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sethsez
Jul 13, 2006

He's soooo dreamy...



I would blow Dane Cook posted:

Nice to see Robert Pattinson in something that isn't that stupid Twilight poo poo.

It's been almost a decade since the last Twilight movie and he's been in quite a few fantastic things since then, any one of which should have proven that he's more than just Edward Cullen and which collectively should have smashed that notion to pieces by now, but I guess for some people he's still in that Leo-after-Titanic phase of his career.

Also, everything I've been reading about this gives me the impression that Tenet is exactly the movie that Inception's detractors claimed that movie was.

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sethsez
Jul 13, 2006

He's soooo dreamy...



Bust Rodd posted:

Batman is also not the prestigious and exciting role it used to be, because Bale and Affleck loving sucked so insanely bad at it.

Bale may not be the reason The Dark Knight became a massive sensation, but it was still a massive sensation that DC's been trying to chase ever since, and about the worst criticism I've seen of Bale in it was "his voice was kinda silly sometimes."

That's a pretty goddamn far cry from "Christian Bale sucked so hard as Batman that the role itself became less desirable."

sethsez
Jul 13, 2006

He's soooo dreamy...



garycoleisgod posted:

Well, this is an explanation of the movie, I don't really know how the time reversal thing worked or what the exact nature of the end of the world threat is (I get the general gist, but the details were lost in me not being able to hear all the dialogue). The movie actually takes the shape on a palindrome. By which I mean, the word TENET right, no matter which end you start at you go through T to E to N... and so on. Put another way if you start at T, you go through E, to N and then REVERSE COURSE, you will go through the same journey you just took, but backwards and the end is the beginning is the end.

I know that sounds like some Johnny Five Aces "time works the same way" crap and it kinda is, but that is how the movie is structured. Just go with it I guess, the movie isn't as clever as it would like to be. It's at its best when it's just a Bond film, you know, evil madman with a destroy the world plot, he's got a lady who the hero spy gets involved with, a main henchman who's huge (and in my head I was calling him Mr Stamper or Jaws because I couldn't tell you the characters actual name) and action set pieces.

As for specifics (MASSIVE SPOILERS, LITERALLY THE ENTIRE MOVIE DO NOT MOUSE OVER) we have irreversibly hosed the worlds climate and the future people (who are never seen, only talked about in hard to hear dialogue) are mad at us. They have invented tech that can reverse the entropy of things and so they can send messages/tech back through time. It's very terminator. They sent a message to Kenneth Branagh (if they know who you are and where you will be at certain times, i.e. you wrote emails detailing this poo poo they can read in the future, they will be able to send objects back so they know you will be there to get them with messages like "Hey man, loved you Shakespeare stuff, wanna blow up the world? Here's some future gold to fund it"), he is dying of cancer and wants to take everyone with him so he says OK.

A scientist lady in the future developed THE ALGORITHM, which, uh, reverses the entropy of everything and will make it so the whole world not only ends, but will have never existed? Like I said, unclear dialogue. Anyway, she tried to hide it by splitting it up and sending it to the past so her fellow future people can't use it to kill us. They get Branagh to find all the bits of THE ALGORITHM, and bury it again they so can use it in the future to kill us. Won't that kill them you ask? Uh, maybe? Grandfather paradox, they think maybe not?

Our hero Protagonist and R. Patz + others team up to do action movie stuff at them and save the world. They succeed and Lizzy Debicki gets to live happily ever after with her son. The movie is basically just a loop and it's implied (although not certain) that you can't change the past, so once something has happened, that's it, but maybe not?


Basically, they should give Nolan a bond film so he gets it out of his system and whenever he tries to insert non-linear storytelling in it they should smack him on the hands with a ruler and make him sit in the naughty corner. If you've seen the way Inception and Interstellar are structured, you've seen the better version of this movie already.

But hey, cool stunts and Pattinson is a goddamn star, there will be think pieces demanding he be the next Bond in the wake of this for sure.

Of all the things I expected this to remind me of, I wasn't expecting Final Fantasy VIII.

sethsez
Jul 13, 2006

He's soooo dreamy...



This already feels like it's going to be one of the movies I forget when I list off the stuff Nolan has done. It's like late-period Tim Burton in full pinstripes-and-spirals mode, leaning on the old hits like a crutch to significantly less effect than they had originally.

sethsez
Jul 13, 2006

He's soooo dreamy...



