Dune

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Post by halfwise Sat Oct 30, 2021 4:16 pm

I just realized I don't remember seeing in the film the conversation we see in the trailer between Paul and the Reverend Mother: then one about learning how to rule. Did I just forget it because it was familiar? Dammit, may have to go see it again. If that's missing it's a huge mistake.

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Post by halfwise Sun Oct 31, 2021 3:20 pm

I'm thinking of how much story is left for the second half, and it feels unbalanced, especially because Feyd's gladiatorial scene was left out of the first half.  I feel the need for a third film or it just won't work with Villaneuve's pacing.  Let's look at the scenes:

Dune part 1
Gom Jabbar
Paul and Gurney "in the mood" fight
transition to Arrakis
meeting Stilgar
Shadout Mapes gives Jessica kris knife
The attack
Duke and Baron
Paul and Jessica Escape
Ecological Field station
Escape through the storm
Crossing desert
Meeting Fremen and fight with Jamis

Dune part 2
Count Fenring plus Feyd Ruatha fight scene (long)
Entry into seitch Tabr
Paul and Chani romance
Jessica becomes reverent mother
Paul won't call out Stilgar
Paul becomes wormrider
Paul and Gurney meet
Feyd's failed assassination of Baron
Training of Fremen
Paul drinks water of life and Chani revives him
Attack on Arrakeen
Conclusion

Okay, I see it's the same number of scenes.  But it feels like there's so much more going on in part 2, it will be over 3 hours.

Villanueve IS talking about a 3rd movie, but it would be Dune Messiah. Sensible, it's a shorter book and basically completes Paul's story. Him as The Preacher is not as necessary to his arc.


Last edited by halfwise on Sun Oct 31, 2021 3:46 pm; edited 1 time in total

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Post by Forest Shepherd Sun Oct 31, 2021 3:45 pm

Well, good!

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Post by halfwise Sun Oct 31, 2021 9:50 pm

Back to part of the book which the film part 1 didn't get to.

Just had a long back and forth with Nerd Cookies over whether Hawat died of residual poison or by jabbing himself with the Emperor's needle. She says it was the jab because it would otherwise be too coincidental that he'd die just when meeting Paul. I say it's the residual poison because why in the damn hell would he kill himself just as he's being reunited?

Of course everyone else is busy jawboning over the new Who episode so I don't expect I'll get any reply to this.

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Post by Pettytyrant101 Mon Nov 01, 2021 3:18 am

{{ Im avoiding spoilers Halfy as I havent seen it yet- but planning on watching it later today, so expect some engagement then Nod }}

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Post by Forest Shepherd Mon Nov 01, 2021 6:15 pm

Who's Hawat again? lol

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Post by Forest Shepherd Mon Nov 01, 2021 6:21 pm

Oh right, the mentat working for Atreides. I don't remember seeing him dead, when did that happen?

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Post by halfwise Mon Nov 01, 2021 6:43 pm

Not in the film part 1, should happen in the conclusion when he meets Paul right at the end. The book is unclear if he kills himself or if he dies due to the residual poison in his system. But he dies in Paul's arms, very romantic. I doubt Hans Zimmer's soundtrack will be up to the job.

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Post by halfwise Mon Nov 01, 2021 10:20 pm

:drum: "today" was yesterday.

Pettytyrant101 wrote:{{ Im avoiding spoilers Halfy as I havent seen it yet- but planning on watching it later today, so expect some engagement then Nod }}

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Post by halfwise Mon Nov 01, 2021 11:22 pm

BTW I just saw a deleted clip from Lynch's version which gives his rearranging of the events. It's fairly logical: Feyd Ruatha hands Hawat a knife and says "antidote". In front of Paul Hawat pulls out some plug from his body which presumably was feeding him the antidote, then collapses. Still doesn't make sense to me why he'd do that.
The clip isn't worth showing, it really doesn't work.


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Post by Forest Shepherd Tue Nov 02, 2021 2:47 am

Why so interested in this all of things though?

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Post by halfwise Tue Nov 02, 2021 1:37 pm

Because I can't find any way to make sense of it. It made sense to me until the alternate interpretation was pointed out, now neither interpretation makes sense.

