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SPOILER TALK: DUNE (2021, Denis Villeneuve)


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1 hour ago, KK said:

Why? Why does everything have to be a show? Especially these massive properties that really benefit from a real cinematic theatrical experience.

 

I looove the pacing of the first LOTR movie but I also love the pacing and detail of the book.

 

Then again, I'm not the most enthusiastic person for adaptations these days. If the original works, why bother.

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5 hours ago, Brónach said:

 

I looove the pacing of the first LOTR movie but I also love the pacing and detail of the book.

 

Then again, I'm not the most enthusiastic person for adaptations these days. If the original works, why bother.

 

I get what you mean. But I also think film and book can exist as separate entities that are doing their own things. Great adaptations can eschew plot and detail if it best distills the essence and ethos of the original work. Otherwise, it's just pointlessly miming narrative arcs and plot devices...which is what I feel most adaptations are these days.

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LOTR has natural breaks in the story. It was even released as 3 separate books and still is.

 

Dune has no such breaks in the story. The breaking up of the book into two pieces is completely arbitrary and unnatural.

So there's a difference.

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3 hours ago, TheUlyssesian said:

LOTR has natural breaks in the story. It was even released as 3 separate books and still is.

 

Dune has no such breaks in the story. The breaking up of the book into two pieces is completely arbitrary and unnatural.

So there's a difference.

 

The point they chose isn't arbitrary, though. It was well-chosen. Now both parts will end with a duel that increases Paul's advance across the galaxy.

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The point they chose was not haphazard, but it is more like a great point for an intermission not for the end of a first film that is followed by a second film. Dune will be one five-hour movie not two two and a half-hours movies.

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12 hours ago, KK said:

 

I get what you mean. But I also think film and book can exist as separate entities that are doing their own things. Great adaptations can eschew plot and detail if it best distills the essence and ethos of the original work. Otherwise, it's just pointlessly miming narrative arcs and plot devices...which is what I feel most adaptations are these days.

 

Yes. I think if you're following plot points because you like what they do, you have to add something else to the table instead.

7 hours ago, TheUlyssesian said:

LOTR has natural breaks in the story. It was even released as 3 separate books and still is.

 

Dune has no such breaks in the story. The breaking up of the book into two pieces is completely arbitrary and unnatural.

So there's a difference.

 

It has parts and a time skip but they may have been judged inadequate for the running time.

 

there's a nother natural break between the first and the second book, naturally, which I believe Villeneuve instends to use if they let him.

3 hours ago, blondheim said:

 

The point they chose isn't arbitrary, though. It was well-chosen. Now both parts will end with a duel that increases Paul's advance across the galaxy.

 

They actually moved the duel backwards in the story although not a lot. I really hope the second movie doesn't start already through the time skip...

 

it's obvious they simply saw the pitch of a 310 minute aprox movie as unfeasible.

 

I appreciate the gamble for what it is, even the weird ending. To my surprise, I have read many non-readers enjoying it (I actually value their perception above mine). They also have some questions, like "who are the guys with the painted lip". (yes, how much exposition is too much exposition?)

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1 hour ago, Brundlefly said:

The point they chose was not haphazard, but it is more like a great point for an intermission not for the end of a first film that is followed by a second film. Dune will be one five-hour movie not two two and a half-hours movies.


if it were one 5 hour movie, they should have shot it like lotr, all at the same time.

 

 That they shot it like 2 separate movies means at least they think of it as two standalone films though apparently no one else does.

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I wish to make a wish that will never come: at least one space-opera movie every year that isn't star wars, that does weird things and has creature work or stuff like that, with five minutes of action and that doesn't end in a big battle.

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Not only is it not shot yet, it hasn't even begun pre-production, because it hasn't even been greenlit yet.

 

Though, I believe all the actors are under contract to be in it, at least

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On 17/09/2021 at 6:38 AM, TheUlyssesian said:

Can anybody make a valid case as to why this couldn't be a single 3 hour movie?

 

It would still have 50% more screen time than the David Lynch movie.

 

What is the affirmative case for why this absolutely had to be filmed in 2 parts?

 

I just watched it, and liked it a lot. To me, the answer to your question is simple: The pacing (at least of significant portions) is on the slow side, but it never feels slow - and yet I keep remembering more and more things from the book that are entirely absent from the film. Basically, all my favourite parts (including at least one lengthy one - the banquet) are not even mentioned. I'd love to have a version that's an hour longer and has some of that stuff (simply because it's good stuff), but the film does work really well as it is, and apparently also for people entirely unfamiliar with the book, which is no small feat indeed with this story.

