"Dune" (2021) | Sam Gall Movie Review Issue #143 Gem Mint 10.0


“Dune“ (2021)

Director: Denis Villeneuve

Writer: Frank Herbert (novel), Jon Spaihts, Denis Villeneuve, Eric Roth

Starring: Timothee Chalamet, Rebecca Ferguson, Oscar Isaac, Jason Momoa, Stellan Skarsgard, Stephen McKinley Henderson, Josh Brolin, Sharon Duncan-Brewster, Chang Chen, Dave Bautista, David Dastmalchian, Charlotte Rampling, Zendaya, Babs Olusanmokun, Benjamin Clementine, Roger Yuan

Rated: PG-13 for sequences of strong violence, some disturbing images and suggestive material

Runtime: 2h 35m

Genre: Action | Adventure | Drama | Sci-fi

Country: United States | Canada

Language: English | Mandarin

Available on: Various VOD platforms / HBO Max


"Feature adaptation of Frank Herbert's science fiction novel, about the son of a noble family entrusted with the protection of the most valuable asset and most vital element in the galaxy."


You might like this if you like: 'Dune', Frank Herbert, Denis Villeneuve, Action, Adventure, Drama, Science Fiction, Fantasy, Timothee Chalamet, Rebecca Ferguson, Oscar Isaac, Jason Momoa, Stellan Skarsgard, Stephen McKinley Henderson, Josh Brolin, Sharon Duncan-Brewster, Chang Chen, Dave Bautista, David Dastmalchian, Charlotte Rampling, Zendaya, Babs Olusanmokun, Benjamin Clementine, Roger Yuan


Recommend reading my review for "Dune" (1984) because that's where I review the actual story


Timothee Chalamet in “Dune“ (2021)


Yes, I watched this on the biggest screen I could. As I did the original film. Both were glorious, but yes, this one was really immersive and the technology we have today amps up the entire ‘Dune’ experience which was what that story always deserved. I still give massive props for what they were able to do back in 1984, but now let’s try it with when the technology has caught up, and take the audience as close as we can to the planet Arrakis.

I do want to lead with the fact that I was not a fan of Denis Villeneuve’s comments towards Marvel films, specifically the way he generalized them all calling them “cut and paste films”. I don’t like the discrimination and generalization I keep finding in cinema whether it be the 'horror' genre, 'superhero' genre', whatever. I see genres like races. I see film like humans. Why can't we all accept our differences and tastes?


It also showed he clearly has not caught up with what Marvel has been doing in the past few years. If you’re going to criticize, the least you can do is keep up with what they’re doing, and then make a more educated comment, because from where I’m standing, his comments and a few others sound years old to me as Marvel is flying right past them. DC even too. There can always be the possibility of good and bad films within EVERY genre, and everything is subjective anyways.


I just didn’t like, and haven’t liked most of these jabs, because they’re usually very assuming and they think it’s just a general consensus and everyone will agree with them. When I see comments like that, I feel like an outcast for liking them. They’re not hurting anyone, let the people who enjoy them enjoy them. We don’t talk crap about your movies. They’re all movies. Can we just embrace all these differences in this beautiful medium? And when you’re someone in Villenueve’s position who’s working on a film with 6 massive Marvel stars, of which some would give their kidney up for an opportunity like that, and god knows how many crew members working on it too, who you could actually talk to about this, and in a position where you could actually add something to the genre that you enjoy yourself. You’re just insulting your crew member’s work at that point from where I see it.


Here's my favorite quote in response to Villeneuve's comments from Scott Derrickson who LEFT Marvel, and still got their backs:



I had also heard that Denis Villeneuve had never heard of Zendaya before she auditioned. Which is why he made her audition and he apologized for. I think as a filmmaker, especially one of his stature, and he’s playing with the biggest toys in Hollywood, I think it’s the small contribution to your craft of knowing what else is being made in your industry and who is out there doing some really incredible work. She’s huge, and if you’re able to get someone like that, knowing what she’s done only helps you as a director to know what she’s capable of and where you can push in new directions. That’s just my two cents. Now on to the review.


Oscar Isaac (left) & Jason Momoa (right) in “Dune“ (2021)


After seeing David Lynch’s version, I couldn’t wait to see what 40 some years of technology can do to a story like Dune. It felt like it was given the time and patience needed for it to breathe freely and get to know this world. I forgot to mention in my review for Lynch’s, that I did have some trouble remembering all of the names first time around, whereas this one felt it gave our characters the time we were missing from the previous.

