Dune (Film) Post-release thread (open spoilers from film)

We had a long running thread speculating about the movie for a year and a half, but for people who saw the movie but didn’t participate in that thread, they’d have to scroll through 330 posts before they got to a post discussing the film itself, so it seems appropriate to start a new thread for post-release discussion.

I haven’t seen it yet but I hope to this weekend - is it worth paying extra for the big fancy screens (IMAX or DFX)?

Edit: I forgot that this is meant to be a two parter movie, so I would ask that people avoid openly spoiling future events that are likely to happen in the next film, so that it isn’t spoiled for people who have not read the novel. Discussing anything that was in the film is open/does not require spoilers.

I watched it last night at home, just about as soon after release as I was able. Poorly organized, random thoughts to follow. :grin:

Probably about as good an adaptation as could be done, given the limitations. Unlike the bloated, horrible mess that was the 3-film, “The Hobbit,” I actually think this would have been most properly adapted as a three-film series shot simultaneously, or as a one- or two-season big-budget HBO series a la “Game of Thrones.” There is always stuff that must be excised from a dense novel to get it on-screen, but IMHO too much was missing.

I mostly liked the casting. Chalomet was perhaps a bit too mopey, but that’s minor. I really liked Brolin as Gurney Halleck, and wish he’d had more screen time to flesh out the character. Same with Thufir Hawat; we don’t really get to know him or who he is. Jason Momoa was Jason Momoa, but I think that worked well for Duncan, given that we weren’t going to get deep into his character.

I didn’t like the characterization of Jessica; she spent too much of the film worrying, crying, or otherwise too passive. She was a strong, tough, determined character in the novels, with her own motivations and agenda, and very little of that came to screen. I don’t know the actor, so I’ll assume this is how Jessica was written and directed, and I think it does a great disservice to a very important character.

Costume and set design were largely great. I really liked the Atreides uniforms, except maybe for the armor they wore on arrival to Arrakis. Again, minor. They did a pretty great job of making future technology look well-used and worn where appropriate.

Piter deVries is mostly relegated to “weird-looking dude who is clearly a henchman,” but that’s about all. No Feyd-Rautha Harkonnen at all. There’s still, I think, time to introduce him in the second film, but I wonder if Rabban will sub in for Feyd’s character at the end. It would annoy me, but I can understand why they might do that for story purposes, given all that isn’t in the film.

I wish we had more time in Arakeen to watch Paul growing into the young Duke-to-be, to see Jessica as the Duke’s consort-who-should-have-been-wife, and to develop the more intrigue-heavy plot lines. Yueh’s betrayal had no emotional impact on me at all; it both came out of nowhere and meant nothing, really. A three-film treatment could have ended the first film with Leto’s death and Paul and Jessica’s first escape, giving time for more character development.

I’ll for sure look forward to Part 2, but so far I feel like this film just reinforces the notion that Dune is “unfilmable,” which is unfortunate. I think Villaneuve got a lot right, but had too many constraints.

I liked it a lot overall. My main problem was that it’s building up to a finale that never happens in part 1. Part 2 might never happen considering the poor box office, which would be a shame. The last 30 minutes were probably my least favorite part of the movie, and the fight at the end didn’t really have that much impact for me.

The film is gorgeous. I love Villeneuve’s style of slower moving picturesque scenes where you have time to fully look and enjoy the detail. I much prefer this to the action movie style of letting you see one second of each scene with quick cuts, but I understand it might not be everyone’s style. Also some really interesting use of contrast considering a lot of the film is brown and dark with few colors. I’d definitely see this on a big screen.

I think it’s not as good as Villeneuve’s two previous films Arrival and Blade Runner 2047, both of which I adored. Those films also didn’t do that great in the box office, so I’m a bit worried whether he’s going to get opportunities to make more films like these.

Yes! (@JohnGalt since he asked the same question in the other thread.) I saw the film last night on the largest IMAX screen in the country and I’d estimate that at least half, maybe more like 75%, of the film filled the entire 1.43 screen. The filmed all of that with IMAX cameras so seeing it in any other format you’d have almost half the image cut off.

For an opposing view, Slate recommends the regular theater format:

Having seen Dune in both its widest and tallest forms, I prefer the regular theatrical version to the towering onslaught of IMAX. As with Dunkirk, what you lose in brute force is offset by the ability to see the entire frame at a glance. Dune is a hard enough movie to follow without having to worry that there’s some piece of vital information lodged in some far-off corner.

It’s total bullshit to release an incomplete story like this without any confirmed plans for a sequel. This is less of a complete story than the fellowship of the ring, and at least with those you had the sequels already filmed.

I pretty much agree with all of this. Almost exactly how I would have reviewed it.

It was actually better than I was expecting. Of course, I had sky high hopes so expected to be let down but they did pretty good. I wasn’t blown away by it but it is a solid movie (mostly) that’s worth a watch I think.

I was really worried about the casting but almost everyone pulled through really well. For me, the jury is still out on Zendaya (plays Chani) but she had little screen time this movie. I was worried about Dave Bautista and Jason Momoa. I like them but didn’t think they’d be good here but they fit in pretty well. Dr. Yueh’s character (played by Chang Chen) was given really short shrift which is a shame and disappointing. I guess the actor did fine but he simply was given precious little screen time so we can never know. Jessica (played by Rebecca Ferguson) was ok. Not bad at all but, as @carlb noted, she was a MUCH stronger character in the books. She positively kicked ass in the books (literally and figuratively). I think this was a director problem though and not an actress problem.

