Dune getting good reviews

Originally published at: Dune getting good reviews | Boing Boing


Villeneuve’s Dune had better not suck. I’m still reeling from Foundation.

EDIT: Holy shit, Dune really rocks! It’s true to the book and the production values are off the scale. But this is actually Dune: Part One. It only gets through 25% of the first book. So, we’re looking at a 20-year arc? I mean, life is short.


Nodding Yes GIF


Agreed. If Dune is the New Testament, Dune Messiah is all the shit that happened in the following 2000 years. Except, it’s like 40 years or something.

Plus, Alia in that book could be one of the wildest, craziest character ever put on film if done right and could set up Children of Dune, which would be absolutely bonkers.


I have a soft spot for Lynch’s film but am also glad to hear that Villeneuve got it right.


I’m not clear if the movie is only half of the Dune book, or the same time frame as Lynch’s film - which takes you to the end of the book.

I’m also not sure what to make of the claim of “ambiguous” morality - Pauls actions may have dire results, but the alternative, submit yourself to serving as chattel of a corrupt machine, just take one for the oppressive manipulative powers that be where “one” is your life… He had the power to not be swept aside - saves he moral ambiguity for those that resisted him instead of accepting change. We can judge Paul on whether he strove for a better society, not on whether he tried to avoid being eaten by the status quo.


X Factor Reaction GIF by X Factor Global


I assume it ends when Paul and Jessica take the Water of Life and becomes the Kwizats Haderach. Pt 2 would basically be Return of the King, but desert.

My takeaway from the book was always that his intention were noble; to lead the Fremen to take back their planet while expelling the Harkonnen and CHOAM. I always took Messiah to be more of an ecological cautionary tale and an examination of the impact modern “conveniences” have when thrust upon indigenous peoples. He was a failed messiah, not because his intentions were muddied, but because there can be no perfect messiah.

But it’s been a few years since I’ve read through them, so I may be misremembering.


Is Sex Nun the prequelsequel?


i’m beyond hyped for this. between Foundation and this, it’s a great time to be into old-school sci-fi.


In one of the vanishingly rare instances where living in the Rest of the World is actually good for media-related matters, I have already seen the film in a theater.

It is definitely good. I’m a sucker for Villeneuve’s visual style - Arrival was good, Blade Runner 2049 was amazing, Dune may be the best so far. It’s been a while since I’ve read the book, and I haven’t read any of the sequels, but the adaptation seems faithful (and, as quoted in the OP, is good at establishing things to come), and the measured pacing allows for a good amount of detail. Playing into the director’s strengths, a lot of it is conveyed though visuals rather than exposition. It is big, it is spacey, it is spicy.

The one downside is that the film covers only half of the book - it ends when Paul and Jessica are captured by the Fremen, Paul defeats Jamis in a duel, and decides to stay with them instead of trying to escape the planet, which would be a perfectly good ending for an episode in a series, but it is too weak a way to end a two-and-half hour epic. No doubt that the sequel would provide a suitably epic conclusion, but it is weird that its production is still not guaranteed, because part one does not work as a standalone story.

Also, if you realize an hour in that it would be quite nice to go to the bathroom but don’t want to miss anything, it does help that you’re mostly looking at dry sand and people talking about preserving bodily fluids. Or, uh, so I’ve heard.


I was curious how Villeneuve would handle the book’s homophobia but it seems he’s just jettisoned that particular character aspect, which is good.

Lynch faithfully recreated Herbert’s grotesque homophobia on screen, at the height of the AIDS epidemic. In our mercifully more sensitive times, Villeneuve has left out this aspect of the book and, in general, has given the Harkonnens less screen time than Lynch did—perhaps in recognition that their scenes were always a bit of misdirection. By portraying the Baron as obese, greedy, genocidal, and gay, Herbert was trying to contrast him with the kinder, gentler, and decidedly heterosexual Duke Leto, thereby misleading readers into expecting a crude good versus evil story.


Most of history’s greatest villains were able to justify their violent actions by claiming they were striving for a better society. In Dune Messiah Paul explicitly compared himself to Hitler, noting his legions had killed Billions. The “moral” course of action is rarely free of ambiguity.


Thank you for this. Seriously. This is exactly what I was afraid of when I read that this was only “part 1”. I absolutely abhor this trend in filmmaking. It feels so utterly cynical and unnecessary.

I can kind of excuse this when it’s the last film in an already epic story – like in Deathly Hallows, which was also filmed back to back so there was a high degree of continuity. With no part 2 guaranteed here, I don’t even know if I want to sit in a movie theater for 3 hours only to be left hanging with no promise of a resolution.

I was really hyped to go see this, but now it’s fallen deep into my “wait and see” pile.


It’s a better move than trying to shove the whole thing into one movie and then having the studio edit it down into nonsense, a la Lynch’s Dune.


Lynch’s Dune – such as it was, with all its faults and baggage – was still a complete story.

As an aside, I’d love to see a “director’s cut” take on Dune (1984) that better realized Lynch’s original vision. Given that he has disavowed the film, I don’t see this ever happening which is too bad.


I’m convinced that it is only a complete story if you’ve actually read the book. If you haven’t, it just doesn’t make any sense. Some of that is Lynch’s fault and some of it the studio’s. I imagine that if we did get a director’s cut the film would be 3.5 hours long and you would begin to wonder if it wouldn’t be better cut into two movies.


Huh? I watched it weeks ago. It’s already out of the cinemas again here


I’ve never read Dune Messiah, and as far as the current Dune movie is concerned, those things have not yet come to pass.

I was not saying what Paul’s intentions were –– I was saying that we can judge him on his outcome. Paul did not preach better society - he and the Fremen had a convergence of purpose and goals, that is all. We don’t know where his actions will go in their wider universe. But we can make conclusions about what his actions will do for the Fremen oppressed under the oppressive rule. Are Pauls actions good or bad in that context? Dune Messiah has not happened yet, the millions have not fought and died yet. Those are mistakes yet to be made. But what has happened on Dune?


I released here in Taiwan weeks ago and I was very happy with it. Obviously with Villeneuve at the helm it’s visually stunning, and the cast really were impeccable. I was worried about the likes of Jason Momoa and Dave Bautista but they each excelled in their brief roles. It was a very respectful adaptation, and as a huge fan of the books I don’t think you could come much closer to realising Herbert’s vision on the big screen.

As an aside I took my Taiwanese fiance to watch it, and she knew literally nothing about it before going in, other than it had Aquaman in it. Yup. She came out raving about it and was furious when I told her that part two might not get made. We immediately went to the bookstore downstairs from the cinema to buy the book in Chinese for her - totally sold out! Finally managed to get the last copy in another store for her a few days later, and she’s loving it despite never reading any other western sci-fi.