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Dune (2021) Spoiler Thread

Discussion in 'Film & Television' started by FifthView, Oct 24, 2021.

  1. FifthView

    FifthView Vala

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    I'm not really sure that the spoiler warning needs to be on this thread, given the age of the novel and the other adaptations that have already appeared in the past, but I also don't like being hampered by having to worry about revealing spoilers.

    I'm a huge Dune fan. I've been a fan since the 80's, when as a teen I found myself rereading Dune every half year or so. Dune might still be my most-read novel of all time, although Asprin's MythAdventures series of novels might have taken the crown. I've lost track.

    I never particularly liked the David Lynch adaptation (1984), but this was mostly for two reasons: Kyle MacLachlan did not come anywhere close to looking like the Paul Atreides I always imagined when I was a teen, and the movie took way too many liberties with the story. (The rain at the end? Gadz.) But the movie was OK. I've watched it a few times, just not in a couple decades or so.

    I very much liked the Sci-Fi Channel's 3-part miniseries of Dune. If Lynch's movie was a 6/10 for me, the Sci-Fi miniseries would be a 7.5/10, maybe even an 8. I did not particularly like the Lady Jessica, but Saskia Reeves did OK. A lot of the battles, and some of the CGI was hokey, but it was a miniseries on a B-tier channel (?) so I let that slide.

    Children of Dune, the sequel miniseries on Sci-Fi, would be a 9/10 for me, and very close to a 10. I loved it. I've bought it in multiple formats and have probably watched it as many times as I've read the original Dune novel. Maybe not having read any of the other novels helped me out here, I don't know. I still think the soundtrack to Children of Dune is one of the best soundtracks of all time, counting all television programs and movies ever made.

    So what about this year's Dune?

    Meh.

    I do wonder if having seen it on my television first, via HBO Max, might have been a big issue. Too many scenes were very dark. A lot of scenes have only one or two colors, maybe shades of those colors, and action sequences or overhead panoramic shots had jerky camera movements or else were just a blob of indistinct features. I feel this kept me from fully enjoying the movie. The blur bled into other areas, or detracted from other areas. Would an IMAX screen have eliminated this effect? Maybe; I can't know.

    Knowing the story so fully, I was let down by many, many omissions. What about the garden in the palace on Arrakis? Gone, and along with it, significant interaction with Liet-kynes—who was unceremoniously erased from the film ASAP. There were hardly any interactions with the Shadout Mapes, or they were cursory. In fact, everything seemed very rushed once the Atreides stepped onto Dune.

    I will admit to a few moments when I got serious chills, although after one viewing, I now don't remember exactly when they happened. They were "small" moments, I remember, but superbly acted and shot.

    Timothée Chalamet is the best Paul Atreides yet. So far. I'm a fan of his acting, and he does well here. I particularly like the fact that he seems much younger than the other actors who have been cast in the role. It's closer to the novel, that way.

    On the whole, the casting in this movie is very good. However, I'm not used to seeing the Baron as some sort of figure from a horror movie, as he's depicted here. Even in the novel, there was a sort of camp, or wordiness at least, however menacing he became.

    This Arrakis feels much more like an alien world than any of the other adaptations' depictions. It seems real, and really alien. I like this.

    The movie as a whole is a slow burn (even though rushing through or skipping much material I know from the books), so I'm going to need to watch it again and probably watch the sequel before I can settle on an impression. I liked it, but I was not blown away. I don't love it yet, and I might never. It stands at around a 7 for me.
     
    Last edited: Oct 24, 2021
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  2. Lynea

    Lynea Sage

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    I watched it on imax and it was fine. No visual issues for me. :) The music on the other hand was a bit louder than all the whispering dialogue so I had some hearing issues at times.
     
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  3. Eduardo Letavia

    Eduardo Letavia Troubadour

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    I saw it in a regular cinema and didn't really notice anything particularly wrong visually, maybe because I'm kind of use to all sorts of visual trickery by now. But I agree with you, FifthViewFifthView , in the color/photography department but that's just Villeneuve's style (check his previous scifi flicks and you'll notice it). And a particularity that I noticed was the little homage to Stanley Kubrick with the couple space scenes that are shown. I mean there's a small scene showing the Navigator's vessel over Arrakis with some eerie music that felt very 2001's. On the other hand, I really liked how all the tech has been designed, like the shields as smart visual cues that tell both the characters and us about when a hit can be deadly, the beautiful and properly agile ornithopters, and the lasguns to name a few. Certainly in the VFX department they did their job well, with good attention to detail.

