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Author Topic: Hi, how ya DUNE? (Spoilers! Beware!)  (Read 2871 times)

Dubble_g

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Hi, how ya DUNE? (Spoilers! Beware!)
« on: 22 October 2021, 07:01:43 »
Just to emphasize how topsy-turvy and unprecedented the current times are, Dune was actually released in Japan before the US. Usually we have to wait anywhere from a week to half a year. Score! Saw Denis's version in the theater last weekend, but I think the yanks have now caught up to us so it's time to share thoughts, opinions, reactions, takes, and all things of that nature.

<The Good>
- Fairly faithful adaptation. Obviously some subplots got cut and it's very focused on Paul, but it generally nails all the key plot points.
- Production design. If not quite as iconic as Lynch's 84 movie, it's engagingly weird, everything is on a massive scale, and the ornithopters are just great, dragonfly meets gunship.
- Thematically a solid foundation is laid: Paul as a protagonist rather than a hero, a manufactured messiah produced by a literal human breeding program. Generally, I though the movie was a bit emotionless, but the beats that do land have to do with Paul coming to terms with being the "Chosen One" and realizing what a raw deal that is.
- Cinematography is up to DV's usual standards, especially the use of light and dark. There's a battle with this kind of air to surface upside-down fireworks thing that looks way cool, and a badass laser that slices through half the city. The action scenes are good & kinetic (though after the first scene with the personal shield, they suddenly become pretty useless and soldiers get killed super easily... bah, more exciting that way I guess)

<The ... Less Good>
- Score. Not criticism of the work of Hans Zimmer, which is otherworldly and atmospheric, but the fact that it absolutely BLARES when people are talking.
- Like I said, a bit emotionless. The first half especially is almost all plot muscle, very little emotional heart. Just so many scenes with different people and places coming at you like Shai Hulud after a thumper. There's maybe one good scene between Paul and his dad Leto but that doesn't really pay off in the rest of the movie.
- Due to the focus on Paul, a lot of the minor characters don't really register. Thufir, Piter, Yueh ... they're in one or two scenes each, and never really leave an impression. The bad guys are kind of Marvel-level bad guys, bad guys whose whole deal is that they're bad. There's a bit of the robber-baron in Stellan Skarsgard's Vladimir Harkonnen, everything is mine-mine-mine kind of thing, but I never felt he and Leto were sworn enemies.

All that said, I'm definitely excited for Part Two now, which is a surprise. I thought the second half of Dune would be harder to film, as Paul becomes this prescient oracle with an unbeatable army of killer fanatics so where is the tension? But this has convinced me Denis can do Paul's inner turmoil convincingly--indeed, it was the best aspect of Part One. Bring on Muad'Dib!

My full review here: https://one-way-mirror.blogspot.com/2021/10/dune-part-one.html
« Last Edit: 22 October 2021, 20:59:20 by Dubble_g »
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Triptych

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Re: Hi, how ya DUNE? (Spoilers! Beware!)
« Reply #1 on: 22 October 2021, 07:33:52 »
Watching it now but we stopped the streaming because the pizza finally arrived.

I read the book at 12, so I am a fan.

My first impression: why is it filmed so dark? Heck even Arrakis is filmed too dark!

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Re: Hi, how ya DUNE? (Spoilers! Beware!)
« Reply #2 on: 22 October 2021, 07:56:26 »
issue is majority compare this to 1984 dune(btw the fan edit does a great job) followed by tv adaptation of dune and dune children.
as i see it visually it draws you in a lot of charachters are turning out to be more shallow and few character changes just dont mesh well with the story
but not glaringly so...
and the design of ornithopters were outstanding... and actually seeing paracompas and sand compactor were just bonus
all on all this one is standning on its own
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Empyrus

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Re: Hi, how ya DUNE? (Spoilers! Beware!)
« Reply #3 on: 22 October 2021, 08:26:32 »
and the design of ornithopters were outstanding...
So far the only Dune adaptation to get them correct are Dune 2000 and Emperor Battle For Dune. Flappy wings, not insect-like things!
I did like this Dune's concept of 'thopters but ain't correct.
Incidentally the paracompass is also technically wrong, as in the book Arrakis' moons had nothing to do with the magnetic field weirdness (and it wasn't really elaborated upon). But do think the way it was altered worked pretty well for most part, so no complaints there.

