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Dune - Denis Villeneuve to direct!


womblingfree
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I really enjoyed this, although I'd always assumed Dune was an epic story of intrigue and political scheming which I didn't really get from the film. It's made me want to finally get round to reading the books to fill in the backstory that it felt like I was only getting a glimpse of in this.

 

Really fantastic film though, thoroughly enjoyed it and could quite happily watch another two of them.

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Seen it twice now. Doubt I'll see a better film this year, and it's criminal I had to resort to the high seas to view it - if HBO Max was available in the UK I'd happily pay for it. Ah well. Either way, this is stunning in 4k HDR and I can't wait to buy the 4k UHD disc (something I don't do often any more).

 

My only gripe with the film is purely superficial, one of musical taste. I fucking detest the sound of bagpipes, they are wholly offensive to my ears; thankfully their use in this movie is very limited, and I'm hoping their use died in this first film.

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Aren't you able to see it in the cinema instead of HBO Max?

 

My only weird gripe was the repeated phrase "desert power". It just sounded a bit silly to me. Otherwise I thought it was excellent, incredibly atmospheric and absorbing. I just wish it wasn't such a long wait until we (hopefully) get part 2. 

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This is a well-considered adaptation.

 

I noticed two omissions from the book that in retrospect don't really matter at all.

Spoiler

The interaction between lasguns and shields. I found myself instinctively murmuring "nononono!" and wagging a finger at the screen when the lasgun beam was chasing the shielded thopter, but AFAICR the promised effect never manifests to significant effect in the book, so what of it?

 

Mentats: clever people are already a thing, we don't need whatever duration of exposition about the Butlerian Jihad to understand that the far future has very-clever people.

 

5 brutalist ziggurats out of 5.

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37 minutes ago, Festoon said:

Well, you've done your bit.🙄

Hey, I could have just said it deserves a sequel and left it at that. I could also have lied and said I went to the cinema to see it.

 

🤷‍♂️

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1 hour ago, Thor said:

4k HDR, in the cinema? No.  

 

Huh, I think that's the first time I've heard someone say they'd prefer the quality of a stream over that of going to a cinema. 

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22 minutes ago, Radish said:

Huh, I think that's the first time I've heard someone say they'd prefer the quality of a stream over that of going to a cinema. 

A few years ago I'd say different. But now? The picture quality available at home (my home, at least), even on a 4k stream, absolutely pisses on what you'll see at the cinema*, so if you take that away, and then add in all the bullshit that Podger rightly mentions above ... no. I am not going to pay money for a vastly inferior experience. The tweets mentioned on the previous page prove the model of combined cinema and home release on a paid subscription service can and does work. That is the future. 

 

*I've also got 4k UHDs of many marvel movies. But on Disney Plus they're available to stream in 4k Dolby Vision. I've rewatched the Marvel movies many times, take a guess which versions I now choose to watch. :)

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10 hours ago, Thor said:

A few years ago I'd say different. But now? The picture quality available at home (my home, at least), even on a 4k stream, absolutely pisses on what you'll see at the cinema*, so if you take that away, and then add in all the bullshit that Podger rightly mentions above ... no. I am not going to pay money for a vastly inferior experience. The tweets mentioned on the previous page prove the model of combined cinema and home release on a paid subscription service can and does work. That is the future. 

 

*I've also got 4k UHDs of many marvel movies. But on Disney Plus they're available to stream in 4k Dolby Vision. I've rewatched the Marvel movies many times, take a guess which versions I now choose to watch. :)

 

And all for the low, low price of fuck all. It's what Villeneuve would have wanted.

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This was everything I hoped it would be, as someone who read the book for the first time about a year ago in anticipation, and who has never seen the Lynch version. It ended where I thought it would, which I think was as good a place as any to bisect it without making large changes to the structure.

