Villeneuve's Dune (2019)

Mon0Zer0

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Here is a deleted scene from the Lynch version, in which Gurney plays the baliset. It looks like the end of a party, where the spice is wearing off and one guy feels the need to muck about with a guitar. It also provides some background for Kynes and the Fremen.


Tsk, if Ralph Macchio can learn to fake play the guitar for crossroads, you can learn to fake play the chapman pstew.
 

ctg

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To be honest, where's rest of it? If what we saw is the pace, then first book is going to be three films, not two. Thing also is I liked it, just nodding off once in those endless desert scenes. If this would have been the only movie, it would a big disappointment for chopping off a large part of the story.

The one place that made me giggle was with the worm appearance.

wj7knXJ.jpg

"Hello there, need a ride?"

Why I thought it was funny? The whole scene is comedy, it's as if the worm is puppy or a kitten, excited to see the owner. And the Fremen were trying to deny it. They literally couldn't understand the connection between the worm and Muad Dib.

In the books, if I remember correctly they end up calling Paul's mum as a witch and the Fremen can never understand how they do things.
 

Elckerlyc

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Well, your memories aren't entirely correct.
Paul's mother was initially called a witch by some. After they learned that she knew the Weirding ways she was called Sayyadina, to become Reverend Mother when she changed the Water of Life. Whether the Fremen understood how Bene Gesserit sisters did things or not, Jessica's abilities were known to them. The relied on it. Her coming to the Fremen, together with the son, was incorporated into their religion and long expected.

Story-wise the movie ends more or less halfway the book. The 2nd movie will be more action filled, I think, and introduce many elements that remained unmentioned in Part One. But any adaptation leaves things out. I have rewatched the Lynch film and the Syfy TV-version lately. They diverge widely, yet tell the same story and have their own pro's and cons. One can only hope for a 10 episode long TV-series to do the whole story justice.
 
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ctg

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Yeah, it is interesting on how high she rises, even though the Reverend Mother disses her at the beginning for going off script. But the Fremen worship her as mother who gave a birth to a god, and that god being Paul, full filling the prophesy.

Writing a prophesy and filling it is hard work. I've tried a couple of times and I'm struggling with it, because you'll have to make the whole story wrap around it. Frank Herbert did amazing work with it.
 

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From what I recall delving into all the Dune books…. In the early days of the Empire, the Bene Gesserit sent out thousands of missionaries. These women deliberately ingratiated themselves into all the different cultures they encountered.

The Fremen Sayadina was originally a Bene Gesserit Reverend Mother and (if I remember correctly) seeding cultures with prophesy was one of the sisterhood’s tools for controlling and directing people. Jessica would know all this and use it to her advantage with the Fremen. They were a manipulated people whether they knew it or not.
 

ctg

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The 2nd movie will be more action filled, I think, and introduce many elements that remained unmentioned in Part One.
Can Villeneuve shoot action? All the action scenes were short and somewhat realistic. But it wasn't enough, when you know that there is that epic city takeover coming in the latter. If they really want to do it justice then they have to do it GoT style as grand as they can.

It's not just that but it's the whole spectacle, that he promises with Paul's flash forwards, meaning learning the ways of the desert, becoming Fremen, adapting their tactics and then applying them in a grand strategy to give a big finger to the Imperium.

No spice, no interstellar travel, because of the mythical reasons and the Navigator's being total junk without their drugs. It is intriguing that they showed the element for the downfall and that being the Emperor making miscalculation in the business. Harkonnen withdrawing the equipment and then having to dip into their strategic reserves.

In strategy terms, hampering with the business, destroying the port city and then inflaming the war with the natives are all mistakes that Bene Gesserit should have seen. But they're playing as if they knew nothing about anything, until it's too late. And then they are really cocked up.

So what Paul does in the second half is one of the most brilliant strategic moves in the SF history. It is far better than anything they've so far achieved in the SW universe. I also have to mention Foundation as we've seen that it is really trying to replicate that grandness associated to the product. And that grandness is something we haven't seen ... yet.

I really hope Villeneuve is up for the challenge, but if not, I think having Spielberg or Eastwood in the advisory board wouldn't be a bad thing. Latter one is there because Clint has supreme knowledge from making action and in his late years he has also developed that grand eye.

I know that he doesn't dapple in SF or in Fantasy, but he has that knowledge.
 

Venusian Broon

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From what I recall delving into all the Dune books…. In the early days of the Empire, the Bene Gesserit sent out thousands of missionaries. These women deliberately ingratiated themselves into all the different cultures they encountered.

The Fremen Sayadina was originally a Bene Gesserit Reverend Mother and (if I remember correctly) seeding cultures with prophesy was one of the sisterhood’s tools for controlling and directing people. Jessica would know all this and use it to her advantage with the Fremen. They were a manipulated people whether they knew it or not.

Paul is not only manipulating the Fremen using the Bene Gesserit "groudwork" but using it against the sisterhood too. Their plan was to produce a kwisatz haderach and manipulate him to their advantage, but he is turning the table on them. (Despite their plans going awry with Jessica, they are still trying to manipulate to their advantage - their demand that the baron not touch Paul & Jessica gave the two of them the opportunity to escape and find the fremen.)

