Tenet NFometer

An original action espionage film releasing in IMAX on August 12, 2020
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I think movies can be a lot of things, that's the fun of them.

I've only watched it twice, but I think it's all there from the beginning. The basics of the plot are understandable on a first watch, it's just that at one point the story dials up to 11 and it doesn't stop. It moves at such a brisk pace that it gets overwhelming. And the fact that our main protagonist isn't given enough depth or characterization can make it harder to engage. It's all very "to the point" (in my opinion).

I say this as I made my updated Nolan's films ranking and realized that Tenet is in my bottom half.

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Thinking about this movie and it just keeps growing. The Prestige and, surprisingly, Following, are the closest comparisons to Tenet. Set pieces are insane but it is so centralized and small. It might be Nolan's strangest movie period -- to the extent I feel he's gotten away with something here lol.

He's taken Inception and applied to the formal qualities of Dunkirk to it, and there's this effect to watching it that feels both immersive and confounding, and it seems very intentional. It's an uncompromising work. No doubt this is gonna grow on people over the years, and end up as a "fan favorite"

as for the dialogue, in Liemax i got about 75% and I'm convinced 10% you're not supposed to hear. The objectives of the film are pretty easy to follow, it's the "how" that gets ppl i think. But in general Nolan's visual storytelling here is aces and get the point across, which I'm sure he knows.

also, I recall Nolan saying he was writing this while (un)restoring 2001: A Space Odyssey and i think you can feel some similarities to the storytelling approach.

Anyway, need to see it again (and again), but I suspect the achievements here won't really be appreciated for a few years. It's insane.

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Vader182 wrote:
September 1st, 2020, 3:00 pm
If a movie has to be seen twice to understand the basics of the plot and engage with it.... is it a good movie? Should a movie need two viewings? You need to have enough there to really engage with it the first time, obviously.

Not saying that is or isn't how I'll feel about Tenet, but that's a pretty common experience among people on this site. Just sayin'.


-Vader
Most audiences think a movie should be understandable the first time with some ambiguity here and there maybe to be fine with it. But it doesn’t mean a film isn’t good just because it’s complex and complicated. It’s difficult to answer because let’s say someone is watching it and paying attention but at some point stops to wonder about a certain part they didn’t quite get during the movie, which probably keeps bothering this person so the focus gets divided and following the story all the way through now has become more messy. Whereas had they wondered about that later and stayed around with the flow of it, it might’ve been a better experience. It could be other way around too though.

Stalker and Solaris are, in their own way, somewhat complicated films. But people consider them great or at the very least good (or maybe others consider them bad). I for one love Stalker, but I’m not a fan of Solaris yet I don’t consider the latter bad. I think a movie perhaps would be closer to being bad in that regard if all the complicated aspects don’t make any sense at all even when trying to connect pieces after a deep analysis. And even then, some people could still consider it the best film ever from their subjective perspective.

There are many variables to consider I suppose. But it doesn’t make it a bad movie although I will say that it might make it an inaccessible one for people who want understandable intelligent entertainment than one that tries to accomplish the same thing while challenging them in process to wonder about these sometimes abstract ideas (or however you want to call it).

That’s my take.

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I'm at 8/10 after first viewing. I enjoyed it for the most part but I honestly think this was a big step back for Nolan.

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8.8/10 for me after two viewings. Second viewing was SO much better.

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Paradoxicalparabola wrote:
September 1st, 2020, 4:03 pm
Most audiences think a movie should be understandable the first time with some ambiguity here and there maybe to be fine with it. But it doesn’t mean a film isn’t good just because it’s complex and complicated. It’s difficult to answer because let’s say someone is watching it and paying attention but at some point stops to wonder about a certain part they didn’t quite get during the movie, which probably keeps bothering this person so the focus gets divided and following the story all the way through now has become more messy. Whereas had they wondered about that later and stayed around with the flow of it, it might’ve been a better experience. It could be other way around too though.

Stalker and Solaris are, in their own way, somewhat complicated films. But people consider them great or at the very least good (or maybe others consider them bad). I for one love Stalker, but I’m not a fan of Solaris yet I don’t consider the latter bad. I think a movie perhaps would be closer to being bad in that regard if all the complicated aspects don’t make any sense at all even when trying to connect pieces after a deep analysis. And even then, some people could still consider it the best film ever from their subjective perspective.

