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Dune (2021) Denis Villeneuve's Film

TheTVEditor

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Lynch's big battle scenes were awful. I wonder if someone could recolor grade the new film's mass battle and redshirt fight sequences and then toss them into the Spicediver cut. Haven't seen it so not sure if the uniforms will be compatible.
From what I saw from the Arrow 4k, the color grade is different from other releases, enough for the matte lines turn a lot less visible. It's so strange that Dune's budget was almost 4 times bigger than A New Hope, yet has lesser effects.
 

TM2YC

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From what I saw from the Arrow 4k, the color grade is different from other releases, enough for the matte lines turn a lot less visible. It's so strange that Dune's budget was almost 4 times bigger than A New Hope, yet has lesser effects.

Star Wars shooting almost all it's FX against a black starfield helped hide the matte lines, most of the Dune FX are against unforgiving sand. Plus it's more like double the budget, inflation in the late 70s/early 80s was really something across those 7-years. But yeah it's got some wonky FX for sure.
 

Amok

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If only someone with Adywan's skill (and patience) level could tackle Dune. I can do a bit of after effects work, but fixing those matte lines would require someone who knows what they're doing.
The most jarring parts are the bad hand to hand combat scenes. Most of those can just be cut.


Regarding a rescore of the new film, I agree it would massively benefit from a more melodic score.

While it wouldn't be compatible with a film, I absolutely adore the soundtrack of the old MS DOS Dune game (here in arranged version)

The soundtrack to Dune 2000 was also quite good.

And the TV Series:

Dune has had an inspiring effect on composers so far.
 

15MaF

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Much of it fails to be quite fully fledged or tonally satiated. They never meander far from his prescriptive palette/bible of notes and riffs - He stays in his comfort zone almost always.
I will add however, that on the Dune Sketchbook Soundtrack there is a track titled '4. The Shortening of the Way' which only makes it very partially into the final soundtrack if I remember rightly. It obviously got compromised with the edit, but in it's entirety is a cracking piece that goes on a substantial journey.
 

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^ That definitely gets me more pumped than any of the bland genuine marketing material! Love the visible wires added to the baron and of course the Lynch shields.
 

Racerx1969

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With all the discussion around the movie, I very much looked forward to it, but worried about how well done it would be with the pre-critiques. Well, that worry was unfounded (at least IMHO). My wife and I loved it. It's a dense, difficult story to present on screen and I thought Lynch made a valiant effort that largely succeeded. But for me Villeneuve took that and improved upon it.

The VO treatment worked far better now. I liked that different characters contributed and that it was presented more as them speaking under their breath to themselves. That felt more natural than the narrator-style VO Lynch used.

I thought the look was more successful. You could tell there was more budget available for sets, costumes and VFX. The ornithopters more closely match what I imagined upon my first reads of the Book. The costumes don't look like they hit up a surplus store.

I thought the casting was great; even though I recognized many of the actors, for me they were cast well and played the roles very well. Particularly Stellan Skarsgård's portrayal of Baron Harkonnen; that is how I imagined the Baron: creepy, vicious, empathyless, casually amoral. I was a bit concerned with Jason Momoa being cast, but I thought he did well and shaving the beard helped change the look we are familiar with enough that familiarity wasn't distracting.

The soundtrack is odd, but seems appropriate to the material. It wasn't distracting to me at all, so I'm good with it. I will be interested to see what faneditors do here though.

I've read people aren't happy with where the movie ends and had a short discussion with a friend. To me it makes sense. The story kind of shifts gears after that point.

So, in a nutshell, I'm quite happy with this treatment of the story and look forward to part 2. My wife and I watched it on HBOMax, but I think we will still try to get to a cinema to see it on the big screen as it warrants that experience--at least IMHO.
 

The Scribbling Man

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I saw it yesterday, quite spontaneously, as I had already planned to see it tomorrow in "fake" imax. I didn't like it particularly, but I'll still be following through and rewatching it tomorrow.
 

Gieferg

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I've seen it two days ago and nearly forgot about it. 6/10 max. Feels kinda bland, boring at times, and action is very underwhelming.
 