I like Jessica's protrayal more and more - she's 'in the dock' right at the start, and although she still obeys her superiors she's chosen with her heart to follow Leto and Paul, hence I liked the outbursts of emotion: fear, hurt and anguish. She is a superwoman, but still human. Of course she will become even more despised by her own sisters by the next film, when Alia arrives, but she will have a kwisatz haderach supporting her.

As for the movie ending when it does...sure it would have been irritating and daft if there was no part two - I understand that's how the Golden Compass ended - but it's an adaption that is much more faithful to the book. I didn't moan when The Fellowship of the Ring ended where it did. ;)

Oddly I felt it was a bit too fast paced! They seemed to have been in Arrakis for only a day or so before the Harkonnens attacked., :)
 

Elckerlyc

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Can Villeneuve shoot action?

All true, but... Villeneuve may not be an action scene kind of director, but neither is Herbert an action depicter in his books.
You don't get to see much of any battle in the books. Most of it happens 'off screen', even the grand battle at the end. It are only the political 'battles', the inter-actions between the characters and what they are thinking through which he tells the story.
I don't think you should expect GoT type of battles.*

EDIT:
* Mainly because Villeneuve follows the book quite closely and he has only limited time to tell the story on the screen. (Battles are irrelevant, except for their outcome, story-wise.)
 
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Elckerlyc

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Oddly I felt it was a bit too fast paced! They seemed to have been in Arrakis for only a day or so before the Harkonnens attacked., :)
Having just reread the book my impression was perhaps a few weeks, no longer. Most of all I was surprised to see read that the assassination attempt on Paul was on the same day they arrived at Arrakeen.
What we think we remember from the books may already have been tainted by film and TV-serie adaptations.
 

ctg

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Showing the grand battle would be a big thing going for the audience and it would go long way along with the recent epic productions. I, for one, want to see the worms swarming the city and Fremen take-on at Harkonen and Sarkauder armies.

The clash in this one was very brief and it mostly showed the doctor's betrayal very well. But I have to say that Hunter-Seeker scene is my favourite. In the book tension is up to eleven, where in this one, it is slightly under it.

I loved how it was maximised with Paul moving into the hologram.
 

ctg

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By the way I expect this to get at least two Oscar nominations. If not three, with one going to Director. One to film crew and last one to lead female actor (not Chani).
 

Venusian Broon

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All true, but... Villeneuve may not be an action scene kind of director, but neither is Herbert an action depicter in his books.
You don't get to see much of any battle in the books. Most of it happens 'off screen', even the grand battle at the end. It are only the political 'battles', the inter-actions between the characters and what they are thinking through which he tells the story.
I don't think you should expect GoT type of battles.*

EDIT:
* Mainly because Villeneuve follows the book quite closely and he has only limited time to tell the story on the screen. (Battles are irrelevant, except for their outcome, story-wise.)
Good point. Herbert is prominetly a writer of ideas and political machinations, not so much action. The Fremen Jihad that kills 61 billion people and conquers hundreds of worlds is mentioned only in passing or from occasional flashback/forward.

In military terms, Herbert is all about the 'Grand Strategic' not about the operational or the tactical (there is some ''tactical' I suppose, but only when it's very important for the character).

The MCU has the main characters solve problems via punching and action, Paul solves his problems via leadership and politics (and his ability to see the future, of course...) Eisenhower, Monty and Zhukov didn't defeat the German army by individually leaping into the German trenches and killing thousands with their superpowers, or flying to Berlin and taking on Hitler one-on-one. ;)
 
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Venusian Broon

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Having just reread the book my impression was perhaps a few weeks, no longer. Most of all I was surprised to see read that the assassination attempt on Paul was on the same day they arrived at Arrakeen.
What we think we remember from the books may already have been tainted by film and TV-serie adaptations.
The assassination time period makes sense, I think, given that the Harkonnen was bricked in and only had a limited amount of time before his death - and he would have assumed that they would have been searching for him, so get the attempt in as soon as he could.
 

farntfar

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I haven't read the previous entries, prefering to avoid spoilers before I saw it.
So here are my comments, fresh from seeing it. Sorry if I'm repeating things others have already said.

I didn't like the beginning, but that's not really important.

Paul was better than the Lynch version
as was Leto and Stilgar.

I preferred Francesca Annis as Jessica, but found that both versions made her less interesting than the book.

Sian Phillips was far better than Charlotte Rampling as the Reverend Mother, but then we saw and heard so little of Ms. Rampling in this one that if it had actually been Charlotte Gainsbourg instead, I wouldn't have been able to tell.

Gurney Halleck and Thufir Hawat were both far better in the Lynch version, as was the Baron.
Although they had gone to considerable effort to portray it, this one's nastiness and especially his obesity were less effective than the Lynch Baron. (And what was the regeneration tank idea in the final minutes.)

Beast Rabban however was quite well done.

Making Dr Keynes a woman was interesting, but changed nothing in terms of the plot.

I liked the Lexx type ornithopters.

Overall it was too noisy (music and effects.). Also I felt that if I hadn't read the book, I wouldn't have understood much of it.

It will be interesting to see how the second part goes. The first half of the book was in many ways just the prologue for the second.
 

farntfar

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One other comment.
Whilst including it, the film seems to have rendered the Gom Jabbar test almost entirely meaningless and without emotional value. Another example of where you would really have had no idea what it was about if you hadn't read the book.
 
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Foxbat

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After watching that trailer, I understand why everybody’s complaining about the bagpipes.
 
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