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The Dark Tower Film

Updated on August 5, 2017
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With an Olelo community video series "in development," Ms. Freeman finds a few moments to share her film thoughts.

You can’t judge an author by some of his work

Just like you can’t judge a book by its cover, well, you can’t judge an author by only some titles that’s been published. Some of Stephen King’s work gets noticed by fans, and most of the Movie Goers were expecting a Horror type film, as that’s what he’s been traditionally known for.

The Dark Tower is different, and definitely not in the Horror genre.

It’s more of a fantasmal, action-adventure film. The screenplay was adapted from the best-selling series, and with 2 great leading actors, Idris Elba and Matthew McConaughey, the film does not disappoint. The Dark Tower book series has 7 titles, and the first book is called The Gunslinger (The Dark Tower 1). There is also book #7, which is called The Dark Tower. How confusing! Especially when I read the novel from where the screenplay is derived from (or, sometimes, the movie novelization!), before I see the film on Premiere Night or Opening Day.

I can shed some light on this confusion. After visiting my Bookseller friends at the local Barnes & Noble, one of them pointed me to the complete Dark Tower series, which Mr. King is “catmanned” (category managed) under Fiction. I believe when Borders Books Music & Café was still in business, Mr. King’s work was filed under the “Horror” category.

So no more confusion.

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Possibly more confusion with King’s other book titles being turned into movies

Continuing on, Mr. King’s book called It, has been released into Trailer form, and the current version as of today is #3. Whereas The Dark Tower, which in my MovieNotez is written as “The Gunslinger,” had 5 versions of the trailer in both corporate (Regal) and independent (Consolidated) theatres.

It has a different look to it, and from the current Trailer version, it looks scary enough to make all audiences jump in their seats. The majority of the actors and actresses in this film are Preteen to teenage, almost like a bedtime story, myth or fable would be told.

For a complete listing of Mr. King’s titles, please visit this link.

What’s different from The Gunslinger Book 1 vs. the Movie

There are a few similarities, as far as characterization goes. The Gunslinger, The Man in Black, and the Boy are present not only in the novel, but also as main characters in the film. As I tried earnestly to finish reading the novel before seeing the movie, well, that didn’t happen this week!

Comparing notes with Movie Fan Victor, who’s read three of the Dark Tower novels, we agreed post-Film that Mr. King is a great writer, keeps you engaged in the story, detailed at times, so you would have to read a chapter at a time. Novels are expository and give more characterization, than say a movie might. Victor said that the movie didn’t follow the novel exactly, especially the Ending.

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Matthew as The Man in Black

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One of my fellow Hubbers Alec Zander, writes about the difference between the Book vs. the Movie, because that is his thing. Here is his Movie Review.

Tom Taylor as The Boy

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I liked this film

There are several reasons why I liked this type of film.

  • Great acting by Idris and Matthew. I was surprised by the actor who played The Boy (Jake), as Tom was very convincing in his role as a pre-teen boy.
  • The filmmaking style was unique, in that, the bullets and magic that are shown on-screen are visually stimulating. There was never a dull moment in the film. Imagery-wise, I felt as if I was watching a Marvel movie, with hints of real Western action. Looking at The Gunslinger as a pure Western Hero, there are shades of Clint Eastwood’s early career Westerns (Sergio Leoni), as well as some Yule Brenner (The Magnificent Seven 1960 and Westworld).
  • Shot on location in Cape Town, South Africa, Los Angeles, CA, and New York City, NY, the Long scenic shots looked great.
  • I was impressed with Wardrobe (The Gunslinger and The Man in Black), Key makeup and Hair (The Boy Jake).

A Hollywood budget was necessary to produce a film of this caliber. Another of my personal favorite's producing team, Brian Grazer and Ron Howard have a way of telling the story, that the Movie Viewer is reminded of Inferno, from October 2016, as ARRI 65 and 765 lenses were used to film The Dark Tower. ARRI lenses were also used to film Inferno.

For theatrical distribution, this film was not in the IMAX slot, which would have been great to hear the musical track. The IMAX slot featured Dunkirk going into its 3rd week. Seeing The Dark Tower was a nice surprise, because the Auro 11.1 soundtrack and 2.39:1 ratio really looked and sounded good in RPX!

Why was this film made now?

Upon performing some online research, I was able to find various opinions about why the book series was suddenly being made into a motion picture. In a Featurette, when Mr. King started writing about The Gunslinger, he saw the character as a “concentrated source. And, to see The Gunslinger come to life in film with Idris Elba, is really incredible.”

Will there be a Film Franchise of The Dark Tower?

My initial research leads to the “Not right yet” answer. Again, this is Hollywood, so things are always changing! Which makes my weekly contribution so much fun.

A Day in the Life

It’s hard to believe that a year has passed, since I decided to produce Movie Reviews via this portal. Through the LIFO chronology, one of my major critics asked me to my face, the other day, “Why hadn’t I published anything, and if I was still seeing movies?”

The Answer: when you’re working in the Movie industry and going through Summer Movies, which is considered “Busy Season,” akin to Holiday Season in Retail, sometimes, I run out of time to produce a Weekly in-depth Hub, like I used to, in the beginning. Being a Producer means keeping on track of all projects, and managing your time efficiently.

  • Admittedly, it’s become easier for me to produce “Featured Hubs” in a shorter timeframe. Perhaps, I’m getting used to the quantity and flow of the weekly Movies. As some of my surfer friends would say, “It’s in the pipeline, dude!”
  • I encouraged this Critic to follow me on Hubpages, to keep up with what I was doing. To which the “Critic Eyerolling” started.
  • And, yes, I still see a lot of movies.
  • And, no, I haven’t had time to publish it all on the Web. Devised a different method of presenting the mass of films that are being made worldwide, however, and I’ve been able to see several Chinese and Japanese films, being geographically situated in Hawaii. Just need that persistent Internet connection!
  • Aside from reading fiction novels, non-fiction supported Hub material, viewing other related movies, cruising the local bookstore, interacting with Film Friends island-wide and in HollywoodLand, working bi-coastal with my Theatre Entertainment Services Scheduler, while prepping for the weekly Movie Assignment, and taking online classes, my Schedule is pretty full. It’s not uncommon for me to put in an 18-hour work day.
  • Which means that when the twice yearly Hawaii International Film Festival debuts at Dole Cannery, I might be able to partake of a few interesting films, and get to know some of the filmmakers personally.
  • I have other gigs that are waiting in the wings: writing my First Non-Fiction Book, and composing my first Screenplay.

Whoever said the life of a Producer was ever boring?

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