On 23/09/2021 at 5:10 AM, TheUlyssesian said:

LOTR has natural breaks in the story. It was even released as 3 separate books and still is.

 

It was split into *six* books that were supposed to be in one single volume, and was split into three separate releases against Tolkien's wishes. And PJ's TTT couldn't even follow the (brilliant) cliffhanger split point of the book because the book's shifting chronology doesn't match the films.

 

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5 hours ago, Luke Skywalker said:

It's just me or Was Zimmer's music a little too overpowering loud.

If it's not in a sub-standard cinema, it is not.;)

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10 hours ago, Luke Skywalker said:

It's just me or Was Zimmer's music a little too overpowering loud.

 

It certainly was in some scenes (and I saw it in IMAX & Atmos, hardly sub-standard). It had its moments (although I haven't found them yet while jumping through the album on YouTube), but in several scenes (some with nothing going on, and some with loud action), the score's only function seemingly was being loud, and I just thought: What for?

 

There was one "spiritual" moment somewhere that reminded me of Horner's Sneakers. And this may be old news (I haven't read the score thread), but the prominent 3-note chanting/screaming motif that figures prominently in Paul's Dream (and is basically the only memorable melodic snippet from the score) being pretty much the harmonica theme from OUATITW surely can't be a coincidence?

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13 hours ago, Marian Schedenig said:

There was one "spiritual" moment somewhere that reminded me of Horner's Sneakers. And this may be old news (I haven't read the score thread), but the prominent 3-note chanting/screaming motif that figures prominently in Paul's Dream (and is basically the only memorable melodic snippet from the score) being pretty much the harmonica theme from OUATITW surely can't be a coincidence?

 

Funny, I remember other melodies but I'm not sold on the screaming AH AAAH AAAAAAAH

On 29/09/2021 at 10:34 PM, Marian Schedenig said:

It was split into *six* books that were supposed to be in one single volume, and was split into three separate releases against Tolkien's wishes. And PJ's TTT couldn't even follow the (brilliant) cliffhanger split point of the book because the book's shifting chronology doesn't match the films.

 

 

I like that cliffhanger so much.

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4 hours ago, Brónach said:

Funny, I remember other melodies but I'm not sold on the screaming AH AAAH AAAAAAAH

 

I liked other parts of the score (in the film) more, but nothing that I really could recall afterwards.

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  • 2 weeks later...

I liked this; I liked it a lot!

 

All those "next Star Wars/Lord of the Rings" comparisons are really doing this film a disservice, not because its better or worse, but because its different. The hero is different, more of a brooding young prince as opposed to "unassuming youth sent on a mission"; the story is different, having more of the trappings of a Machiavelian drama; and - as I predicted - its not much of an action film.

 

That latter point actually works splendidly well for the first 1.5 hours. I really like the muted, meditative feeling of the piece. But when things come to a head it definitely loses some steam: the action isn't the best, and the buildup prior had been much more interesting.

 

a very good movie! **** out of *****

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  • 2 weeks later...
On 22/09/2021 at 8:10 PM, TheUlyssesian said:

LOTR has natural breaks in the story. It was even released as 3 separate books and still is.

 

Dune has no such breaks in the story. The breaking up of the book into two pieces is completely arbitrary and unnatural.

So there's a difference.

 

It is literally broken into three books. And the movie tells two of them. (I have no idea how they make that third book into a full movie.)

 

On 29/09/2021 at 1:34 PM, Marian Schedenig said:

all my favourite parts (including at least one lengthy one - the banquet)

 

They hit a lot of my favorites. But the Banquet was sorely missed. Especially since it has some of Liet's most badass moments.

 

Both movies tell you up front that the spice enables the spacing guild's method of space travel. In the book not even the Emperor knows this. They also added the detail that the Harkonnen's are richer than the Emperor.

 

I got this vibe from the trailer and the movie backs it up. The Fremen think of themselves as an oppressed people. In the book the oppression is the fact that they were moved to Arrakis in the first place. And while they think of others as enemies they certainly do not feel that they are oppressed.

 

I'll give it a solid 4/5. Oh, and Zimmer was amazing.