 

Thoughts on how it was adapted:

Spoiler

I must say I didn't miss the 'whodunnit' aspect, as I thought that was the weakest aspect of the book's plot, because the reader already knows who the betrayer is. I'd forgotten that Jessica gets framed, which I guess adds some nice detail as to how wary people are of the Bene Gesserit, but the whole Dr Yueh thing was a bit silly in the book ("How can it be Dr Yueh, he underwent Imperial conditioning at the Suk School, it's simply not possible for him to betray us!" "They kidnapped his wife" "Oh")


One thing I did miss was the Mentats. Given the actors cast in the roles of Thufir and Pieter, I have to assume that their stuff ended up on the cutting room floor. Apart from one rather prosaic moment in the opening section where Thufir does a sum really quickly in his head, there was literally nothing about human computers or how they're used for strategy. I think there's a very brief mention in the book about how humanity had long ago weaned themselves off reliance on thinking machines, which is really all that's needed to communicate how this vision of the future focuses on the optimisation of human capabilities rather than AI. It's such a key part of the lore, it was a shame to have no mention of it. No need to go into any detail about the Butlerian Jihad or anything - I think that's only in the first book's glossary, anyway.

 

Like @probotector, I think the dinner party scene would've been a good one to keep as it's a great excuse to convey some backstory - the ecology of Arrakis, the power dynamics between the various factions etc, and also to show more of the political manoeuvring that's so integral to the book. You can feel the vultures circling in that scene. It would also have given a bit more space before the Harkonnen attack. In the film it feels like the Atriedes have literally just arrived.

 

I wouldn't mind a slightly expanded cut that included those things - do they do that any more now that selling discs isn't really a thing?

 

Overall though I thought it was a superb adaptation. It focused on Paul and Jessica's relationship, which was a good move, and included most of the iconic elements from the book. The first appearance of the sandworm was the standout sequence, I thought.

 

I also loved hearing some of the words pronounced. Having never seen the Lynch version I don't know if the pronunciations from that film are re-used, but the way Charlotte Rampling spat out 'Gom Jabbar' and 'Kwisatz Haderach' was superb! In general they totally avoided anything looking or sounding goofy. The Voice was superbly realised, and they managed to make it feel significantly different to the Jedi Mind Trick, which of course copied it.

 

Fingers crossed it gets a pt 2 (and even 3 - I think Dune Messiah would make a good pt 3 even though I wasn't mad keen on the book). I might go and see it again just to do my bit, and I'll definitely be buying the UHD disc.

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Missed the dinner party scene too. One of the best bits of the first half of the book, gets key concepts across, introduces Count Fenring (not in the film, and therefore neither is House Corrino - not a big deal, but it's an easy detail to suggest that there are more than two houses), and is a great moment for Paul too.

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3 minutes ago, Davros sock drawer said:

Also if they could put all the Baron's dialogue back plz. ;)

 

 

It's one those where I'd love to hear it from Skarsgård but don't think the film needs it. 

 

The mini series made me more relaxed about losing dialogue and scenes.  It's a more literal adaptation but it was so tepid, in a way the book and this film aren't for me.  

 

It's such a balancing act I can see why people miss stuff.  I really wanted a bit more of the mentors mentoring.

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6 minutes ago, monkeydog said:

 

It's one those where I'd love to hear it from Skarsgård but don't think the film needs it. 

 

The mini series made me more relaxed about losing dialogue and scenes.  It's a more literal adaptation but it was so tepid, in a way the book and this film aren't for me.  

 

It's such a balancing act I can see why people miss stuff.  I really wanted a bit more of the mentors mentoring.


I’m absolutely fine with losing dialogue but in the case of the Baron making him taciturn ruins the character IMO. The whole character of the guy in the book, his fatal flaw even, is that he can’t resist bragging. He’s constantly mouthing off. 
 

How anyone could read the book and think he should become a man of few words is beyond me.

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24 minutes ago, Davros sock drawer said:


I’m absolutely fine with losing dialogue but in the case of the Baron making him taciturn ruins the character IMO. The whole character of the guy in the book, his fatal flaw even, is that he can’t resist bragging. He’s constantly mouthing off. 
 

How anyone could read the book and think he should become a man of few words is beyond me.

 

Villeneuve talked about him being the ultimate schemer and wanting to portray that.  The prior two iterations have ended up very pantomime. He does boast to Rabban, but obviously lacks the risk of doing that with Fenring.  Thought that line about the Emperor spoke volumes about both characters, without being verbose.

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