68 Comments
author

I just read the whole thing again and I must say that we did a great job. Am I allowed to?

Expand full comment
author

Imagine if rereading costs you! ROD! Like VOD! Read on Demand. Oh, we already have that… 😅 Better read quick!

Expand full comment
author

No re-reading but praising us. 😜

Expand full comment
author

Praise Be! Under his ... uh, no. Wrong movie again.

Expand full comment
author

🤣

Expand full comment
author

I will allow it 😜😆

Expand full comment
author

Thank you, emperor (walken).

Expand full comment
author

👑🙇‍♂️

Expand full comment
Mar 15Liked by Vanessa Glau, Claudia Befu Ibarra, Nathan Slake, Alexander Ipfelkofer

Just a quick note to say thanks very much to you folks for doing these. They’re really excellent. You got me interested in a book that I was never going to read and made me appreciate why it is so beloved. Not that I’ll ever read it again but still 😁

As for Dune Part 2, I’ve already put my thoughts down, so won’t repeat myself, but it occurred to me that the reason I like this more than Part 1, could have something to do with it being more removed from the book and, therefore, more Hollywood. Who knows 🤷‍♂️

I’m more in the 3-4 star camp on both movies but to see a huge science fiction epic top the charts is always a great thing

So, all in all, this has certainly been worthwhile and rewarding to explore all things Dune. Except, of course, I did end up sitting through David Lynch’s Dune for which I’m in the minus 34 star camp. Truly awful. In fact, if it wasn’t for you folks, I would never have watched that horror show of a movie in the first place, so I take back all the nice things I said. Thanks for nothing! 😠😆

Expand full comment
author

David Lynch’s Dune is painful. I tried to watch it three times and couldn't bring myself to finish it. The film is grotesque 🤢!

Thanks for joining us on this Dune journey, it was great having you here and I'm glad that you read the whole book despite it not being to your liking 100%. Did reading the book actually help you enjoy Dune II more you think?

Expand full comment

Agree to disagree 😏

Expand full comment
Mar 15Liked by Nathan Slake, Alexander Ipfelkofer

Maybe. I did feel more invested in the story so that was probably driven from reading the book

Expand full comment
Mar 16Liked by Nathan Slake, Alexander Ipfelkofer

That, and he actually tells more of the story.

Expand full comment
author

I saw an interview with him recently https://youtu.be/JlE7DZrzik0?si=kzP6jqluuygDlGf7

Expand full comment

Yes, he's been very consistent with that story, pretty much from the start.

Expand full comment
author

Thanks, Dan, for coming on this desert journey and not deserting us! I did warn about Lynch's movie being bad, so that's all on you! 😅 You raise fair points in your post, though and for all its faults the adaptation is vastly enjoyable if you can look past the frowny faces and the absurdity of all things that make Dune Dune. Stillsuits? Like ... being boiled alive in your own stew? There's a nice book The Science of Dune, which "Evans recommended to dedicated fans of the franchise, noting that they are the intended audience, while providing the caveat that their suspension of disbelief might be negatively affected by reading it." 😂 Wonder how much of Dune is actually plausible? A %? Guesses? Anyone? Class? Buler?

Ah, well, not everything has to be plausible and imagination trumps technical details any day. I am looking forward to Dune Part Three and once we have a "complete movie" we can reassess the rating. For now, Dune is done. Until the Spice Flows again!

Expand full comment
Mar 15Liked by Claudia Befu Ibarra, Nathan Slake, Alexander Ipfelkofer

Yeah, I think believability will always take a back seat to imagination. Particularly with something you enjoy so much. Despite what I’ve said, seeing another $200m sci fi romp in glorious IMAX will probably get me back for Part 3. That’s what going to the cinema is all about! 😁

Expand full comment
author

$200m? Was that expensive? Was it Zendaya? I'm also looking forward to Dune III and next time I'll definitely buy more popcorn!

Expand full comment
author

I actually thought it wasn't as expensive as I imagined it might be. It's not even in the top 50: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/List_of_most_expensive_films

Expand full comment
Mar 15Liked by Claudia Befu Ibarra, Nathan Slake, Alexander Ipfelkofer

I’m sure I read $200m somewhere. I just learned today the LOTR trilogy cost $300m to make with another $200m marketing budget 😮

Made their money back I guess though 😁

Expand full comment
author

For the time, that's an even bigger budget!

I'm betting they made their money back, and then some.

Expand full comment
author

Maybe in Part 3 they'll explain how they got everyone (including Jessica in her little palanquin) onto the worms!