Moe_Syzlak

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I watched it again with my wife at home on HBO this past weekend. I still like it, while not loving it. There’s a lot that works better than the (best versions of) the Lynch film. Getting rid of the VO is a big one for me. I liked that they added some levity and wish there had been more. For a two part movie I really think they could’ve found more time for character moments. The look of Dune for me is Lynch’s Dune, but this one is close enough that it definitely feels like Dune. There’s still some heavy exposition but I’m glad they streamlined a lot of it. The Guild and the Emperor are still major players without much screen time and the major themes still come through loud and clear. There are definitely some key changes ( at least from the Lynch film) plot wise that make me wonder if they have major changes in store for part two. I think the white savior prophecy story may need some tweaks for modern sensibilities, though I’m positive that would piss off many. With the strong domestic opening despite the HBO availability, I’m pretty sure part two will get the green light. As this movie definitely has the feeling of prologue, I’m very excited for part two.
 

asterixsmeagol

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I saw it yesterday and loved it. My only criticism was that I would have preferred different fonts for the subtitles of the different languages being spoken, especially for scenes with two languages going at once.
 

revel911

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I've seen it two days ago and nearly forgot about it. 6/10 max. Feels kinda bland, boring at times, and action is very underwhelming.

I felt the opposite, I saw it two days ago and want to see it again.
 

Canon Editor

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I saw the movie a few days ago and can't stop thinking about it. Absolutely loved it! I'm really tempted to read the books... and watch the rest of Villeneuve's œuvre...

On a sidenote, Dune: Part Two has just been officially greenlit.
 

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Spoilers in paragraphs 2 & 3...

Dune: Part One (2021)
I didn't like 'Arrival' and I more or less hated 'Blade Runner 2049' but with 2021's 'Dune: Part One' Denis Villeneuve has finally made a science fiction film I like (kinda). It's got the awe inspiring grandeur that was lacking from 'Arrival' and the absurdly slow pace of editing from BR2049 is thankfully not repeated here. It's not burdened by the utter failure to live up to the dazzling vision of another Director (Ridley Scott), instead giving us the jaw-dropping scale of Villeneuve's own unique, cold, brutalist vision. I've always loved David Lynch's beautiful looking film and I didn't think this would come close from the trailers but there is so much brilliant design and costuming to soak up. I could do with much more colour and contrast to actually be able to see those production details though. It really feels and looks like how I imagined the book, even after several other interpretations. I was grinning from ear-to-ear every time I saw the Ornithopters, Lynch's film and other mediums have screwed them up badly (partly due to insufficient FX technology). However, they were a bit too close to looking, acting and sounding just like real world helicopters for my complete satisfaction. Villeneuve goes for an easily recognisable blur of dragon fly style "rotorblades" instead of a more daring and graceful flapping bird's wing type design. I loved the sheer massiveness of everything (which must be seen on a big cinema screen), like the portal shaped Heighliners and that big imperial egg shaped ship landing on huge groaning mechanical feet. The casting is near perfect for the characters. I had my reservations about Jason Momoa but he's so good as Duncan Idaho, like a cross between Han Solo and a Samurai. Hans Zimmer's score is powerful and the VisFX are almost faultless, there's just that very weird "uncanny valley" shot of Paul with the Starlord visor from the trailer, which hasn't been improved for the movie.

Unfortunately there are problems and it's mostly structural. There is a real sense of deflation at the end, with some audible grumbling and sighing from other cinema patrons. It just stops at a random point, a knife fight (in a movie filled with knife fights) and characters walking through the desert (in a movie filled with walking through the desert) with Zimmer's score and a "It's only the beginning!" line both trying desperately to make it feel like an epic conclusion. If Villeneuve's promised sequels are never made (and that's not 100% certain, despite today's announcement. A spin-off series was announced and abandoned already) then this movie is such a waste of time and effort, plus squanders the rare opportunity that Villeneuve had to do this story with seemingly total creative freedom (unlike poor Lynch). This isn't like Ralph Bakshi's sadly unfinished 'The Lord of the Rings' duology which ended with a big glorious battle that changes everything, 'Dune' has a nothing conclusion. The point to break the story into two in a satisfying way was surely Paul winning a first battle against the Harkonnens, and leading the Fremen, a point where the boy becomes the equal in stature to his father, when he becomes Muad'Dib and Jessica becomes a Reverend Mother. Or maybe ending on an epic sequence of Paul riding/conquering Shai-Hulud.

