Dune (2021) on Apple TV Rental — Villeneuve is a SciFi Genre Genius

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SciFi genre is unusual in the movie industry. Hollywood and creative types love the variety and freedom scifi can give them. In Blade Runner, the very first thing we see are large, building sized Japanese bill boards and flying cop cars. Normally, you would expect the movie to explain how that happened.

However, this is a science fiction story, set in the future. You naturally assume that, in this future, that’s how life is. That’s the answer. Unlimited creative freedom. Naturally, one would assume that we would have endless number of science fiction movies. A deluge of them, like, MCU movies. However, the assumption, is a wrong one. We rarely get scifi movies. They don’t make much money, but, they cost a lot to make.

Blade Runner and Blade Runner 2070, are both certified box office flops. So, is classic Dune, and, probably, this new Dune too.

I put all this preamble, because, directors, are only as good as the financial performance of their last movie. So, most directors stop working on these science fiction movies. Which is why, I am very happy that we have Villeneuve. The guy made Arrival, a low budget, alien invasion movie. Then, he somehow gets to do Blade Runner 2070, and immediately moves on to Dune.

He is in the running for Dune 2, and, also, something that I am really excited for, Rendezvous with Rama.

Obviously, I like this guy and I hope, Warner Bros keeps financing and distributing his movies, even if they don't make much money.

Enough with my meandering. Let’s get to this movie.

Uncompromising Visuals

The Dunes in Dune!

I remember watching Arrival and thinking, what can this guy do with a bigger budget. That thought became a reality with Blade Runner 2070. Plenty of times, I watch 2070, just to keep my eyes rested and my ears calm. It was inevitable Villeneuve would exceed himself with Dune.

An amateur photographer can take fantastic photos of the desert. A desert looks awesome by definition. Bright sunlight. Sand that looks like water. Obvious, Villeneuve guy can make that look impressive, all over. He does not disappoint.

Before watching this, I watched the Dune from the 80s.

I had something to compare to, and it also made it easy to follow the epic story. I have mentioned before that the story is a classic ‘Hero’s Journey’. Prophecy says that this guy is awesome. I mean, he will become awesome. He becomes awesome. That’s about it. Like Neo in The Matrix. With me already aware of the story, my experience was more about how this ‘remake’ works.

Dune 1984 was already big budget and has incredible sets, visuals and fantastic acting. Dune 2021, just as big budget with massive sets. I mean, digital sets. The movie is the epitome of everything we have come to expect with modern film making with all its facilities and advanced technology.

Great Cast. Again.

I love the cast. I still like the actor from Dune 1984 as Paul. From the opening scene and his evolution to the final, worm riding hero, the transformation is awesome.

I cannot say the same for the Paul from the new Dune. I like Timothée Chalamet, sure, but he’s okay. But everybody else is just as awesome in the old movie. I am most impressed with the Stellan Skarsgård as Baron Vladimir Harkonnen. The previous Baron was like this bizarre, hammy portrayal who flew around like a baloon, which I like, also. This time, it’s more slow and menacing and pure evil.

Like Voldemort level of evil. You feel it oozing out of his body and into your eyes from the screen. Scary stuff. Josh Brolin and Oscar Isaac are equally excellent as the Duke and Gurney.

Gurney is smiling, eh?

As it is with the previous adaptation, I am once again impressed with the excellent character and portrayal of Lady Jessica. Rebecca Ferguson is just as hot as Francesca Annis, and they both are the key to enjoying this movie. The women go out of their way to keep their son safe, and they maintain their calm in the toughest of situations.

In another universe, they should be making a movie about Lady Jessica. She defied her agency of sisters and gave birth to a son out of love. When you are part of a sisterhood, the rules are pretty tight. She risks that risk. Out of love, she allows the Duke a son. She probably did not realize that this boy will be the end of her lover, The Duke, and also the end of an entire nation.

However, she trains him, keeps a close eye and raises him to be confident, skilled and nice.

Such a fantastic role, and both actresses just doing a great job. Looking hot and kicking ass with great parenting.

Final Note

More Sand Worms Please

The earlier movie had lot of phallic shaped worms. This time, we have a lot of anus shaped worms!

Those wonderful anus shapes.

It looks like we cannot escape human anatomy comparisons. Anyway, I wish, I got to see more of the worms. I really wanted to do see them. Just crawling around and being menacing and all that. I mean, sure, we will see them in the inevitable sequel, but, who knows how long that will take.

Still, this is an incredibly beautiful movie with the usual standards we expect from this genius director. Like 2070, I will be watching this movie again and again.

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