Blue-Ray Movie Review: The Dark Tower
Sony Pictures 2017
PG13 | 1hrs 35 mins | Action | Adventure | Sci-Fi
HD | 1080P | DTS-HD Master Audio 5.1
4K | 2160P | HDR10 | Dolby Vision | Dolby Atmos | Dolby TrueHD7.1 | DTS-HD Master Audio 5.1
2.40:1 Aspect Ratio
Starring: Idris Elba, Matthew McConaughey, Tom Taylor
Directed by: Nikolaj Arcel
Ratings & Reviews
Please see here for my comments on reviewing movies.
My ratings are simple being marked out of a maximum of 5+. My reviews are biased towards the technical production aspects of the film with brief comments about the story line. Extras, sorry, that’s just not my ‘bag’.
Not having 4K or Immersive audio yet, what did the 1080P24 version look like? Very Good, and the sound track, enjoyable.
Technical Review – HD Blu-Ray
Digitally filmed, The Dark Tower provides a very good quality 1080p transfer. The image is solid, and contains all the key features such as good black levels and contrast, from the dark night shots to the brighter panoramic views of the landscapes and cities. Clarity and sharpness are excellent at all times, with little hint of grain, nor were there any obvious integration problems with any of the CGI effects. Colors were well saturated, where appropriate, such as the natural greens of the vegetation, to the village fires and fiery death ray reaching up to the Tower. Skins tones were not oversaturated, with the weather beaten faces of Roland and The Man in Black showing good definition, with all colors looking natural and realistic. Textures and clarity are excellent, especially in some of the interior room shots such as Jake’s (Tom Taylor) apartment, the old warehouse and house shots, with many of the exterior shots of brick facades and pavements looking particularly well detailed. Roland’s world, upon which much of the movie played out, showed a barren, destroyed world, with forests, deserted ruins and a derelict theme park. Details of the remaining habitations were clear and crisp, as were the faces of the surviving people.
The Blu-ray version of The Dark Tower, features a DTS-HD Master Audio 5.1 lossless soundtrack, while the UHD version offers Dolby Atmos. The 5.1 presentation carries the movie very well. Maintaining an immersive sound field created by the surrounds and my 7.1 processed rear channels. The bass is quite extensive at times, with the surrounds offering good support and directionality for various effects, such as the attacks on the Tower. Overall there are plenty of intense elements and atmospheric support for the various environments that add to the dystopian feel of this movie. Dialogue is always clear and well defined, being accurately located across the front mix.
The Dark Tower is a series by Stephen King with an expansive story that spans seven books, telling of Roland the Gunslinger’s journey to protect the Dark Tower, which holds our universe, and others like it, together.
The movie tells the first part of the story in a rather flat and abridged way (rather like book 1 of the series, The Gunslinger). Roland Deschain, The Last Gunslinger (Idris Elba), who has been locked in an eternal battle with Walter O’Dim, also known as the Man in Black (Matthew McConaughey), is determined to prevent this dark sorcerer from destroying the Dark Tower, which would cause all universes to unravel by inviting demons across the veil. With the fate of the worlds at stake, the only remaining Gunslinger, Roland, with the help of Jake, defends the Tower from the Man in Black, climaxing in the ultimate battle between good and evil.
My daughter, who had just read the first of the seven books, was less than impressed, and I felt that the movie was flat and lacking, considering the amount of material that they had to work with (each book of the 7-book series averaging 500+ pages). There are several action scenes that certainly stand out, one in particular where I thought I was watching Keanu Reeves in John Wick One and Two! That, however, doesn’t make a movie. We felt that the character development was rather weak and wondered how they managed to dumb down what we expected to be a movie with great potential and entertainment value, especially considering how complex the books are. If you haven’t read the books, I suppose it’s worth borrowing the movie from your local library or rental store. If you’ve read all the books, you may feel disappointed in this 95 minute generic action movie.
The movie opened at a slow pace and never really seemd to match up to what I felt it should have become. It just seemed to lack drive and inspiration. Luckily it was only 95 minutes long, and thank goodness for the quality video and audio.