I’d love to see another spy thriller with Washington and Pattinson, filled w/ snarky quips back and forth. I struggled with understanding some of the “Mumbo Jumbo”, because at times the dialogue for me was hard to hear.  I chalked it up to FM quality of the sound at my local Drive-In, but have seen that complaint in other reviews.  This movie did give me an idea for cosplay at the next SDCC.  I am going to be “The Protagonist” and dramatically walk backwards everywhere while dressed in regular clothes(maybe I’ll add an oxygen mask, too)


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Offline perc2100

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Re: TENET - Nolan's latest plowing ahead to open in theaters
« Reply #19 on: January 17, 2021, 12:53:22 PM »
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Always enjoy your movie insights, and have been looking forward to seeing your thoughts on TENET.  I enjoyed John David Washington in this role as well and thought some of criticism of his acting seemed more about Nolan.  Frankly, I’d love to see another spy thriller with Washington and Pattinson, filled w/ snarky quips back and forth. I struggled with understanding some of the “Mumbo Jumbo”, because at times the dialogue for me was hard to hear.  I chalked it up to FM quality of the sound at my local Drive-In, but have seen that complaint in other reviews.  This movie did give me an idea for cosplay at the next SDCC.  I am going to be “The Protagonist” and dramatically walk backwards everywhere while dressed in regular clothes(maybe I’ll add an oxygen mask, too)


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If there were _any_ doubts about John David Washington after his breakout from BLACKKKLANSMAN, they ended with his performance in TENET.  He is every bit the movie star (and his own man/actor) as his father, and DAMN that's really exciting to me!  I agree, I'd love to see buddy-spy thriller with Washington & Pattinson!  Pattinson is another actor who feels incredibly underrated, even though his body of works, especially post-Twilight, are filled with interesting roles/movies/directors.

Looking forward to "The Protagonist" cosplay (and thanks for the warning - hopefully I'll remember by next Comic-Con so I can be on guard to dodge of your way as your come backwards-whooshing in my direction  :P )

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Re: TENET - Nolan's latest plowing ahead to open in theaters
« Reply #20 on: January 17, 2021, 03:20:07 PM »
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Offline Chris

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Re: TENET - Nolan's latest plowing ahead to open in theaters
« Reply #21 on: May 03, 2021, 02:25:50 PM »
Finally saw it.  Well acted, shot, and good music, but I have no idea what was going on.  I don't mind being challenged and having to think through a movie, but this one gave me brain freeze like 12 Icees through a beer bong headache.

Christopher Nolan is a great director, but I wish he would lay off the time warping shenanigans.

On a positive note, I thought Robert Pattinson was actually decent.  Never thought I would say that.

Offline TardisMom

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Re: TENET - Nolan's latest plowing ahead to open in theaters
« Reply #22 on: May 03, 2021, 02:34:05 PM »
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Finally saw it.  Well acted, shot, and good music, but I have no idea what was going on.  I don't mind being challenged and having to think through a movie, but this one gave me brain freeze like 12 Icees through a beer bong headache.

Christopher Nolan is a great director, but I wish he would lay off the time warping shenanigans.

On a positive note, I thought Robert Pattinson was actually decent.  Never thought I would say that.

Usually when I don't understand a movie or tv show I'll go online and google and try to figure out what I'm missing.  With Tenet it wasn't possible.  No one got it.  And agreed, Pattinson was good.  All the acting was good, it was the story that was lacking.

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Re: TENET - Nolan's latest plowing ahead to open in theaters
« Reply #23 on: May 03, 2021, 03:07:41 PM »
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Usually when I don't understand a movie or tv show I'll go online and google and try to figure out what I'm missing.  With Tenet it wasn't possible.  No one got it.  And agreed, Pattinson was good.  All the acting was good, it was the story that was lacking.

Yeah, I may need to watch something incredibly straightforward like Tokyo Drift to get my brain back to equilibrium.

Offline perc2100

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Re: TENET - Nolan's latest plowing ahead to open in theaters
« Reply #24 on: May 03, 2021, 07:06:26 PM »
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Finally saw it.  Well acted, shot, and good music, but I have no idea what was going on.  I don't mind being challenged and having to think through a movie, but this one gave me brain freeze like 12 Icees through a beer bong headache.

Christopher Nolan is a great director, but I wish he would lay off the time warping shenanigans.

On a positive note, I thought Robert Pattinson was actually decent.  Never thought I would say that.
I was glad to at least be able to watch this film at home w/the benefits of closed captioning.  While I do have a bit of hearing loss, it was apparent with hearing aids + good headphones that the sound mix of TENET is pretty awful, at least as far as dialogue is concerned.  This was definitely a film where I was more appreciative of the craft vs getting into the story.  It didn't help that Nolan HAD to put face masks over actors' faces in order to obfuscate who's who to make the end twist a surprise for the audience; that made the action scenes pretty muddled, especially the huge climax, trying to figure out who's-who.

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Re: TENET - Nolan's latest plowing ahead to open in theaters
« Reply #25 on: May 03, 2021, 08:48:03 PM »
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I was glad to at least be able to watch this film at home w/the benefits of closed captioning.  While I do have a bit of hearing loss, it was apparent with hearing aids + good headphones that the sound mix of TENET is pretty awful, at least as far as dialogue is concerned.  This was definitely a film where I was more appreciative of the craft vs getting into the story.  It didn't help that Nolan HAD to put face masks over actors' faces in order to obfuscate who's who to make the end twist a surprise for the audience; that made the action scenes pretty muddled, especially the huge climax, trying to figure out who's-who.

Yeah, the sound mix didn't help with the complexity of the plot.

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Re: TENET - Nolan's latest plowing ahead to open in theaters
« Reply #26 on: May 03, 2021, 09:23:42 PM »
Forgot to mention that I thought that the lead sounded like Denzel at times.  Then I read that he was Denzel's son.

I felt a bit silly at that point.

Offline perc2100

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Re: TENET - Nolan's latest plowing ahead to open in theaters
« Reply #27 on: May 04, 2021, 10:13:02 AM »
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Forgot to mention that I thought that the lead sounded like Denzel at times.  Then I read that he was Denzel's son.

I felt a bit silly at that point.
Yeah he has some of the same inflections in his voice as his dad.  There are times in his films where I'm totally into him as his own actor, and I got lost in his characterizations; and other times where I'm like "riiiiight: Denzel's kid!"  :P