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Dune - Denis Villeneuve to direct!


womblingfree
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I know, it just feels censorious. Maybe in another possible future you are my actual mum and therefore are in your rights to tell me off. Wait. That makes no sense. 
 

Anyway. My daughter came into say hello and I had the 10 hour sardaukar chant on YouTube while I was working and now she thinks I’m losing it. (Even more). 

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Yes please to spoiler tagging future plot events. I can barely remember anything of the next half of the book except things that are already foreshadowed in the film. Spoiler tags are so easy to use now after all.

 

As for prescience, don't tell me if it spoils future events but can you tell me more about the navigator guys and how prescience ties into them navigating the ships? Do they see multiple possible outcomes allowing them to identify the right ways to navigate hyperspace or whatever its called? And they use spice to do that?

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7 hours ago, Festoon said:

 

Might be that in the film but the book is pretty clear that they are possible futures, I think and Paul's prescience allows him to see many possible futures and perhaps guess at their probability of happening.

 

And, sometimes, he can't quite see into a future branch because of some undecided factor.


 

Spoiler

Just speculation but he saw the golden path and chose to walk away….did he see Leto 2 taking to on…

Its an awesome story and really does provoke some thought around leaders and their actions.

 

I came across a great interview with Brian Herbert last week and the quote that stood out for me is something like “leaders are humans and humans make mistakes. The danger with leaders is that their mistakes are amplified by the number of people following them.

 

As with most visionaries…very topical in todays world.

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50 minutes ago, Alan Stock said:

Yes please to spoiler tagging future plot events. I can barely remember anything of the next half of the book except things that are already foreshadowed in the film. Spoiler tags are so easy to use now after all.

 

As for prescience, don't tell me if it spoils future events but can you tell me more about the navigator guys and how prescience ties into them navigating the ships? Do they see multiple possible outcomes allowing them to identify the right ways to navigate hyperspace or whatever its called? And they use spice to do that?

 

Re navigation 

Spoiler

Especially yes, from what I can remember guild navigators have similar but limited powers to Paul and they use the spice to navigate the dangers of hyperspace but I think they keep the precognition properties of spice under wraps from the rest of the universe.

 

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Watched it. Loved it. Watched it with a couple of mates, one who also loves the Dune books and one who didn't know anything about it. 

 

At the end of the film the one who knew nothing said 'I have so many questions....' which made me realise how much of the book was visualised but not communicated. 

 

Didn't make me enjoy it any less, and she seemed to enjoy it, but did make me wonder if the adaptation was a little less successful than I'd first thought. 

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On 25/10/2021 at 10:31, Davros sock drawer said:

Saw it on Saturday. Was pretty excited having heard so many good reports and the Villeneuve interview and review on Wittertainment in the car beforehand.

 

Unfortunately I was bitterly disappointed by it. I am a huge fan of the book, having read it maybe a dozen times, most recently this year. I’m aware therefore that I’m going to be hard to please, but I’m fully prepared for compromises, character deletion - anything that’s necessary to get the story told well for the medium of film. 

 

What I wasn’t prepared for was a total absence of character motivation, huge missed opportunities for easy wins from the book, and for one of the most moreish villains of any work of fiction to be so thoroughly neutered. I also felt it was a remarkably cold film in terms of the performances, and with the exception of Rebecca Ferguson (who just about held the film together, emotionally), nobody seemed to give a shit about what was happening. 

  Hide contents

I thought the characterisations and motivations were incredibly weak. For example, what’s Thufir’s motivation for the entire book? Seek revenge on Jessica, because he thinks she betrayed the Duke. In the film? Er…pass. There’s no suspicion subplot in the film, so he’s a completely pointless character now.

 

What’s the Baron’s character in the book? He thinks he is subtle and cunning but he’s actually a loose lipped gobshite who can’t resist bragging and oversharing his plans. He’s delightfully disgusting and hedonistic. In the film? He’s just fat. And boring. And says nothing. From an LA Times article:
C5DE06E7-BAF1-4570-AF2C-CA3073DEF89C.thumb.jpeg.de74b6475bfce9a944306c2f437ce2e4.jpeg

 

 

That’s such a bad call it boggles my mind. What a waste of one of the most readable, page-turning villains in sci-fi! You cut out most of the speech of the Baron?! Why?! I can never wait to get to the Barony bits in the book. In this he was utterly bereft of interest. What an utter squandering of material! 

 

What’s the Baron’s motivation in the book? To destroy the Atreides yes, but specifically to install his beloved nephew Feyd Rautha as the ruler of Arrakis, which he does by making the populace so terrified of Rabban that they welcome him with open arms. In the film? Er…Feyd Rautha’s not even in it, and he just hates the Duke a bit for…reasons?