There are many variables to consider I suppose. But it doesn’t make it a bad movie although I will say that it might make it an inaccessible one for people who want understandable intelligent entertainment than one that tries to accomplish the same thing while challenging them in process to wonder about these sometimes abstract ideas (or however you want to call it).

That’s my take.
Great movies deepen over time and with multiple viewings, but it shouldn't be a prerequisite to engage with a movie or to "get it" or for it to "click."

Tarkovsky is an interesting counter-point to Nolan, simply because his films are designed to be intuitive, subjective experiences. Not head fucks with complex plots that are indecipherable at first glance. Stalker doesn't take a break every 15 minutes to explain the rules of The Zone.


-Vader

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Vader182 wrote:
September 1st, 2020, 7:37 pm
Paradoxicalparabola wrote:
September 1st, 2020, 4:03 pm
Most audiences think a movie should be understandable the first time with some ambiguity here and there maybe to be fine with it. But it doesn’t mean a film isn’t good just because it’s complex and complicated. It’s difficult to answer because let’s say someone is watching it and paying attention but at some point stops to wonder about a certain part they didn’t quite get during the movie, which probably keeps bothering this person so the focus gets divided and following the story all the way through now has become more messy. Whereas had they wondered about that later and stayed around with the flow of it, it might’ve been a better experience. It could be other way around too though.

Stalker and Solaris are, in their own way, somewhat complicated films. But people consider them great or at the very least good (or maybe others consider them bad). I for one love Stalker, but I’m not a fan of Solaris yet I don’t consider the latter bad. I think a movie perhaps would be closer to being bad in that regard if all the complicated aspects don’t make any sense at all even when trying to connect pieces after a deep analysis. And even then, some people could still consider it the best film ever from their subjective perspective.

There are many variables to consider I suppose. But it doesn’t make it a bad movie although I will say that it might make it an inaccessible one for people who want understandable intelligent entertainment than one that tries to accomplish the same thing while challenging them in process to wonder about these sometimes abstract ideas (or however you want to call it).

That’s my take.
Great movies deepen over time and with multiple viewings, but it shouldn't be a prerequisite to engage with a movie or to "get it" or for it to "click."

Tarkovsky is an interesting counter-point to Nolan, simply because his films are designed to be intuitive, subjective experiences. Not head fucks with complex plots that are indecipherable at first glance. Stalker doesn't take a break every 15 minutes to explain the rules of The Zone.


-Vader
And is that what Tenet, the movie you haven't yet seen, does?

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I'll find out in 48 hours, but I'm responding to recurring statement made on NF and by critics, not making a qualitative statement about Tenet. Thing is, this doesn't depend on whether one person (me, you, anyone) finds it lucid and clear when so many cite multiple viewings as encouraged or even necessary to understand the movie on a basic level. "You need to see it twice to really think it's good" is not a persuasive statement to me.

That said, if you connected with Tenet the first time, I'm hoping (and frankly expecting) to walk in your footsteps on Thursday.


-Vader

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First instinct is a 7.

People are totally justified in their criticisms of sound design - to be honest, it's just getting worse with being able to hear dialogue. I get Chris wants to pull in audiences in different ways. This is insane. Especially with SO MUCH exposition.
The Travis Scott song also is a HUGE eye roll for me, sorry. That's not what Nolan is about, and clearly something WB forced.

I did really love the performances, and the scope and scale and the big ideas. When Kip Thorne was thanked in the credits, I really got the sense this whole project came from a likely kooky conversation between him and Nolan.

I think we struggle as huge Nolan fans to balance our expectations, and maybe sometimes are even harder on his films because of it. I missed the cathartic ending, I missed the Zimmer score (even though this is great, don't get me wrong), I maybe even miss Batman. But we shouldn't be measuring films on what we "wish" we saw, and instead need to assess them in the scope of what was delivered. I think Chris delivered a whopper of a spy film. And I think we got a seriously great picture. I look forward to a second showing, and I wonder if this score will be different by my 3rd or 4th.

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