DUNE Movie: Thoughts, Opinions, and Impressions

embee

Lawyer by day. Rules lawyer by night.
So, having watched Dune (2021), I'm not overly impressed with the writing or the acting. As pertains to the writing, enormous liberties were taken with the script. It's, at least in my opinion, a very dumbed-down version of Dune. The acting is fairly wooden as well, which is to be expected from Jason Momoa and Dave Bautista. I've never seen any of Chalamet's other work but if this is his level of acting, well I'm not impressed. As to Josh Brolin, it was fairly standard gruff Brolin.

Visually, it was fine although there were still major problems - mostly due to the way Hollywood movies work. The stillsuits are designed to capture nearly all water lost through sweat, exhalation, and elimination. And yet the major cast goes around unmasked for most of the time. I know. I get it. The stars didn't sign on to have their faces covered up.

And finally, again minor but big, the accents. I know that serious sci-fi is supposed to have English accents because it's Fakespeare. It's faux gravitas and it's stupid. So what happens when you jettison the fake English accents and have epic scifi with flat American accents? Everything just seems, well, flat. Not to mention that it leads to jarring American pronunciations like "HAR-kuh-nin" and Beast "Rabbin."

Maybe I was "spoiled" by the David Lynch version or too many readings of the book in my youth but my thoughts on the movie are that it is "Dune, based on the book by Frank Herbert." And yes, many of these are little things. But little things add up.

But what did you think?
 

log in or register to remove this ad

Jmarso

Adventurer
Doesn't open where I'm at until the end of this week. Been looking forward to it forever and going in with sky-high expectations and hope that they get to finish the book with a second movie.
 

hope that they get to finish the book with a second movie.
I read the other day that its likely to happen depending on how it does on HBO MAX but the writer and director were pretty miffed that they released it on streaming as well. ICR where I read it, and the information in the article was kind of jumbled so it was hard to get an accurate time frame, but Im expecting it'll happen. I was looking forward to this too but also read that this movie ends abruptly. So considering I've tried reading Dune at least 5 times and never once finished it it would be just my luck that the sequel never gets made. I'll most likely check it out on HBO MAX this weekend, but Im not setting my expectations too high. For the record the 6 prelude to Dune novels by Brian Herbert and Kevin Anderson were great.
 


I read a couple of those and didn't like them, although there may have been some bias on my part, as a) I've never liked Kevin Andersen, and b) the whole effort felt like a cash-grab on the part of the son. I may have judged them too harshly, I'll admit.
I knew nothing about them except that his son co-wrote them. I haven't read anything since then but think they wrote quite a few more, including finishing the OG series that his father started. So your cash grab claim may not be far from the truth, IDK. Seeing as I never finish Dune, I really wasn't all that invested in the those books so I may not have been biased as some people might have been going into them.
 

Jmarso

Adventurer
To be honest, for all its fame and importance in sci-fi, nothing in the Dune-verse grabs me beyond the first book. I read the first two sequels, and felt that each one was only about half as good as the one that came before it, so I stopped. For me personally, Dune is a one-shot: the first book. But oh man, how do I love that one book!!
 

embee

Lawyer by day. Rules lawyer by night.
To be honest, for all its fame and importance in sci-fi, nothing in the Dune-verse grabs me beyond the first book. I read the first two sequels, and felt that each one was only about half as good as the one that came before it, so I stopped. For me personally, Dune is a one-shot: the first book. But oh man, how do I love that one book!!
That's pretty much the general consensus.

Dune Messiah is very good. Children of Dune is quite good. God Emperor of Dune is good but has really sort of lost the thread. And Heretics and Chapterhouse are drek.
 

Jmarso

Adventurer
Just looked and saw there are a couple Thursday night showings here, sort of like the old 'midnight release' but they do it at normal times. May have to jump on that train.
 

Morrus

Well, that was fun
Staff member
And finally, again minor but big, the accents. I know that serious sci-fi is supposed to have English accents because it's Fakespeare. It's faux gravitas and it's stupid. So what happens when you jettison the fake English accents and have epic scifi with flat American accents? Everything just seems, well, flat. Not to mention that it leads to jarring American pronunciations like "HAR-kuh-nin" and Beast "Rabbin."
Well, from our point of view, that means the characters don't have flat accents! So it's a win for us!
 

sgtnasty

Explorer
But what did you think?
No dialog for such an incredible cast. All the good dialog was cut.