Going in, I was not the most captured with Timothee Chalemet’s previous work, though I didn’t have any particular problems with him either, I just never got all the hype around him that much. I thought he was pretty hilarious in “Lady Bird” and did a wonderful job on ‘Saturday Night Live’ which was fairly new I know, but that’s also what kind of helped convince me to go to see him in this. I think I can easily say I enjoyed Chalamet much more than MacLachlan, but at the same time they’re not even comparable. Just born of different times. I think MacLachlan made sense for Lynch’s and worked for Lynch’s as Chalamet worked for Villeneuve’s and for this time as did all of the other elements and actors I think. Very exciting role for everyone but opens me up to watching more of Chalamet’s work.


Zendaya in “Dune“ (2021)


Zendaya was my hook. She’s been one of the highlights in cinema for me in the last few years and has been doing something more and more exciting each time! ‘Euphoria’ and our latest ‘MJ’ in the ‘Spider Man’ films just to name a few! I had already heard going in that she was going to be in a small role, though the trailers pushed her a little too much to make us think she’d have bigger, but knowing from the story of I knew she was not expected to have a huge role especially in the beginning. So I was able to really enjoy the moments she had, while being swept away by the rest of the film. She did an outstanding job and the right amount of mystery, ferocity, beauty and wonder I expected from her.


Rebecca Ferguson as ‘Lady Jessica Atreides’ was pure gold! I had not been super familiar with her work before, I loved ‘Mission Impossible: Fallout’ though she wasn’t the most standout part of that film, but she really was for me in this! Favorite character by far and I just loved how this adaption really bumped up her significance and strength to the story!


Stellan Skarsgard in “Dune“ (2021)

Jason Mamoa was another highlight for me from ‘Game of Thrones’, ‘See’ and ‘Aquaman’! I thought his action sequences were really amazing and I loved how they seemed to really embrace his fighting style and put that into the character. Josh Brolin was a pure classic to watch playing the role of ‘Gurney’, excited to see more of him. I thought Oscar Isaac did a wonderful job! Loved him ever since ‘Ex Machina’ and the ‘Star Wars’ films and very excited for him playing Marc Spector aka Marvel’s ‘Moonknight’.


Rebecca Ferguson in “Dune“ (2021)


Stellan Skarsgard was an exciting surprise! I was a bit distracted from all the other A listers in this film, so seeing him as the ‘Baron’ was really cool. I loved the film’s new take on that character and I’m a huge fan of Stellan’s! David Dastmalchian (‘The Dark Knight’, ‘Ant-Man’ & ‘The Suicide Squad’) and Dave Bautista (‘Guardians of the Galaxy’ & ‘Blade Runner 2049’) were so fun to watch but I’m hoping we get to see more them in upcoming films.


Both Javier Bardem and Charlotte Rampling were so amazing I didn’t even know they were in the film until the credits rolled. Two masters hidden so deeply in their characters. I loved it!


Timothee Chalamet in “Dune“ (2021)


I don’t think I got one second of boredom while watching ‘Dune’, which I had heard was the consensus before going in, and was surprised at even though there’s a lot more story to tell, I couldn’t have been more entertained. The world, characters and structure for more to tell worked only for the best and I can’t wait to see where they take it next!


Written by Sam Gall on Nov 11, 2021


CGC Grading: Gem Mint 10.0


"A film that is sweeping in scope, rich with the kind of computer-graphics that we've come to expect and characters that -- for the most part -- feel fully fleshed out." - Dan Webster, Spokesman-Review (Washington)


"This is a movie that aimed to essentially wrangle a monumental and deeply intricate work of science-fiction into a popular Hollywood product, with an end result that is perfectly adequate, and safe." - Soham Gadre, Film Inquiry


"This updated, fresh, fully conceptualized adaptation of Frank Herbert's bestseller is a swashbuckling futuristic interplanetary epic. Writer/Director Denis Villeneuve finally brings a long pandemic delayed version of a very complicated tale..." - Linda and Al Lerner, Movies and Shakers


"Dune is an extraordinarily beautiful movie. Like, gasping for breath, tears at the corners of the eyes beautiful." - Robert Slack, SooToday.com


"It's visionary and futuristic, and it's the kind of classic Hollywood epic that doesn't get made very much anymore: with enormous sets, over 2,000 costumes, deft juggling of many characters-their motivations, secrets and ideals." - Samuel R. Murrian, Parade Magazine


"Denis Villeneuve's new big-screen adaptation underlines why generations have been fascinated by the story." - Alissa Wilkinson, Vox


Official Trailer:


Behind the Scenes:


#Dune #DenisVilleneuve #TimotheeChalamet #JoshBrolin #DaveBaustista #StellanSkarsgard #Zendaya #JasonMomoa #OscarIsaac #RebeccaFerguson #ChangChen #Marvel #DavidDastmalchian #CharlotteRampling #JavierBardem

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