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Post by halfwise Wed Nov 03, 2021 5:33 pm

Somebody got the original script and filled us in on scenes that were cut.


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Post by malickfan Wed Nov 03, 2021 9:03 pm

I saw it last week, haven't read the book or seen the '80's version (though I was broadly familiar with aspects of the plot/characters and did play one of the videogame adaptations back in the day), having mulled things over I'm still not quite sure how to feel, on the one hand the film is visually stunning with great production values/set peices, and the plot was easy enough to follow for someone who hadn't read the book, it certainly looks great.

On the other hand I felt many of the characters were mere interchangeable archetypes, either thinly sketched with little character development, or just a bit unlikeable. And whilst I found the plot easy enough to follow, the pacing was a bit all over the place, the film often seems needlessly slow/dense and the mid section dragged i.m.o, not entirely sure i understood all of the dream/visions paul has either.

And was everyone else's screening so loud? I though the score was generic and forgettable, some of the scenes were so loud I could barely make the dialogue, maybe it was just a sound mixing error...

I think I'll have to rewatch it (plan to) or read the book to get a proper sense of how well it adapted the source material, but so far I think I was intrigued by the world building /admired the production values of the film rather more than I liked the characters or was hooked by the plot.

I think this was really a film aimed at fans of the book more than general audiences.

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Post by malickfan Wed Nov 03, 2021 9:10 pm

Mrs Figg wrote:Someone said it looks like a 2 hour perfume advert, and I think that probably sums it up from what I have seen so far. Visually beautiful but empty. Thats what I thought about the new Bladerunner film too. It was good to look at but slow and boring, and I forgot it instantly. It lacks heart and sparks.

I loved Blade Runner 2049 (and felt the characters in that were far more compelling than in Dune) but I agree with the rest, Dune looked amazing and the universe seems intriguing but I was left feeling rather cold by the characters and plot...dunno how much of that is due to directing/acting choices or the source material itself...


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I think what comes out of a pig's rear end is more akin to what Peejers has given us-Azriel 20/9/2014
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Post by halfwise Wed Nov 03, 2021 9:37 pm

Yes, Herbert creates archetypes rather than real characters.  The key to enjoyment is the fascinating world that he builds.  I think Villanueve gypped non book readers by leaving out a fuller exposition of things like mentats (which go back to the Butlerian Jihad against machines), or what exactly the guild does and why spice is so important to them.

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Post by malickfan Wed Nov 03, 2021 10:06 pm

halfwise wrote:Yes, Herbert creates archetypes rather than real characters.  The key to enjoyment is the fascinating world that he builds.  I think Villanueve gypped non book readers by leaving out a fuller exposition of things like mentats (which go back to the Butlerian Jihad against machines), or what exactly the guild does and why spice is so important to them.

To be fair, I've heard Dune is quite a dense lore heavy series of books, all things considered I think perhaps Villanueve did as good a job as he could reasonably be expected to, it can't have been an easy book to adapt and perhaps as such a fan of the source material he wasn't able to quite see things from a non readers point of view.

And yeah I did actually do an internet search for more info about spice and the mentats afterwards, so the film does actually have me rather interested in reading the book somewhen.

I kinda get the feeling it would have worked better as a lower buget TV series with more room to breath and less of a need to pander to a wider audience.



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Well, that was worth the wait wasn't it  Suspect


I think what comes out of a pig's rear end is more akin to what Peejers has given us-Azriel 20/9/2014
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Post by Forest Shepherd Wed Nov 03, 2021 11:27 pm

I thought they explained the travel and the world's dependence on spice well. That part felt good. The mentats were not given depth beyond being calculator-brains though.

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Post by halfwise Wed Nov 03, 2021 11:54 pm

I agree - though I forget how much was said about the guild. The whole lack of computer thing is far too key to leave out. They also didn't make it as clear as I'd like how the shields made ballistic weapons and lasguns outmoded, though people are used enough to seeing sword fights that they wouldn't have questioned it.

