DUNE Movie: Thoughts, Opinions, and Impressions

Umbran

Mod Squad
Staff member
She isn't mad at the start.

I didn't use the word "mad". I find that word to be less than helpful, as it usually refers to literary depictions of mental illness that aren't very similar to reality.

I said, "prone to mental illness". This is a woman who has been sexually abused by her brother, effectively kept in (admittedly pleasant) captivity, and sold into marriage. Her brother is brutally murdered before her eyes, iirc, and then she is taken on her wedding night in a way that hardly speaks "loving and informed consent".

If you want to think she's a well-balanced individual, who wields bloody violent power in a thoughtful, empathetic manner after all that, you are free to do so.
 

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Jmarso

Adventurer
For me, LotR wasn't a great theater experience. Each film was too long to enjoy and take in during a single sitting. However, I preferred the Extended Editions, splitting each over several nights at home.
I like the extended cuts far more than the theater cuts, but sitting in a theater through those versions didn't cause me any heartache at all. Saw 'em each multiple times and planning the same for Dune.
 




Zaukrie

New Publisher
Topic drift happens.
So does people commenting on it. I'm not the first, and those posts seem to get likes.

I've been thinking a lot about my impressions of DUNE the last couple days, as more people I know see it and comment on it.

I'm 100% convinced had I not read the books, I'd like it more. It is a beautiful movie. The sound is amazing. The story they tell is good, and everyone I know understands what happened so far.

And yet, I hate how Jessica is portrayed, because I know she should be strong (and still "weak" in her love). And how Leto is just a prop. And a few other things......

So, I'll probably watch it again "soon" trying hard not to compare it to the books (which I'm usually good at, and actually WANT the movie to be different, because it isn't the same story or same genre......).
 

Jmarso

Adventurer
Somewhere in the dimensional cinematic netherworld that exists between 2021 and 1984, there is a perfect version of this movie that borrows certain elements and cast members from both.
 


J.Quondam

CR 1/8
Somewhere in the dimensional cinematic netherworld that exists between 2021 and 1984, there is a perfect version of this movie that borrows certain elements and cast members from both.
A few years after Villeneuve's sequel comes out, we'll get that director's cut. Maybe several director's cuts. And within a few years after that, just imagine all the fan-edits, deepfakes, and mashups that will be all over YouTube.
Perhaps from that utter creative chaos there will arise perfect version.
 


ko6ux

Adventurer
My hot takes:
  • 2021 Dune needed more ridiculous hats. There were not nearly enough outstandingly fabulous, audacious hats.
  • Also, they should have used the best thing that Lynch added to the canon: Duke Leto's pug. He was the best boi. I would have loved to see Josh Brolin carry a dog into battle.
  • At least we got Thurfir Hawat's parasol? That was a nice new touch.

In all seriousness, though, the movie was good. If it suffered anywhere it was that the two-and-a-half hour run time cannot possibly accommodate everything that fans of the book want to see while simultaneously being already so overstuffed that every plot point feels like it only gets a few minutes of screen time.
 

payn

Legend
And yet, I hate how Jessica is portrayed, because I know she should be strong (and still "weak" in her love). And how Leto is just a prop. And a few other things......
I read they wanted to rid Jessica's character of the patriarchy and matriarchy background to make her seem stronger as an individual in Dune 2021. Though, I think it had the opposite effect. When I read the novel I saw a lot of strength in Jessica because she stood up to the established feudal and theocracy systems. She shrugged off her concubine status for love, she ignored her gesserit mandate and bore a son. Despite these forces doing all they could to punish her, she overcame by being true to herself. One of the strongest female characters I have ever read.
 



Jmarso

Adventurer
Another great example of how we all have such different tastes. I think Jessica was one of the best characters in the movie, the actress nailed it. The scene where Paul is being tested and she is forced to wait outside, its VISCERAL, she really sold it to me.
It was very well acted, I agree, but I think out of character for Jessica as she was written. As a Bene Gesserit, she would have had iron clad control over her body and, to a large degree, her expression of emotion, no matter how afraid she was. I feel like Francesca Annis in the '84 version really nailed that. There was a regal-ness, a sense of nobility to the '84 Jessica that this portrayal lacked.
 

billd91

Hobbit on Quest (he/him)
It was very well acted, I agree, but I think out of character for Jessica as she was written. As a Bene Gesserit, she would have had iron clad control over her body and, to a large degree, her expression of emotion, no matter how afraid she was. I feel like Francesca Annis in the '84 version really nailed that. There was a regal-ness, a sense of nobility to the '84 Jessica that this portrayal lacked.
I think it's a quick and effective way to illustrate that Paul (and, by extension, Leto) isn't just her responsibility as an assigned concubine to a lord but her son - given, against the directive of her order, to the man she loves as an act of love - something the Bene Gesserit organization is too cynical to acknowledge. She does assert control, but it shows the effort involved. If she didn't feel so deeply, it would have been easy. From a story telling perspective, maybe it's better to show how hard it is for her.
 