Screenshot from 2021-10-18 18-28-19.png
 

Not to mention that it leads to jarring American pronunciations like "HAR-kuh-nin" and Beast "Rabbin."
Given that Herbert was from Tacoma, that is presumably how he intended them to be pronounced? As well as Doon, which was the name of the planet in the Lynch version.
 

Argyle King

Legend
I agree with portions of what the OP said: visually, the movie looks good; but the story seems very stripped down.

I feel as though the world-building efforts of the movie are pretty good. A lot of time is put into explaining the backdrop of the setting, why things are the way they are, and how the general ecology of the setting kinda works.

Unfortunately, in contrast, the methods chosen for telling the actual story sometimes feel a bit empty.

I more-or-less enjoyed it because I was already invested in the idea of a new Dune movie. For the average movie-goer, I think it's going to be a little painful to sit through the entire thing. The movie doesn't do a great job of inviting the audience into the story.

At 2.5 hours long for "part 1," I think it would have been better to film a 1-season mini-series for a streaming platform and space out the world building so as to have time to tell the story and give more substance to the dialogue and characters.

The movie has a good ensemble cast but doesn't make much use of the cast.

•looks cool
•good world building
•somewhat dry approach to storytelling

Dune ends up being a mostly-good amusement park ride or visual spectacle, while also simultaneously being a kinda meh movie.
 



Mercurius

Legend
Lynch's version is a very flawed masterpiece. Such great atmosphere and Lynchian weirdness, but hugely rushed in the second half, and of course the poor casting choice of Sting. But the first half or so is great.

Kind of disappointed to hear the impressions in the OP. Oh well, at least it will be pretty to look at.

And to the OP, Chalamet was great in Beautiful Boy.
 


Not really. The story has a logical mid point, and that is where it ends. It did not feel abrupt to me at all.

I also strongly disagree with the OP. I consider this movie a masterpiece, and superior to Lynch's film in almost every way. Go see it in the theater.
Good to know that it ends at a logical point.






SPOILER: If I had to guess is it when Paul first rides the Sandworm?



Iron Maiden: Can we.name our new song Dune?
Herbert: I dont like Heavy Metal groups.
 


Argyle King

Legend
Second thoughts after another viewing:

The movie is roughly 2.5 hours long.

The first 1.5 hours is still more-or-less what I've said in my previous comment. It's a lot of set up and world-building (which is good) while also being a bit dry in terms of getting to the actual story.

The last 45 minutes or so starts to get into telling a rather good story. Then it's over.

The choice of place to stop makes sense.

Thinking back on it all, my opinion is that a large chunk of this movie feels a bit like a prologue. It's a necessary prologue to understand the stage upon which the story takes place and to understand who the characters are and why they're there, but it's not always an enjoyable ride to sit through. I wouldn't say it's bad; but a few parts are (as said) a bit dry. It's occasionally rough to sit through in the same way that Season 1 of Game of Thrones was necessary to set the stage but had episodes which were dry until the ball got rolling.

Once the movie gets to the actual story, I think it's an enjoyable ride, but one which ends quickly. In some ways that's a good thing because it stops at a point where you're left wanting to see more. On the other hand, I believe that how the entire story is ultimately viewed will depend upon how much time the audience is required to wait before seeing the next part.

Most of the cast seems fine when the actors are actually acting and not just kinda standing around.

Dave Bautista seemed fine for the part for which he was chosen. It'll be hard to judge before seeing the next part. Still, I think his acting has improved over the past few years. He seems to be putting effort into his craft.

Jason Momoa wasn't great. I don't expect a wide range from him. Though, even without high expectations, it was one of his weaker performances. I was bummed by that because I actually like some of the work he's done in other shows and movies. Here, it just didn't seem as though he was putting in his best effort.

I enjoyed the movie enough to want to see more. Simultaneously, I still think that a portion of the movie will be a bumpy experience for those unfamiliar with the source material.
 


Level Up!

An Advertisement

Advertisement4

Top