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DUNE: For Want of Little Makers


Babblebauble
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I had read a few of the comments here - and elsewhere - that the sound mixing was way off. I'd mostly forgotten that when I watched it tonight. Well, damnit, you all were right. Man. I missed a bunch of important dialogue due to the overly bombastic score and background noise.

I still enjoyed the heck out if it, perhaps simply because I'm a sucker for spectacular vision and Villenueve has that in spades. They did a decent enough job with a climactic ending, but knowing it's only half the narrative made the credits a bit of a disappointment. 

As with Blade Runner 2049, I was completely hooked on the slower pacing of much of the film - it gave me plenty of time to soak in all the sumptuous visuals. I hope it makes a bunch of money, and it sounds like the 2nd half has been green lit, but I don't think their ad campaign that it's the next Star Wars or Lord of the Rings will hold true. I'm not seeing the appeal that the younger comic book film generation will have for Herbert's opus. Then again, I thought it was impossible to get anyone but we nerds to ever watch a filmed adaptation of ASOAIF, either, so who am I to say? 

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5 hours ago, Heartofice said:

The sound mixing issue is giving me serious Tenet flashbacks. How can this keep happening? 

I'm guessing they have highschool kids turning it up to eleven these days instead of a technician in the projection booth who knows what they're doing.

International box office is $129 million, including $30m in China.  Legendary Pictures co-financed, and I believe it is owned by a Chinese company, so that helped a lot getting legs in China.  Projected $30-40 million domestically this weekend.  I think it'll need at least another $100 million to break even, to account for marketing costs.

 

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19 hours ago, Babblebauble said:

Do you have to pay for the movie as well as the service, like with Disney?

A pro-tip, since I had AT&T as my mobile service provider, I got HBO Max for free. Might be something to look into.

Regarding the movie itself, I caught about 15 minutes of it before heading in to work. Have the same issue of mixing (turn the volume up for dialogue, and then down for the desert scenes etc.). Dialogue is a bit ponderous, but I can tell the movie will be a spectacle.

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In ye olden days, directors like Sidney Pollack would visit theaters all over, in order to gauge how well they were doing with the audio. He'd have words with the staff if it was too low or too loud, or too muddy and tell them exactly how to fix it.

I noticed all the reviewers who saw it in a theater said the sound was overbearing, and not in a good way.

 

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33 minutes ago, Ser Scot A Ellison said:

Hearing dialogue is a plus…

Don't hear, feel.

28 minutes ago, IheartIheartTesla said:

A pro-tip, since I had AT&T as my mobile service provider, I got HBO Max for free. Might be something to look into.

Time was I just had to turn on Amazon to watch Veep, now I have to sign a phone contract. I fucking hate the future.

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Never read the book or saw the Lynch movie but I liked this a lot! Kinda bummed it's not a series that's continuing next week. 

RE: not being able to hear dialogue in the theater I have a friend who isn't hearing impaired but still asks for the closed caption device when we go. Not ideal, to be looking away from the screen but it is an option at most theaters. 

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For what it's worth I saw it at home, wearing excellent headphones. I'd guess I was unable to understand about ten percent of the movie. It was like trying to hear Hardy's Bane only there was also a tornado behind him which happened to also have several marching band brass sections blaring at full strength as they flew around. 

I was really put off, but the film was so gorgeous that I didn't mind too terribly. I'm taking a friend to the theater for it next week, I hope with  a second viewing I'll catch some of the moments that passed over me the first time.

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7 hours ago, SpaceChampion said:

I'm guessing they have highschool kids turning it up to eleven these days instead of a technician in the projection booth who knows what they're doing.

 

 

While having the volume cranked too loud certainly seems to be part of the problem some of the time, it certainly isn't all of it- the cinema doesn't mess with the actual mix, after all. If anything I'd suspect that some cinemas are blowing their speakers off on the loud parts in an effort to make the dialogue a reasonable volume.