Being in Europe, i saw the film over a month ago.

Overall, being a huge fan of the book, it is like the number 1 scifi and work of fiction for me, this film has left me with really mixed feelings.
There's some stuff it did really well, or altered in interesting and even reasonable ways. It did give this feel of a strange future, exotic places. Pretty good performances. Visually impressive.
But less focus on minor characters (Piter wasn't even named!), largely ignoring mentats, skipping a lot of Imperial political context and feudal structure, Sardaukars being "hired" and Emperor's role in the events being largely downplayed, overall "high tech" interpretation of Dune, the Voice being overdone once again, shields getting highlighted and then almost ignored... there's a lot of minor points i had problems with and they add up.
Also wasn't a big fan of the soundtrack. Felt too basic Zimmer, so to speak.

If the second part gets made and it is done well, i suspect it will change my impression of this one. And/or if it gets extended edition, depending what has been cut, wouldn't be surprised if there's stuff that was cut but would improve the experience for someone like me. But as it is... real mixed feelings.
I do think Villeneuve and the crew really tried with this one. It wasn't phoned in or anything like that, it is genuine, and that is something i appreciate.
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Re: Hi, how ya DUNE? (Spoilers! Beware!)
« Reply #4 on: 22 October 2021, 14:11:13 »
This movie to me was pure awesomeness. It captured the feel of Dune and was far superior to all the previous attempts.

The story fit well to the books and the ascetics was amazing. I felt the score was very good - got me to want and buy it, something I haven't done for almost 20 years.


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Re: Hi, how ya DUNE? (Spoilers! Beware!)
« Reply #5 on: 22 October 2021, 19:41:23 »
These reviews are encouraging, and I'll try to see it this weekend.  I liked the '84 version, even though it wasn't very true to the books.  I'll always think the last two books in the series (Chapterhouse and Heretics) were the best, but you really can't appreciate them fully without reading the first four (as much of a slog as the intervening three are, God Emperor being somewhat refreshing from Messiah and Children).

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Re: Hi, how ya DUNE? (Spoilers! Beware!)
« Reply #6 on: 22 October 2021, 20:57:19 »
Positives:
The movie looks gorgeous.
The worms are stunning.
Ornithopters that look functional.

Spoilery Negatives:
Paul: They concentrate on the moody parts of his character without showing any of the rest of him. The scene where Leto meets Stilgar and the Atriedes strategy meeting both showed Paul’s intelligence and cleverness in the book. Here they give one of Paul’s insights the another character and totally remove the other. Paul was more than just his visions in the book.

The pain box scene: The dialogue and exposition seems heavily cut in this scene. Paul never seems like he’s truly being tested or in danger. It seems to lack the power of either of the previously filmed versions.

Sadukar: I know they were going for a very visual distinct world, but the Sadukar attacking the Atriedes openly, in their own uniforms, seems a giant misstep. Was the Harkonnen plan to kill every living soul in Arrakeen to stop that news from getting out?

Lasguns: It’s not addressed in the movie how they work, so maybe this needs a pass, but a Harkonnen airship randomly firing a lasgun through a city full of active combatants wearing personal shields hurts my Dune loving heart.

Jamis: Changing the plot to have him challenge Jessica? Didn’t serve the plot. Didn’t seem needed.

The Jamis duel: This one is nitpicking, but the Fremen are practical. Having a duel while still wearing your stillsuit means that, potentially, even the winner is doomed to die if his suit is damaged. There’s a reason they stripped down for the duel in the book.

marauder648

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Re: Hi, how ya DUNE? (Spoilers! Beware!)
« Reply #7 on: 22 October 2021, 21:53:52 »
Quote
Lasguns: It’s not addressed in the movie how they work, so maybe this needs a pass, but a Harkonnen airship randomly firing a lasgun through a city full of active combatants wearing personal shields hurts my Dune loving heart.

