Dune: A Short Review (no spoilers)

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Thor Odinson

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Oct 21, 2021, 4:16:20 AM10/21/21
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I saw Dune last night in 3D in IMAX. I've read the book at least times in
my life and I've watched the 2000 Syfy miniseries several times also. I
know every twist and turn of the story, so I wasn't expecting much new. I
just wanted to see how Denis Villeneuve would tell the story.

First of all, the casting was almost spot on. The only mistake was the
gender swapping of Kynes, though the actress herself did a decent enough
job.

The cinematography was meh. Everything was too dark, too, dusty, too
misty, too sandy, etc. In too many scenes, it was just too hard to make
out what was happening and it became a distraction.

Paul has a minor amount of character development, but he still seemed
kind of whiny even at the end. Granted, this is part of a two-part movie,
but after 2.5 hours, I would have expected more. The Baron Harkonnen has
vey little personality. Oscar Isaac seemed to be phoning it in a little
as Duke Leto. Jason Momoa's Duncan Idaho seemed to be having a good time,
but then Jason Momoa always seems to be having a good time no matter what
he's doing. Missing from the books is Princess Irulan and Feyd-Rautha
Harkonnen.

Finally, I have one last gripe. There are too many foreshadowing
flashforwards which leaves the story a non-linear mess in some places. If
you're not already a Dune fan, I think this will leave you pretty
confused in some places.

I give this movie a 3/5. I could have been better and I hope that part 2
redeems part 1.

Paul S Person

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Oct 21, 2021, 12:01:43 PM10/21/21
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On 21 Oct 2021 08:16:19 GMT, Thor Odinson <th...@mjolnir.boom> wrote:

>I saw Dune last night in 3D in IMAX. I've read the book at least times in
>my life and I've watched the 2000 Syfy miniseries several times also. I
>know every twist and turn of the story, so I wasn't expecting much new. I
>just wanted to see how Denis Villeneuve would tell the story.

You are to be commended for your courage.

I'll watch it when I can rent it for a price I am willing to pay.

>First of all, the casting was almost spot on. The only mistake was the
>gender swapping of Kynes, though the actress herself did a decent enough
>job.
>
>The cinematography was meh. Everything was too dark, too, dusty, too
>misty, too sandy, etc. In too many scenes, it was just too hard to make
>out what was happening and it became a distraction.

In the past, darkness has been employed to make the CGI easier.

Fewer visible details, less money needed.

Not saying that applies here -- but "can't see what's happening" has
become a /very/ common complaint made of many movies.

>Paul has a minor amount of character development, but he still seemed
>kind of whiny even at the end. Granted, this is part of a two-part movie,
>but after 2.5 hours, I would have expected more. The Baron Harkonnen has
>vey little personality. Oscar Isaac seemed to be phoning it in a little
>as Duke Leto. Jason Momoa's Duncan Idaho seemed to be having a good time,
>but then Jason Momoa always seems to be having a good time no matter what
>he's doing. Missing from the books is Princess Irulan and Feyd-Rautha
>Harkonnen.
>
>Finally, I have one last gripe. There are too many foreshadowing
>flashforwards which leaves the story a non-linear mess in some places. If
>you're not already a Dune fan, I think this will leave you pretty
>confused in some places.

Can you at least /tell/ they are flash-forwards [1]? For example, by
toning down the color saturation. (Preferably /not/ by flashing a red
light throughout the scene, as at least one film did back in the late
60s or thereabouts).

>I give this movie a 3/5. I could have been better and I hope that part 2
>redeems part 1.

[1] I recently saw Vellai Pookal, a Tamil film about a mass murderer
set in Seattle, where the flash-backs appeared to be part of the
current time-line, until they suddenly didn't. I found this ...
disorienting, although the film /itself/ certainly works well.
--
"I begin to envy Petronius."
"I have envied him long since."

Thor Odinson

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Oct 22, 2021, 3:50:21 AM10/22/21
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On Thu, 21 Oct 2021 09:01:10 -0700, Paul S Person wrote:

> Can you at least /tell/ they are flash-forwards [1]? For example, by
> toning down the color saturation. (Preferably /not/ by flashing a red
> light throughout the scene, as at least one film did back in the late
> 60s or thereabouts).

You really can't. There's no color saturation or other "dream effect".
It's just another scene stuck after the previous scene. It's actually
quite jarring. *I* knew it was a flash forward because I know the story
but I do think it will be difficult for someone who is new to the story.
I won't give out specifics, but there is one character that you see more
often in flash forwards than you do in the current time of the story and
it leaves you wondering, "where did this person come from?" oh wait, it's
another flash forward.

Paul S Person

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Oct 22, 2021, 11:34:52 AM10/22/21
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That's ... unfortunate.

