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[Movie] Dune (2021)


kuhla
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imdb - https://www.imdb.com/title/tt1160419/

I saw this last weekend in imax but I am just now posting about it.

  1. Right away I will just say it was very good. I would basically recommend it to everyone but there is some mature themes and violence that is not for the kids. Even if someone is not really into sci-fi I think there is a lot to enjoy here from the visuals and the audio.
  2. Denis Villeneuve directs another movie I like. This guy.
  3. I did read the books this is based on so there were a few times when I wondered if that makes it difficult for me to be objective. In my opinion this adaptation is very faithful bearing in mind that no adaptation is going to be an exact copy.
  4. There is occasionally almost a creepy/horror vibe which I was not expecting but felt right.
  5. I do have some criticisms of the movie, which holds it back from being great, but they are actually not related to the source material being adapted. Even then, they feel small compared to how good many other parts of the movie are.
  6. The visuals are fantastic. Everything feels like it is epic in size.
  7. The audio is mostly great too, very unique, but sometimes it feels like there is barely a gap from one audio track to the next.

I think that will work for an opening post.

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  • The film is indeed very good, but it does suffer a bit from relying on the audience to have knowledge of the source material to understand some of the details
  • They relied on some additional universe building relating to the Atreides house - the bull imagery was heavily featured and I saw a thread talking about the final duel showing Paul holding back killing blows and asking Jaris to yield 3 times before striking him in the back - being very similar to the way a bullfighter handles bulls in the arena.
    • Supposedly the expanded books took the throwaway line about Leto's father dying in a bullfight to suggest the Atreides are Greecian and claim lineage from Atreus
  • The Harkonnen's were portrayed well - the Baron isn't some goofy fat asshole flying around he's much more brooding and merciless which I think was closer to the books.  Huge credit to Stellan Skarsgard for his performance. 
  • The visuals are fantastic and the music is wonderful.  I think this is one of the few movies where the sense of scale was genuinely epic. 
    • I would be remiss if I didn't mention that some of the visuals and music are almost self indulgent - I didn't mind the slower pace and broad sweeping shots because I think it really adds to the film and the sense of scale but I'm sure some people thought it was a bit bloated and slow, especially in the first half. 
    • This is one of the movies that really deserves to be seen on Imax or at least in the theaters - A large portion of the scenes were filmed in full 4:3 imax aspect ratio, Bond for example really only had a small number.  Also I'm sure a nice home theater setup has it's advantages but I think between the music being a key "character" in the movie and the epic scale or everything - it would be a real loss to see this on a smaller screen with simplified audio. 
  • Sadly this movie suffers from some studio bullshit - The title sequence clearly says "Dune: Part 1" and the story is obviously incomplete - in fact the final act feels a bit off because this huge battle if followed up by smaller scenes and a duel before abruptly ending. 
    I really hope we get to see part 2 because so much of this film was great, and I'd love to see more.  I'd even enjoy if they decided to do the first 3 books similar to the old Sci-fi channel miniseries. 
  • The bad: Some of the dialogue is genuinely awful - "Desert Power!"  Chani/Zendaya is basically in a music video for the entire film.  The voice is still just as cheesy as it is in book form, but I preferred the first display of it instead of the ANGRY FILTER version they used later in the film.  Pacing and stakes seem a bit off especially for the first half of the film. 
    Finally I really hate that they're tiptoeing around the word Jihad - Paul just mentions visions of a "religious war."  I understand it has a different cultural context now than it did in the 1960's but it feels weird to be omitted.  Also kinda odd that the Fremen didn't include a single middle eastern actor, when they're at least partially coded as middle eastern. 

At some point I'll re-read the books (maybe I'll make it past the third novel this time) but for now this film is doing a great job of bringing this universe to the big screen. 

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