 

There was a perfect example in Dr Yueh’s death scene where they squandered an opportunity to be faithful to the book with a mere smile on Yueh’s face, a look of puzzlement on the Baron’s, and a repeated line. That’s all they would have needed! The book shows here how his overconfidence is shaken by Yueh’s reaction to his “So join her!” line. In fact, let’s just have the whole thing:


8FE8B5AF-E51D-4B8D-BE4D-C5E71E19CB52.thumb.jpeg.97a000cd8c15bdd28952abc44349d389.jpeg
 

44EAE04C-3D27-4AD5-BA7F-3FDA1418DF73.thumb.jpeg.4d39ca064bec133fc1b0e38757ec84ee.jpeg

 

908EFE88-4863-4418-AA4B-AEB01A189D25.thumb.jpeg.feffcc4af4c5d363540e9d1c042d1bcb.jpeg

 

AFBE0881-AE77-40AD-B18A-F81ED87E9566.thumb.jpeg.1aec7eb60b42ff911d7b78de011575e7.jpeg

 

Now obviously you don’t put all of that detail in the film. But the foreboding and doubt in the Baron’s thoughts could have been covered with a raised eyebrow, or a wavering smile. A glint in Yueh’s eye and a faint smirk of victory on his lips. But no, here it was just a pithy line, no hidden meaning or intrigue behind it, nothing but words. They literally cut everything important out. 

 

Plus of course you don’t give a shit about Dr Yueh anyway, as he’s only been in maybe two scenes, and they haven’t impressed on the viewer how tough it would be to break his conditioning and why he’d therefore be such a shock as the traitor.

 

More generally, they softened all of the edges in all of the characters. I can understand why the Baron’s homosexual paedophilia isn’t going to play well today, but Duncan’s drinking was also cut for example, making him absolutely paper thin as a character (plus Momoa is shit casting anyway).

 

In fairness it did look fabulous but even so I honestly think this is a huge missed opportunity and now there may never be a version which does the book justice. To be fair to Villeneuve, he did say he had decided not to lean on the political back story, and probably the only way it could have been done properly to incorporate all the political intrigue and detail was the Game of Thrones approach. Any film (or even pair of films) is only ever going to be an impressionistic, surface level take on it, or being more generous, to have a different focus. But even so for this to have been made with such simplistic A to B to C plotting, and with no sense of motivation or character is just very, very sad. 

 

I could go on, but I don’t want to yuck too many yums, as clearly lots of you loved this. I can only assume that most people simply haven’t read, or can’t recall the book, but regardless at the very least the motivations matter, even if I realise you can’t provide all the detail from the book. There has to be a reason why the characters are doing what they do, and I couldn’t find them on screen (or hear them - terrible sound for the dialogue at my screening)

 

Anyone who enjoyed this but hasn’t read the book yet is in for a treat if they do.

This stuff in spoilers above re the Baron - does anyone else remember what an amazing job the audio book does of the Baron's dialogue?

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On 29/10/2021 at 14:20, Stevie said:

 

I have forgotten the references to bullfighting in the book so that's on me. Here's from the official Wiki:

 

The legend stated that the Atreides family came from a noble family that originated in Greece on Earth, and that they rose to prominence during the Butlerian Jihad. House Atreides specifically claimed descent from King Agamemnon, a son of Atreus, in Greek mythology. The descendants of Atreus are called "Atreides" (plural "Atreidai", Latinized as "Atreidae") in the Greek language. This Royal House included many significant figures in Greek myth.

 

 

The Greeks did bulls too... image.png.2befce2883088db9b1dd6240382dc205.png

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Had a great time watching this today - daughter (16) has not read the book but is enough of a sci-fi geek to have really enjoyed this and be ready to go and read it with a pretty acceptable visualisation of the universe in her mind. This is not The Matrix, it's not going to appeal to non-geeks, but that's fine. I read a review that said it had "just enough humour" - I counted 2 jokes, only 1 of which was funny.

 

Really liked the Apocalypse Now version of ornithopters - such an obviously stupid sci-fi idea rendered on screen in a way that gave real drive to a lot of the action.

 

For me, the spaceship design was what made it really feel like the far future, the way they

Spoiler

hung in the sky in much the same way as bricks don't.

 

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1 hour ago, Padster said:

This stuff in spoilers above re the Baron - does anyone else remember what an amazing job the audio book does of the Baron's dialogue?

 

The audio book is a work of art. No film could compete.