I'll be adjusting the price I am willing to pay to rent it ...
downwards.

But I'm sure I'll see it eventually.

novaste...@gmail.com

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Oct 22, 2021, 7:08:31 PM10/22/21
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Fortunately I have HBO Max so I can see it for free, still your reviews don't leave me with much hope.
And unlike most everybody else I actually liked the Lynch version.

Lafe

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Oct 23, 2021, 11:55:39 PM10/23/21
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"novaste...@gmail.com" <novaste...@gmail.com> wrote in
news:b86b9b4f-e66e-4558...@googlegroups.com:

> On Friday, October 22, 2021 at 9:34:52 AM UTC-6, Paul S Person wrote:
<snip>
>>
>> I'll be adjusting the price I am willing to pay to rent it ...
>> downwards.
>>
>> But I'm sure I'll see it eventually.
>> --
>> "I begin to envy Petronius."
>> "I have envied him long since."
>
> Fortunately I have HBO Max so I can see it for free, still your reviews
> don't leave me with much hope. And unlike most everybody else I
> actually liked the Lynch version.

I liked the Lynch version well enough, though I wasn't a huge fan of it.
And I have read the books.

I thoroughly enjoyed this adaptation.

My memory of the many details in the books is quite fuzzy, but I didn't
have any trouble following the "flash-forwards". I didn't think it was a
perfect way to convey what they were trying to show, but it did well
enough. Better than some of the "vision" sequences in the Lynch movie.

I went into it without having a lot of expectations, but I would say that
it's easily better than any other movie/miniseries adaptation out there,
and did a better than average job at making the experience of the movie
similar to the experience of reading a book (something I think *very* few
movie adaptations accomplish).

It certainly wasn't (and can't be) perfect at replicating the book, but it
didn't detract from the experience at all for me. I thought the sound,
music, and cinematography was very well done, and the acting was generally
above average, and in some cases truly excellent.

I think it's well worth your time to see it.

Lafe

J. Clarke

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Oct 24, 2021, 4:01:29 AM10/24/21
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On Sun, 24 Oct 2021 03:55:38 -0000 (UTC), Lafe <la...@lafes.invalid>
wrote:
Do you feel that it will benefit from being seen in a theater?

Paul S Person

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Oct 24, 2021, 12:23:59 PM10/24/21
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On Sun, 24 Oct 2021 03:55:38 -0000 (UTC), Lafe <la...@lafes.invalid>
wrote:

And I will, eventually.

But not in a theater. And cerainly not stereoscopically.

Dimensional Traveler

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Oct 24, 2021, 6:36:35 PM10/24/21
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I just got back from seeing it and I agree. I think it was actually a
very good adaptation of a hard to translate to the screen book.


--
I've done good in this world. Now I'm tired and just want to be a cranky
dirty old man.

Lafe

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Oct 24, 2021, 11:33:43 PM10/24/21
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J. Clarke <jclarke...@gmail.com> wrote in
news:9l4angpd864eg1s52...@4ax.com: <snip>
Well, yes, probably. I saw it at home. But I have a large screen, and
surround sound with an aggressive subwoofer. It used the subwoofer a lot.
There was a large dynamic range of quiet conversation to giant
earth-shaking sound in this movie. If your home theater can handle it,
watch it at home. It's a long film, and being able to pause to go pee is
super useful. If you can't watch it at home, the theater will add that
epic sound (booty shaklng) element to your experience. A bit reminiscent
of Blade Runner 2048. The sound and music element was fantastic.

Lafe

Ninapenda Jibini

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Oct 25, 2021, 12:45:44 AM10/25/21
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Dimensional Traveler <dtr...@sonic.net> wrote in
news:sl4n5h$snm$1...@dont-email.me:
That would be encouraging if I had liked the book.

--
Terry Austin

Proof that Alan Baker is a liar and a fool, and even stupider than
Lynn:
https://www.cbp.gov/newsroom/stats/sw-border-migration


"Terry Austin: like the polio vaccine, only with more asshole."
-- David Bilek

Jesus forgives sinners, not criminals.

Jason Evans

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Oct 25, 2021, 4:29:35 AM10/25/21
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On Fri, 22 Oct 2021 16:08:30 -0700 (PDT), novaste...@gmail.com wrote:

> Fortunately I have HBO Max so I can see it for free, still your reviews
> don't leave me with much hope.
> And unlike most everybody else I actually liked the Lynch version.

I genuinely liked the 2000 Syfy version with the low budget crappy FX and
ridiculously cheesy costumes because it was more true to the books. The
characters seemed to be more geniune. Even though it was low budget it
was nearly 4.5 hours long split into 3 episodes which I think gives the
story time to be told and the characters a chance to grow.