It's shocking how little of the book is covered in 2.5 hours. I've only read the book once but IIRC this only covers roughly a third of the narrative (not the page count) and chops out many sections and characters from that. I reckon the 1984 film squeezed and condensed about 75% of the book into the same runtime (in one of it's extended forms), this new version is more like only 25%. There is no Feyd, no Emperor, no Irulan, no Navigators, all of who were fitted into the 1984 film. With the added runtime I thought they'd show, or even expand upon the parts of the book missing from the Lynch adaptation but there is none of the galactic political intrigue, no Fenrings, no exploration of Kynes' backstory, no scenes exploring life on Geidi Prime (other than a brief exposition dump scene in one room), no scenes really showing what life is like in Arakeen and there is less time spent with Thufir, Piter, Shadout Mapes, Rabban and Mohiam than in the shorter movie. I think Doctor Yueh only appears in one pointless scene (prior to the attack), which seems to be there purely so we actually know he exists before he betrays the Atreides. I loved seeing more of Kynes (and Sharon Duncan-Brewster is terrific) but there could till have been more of her. I grew tired of the film's exposition dialogue repeatedly following a three stage formula: 1. the book version, 2. the movie version, 3. the dumb version e.g. "It's a Crysknife. The tooth of Shai-Hulud. A big sandworm", or "It's a Gom Jabbar. A poisoned needle. It instantly causes death" etc. In all cases the first two (and often just the first) would've sufficed. I don't think the movie drags (far from it) but I think what we have could've been trimmed down to closer to 2-hours, with less exposition and repetition and then the other 30-minutes could've shown us more story at the end.

I do want to watch this again while playing in theatres and I want to see the sequels but if they don't happen, I can't see myself revisiting this on home video very often. There isn't enough to make a stand-alone experience.

 

Moe_Syzlak

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I agree with most of that. But I think Villeneuve did a fantastic job streamlining the politics and intrigue while still delivering all the themes. We didn’t need to see the Emperor on screen to know what’s going on and all the themes of colonialism, religion, ecology are there in spades. In fact I’d argue that if anything it comes off a little heavy handed. But as I’ve stated several times now, I think with the 2.5 hours of runtime, they could’ve advanced the story further and, most importantly for me, added more character moments. The cast is terrific, especially Oscar Isaac, but I needed more time with them as people, more scenes like the one on the bluff with Paul and Leto.
 

Wraith

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I agree with it all...boiling it down, we were told the bare minimum to make it work, JUST...and given the budget and "locations", at no point did a single shot come close to Lawrence of Arabia as many have professed. For all it's skill and run time, I left much like with No Time to Die; well made, competent but I remained unmoved and unengaged (roll on the French Dispatch this week)...

This felt like an hours worth of dialogue and character hit the cutting room floor to get it to 2.5 hrs (here we go again).

I could go on, but others will, and I already agree with them too!
 

spence

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I agree that very little ground was covered, and maybe that was on purpose. This movie had to really set everything up in a way people could understand easily so it can all pay off in the back half, and we aren't doing a bunch of exposition besides some Fremen stuff.

Remember how little happened in the first couple of episodes of Game of Thrones? Similar concept. People need time to sit with this stuff and begin to understand it. It's tricky to remember that as a big fan of the books, but my wife went in totally cold and needed that amount of time to piece it together. She loved it, BTW.

Weird decision not to introduce the Emperor and Irulan in this film, as I feel like having to set them up in the second movie is going to slow it down tremendously.

Also, I wish the final scene had been them riding the worm. It's a big moment in the story, and I feel like it's going to get lost in the transition between films now.
 

TM2YC

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Also, I wish the final scene had been them riding the worm. It's a big moment in the story, and I feel like it's going to get lost in the transition between films now.

It had not occurred to me that they might decide to not pick up exactly where the first film left off. It's possible they could begin a sequel some years later from the perspective of the Emperor/Guild wondering why spice production has slowed and rejoin Paul when they find out the reason. That seems like too big a departure from the book though.
 

spence

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It had not occurred to me that they might decide to not pick up exactly where the first film left off. It's possible they could begin a sequel some years later from the perspective of the Emperor/Guild wondering why spice production has slowed and rejoin Paul when they find out the reason. That seems like too big a departure from the book though.
Logically, the thing to do would be to start with Paul already fighting with the Fremen and Jessica teaching some of them the Weirding way, with some other tribes venturing out to join them. That would start the story somewhere a bit more interesting than just "Here's a detailed list of Fremen customs".
 
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