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Dune - Denis Villeneuve — Page 3

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First reviews are up.

Looks like this will be a worthwhile adaptation.

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https://www.theguardian.com/film/2021/oct/20/dune-review-denis-villeneuves-awe-inspiring-epic-is-a-moment-of-triumph

Dune review – Denis Villeneuve’s awe-inspiring epic is a moment of triumph (⭐⭐⭐⭐⭐) by Peter Bradshaw

Or if you prefer video reviews…

https://youtu.be/zYVgbAF-JIs

Dune - movie review by Jeremy Jahns

“it’s not a movie you watch, it’s a world you experience”

Reminder to see ‘Dune’, preferably in a cinema, as it’s only meant to be part 1 and Dune part 2 won’t be made unless the first film is a success! I’m seeing it in an IMAX screen tomorrow and will undoubtedly drag my friends to see it at some point as well. Very excited!

“Remember, the Force will be with you. Always.”

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BFI At Home | Dune Q&A with Denis Villeneuve

https://youtu.be/l-JuD1kIQ9k

Academy Award®-nominated filmmaker Denis Villeneuve (Arrival, Blade Runner 2049) talks to Edith Bowman about his big-screen adaptation of Frank Herbert’s seminal bestseller, Dune. This Q&A originally screened after a preview of the film at BFI Southbank.

As well as this:

Dune Director Denis Villeneuve on Adapting Frank Herbert’s Notoriously Unfilmable Sci-Fi Epic

https://youtu.be/Wx0SALW3qF8

It takes an experienced director like Denis Villeneuve to tackle a project like Dune. The Canadian filmmaker joined Q’s Tom Power to explain why he was eager to helm a big-screen adaptation of Frank Herbert’s seminal novel, despite its shaky cinematic past. Read more: http://cbc.ca/1.6215592

These should be a good watches after seeing the film. I’m so hyped. I’ve not been this excited for a movie since The Last Jedi. I really hope I’ll find time to see it on at the big screen.

“Heroes come in all sizes, and you don’t have to be a giant hero. You can be a very small hero. It’s just as important to understand that accepting self-responsibility for the things you do, having good manners, caring about other people - these are heroic acts. Everybody has the choice of being a hero or not being a hero every day of their lives.” - George Lucas

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fmalover said:

So far the only change that really irritates me about the movie is gender-swapping Doctor Kynes. I suspect it was done to increase the female presence, but that could have easily been fixed by including the Fremen widow (Harath I think is her name) that is placed under Paul’s care.

Yeah, but she doesn’t really do much that I can remember.

ROTJ Storyboard Reconstruction Project

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Unfortunately I won’t be able to see the movie in the cinema, due to cinemas still being closed, so I guess I’ll have to settle for watching it on HBO Max.

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I saw this yesterday and without leaving any spoilers I’ll say it’s good but the supporting characters and motives are not really fleshed out enough I’m going to say outright that Lynch’s Dune is much better in this regard.

Special effects are good, music sound costumes and cinematography solid but it’s let down by not enough investment in the characters. Arrakis as I previously stated needed to be more colorful too.

It’s a solid effort but Lynch’s Dune is somehow better handled it might take liberties with the book but it’s the better adaptation at least as far as we have got into the story thus far in comparrison.

The new film has great special effects but without the great acting of Lynch vetsion and the characters are far better developed this is though however in consideration of Lynch and extended footage.

All round though it was a good film just not blown away by it.

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Ronster said:

Arrakis as I previously stated needed to be more colorful too.

That has been my biggest complaint from the start. The desaturated colour timing makes the movie look lifeless.

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Just back from the film. Absolutely spectacular. They really mean it when they say this must be watched in a cinema (if you’re comfortable doing so that is). It’s more than a movie, you have to feel like you’re there.

“Remember, the Force will be with you. Always.”

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fmalover said:

Ronster said:

Arrakis as I previously stated needed to be more colorful too.

That has been my biggest complaint from the start. The desaturated colour timing makes the movie look lifeless.

It could do with it for sure and that would round off the experience factor but as for the plot being better fleshed out I can only imagine there are things left out of the edit. It chose all focus on Paul & Jessica with a bit of Leto and the baron over basically none of the others having any real significance apart from Jason Mamoa (Duncan).

