Sunday, December 5, 2021

DUNE PUT AN EPIC RANCHISE Ahead of its epic story

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The most important thing you need to be aware of about the film called Dune is the fact that it’s not “Dune.” The title card refers to from the beginning of the film it’s the film you’re currently watching (which premieres in the US on HBO Max on October 21st, at 6 PM ET, and is in theaters from the 22nd of October) does not actually include Dune however, but more Dune Part One. It’s a film that strives from the beginning towards being more than just a single film. It’s the first step towards the capital F– franchise..

To be precise the film that director Denis Villeneuve has here is excellent. Dune really is able to translate the frequently difficult to read novel into a fun and accessible sci-fi epic on an octave higher than those of the Star Wars and Star Treks of old. The issue is that it is more like a half-hearted epic.

Dune (the film) is inspired by Dune Dune, the classic sci-fi novel by writer Frank Herbert. At its heart, Dune is the story of Paul Atreides, the son and heir of House Atreides and is caught up in a tense battle alongside another House, which is the infamous Harkonnens. In particular, everyone is fighting over the control over the planet of desert Arrakis — also known as the “dune” and it is the source of the important resource spice that allows galactic travel and commerce. In the process, Paul also stumbles into an even greater plan that could alter the course of the universe.

A key part of its success is lead actor Timothee Chalamet as Paul Atreides, who has to walk the line between coming across as an actual human being with feelings and emotions and the otherworldly, wise-beyond-his-years messiah that Paul is destined to become. Chalamet’s Paul does not want to be one of the Dukes from House Atreides; he wants to spend time with Jason Momoa’s bro Duncan Idaho, skip his classes because they’re not his style and beg to attend events with his family. It’s a way to make us feel more human Paul who is otherwise like a smart guy who is the best of all Dune’s many quasi-magic tricks.

The rest of the talented cast is fantastic and also, despite the fact that the majority of A-list actors feel unappreciated in a way that makes you think “they’ll return in sequels!” Oscar Isaac gets the most screen time among the minor characters which he puts to great usage as noble and proud Duke Leto. Isaac is a man of honor and dignity and it’s simple to discern the reason his men would choose to go with him to a deserted wilderness and how Isaac is so deeply entangled in the world of politics.

Momoa provides the most levity to the sometimes dull film moving from scene to scene with a smile and smiles and. However, other characters such as Javier Bardem’s Freman leader Josh Brolin’s intimidating weapons master and Dave Bautista’s ominous Rabban — seem more like a table setting in the sequel.

And, unfortunately, Dune -at least for the initial portion — devotes little attention to the female leads. Zendaya’s Chani who is set to play Paul’s love interest and companion in the final third of the novel by Herbert and is reduced to soft, silent commercial-style images of perfume throughout the film. Rebecca Ferguson gets a little more attention as Lady Jessica Paul’s mother but she is spending more time worried about her son and her companion than she is a part of the influential Bene Gesserit group of sisters.

Women have power positions and power in Dune‘s realm however, within Dune the feature film women are largely in the background, compared to the male lead. This could be the case in the event that (or in the event that) Villeneuve gets to adapt the second part of the novel in which Jessica and Chani play more prominent roles in the story as Paul’s journey is set among the Freman however, for the moment it’s more of a setup than the payoff.

The only reason for this is Sharon Duncan-Brewster’s character Dr. Kynes, a gender-swapped version of the character from the book who is also an Imperial connection trapped between her love for Arrakis and her love of the Freman and her loyalty towards the Imperial, and who is seeking to entangle Kynes within his schemes.

The main attraction of Dune however it will be the set and the worldbuilding. All of Villeneuve’s styles from his previous films such as the Arrival or Blade Runner 2049 are amplified to eleven in this film: the ships are much more stark and abstract, while the buildings are more imposing and brutal The landscapes are more expansive and barren and the bass-heavy score by Hans Zimmer even more thunderous. It’s hard to believe for the fact that Dune (or any other film in fact) demands to be watched in a reputable theater, but you’ll be sure to have an excellent pair of speakers on hand for any time you watch it.

The trailer for Uncharted’s debut movie is filled with familiar action

Dune is a film that was designed to be viewed as epic that has a size and scope that ranges all the way from Paul’s massive fate to the dimensions of the famous Sandworms. And it does as well: when everything is working all cylinders, Dune overwhelms with thematic, visual and sonic weight, yet never not losing sight of the personal dramas behind the lofty goals.

Thankfully, Villeneuve wisely skips over many of Herbert’s info dumps as well as makes some Herbert’s subtler political maneuvers less confusing to try to streamline and simplify the narrative. The film doesn’t have a single character who mentions the word “mentat” or even explains the concept behind the living calculators for instance however, no one requires to know. The result is a movie that is surprisingly accessible for an Dune version even for people who aren’t familiar with the plot.

The biggest issue in Dune is that it closes right as the film begins to get underway but it does not end with an emotional, dramatic conclusion but during the second act of the film. Dune makes you want more, but only in terms of not having receive everything you expected.

Dune is trying to take its cake and eat its also in some ways and Paul’s dreams of future possibilities serving as a substitute to provide epic Freman battles, as well as Dune‘s galaxy stakes. The film even throws in a short image of a person who is finally riding a sandworm during the last moments, in an attempt to the viewers (and the studio directors) to remember that the most excitement is in the unconfirmed sequel.

If there’s an Dune: Part Two somewhere in the future it’s the possibility of a long duration of the two sections of the film to provide an experience that is comparable to the original novel. However, for the moment, Dune‘s methodological table-setting and world-building is at the same point that the film departs Paul with a great potential and with lots of potential unexplored that’s been unable to unlock.

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