 

No shitty Zimmer soundtrack either.

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On 25/10/2021 at 10:31, Davros sock drawer said:

Saw it on Saturday. Was pretty excited having heard so many good reports and the Villeneuve interview and review on Wittertainment in the car beforehand.

 

Unfortunately I was bitterly disappointed by it. I am a huge fan of the book, having read it maybe a dozen times, most recently this year. I’m aware therefore that I’m going to be hard to please, but I’m fully prepared for compromises, character deletion - anything that’s necessary to get the story told well for the medium of film. 

 

What I wasn’t prepared for was a total absence of character motivation, huge missed opportunities for easy wins from the book, and for one of the most moreish villains of any work of fiction to be so thoroughly neutered. I also felt it was a remarkably cold film in terms of the performances, and with the exception of Rebecca Ferguson (who just about held the film together, emotionally), nobody seemed to give a shit about what was happening. 

  Hide contents

I thought the characterisations and motivations were incredibly weak. For example, what’s Thufir’s motivation for the entire book? Seek revenge on Jessica, because he thinks she betrayed the Duke. In the film? Er…pass. There’s no suspicion subplot in the film, so he’s a completely pointless character now.

 

What’s the Baron’s character in the book? He thinks he is subtle and cunning but he’s actually a loose lipped gobshite who can’t resist bragging and oversharing his plans. He’s delightfully disgusting and hedonistic. In the film? He’s just fat. And boring. And says nothing. From an LA Times article:
C5DE06E7-BAF1-4570-AF2C-CA3073DEF89C.thumb.jpeg.de74b6475bfce9a944306c2f437ce2e4.jpeg

 

 

That’s such a bad call it boggles my mind. What a waste of one of the most readable, page-turning villains in sci-fi! You cut out most of the speech of the Baron?! Why?! I can never wait to get to the Barony bits in the book. In this he was utterly bereft of interest. What an utter squandering of material! 

 

What’s the Baron’s motivation in the book? To destroy the Atreides yes, but specifically to install his beloved nephew Feyd Rautha as the ruler of Arrakis, which he does by making the populace so terrified of Rabban that they welcome him with open arms. In the film? Er…Feyd Rautha’s not even in it, and he just hates the Duke a bit for…reasons?

 

There was a perfect example in Dr Yueh’s death scene where they squandered an opportunity to be faithful to the book with a mere smile on Yueh’s face, a look of puzzlement on the Baron’s, and a repeated line. That’s all they would have needed! The book shows here how his overconfidence is shaken by Yueh’s reaction to his “So join her!” line. In fact, let’s just have the whole thing:


8FE8B5AF-E51D-4B8D-BE4D-C5E71E19CB52.thumb.jpeg.97a000cd8c15bdd28952abc44349d389.jpeg
 

44EAE04C-3D27-4AD5-BA7F-3FDA1418DF73.thumb.jpeg.4d39ca064bec133fc1b0e38757ec84ee.jpeg

 

908EFE88-4863-4418-AA4B-AEB01A189D25.thumb.jpeg.feffcc4af4c5d363540e9d1c042d1bcb.jpeg

 

AFBE0881-AE77-40AD-B18A-F81ED87E9566.thumb.jpeg.1aec7eb60b42ff911d7b78de011575e7.jpeg

 

Now obviously you don’t put all of that detail in the film. But the foreboding and doubt in the Baron’s thoughts could have been covered with a raised eyebrow, or a wavering smile. A glint in Yueh’s eye and a faint smirk of victory on his lips. But no, here it was just a pithy line, no hidden meaning or intrigue behind it, nothing but words. They literally cut everything important out. 

 

Plus of course you don’t give a shit about Dr Yueh anyway, as he’s only been in maybe two scenes, and they haven’t impressed on the viewer how tough it would be to break his conditioning and why he’d therefore be such a shock as the traitor.

 

More generally, they softened all of the edges in all of the characters. I can understand why the Baron’s homosexual paedophilia isn’t going to play well today, but Duncan’s drinking was also cut for example, making him absolutely paper thin as a character (plus Momoa is shit casting anyway).

 

In fairness it did look fabulous but even so I honestly think this is a huge missed opportunity and now there may never be a version which does the book justice. To be fair to Villeneuve, he did say he had decided not to lean on the political back story, and probably the only way it could have been done properly to incorporate all the political intrigue and detail was the Game of Thrones approach. Any film (or even pair of films) is only ever going to be an impressionistic, surface level take on it, or being more generous, to have a different focus. But even so for this to have been made with such simplistic A to B to C plotting, and with no sense of motivation or character is just very, very sad. 

