Dune 2021 - fan discussion

Goatman

ADC
Book Reviewer
Yes - the film has been discussed in 'What film have you just watched'

But rather than monopolise that thread with discussion, I thought it might be good to open a thread purely on this film itself.

I was a huge fan of the Frank Herbert original book - and like most fans of the written version I found the earlier David Lynch THING made in 1984 laughable. Glad to say that for me the 2021 version did not disappoint.

Found this today, in which the Director, Denis Villeneuve goes into some depth on decisions made about casting, lighting and dialogue. If you are a fan, its worth a watch.


It is obvious that Denis Villeneuve is as much of a devotee of the Frank Herbert story as Peter Weir Jackson was of the LOTR trilogy. I don't think David Lynch had actually read or understood 'Dune'

Some of the User Reviews on the IMDB site show the divide between those who have read the book and loved the cosmos Frank Herbert created - and those for whom this is just another big Sci Fi epic ( and by some damn Frog art-house auteur at that)

Dune (2021) - IMDb

There were some aspects of the film, such as the lighting of some scenes and the way the dialogue was sometimes obscured by the soundtrack that were momentarily distracting - but in general I loved it and will go and see it again.

Looking forward to see how the story develops in the next outing.
 
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Over 2.5 hrs of my life I'll never see again. As slow as someone from Norfolk.
 
As someone who rated DL's Dune highly, the new version was always going to get the hairy eyeball when I got to see it.

My overall impression is that DV has made a pretty good fist of it.

The overview is looking at Shaddam IV playing chess with the Houses of the Landsraad in order to consolodate his rule by destabilising any (current or prospective) attempt by the Houses to organise a coup against him.

What followed was a much better portrayal of the interplay of the relationships of the main players than the DL version, although with much less steampunk and far superior ornithopters.

شيخ الخلود 8/10

"I will teach you the ways of the desert.", indeed.
 
Not seen yet, probably wont make it to the cinema but have a good home system and will get it when bluray comes out.

One question for those that have seen it and perhaps not enjoyed it - have you seen and did you enjoy 'Blade Runner 2049'?

I ask because IMHO, Denis Villeneuve knocked it out of the park with that and I was apprehensive about DUNE until seeing it.
 

Sarastro

LE
Kit Reviewer
Book Reviewer
Paging @Boumer

My only question for you all is: do I need to go see this in a cinema, or will a moderately sized TV with a big sound system and a house in the middle of nowhere do?
 
Not seen yet, probably wont make it to the cinema but have a good home system and will get it when bluray comes out.

One question for those that have seen it and perhaps not enjoyed it - have you seen and did you enjoy 'Blade Runner 2049'?

I ask because IMHO, Denis Villeneuve knocked it out of the park with that and I was apprehensive about DUNE until seeing it.

I thought 2049 was a little overlong. Enjoyed it though.
 

Sarastro

LE
Kit Reviewer
Book Reviewer
Not seen yet, probably wont make it to the cinema but have a good home system and will get it when bluray comes out.

One question for those that have seen it and perhaps not enjoyed it - have you seen and did you enjoy 'Blade Runner 2049'?

I ask because IMHO, Denis Villeneuve knocked it out of the park with that and I was apprehensive about DUNE until seeing it.
Well it wasn't quite Blade Runner, but for the two thousandth and forty-eighth sequel it was surprisingly fresh. I've not seen the ones inbetween though so I can hardly be called a fan.
 

Dwarf

LE
Book Reviewer
Yes - the film has been discussed in 'What film have you just watched'

But rather than monopolise that thread with discussion, I thought it might be good to open a thread purely on this film itself.

I was a huge fan of the Frank Herbert original book - and like most fans of the written version I found the earlier David Lynch THING made in 1984 laughable. Glad to say that for me the 2021 version did not disappoint.

Found this today, in which the Director, Denis Villeneuve goes into some depth on decisions made about casting, lighting and dialogue. If you are a fan, its worth a watch.