And thats a big problem concerning the factions like the bene geserit, spacing guild and the mentats there really is no explaination about them and they get no screen time at all even the Harkonen are not really fleshed out in any particular fashion and Gurney basically does nothing too.

It’s a very different take to not particularly explain or even show what these factions are and their purpose in the Dune Universe. In that regards it’s basically Atreides vs Harkonen with the fremen lurking in the backdrop every other faction and supporting charcter is basically sacrificed. Jessica in comparison to Lynch version comes off as an emotional wreck rather than strong and the guiding force.

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Ronster said:

And thats a big problem concerning the factions like the bene geserit, spacing guild and the mentats there really is no explaination about them and they get no screen time at all even the Harkonen are not really fleshed out in any particular fashion and Gurney basically does nothing too.

I’ve seen a few reactions now from newcomers saying the movie was well made, but they need to rewatch it as there was a lot of information to comprehend. Dune has always been information-dense and that’s one of the reasons why it’s been difficult to adapt. I don’t remember hearing any spoken info about the Guild or smugglers and I think leaving them out of the worldbuilding, at least for now, is an unfortunate but necessary sacrifice as even more factions to keep track of (especially if they aren’t that important to the story yet) would have exacerbated the problem of non-book readers struggling.

I liked how the Bene Gesserit and the mentats are handled however. We see Thufir’s eyes roll into his head near the start as he precisely recites information, which gives you a visual sense of the Mentat ability without having to explain it (show not tell after all), and I think we see and hear enough about the Bene Gesserit to get a sense of their organisation without it losing its mystery.

“Remember, the Force will be with you. Always.”

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jedi_bendu said:

Ronster said:

And thats a big problem concerning the factions like the bene geserit, spacing guild and the mentats there really is no explaination about them and they get no screen time at all even the Harkonen are not really fleshed out in any particular fashion and Gurney basically does nothing too.

I’ve seen a few reactions now from newcomers saying the movie was well made, but they need to rewatch it as there was a lot of information to comprehend. Dune has always been information-dense and that’s one of the reasons why it’s been difficult to adapt. I don’t remember hearing any spoken info about the Guild or smugglers and I think leaving them out of the worldbuilding, at least for now, is an unfortunate but necessary sacrifice as even more factions to keep track of (especially if they aren’t that important to the story yet) would have exacerbated the problem of non-book readers struggling.

I liked how the Bene Gesserit and the mentats are handled however. We see Thufir’s eyes roll into his head near the start as he precisely recites information, which gives you a visual sense of the Mentat ability without having to explain it (show not tell after all), and I think we see and hear enough about the Bene Gesserit to get a sense of their organisation without it losing its mystery.

Yeah we got a slice on the benegeserit and it made sense but too much has been dropped out particularly gurney being reduced and Guild and mentats although it is there thuffer does not matter at all he is nobody piter is also nobody. Pretty bad handling and so although everyone gushes over the special effects it’s a big fat “if you don’t know you don’t miss it” so essentially it has been dumbed down and reduced to a shallower paddling pool rather than an ocean of information. It’s ok but it’s just not really like the factions don’t matter… So now in part 2 if it get’s made there is an awful lot of ground to cover more than it actually needs to cover because it basically sacrificed most of the factions motives and who these people were and how they were Spice mutated. Oh well part 2 now is much more difficult because he’s put himself into a hole which is not easy to climb out… Expectations lowered on the sequal to be honest.

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Ronster said:

it has been dumbed down and reduced to a shallower paddling pool rather than an ocean of information.

Doesn’t this happen with every novel adaptation? It’s kind of in the nature of translating a book full of information to a visual medium. Things need to be communicated visually, such as Thufir’s special/unnatural ability to recite such precise information as I mentioned. Perhaps this isn’t such a problem with the 1984 film, I haven’t watched it just yet, but I know most of the complaints say it’s overstuffed and too confusing. I think the new movie has avoided being overstuffed and just barely avoided being too confusing.