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In fairness, the question of whether the two-part format is suitable is dependent on both parts, not just the first. I've heard tell that there is a lot of story still to come. Villeneuve now gets to devote an entire feature-length film to that story, with the essential groundwork (presumably) already laid.

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14 minutes ago, Naïve Old Fart said:

...who films half of a book?

 

People who can only get the second part funded off the back of a financially successful first part.

 

I'll bet Villeneuve would love to have done it all in one go.

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43 minutes ago, Naïve Old Fart said:

I come back to a question which I posted a little while ago: who films half of a book?

 

Who writes four music-dramas and a chamber-piece off of the Volsung saga? Who writes twelve separate tablets off of the lifestory of Gilgamesh? Six volumes off of a story of a cross-country journey to destroy a piece of jewelry? Two epic poems off a guy coming home from a visit to Turkey? The list goes on...

 

Serialized storytelling had been part of our culture since time immemorial. I don't see why it should be considered any less valid an artform than telling a story in one entry, or why people should have to explain themselves to the 'nth degree as to why they chose to split a clearly-labyrinthine story into parts. I think that's a very reductive approach.

 

Au contraire, I would ask, isn't the justification of a film-series that it should tell a unified, single story that could not be told as well in a single entry, as opposed to just a series of standalone/losely-connected vignettes? Is it not better, if a series is to have the unity of a single piece writ large, for none of its intermediate entries to end on a full-stop? And isn't it all the more artistically meritorious to be able to maintain a thread across multiple entries as compared to a single one?

 

Ultimately, there's more than enough stuff happening in Dune: Part One to justifiably fill a feature-film.

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I can't attest to that because I purposefully went into Part One not knowing the book or the Lynch film. I get the idea, though: Paul will rise to become the chosen one and - with Chani, mum and his would-be sibiling all at his side - lead an inssurection of the Bene Gesserit and ultimately topple the Harkonnens. Just as a premise, I can see that filling-up a feature-film, sure.

 

But its also true that Part One has more than enough stuff going-on. The tempo of the events may disatisfy some (though not me - that was perhaps what I loved most about it) but its unquestionably enough to justify it being a discrete feature.

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2 hours ago, Glóin the Dark said:

In fairness, the question of whether the two-part format is suitable is dependent on both parts, not just the first. I've heard tell that there is a lot of story still to come. Villeneuve now gets to devote an entire feature-length film to that story, with the essential groundwork (presumably) already laid.

 

This movie ended on page 365. There are 252 pages left. There are some events that don't take that long time-wise that take up a LOT of chapters. Then there are some really big events that Herbert skips over in a handful of pages.

 

This is kind of the structure for the sequels. People talk for entire chapters about what will or might happen. Then in a very short amount of book space: It happens.

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We can’t judge things that don’t exist.

 

based purely on this film, it does not fill its 2.5 hours.

 

per my count 4 major incidents happen.

 

1. harkonnens withdraw from Arrakis and Atredies arrive in their stead based on the Emperor’s command.

 

2. there is an assassination attempt on Paul.

 

3. harkonnens in partnership with imperial forces mount an attack on the artedies. Many including Leto die.

 

4. Jessica and Paul escape into the desert and find the freemen.

 

 Everything else is exposition.

 

 Now for a humble 4 events, did they need 2.5 hours? Not at all.

 

 Cinema is very different from television. For all of this movie’s cinematic grandeur, it moves like a television series. All set up.

 

 Think bank to lord of the rings. The sheer amount of incident it packs into the first film.

 

i think This is what a lot of us are saying. While there is a lot of world building going on here. There is not a lot of story.

 

 Cinema thrives on story in the end, not world building.

 

 World building is an element which supports the story. Gives it context and resonance. World building is eventually exposition. World building is not a goal unto itself. 
 

think to Harry Potter 1 of a similar length. Look at the amount of world building packed and the sheer number of incidents.

 

lotr too. It’s first 5 mins pack in more world building than this movie.

 

 It is a very necessary question. Does the movie use its time well? I am afraid the answer has to be no.

 

 What actually feels cinematic is a large sweeping story packed into 3 hours. That feels epic.

 

 But a small story spread thin over multiple hours - that is what television does.

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Cinema comes in many different forms, and can thrive on many different things.

 

Whether Dune: Part One used its time well is open to question and I don't yet know exactly how I feel about it, but one thing is clear at the outset: for me, the two and a half hours flew in.