It is obvious that Denis Villeneuve is as much of a devotee of the Frank Herbert story as Peter Weir was of the LOTR trilogy. I don't think David Lynch had actually read or understood 'Dune'

Some of the User Reviews on the IMDB site show the divide between those who have read the book and loved the cosmos Frank Herbert created - and those for whom this is just another big Sci Fi epic ( and by some damn Frog art-house auteur at that)

Dune (2021) - IMDb

There were some aspects of the film, such as the lighting of some scenes and the way the dialogue was sometimes obscured by the soundtrack that were momentarily distracting - but in general I loved it and will go and see it again.

Looking forward to see how the story develops in the next outing.
I first read the book over forty years ago at age 19 and have loved it ever since. I think few Sci Fi writers have ever come close to the breadth of vision in creating a human universe like FH did.
The video you post I found interesting and I may consider trying to see the film. All versions so far made have to my mind fallen well short of the book, and to get to see the film in English I have to make a trip to Barcelona which effectively writes off the day, so I want it to be worthwhile.

Here are the questions, how far does the film come close to the vision that you had when you read the book? How far does it complete the scope of the FH universe? How far does it reflect the mindset and ways of life of the peoples in that universe?

I gather the film only goes so far and there is a number two in the pipeline, where does it stop?

Thanks in advance.
 

Sarastro

LE
Kit Reviewer
Book Reviewer

Blogg

LE
As someone who rated DL's Dune highly, the new version was always going to get the hairy eyeball when I got to see it.

My overall impression is that DV has made a pretty good fist of it.

The overview is looking at Shaddam IV playing chess with the Houses of the Landsraad in order to consolodate his rule by destabilising any (current or prospective) attempt by the Houses to organise a coup against him.

What followed was a much better portrayal of the interplay of the relationships of the main players than the DL version, although with much less steampunk and far superior ornithopters.

شيخ الخلود 8/10

"I will teach you the ways of the desert.", indeed.

There was also a miniseries in 2000 by the SyFi channel which won a load of awards but was a bit odd. Made a better go of it than the DL offering though.

But the one that never got made would have been a laugh. Back in the 1970's Alejandro Jodorowsky wanted to make a 14 hour version starring Orson Welles, Mick Jagger, Salvador Dali, and oh look his own 12-year-old son.

H.R. Giger, comic artist Moebius and VFX supervisor Dan O'Bannon were involved with Pink Floyd and French band Magma to provide soundtrack.

After spending a shitload in pre-production unsurprisingly sank without trace under the vast weight of bullshit and pretention.
 

Sarastro

LE
Kit Reviewer
Book Reviewer
I think the DL Dune was pretty awesome in many ways, and much of it is likely to remain definitive in my mind. But it was also hamstrung by trying to tell a 10+ hour story in 2 hours, and the limitations of SFX and filming at the time.

I can't really say whether Lynch's characteristic ambiguous, esoteric style of storytelling - which seems to be what most people criticise - was good or bad. It's clearly a niche taste, so some will like it more than others. But the source novels are hardly free of ambiguous mysticism so it's not obviously unDune. At a minimum, it certainly made it interesting - heartplugs, bone knives and cat-milking are hard to forget!
 
As someone who rated DL's Dune highly, the new version was always going to get the hairy eyeball when I got to see it.

My overall impression is that DV has made a pretty good fist of it.

The overview is looking at Shaddam IV playing chess with the Houses of the Landsraad in order to consolodate his rule by destabilising any (current or prospective) attempt by the Houses to organise a coup against him.

What followed was a much better portrayal of the interplay of the relationships of the main players than the DL version, although with much less steampunk and far superior ornithopters.

شيخ الخلود 8/10

"I will teach you the ways of the desert.", indeed.
There's a baroqueness about the Lynch version that suits the material but he did make some odd choices, particularly with the "sound weapon" thing. The info-dump with the Navigator at the beginning is a bit crude as is some of the other exposition.
I don't mind the SciFi mini-series, it tried to have a bit more depth but it was rather failed by it's budget. Ian McNiece is an excellent Baron though. The follow-on adaptation of "Meissiah" and "Children of Dune" is much more successful in my opinion and does delve a bit more into Herbert's wider themes. Plus James McAvoy is very watchable and suitably tragic as Leto II, despite being a bit old. Still suffers from being low budget though.
 