 

It seems to be a particular problem for Villeneuve, since I think BR2042 also had sound level problems, and Nolan (who has openly admitted to doing it on purpose, because for a really talented and clever person he isn't half and idiot sometimes). Whereas I don't remember too many complaints about the mix in Fury Road despite that movie being quite as noisy and OTT spectacle as this is. 

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I haven't read the books so quite a few things may be lost on me.

This is the most disappointing film of the year so far for me. It reminded me of The Last Airbender movie, where cinema is absolutely the wrong storytelling medium to deliver such an expansive narrative. I'm surprised at people going on about the "depth" of the film, the proper word to use should be "breadth".

The characters are utilised like 2D archetypes to get them from on plot point to the next without proper context or character motivations. This is a big shame because all the actors bring a convincing performance, where they fully understand the circumstances, motives and inclinations of their own characters and their relationships with other characters, which are then betrayed by a script that had to cut most of it out to condense the story into a two and a half hour runtime.

And then there's the cinematography and production design. I guess I'm one of the few people that isn't at all impressed by the drab, muted colour scheme that has infected nearly all the major studio blockbusters over the last decade and a half, sucking out most of the warmth and joy of movies. The sets were equally uninviting; vast, colossal rooms and hallways that were filled with emptiness. Minimal furniture, no decorations, no family portraits. Does everyone spend most of their time just standing around (even on the spaceships)? Is there a particular reason why everyone on every planet has adopted a minimalistic aesthetic?

The score was nothing impressive, but the sound design (not the mix) is something I feel should be getting more praise than the score.

Luckily Villeneuve knows how to work a camera and frame good compositions that foreshadow future plot elements such as:

Spoiler

the Herald announcing House Atriedes' stewardship of Arrakis being a setup for their downfall or Zendaya walking around with blood on her hands symbolising the wars to come in Paul's rise to power

Was there supposed to be any actual significance to the phrase "Desert Power"? Because the first thing that came to mind when hearing that zany phrase was "Heroes in a half shell".

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For what it was, I loved it. I could list a bunch of things they did differently or left out or didn't do as well as I think the book does it, but I am happy with the result and look forward to the second movie. The book readers and non-book readers I watched with all loved it (we watched at home with captions). It is sort of bittersweet though, because this was meant to be a 9-10 episode series, and with this cast and everything it would have been my favorite series ever, no question. I thought Duncan had a nice arc, but Kynes, Yueh, and Leto could have used more time to build their relationships with others. A show wouldn't have had to leave so much out or rush so much. But I think this accomplished about as much as you can trying to split Dune into just two movies. And it could have been a slow and plodding film, but the time went by very quickly.

Edited by Bael's Bastard
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On 10/22/2021 at 11:45 AM, Babblebauble said:

Don't hear, feel.

Time was I just had to turn on Amazon to watch Veep, now I have to sign a phone contract. I fucking hate the future.

Yeah it’s a shame that people won’t continue to spend tens and hundreds of millions of dollars to make movies you can see for free. 

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I’m watching it today, and I’ve been so exciting I’ve been listening to the audiobook version (which is great) but also I keep jumping back in to watch bits of Lynch’s version.

Its such a shame about that movie because at times it’s visually maybe the best looking sci fi movie I’ve ever seen.. and at times a dreary budget b movie. 
 

Some of the scenes and the set design, the costume design, the character design are so far ahead of what I would expect from the time. The opulence is like Flash Gordon mixed with Giger. Just watching the scene where the navigator arrives it’s mindblowing to look at. Then a scene where a worm devours a spice harvester, was just incredible.

Which makes it even harder to take that so much of the movie is a total mess.

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It took me four days after seeing the movie but I juuust made the connection between the toothy sandworms and Return of the Jedi's Saarlac. I wonder if Lucas would have had it mobile if technology had allowed. 

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43 minutes ago, RumHam said:

It took me four days after seeing the movie but I juuust made the connection between the toothy sandworms and Return of the Jedi's Saarlac. I wonder if Lucas would have had it mobile if technology had allowed. 

Also the giant asteroid worm thing.

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