Christopher Nolan's TENET (2020)

I used to do that with VHS rentals back in teh 80s with a good high school friend. We’d alternate picks, with the other in mind, hoping both would be happy with the selection.

I tried this with the wife when we dropped cable and started streaming services. I went first with the Walking Dead, which did not please the wife. She paid me back when it was her turn with Glee.

I’ve had something like that going on with a friend for seven years now. We take turns picking streaming films that neither of us have seen, and then meet over dinner to discuss. It’s been fantastic for exposing me to films I wouldn’t normally check out, and forcing me out of my comfort zone when digging for potential picks myself. It’s awesome.

I am in total sync with your take on TENET, as well as Nolan, and it’s made all the more frustrating for me because it’s clear Nolan knows how to do this. As you mention, Memento works beautifully, even though the premise alone could induce a headache. The Prestige is an amazing film that does the same thing - it’s enjoyable on its face as you experience it, and then the end hits you and it changes everything on subsequent rewatches. The same with Inception - now that film hasn’t aged quite as well as the other two, but at the time I was just gobsmacked at the audacity of the movie and saw it in theaters three times.

I hope he gets back to his previous self because he’s one of my favorite filmmakers.

I watched this last night and really enjoyed it. I think it’s my favorite Nolan film since Inception, at least. I’d have to watch Inception again and Tenet several more times to really compare them, but it feels like a step back in the right direction after Interstellar.

Watched Tenet via HBO this week in a few sittings.

Hard to get through, very dry but interesting sci fi conceit. How you make this as boring as you do, is incredible.

Nolan should not be allowed to write dialog ever, this treads very closely to 80’s action movie territory with a few sections.

At best it felt like a nu-Bond slick action movie, at worst it felt like it was so fucking full of itself I couldn’t stand it. It is a very clever concept, and boy does it want you to know how clever it is, by bashing you over the head with it. Like 90% of the dialog is exposition. The villian is super predictable, and his motivations for ending the world are… if I die you die? I mean… ok… Seems like that could have been explored more.

What REALLY irked me, is that upon learning of the conceit of this film, I just realized it is a 200 million dollar version of the Red Dwarf episode “Backwards”

Which was way more fun, still involves a very cool and unique sci fi premise, and doesn’t bore you to death with details and complications.

The “bar-room tidy” is like way better than any action sequence in this movie.

“Don’t try to understand”

-Science women


I don’t get it. An Oppenheimer movie will certainly appeal to me, but I don’t see it to be a huge box office hit. A blackout period for the studio 3 weeks before and 3 weeks after release of the movie. This sounds more like Nolan is afraid of (inhouse) competition…

He’s not afraid. He just wants to maximize his take of that 20% deal.

He’s also a purist who believes in making movies for the big screen. He’s not a fan of people watching his movies on a TV or phone.

Sure, but I think we’re discussing that blackout period he was asking for in his deal. He doesn’t want any other movie from the same studio cutting into his 20% first dollar gross for his BO run.

Ah, right, yeah. I was thinking you were talking about the theatrical window.

Indeed. Though with a budget of 100M, it doesn’t sound like just a standard biographical movie. Unless he’s spending 50M on building an authentic nuclear bomb to use for a shot.

But I think the bidding war aspect isn’t about just this movie, but a hope that when Nolan sticks with them for future projects with more commercial appeal.

Basic rule in Hollywood: “Make what you have to in order to make what you want.”

WTF did I just watch. This was just weird, slow, confusing, and trying to tell a story that made no damn sense.

And what was going on at the end of the movie with the red and blue teams, who the hell were they fighting? I thought I saw like 10 bad guys defending that site, yet 2 teams assaulted it with like 100 soldiers?

You missed the point of the movie: Robert Pattinson’s jawline. Don’t do the same mistake watching The Batman!

It did seem extremely chiseled.

Well, the rule of combat calls for a 3:1 ratio in favor of the attacker, so eh, yes, they went a little overboard.

I think Nolan spends so much time with his scripts that he gets bored with his own premise and outpaces the audience.

A time travel thriller where travellers physically move backwards in time in a world that’s still moving forward. A heist movie where thieves steal ideas from dreams. These are fantastic concepts and Nolan sells them!

But then he introduces new rules, new complications, when the basic premise was still settling with the viewer. That battle with the “temporal pincer movement” is way too much of an escalation for this movie. That’s something that should have happened in the third film of a Tenet franchise (“TƐN3T”).

I’m telling you, there’s a universe out there where a more restrained Inception blew up into a series like Ocean’s 11.