Bice

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Oct 25, 2021, 7:11:27 AM10/25/21
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On Sun, 24 Oct 2021 03:55:38 -0000 (UTC), Lafe <la...@lafes.invalid>
wrote:

>"novaste...@gmail.com" <novaste...@gmail.com> wrote in
>news:b86b9b4f-e66e-4558...@googlegroups.com:
>
>> On Friday, October 22, 2021 at 9:34:52 AM UTC-6, Paul S Person wrote:
><snip>
>>>
>>> I'll be adjusting the price I am willing to pay to rent it ...
>>> downwards.
>>>
>>> But I'm sure I'll see it eventually.
>>> --
>>> "I begin to envy Petronius."
>>> "I have envied him long since."
>>
>> Fortunately I have HBO Max so I can see it for free, still your reviews
>> don't leave me with much hope. And unlike most everybody else I
>> actually liked the Lynch version.

My daughter has a crush on Timothee Chalamet, so she got HBO Max
specifically to watch this movie and talked me into watching it with
her. I've read the book a few times, mostly trying to figure out why
so many other people rave about it. For me, it's one of those "I can
respect it but don't really like it" kind of books.


>I liked the Lynch version well enough, though I wasn't a huge fan of it.
>And I have read the books.
>
>I thoroughly enjoyed this adaptation.

Same here. About this one - I thought the Lynch version was Mystery
Science Theater material.


>My memory of the many details in the books is quite fuzzy, but I didn't
>have any trouble following the "flash-forwards".

Again, same here. They weren't really flash forwards, they were
visions and dreams that Paul was having, and I no trouble telling them
apart from the real-time action of the movie. They were usually in
slow motion or had a different color tone...or just obviously weren't
what was happening right that moment.


>It certainly wasn't (and can't be) perfect at replicating the book, but it
>didn't detract from the experience at all for me. I thought the sound,
>music, and cinematography was very well done, and the acting was generally
>above average, and in some cases truly excellent.

My major gripe is the same as most modern movies (especially sci-fi
for some reason) - half the movie was too dark to see what the hell
was going on. There's a scene towards the end with one of the
sandworms where I turned to my daughter and said "I bet this would be
really impressive if you could see ANYTHING right now."


>I think it's well worth your time to see it.

Agreed, especially for fans of the book. It's well done enough that
I'm looking forward to watching the second half when it comes out.
After we watched it on Saturday night, my daughter tried to talk me
into going to see it in a theater on Sunday (despite having a big
screen TV and surround sound set-up at home). It would probably
benefit from a theater-sized screen, but I wasn't wild about the idea
of sitting in a Covid stew for two and a half hours. So we
compromised and watched it again on HBO Max and I liked it even better
the second time.

Speaking of subwoofers, my minor gripe is that super-loud
"ba-rooooommmmmmm" noise in the soundtrack that has become another
cliche of sci-fi movies. That's getting a little tired. Other than
that though, I thought the soundtrack music was really good.

The acting was a little flat, but better than I expected given some of
the other reviews I've read. And I'll take understated and subtle
over melodramatic and over-the-top any day.

Best result of the movie - my daughter asked to borrow my copy of Dune
and asked if there were any other sci-fi books I'd recommend.

-- Bob

Paul S Person

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Oct 25, 2021, 11:16:21 AM10/25/21
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On Mon, 25 Oct 2021 03:33:42 -0000 (UTC), Lafe <la...@lafes.invalid>
And I thought Sensurround was a thing of the past ...

or, rather, I had /hoped/ it was, having seen how it was used in
/Midway/ and /Rollercoaster/.

Paul S Person

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Oct 25, 2021, 11:17:07 AM10/25/21
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And you might still like the movie -- unless, in this case, adaptation
/is/ transcription.

Paul S Person

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Oct 25, 2021, 11:30:31 AM10/25/21
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On Mon, 25 Oct 2021 11:11:23 GMT, eich...@comcastsucks.net (Bice)
wrote:
The "wierding modules" /alone/ would qualify it.

I /like/ the Lynch version, BTW; but the "wierding modules" are just
... wierd.

>>My memory of the many details in the books is quite fuzzy, but I didn't
>>have any trouble following the "flash-forwards".
>
>Again, same here. They weren't really flash forwards, they were
>visions and dreams that Paul was having, and I no trouble telling them
>apart from the real-time action of the movie. They were usually in
>slow motion or had a different color tone...or just obviously weren't
>what was happening right that moment.

Well, that helps.

>>It certainly wasn't (and can't be) perfect at replicating the book, but it
>>didn't detract from the experience at all for me. I thought the sound,
>>music, and cinematography was very well done, and the acting was generally
>>above average, and in some cases truly excellent.
>
>My major gripe is the same as most modern movies (especially sci-fi
>for some reason) - half the movie was too dark to see what the hell
>was going on. There's a scene towards the end with one of the
>sandworms where I turned to my daughter and said "I bet this would be
>really impressive if you could see ANYTHING right now."