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3 hours ago, TheUlyssesian said:

 Cinema thrives on story in the end, not world building.

 

Oh I agree.

 

But Dune doesn't take its time necessarily with the "World Building." It takes its time with the visuals, it takes its time with its characters, it takes its time with the story beats.

 

Like, how much story is actually in 3.5 hours of Titanic? Remarkably little. You can basically describe the entire plot and all the major players in a three-four sentence synopsis. Its not long because it has a lot of plot mechanics to accomodate, its long because its patient and confident and wants certain thing to really simmer. And don't even get me started on Parsifal.

 

Another reason movies like that are long is that pace is related to tone: a fast-pace befits very upbeat, lighthearted movies, whereas a slow pace befits the kind of earnest Machiavelian drama that so much of Dune is. Its just the tempo of the shots: just like tempo in music - what's the first thing you do when you want a piece of music to feel more grim? You slow it down.

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6 minutes ago, Chen G. said:

 

Oh I agree.

 

But Dune doesn't take its time necessarily with the "World Building." It takes its time with the visuals, it takes its time with its characters, it takes its time with the story beats.

 

Like, how much story is actually in 3.5 hours of Titanic? Remarkably little. You can basically describe the entire plot and all the major players in a three-four sentence synopsis. Its not long because it has a lot of plot mechanics to accomodate, its long because its patient and confident and wants certain thing to really simmer. And don't even get me started on Parsifal.

 

Another reason movies like that are long is that pace is related to tone: a fast-pace befits very upbeat, lighthearted movies, whereas a slow pace befits the kind of earnest Machiavelian drama that so much of Dune is. Its just the tempo of the shots: just like tempo in music - what's the first thing you do when you want a piece of music to feel more grim? You slow it down.

 

Titanic for what it's worth is extremely eventful and packs in a wizard's purse worth of incident. Story and plot are different and maybe I should have been more specific. Titanic's story might be simple but the plot - which is how the incidents unfold on screen - is very detailed and elaborate.

 

Dune has not that benefit. Both the story and plot are not enough to fill out the 2.5 hours.

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I do too. I actually mostly watch arthouse fare and watch far fewer blockbuster films.

 

I would argue arthouse films that are extremely slow are still offering the audiences a lot - deep character development, advancing a worldview, trading in insight about the world and the way we live ad breathe and think and feel, burrowing into the fabric of society etc.

 

I got absolutely none of that from Dune. So while it was slow, there wasn't a reason for its slowness. And it did not give me anything remotely cerebral to latch onto. It just very lethargically and lugubriously unfolded its very sketchy half baked characters and wafer thin storyline at an interminable pace and gave me nothing to chew on whatsoever - except stare at some pretty pictures and sigh in exasperation. 

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20 hours ago, Naïve Old Fart said:

Does Jamis make an appearance?

 

Jamis serves at least one important role. Paul dreams about him before he meets him, and Jamis says some things. 

 

Then when they meet, something else happens which prevents that dialog from happening in the real world. 

 

This shows that Paul sees multiple possible futures, instead of only just one. 

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1 hour ago, Luke Skywalker said:

Thanks, I missed that. I thought... hmm when happened the dream scene, i dont remember it...

 

It's not long before he meets the real Jamis. Is it during the storm? I remember watching the scene and wondering who the character was. There aren't many male Fremen with names in the book.

 

I've talked to one person who hasn't read the book that loved the movie. I'm curious to talk to more people like that to see what meant something to them and what things blew by so fast or so light that they don't register.

 

I watched the beginning of the movie again. Do the Harkonen harvesters look different from what we see later in the movie? Because they're supposed to be the same equipment.

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His dream about Jamis is right before he meets him. Jamis says something about taking Paul under his wing and teaching him their ways. 

 

The rage in his eyes becomes almost tragic when he realizes he is fighting to the death against a superior opponent that does not want to kill him. He knows he made a mistake. 

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21 hours ago, TheUlyssesian said:

So while it was slow, there wasn't a reason for its slowness.

 

It really doesn't need a special reason, other than that the film-maker(s) wanted it to have this sort of metabolism. Slower films don't have to measure up in quality to the work of, say, Tarr or Ceylan in order to justify their existence, just as films packed with incident don't have to measure up to Renoir or Welles to justify theirs.

