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CaptainJackSparrow

⊃∪∩⪽ | Legendary | October 22 2021 | Denis Villeneuve | Returns to IMAX on December 3

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I watched this earlier today and, honestly, it's probably the most disappointing film of the year for me, and this was easily up there as my most anticipated films since... the beginning of the pandemic, probably. Visually, this is a technical marvel, no denying that. However, a lot of it just felt like empty spectacle, and all the attempted emotional beats just rang completely hollow for me. 

 

A part of me feels like it's hard to fully judge this because, at its core, it is an incomplete story that's mostly dependent on a follow-up film to make it an overall rounded experience. But even on its own terms, it just fails to be a satisfying experience. I keep seeing Fellowship of the Ring being used as a comparison, but I feel that film had a much better structure and did a way better job of creating a level of a finality in its own narrative. It might've been only 1/3rd of an entire story, but on its own, it still feels well-rounded.

 

On the other hand, this one feels like it cuts off sometime in the early parts of Act 2 in a larger 3 Act story, and the whole last hour or so just feels like falling action following a pretty action-packed middle portion that never builds to any substantial or meaningful climactic finish. I guess I sorta understand where Villeneuve left off, in regards to Paul's character arc/transformation, but, at best, even that felt very half-formed. That's not to mention all of the other sub-plots that are set-up and never receive any sort of pay-off. Overall, it kinda ends on a whimper, and I'm honestly not sure a Part 2 concluding all of the film's hanging threads would retroactively make this one that much better on its own terms. 

Edited by Rorschach
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47 minutes ago, tonytr87 said:

I frankly don't understand why people are giving it shit for ending that way when Fellowship and Two Towers ended in similar ways. It's absolutely a complete film if you're looking at it from the standpoint of Paul's character arc and journey. 

Well for one they shot all those movies together, and advertised it as a trilogy, neither of which Dune did.

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Like one big "film critic" youtuber recently said, it's a sad state of affair that whether we get a Dune sequel is still in the balance and a film like Last Duel flops horribly. We live in dark times indeed. :(

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Eh I'm not convinced 10 years ago Dune would have done much better than it is now (now of course a $35M OW 10 years ago would have more attendance). 

 

I just think the property is a hard sell plus you add a pandemic and HBO Max it's doing alright honestly. 

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My first impressions so take any complaints with a grain of salt.

 

Dune may be Villeneuve's weakest English-language film. He doesn't get lost in the lore or anything, but everything feels rather sterile and ineffectual.

 

I think the overreliance on score to drive the film was ultimately a crutch.

 

The acting was a mixed bag. Most were fine but considering Chalamet and Ferguson were essentially the leads of the film I'm going to be focusing on them. Chalamet I thought was very good. He's playing a reactive protagonist which is more difficult than it sounds. As for Ferguson, I'm somewhat conflicted. She's rather good in one scene and then in the next she's overacting. And considering how integral her role is in the film it's distracting. She can also appear rather pale and sickly at times.

 

That said, I'm still eager to watch it again.

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Thought it was decent but nothing more than that. It could have used more world building and character moments. The visuals are good, albeit sometimes way too drab. Made me appreciate David Lynch's Dune more, kind of crazy how he got that made in the early 80s with much lesser of a budget than this one.

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As someone who hadnt read the book and hadnt seen Lynch version. I hated this, and it took a lot of will power not to walk out. The movie is 90% the color brown. I couldn't care less about any of the characters, the lore and world seems so muddled and vague I am not sure what I am supposed to even care about it.

 

It's just lifeless and sterile and the supposed spectacle was flat and not engaging.

Edited by Dominic Draper
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I have extremely mixed thoughts on this. The same criticisms I have with Villeneuve in general. With exception of Arrival, he simply can’t craft human emotion or properly pace a film. Which is quite the accomplishment since he basically simplified this melodramatic tragedy into most conventional terms. It’s a plodding 90 minutes of flat, portentous dialogue and inexplicably apolitical political tensions until an unsatisfying and abrupt final hour of much needed energy. Humorless. Worst of all, I just think it lacked an interesting aesthetic. It’s a feat in production design but not direction. There’s not many memorable or interesting shots, the action sequences are customary in staging and editing. Blade Runner had more dazzle but that’s clearly thanks to Deakins. Fraser as DP here underlit everything and the brown, brooding gloomy look is sleepy. Villeneuve didn’t get very passionate performances from his ensemble. 

 

But still, the production design and visual effects are top notch. The look of the characters, especially Skaarsgard as the villain feel truly realized and executed. And I hope it doesn’t totally bomb. I’d take this over almost any blockbuster this year besides Suicide Squad and No Time To Die.