 

I could go on, but I don’t want to yuck too many yums, as clearly lots of you loved this. I can only assume that most people simply haven’t read, or can’t recall the book, but regardless at the very least the motivations matter, even if I realise you can’t provide all the detail from the book. There has to be a reason why the characters are doing what they do, and I couldn’t find them on screen (or hear them - terrible sound for the dialogue at my screening)

 

Anyone who enjoyed this but hasn’t read the book yet is in for a treat if they do.

Me and Pip basically agree with all your criticism. We weren't sure who we were meant to be rooting for, or who was doing what and why at all. As a result it just felt like a bunch of disconnected scenes. 

 

Neither of us have read the book though, so I'm now interested in reading it. 

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Just now, Lovelyman said:

Me and Pip basically agree with all your criticism. We weren't sure who we were meant to be rooting for, or who was doing what and why at all. As a result it just felt like a bunch of disconnected scenes. 

 

Neither of us have read the book though, so I'm now interested in reading it. 

 

I don't understand this.

Spoiler

The young boy who the whole film focuses on. Why wouldn't you know to root for him and his mother whose father/husband were betrayed and killed in the middle of the night during a suprise bombing and attack from the clearly very evil Baron.

 

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Spoiler

It was explained, twice IIRC, how they were being sent to the planet to fail. The Emperor saw them as a threat to his reign so specifically set them up to fall. In cahoots with the almost comicbook-style villain Baron, with a helping hand from the Emperors own special forces, who we are told are not really supposed to be involved in this, but are secretly sent there and whose involvement is being kept secret. The one observing even said she won't be reporting it.

That was all in the movie. If you can't figure out who to root for, I'm not sure you actually saw the movie.

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2 minutes ago, JohnC said:
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It was explained, twice IIRC, how they were being sent to the planet to fail. The Emperor saw them as a threat to his reign so specifically set them up to fall. In cahoots with the almost comicbook-style villain Baron, with a helping hand from the Emperors own special forces, who we are told are not really supposed to be involved in this, but are secretly sent there and whose involvement is being kept secret. The one observing even said she won't be reporting it.

That was all in the movie. If you can't figure out who to root for, I'm not sure you actually saw the movie.

I know it was in the movie. It was explained. I still didn't feel like I gave a shit about him. 

 

I'm not sure some of you know the difference between being told how to feel about something in a film and being shown why you should care about something.

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It’s fairly obvious who you’re “supposed” to be rooting for, the film is very “they went there, then they did this, then they did that”. I just don’t think the film sold the emotional weight of what happened to the Atreides as well as it could have. When you don’t spend proper time with characters you’re supposed to care about it has to do this by telling, not showing. “They said that in the film, explicitly!” - that’s not the point. 
 

I still think a whole first film ending with the moment of betrayal would have been the perfect way to get the full impact and weight of it across. The rush to get to the action in the desert by the end of the first film, made the whole thing feel too inconsequential.

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13 minutes ago, Stigweard said:

Well that's not a pretentious thing to say at all. Maybe you just had a problem connecting with the character.

 

 

Eeerm Yes.

You guys are the ones telling me I am watching it wrong.

 

There was nothing at all that made me care what happened to anyone in this movie. I didn't really have any preconceptions going in as I haven't read the books.

 

Also I am going to sound like a curmudgeon here, but I thought they could have done more to make the desert environments a little more interesting. The spaceships and buildings and stuff looked cool, but I didn't get any sense of them not being on earth most of the time for some reason.

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Okay, but that's different to saying "we weren't sure who we were supposed to be rooting for". Whether or not you felt like you actually did root for the protagonists, the film could hardly have been clearer that you were supposed to root for them.

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39 minutes ago, Scribblor said:

Okay, but that's different to saying "we weren't sure who we were supposed to be rooting for". Whether or not you felt like you actually did root for the protagonists, the film could hardly have been clearer that you were supposed to root for them.

Yes, this is exactly what it did badly in my view. It told me to root for someone that I was not invested in.

 

Also, I'm pretty sure some of the other characters are supposed to have a degree of rooting for. Surely they don't want all the other characters to appear disposable?

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I loved the film but I agree I didn't feel attached to most of the main characters. That's not to say they aren't interesting or well done, or that it necessarily matters. The book is the same, at least to begin with. For me the dad and Jason Momoa's characters were the most likeable. I find it often the case with hard sci-fi that they focus more on character studies, or ignoring character development rather than having characters you really like or should be rooting for. Some of my favourite sci-fi novels have pretty unlikeable or boring main characters but its the plot and universe that keep you engaged. Its a valid criticism of this film.

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