But that would cost a lot more because the CGI would have to actually
be done. Budgets can be limiting.

O'Brien's second /The Lost World/ uses costumed lizards instead of
stop-motion because of budget problems.

But CGI doesn't have that option available. Doing less of it is the
only way to save money.

>>I think it's well worth your time to see it.
>
>Agreed, especially for fans of the book. It's well done enough that
>I'm looking forward to watching the second half when it comes out.
>After we watched it on Saturday night, my daughter tried to talk me
>into going to see it in a theater on Sunday (despite having a big
>screen TV and surround sound set-up at home). It would probably
>benefit from a theater-sized screen, but I wasn't wild about the idea
>of sitting in a Covid stew for two and a half hours. So we
>compromised and watched it again on HBO Max and I liked it even better
>the second time.
>
>Speaking of subwoofers, my minor gripe is that super-loud
>"ba-rooooommmmmmm" noise in the soundtrack that has become another
>cliche of sci-fi movies. That's getting a little tired. Other than
>that though, I thought the soundtrack music was really good.

I can't /wait/ to hear how that sounds on my single-speaker Fire HD 6
or my stereo TV (if I rent it on DVD)!

Actually, I /couild/ wait a long time with some other film, but this
is /Dune/ we are talking about, so I will be seeing it eventually.

Of course, I /could/ wait for part 2 and then rent both ...

>The acting was a little flat, but better than I expected given some of
>the other reviews I've read. And I'll take understated and subtle
>over melodramatic and over-the-top any day.
>
>Best result of the movie - my daughter asked to borrow my copy of Dune
>and asked if there were any other sci-fi books I'd recommend.

That is indeed the best gain of all!

Here's hoping she likes the book!

If she does, the sequels might be worth mentioning.

Jibini Kula Tumbili Kujisalimisha

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Oct 25, 2021, 1:26:41 PM10/25/21
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Paul S Person <pspe...@ix.netcom.invalid> wrote in
news:piidngl2v8bj1fic3...@4ax.com:
It was the comment that it's "a very good adaptation" that I was
commenting on. The more faithful to the book it is, the less
interested I am.

--
Terry Austin

Proof that Alan Baker is a liar and a fool, and even stupider than
Lynn:
https://www.cbp.gov/newsroom/stats/sw-border-migration
(May 2019 total for people arrested for entering the United States
illegally is over 132,000 for just the southwest border.)

Vacation photos from Iceland:
https://plus.google.com/u/0/collection/QaXQkB

Paul S Person

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Oct 26, 2021, 11:27:16 AM10/26/21
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Indeed.

Your Name

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Oct 27, 2021, 12:51:14 AM10/27/21
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Get your pyjamas ready ... the snoozefest will continue. "Dune: Part 2"
has just been announced, with a planned release on October 20, 2023.
<https://variety.com/2021/film/news/dune-part-2-sequel-1235094974/>


Your Name

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Oct 28, 2021, 4:24:06 PM10/28/21
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Denis Villeneuve hopes to make it at least a trilogy, with the third
film being an adaptation of "Dune Messiah".
<https://www.comingsoon.net/movies/news/1199305-dune-messiah-denis-villenueve-says-hopes-to-end-story-as-a-trilogy>




Steve Dodds

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Oct 31, 2021, 2:43:28 PM10/31/21
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Is it just me or did anybody else notice this. It's the year 10,191, they have unbelievable technology, yet everybody fights with knives and swords. Was the book like this?

J. Clarke

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Oct 31, 2021, 4:34:33 PM10/31/21
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On Sun, 31 Oct 2021 11:43:27 -0700 (PDT), Steve Dodds
<novaste...@gmail.com> wrote:

>Is it just me or did anybody else notice this. It's the year 10,191, they have unbelievable technology, yet everybody fights with knives and swords. Was the book like this?

Part of the incredible technology is shields that stop anything moving
fast which includes bullets, arrows, blowgun darts, etc. Shoot a laser
at the shield and you kill whatever is shielded but also blow up the
laser. And the power of the explosion is unpredictable--may just kill
the shooter and the target, or may level the whole city. So you have
swords, knives, and the occasional slow-pellet stunner that shoots a
dart that moves slowly enough to penetrate a shield.

In the scene where Paul is fighting Jamis and Stilgar is concerned
that Paul is toying with him because Paul clearly has Jamis outclassed
but doesn't end the fight quickly, the reason was that Paul was
trained with shields and so his attacks were slow enough for Jamis to
mostly evade.

The reason Jamis didn't have a shield is that shields are a really bad
idea on Arrakis--they attract sandworms.

Also, they (the entire civilization, not just the Fremen) have a
religion that forbids computers.


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