This was the only bit that stood out to me, because it seemed to hit a shielded ship and could have hit shielded combattants, and if that's the case, there wouldn't ben an Arrokeen to fight over :p

But on the whole, I enjoyed it, One big plus is Skarsgard as the Baron. The Lynch movie's Baron was a bombastic, campy character who had to go full disney villain to come across as evil (the shouting flamboyance, i'm sure he yelled FOOLS! at one point too). This Baron was MENACING. He didn't need to yell and howl. He just needed to say 'Kill them' barely above a whisper to be obeyed.
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Re: Hi, how ya DUNE? (Spoilers! Beware!)
« Reply #8 on: 22 October 2021, 22:11:48 »
I do think the miniseries Baron (Ian McNeice) is better overall but i don't mind new Dune's different take on the character. As villans go, Skarskard does manage to be menacing. But the miniseries Baron manages to be pretty charismatic villain, IMO, unlike Skarskard Baron.

(Strangely, i remember a lot from Lynch's Dune which i do like overall, but i cannot remember anything about its Baron. Yes, i said like Lynch's Dune, it is absolutely a flawed movie but it does some things well and interestingly.)
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Re: Hi, how ya DUNE? (Spoilers! Beware!)
« Reply #9 on: 22 October 2021, 22:34:31 »
I do think the miniseries Baron (Ian McNeice) is better overall but i don't mind new Dune's different take on the character. As villans go, Skarskard does manage to be menacing. But the miniseries Baron manages to be pretty charismatic villain, IMO, unlike Skarskard Baron.

(Strangely, i remember a lot from Lynch's Dune which i do like overall, but i cannot remember anything about its Baron. Yes, i said like Lynch's Dune, it is absolutely a flawed movie but it does some things well and interestingly.)

I'd say that the mini-series, although well played by the actor, was still channeling the 84's movie's Baron with campy fun. He was cunning and charasmatic, but as camp as a pile of butlins, which stands in line with the 80's one. Basically both 80's and mini-series were rather fun villains, a more killy and effective Ming the Merciless kind of Pure Evil as they were having FUN with their villany whilst happily nomming on nearby scenery.

Skarsand's take is far more menacing and dangerous rather than hammy, creepy fun.
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Re: Hi, how ya DUNE? (Spoilers! Beware!)
« Reply #10 on: 22 October 2021, 23:29:27 »
I'd say that the mini-series, although well played by the actor, was still channeling the 84's movie's Baron with campy fun. He was cunning and charasmatic, but as camp as a pile of butlins, which stands in line with the 80's one. Basically both 80's and mini-series were rather fun villains, a more killy and effective Ming the Merciless kind of Pure Evil as they were having FUN with their villany whilst happily nomming on nearby scenery.

Skarsand's take is far more menacing and dangerous rather than hammy, creepy fun.

However, is Skarsand version of the Baron accurate to the character in the book?

Not really.

The literary Baron isn't menacing in the sense of his looming over you like some clammy moon that will crush with his weight or his deep brooding voice such as the Skarsand Baron. No, the literary Baron was closer to an excited child when he was scheming and delighting in comparing things to candies that he probably ate before talking with Piter and Feyd(Not Appearing in Villeneuve movie for some odd reason) when he first appears in the book. In his delights of indulging in many things, he hides his keen mind and abilities that even the Emperor misses when the leader of the known universe later calls for the "flying fat man" during the climax of the book.

There was none of the Baron's delight in taking down Leto Atredies in the book or other versions of Dune. It was kind of just minor indifference as he continued to eat and explain how he the Baron Vladimir Harkonnen had won the 10 millennium long conflict between their families. Just without the sickening delight that McMillian or McNiece gave the character. I had to listen to Toto's track from the original Dune "The Floating Fat Man" to remember how the character should be.

Yeah, I missed the red headed Baron of the book, Lynch movie, and the Sci-Fi Channel Miniseries in the Villeneuve Dune. One of those Barons would have livened things up from the sulky acting of Chalamet as Paul that Josh Brolin, Oscar Issac, and Jason Momoa helped make less moody and wispy and made the movie at least move better when they were together.