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Post by halfwise Thu Nov 04, 2021 12:02 am

I kinda get the feeling it would have worked better as a lower buget TV series with more room to breath and less of a need to pander to a wider audience.

Been done for the syfy channel. It was low budget, which also means lower quality actors in some cases. It's gotten mixed reviews. I haven't seen it because you have to subscribe.

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Post by Forest Shepherd Thu Nov 04, 2021 12:51 am

Cutie-patootie James McAvoy was in the Children of Dune series. I haven't seen it either, just listened to some of the soundtrack.

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Post by halfwise Sat Nov 06, 2021 11:44 am

I saw Dune in Imax, and was so taken in by the surround experience that I forgot to put on my glasses, and actually didn't miss them. But I went back to a normal theater to catch it again with glasses and see how I felt on a second viewing.

The only thing that changed is I could pay more attention to the sound track and like it much more now. I hadn't mentioned before that I was bothered by the un-intelligibility of the Paul/Jessica stilltent scene where he complains about what he's done to her. It's still much the same way - too much muttering and snarling, but I could hear more of the dialogue and can largely approve of it. But there's no reason they couldn't have made it easier to hear: just do more takes and pick the more clear ones. Or take down the soundtrack a couple notches. Sheesh.

I liked the interpolated scenes for the non-book readers the first time, liked them even more now. Very well done. Also noticed the carefully crafted moments to show how a shield actually behaves, though I think it's easy to miss on first viewing, and people may not put together that this is why everything's a knife fight rather than a gun fight. Also no mention of shields and lasguns, but that's a more minor point.

I still prefer David Lynch's Imperial and Guild imagery more. We'll see more of Villaneuve's in part 2, but I doubt it will be as much of a visual feast.

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Post by Pettytyrant101 Fri Nov 26, 2021 11:20 am

{{ So I finally watched Dune. If I had to sum it up in one word that word would be 'ok' if I had to sum it up in two words  they would be 'bit bland'.
'Bit bland' extends from visuals to characters to narrative drive.

I'll start with the visuals as you'd expect a hugely expensive modern film would have amazing visuals, and it does, things like the ornithopter and stuff are superbly realised. But everything has a sort of washed out feel to it, somehow on a planet of sand an sun they manage to make it feel, well grey.
In the case of Calladan this is literal, I always saw it as planet of oceans and rains, the opposite of Arakkis. But the version we get is a wet misty dank day in the Highlands. Its literally washed out.
But throughout colours are desaturated and the effect overall is of a sort of of uniform sameness to every scene. The effect over the course of the entire film is to feel everywhere is sort of the same.
Though not as technically advanced, and obviously without the cgi Lynch's version with its many, many issues for my money is far more interesting to the eye than this is with the sole single exception of the sandworm which is genuinely impressive, but as you only really see one right at then end that doesn't help a huge deal.

Characters are bit odd too for me, some I quite liked, Duncan is good, the sense of love and friendship he has for Paul is clear an feels genuine, but then there are other characters like Jessica who doesn't match up to how I pictured her character in the books. I had feared they were going to make her all kick-ass superwoman from some of the pre-release interviews with the actress, but what actually didn't sit with me is she seems way too emotional, to prone to being afraid and worried and scared where in the book I felt she was the opposite, in total control of her mind and body. They also leave out the idea she had betrayed them, though I can see why they'd skip that bit as its fairly quickly resolved in the books, but in the book Jessica knows what's coming, she has already been warned by the Sisterhood, “For the Father nothing” but none of this makes the film making Jessica feel less in tune with what's going on and less able than her book version for me. She often therefore took me out of the film.

Paul is part of the 'ok' bit of my feelings, he's a tad bland, a bit to skinny and weak for me for someone who as a Dukes son is meant to have undergone training since he could walk on a planet and in a family famed for physical prowess. Why they picked a skinny little actor for the role I'm not sure. But by far the worst thing about Paul, and a general issue I had with the films pacing are Paul's visions- there are way too many of them and they are way too dull and repetitious to warrant, half the time its the same crappy shot of Chani with her back to camera turning to look back over her shoulder. And as for Chani she is barely in this one, outside of visions she only appears in the narrative at the end and then is only in a few scenes.

