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Tenet (2020)

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Saw this trailer before Star Wars. I didn’t know what it was, but shortly after it started, I thought, This has the look and feel of a Nolan movie,” and sure enough.... My sister was like, “That trailer didn’t show what the movie was about at all!” but I went, “It doesn’t matter. I’m in.”

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I'm such a big Inception fangirl but god, that prologue before Skywalker was sooooooo painful.  It pains me to say I truly hated it.  But it wasn't a trailer, it was a loooooong clip of the movie giving the audience absolutely no context to what they were watching.  And it was terrorists violently taking over an opera house.  And there were obviously children in my showing.  I just personally hated this marketing choice.

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I'm gonna have to do rewatch of Memento to get ready for this!

Looks like this will play around with cause and effects; I'm guessing whatever our hero(?) has to stop ends up being caused by him. Although I'm sure Nolan won't make it quite that simple.

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11 hours ago, VCRTracking said:

And not just the look; on another forum I visit someone pointed out that Pattinson's character explaining about the plane crash at the end of the trailer seemed like Nolan inserting himself to do exposition.

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My verdict: 🤯 Once again, Nolan has broken my brain in the best way. If me or the planet are still alive by the release date -whenever it is-I might actually see it in a theater.

Edited by DollEyes
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A behind-the-scenes book is being released the same day as the film:

Quote

io9 has the first-ever look inside The Secrets of Tenet: Inside Christopher Nolan’s Quantum Cold War book by James Mottram. Out July 31, it offers “insights into all aspects of [Tenet’s] creation” which includes “in-depth commentary from Nolan himself and a range of other key collaborators.” It’s said to “deliver an essential masterclass that lays bare the director’s process and his singular creative vision.”

 

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On 6/23/2020 at 5:04 PM, Trini said:

A behind-the-scenes book is being released the same day as the film

Unfortunately, I think a behind the scenes account of the eventual release of the movie might be more interesting.

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I have repeatedly defended the sound design in Nolan's films in the past when it was criticized, e.g., I thought and continue to think the criticism of Bane's voice was bizarre.  But the sound design in Tenet sucks, plain and simple.  The dialogue is regularly muffled.

That aside, I enjoyed this.  The climax is confusing if you're trying to follow the details, but at a certain point I just enjoyed the ride, which has lots of visual interest.

Washington, Pattinson, Debicki and Branagh all do well to carry the movie.  I've been a fan of Debicki's, in particular, for a while, Hollywood needs to find her some great lead role at some point.

Also, back in the theatre for the first time since March 12!

Edited by SeanC
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On 8/26/2020 at 10:25 PM, SeanC said:

The dialogue is regularly muffled.

I think that is not a misfire or accident. The dialogue gets sketchy as they switch between the regular and inverted worlds. Annoying, sure. But I get the feeling Nolan likes annoying.

I enjoyed all the actors, even Branagh hamming it up.

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It wasn't bad, but I expected more. It didn't feel as if there was an actual interesting idea behind all this, just an excercise in cleverness and playing with puzzle pieces. The characters were flat, as I've come to expect from Nolan (I actually do like most of his movies, but there is a clear trend with this issue), but I found the lack of chemistry between the actors (and lack of charisma from anyone except Pattison) especially jarring. The blank slate protagonist really required someone with a lot more charm, I think.

I didn't have any problems following the plot, it all made sense. Also, it was nice to hear actual unaccented Russian when the plot called for it, unlike how it's usually done in Hollywood.

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On 8/26/2020 at 11:25 PM, SeanC said:

I have repeatedly defended the sound design in Nolan's films in the past when it was criticized, e.g., I thought and continue to think the criticism of Bane's voice was bizarre.  But the sound design in Tenet sucks, plain and simple.  The dialogue is regularly muffled.

I found it very hard to distinguish parts of the dialogue in places where I'm sure it affected my ability (... such as it is) to understand the plot. Priya's role in the story, in particular, depends mostly on supposition on my part. (This is not a criticism of the actress, who strikes me as compelling.) The dialogue is muffled, but Tenet overall is loud -- oppressively so. It's like the sound designer decided to pummel the audience into submission as a way to induce anxiety, if not to invoke a more nuanced emotional response. Nolan's work relies, I would say, extraordinarily heavily on sound design. The storylines of his movies often seem, I daresay, more profound than they are, because of the physical (and thus emotional) resonances being flung at us.

The movie is fascinating as a feat of narrative construction; it doesn't really make any sense, but it's maximum Nolan. It's the most I've ever liked either Pattison or Debicki (how tall is she? That lady's about 80% torso!) John David Washington works as the calm, trying-to-be-rational centre of the causality maelstrom; he has a genuine gravitas as well as a certain Bond-like opacity. The film is visually gorgeous, and all three leads (speaking of gorgeous) can wear the hell out of a beautifully cut suit. Branagh is in his accustomed villain mode, which is to say he's way, way over-the-top; a drenching, sky-high geyser of malevolence (not ineffective; just not subtle).

(OT: Just out of curiosity, what about the criticism of Bane's voice struck you as off the mark? I could never figure out why he needed to sound so much like Charles Laughton, but that's more a question of performance than of aural design.)

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1 hour ago, Sandman said:

(OT: Just out of curiosity, what about the criticism of Bane's voice struck you as off the mark? I could never figure out why he needed to sound so much like Charles Laughton, but that's more a question of performance than of aural design.)

There were lots of people at the time who found him hard to understand.

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Speaking of things that are unnecessarily hard to understand (and ... gross): Dear Christopher Nolan: For the love of AVX, man, please don't ever again subject me to Sir Michael Caine (here playing a character cheekily named "Sir Michael") garblechawin' his way through exposition and lunch at the same time. I'm not made to withstand that kind of stress! Not to mention that it's beneath him (and you).

ETA: I do wonder if part of my response to the volume level of this movie was because (a) I haven't set foot in a movie theatre in six months, and (b) because of social distancing protocols, the screening was at about 20% capacity -- nowhere the number of bodies that are usually absorbing theatre sound around me.

Edited by Sandman
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I just saw this and I loved it.  I didn't have trouble understanding the dialogue.  I almost cheered out loud when Kat took out Andrei.  Loved the symmetry of everything, too.  

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I liked it a lot, though I couldn't make heads or tails of what was going on in the final battle, even with Ives's explanation of the mission.

Edited by childeroland
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Rented this last night.  I was checked out by the finale because I just didn't care to try to keep up anymore.  The action sequences were cool, and I really liked John David Washington as an action star, but there's only so much "enjoying the ride" I can do.  It's probably one of those movies that requires a second viewing but like I said, I just don't care enough about it to do that.

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Wow. All that time, effort, and money on trying to make something complex and deep.

And the result was tedious and rather silly.

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Critics' Choice Award nominations!

Best Production Design - Nathan Crowley, Kathy Lucas

Best Cinematography - Hoyte Van Hoytema

Best Editing - Jennifer Lame

Best Visual Effects

Best Score - Ludwig Göransson

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Oscar nominations!

Best Production Design
“The Father”
“Ma Rainey’s Black Bottom”
“Mank”
“News of the World”
“Tenet”

Best Visual Effects
“Love and Monsters”
“The Midnight Sky”
“Mulan”
“The One and Only Ivan”
“Tenet”

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I was bummed last year that I couldn't see this in IMAX but it turns out I think I understood it a little better watching it at home with the close captioning on. It was ok but not one of my favorite Nolan movies. Maybe a rewatch sometime later would help?

ETA I paused so many times to marvel at how much John David looked and sounded just like his daddy, a comparison I'm sure he's probably sick of, lol.

Edited by TiffanyNichelle
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