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Christopher Nolan's Tenet - Espionage Movie


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Went to an Odeon with my brother. Was pleasantly surprised as far as safety goes.

 

He did get a headache from the sound. I didn’t mind it. Was almost like a, “Welcome back, motherfuckers!”

 

I loved the film. Not as good as Inception. The end section drags it down a bit. Kinda like The Dark Knight actually.

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Bloody hell. That’s the nerdiest blockbuster movie ever made. Makes The Matrix look like The One Show.

 

Not entirely sure how good it is but I enjoyed the shit out of it.

 

Edit: also, I’d bet good money that Nolan is a fan of Alan Moore’s 2000AD work.

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I really love Nolan's films; The Prestige is probably my favourite film. On initial viewing I felt this was a bit jarring. But, I think it's going to be more rewarding with subsequent viewing. 

 

The Good

Spoiler

Dumps you straight into the action, with no initial exposition. 

Has expectations of its audience; there's no dumbing down. 

The cast were pretty decent throughout.

Set pieces had that typical Nolan swagger. 

 

The Bad

Spoiler

The sound levels seemed a bit all over the place. At times, the music made it very difficult to hear the dialogue. It was extremely loud in places. 

I'm not convinced I fully understood it all, partly because I couldn't make out some of the dialogue. At times, so much is being thrown at you, that you almost need a pause button. Repeated viewings will be necessary. 

Elizabeth Debicki, whilst decent throughout, was pretty much reprising her role in The Night Manager. 

Wasn't really convinced by Sator's raison d'être. 

Whilst the ending was exciting, it was a lot of bluster without much nuance. 

There were a couple of predictable twists that you could see a mile-off.

 

I was really impressed with Odeon's safety processes. 

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I've often found the audio mix on Nolan's movies to be very unbalanced. Interstellar was probably the worst, but I always have to tweak the bejeezus out of the levels for the Batman trilogy.

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I’m not entirely sure what was happening most of the time, but I’m pretty sure it was really good. The sound was either fucked or deliberately heavily stylised so you couldn’t hear a lot of dialogue.

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18 minutes ago, MrPogo said:

I’m not entirely sure what was happening most of the time, but I’m pretty sure it was really good. The sound was either fucked or deliberately heavily stylised so you couldn’t hear a lot of dialogue.

 

1 hour ago, Festoon said:

The sound on this was fucking ridiculous.

 

I wish the sound editors would tell Nolan to fuck off.

 

Fuck the cinema then, I'l wait until it's on home release. My soundbar does wonders for the dialogue in Interstellar. Nolan really is a - admittedly talented and I love his films - fucking prick.

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3 minutes ago, Thor said:

 

 

Fuck the cinema then, I'l wait until it's on home release. My soundbar does wonders for the dialogue in Interstellar. Nolan really is a - admittedly talented and I love his films - fucking prick.

 

This was much worse, sound-wise, than Interstellar. The balance between score and everything else was mental at points.

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First thoughts, fuck me the sound mix was bad. On par or even worse than interstellar. I think I'm just going to have to give up on Nolan films. Proper headache territory. 

 

Second thoughts, meh.

Red Dwarf already did this better with Backwards. 

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I enjoyed this but did have some problems picking out the dialogue. It wasn't the volume of the score that was the problem, more the accents.

 

It's the first film I've seen Robert Pattison in and he's all kinds of charming. Thought he was excellent. It definitely needs a second viewing to see what I missed first time round.

 

I didn't think it was as good as Inception, but still a solid exciting action film.

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The accents didn’t always help, but there were definitely key bits of speech which were barely any louder than the bass heavy “BAAAAUUUUUUM” sound he’s fond of putting in his movies.

”I’m about to explain something very important, as much for the audiences benefit as yours, and I’ll only say it once, BAAAAAAAAUUUUUUM, got it?”

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It actually seems to me to be deliberately obtuse? Did anyone else feel that way?

 

There was this cut where 

Spoiler

they were travelling back in time in the ship container where it cut to a very similar shot, lit in a very similar way, but time had moved forwards (or backwards I guess) a number of hours and now Robert Patterson's character was awake and not lying down and sleeping but the shot looked so damn similar you really had to concentrate to even notice that time had passed.

 

The film seemed deliberately full of these things. The mixing and hard to hear speech seemed to be a part of that. Its almost like he was trying to push how far he could make a blockbuster confusing on first watch, and actually have re-watching the film be a deliberate part of the experience?

 

Honestly, it was so hard to follow. Could anyone explain to me who 

Spoiler

they were actually fighting in the climactic fight? Sator's private army I assume? But I don't really even remember seeing any enemy at all. Just forwards / backwards explosions. The only real bad guy seems to be the heavy from the restaurant scene making another appearance.