Zaukrie

New Publisher
It was very well acted, I agree, but I think out of character for Jessica as she was written. As a Bene Gesserit, she would have had iron clad control over her body and, to a large degree, her expression of emotion, no matter how afraid she was. I feel like Francesca Annis in the '84 version really nailed that. There was a regal-ness, a sense of nobility to the '84 Jessica that this portrayal lacked.
An exception would have been fine. ... But overall, I felt she wasn't in control enough. Some, but not enough for me.
 

Umbran

Mod Squad
Staff member
It was very well acted, I agree, but I think out of character for Jessica as she was written. As a Bene Gesserit, she would have had iron clad control over her body and, to a large degree, her expression of emotion, no matter how afraid she was.

Yes, but in the book we get told about her state, and how she is exerting that control. The movie doesn't give us internal monologue - so they have a choice of whether to show the internal, or leave her stony, but leaving the viewers with questions about her as a mother.
 

Umbran

Mod Squad
Staff member
The following comes from Facebook user Vanessa Rose...
Picture this.
You're 17 years old, working at some grease counter in your hometown that everyone loves because there's literally no other options and mozzarella sticks are pretty hard to naughty word up.

One day your boss comes in, hes got a laundry list of naughty word he needs done around the place because next week the place is going to be on some TV show for food network.

You're pissed. Because you know it's Restaurant Rescues and you know 90% of the places that go on that show buckle within 6 months. Now you've not only got to do a bunch of annoying naughty word but also find another job.

Now it's Saturday, the camera crews are setting up. The whole place smells like Pine-Sol and is packed because a bunch of bumpkins are just fuckin chuffed at the opportunity to be on the television.

You're standing at the counter awkwardly taking orders in a way that's more annoying and professional than you've ever done before and your boss is hovering. As you stare into the void over the head of the foot faced man who owns the Ace Hardware combination Hollywood Video that constitutes the economic center of this municipality you can see a yellow Ford F250 with flames on it pull into the parking lot.

Out jumps a man who looks like a giant alien worm trying unsuccessfully to disguise himself as a vape shop owner. But you laugh because you get to keep your job and take some sick pics for facebook clout. You never thought you'd be so relieved for the opportunity to come back to this shithole.

And within minutes of filming you find him extremely charming. Every meme you'd ever shared about a man whose character is frosted tips and flame shirts now suddenly disservices the extremely pleasant being before you. As he goes through the motions of helping you make your "famous" chicken parm sub. Which retails for an indulgent $7.99 you're laughing. This isn't the missing link between Violent J and the singer for Smash Mouth. This guy is great. You feel intoxicated as you work.

"So tell me about the spices you put on this whopper of a sandwich"

"Oh nothing too exciting, just garlic/onions/parsley/oregano"

"I love spices. Let me see you do it"

Hes standing behind you now, with steady practiced hands helping you apply the flavors to the sandwich. Exageratedly fawning over you and the percieved flavors of the sandwich. You breathe him in and are overcome with how otherworldly he smells.

"Show me the spice closet. I wanna see what you've got for spices. Let's see if we can kick this baby into overdrive. Let's spice it up"

You look into his piercing blue eyes and grin.

Your fingers caress the tired stainless knob that was but five feet from where you stood just moments ago practically embracing.

Upon opening the door your eyes are met with an unfamiliar vision. Instead of weathered racks of grease clouded plastic bottles and a water heater. You look out into a derelict desert city. Small cracked brown buildings feature uncharacteristically futuristic doors, and guards disguised as traders shift uneasily trying to disguise state of the art guns.

"So this is where you keep the spices then. Is this on Arrakis?"

But your breath is too short to respond.

As you turn around. The restaurant begins to melt away. His eyes grow deeper blue and you hear a thunderous noise from behind you. The illusion dissolves like a drug trip, as the disguise begins to strip away. Your heart is pounding. You feel absolute terror.

This man. Who is clearly no man then forcefully pushes you through the door and the portal immediately closes as you lay on your back in the sand. The sound of the wind is cut by an apocalyptic roar.

The last sight your eyes behold. Is the miles long flame print trunk of the great blonde sand worm bursting forth from the desert in pursuit of the spices stored here. Flavortowns greatest weapon unfurls. Distant voices shout "It's Guy Halud" before the entire town is swallowed by the beast. The dust quickly consumes the rubble and by days end any evidence of the slaughter is all but forgotten by the sand.
 


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