I liked the omnithopters. Plus, there was mentions of bull fighting of the Old Duke.

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Re: Hi, how ya DUNE? (Spoilers! Beware!)
« Reply #11 on: 23 October 2021, 00:32:32 »
Strangely, i remember a lot from Lynch's Dune which i do like overall, but i cannot remember anything about its Baron.

I'll try reminding you by the name of the soundtrack track during his big scene: The Floating Fat Man.
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Re: Hi, how ya DUNE? (Spoilers! Beware!)
« Reply #12 on: 23 October 2021, 07:34:56 »
OK, I had high hopes for this movie, but now that Ive finished it, I cant help but feel some disappointment.  :-[

Even though only the first part of the book was shown, and even with an extended run time, it seemed the director was more focused on setting up mood and atmosphere instead of establishing characters and the complex politics of the story. Important personalities are either not present or their roles were just mere cameos.

It seems to me Villeneuve believes that anyone who watches this movie must have surely watched David Lynch's version, and so he tried to make it as different from that one as possible. The problem is for people who know nothing about the previous versions or havent read the book will probably be hopelessly lost if they watch this film alone.

Is this the best adaptation so far? I'd have to say yes, but with major caveats.

I found Lynch's version to be too talky and mediocre, and this one at least moves at a fast pace. I didnt even finish watching the limited series version because it was so boring and badly produced.

My ranking of the Dune adaptations:

1. Dune (2021)
2. Dune (1984)

And way, way below these two:

50. Dune (2000)

Now I wish Alejandro Jodorowsky would make his version...  ;)

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Re: Hi, how ya DUNE? (Spoilers! Beware!)
« Reply #13 on: 23 October 2021, 11:09:12 »
My rankings are:

1. Dune (2021)
2. Dune (2000)
3. Dune (1984)

The Lynch Dune is a fancy-pants stylish movie, but extremely little to do with Dune the novel. It's like he took the visuals and threw out the story.
While the Sci-fi mini-series might be low-cost in comparison, they nailed the story very well. And that is 479247924797243749 times more important than visual style in my score-list.
The 2021 one nailed both story and visuals (even if it's just part 1). As my friends who saw it with me said: "I had expecations of a 1 on a scale to 10, I came out with my mind blown and it's an 11".

FenderSaxbey

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Re: Hi, how ya DUNE? (Spoilers! Beware!)
« Reply #14 on: 23 October 2021, 11:44:52 »
Agreed, Øystein. The Sci-fi Children of Dune mini-series was fantastic and I still go back and watch that one every few years once I work up the fortitude to deal with Daniela Amavia's performance as Alia.

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Re: Hi, how ya DUNE? (Spoilers! Beware!)
« Reply #15 on: 23 October 2021, 13:03:57 »
...it seemed the director was more focused on setting up mood and atmosphere instead of establishing characters and the complex politics of the story.

Agreed... leaves the experience feeling a bit hollow. Hopefully something they will rectify in the second act. Not really holding my breath, though. I will say; still one of the best sci-fi films in years. Even with much of the Landsraad being absent, and failing to thoroughly anchor characters.
Other than Liet Kynes, I thought the casting was perfect. Kynes was adequate, just... challenging when all the rest of the cast was a 10 out of 10. I actually thought Duncan Idaho was maybe miscast when I first read about it, but for me, this was Jason Momoa's defining role. He seemed to tranced all previous acting in empathy, emotion, and depth.
The one thing Lynch's Dune nailed was establishing a rich, cultured, feudalist universe. I missed this, here.         

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Re: Hi, how ya DUNE? (Spoilers! Beware!)
« Reply #16 on: 23 October 2021, 14:47:24 »
I saw it a theater packed by me and two others. I will admit there are some very slow parts where I tranced out for a little, but I loved it once we got to start seeing the desert and then the combat. Loved this version of the ornithopters as well.

Things I didn’t like:

1) the duel while still wearing the stillsuits. I agree that these should have been removed.

2) I missed the verbal exposition at the beginning of the movie to provide some backstory/mood setting. I think it would have helped those who haven’t read the book or seen the previous adaptations.