    On the acting side, the actors do their parts fine overall. Chalamet looks like a perfect fit for Paul (although in the book there's barely a physical description of him beyond his age and a couple of minor details) but I'd like to point out that, to me, is Lady Jessica the more appealing character. She's the one who deals with a heavier emotional toll and, thankfully, Rebecca Fergusson does a great job expressing it as much as she can both through dialog and by gestures or some other expressions. In other words, she's to me the emotional anchor of the movie. Regarding the Baron Harkonnen, it seems Villeneuve's have chosen to make it absolutely menacing, probably to avoid making him a histrionic fool as he seemed to be in previous adaptations. On the other hand, in the book he seems to be more like a machiavellic roman patrician (that even had his very own personal circus!) but maybe they thought that angle had been tried twice already and they needed to give it a different spin, which its fine by me.

    The movie has (or feels like having) a fast pace, understandable given the thick content it has to deliver, and it feels more like that for people who are completely new in the saga. I went to see it with a couple of friends who had no previous knowledge of Dune at all, and one of them commented me how attention-demanding the movie was, with so many concepts and things going on in the movie. Heck, even I had to glue my eyes to the screen for not missing anything! But I didn't felt that anything essential to the story had been cut out: the core elements and events were there and have been more than enough to give us a notable two-and-a-half-hours film. So, this new Dune is a good first half that we'll have to reevaluate when we get the second part, if they make it!
     
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  4. pmmg

    pmmg Auror

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    Yeah...reading the comments above, one of my peeves in movies is sound issues, where the movie is really quiet in some parts and too loud in others. In this movie, there was a bit of whispering that was not loud enough to overcome the background music. I needed sub-titles.

    Anyway.... I thought it was a good adaption. I felt to sand and spice carried as a difficult environment to live in, which i did not get in other adaptations. And I thought the worms worked, whereas in other adaptations they seem comical. For me, the best improvement over other iterations was the convincing nature of the planet.

    While I was not bored in this movie, I did not find myself terribly invested in it either. Dune is a complex story, and not a lot of fun, and so....I think it will not become the next Star Wars as I have heard some say. I was not brought in to care much what happened to the characters, and find myself indifferent to Paul, who was the most interesting one the books.
     
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  5. Demesnedenoir

    Demesnedenoir Istar

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    I haven’t seen it yet, but anything but a slow-burn movie would surprise me. That’s the feel of the novel to me, not an adventure. I’ve heard it doesn’t cover the full novel which would make it awkward, a bit like watching Bakshi’s animated LoTR, heh heh. The expansive, alien world feel is what I’ve heard many folks praising.
     
  6. pmmg

    pmmg Auror

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    Certainly does not cover the full book. Just the beginning of it. Sequels are meant to follow.
     
  7. Adela

    Adela Minstrel

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    Warner Bros. has committed to Part Two, thankfully. Would have been a bit annoying to newbies like me to not see the rest of the story.

    Since I watched it over the weekend on my tv, I was constantly messing with the volume. Most movies are this way nowadays, unfortunately. Sound effects and score tend to be louder than any dialogue. Don't know if this is true in theaters, as well. (Though, I heard Tenet had major sound issues in theaters.) Found it enthralling yet much slower than I'd anticipated and very different than I thought it would be going in. Kept thinking to myself how I wished I could be watching it on a big screen for the visuals and the audio experience of the soundtrack. Maybe w/ part two. :)
     
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  8. FifthView

    FifthView Vala

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    I've been noticing this as well. I've wondered why this is.
     
  9. Adela

    Adela Minstrel

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    I just assume the invention of flat screens needing an added sound bar for audio was the cause. Maybe it's bad on old CRT tv's as well? :rolleyes:

    Anyway, watched Dune again last night, this time with subtitles. :D
     
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