Groovelord Neato posted:

I'm kinda flabbergasted at anything being confusing other than how the ending works. It seemed as straightforward as something like this could be apart from what we discussed earlier in regard to the ending,.

It's a movie that's very easy to follow until the first time you miss something and then catching up becomes arduous. I've watched it with multiple people and they all fell off at different points, but they all fell off eventually.

Also, the movie draws attention to its mechanics in a way that forces you to actively think about them in a way that, say, time travel in Bill and Ted doesn't. It asks you to "not think about it, just feel it" but there's not much else to focus on, the characters are empty plot devices with no compelling drama between any of them. And once you start focusing on the mechanics, it's very easy to confuse yourself.

I also don't think the movie's editing does it any favors. It's not great at portraying the passage of time (I feel like this has always been an issue with Nolan but it's never been a bigger liability than here), several major things happen while the protagonist is blacked out, and at least one time reversal happens during a cut. Combined with the movie's habit of only saying things once, even with subtitles it's not hard to see where people might get lost, even if the actual plot is fairly simple when it's all laid out.

sethsez
Jul 13, 2006

He's soooo dreamy...



We did get buildings flying back together. It mostly sucked.

sethsez
Jul 13, 2006

He's soooo dreamy...



The Kingfish posted:

There should have been a recognizable squad of badass inverted operatives who have mastered the intricacies of reverse combat. They kick the protag’s rear end in the first act and then he outdoes them in the third.

Volkov feels like he was custom-built for this exact purpose in the story and then Nolan just forgot.

sethsez
Jul 13, 2006

He's soooo dreamy...



OldSenileGuy posted:

After watching this movie and thinking about it for a bit, I came to the conclusion that it would probably make more sense and possibly be more enjoyable with a second viewing. The problem is the movie left me without any desire to watch it again.

The second time I watched it I was no longer confused, but it also became more obvious that some parts actually just don't work and the overall plot is just a poorly-communicated Bond riff that doesn't really do much. Everything was clearer, but not really to the movie's benefit.

sethsez
Jul 13, 2006

He's soooo dreamy...



Basebf555 posted:

Oh yea, sorry, if you're interested in getting that deep into the minutiae of it I'm not gonna be able to help you. I just know the broad strokes.

TENET: I just know the broad strokes.

sethsez
Jul 13, 2006

He's soooo dreamy...



Zaphod42 posted:

(of course everybody is complaining that it was too confusing )
It's not necessarily that it's too confusing. In broad strokes, it's an action flick where a super-top-secret agent has to stop a scary Russian from using a doomsday device. The issue a lot of people have is the convolutions involved in telling that incredibly basic story. Figuring out the specifics doesn't lead to a greater understanding of character motivations, any questions of morality, or even any fun revelations in how cause and effect have been tweaked in interesting ways. Instead it mostly just leads to "oh, I guess that's how the car got there" and "okay I think I understand the big threat now." It feels like once you've figured out all the little bits that don't make immediate sense, you're just left with Timeline Has Fallen.

quote:

To me this was Primer, but with a big budget.
Part of what makes Primer so compelling is that the audience losing track of timelines and who's done what when is a perfect match for the main characters losing control of an invention they never fully understood, especially as things go on and the characters, freed from the consequences of instinctively understandable cause-and-effect, drop their guard and show their true colors. Primer wouldn't work as well thematically or narratively if the timeline were simpler. Tenet, by comparison, gains an unnecessarily confusing Time Nuke and a visual gimmick that harms as many action sequences as it spices up.

I've seen plenty of movies far more confusing than Tenet, but I struggle to think of any with a worse convolution : reward ratio.

sethsez fucked around with this message at 01:40 on Feb 19, 2021

sethsez
Jul 13, 2006

He's soooo dreamy...



The problem with Tenet is that it courts a nitpicky, analytical viewing style just to be able to follow it, but then it doesn't hold up to that if the viewer takes it even a bit further than Nolan intended. You're supposed to be a careful and attentive viewer for very specific things while being able to handwave away others, and the film does nothing to indicate which is which. It's where the Bond comparison falls apart, because most of those are extremely good at setting viewer guidelines and then existing within that space.

sethsez
Jul 13, 2006

He's soooo dreamy...



