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Dune - Denis Villeneuve to direct!


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3 hours ago, monkeydog said:

I didn't release that this was shot on digital, transferred to 35mm and then back to digital.  They weren't happy with the sharpness of digital or the 'nostalgic' look of film.

 

 

Massive waste of time. 

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On 05/12/2021 at 14:47, merrychan said:

I'm off to watch this in an IMAX tomorrow and so very excited! Thought I'd missed the cinema run, let alone the IMAX completely.

 

Same, just got back from watching this, my first IMAX experience as well and I got to catch the original language version even, which isn't always a given over here.

 

Absolutely loved it, have no way to compare at all (didn't read the books nor watch any of the previous adaptations) and went in practically cold. Money well spent. (Also low key want to read the books now, hmm maybe I buy the series as a Christmas present to myself :D)

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7 hours ago, Illyria said:

 

Same, just got back from watching this, my first IMAX experience as well and I got to catch the original language version even, which isn't always a given over here.

 

Absolutely loved it, have no way to compare at all (didn't read the books nor watch any of the previous adaptations) and went in practically cold. Money well spent. (Also low key want to read the books now, hmm maybe I buy the series as a Christmas present to myself :D)

Yep, was an absolutely incredible experience and thought the film was excellent.

 

Part two is going to be really something

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On 05/12/2021 at 14:17, Lovelyman said:

Massive waste of time. 

 

I don't think so.

 

I suspect filming and editing on digital is way more convenient, faster and cheaper than filming on actual film stock.  So if you want the look of film in your final product, filming on digital then making it look like it was done on film at the end is probably the smartest way to do it.

 

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Well, finally seen it. Bit good that wasn’t it? Looked and sounded spectacular. Handled the world-building really well. Only bit I’d like to have seen is the navigators using spice to jump the big ship. But I know that’s largely a Lynch invention. Just think it would have looked cool.

 

Gonna watch it again tomorrow to get my rental money’s worth.

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I loved it and definitely buying to watch again at home.

 

I read the book when I was at school (long time ago) and have been re-reading post watching the film, since my memories of it were vague.

 

Pleasantly surprised at just how close the film is to the book, with the changes there are feeling understandable choices.

 

Roll on part 2.

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On 07/12/2021 at 13:23, Lovelyman said:

Assuming they want to introduce imperfections/limitations etc. They could just apply a filter to the digital film was my point. 

 

 


Filters always look artificial.

 

Tbh, it didn’t look to me like it was shot on film but at the time time, it looked amazing lol

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On 11/12/2021 at 16:45, jonamok said:

Only bit I’d like to have seen is the navigators using spice to jump the big ship. But I know that’s largely a Lynch invention. Just think it would have looked cool.

 

Yes, in the books they just use a limited form of prescience to prevent the ship from bumping into things.

 

The guild agents don't even know what their own navigators look like. Paul wonders if they're so mutated they no longer appear human.  Elrik doesn't appear until Messiah and he doesn't look like Lynch's funkopop/turd hybrid.

 

Villeneuve's hinted we'll see a navigator in part 2.  I suspect it'll be tied to Paul grappling with his humanity.

 

I'm also expecting it to look great.  Villeneuve's pick of creature designs in Dune and Arrival has been spot on.  Fucking Harkonnan spider thing! 🤢

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There’s a shot in the film that

Spoiler

makes it look like the Heighliner operates a bit like a gate. When the Reverend Mother’s ship arrives you can see through the middle of the massive ship and it shows what looks like a different planet at the other end, almost as if the smaller ship enters one end and exits the other in a different part of space.

I’ve only read the first book so I don’t know if this aligns with or goes against how it’s described on paper?

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1 hour ago, Gigawatt said:

There’s a shot in the film that

  Reveal hidden contents

makes it look like the Heighliner operates a bit like a gate. When the Reverend Mother’s ship arrives you can see through the middle of the massive ship and it shows what looks like a different planet at the other end, almost as if the smaller ship enters one end and exits the other in a different part of space.

I’ve only read the first book so I don’t know if this aligns with or goes against how it’s described on paper?

 

From the books, folding space is almost instantaneous travel between two places.  The navigators plot a safe course though folded space.