SpiderFox

Clanker
Yes - the film has been discussed in 'What film have you just watched'

But rather than monopolise that thread with discussion, I thought it might be good to open a thread purely on this film itself.

I was a huge fan of the Frank Herbert original book - and like most fans of the written version I found the earlier David Lynch THING made in 1984 laughable. Glad to say that for me the 2021 version did not disappoint.

Found this today, in which the Director, Denis Villeneuve goes into some depth on decisions made about casting, lighting and dialogue. If you are a fan, its worth a watch.


It is obvious that Denis Villeneuve is as much of a devotee of the Frank Herbert story as Peter Weir was of the LOTR trilogy. I don't think David Lynch had actually read or understood 'Dune'
<snip>
You mean Peter Jackson, of course :)

Saw the film Friday on our 55" TV, plus 5.1 surround sound. Previously I've seen David Lynch's 1984 version on VHS a looong time ago, the only thing I can remember is the poor visual effects. I've never read the book. Of DV's films I've seen I thought Arrival and Sicario were excellent, BR2049 was OK, but far too long.

I wanted to like this film but found it overlong, with uninteresting characters and plot. Visuals were, on the whole, pretty good. Wife thought the same.

It's interesting that the book readers seem to have enjoyed it, but should prior reading be necessary as this is (supposed to be) cinema!

Is it just for fans of the book?
 

Sarastro

LE
Kit Reviewer
Book Reviewer
It's interesting that the book readers seem to have enjoyed it, but should prior reading be necessary as this is (supposed to be) cinema!

Is it just for fans of the book?
A good question, but with popular book adaptations it's more or less standard these days for films to play to fans / prior readers. Almost every major series I can think of in the past decade (Harry Potter, Hunger Games, Hobbit, Marvel etc) plays to the fans with references, injokes and assumed knowledge more than they worry about being 100% obvious to a new viewer.
 
Not seen yet, probably wont make it to the cinema but have a good home system and will get it when bluray comes out.

One question for those that have seen it and perhaps not enjoyed it - have you seen and did you enjoy 'Blade Runner 2049'?

I ask because IMHO, Denis Villeneuve knocked it out of the park with that and I was apprehensive about DUNE until seeing it.
I loved BR 2049, and I'd rewatch it again over the original and have on several occasions.

My opinion on Dune is that it's rather dull. Beautiful cinematography and set design but poor storytelling and a strange lack of tension.

I felt it was a real pity as it was a chance to tell the story without the David Lynch weirdness and looked fantastic in the trailers.
I don't feel the need to watch the next part in the cinema and will probably wait until it hits a streaming service.
 
There has been some discussion here about how convincingly Jason Momoa phoned in his performance, that even his beard left to pursue other opportunities...
 

Goatman

ADC
Book Reviewer
A good question, but with popular book adaptations it's more or less standard these days for films to play to fans / prior readers. Almost every major series I can think of in the past decade (Harry Potter, Hunger Games, Hobbit, Marvel etc) plays to the fans with references, injokes and assumed knowledge more than they worry about being 100% obvious to a new viewer.
Funny thing - I loved the Hunger Games series , but HADN'T read the books. Went back and enjoyed them more.
 

Goatman

ADC
Book Reviewer
I first read the book over forty years ago at age 19 and have loved it ever since. I think few Sci Fi writers have ever come close to the breadth of vision in creating a human universe like FH did.
The video you post I found interesting and I may consider trying to see the film. All versions so far made have to my mind fallen well short of the book, and to get to see the film in English I have to make a trip to Barcelona which effectively writes off the day, so I want it to be worthwhile.

Here are the questions, how far does the film come close to the vision that you had when you read the book? How far does it complete the scope of the FH universe? How far does it reflect the mindset and ways of life of the peoples in that universe?

I gather the film only goes so far and there is a number two in the pipeline, where does it stop?