That said, although I love the new film I do think we should get a long director’s cut and/or deleted scenes. I get the feeling a lot was cut, perhaps material containing a lot of the information you thought was lacking. Duncan’s actor Jason Momoa has advocated for a director’s cut, which he suggests could be “four-to-six” hours long.

“Remember, the Force will be with you. Always.”

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jedi_bendu said:

Ronster said:

it has been dumbed down and reduced to a shallower paddling pool rather than an ocean of information.

Doesn’t this happen with every novel adaptation? It’s kind of in the nature of translating a book full of information to a visual medium. Things need to be communicated visually, such as Thufir’s special/unnatural ability to recite such precise information as I mentioned. Perhaps this isn’t such a problem with the 1984 film, I haven’t watched it just yet, but I know most of the complaints say it’s overstuffed and too confusing. I think the new movie has avoided being overstuffed and just barely avoided being too confusing.

That said, although I love the new film I do think we should get a long director’s cut and/or deleted scenes. I get the feeling a lot was cut, perhaps material containing a lot of the information you thought was lacking. Duncan’s actor Jason Momoa has advocated for a director’s cut, which he suggests could be “four-to-six” hours long.

There is a few things removed that have been confirmed.

  1. Duncan infiltrating Arrakis in the ship he was test flying but ejecting and skydive to surface (advance team)
  2. Jessica in the botanical conservatory.
  3. Gurney playing balliset

Although I would also assume scenes lost for Piter and Thuffer too the Mentat explaination.

Jessica making Love to Leto thats a big deal really let’s face it. Conception of Alia.

Some sort of explaination about folding space and that the guild navigators use the spice as in the book.

Villians short changed on the plot to oust atreides and it being piters plan although the baron claims it’s his plan. Piter as the real architect but upon his death then taking thuffer as the replacement for advice is now quite unexplainable I feel.

the traitor in the midst of arriving on Arrakis Jessica being accused although Huey does not find the message in the dead harkonen.

Over 3 hours to really do it justice given the choices of the pacing they employed people looking at one another and stuff.

The 1982 Lynch version and it’s various extended versions struggle in how to get all the information across in a streamlined way…And it’s not in the right order of sequence of scenes but if those issues were resolved it would be that bit better.

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I just watched David Lynch’s Dune, and yeah I don’t think it’s great. I can respect many elements of it but mostly, it just made me want to go back and watch the new one again (which I’ll do anyway!) I’m not sure why you still prefer it Ronster, as almost all of your criticisms of Villenueve’s Dune I can find in the 1984 version, only much worse.

I feel that the roles of Liet, Gurney, Thufir and Duncan are drastically reduced in the film. I think we get a brief explanation of the Mentat abilities but as to Thufir’s character, we don’t see him offering his resignation as we do in the 2021 film and he suffers as a sympathetic character. I wasn’t really touched by Gurney and Duncan’s relationship with Paul as I was with the 2021 film. With Liet, we don’t see him making that important decision to help the Atreides against his orders and we don’t see his death, either - he is quickly forgotten about. At least Gurney has his baliset in this version, even though he doesn’t play it! Hoping that’ll be a feature of Dune part 2.

The Harkonnens in the 1984 Dune I found to be the opposite of intimidating, they’re just goofy and beyond cartoonish. I really don’t get what it is with the ginger hair, the bright green interiors and the constant evil cackling. I liked the exterior shots of Geidi Prime but the design of the planet in the new film is miles more sinister, as are the Harkonnens. You don’t make compelling villains by constantly making them look stupid.

It’s fair to say there is so much missed out of the film. Leto and Jessica’s relationship lacked any depth at all for me, in the book and new movie we see how Leto separates her mother and Bene Gesserit identities and responsibilities, not entirely trusting her to do the right things for Paul. It adds so much complexity. I don’t dislike Kylo McLaughlin as Paul, but Timothee’s performance so far is leagues ahead. He’s able to sell the burdened and frightened aspects of Paul as well as the darkness within him which was missing from the 1984 film. That said, Kyle McLaughlin isn’t given as much opportunity - for example, we don’t have the scene where Paul screams in terror at the vision of fanatic legions waging holy war in his name. And take the iconic Gom Jabbar scene: in Lynch’s version, the Reverend Mother actually describes the mounting pain Paul is feeling, while we have fairly monotone voiceover narration from Jessica thoughts, which tells us she fears for Paul’s life. In Villenueve’s version, it is the performances which communicate all this information - particularly how Timothee’s acting communicates perfectly what level of pain he’s in, and how one stare from him shifts the entire balance of power in the scene. In my opinion, Lynch’s total reliance on voiceover throughout his movie versus Villenueve’s visual storytelling is perhaps the main deciding factor for which is the better film.