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Pretty good. A lot to love but several things held it back a bit.

 

Primarily that even with all the additional time a few characters really got short shrift, even compared to the Lynch Dune, when you'd think there'd be more room to do things with them

 

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I saw this in Dolby with my Dad (who saw David Lynch version in high school and wasn't impressed by it). We both enjoyed it a lot despite it being so dense and not having read the books. Visually stunning and surprisingly engaging even with (or perhaps because) of all the backstory and world building. Acting was top notch from the entire cast. 

 

My theater was pretty packed and the audience seemed to enjoy the movie. Hope that bodes well for the opening weekend and the chances of a sequel.

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I have a question for people who didn't read the book and didn't like the movie:

 

if the universe of the source is what you call humorless and sterile, what would you do in a movie adaptation? Stay true to it or turn it into something that it isn't? 

 

In the book, characters are preoccupied with various big, life and death worries. That leaves no place for humor or lightening up in any way. I daresay that sense of heavy foreboding is much thicker in the book than in the movie, which still did a good job with it. 

 

The universe in the book is exactly what you see in the movie. Very industrial future. Accent on mental abilities which in return mean suppressed emotions.  Paul's journey isn't an adventure. It isn't Star Wars where you have a more serious backdrop but the story at the front is light. It's heavy. His destiny is a burden rather than a reward.

 

So yeah, what would you do?

 

 

 

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This is a cold and lifeless film, the set design and cgi are in service of nothing. The David Lynch version is much better, it’s weirder, warmer and has better performances and dialogue. The 3 hour Lynch cut is still the best version of this story.

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2 minutes ago, Serpico Jones said:

This is a cold and lifeless film, the set design and cgi are in service of nothing. The David Lynch version is much better, it’s weirder, warmer and has better performances and dialogue. The 3 hour Lynch cut is still the best version of this story.

 

Disagree. This version flows better, has better production value, and was a lot easier to follow.

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2 hours ago, Valonqar said:

So yeah, what would you do?


I will take this. 
 

For me, it’s about the peaks and valleys. I am gonna use my two current favorite TV Shows as examples: Succession and Ted Lasso.
 

Ted Lasso is a comedy. But if you watch season 2, it legit went into drama (both in subject matter and 40 min episodes). It never lost its Ted Lasso Je ne sais quoi, but now the material is a bit heavier cause it’s dealing with mental health issues. 
 

Secession is Drama. But it’s wickedly funny to the point of Dark Comedy.  Everyone on the show is an ambitious cesspool of human being, but because of the show’s clear POV it’s able to infuse humor. 
 

Both shows are also good cases for you can have serious characters in comedies (Sharon in Ted Lasso) or funny characters in dramas (Tom, Greg, Roman in Secession) without ruining the world. Sometimes those are even the most compelling characters, because they feel out of their element.
 

I think you need both because all of writing is basically building tension and then releasing it, regardless of the genre or medium. 

 

And Dune really doesn’t operate like this. It’s brutalist natural is a monotone as its score. I’m not asking for a dune to be some lighthearted farce.  But I do think a variety in their characters would’ve gone along way to improving the overall emotional experience of the movie. 

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So, this was pretty terrific, and I really hope we will get a Part 2 to complete this story.

 

The movie is an immersion, and the story, characters, score, and direction together make for a genuine cinematic experience, and some beautiful moments.

 

It is also very well paced with a clear narrative. After the stage is set, the story beats and action pieces all hit at the right moment. There is an excellent ebb and flow to the film. There are no long periods of down time, as there is something new that propels the story forward. I don’t know what I was expecting (as someone who is not familiar with the story), but its richness of world building and fantasy surprised me and kept me engrossed and intrigued. (I want to geek out about some really cool specific scenes/sequences, but I won't so as to avoid spoilers.)

 

I was anticipating that the film might feel “cold”, but a strength for me is the central relationships, and particularly the warmth of the male relationships (involving actual physical affection). I was invested in those relationships, and in Paul in particular, and thus the film resonated on an emotional level, too. Paul's character arc is evident, which pays off at the end of the film, despite a film that very clearly feels like a Part One. (I will say one of the central characters was hard to hear at times, because the actor seemed to want to whisper all of their lines - was this a character choice? I wasn’t a fan.)

 

Overall, the ending has me yearning for more. “This is only the beginning” one of the characters says. It feels like there is so much more that Paul, and we as the audience, have to experience. Let’s hope we get to experience it.

 

Peace,

Mike

Edited by MikeQ
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The more I think about the ending, it works pretty well for me. It was the right place to cut it off. Paul's transformation is evident.

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