Thanks in advance.
A typically thoughtful post @Dwarf .

I have to declare my own evident bias ,in that I was a huge fan of the book and no fan at all of the David Lynch.....thing.

I was invested in this movie before I saw it; I desperately wanted it to be as good as the book as far as it could be. For me it came as close to my ' head-picture ' of Caledan and Arrakis as it was possible to get.
Aimed at the US audience, the pronunciations of 'Benny Jess erit' and ' House A'TRay Deez ' isn't how those names voiced in my head but minor detail.

As to the second question - the film is clearly titled 'Part One'.
As you know the plot, no spoiler to say it goes as far as Jessica and Paul's escape to encounter the Fremen.

The knife fight with Jamis is included but this film ends with the Atreides survivors heading into the deep desert with Stilgar's troop. Paul has met Chani - but that's it so far.

Some very nice allusions which would mean nothing to a non-reader:

- The scene with the Reverend Mother ( Charlotte Rumpable) is suitably chilling: in the book Paul can FEEL the flesh peeling off his hand in the Box. Here there is the briefest of flashes of what he is picturing in his head.

- As Paul leaves the Fremen tent in which they have survived the Coriolis storm, the camera lingers on a desert mouse hopping over the crest of the dune.....it prefigures Paul asking to be named after the desert mouse in the Fremen language ... which they call Muad'Dib

-
The Emperor's 'prison planet' Salusa Secundus where his fanatical Sardaukar legions are trained reminded me of Brecon.....bleak, rainswept.

-
The Sardaukar who arrive to kill Paul and Jessica at the Imperial ecology post where they initially find refuge are Imperial SS, highly trained, loyal unto death - even Atreides troops fear them.
The Fremen just casually kill them - and note that they are ' slightly better ' than the Harkonnen troops they have overcome previously.

- In the fight with Jamis, Stilgar sees that Paul could have killed him several times: Jessica has to explain that he has been trained to fight an opponent wearing a Shield - and the blow must end slowly to get past the Shield's defence. Once Jamis is dead, there is no scene with his widow and children. In the book, Paul must automatically assume responsibility for the dead man's family ( Harrah ?)

- The scene where 'The Traitor Yueh' equips Duke Leto with the gas tooth is well done. When Leto meets the wonderfully slimy Baron Harkonnen , he duly crunches down on the tooth and EVERYONE in the room dies, except .........

If you are a fan, go.

Part II is yet to be filmed. Probably dependent on this one making jaw-dropping sums of money.

I will be curious to know how a subtitled Spanish version works: the film already contains sub-titling when eg Yueh and Paul are conversing in the Atreides 'Battle tongue'...and when Paul is reading his mother's Bene Gesserit hand signals eg, during the meeting with the Shadout Mapes:

' She is armed- expect violence '

God knows what they are going to make of Count and Lady Fenring - but I look forward to watching :)

PS the other film for which Denis Villeneuve is known was ' Sicario ' - which I thought was brilliant.

Not seen the updated 'Blade Runner' so can't compare.
 
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- In the fight with Jamis, Stilgar sees that Paul could have killed him several times: Jessica has to explain that he has been trained to fight an opponent wearing a Shield - and the blow must end slowly to get past the Shield's defence. Once Jamis is dead, there is no scene with his widow and children. In the book, Paul must automatically assume responsibility for the dead man's family ( Harrah ?)
I wondered how they were going to deal with that, I thought it might be a bit too "women as property" for a modern audience so it probably makes sense to leave it out.
While the BG are very much a power behind the scenes, it's not really overt until the last two books and so it might be difficult to explain the apparent misogyny to a modern audience. To be honest, I suspect that Herbert's own attitude to women probably evolved over the course of writing the books. Jessica has some influence at the start but she's still just a concubine and Ghanima gets particularly short-shrift - right down to her name.
This is not necessarily to say that Herbert thought women lesser at the start - after all it's Irulan the scholar who writes most of the epigrams in the first two or three books - it's just that they tend to be ancillary to the actual story.
 
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