Visually it looked great. FINALLY a proper thopter! Almost exactly how I always envisioned them. Heighliners (interstellar spacecraft) are properly massive (the bigger the screen you can watch on the better). Personal shields were pretty cool. Dune itself I didn’t quite get a good feel for though. Not sure how to put my finger on it. Sure, we see lots of desert but it all never really clicked for me as this massive and hostile desert world.

Some disappointments:

  • The aforementioned Dr. Yueh. Bummed about that one.
  • The aforementioned lack of Feyd-Rautha (did Sting ruin the character in the 80’s?)
  • The Weirding Way fighting style. Maybe I missed it but I don’t remember seeing it.
  • The Fremen and Sardukar warriors are supposed to be elite. Just kinda seemed like more guys fighting as usual.
  • Shields going nuclear if you shoot them (has actual relevance in the books…did I miss it here?).
  • Spice mining and worms. It’s there, of course, but more like showing it once so you know it happens and leaving it at that.
  • Political intrigue. Never really got a sense of the bigger universe and the political machinations at play. They are barely referenced. Even Baron Harkonnen doesn’t quite loom as large as he should (and he does get some screen time).
  • Bene Gesserit are likewise sorta sidelined (along with the whole Paul being “The One” and what they were working towards).
  • I’d like to have seen a Guild Navigator and what spice does to them.

But, in a book as dense as Dune something has to land on the chopping block when making a movie. The above are more “like to have” and I miss them. I still liked the movie.

7.5 (maybe an 8) out of 10

I’ve read all of Frank Herbert’s Dune novels (I skipped the works by his son). My feeling has always been that Sting’s portrayal was spot on. Feyd is flashy, over the top and in love with himself.

Sting is capable of quiet, nuanced acting. The Bride is my cite

I’m just reposting my review in this thread now:

★★★½ out of ★★★★★

Gist: Gorgeous, well acted, but limited by being the lesser half of the story.

I’ve read Dune and my advice for anyone would be the same as I would give them with this movie. You have to get past the opening chunk to get to core story and once you did, it will reveal itself to be an amazing and effective story. The problem is, Dune takes a lot of setup and this movie suffers in its opening hour(yes, hour) to get throug that setup. I can see many viewers growing weary early in this movie and missing out on the final 90 minutes that are really great. It should be said that the second half of this story is almost entirely gripping and amazing and I hope that part of this movie gets made.

Well cast, beautifully shot, edited to about as tight as you can while staying true to the story, Dune is a great opening to a movie.

Question: Should you wait until the second half of this story is filmed and released? I actually kind of understand if you do. This movie is only 50% of what we should have and I wish they had filmed it in one long filming block. The truth is that as I write this, they have not yet even filmed anything from the second part of Dune and we are at least two years away from seeing that half IF it gets made.

I hope this cast and director get to make not only that movie, but Dune Messiah and Children of Dune, also very wonderful books. It’s a great adaptation of the first portion of a great work. The hardest work has been done, now it is onto the best stuff in the book.

I am hearing WB is talking that they are very likely to make the second part. I’m relieved since all the payoffs and all the best parts are in that half.

I even found the “tooth poison gas” moment to land with a bit of a thud in this movie. Did we see right that almost everyone around Leto died? If the poison is that strong, how did the Baron survive? I thought he backed up real quick and got out of range.

I agree. I actually thought Sting played the character well. I was just wondering why he is not in this one so was speculating. Maybe they figured Beast Rabban was all the villain they could handle. I dunno.

The Baron activates his personal shield just before he approaches Leto. That slows the poison enough to allow him to get out of range. IIRC that comports with the books.

Thanks and no need for spoiler-boxing things. I’ve read the book and I also saw the Dune 2000 mini-series, which I really liked. I couldn’t remember how he made it through.

I still believe they should have just filmed both parts of this together and released it one year apart. I’m betting we don’t get part two of this until November-December of 2023 at the earliest.

I forgot to add:

  • We really get no sense of the Mentats. We see them but, unless you read the book, I doubt anyone watching will understand what they are or even that they are a thing at all (not to mention why they exist but that is definitely a bridge too far for a movie).

No kidding. I was also surprised none of this was examined at all.

I watched it at home. I read the book 40 years ago and saw the David Lynch film 35 years ago so the world building of the first half was interesting to me since I’d forgotten most of it. But half way though, I realized I didn’t care about any of the characters and the novelty of 1960s messianic science fiction wore off long, long ago. I groaned every time someone said “the One”. The best I can say is that at least this refreshed a bit of my cultural literacy. I’m not sure this film is going to have any appeal to someone who isn’t nostalgically invested in it as a favorite book from their youth.

A la “The Matrix” and “Star Wars.” At least “Dune” beat them to the punch (although it is a big sci-fi trope).

Any time someone says “The One” I hear it in Zathras’ voice.

They showed the mouse at the end, but did they even say Muad’Dib in this entire movie?

I don’t think so. It ends before Paul gets really embedded with the Fremen. He’s only barely arrived.