As to rankings, for the most part, and assuming part two builds well from the foundation set by part 1, I would go as follows:

1) 2021
2) 2000
3) 1984

However, I do kind of prefer Patrick Stewart as Gurney. And Sting made a decent Feyd I thought.

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Empyrus

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Re: Hi, how ya DUNE? (Spoilers! Beware!)
« Reply #17 on: 23 October 2021, 16:58:13 »
The one thing Lynch's Dune nailed was establishing a rich, cultured, feudalist universe. I missed this, here.       
Oh, this is an excellent way to describe some stuff i feel.

1) the duel while still wearing the stillsuits. I agree that these should have been removed.
I figure this is quite forgivable. The film emphasizes the hazards of being exposed on Arrakis (yes, Jessica and Paul do spend time without stillsuits but then they didn't have choice), so the fremen, locals who are very aware of Arrakis' dangers, removing suits could be weird to anyone who doesn't know why they do it.
And explaining why is the kind of info-dump exposition that might not serve well this late into the film. To be sure, noting dead bodies water is reclaimed and given to the winner of a duel isn't a long thing, but this late in the film... probably not worth it.
« Last Edit: 23 October 2021, 17:02:51 by Empyrus »
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FenderSaxbey

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Re: Hi, how ya DUNE? (Spoilers! Beware!)
« Reply #18 on: 23 October 2021, 21:38:10 »
So I just finished it and I totally agree with a lot of stuff already said here. We should have had more Kynes, Hawat, and especially Huey. The betrayal falls very flat if you don't know the story already. I think the film spends too much time in the wrong places making some of the important bits feel rushed. I'd have skipped several seconds of Paul brooding on the beach for a proper Heighliner scene. This brings me to my own observation that this movie was made for people who already know Dune. I tried to imagine myself watching this with fresh eyes and being very confused in a lot of places.

That all being said, I thoroughly enjoyed the film and think it is indeed the best adaptation so far. Also, you can't see the scenes where the Baron rises from his dais and the exposition in the tent after the razing of Arakeen and tell me that Villeneuve doesn't have plans to take this at least all the way to God Emperor. The imagery and dialog almost demand it for those that know those stories.

As my daughter said when it was over: "That was great! I can't wait for the proper 4 hour director's cut!"

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Re: Hi, how ya DUNE? (Spoilers! Beware!)
« Reply #19 on: 24 October 2021, 09:27:03 »
I’m surprised people actually like the 2000 SyFy channel miniseries. I thought the whole thing was so cheap and inept, it felt like watching a local community theater putting up their version. Sure, they put a lot of the book into it, but the acting and the production were so bad, I stopped watching it out of disgust.

The 1984 movie was flawed for sure, but at least some of the actors were good in it. Like Jose Ferrer as the Emperor and the actress who portrayed Mother Helen Mohiam were superb, as was Brad Dourif who played Piter de Vries, anbd Freddie Jones as Thufir.

The miniseries on the other hand was a joke.

The Sardaukar and their big floppy hats looked and moved like clowns. I actually couldnt stop laughing when they appeared.

Paul and Feyd-Rautha looked exactly the same: 30+ year old actors who pretended they were sullen teenagers. Feyd’s costume was like a rejected design from that Deuce Bigelow Male Gigolo movie.

The Fremen in that TV show were all pale skinned, and Stilgar had a double chin and a beer belly-no way could his portrayal have convinced me that he was some hardened desert warrior.

And the sets and special effects were so badly done it was obviously fake.

Despite its flaws the 1984 movie did have an epic feel to it, and some scenes were great. Nothing in the miniseries caught my attention. Ah well, to each his own I guess.  ;D

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Re: Hi, how ya DUNE? (Spoilers! Beware!)
« Reply #20 on: 24 October 2021, 12:55:13 »
So I came from watching movie and I found it be really good. I agree with many that it's easily best Dune adaption with miniseries being 2nd best and Lynch one being last from those three. Over all new movie did well and I also got impression of epic scale. Score was also really good and it set the mood well. Of course there was also that scene that reveals is person seeing it fan of source material as out of context it seems funny but when you know context it makes sense.
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Re: Hi, how ya DUNE? (Spoilers! Beware!)
« Reply #21 on: 24 October 2021, 15:55:46 »
I’m surprised people actually like the 2000 SyFy channel miniseries. I thought the whole thing was so cheap and inept, it felt like watching a local community theater putting up their version. Sure, they put a lot of the book into it, but the acting and the production were so bad, I stopped watching it out of disgust.

