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Dune Spoiler Thread


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7 minutes ago, Bael's Bastard said:

There's no way it could have been a 3 hour film. They didn't even succeed in fitting enough of the first half of the book in to make characters like Leto, Liet, Gurney, Yueh, and Thufir as meaningful as they are supposed to be. Fitting the entire book into a 3 hour movie is like that idea someone apparently pitched of doing a single ASOIAF movie about Dany and/or Jon. Might as well not do it. I enjoyed this for what it is, but the director sacrificed a lot of the characters and story because of his preference for the big screen, which many of us didn't watch it on anyway because of the pandemic.

It does seem like a series would've been a better approach. But, even then, I think about how much was cut from ASOIAF in those first seasons I watched, so who knows? I suppose they had a bigger budget with Hollywood backing. 

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35 minutes ago, Centrist Simon Steele said:

I mean...that really seems to be a reductive retcon doesn't it (maybe just a pure retcon--if I'm remembering right)? Just a side question, Scot, I've heard their conclusion to the Dune series (Hunters of Dune) might not be terrible--what do you think? I've been on the fence a long time (Dune's one of my favorite books, and I love the series).

ETA: As I review the original version (I haven't read Dune in 10 years, and I'm getting ready to do a reread), it's like the literal opposite of what Herbert did? The Butlerian Jihad, as I'm remembering now, was not allowing machines to have AI which is why you have mentats, right?

Read them if you must, but they are awful, including their "Dune 7" nonsense books.

The Butlerian Jihad was more Luddite movement than SkyNet. Not to say it isn't considerable that some humans were using machines to actively subjugate or oppress people, but the issue was human use of AI, not AI going into business for itself.

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7 minutes ago, Centrist Simon Steele said:

It does seem like a series would've been a better approach. But, even then, I think about how much was cut from ASOIAF in those first seasons I watched, so who knows? I suppose they had a bigger budget with Hollywood backing. 

It's a lost opportunity, because this was all set up while AGOT was hot, and a series would have been perfect time and place with a just about perfect cast. It was easy to hope for a Dune remake some time soon when the Lynch was so far off, and when the mini series looked so cheesy, but with a great looking film likely to be successful enough to get a second, an attempt at a series is out of the question for a long time. I think a lot could have been kept in a 10 episode series. No doubt some would have been changed or left out, but you could even create some new scenes without losing too much that is important.

Edited by Bael's Bastard
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30 minutes ago, Bael's Bastard said:

There's no way it could have been a 3 hour film. They didn't even succeed in fitting enough of the first half of the book in to make characters like Leto, Liet, Gurney, Yueh, and Thufir as meaningful as they are supposed to be. Fitting the entire book into a 3 hour movie is like that idea someone apparently pitched of doing a single ASOIAF movie about Dany and/or Jon. Might as well not do it. I enjoyed this for what it is, but the director sacrificed a lot of the characters and story because of his preference for the big screen, which many of us didn't watch it on anyway because of the pandemic.

Given that nearly every scene is longer than it needs to be, you could easily have excised a good hour of part one without losing anything. Which means that they could possibly have told the full story in 3 or 3.5 hours.

I love Denis Villeneuve, but his movies are always way longer than they should be.

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46 minutes ago, Lord Patrek said:

love Denis Villeneuve, but his movies are always way longer than they should be

This is an SF genre thing. Arrival is pithy enough at 2 hours, but that involved some padding for Hollywoodization reasons. Blade Runner 2049 was definitely much too long, IMO. Not yet seen Dune but I have been concerned that this would be the case. Also, Dune is the first film of the major studio films where he has a writing credit, and that too has concerned me.

His earlier films like Sicario and Incendies are tight (and not written by him). Prisoners is longer but doesn't feel like it (but he did not write it.) BR2049 is longer but definitely did feel like it, IMO, and not to its benefit.

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I've watched it a 2nd time. My opinion is largely the same. A few things I caught.

