DUNE Movie: Thoughts, Opinions, and Impressions


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Mallus

Legend
The thing about Paul not being a savior figure has less to do with the Missionaria Protectiva propaganda campaign and more to do with Paul being a godawful savior.
 


Marc_C

Solitary Role Playing
Saw it this afternoon. My wife and I really liked it. The Lynch version has finally been erased from my brain. I screamed at the screen for more when the movie ended! Let's hope they make Part Two.
 


aco175

Legend
Watched the 1984 version Friday night and the new, 2021 version last night. I did not miss the self-talking dialogue, but think if I never seen the old one I would be missing some things having never read the book. The scenery was good and casting was fine. Not sure why they did not film both parts all at once.
 

Mercurius

Legend
Yes and no. In no way was it created as a holistic whole. Indeed, a great deal of it was published posthumously, edited by his son. Tolkien was not like JMS, with the whole arc worked out in most detail before he began.
Who or what is "JMS?"

And of course it wasn't created as a holistic whole. It was created bit by bit. But the world and story 'existed' before the LotR was written, and thus LotR grew out of an already existing, organic, and holistic world. And yes, he continued to work on it for another 30 years after he finished LotR, deepening it, fleshing out details that never made it into LotR. Actually, he wrote an excellent story, Leaf By Niggle, about his never-ending creative process, how perfection is never achieved.

But one of the things I'm trying to get at is that, from Tolkien's perspective, and I think from the perspective of most diehard Tolkien fans (or Tolkienistas, as I think Michael Moorcock called them, or was it China Mieville?), LotR was secondary to his larger artistic process. His magnum opus wasn't LotR or the Hobbit or even the Silmarillion. It was Middle-earth, and those were just expressions of it on paper. Whereas, to use your example, Fast and Furious is its own thing. Certainly there is a body of "lore" that has been accumulated from all the movies, and I'm guessing someone has made a F&F wiki (I've never even seen a single F&F movie, so have no idea). But all of the F&F universe was created to serve the story, the films being all that really matters; they are the prima materia. Tolkien's books--not to mention the films--were expressions of his artistic project, not the thing itself. And I think that's partially why Fall of Gondolin matters, at least if one wants to really experience the heart of Tolkien's creation, his own prima materia: Middle-earth itself.
 


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.
God Emperor of Dune felt like Herbert was trying to close the main plot threads so he could move on. Not to mention, explore themes that were glossed over in the previous three books. I really liked GEoD for those reasons. It was really the end of a era for me.
 

Umbran

Mod Squad
Staff member
J Michael Straczynski, the show-runner for Babylon 5. He famously was the first person to write every episode of a whole season of TV.

More relevant here is that he had the overall, five-season story arc of Babylon 5 conceived and set before production began on the first episode.
 


Snarf Zagyg

Notorious Liquefactionist
I finally watched it last night. Avoided reviews and spoilers (is that a thing for movie based on a book that already has a movie?).

Setting- at home, large TV, very good sound system cranked all the way up, in the dark.

Going in- I love Denis Villenueve. Think he is one of the visually inventive directors of our time. Sometimes I worry he is a little style > substance, but still. I've read the Dune books (up to a point, I petered out after the third or forth) and saw the Lynch movie, but it's been decades.

Reaction- absolutely loved it.

Let me start with the good/great. The visuals were absolutely insanely good. So good I wish I saw it on a giant screen. Arrakis is shot with the loving detail of Lawrence in Arabia. The ships are pitch-perfect. The interiors are amazing and reflect something both hyper-futuristic and incredibly old. Even the smallest details, from the costume designs to the shields, are perfect. And the casting is marvelous.

....and the sound. Oh, the sound. I listened to it with my system cranked up, and the music, the ambient sound, the mix, was so good. So ... immersive. Absolutely spot on for me. The acting worked too. Most importantly, there was a lot of "show, don't tell." Outside of the very opening, there wasn't a ton of exposition dump. For a movie with a complicated plot and dream sequences and a lot of factions to take it, there's a lot of silence, and the dialogue is only there when needed. I appreciate that. It's sort of the opposite of a Tarantino movie- it's not quips, and it's not about the dialogue. This is a visual and audio feast.

The not so good. The worst part is that it's Part 1. Sure, it ends at a decent point, but still .... imagine if you saw The Two Towers in the theaters, there wasn't a first movie, and there may or may not be a sequel. The person I was watching with turned to me and said, "Wait, that's the ending? We have to wait two or three years for another one?"