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So I just skimmed through the parts of Lynch's Dune that are covered in DV's. Lynch gets to the same spot that DV does in ~1:30 vs. 2:30 (minus credits).

 

At 1:30 in DV's Dune Jessica and Paul are getting out of the thopter after overpowering the Harkonnen henchmen. That moment comes in Lynch's film at about 1:15. In Lynch they overpower the Harkonnens and then fly until they crash and cross the desert. Skipping everything with Duncan and Liet Kynes.

 

So in an additional hour he gives Kynes and Duncan their stories back. I have to admit that I was amazed and happy that they included the whole part of Paul and Jessica's escape with Liet. The book had a little bit more political manuevering and of course Liet's true aims and allegiances are more explicit in the book. But it's amazing it was there at all.

 

It's interesting to see where each director put his weight. Mind you I gather Lynch didn't get final cut on his film.

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Weirding modules and Harkonnen heart plugs aside, Lynch did a very good job in adaptating first third of the book

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On 25/10/21 at 9:53 AM, Tallguy said:

I've talked to one person who hasn't read the book that loved the movie. I'm curious to talk to more people like that to see what meant something to them and what things blew by so fast or so light that they don't register.

I’ve never read the book, but I’ve seen Lynch’s adaptation. Thought the movie was pretty good. 

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I liked Dune a lot. The time did not fly past and I had to adapt to the slower pace, but this is the kind of science fiction I’m realizing I wanted after the two-decade deluge of Marvel and DC shit. The movie envisions a truly different kind of world (an inhospitable one, to be sure) and makes you understand how threatening it is, unlike nearly any other alien planet in countless other movies that are no different than earth. I also don’t mind at all the social messaging the movie is conveying. (It helps that I’m responsive to much of it.)

 

I can see why Villeneuve was adamantly against day-and-date releasing on HBO max. Especially if WB uses the lower box office that will result as reason not to fund Part 2.

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1 hour ago, Bespin said:

Wait, next week they'll announce Dune will be in fact a trilogy.

 

It could be. Dune Messiah is a short book and could be tacked onto the end of Dune. It would give Paul a complete story arc. 

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40 minutes ago, Bayesian said:

I can see why Villeneuve was adamantly against day-and-date releasing on HBO max. Especially if WB uses the lower box office that will result as reason not to fund Part 2.

Part 2 has already been greenlit. They wouldn’t stick Part 1 into the title if that wasn’t going to be the case anyway. 
 

I find it odd that there was even a possibility of Part 2 not happening. The film has no climax and was clearly conceived as two parts from the beginning. Would have been weird to just have one and be done. 

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22 minutes ago, Koray Savas said:

Part 2 has already been greenlit. They wouldn’t stick Part 1 into the title if that wasn’t going to be the case anyway. 
 

I find it odd that there was even a possibility of Part 2 not happening. The film has no climax and was clearly conceived as two parts from the beginning. Would have been weird to just have one and be done. 

 

I don't think it was ever a real possibility (at least closer to the release), unless the film did indeed turn out to be a commercial disaster.

 

I think they've just been sitting on an announcement/confirmation to leverage PR after the opening weekend. I'm sure everyone on the team knew well before today that Part 2 was definitely happening.

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6 hours ago, Tallguy said:

So I just skimmed through the parts of Lynch's Dune that are covered in DV's. Lynch gets to the same spot that DV does in ~1:30 vs. 2:30 (minus credits).

 

At 1:30 in DV's Dune Jessica and Paul are getting out of the thopter after overpowering the Harkonnen henchmen. That moment comes in Lynch's film at about 1:15. In Lynch they overpower the Harkonnens and then fly until they crash and cross the desert. Skipping everything with Duncan and Liet Kynes.

 

So in an additional hour he gives Kynes and Duncan their stories back. I have to admit that I was amazed and happy that they included the whole part of Paul and Jessica's escape with Liet. The book had a little bit more political manuevering and of course Liet's true aims and allegiances are more explicit in the book. But it's amazing it was there at all.

 

It's interesting to see where each director put his weight. Mind you I gather Lynch didn't get final cut on his film.


i frankly would have cut the Duncan and liet parts post escape. What does it add to the story? Nothing. It prolongs the inevitable. They are going to end up with the fremen. We know that. What’s the point of spending an hour to get there?

 

i actually think the last act post the attack on Atridies is weakest.

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