Expand full comment
author

Easy. It's the Holtzman Effect. You just float! Such silly science. 😅

Expand full comment
Mar 15Liked by Nathan Slake, Alexander Ipfelkofer

More importantly, how did they get off?!

Expand full comment
author

Again. Holtzman effect! Duuuh! ;)

Expand full comment
Mar 15Liked by Nathan Slake, Alexander Ipfelkofer

Ah, that explains it then 😁

Expand full comment
author

Hehe, oh man, that makes me want to return to it even more. -34 stars! Brilliant. Maybe I'll put it on today whilst doing some house chores and I can keep one eye and ear on it ;)

It's really great to hear that (despite not loving Dune) this all resulted in you reading a book you otherwise wouldn't and having some appreciation for it. Thanks for sticking with us, Dan, and as I said in your excellent post I thoroughly loved reading the thoughts you put down on paper.

Expand full comment
Mar 22Liked by Vanessa Glau, Claudia Befu Ibarra, Nathan Slake, Alexander Ipfelkofer

Another great collab from all of you on your sidequest! Ah the witty banter never ends... and I see Nathan and Alexander admitting to being true nerds, but come on, what about the rest???....And I have only one question, that must have an answer: VANESSA, what did you think of the movie???

Expand full comment
author

Thanks, Brian. A sandy quest it was! Much grain was ground but at last and least, I think, we have found, what we were bound to find, that there is much to talk about this planet with two moons... and that we must recycle all thumpers. 😅

Expand full comment
author

I leave it up to the reader to judge whether I’m a true Dune nerd or not. I did come with the idea for this collab and I’m the only who’ll read Messiah before Dune III. Just saying 😁😜

Expand full comment
author

Thank you for reading! I mean, I work in videogames, doesn't that automatically make me a true nerd? That being said, I've yet to see all of the LoTR extended version. I started watching it at some point years ago but never finished.

And I still haven't seen Dune 2! Might go this weekend.

Expand full comment
author

Thanks for being with us the whole journey, Brian 🙌

Expand full comment
Mar 18Liked by Claudia Befu Ibarra, Nathan Slake, Alexander Ipfelkofer

NS: You don't like Christopher Walken? 😭

CB: comment on (non)romantic couples was ace 👌🏽

Enjoyed this discussion yet again! All of you had interesting things to say about the concept of adaptation (and imagination). The ideas also about the experience of Dune 2 intrigue me, though I haven't seen it yet. The music, Hollywood-feel...it's interesting how the same director might reflect on the first adaptation and push things a certain way. Thanks for giving us all this metanarrative of your experience! Although I'm doing things a little backward, I'm enjoying the ride.

Expand full comment
author

I love romance in any form, I will watch and read anything (I even read the first Bridgerton novel--BIG BIG mistake!!), I sometimes wonder how come I don't write romantic stories myself. So when I see a romantic couple without chemistry it's really painful to watch 😥. I'm looking forward to your impressions after you've seen the movie. Buy a big bucket of popcorn and enjoy the ride, it's totally worth it.

Regarding the very Hollywood production, the other day, a teenager was watching Dune I on his phone in the underground and I sneak peaked for a couple of station. Without the sound, I was able to analyse the film from a different perspective. It was the scene where Duke Leto Atreides flies a topter in the desert and wants to save a spice mining crew from an incoming worm. I noticed that all the usual Hollywood tropes are used in this film to create suspense, emotion etc. But the interesting thing is it that they don't bother me because this is Dune, such an amazing story, world, characters, it offers so much. Hollywood storytelling is not bad if there's a good story to tell.

Expand full comment
author

I quite enjoy watching films without sound. It's a hobby on long haul flights. 😆

Expand full comment
Mar 19Liked by Nathan Slake, Alexander Ipfelkofer

What? 😆

Expand full comment
author

You *don't* do this? Come on Kate, get with the times ;)

You sit watching the back of the seats to the left and right in front of you, judging their choice of films and then watching those films without sound.

Or perhaps this is just what flights to and from Australia devolve into for me!

Expand full comment
author

I love doing this! 🤣

Expand full comment
Mar 19Liked by Nathan Slake, Alexander Ipfelkofer

Oh!! I definitely do this. I get you now. Just not with the one in front of me. Yeah, I watch like five films at once that way. Sometimes if I'm really tired, like in the middle of a red-eye where I inevitably won't be able to sleep, I occasionally open my eyes to see this and am too lazy to turn on my own screen.