Ramrod Hotshot posted:

that's a good way of putting it, though far from the only problem in the movie

gregday posted:

Also, even though I do enjoy picking apart the inversion mechanic, no amount of analysis gets you any closer to the characters or motivations.

Contrast that to Inception, where the nature of the nested dreams actually works to show Fischer’s broken relationship with his father and how they repair it.

Yeah, the bigger problem is that this is all there is. It's an extremely mechanical plot with gently caress-all in the way of human interest beyond Protag and RPats being buddies, so all you're left with are the mechanics (and the never-ending exposition explaining them), which as stated are only satisfying under a very specific level of magnification and quickly fall off if you pay too little or too much attention.

It's funny, Nolan's puzzle boxes used to serve as a backdrop for obsessed men following their fixations into increasingly dark and desperate places as part of their quest for self-identity and a feeling of security. You'd think Tenet's conceit would be perfect for that, but here we are.

sethsez fucked around with this message at 15:02 on May 4, 2021

sethsez
Jul 13, 2006

He's soooo dreamy...



Zaphod42 posted:

Yeah. I don't think that inherently makes it a bad film, it has incredibly cinematography while having some inspiring sci-fi concepts and some good action. Plenty of movies don't even do good action.

But its like, it almost feels like they tried to keep the story from having characters.

The Protagonist not having a name is cute for the story and mechanics, but also is symbolic of how little we know about him and how little of a human being he really is.

Ultimately TENET is a mouse-trap and the people are simply levers or cogs in the machine.

The mechanics ultimately being nonsense and the characters being complete ciphers would be... not great, but at least acceptable if the conceit led to some good action, but by and large I think the action is tremendously uneven, and outside of the bit where Protag fights himself I think the gimmick hurts the action scenes far more than it helps them. A huge part of what makes good movie action so viscerally exciting is the immediate and explosive sequence of cause-and-effect, and the inverse kinetics just serve to confuse an otherwise wonderful car chase and absolutely destroys the final battle by making it impossible to tell who's fighting who when, and not in an exciting "heat of battle" kind of way.

It's got a few good scenes (the opera house, the first half of the car chase, and as mentioned I'm a fan of the Protag fist fight and the entire heist sequence it's contained in), but when an action movie's central gimmick mostly makes the action scenes worse, there's a problem.

sethsez
Jul 13, 2006

He's soooo dreamy...



Android Apocalypse posted:

I think people are confused/upset since Nolan's last 2 movies (Interstellar and Dunkirk) are relatively accurate in terms of science/history. Tenet is back to more Inception where the crux of the technology is not explained and now we have almost 30 pages of discourse over it.

This would work better if Tenet didn't spend about 60% of its dialog trying to explain how everything is working anyway. Inception has exposition for the parts that directly matter for the story (and it sticks to those rules throughout), and everything else is just left to "it's magic science" and isn't explained at all.

Inception has a clear idea of what needs to be explained and what doesn't, and it knows what needs to be set in stone and what can be a magical contrivance. Tenet, meanwhile, has no loving clue. The fact that Inception is grounded by understandable character emotions and motivations doesn't hurt, either.

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sethsez
Jul 13, 2006

He's soooo dreamy...



Zaphod42 posted:

The problem with this is that even with that 60% dialogue being dedicated to explaining wtf is going on, you still had the vast majority of mainstream audiences going "wtf I didn't understand anything in that movie"

This isn't because things aren't explained enough, it's because things are explained too much, some of those explanations are just flat-out discredited by what actually happens on screen, about half of those explanations happen behind masks and under blaring music, and it fails to make clear distinctions between when characters are guessing how something works and when they know how something works. It over-talks itself into a corner when it probably should have just stopped at "don't think about it, just feel it" and gotten on with the action.

Beyond that, it has the same problem as a lot of other Nolan movies where the passage of time and and traversal of space aren't communicated well by the editing. That was almost a benefit for Inception, giving it a more dream-like feel, but for obvious reasons it's a pretty big drawback here.

The overall arc of the movie is pretty drat simple, but it goes out of its way to pile on as many convolutions and barriers as possible. I don't blame anyone for being confused, and the solution is not more explanations.

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