The other thing that, upon reflection today, wasn't as great is that the choices made by Villenueve (which were almost all correct) also lead to certain shortcomings. For example, the Sarduakar. The introduction was so cool. But then they were a big "So what?" I have the vague recollections from reading the books why they were such a big deal, but other than a stray bit of dialogue when they were introduced (which was an incredibly cool introduction) and a little bit later (you know when you've encountered them), you have no idea that they're special- worse, there is nothing in the movie to indicate that they are special- it's an example where there was a "tell, don't show" that didn't even "tell" very well, and certainly didn't show! This is emblematic of the choice that get made when reducing a rich text to a movie (or even reducing half of a rich text to a movie) .


Overall, though, absolutely loved it. I would be crushed if I don't get to see how it ends.
 

Marc_C

Solitary Role Playing
The other thing that, upon reflection today, wasn't as great is that the choices made by Villenueve (which were almost all correct) also lead to certain shortcomings. For example, the Sarduakar. The introduction was so cool. But then they were a big "So what?" I have the vague recollections from reading the books why they were such a big deal, but other than a stray bit of dialogue when they were introduced (which was an incredibly cool introduction) and a little bit later (you know when you've encountered them), you have no idea that they're special- worse, there is nothing in the movie to indicate that they are special- it's an example where there was a "tell, don't show" that didn't even "tell" very well, and certainly didn't show! This is emblematic of the choice that get made when reducing a rich text to a movie (or even reducing half of a rich text to a movie) .
There is actually a scene in which we learn the Sarduakar are the best of the best on the Emperors planet. The Harkonnens need them to go against the elite trained by Duncan. Considering they completely destroy the Atreides family during the invasion I would say they are shown to be total bad ass. It's very much 'shown'.
 

Snarf Zagyg

Notorious Liquefactionist
There is actually a scene in which we learn the Sarduakar are the best of the best on the Emperors planet. The Harkonnens need them to go against the elite trained by Duncan. Considering they completely destroy the Atreides family during the invasion I would say they are shown to be total bad ass. It's very much 'shown'.

That's what I was saying, though. We have that dialogue. Then we have the additional Momoa (heh) line later.

But we don't get real differentiation to show us them being totally awesome. I was waiting for it! Visually and plot-wise the invasion seemed like it succeeded because of surprise, chicanery (ahem... you know what I mean), and overwhelming force. There was never a moment visually when I remember seeing the Sarduakar do something impressive ... not even in comparison to the Harkonnen.

....maybe that one scene where the Harkonnen troops were advancing, and the Sarduakar landed behind, but it didn't work for me. I just never saw/felt their relative strength. Heck, Aquaman was taking them out with no problem. ;)

Again, this was my 2 cents.
 

embee

Lawyer by day. Rules lawyer by night.
There is actually a scene in which we learn the Sarduakar are the best of the best on the Emperors planet. The Harkonnens need them to go against the elite trained by Duncan. Considering they completely destroy the Atreides family during the invasion I would say they are shown to be total bad ass. It's very much 'shown'.
But that's the thing...

They're not from Emperor's Shaddam's planet. They're from Salusa Secundus, a prison planet. The point being that they are raised in an impossibly harsh environment where only the absolute strongest, most savage, and most ruthless survive - with the obvious parallel being the Fremen of Arrakis.

The sad truth is that Dune, like Foundation and The Silmarillion, is a landmark work of science fiction that is so dependent on lore and internal dialogue that it is unfilmable.
 

payn

Legend
But that's the thing...

They're not from Emperor's Shaddam's planet. They're from Salusa Secundus, a prison planet. The point being that they are raised in an impossibly harsh environment where only the absolute strongest, most savage, and most ruthless survive - with the obvious parallel being the Fremen of Arrakis.

The sad truth is that Dune, like Foundation and The Silmarillion, is a landmark work of science fiction that is so dependent on lore and internal dialogue that it is unfilmable.
I dont think Dune is unfilmable. I think the format of film is inferior to that of a series. Warner Brothers made that call (again) and they missed having another Game of Thrones on their hands. Of course, we likely wouldn't get the awesome visuals and sound ambiance that DV created for us, but I guess there are always going to be trade offs.
 


The not so good. The worst part is that it's Part 1. Sure, it ends at a decent point, but still .... imagine if you saw The Two Towers in the theaters, there wasn't a first movie, and there may or may not be a sequel.

I saw all 3 lord of the rings movies in the theater when they came out, and had to wait for years to see the story completed. After Fellowship, it wasn't immediately guaranteed that the other two movies would follow. Same with the Star Wars prequels. I've honestly never had a problem with it.
 

payn

Legend
I saw all 3 lord of the rings movies in the theater when they came out, and had to wait for years to see the story completed. After Fellowship, it wasn't immediately guaranteed that the other two movies would follow. Same with the Star Wars prequels. I've honestly never had a problem with it.
Yeap, this always comes up. I remember leaving the theater after Fellowship of the Ring and a bunch of folks talking about, "how can it end like this?"
 

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