 

Spoiler

The film's gate like heighliner doesn't contradict the books' description of space travel.  It'd just need to fold in on itself or zoom off somewhere.

 

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11 hours ago, jonamok said:

Never bought a Blu-Ray from an EU country. Is the case, inserts and screen menus in the native language?

The steelbook is English, the paper that sticks to the back and is removable is Italian and the disc is multilingual (I assume WB created a single master at least for Europe/ANZ and possibly North America too)

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  • 2 weeks later...

I've watched this twice now.   I've cut down my rambling thoughts on this a bit but Ill still spoil it for ... spoilers and for length.

 

Spoiler

Dune is one of the finest Scifi stories every penned. The depth and richness of the world building, mind bending galaxy spanning concepts, political intrigue and machinations that stretch across the eons. One thing for sure is that it's a hard novel to adapt to film, especially in 1.5 hours.

 

David Lynches attempt is in this regard ultimately flawed but also a masterpiece despite it's various failings. It's strength lies when it is combined with the book IMO. The film becomes coherent when you are familiar with the book, and the book comes alive when you have the films visuals in your minds eye when you read it subsequently.

 

Lynch did wonders with the special effects technology he had available at the time, but it is really showing it's age now. However it's style and atmosphere is still palpable and impressive.

 

So here we are with a new version. It is directed by Denis Villeneuve a director with some serious sci fi chops and a great visual style. The film is also an hour longer and only tackling the first half of the book. Throw in modern digital effects, some pretty big names and we have a promising outlook. I for one was very excited, but also nervous because this is so close to my heart and I desperately want it to be good.

 

So was it good ? I find myself torn. Aspects of it are excellent and for newcomers this may be a more watchable and accessible film. Of course this means that I am disappointed with it in many ways, but I also suppose this was inevitable in this day and age.

 

 

Lets dive in....

 

First up the casting...

 

I found nearly all of the portrayals of the main characters to be lacking in comparison to the Lynch film. The lack of charisma and gravitas in almost every scene was noticeable to me. Jessica especially lacked the grace and control I expected from a Bene Geserit, and did not seem to carry the weight of her responsibility. Paul seemed weak to me, although I must admit Kyle MacLachlan looked a little old and his acting was not of the highest calibre in lynches film I still enjoyed his Paul more.

The Baron was ok , but lacked impact. He was no where near as memorable or interesting as McMillans outing. There was one shot that was straight up stolen from Apocalypse now as well.

 

Thuffir Hawat was a complete non entity (although I did like the eye effect ), Piter was also a real let down in comparison to Brad Dourif. Gurney was fine in isolation but doesn't hold up next to Patrick Stewart, although I did like that he had a few songs to quote occasionally. I also felt like Dr Yeuhs betrayal lacked the poignancy it had in the original film  and Stilgar was also a real let down for me.

 

I found myself constantly missing the voice overs letting me know what the characters were thinking. Instead we got meaningful stares occasionally followed up by a scene of exposition. But many details were missed entirely, Yeuhs imperial condition for example, or shield / laser interactions.


 

You can almost feel Villeneuve labouring under the pressure of comparison, especially when we are confronted with like for like scenes. These scenes rarely measured up to the Lynch film for me. For Example Paul's test was a much more subdued affair, with less power and less information. Focusing on Jessica here was a mistake I think and having Paul not reciting the litany himself just felt wrong.  Sian Phillips reverend mother had a much more threatening and imposing feel.


 

The film fares better when it departs from Lynches version and hoves closer to the book. Duncans death for example. Although of course the Jamis fight for example does exist as a cut scene from the original. Unfortunately it also goes its own way and diverges from the source material, leaving out major parts of the story, such as the Atredes experimental weapons.


 

However the worst parts are where it diverges from the book for no reason. Why change Liet into a woman ? Why have the carry all malfunction rather than not show up ? Having the carry all on scene and then still have them fighting to get the weight down on the ornithopters to carry the harvesters crew doesn't make sense to me, why not just put all the crew onto the carry all.


 

Showing the Sardukar planet and having them show up undisguised show a lack of understanding of the source material I felt. There are other examples of this, having Leit about to try and ride a worm in full close proximity to Sardukar forces was something the character just wouldn't have done.