Didn’t hate the 1984 version though. I loved seeing Jürgen Prochnow from Das Boot as Leto, I think that was a great casting choice. The soundtrack by Toto is really atmospheric, and Brian Eno’s Prophecy Theme does the movie a great service.

Edit: forgot to mention how strange the pacing was. The movie seemed to get faster and faster as if in a rush to get it over with. To me it’s obvious splitting the film into two halves was the right approach. Dune part one, while only adapting half the story, is even longer than the 1984 version and it STILL had to cut out a truckload of stuff. That’s worth thinking about.

“Remember, the Force will be with you. Always.”

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Just finished watching the movie.

Overall I liked it save for two things: the desaturated colour timing which makes the movie look lifeless and gender-swapped Doctor Kynes who stuck out like a sore thumb.

If there’s one thing that we will never see in any adaptation ever it’s the Sietch orgy.

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I like the colours, they’re a lot more authentic to what a real desert looks like. It’s not like the colours were actually toned down, that’s really how they look in real life and I’m fine with that.

I don’t get what’s so bad about Kynes being gender swapped. As long as they keep the personality and role of Kynes, which they did, gender and race are superficial details which do however make large portions of the audience feel more included.

“Remember, the Force will be with you. Always.”

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jedi_bendu said:

I like the colours, they’re a lot more authentic to what a real desert looks like. It’s not like the colours were actually toned down, that’s really how they look in real life and I’m fine with that.

I don’t get what’s so bad about Kynes being gender swapped. As long as they keep the personality and role of Kynes, which they did, gender and race are superficial details which do however make large portions of the audience feel more included.

I’ll make my own fan-edit where I will crank up the colour saturation to my liking.

As for gender-swapping Kynes, I just couldn’t get behind it. I didn’t like it when they announced it and I don’t like it in the movie. Period.

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fmalover said:

As for gender-swapping Kynes, I just couldn’t get behind it. I didn’t like it when they announced it and I don’t like it in the movie. Period.

Of course I’m not saying you have to like it, but why not? I’m curious why it makes so much difference to some. Maybe if it was Paul I wouldn’t like it either, but Kynes isn’t a huge character in the book or the film anyway.

“Remember, the Force will be with you. Always.”

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jedi_bendu said:

fmalover said:

As for gender-swapping Kynes, I just couldn’t get behind it. I didn’t like it when they announced it and I don’t like it in the movie. Period.

Of course I’m not saying you have to like it, but why not? I’m curious why it makes so much difference to some. Maybe if it was Paul I wouldn’t like it either, but Kynes isn’t a huge character in the book or the film anyway.

Like I said, I just couldn’t get behind it.

Two changes I did like were Paul’s visions of possible future where Jamis becomes his mentor in the Fremen ways and friend, it greatly improved the scene where he sheds tears for a man he barely knew.

The other change I liked was making the crysknives longer. In the book crysknives are described as being 20 cm in blade length, but the movie added at least another 10 cm, which I approve of because 20 cm isn’t cinematically impressive.

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Something else which is currently on my mind, which I’d love to discuss, is casting for part two (which seems pretty much confirmed at this point, yay!)

Warning: this post will contain minor spoilers for the book, in terms of who appears, if you haven’t read it.

From what I can tell the two most popular fancasts for Feyd Rautha right now are Harry Styles and Bill Skarsgard, and off the top of my head those would be my top picks too. Yes, including Harry Styles would continue the tradition of a popular musician in the role of Feyd but more importantly, I remember him in Dunkirk and that man can ACT. A key factor is how Harry Styles doesn’t look dissimilar to Timothee and the characters are meant to parallel each other somewhat. On the other hand, you can see the family resemblance of Bill Skarsgard to Stellan and since Bill’s performance of Pennywise in IT is by far one of my favourite grotesque performances we know he can be very intimidating. I’d love to see Bill getting more major roles as he deserves them.