  • While much of the interpretation regarding Paul's visions seems to have about been alternate futures, the Jamis part can also be interpreted as Jamis having taught Paul the lessons of the desert by what actually happened. I think this is in line with Paul's answer to Mohiam when she asks if things happen as he dreams them.
  • The Atreides ships were protected on Caladan, being in water, but vulnerable on Arrakis where they are easily destroyed. Nice connection to Leto's comments about air & sea power.
  • There is a script mistake when the Reverend Mother meets with the Baron and she refers to Jessica as Leto's wife. At all other times, Jessica is mentioned as a concubine.
  • I noticed this the first time, but I saw it better now - the highliner clearly acted as a portal, seeing the planet from where the Reverend Mother comes in the ship. I wonder if the highliner hadn't finished 're-folding' space and we saw part of the other side.
  • The ornithopters have three designs: Atreides are lithe but with a blocky nose. Harkonnen ones are bulkier and black. And the third one is the one Paul and Jessica ride in the storm, which has the closest look to an actual insect, with a round cabin - Imperial or Fremen?
  • The Atreides complain about the equipment the Harknonnen left them, but in the intro we see Harkonnen harvesters and carryalls, and they look quite a bit different. Maybe the Harknonnen stripped the vehicles of all the extra stuff.
  • I liked the imagery of the bull as an effective metaphor of Leto having taken on an enemy too strong for him to defeat.
  • I love how Stilgar and the other Fremen just lounge around on the rocks. The movie did a good job showing these people are perfectly at home in that environment. Contrast this to the middle-aged white dudes from Lynch's Dune who always looked awkward.
Edited by Corvinus85
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2 hours ago, Bael's Bastard said:

Not to say it isn't considerable that some humans were using machines to actively subjugate or oppress people, but the issue was human use of AI, not AI going into business for itself.

That's also what I assume is going on with Leto II's visions of the end of mankind: Tleilaxu and other end up developing machines programmed to wipe out enemy humans, other humans counteract by developing their own robots, and we have a MAD situation on our hands - not a Skynet one. Humans end up being wiped out because too many groups programmed killing machines, and every group of humans is eventually targetted for extermination by another group. Plot-twist being that it's possible these machines have a degree of prescience since being invisible to prescient people is actually what Leto II wants to breed - or at the very least those giving orders to their robots are prescient and found out every remnant of enemy humans.

 

26 minutes ago, Corvinus85 said:

I liked the imagery of the bull as an effective metaphor of Leto having taken on an enemy too strong for him to defeat.

Leto's father was killed bullfighting - the horn of the beast adorn one of their halls and are brought to Arrakeen. That's what they're talking about when they're in the Atreides cemetery - commenting that the previous duke never retreated from a fight and often went into the thick of it "And look where this brought him".

 

1 hour ago, Lord Patrek said:

Given that nearly every scene is longer than it needs to be, you could easily have excised a good hour of part one without losing anything. Which means that they could possibly have told the full story in 3 or 3.5 hours.

Oh sure, some scenes could've been shorter, and the pacing was far from perfect. But as said, some scenes were cut, characters who needed more screen time were cut short, so all in all, I don't think you can realistically show that big part of the book in a shorter time. For instance, I liked that we spend nearly an hour on Caladan - and that every outdoor scene has water, be it pouring rain or shots of vast seas - , though I might have shortened some scenes and made others longer, or introduced entirely new ones.

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50 minutes ago, Ran said:

This is an SF genre thing. Arrival is pithy enough at 2 hours, but that involved some padding for Hollywoodization reasons. Blade Runner 2049 was definitely much too long, IMO. Not yet seen Dune but I have been concerned that this would be the case. Also, Dune is the first film of the major studio films where he has a writing credit, and that too has concerned me.

His earlier films like Sicario and Incendies are tight (and not written by him). Prisoners is longer but doesn't feel like it (but he did not write it.) BR2049 is longer but definitely did feel like it, IMO, and not to its benefit.

Sorry, should have specified that this was about his SFF stuff.

Not sure what sort of impact the writing credit has on the length of his films. I believe that he has "earned" the right to do pretty much what he wants from studios. But it's not the first time that he focuses too much on the visual (Which is always amazing. The more so now with the budgets he gets to work with) and too little on storytelling. He knows how to show a story, but it often feels as though he has no inkling as to what makes good writing and how pace is important.

I'm afraid that, even with limited options as far as movies to go see, mainstream audiences will find this one offputting and boring. This is what ultimately killed Bladerunner 2049 and this is what might kill the Dune sequel.

For all of its shortcomings, genre viewers will nevertheless find a lot to love about Dune. But the public at large? I sincerely doubt it, even though Villeneuve, by his own admission, made all those changes in order to make the movie easier to understand and follow by regular viewers.

And now, Villeneuve and WB are hoping that people will be happy to fork out 30$ to watch two movies. I know plenty of people who already claim that 15$ was too much for what they got and have no desire to see the sequel if it ever gets done. . .