The 1984 movie was flawed for sure, but at least some of the actors were good in it. Like Jose Ferrer as the Emperor and the actress who portrayed Mother Helen Mohiam were superb, as was Brad Dourif who played Piter de Vries, anbd Freddie Jones as Thufir.


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Re: Hi, how ya DUNE? (Spoilers! Beware!)
« Reply #22 on: 24 October 2021, 16:00:36 »
I suspect Gurney will always evoke Patrick Stewart in my mind.  He was literally perfect in that role.

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Re: Hi, how ya DUNE? (Spoilers! Beware!)
« Reply #23 on: 24 October 2021, 17:19:42 »
I thought it was ok, not awesome but not terrible.
The good not as much inner monolog and talking to themselfs. I think it wasted Stellan Skarskard, he is a incredable actor, but didn't really use that acting ability.
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Re: Hi, how ya DUNE? (Spoilers! Beware!)
« Reply #24 on: 24 October 2021, 17:35:10 »
I hope the second half will show him off a bit more, or as FenderSaxbey's daughter said, maybe in "the proper 4-hour director's cut"...

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Re: Hi, how ya DUNE? (Spoilers! Beware!)
« Reply #25 on: 24 October 2021, 18:01:03 »
I loved it. Sure there could be more stuff (a narrator like in Lynch movie or Paul reading/viewing some encyclopedia about current affairs to introduce the setting and so on) but I guess DV is going for a different kind of flavour (or he had but was cut - its the same problem if any Battletech story was made into a movie).

Most guys already pointed out what is good and not so good and I agree. I read the book(s) 30 years ago so some stuff I don't remember. I accept DV vision.

About the 2000 version I'm with Triptych.
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Re: Hi, how ya DUNE? (Spoilers! Beware!)
« Reply #26 on: 24 October 2021, 18:32:21 »
I loved it, and I'm looking forward to a director's cut.

There are some scenes you can just *tell* where cut down for length.  For example, the assassin in the wall.  The shot of him dead and a voice-over of "Yeah he was in the wall" - just screamed to me that there was a whole "find him, break the wall, kill him" scene that was filmed and cut.  Necessary for the movie? No.  Do I think it'd be fun to watch (like all the deleted scenes added back in for the extended LOTR editions?) absolutely.

I liked this version of Harkonnen - and I watched/read a few interviews about the character both before seeing the movie and since, and I think they did well with what they intended - a Harkonnen that had this quiet menace about him, and not a caricature.  There were also a lot of references to other movies that I missed but read about, so I'm going to keep an eye out for them during a second viewing.

I read the novel once, maybe 15 years ago.  My mother and father, my mother especially, were the Dune fanatics and they're watching it tonight, so I'm looking forward to getting their feedback on it.

Daryk

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Re: Hi, how ya DUNE? (Spoilers! Beware!)
« Reply #27 on: 24 October 2021, 18:53:16 »
Any links to the discussions where you read about references to other movies?  ???

Kentares

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Re: Hi, how ya DUNE? (Spoilers! Beware!)
« Reply #28 on: 24 October 2021, 19:05:32 »
I read the novel once, maybe 15 years ago.  My mother and father, my mother especially, were the Dune fanatics and they're watching it tonight, so I'm looking forward to getting their feedback on it.

Please post here your parents opinion. Im curious about the opinion of two "Dune fanatics" which I guess are around the same age as me (going 50 next month) or a bit older.
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Bedwyr

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Re: Hi, how ya DUNE? (Spoilers! Beware!)
« Reply #29 on: 24 October 2021, 19:06:05 »
I suspect Gurney will always evoke Patrick Stewart in my mind.  He was literally perfect in that role.

Very interesting. The unabridged audio book I listened to interpreted Gurney with a southern Texas drawl.
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