 

With all that said, I still thought it was great. Even if it is probably Nolan's weakest film in years, it was still a fascinating experience. The bit when you watched 

Spoiler

the scene were Kenneth Branagh held Elizabeth Debicki hostage while interrogating the protagonist, while the main character was travelling forwards through time and Branagh was travelling backwards, and then you rewatched the same fucking scene the other direction and watched how Branagh learnt the location earlier and used that information and the start/end of the exchange was kinda mindblowing.

 

 

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The english accents in this almost put me off the film! 

 

That said Pattinson resembled a young Micheal Biehn at times but with a Myspace account. 

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I really enjoyed it, but then again I'm a sucker for high-concept sci-fi and time-based stuff, whether it's 12 Monkeys, Netflix' Dark, Remedy's Quantum Break or Tom Sweterlitsch' excellent novel The Gone World. 
 

Spoiler

I do think it lacked the heart of Interstellar. The characters are very much there to drive the plot, though there is nothing wrong with the acting. Some clever set-pieces, most notably the car heist and the fight where the Protagonist fights himself. The finale was less succesful in my opinion, the choreography of it wasn't very clear. I liked the score, but yeah, it's a fucking loud movie. Interesting that this is the second Nolan film where future Earth is fucked by climate change.


Cinema seemed to handle the COVID-precautions well.

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Maybe I'm being ignorant here, but isn't the sound mix down to other people than Nolan? Does he really sit there telling them to make the music louder with more bass while someone who actually knows what they're doing doesn't put him right or at least tell someone higher up what's going on?

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I believe the director is usually involved in all that stuff. There will be exceptions (when you hear about a director being locked out by the studio), and ones who maybe can't be arsed, but generally they'll be involved.

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Yeah, I think Nolan has enough clout as a Director to watch the test screening, turn to the sound guys and say' what the fuck, I can't hear a word they are saying' and have it changed.

 

The fact that it was released in this state strongly suggests that Nolan, if perhaps not the instigator, certainly approves of the sound mix. 

 

However, given Dunkirk, Interstellar and now this I think we can realistically blame the shitty sound mix squarely at Nolan's door. 

 

In any climate, I wouldn't recommend seeing this in the Cinema.  Wait for it to be on home movie with subtitles and the ability to pause and rewind.  I really lost the plot of what was happening during a lot of the last third. Not helped by the fact you can't hear every second sentence. 

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I watched Inception the other day for the first time since I saw it at the cinema, and I had to turn on the subtitles. The characters speak too quickly, too quietly, and the scenes dart about too fast to take it all in. I guess it’s his ‘hing.

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Enjoyed most of it; lots of good bits.  Actors were all great.

There were several sections which didn’t make a great deal of sense and/or I got a bit bored.   The final third wasnt as nail-biting nor exciting as it wants to be.

 

Entertaining, and I’ll definitely watch it again at home, but not as good as Inception or Interstellar for me.  

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Yes, definitely needs a second viewer to work it all out.  Just not sure it grabbed be enough to convince me to give it a second viewing though. 

 

I'm probably too old and too casual for Nolan these days but whilst I'm happy to pay attention to a movie, it's story should be told in a way that I can pretty much grasp it on first viewing. 

 

Ironically, I think the dialogue and story probably were there in the edit to explain everything, it is just I couldn't hear half of it over the soundtrack. 

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It’s a common trait with his films, but no others I can remember, so he either deliberately wants stuff to be hard to hear or mixes it so it sounds great only on set ups calibrated to a standard the average cinema doesn’t bother with, which is presumably also a deliberate choice (I’ve not heard this sort of quote applied to cinema, but I assume there’s a similar golden rule to the music industry version of “the final test for the mix is to drive round and listen to it in my shitty old car, because there will be fifty people mainly listening to it like this for every person using a high end stereo”).

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16 hours ago, Commander Jameson said:

It's the first film I've seen Robert Pattison in and he's all kinds of charming.

 

Oh wow, I would strongly recommend Good Time (on Netflix) and The Lighthouse, both really good films that he is excellent in. He's definitely one of the more interesting high profile actors around at the moment, I just hope after Batman he keeps doing interesting films and not crappy mainstream stuff which seems to be a trend with decent actors, the last one i really liked Oscar Isaac hasn't been in a decent film since Ex Machina, there's an argument for Annihilation but still, his oeuvre went from interesting and daring to fucking mainstream shite, very disappointing. Anyway Tenet, yeah I haven't seen it and will wait for home release as I think Nolan is by and large a hack. 

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Isaac was in The Last Jedi, which is a tremendous movie. He's also in Dune, which is likely tremendous.

Back to this, I just finished watching Stuckmann's review and it echoes my thoughts by and large.
 

 

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Just now, Vemsie said:

Isaac was in The Last Jedi, which is a tremendous movie. He's also in Dune, which is likely tremendous.

 

Yeah I don't like Star Wars but Dune is probably my most anticipated film this year, lets hope it's great! Enough with the derailing, I apologise.

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