The film adaptation of Stephen King’s The Dark Tower, directed by and starring Robert Pattinson, began production this week in Atlanta, Georgia. Here are a few of the most important things you should know about the movie.

It Is Very Close To Being Perfect

We have all been there. We’ve seen a movie that we truly enjoyed, and we went into the discussion section of our local book store or café to have a chat about it. As we talked about the film, the conversation somehow turned to J.K. Rowling and the Harry Potter series, and before we knew it, we were discussing the merits of Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows versus The Dark Tower. Inevitably, when this sort of thing happens, we start comparing which books are best worth reading first, which books are better story-telling vehicles, which books are funniest, etc. etc. It’s one of the great joys of being a film critic, because you get to discuss movies with people who love them as much as you do. And often, you will have great discussions about movies you both love, which is what makes it all worthwhile.

But sometimes, you will have arguments, and these are the types of conversations you have before you’ve even seen the movie you’re arguing about!

It Is Not A Standalone Movie

Yes, you read that correctly. In the interests of keeping spoilers at a minimum, let’s just say that the events in The Dark Tower do not, in fact, lead directly to the events of Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows. When you see the movie, you will not be reminded of Harry Potter at all, and vice versa. It is a standalone adaptation that can be enjoyed by fans of both worlds. Or, if you’re not into fantasy at all, it’s still a very good movie that doesn’t require much in the way of prior knowledge to follow.

It Is Fun To Go Back In Time

That’s right, sometimes it’s fun to go back in time. Especially when you’re a famous rock star from the 1980s, and all of a sudden, the world makes a 180-degree turn and you get to go back to the good old days. Especially when those good old days involve getting your own motorcycle, which you then ride into battle alongside your guitar and bandmates. That, my friend, is how you live your life.

Now, you may argue that the events in The Dark Tower do follow directly from the events of Harry Potter, because both stories involve an anti-hero trying to prevent the creation of a murderous tyrant. But that’s where the connection ends. Aside from the fact that the two films are set at different times, they are otherwise completely unrelated. The Dark Tower is anachronistic in nearly every way, from the retro-futurism of its wardrobe (think Jeeves and Robert Elliott) to the use of archaic language (think Azkaban and Mordor). It’s not that the world changed in the meantime, it’s just that Howard the Duck got lost in time and ended up in the future. So if you want to see more of that laidback duck, you’ll have to watch the Marvel movies!

It Needs To Be A Few Minutes More

Whether you’ve read the books or seen the films, you will have noticed that there is a lot of pacing issues in The Dark Tower. The first half of the movie drags a little bit, but it’s not until the last 20 or 30 minutes that the pacing improves significantly. A big chunk of the middle acts as an extended exposition dump, which feels like a slog. I understand that it’s meant to establish the setting and establish some key relationships, but it still feels like a major stretch to watch Robert Pattinson and Tom Taylor blather on for a couple of hours about wizard stuff that we know nothing about.

As much as I would like to see more from The Dark Tower, it’s a safe bet that we’ll have to wait at least a year or two before its sequels are ready for release. Which means that, for now, all we can do is enjoy the ride and savor the unexpected pleasures that are coming our way.