Expand full comment
author

Phew, I did think we'd had this conversation previously ;)

And yep, haha, that's the way!

Expand full comment
Mar 18Liked by Nathan Slake, Alexander Ipfelkofer

Agree, sometimes Hollywood style truly works!

I’ll report back after the film… 🍿

Expand full comment
author

Haha, I like him, and he's a classic actor in many movies, but he's too much of a character of himself now, I feel. It's another name to attach to a movie filled with top names.

Expand full comment
Mar 19Liked by Nathan Slake, Alexander Ipfelkofer

Fair!

Expand full comment
author

Thanks, Kate! Very glad you enjoyed our theatrical release of the letter! A Director's Cut, Outtakes, Deleted Scenes, Interview with the Crew and never before seen footage will be released once the funding has gone through. We do accept Bitcoin. :D

Expand full comment
author

Nathan is envious because no one can Walken sit like Walken, when he sits like Walken.

Expand full comment
Mar 16Liked by Nathan Slake, Alexander Ipfelkofer

Thanks again for the quality discussion.

I thought the film was superb. It definitely felt like Part Two, following on so directly from its predecessor, so I was very grateful for the priming that I had received from reading these posts and from watching the Jodorowsky documentary.

I thought it was better than Part One. (Although I have only seen that once, at the cinema when it came out, so I am relying on my hopeless memory.) Part Two inherited the wonderful design that evoked the atmosphere that I remembered from the book, bringing it more effectively to life, and was completely underpinned by the power of that Hans Zimmer score; however, with the scenario established in the previous film, I felt that this new instalment pushed the visual spectacle further, with so much wonderful—and strange, occasionally disturbing—imagery, which elevated the experience for me.

The infrared sequence was unquestionably my favourite—such a brilliant and unexpected contrast to the palette of the rest of the film. I did not quite understand that it was infrared whilst watching, just that it was a strange and beguiling monochrome. And then the beguiling Léa Seydoux turned up too. (Top quality pun, Nathan!)

I was entirely unbothered by the deviations from the book. Since it has been a few years and I was not so invested in the story, I probably would not have noticed, without having read your previous conversations. I remember feeling that some of the complexity and lore of the book was rather opaque and that it was easy to get bogged down in all the different terminology whilst reading, which never felt like a problem in the propulsive world of the film (was it really nearly three hours?), so perhaps some of those changes of plot and character were to maintain its momentum. It did not feel like it had been simplified for a mass audience to me; it was still very weird!

The ending felt a little rushed and again very much like Part Three should come next. I know nothing about Messiah and nor do I want to—now I just want to wait for whatever Denis Villeneuve does. I agree that the whole thing probably needs to be assessed as a trilogy, like the original Star Wars films or The Lord of the Rings. Actually, the ending of Part One did remind me of the ending of The Fellowship of the Ring—both finished rather abruptly at significant, but somewhat low-key moments, before the start of grander adventures; I thought it was satisfying enough and was left wanting more, thankfully in the knowledge that more was indeed likely to come. (To continue this brilliant analysis, Part Two had a big battle and, er, so did The Two Towers.)

Anyway, hopefully we do not have to wait too much longer for Part Three—and once its release is revealed, fingers crossed that it does not then also get delayed!

Expand full comment
author

Excellent thoughts. It's great to see the varied opinions on the two parts here. Glad you appreciated the pun. I'm keen to see what happens with Part Three, but I too have no desire to go read Messiah.

Expand full comment
author
Mar 16·edited Mar 16Author

Thanks, L.J. for joining us and your excellent observations. Tolkien would have some strong words about that Dune vs LotR comparison, no doubt. 😅

The arena fight was something else, that infrared! My favourite part of the movie. I welcomed most of the changes, as it made more sense, esp. for the medium, some I would have done differently, Gurney killing Rabban is one, a weak scene for the sake of completing his revenge arc, but that's OK. Dune: Part Two isn't perfect but it is the best Dune out there and it seems, the audience doesn't mind the changes. I sure prefer the adaptation over the source.

Turning two books into a trilogy is a daunting task, I hope Denis can pull it off. I don't think we'll see much if anything of the Jihad; Dune Messiah takes place in 10208, twelve years after Paul and his Fremen have subjugated the galaxy and Paul has ruled for over a decade. It will be interesting to see how this "House of Cards" drama will unfold in Part Three in 2027/2028.

Expand full comment
Mar 16Liked by Nathan Slake, Alexander Ipfelkofer

Ha, oh dear, do not be cross with me, Tolkien! Maybe I should clarify that I was comparing the film adaptations only.

