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Thoughts on DUNE?

Discussion in 'Film & Film Production' started by Jure Jerebic, Oct 29, 2021.

  1. I watched it, and...well, meh. Online many people are sucking up to HZ, and it's the same old thing. Absolutely fantastic, top-of-the-line production quality and sound design, etc., and it absolutely works for the picture. BUT, the picture itself, the FILM, the whole thing felt like watching a trailer. Amazing looking, brilliant production and cinematography, but no drama whatsoever. TL;DR version - kinda boring.
    Marian Szewczyk likes this.
  2. Watched it yesterday, didn't like it, not even the music, was like a big wall of sound.
  3. I only go to films where people walk out humming the theme, like every movie I saw growing up.
    Jure Jerebic likes this.
  4. The last movie(s) where this happened to me was actually How To Train Your Dragon. Say what you want about John Powell, but he knows how to write good tune. I wonder why he's barely mentioned in your classes. It's sad this rarely happens anymore with any of the big pictures, they only get the generiz HZ treatment. Michael Giacchino can also pull it off sometimes. But a good tune alone doesn't make a good score.
    Jure Jerebic likes this.
  5. I actually really enjoyed the movie. I think it did a lot of things right that your average superhero movie doesn't and I would suspect that even those who didn't really enjoy the film would at least grant it's a cut above your average marvel CGI fest. You might say that's a low bar, but it's also like 90% of what's out there, so just by that metric alone the film is a cut above everything else.

    It's a beautiful film and I certainly was immersed into that world, which is a feeling I can't remember having had since Lord of the Rings. It also really focusses on character above everything else, for example there is a moment where you kind of expect the movie to get into a long-winded battle/action sequence but instead we follow the character out of the battle. That sequence is only as long as it needs to be to tell the story and isn't drawn out for spectacle's sake.

    As someone who is really not a fan of the style of music this film had (I tried listening to some of it before I saw the film, didn't last very long), I have to admit the score worked within the context of the film. I was never once annoyed by it, which surprised me since I typically get annoyed quite quickly when a movie decides to throw in power-down sounds, braaams or "epic" drums at me. Whilst I can't reproduce a single note of the score, I thought it did work for the film. It didn't distract in a bad way. High praise, I know.
  6. Mike actually praises John Powell in masterclasses
  7. Alexandre Desplat and Patrick Doyle also come to mind as good tune writers.
  8. Oh really? Do tell. Guess I missed those classes ... As for Dune .. no, haven't watched the new one yet. Didn't really wake my interest. I watched the original with a friend recently, and yes, it did feel kind of dated, but the theme definitely got stuck in my ear.
  9. Just went to see this movie to see what the hype was about...I'm confused why it's been hyped up as much. What was weird is that I went to see it with a mate of mine and 9/10 we think the same things about movies, so I was surprised when he said he loved it.

    "Go see it in the cinema, it's the spectacle of the whole thing that matters, it needs seen on a big screen." All I thought watching it was "I've seen this all before, it's the same CG blockbuster kind of stuff we've been watching for years now and most of the time it's mimicking shots from E.T and Star Wars, except those one's look cooler cause a lot of it was practical (not all of it holds up, but I think most of it does.)" And as I was sitting there thinking "that's from Star Wars, that's E.T" it just made me want to watch those movies instead.

    And there's so many establishing shots of just the desert that just say nothing and so many slow mo shots of Zendaya turning to the camera like she's in a perfume advert that the whole film felt so padded.

    I also felt the film treated the audience like complete idiots by throwing in really bad exposition on what was going even though the visuals and sound design explained it to us, or worse, there's a specific object that the protagonist has visions of throughout the entire movie and they use the same couple of shots over and over again of it. So then this object is presented to him and I'm like "oh, there's the thing they showed us earlier" and then they show the same damn vision shots right as it's presented to him and I sat there thinking "I FUCKING KNOW ALREADY, GO AWAY!"

    The characters are so unbelievably forgetable and when someone died I felt absoloutely nothing.

    Now, having said all this, I don't think the director done a bad job, having seen him breakdown one of the scenes of the film I think he really knows what he's doing but I think I have a few ideas on what went wrong.

    1. I'm willing to bet there were people higher up telling him that people wouldn't understand certain points in the film and forced him to dumb it down by adding bad exposition. As for the flashback/vision thing I mentioned earlier, I could imagine higher ups telling him to add dialogue to explain it away and as a compromise he said "we'll show the shots we showed before so we don't hav ebad dialogue." Because some of the exposition IS necessary and in some cases there wasn't enough explaining the world, so it bothered me when we got this really bad in your face exposition thrown at you cause most of the time it seemed like the director REALLY tried to do the "show don't tell" thing.