Princess Irulan’s casting I’m not too fussed about, Shaddam IV however I’m really interested to see who they cast. I honestly don’t have many ideas.

As for Alia, who knows… I bet the child actor will be someone we don’t even know of yet.

“Remember, the Force will be with you. Always.”

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fmalover said:

Two changes I did like were Paul’s visions of possible future where Jamis becomes his mentor in the Fremen ways and friend, it greatly improved the scene where he sheds tears for a man he barely knew.

I also really love getting to see more of Beast Rabban and the effect he has on Arrakis. Imo that’s something that’s actually skipped over a little in the novel. Rabban is just someone who we mostly only hear about, his death is passed on as simple information as well.

“Remember, the Force will be with you. Always.”

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Yeah, throughout the book we are only told about Rabban’s brutal rule of Arrakis, and he appears in person only once. He’s even killed offscreen, figuratively speaking.

My main picks for Emperor Shaddam IV are Michael Fassbender and Damian Lewis. In the book the Emperor is in his early 70s but looks no older than 35, however previous adaptations have cast old actors (Jose Ferrer and Giancarlo Giannini) which has always irritated me.

My picks for Princess Irulan are Elizabeth Debicki and McKenzie Davis.

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@Jedi_bendu watch the spicediver redux of 1984 Dune not the theatrical or extended cut.

Still this has problems / issues but it’s currently the best extended cut on offer. It’s on youtube or internet archive I think.

Essentially you have to look past both theatrical and extended cuts of 1984 Dune. As neither feel fully complete.

The Spicediver Redux is the most complete version but it’s not thought out too well about how it might go together in a different way scene orders etc…Although it is clever how it does the filmbook scenes. Spicediver redux it’s main focus is trying to make it more like the book (both good and bad in my opinion) and it also did not restore music cues either. But it’s a very good effort… But still it can be better than that version.

It’s one of the classic butchered films that will probably never be resolved but like I said look past the theatrical and extended versions…

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jedi_bendu said:

fmalover said:

Two changes I did like were Paul’s visions of possible future where Jamis becomes his mentor in the Fremen ways and friend, it greatly improved the scene where he sheds tears for a man he barely knew.

I also really love getting to see more of Beast Rabban and the effect he has on Arrakis. Imo that’s something that’s actually skipped over a little in the novel. Rabban is just someone who we mostly only hear about, his death is passed on as simple information as well.

The introduction was one of the pleasing additions that were made… We talked about it on a thread here about how could you show how the fremen wete repressed by the harkonen. Also the sigificance of the Arrakis palm trees which were originally going to be mentioned in the Lynch version first filmbook scene. This was done justice in the villuneve version and done well. Showing the burning palm trees too. The intro in the 2021 was going to be narrated by Reverend mother Mohim but it changed to be done by chani.

The other addition I really liked was showing Selusas Secundus and the Sandarkar. That was pretty cool with the throat singing and blood letting.

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Ronster said:

@Jedi_bendu watch the spicediver redux of 1984 Dune not the theatrical or extended cut.

Still this has problems / issues but it’s currently the best extended cut on offer. It’s on youtube or internet archive I think.

Essentially you have to look past both theatrical and extended cuts of 1984 Dune. As neither feel fully complete.

The Spicediver Redux is the most complete version but it’s not thought out too well about how it might go together in a different way scene orders etc…Although it is clever how it does the filmbook scenes. Spicediver redux it’s main focus is trying to make it more like the book (both good and bad in my opinion) and it also did not restore music cues either. But it’s a very good effort… But still it can be better than that version.

It’s one of the classic butchered films that will probably never be resolved but like I said look past the theatrical and extended versions…

Well in this case, you saying Dune 1984 is better than Dune 2021 is an unfair comparison right? Villenueve’s Dune hasn’t got an extended cut yet. A longer version might likely fix most of the problems you have with it.

Also, thanks so much for the recommendation. I feel like a proper Dune fan now so I’ll definitely check out the Spicediver Redux at some point.

“Remember, the Force will be with you. Always.”