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17 minutes ago, Clueless Northman said:

For instance, I liked that we spend nearly an hour on Caladan - and that every outdoor scene has water, be it pouring rain or shots of vast seas

 

I gotta say, while I liked that we spent time on Caladan, I didn't particularly like the depiction. It's a waterworld yeah but the impression I got in the books of being lush and edenic- the depiction here was not far off being as grim as Arrakis, especially if it's raining like that all the time. 

 

And that'd be okay but part of the whole ramp-up of the start for me was the Atreides are going from this soft, lush world to this desert, and it's a transition, and you get less of that sense if Caladan's a soggy mess. 

I mean it was basically Scotland. :P 

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9 minutes ago, Clueless Northman said:

Leto's father was killed bullfighting - the horn of the beast adorn one of their halls and are brought to Arrakeen. That's what they're talking about when they're in the Atreides cemetery - commenting that the previous duke never retreated from a fight and often went into the thick of it "And look where this brought him".

I've read the book. In the movie there are moments when the camera focuses on either the bull head on the wall or the little figurines of the bull and the bull fighter and it's in the context of bad about to come or has come. Right after Leto talked to Jessica to protect Paul, the scene transitions to Paul staring at the small bull vs. fighter figurines, and when Leto regains consciousness, the first thing he sees is the bull's head. 

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I feel like a lot of the world building from the novel is missing from this film. For example Mentat's in the film are treated no different than regular humans. It's never touched on that the spice extends human life and can mutate others who are over exposed to it. There's also a few little things that took me right out of the film, like the bagpipes and the weird comedy from Gurney and Duncan.

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Just finished watching, and I'm still not sure whether I liked it or not. I guess the fact that I enjoyed the source material dragged me along, but I'm concerned there wasnt enough in it to sustain a casual viewer (although the box office was ~$40M over a weekend, more than the Blade Runner one so audiences seem to be ok with it)

I think the biggest weakness is that the importance of spice hasnt been properly underlined, apart from a few throwaway lines about navigation in the beginning, I'd also have changed where they ended the movie, preferably on a cliffhanger to keep audience interest, but I dont know exactly where after they make the trek to Sietch Tabr:

Spoiler

(maybe when Paul undergoes the spice agony?)

 

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6 minutes ago, IheartIheartTesla said:

Just finished watching, and I'm still not sure whether I liked it or not. I guess the fact that I enjoyed the source material dragged me along, but I'm concerned there wasnt enough in it to sustain a casual viewer (although the box office was ~$40M over a weekend, more than the Blade Runner one so audiences seem to be ok with it)

I think the biggest weakness is that the importance of spice hasnt been properly underlined, apart from a few throwaway lines about navigation in the beginning, I'd also have changed where they ended the movie, preferably on a cliffhanger to keep audience interest, but I dont know exactly where after they make the trek to Sietch Tabr:

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(maybe when Paul undergoes the spice agony?)

 

Wouldn't the perfect cliffhanger be Paul and his mother flying into the sand storm? That's honestly where I was expecting it to end.

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I don't think either of the options you both raised would work because both of them leave an uncomfortable chunk of material either before or after a time-jump that would then occur mid-film. Hell, even here was a little early, but I don't think leaving that off and introing the setup there after the skip will be hard. 

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My Dune review in under 30 words. 

Style A, Substance C.

Instead of Paul having a hardcore acid trip in the tent we see images of a girl posing for IG pics on a dune.

 

As an aside, does anyone pronounce Harkonnen the cool way, or do you pronounce it the way they did in the movie? 

Edited by Relic
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43 minutes ago, IheartIheartTesla said:

Just finished watching, and I'm still not sure whether I liked it or not. I guess the fact that I enjoyed the source material dragged me along, but I'm concerned there wasnt enough in it to sustain a casual viewer (although the box office was ~$40M over a weekend, more than the Blade Runner one so audiences seem to be ok with it)

I think the biggest weakness is that the importance of spice hasnt been properly underlined, apart from a few throwaway lines about navigation in the beginning, I'd also have changed where they ended the movie, preferably on a cliffhanger to keep audience interest, but I dont know exactly where after they make the trek to Sietch Tabr:

  Hide contents

(maybe when Paul undergoes the spice agony?)

 

That’s an awfully long way into the book.  

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21 hours ago, Ser Scot A Ellison said:

The Butlerian Jihad was humanity throwing off the shackles of its AI overlords.  Not the way it is portrayed in any of Frank Herbert’s Dune books, at all.

I always thought it was about humans throwing the shackles off of the humans who used AI tob control them.

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