 

These gaffs combined with the lack of portent throughout the film made it overall a lesser experience for me. I felt like it was constantly skirting the real depth of the story, skimming across the top of it. A number of times something as simple as a changing a single word robs a moment of its gravitas or of some of its depth. “I would not have allowed you to harm my tribe” says Chani to Paul but it becomes “I would not have allowed you to harm my friends” , which again just highlights a lack of understanding to me.


 

It feels like a decision was made to try and make the characters more relatable and all it succeeded in doing was making their dialogue just a little more flippant or glib.


 

Let me be clear here it is not bad. I enjoyed it. And as I said it might work as being a more accessible film. People unfamiliar with the book will never even know what is missing.

Visually it is stunning, especially the Ornithopters (one of the real let downs in the Lynch film) which are exactly as I imagined them when I first read the book. However although the effects are far superior I feel like the design is bland and unoriginal. Lynches film oozes style, its unusual and psychedelic. It captures the strangeness and oppressiveness in a much more interesting way than Villeneuves technically superior visuals.


 

I am looking forward to the second part and hope it does really well. But it will never replace Lynchs vision in my minds eye when I reread the novel.

 

 

 

 

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I really can’t understand how one could compare the Lynch version favourably with this. It’s high camp pantomime - which is entirely enjoyable in its own way, but Villeneuve’s movie is the better sci-fi fantasy epic. It’s also quite badly made, by the standards of the time, and the dialogue is proper mumblecore at times. 
 

The one thing it does have that I’ll say is great, that the 2021 movie lacked, and that’s:

 

Spoiler

The heart valves the Harkonnen install in all of their subjects - which can be opened, killing them instantly!

 

I really liked Stellan Skarsgard’s Baron Harkonnen - the sense of barely contained, simmering rage is palpable - but it lacks the unpredictable, maniacal energy of the Lynch movie. 

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On 28/12/2021 at 23:52, Popo said:

I really can’t understand how one could compare the Lynch version favourably with this. It’s high camp pantomime - which is entirely enjoyable in its own way, but Villeneuve’s movie is the better sci-fi fantasy epic. It’s also quite badly made, by the standards of the time, and the dialogue is proper mumblecore at times. 
 

The one thing it does have that I’ll say is great, that the 2021 movie lacked, and that’s:

 

  Hide contents

The heart valves the Harkonnen install in all of their subjects - which can be opened, killing them instantly!

 

I really liked Stellan Skarsgard’s Baron Harkonnen - the sense of barely contained, simmering rage is palpable - but it lacks the unpredictable, maniacal energy of the Lynch movie. 

 

Yeah, I totally agree. The Lynch version is also structurally very poor and has some incredibly questionable choices. The application of VO is so obviously forced that it's painful at times, even though the actors are clearly trying their best. But what it does have is mostly excellent production design and I think sometimes the aesthetic aspect of that film is what most people remember. The sets and costumes still look excellent and I'm a sucker for the main theme.

 

I think Lynch's version is a prime example of 'Demoitus' in action. For the longest time it was obviously the only adaptation available and so we've become so used to that version that it can be jarring to see a different approach, regardless of whether that approach might be superior.

 

It's undeniably a fun film though (As super camp films often are), but there's a reason Lynch wanted his name removed from the credits.

I'm not generally a Villeneuve super fan and I tend to find his films promise more than they deliver, usually falling short in the last act (In my humble opinion), but I have to say, I thought this was sensational. There wasn't a second of screen time that I didn't find completely immersive. It was also utterly believable which is not easy when adapting an epic fantasy / sci-fi / surreal novel.

 

It's also nice to see an age-appropriate Paul (He certainly looks 15 anyway) and I suppose we'll see if he can pull off the character's arc in the next film. I actually prefer the look of the worms in the Lynch film though!

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On 06/01/2022 at 12:27, Scratchy Bollock said:

It's undeniably a fun film though (As super camp films often are), but there's a reason Lynch wanted his name removed from the credits.

 

He only wanted his name removed from the three hour extended TV cut which he had nothing to do with. He's still on the credits of the theatrical cut.

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