Expand full comment
author

One does not simply compare Mordor… nice save. ;)

Expand full comment
Apr 2Liked by Claudia Befu Ibarra, Nathan Slake, Alexander Ipfelkofer

Took a while but finished the book and watched both of the movies! Hope you've seen it by now Venessa!

For the purpose of garnering the movie goers I think the adaptation did a great job of getting into the meat of the conflict without going too much detail into the underlying politics. It felt like it was told more from Paul's perspective. I personally enjoyed the political infighting in the Harkonnens but from the movie's perspective it was bit too detached from the main storyline and more of a nice to know part.

Paul in the book and the movie felt slightly different. The book felt like he had more support while in the movie he lost Chani and that felt like a big loss knowing how the book went. Also he doesn't have his sister and son in the movie because they did not do the time jump which was an interesting choice imo because they could have done that as an opener to the part 2. I am assuming they didn't want to tell but show the progress of Paul's growth.

The visuals were fantastic and reimagined some of scenes, especially Geidi Prime. Interesting choice of light setting but I don't think anyone would like to live in such a drab place, or that is the justification everyone's a drug addict in that world.

I laughed hard when you guys talked about Thumpers collectors. and good one Nathan on the Lea Seydouxion.

I would prefer the book over the movie because I felt it had more depth to the plot and agree with Claudia's idea of 17-year-old took the bull by the horns and manifested his destiny felt bit weirder than book version where he is somewhat swept into the role.

I would still recommend it to others to watch but as its own interpretation of the book like the 1985's as there's many deviations from the book.

I watched the movie with my dad and he didn't enjoy it, nor read the book, commenting the pacing was crawling, even in the part 2. Once I told him about certain things then he commented there was too much fan service for the readers that didn't seem to grab his attention.

I enjoyed this movie/book review with you all it was a fun sojourn! Now I am looking forward to your talks on other movie adaptations >.>.

Expand full comment
author

Thanks for getting back to us after reading/watching Dune. I’m happy to read that you found the book a better experience than the movie. I also think that the book offers a richer plot and depth to the story and worldbuilding. And was also sad to see Paul losing Chani in the film. The fact that he could foster such a deep relationship in the book painted him in a different light. Paul is very loyal to Chani emotionally and she sees his true self, beyond the Messiah image others try to impose on him all the time.

That being said, I enjoyed the films immensely. I could never have imagined the Dune world like Denis did. And I found the slow pacing of the film hypnotic. Especially for an action movie. Interesting that your dad commented on that. This slowness is specific to other movie genres like drama, period pieces etc. which I love exactly because of the slowness. 😅 It helps me process everything better. When there’s too much action my brain can’t keep up.

Expand full comment
author

Phone away in another room and sleep. Banish that insomnia ;)

Expand full comment
author

Ooops! I forgot to buy my melatonin medicine...

Expand full comment
author

😆

Expand full comment
author

Thanks, Jethoof. All great observations, esp. about the pacing, which both my friend and I noticed as well, for me there was too much walking about going on. Interesting about the fan service, one might easily also say disservice with all the changes, guess it depends on the kind of fan, can't please them all. Since I have no interest in reading any other Dune books, I am happy that Denis is doing a third part and I think only then can we really measure this adaptation. 2028.

Expand full comment
Mar 16Liked by Nathan Slake, Alexander Ipfelkofer

I much preferred part 2 to 1. The acting was much better and more of the story is there.

As for the work as a whole, I think calling it a masterpiece is either cheeky or generous. It is a well-crafted commercial adaptation that takes no risks whatsoever.

Expand full comment
author

It's visually gorgeous, aurally, too. If you take those two elements away, then what is left? I guess that's why I felt the characters were hollow.

Expand full comment
Mar 16Liked by Nathan Slake, Alexander Ipfelkofer

There's a lot missing and many more missed opportunities. But I also understand. He wanted to be able to make three of them, so they each would have to sell well to a large audience.

Expand full comment
author

Yep, and he did manage that. Not a small feat.

Expand full comment
author

I think you said previously that Messiah is your favourite of the books? Or do I misremember? Do you think Denis can close off the whole story with Part Three?

Expand full comment
Mar 16Liked by Nathan Slake, Alexander Ipfelkofer

God Emperor is my favorite 😏🪱

Yes, I think he's focused on telling Paul and Jessica's stories, and he'll use Messiah and perhaps a few clippings of Children to finish it off. He's made it clear he doesn't want to go any further than that.

Expand full comment