I finally got around to seeing the new Dune movie. I saw the David Lynch, or Alan Smithee, version years ago and enjoyed it but I’ve always kind of enjoyed weird stuff. I even read the first book in the series earlier this year. One of the main reasons I read the book was because of Henry Zebrowski talking about it on Last Podcast on the Left. He then deepened my knowledge of it with his podcast about the series as a whole.
Dune part 1 was directed by Denis Villeneuve. It was written by Villeneuve, Jon Spaihts, and Eric Roth and was based on Dune by Frank Herbert. I’ve not actually seen that many of Denis Villeneuve’s movies, but what I’ve seen has been quite good. He has an amazing eye for visuals while also taking time for character moments. I appreciate that he doesn’t just focus on the big moments in stories.
It stars Timothée Chalamet, Rebecca Ferguson, Oscar Isaac, Josh Brolin, Stellan Skarsgård, Dave Bautista, Stephen McKinley Henderson, Zendaya, Chang Chen, Sharon Duncan-Brewster, Charlotte Rampling, Jason Momoa, Javier Bardem, and David Dastmalchian. Jason Momoa brings his natural charisma to what was kind of a one note character in the book. The actors that they cast in the roles do an amazing job. Most of the changes that occur in the movie are in the writing of the characters.
Dune part 1 is only a partial adaptation of Dune. It shuffles some of the events around and it doesn’t really have an effect on the plot. They could have added some knowledge from the other books in the series, but I don’t know for sure. They did change some of the characters, but the changes aren’t major enough to make me not enjoy the movie. The way that they split the story the next movie will have a lot more of the political intrigue as well as the more action heavy parts of the story.
The production design and costumes in Dune part 1 is just absolutely amazing. Each place you visit has a distinct feel. The practical effects, especially for Baron Harkonnen, look fantastic. The visual effects are breathtaking. The score by Hans Zimmer is good. I will say that when you hire Hans Zimmer you know what you’ll be getting.
Dune part 1 is a good movie but you can tell that it’s only a partial story. I watched it on HBO Max which is probably the least optimal way to see it but the theater near me is closed on most of the days of the week. I will see part 2 in theaters because it will have much more of a spectacle feel to it. I will give Dune part 1 10 thumpers out of 10.