And then there is the ending itself, there isn't one. This really is half a book, it just stops. There's no big climax, it doesn't even build to a particular engaging moment or cliffhanger even. They kind of try to turn Paul's fight withthe Fremen who challenged him into one, but its not film climax material and doesn't feel like it when watching, so when they leave with Fremen after the fight the film just sot of ends without any sense of it having gone anywhere important in the running time.

As to the Fremen, Stilgar is good but they are represented as mixed race bunch rather than the clear descendants of Arab culture they are in the books. I'm not sure why they made this change but I was on the look out for a ginger Scottish fremen seeing as everyone else seems to be in there, but no luck so far.

How their culture is represented is pretty close to the books, so far, but there isn't a huge deal of it in this film so I'll reserve judgement on how they do with the Fremen till we get more of them.

The overall narrative sticks pretty close to the book in its major events, but a lot of little details are missing that surprised me or I was not sure why they choose to do them as they did.
When Paul's is being tested with gom-jabbar for example its Jessica outside the room who recite the litany against fear, when it should be Paul, he's the one trying to overcom ehis fear and it demonstartes his training. Mentats are there and do their thing, but with as far as I could tell with no explanation. Oddly though they have the stain mark on Mentat lips they leave out the juice they take entirely and the litanty that goes with it, which I found odd as it greatly helps explain what Mentats do. Likewise though its been years since I read Dune but I thought the reveal Paul had been secretly trained as a Mentat (which is pretty important) had happened before this point in the narrative, so I suspect they are either not mentioning it or keeping it for later. I'd guess not going to be in this going on how little explanation they have given to Mentats.

And though they don't go down the Lynch way of having background information read by a narrator the start of the film does have some pretty awkward here's Paul watching a computer telling him and us those things, some seemed a bit on the nose, stuff Paul would already know and so the only reason for the excuse he is learning it is the audience needs the information. Its an out of narrative purpose not an in universe purpose. And as a result it feels awkward and a bit stilted.
They also leave out all the Guild Navigator stuff bar passing mentions, and folding space sort of happens with no fanfare , explanation or mention, they just arrive places.

So overall, its ok, its perfectly watchable, its got some good moments but it felt overlong at 2 and ½ hours and could easily have lost 10-15 minutes with no loss to the film overall. I wasn't particularly engaged with any one character so much as just watching them do stuff and I found it quite visually bland even with all the effects and huge landscape shots, it was all a bit 'meh' for me. }}

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Post by halfwise Fri Nov 26, 2021 2:22 pm

I have to say my major positive reaction to it was "yippee, they're not fucking it up!".   I agree that Lynch's visuals are more interesting, though I had strong negative reactions to the portrayal of the Baron.  A judicious mix of the two versions would be nice.  I think Chalamet was chosen simply because he's the "it" young male actor right now.  If only we could bring back a young Sting.

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Post by Pettytyrant101 Fri Nov 26, 2021 2:40 pm

{{ I dont like the portrayal of the Baron in either version.Lynch's is too ridiculous and over the top, pantomine vilain stuff,and this is the other way, its so still and dull for the most part you could nod off waiting on the line delivery. He seemed to me more like how Hollywood would traditionally portray a big Mafia Boss, which the Baron is to a degree but he's a lot cleverer in the books than he comes across in either adaptation.Not sure why in both filmed version the hover suit thng the Baron helps makes him fly about, pretty sure in the book it just lifted his excess weight so he sort of walked with a light step despite his gross weight. I dont remember him hoovering about the place in the books. Also the family relationships of the Harkonnens is nowhere near as well established as in either the books or even the Lynch version. If I didnt already know going into this film I doubt I could tell who was related to the Baron, what their name was or what the relationship to him was.
I did notice they had paid a small visual nod to Lynch, the Barons servants wear the same white see through bag like clothing as in Lynch's, though I didnt see any heart plugs. And in some ways though Lynch's Baron is way more over the top, hes also at times a lot more disturbing (such as the heart plug scene) and I think that captures something of the cruetly and sadism of the books version that this version doesnt come close to conveying in any scene.}}

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Pettytyrant101
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