    2. I've not read the book, but judging by how this film is, I have a hunch that it's not an easy book to adapt into a film. I just finished reading a book called Warbreaker which I thought was fantastic and it really knew how to paint this world in my head. That being said, it's very lore heavy and probably wouldn't work well on screen as you would need to try and explain a lot of the rules of the magic, the politics etc. If this is the case with Dune then the filmmakers really had their work cut out for them.

    I'm honestly baffled why people love this movie so much and say that it's one of the best sci-fi films or that it's revoloutionary or it's the next generations version of Star Wars. Once the hype calms down I wouldn't be surprised if people completely forget about this trilogy once it's over. It seems to happen all the time these days. Remember when everyone was talking about Birdman when that came out? Does anyone still remember that movie other than the fact they tried to do the 1 take gimmick?

    As much as I've just shit on this movie though, making a film is damn hard and this one in particular didn't seem like an easy one to do and considering every other adaptation of the book has failed that would have created a lot of pressure as well. It's just a shame that because technology has made making films so much easier and accessible we've either gotten so lazy or higher ups think that because we can do things so much faster now that deadlines get shorter and shorter, rather than let the film and the ideas grow more.

    Anyways, that's my ramblings on Dune.
  10. Powell's a good writer with a really weird obsession for trying to get brass players to psychologically break. I can't count the number of times I've heard players on his sessions rant about how unnecessarily hard his parts are. Anyway, my wife and I are teaching Draco how to structure and shoot basic films and it's ruined him.
    David Healey likes this.
  11. Haha, that's not true. I'm sure you said you went to see Rogue One in the cinema and laughed at it!
  12. Hehe. I haven't seen it yet. But for some reason I recently watched a few scenes from the Lynch's 84 Dune and I loved the style.

    Like how utterly awesome is the baroque epicness of this portal?

    Why does things in the new Dune just feel like concrete drab brutalism? I really don't like how design aims so much towards minimalism now. Modern buildings look like carton boxes or something a drunk alien regurgitated.

    I've heard the score and... It's a modern Zimmer thing. I won't rant about it. It probably fits the brutalistic minimalism of the film well.

    My fave Dune music is easily the Emperor: Battle for Dune soundtrack. Such incredible, memorable, badass themes!


    Kick-ass great.

    I'm still waiting for this masterclass. :D

    I was watching some films from '70s and whatnot (european and american) and the directing felt so much more inspired than in a lot of popular movies and tv shows we get now. I've seen some trailer for new Addams Family tv show directed by Burton (Wednesday) and even that was some modern trendy cringe. Same with modern Star Trek shows, I can't take the modern trendy directing. I was trying to watch Picard and Strange Worlds and it's all pseudo-blockbuster zero-calories placebo. The writing is so stupid and the camera work tries to make it all feel so hectic and intense while there's nothing to it. They can't even shoot a basic dialogue.

    I'll have to start making my own films. [​IMG]
  13. There are many films that elicit this thought from me, but DUNE isn't one of them.

    To offer some counterpoint to the overriding consensus so far: I rather enjoyed this movie. I went in expecting to potentially be bothered by the music, but I wasn't. It worked rather well with the picture and while I can't recall much of it, that kind of goes two ways. It's not memorable in a good way or in a bad way, it's just kind of there, like some invisible part of the set. Not the highest of praise, but I was expecting to get annoyed and I wasn't.

    I actually thought the movie was quite good with its exposition. No dialogue info-dumps that I can recall. A bit of VO info-dumping is pretty much inevitable with this setting, so I can forgive it for the few times it did that.

    Even those that didn't like it much would probably agree that it is at least a cut above your average Marvel CGI fest in almost every regard. I'm glad it took more time to set things up, and I'll take a millennial staring into the horizon over Marvel's bland content any time of the day.
  14. @Matthias Calis It's possible I'll like the film. I really liked Villeneuve's Blade Runner 2049, which has a very similar directing style from what I've gathered. You know, slow tempo, long stylized shots, even the music. BR2049 is actually quite remarkable to me since I dislike slow movies, but this one, for some reason, worked for me surprisingly really well.

    Villeneuve is one of a few filmmakers I can get behind. I'm not saying hollywood is full of inept wannabes, but how many inspired Spielberg-level directors are there? And A LOT of stuff I see these days, I very much dislike, like those new Star Treks and whatnot. A lot of it has to do with the writing as well.

    Plus I was semi-joking, of course. Making a movie is not like sitting behind a computer with a DAW loaded up. It's a huge endeavour, all the people, logistics, etc. But what's incredible are some of the fully animated short movies made by singular people. You can make a sci-fi piece all by yourself these days, and look how awesome it can look when you are good with computer modelling and animation:

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