Transcript: Dune (2021)

Transcript of 70mm’s Dune (2021) Episode.

SLIM Hey, it’s your old pal Slim. And this is 70mm, a podcast for film lovers. Every Monday, I’m joined by dear friend and artist Danny Haas.

DANNY I need the person whose decision was to shave off Momoa’s beard fired. He looked like a baked potato in the poop suit.

SLIM And our spiritual advisor, Protolexus.

PROTO When you have the second the biggest event since the resurrection of Jesus Christ, there’s no way you’re not going to have a sequel to it.

SLIM And together as friends forever we discuss recently watched movies. In the second half of this episode, we’re focusing on the biggest release since Star Wars: The Force Awakens… Dune. Is this a five banger or a dud without an ending? Let’s hold hands and find out together.

[70mm theme song ramps up, plays alone, fades out]

SLIM Dune is here. It’s time. I’m just going to throw out a few quotes that I saw in reviews ahead of this episode. Quote, “Better than Star Wars.”

PROTO Scandalous.

DANNY Who was it who said that?

SLIM I’m not going to name names. This is a safe zone for Dune.

DANNY Someone said that?

SLIM Someone said that. “Better than Star Wars.” “This is my Matrix.”

DANNY Someone said that too?

SLIM Yeah.

PROTO That was the same person one?

DANNY One sentence?

SLIM No, separate people said this.

DANNY I still want them both banned. [Slim laughs]

SLIM So I’m just gonna set the stage. This is the probably the biggest episode in show history. We’re probably gonna have, you know, people checking us out — “Dune, Dune, love Dune. I’ve got to see what these folks are saying about Dune.” Proto, what’s your emotional state? You grew up on the Dune books. And at the bottom the hour, we’re gonna get into Dune 2021.

PROTO A page of Dune was put into my morning cereal for three years. I ate the entire book. It’s a part of me. So this is a big moment.

SLIM We put a poll on Instagram. “Have you seen Dune?” You know, polling the audience with a vibrant Instagram audience. @70mm pod on Instagram, check us out. 70% said yes.

DANNY Wow.

SLIM How many times have you seen Dune ahead of this recording, Danny?

DANNY I will say I probably have seen it four times.

SLIM Four times?!

PROTO What? [Proto laughs]

DANNY Yeah.

SLIM Should we hear Danny’s rating right now for Dune?

PROTO Wait how many times in theater?

DANNY Once in theater. Every other time on HBO Max.

SLIM Oh my gosh!

DANNY My initial viewing was IMAX.

SLIM There’s no need for a prayer circle — Jason in chat from Dune Pod. He’s asking to sage the room ahead of these ratings. You’re safe right now according to what I just heard. Gom Jabbar. [Slim & Danny laugh] So we’ll get into that at the bottom of the hour. But before we do that, I do want to talk about one thing that I saw. I don’t think we talked about on this show. But someone watched a 4K disc of Psycho — the OG. Can we get into this please? And tell me how this experience was?

DANNY So I would say, Psycho sat on my top for for a long time. I honestly, once we get back out a spooky season, it might come back on my top four. I bought the 60th anniversary 4K, uncut, Psycho. And from what I read real quickly on the back, the uncut was the original theatrical release that Hitchcock wanted, and I believe they recut it for a wider audience for a shorter film — or something I can’t remember. I don’t know. But what I will say is this 4K transfer is incredible. There were moments where — I think I was watching it with Casey, who also loves Psycho as much as me. And I think there’s probably just moments where I made a noise just because of what I was looking at. The quality —

PROTO Could you make it for us?

DANNY It was kind of like, “Ohhh.” [Slim laughs] Something like that.

PROTO You cut out. What was it?

DANNY You have to listen back. I don’t know if I can do that again. We’re gonna get — Slim.

SLIM We just got word, we just got kicked off a discord.

DANNY I just couldn’t — from the first shot where it like pans into her apartment and they’re talking and I couldn’t get over how good the quality of this 4K was. And I don’t know if I remember – I didn’t really catch what was cut out from previous viewings. I think maybe just stuff was trimmed for time, but it’s gorgeous. It’s really great. It was a good time. It’s one of my favorite movies ever. I just love this movie a lot. So if you have the means to pick up a 4K of Psycho, I definitely recommend that because it’s an impressive transfer.

SLIM So this was like a separate Psycho release. Because isn’t there a bundled disc that has a few of the Hitchcock ones?

DANNY Yeah there’s one with like, Vertigo and Rear Window and Psycho and probably another one — probably Birds most likely, three of those. What I got was a steelbook that was released at Best Buy for the 60th.

SLIM Man alive. Physco.

DANNY It’s perfect. It’s absolutely perfect.

SLIM How come your wife, Casey, will watch the movie Psycho but she won’t go on a ghost hunt with us to a haunted house?

DANNY It’s the fact that ghosts are real. And Psycho is not.

SLIM She’s afraid of like an entity attached to her and coming home.

DANNY She’s not gonna mess with the paranormal in real life. Correct. I will. I’ll touch.

PROTO She’ll mess with psychos though. [Slim laughs]

DANNY Yeah, she married me, so.

SLIM I remember watching that movie recently and being so weirded out that she gets in the shower before turning the water on. Do people do that?

DANNY That’s the most psychotic thing in the movie!

SLIM She puts her head under the spout and then turns it on.

DANNY Right, nobody does about a psycho.

PROTO Does she take cold showers? Because if she takes cold showers that’s a perfect way.

SLIM Because that was a steamy scene in more ways than one.

DANNY It gets steamy.

SLIM Physically and emotionally. Yeah, there’s steam in that room.

DANNY Man, there’s an amazing shot. The shot where after all that scene is over and she’s hanging out of the bathtub. And it pans out from her eye to her leaning over the tub. Man what a shot in 4K. Impressively good.

PROTO I heard Hitchcock shot it with 4K in mind.

DANNY Yeah, no, no, he was that much of a visionary.

SLIM Cut the stream. Delete Proto from the chat. [Danny & Proto laugh]

PROTO C’monnn!

SLIM Real quick before we hear about any other movies, I do want to say hello to some new friends this week to our Patreon. Four bucks a month you can get access to our Discord, listen to us live as we record this and also our exclusive episodes in the 70mm vault that aren’t available to the regular public. Harakiri just dropped. Matrix 2 just dropped. Trevor, Andy, Jamie, Isabella, Alex and Brandon all joined this past week so thank you for joining us.

DANNY Thank you. Let me talk about one more 4K real quick that I watched for the first time.

SLIM Okay.

DANNY The Shining in 4K. It is incredibly good. I could not get over it and I talked Casey into watching it with me finally. She had been dodging watching this with me for a long time. It’s incredible in 4K as well. These older films shot not — I don’t know, there’s just something about these transfers of these older films that are just looking absolutely incredible in 4K. It’s something special. I enjoy watching older films grainy and stuff like that like it doesn’t bother me but man, to see it kind of crisp and you know Kubrick would be all over having a 4KL transfer The Shining.

PROTO Oh baby.

SLIM It’s probably because they shot on film right? They just shot on expensive film and that just transfers so well.

DANNY Yeah and I had seen in theaters the 4K transfer the release of 2001 which is another insanely gorgeous movie. But The Shining is something incredible and I love that movie.

PROTO Man, remember Nicholson and that staircase? That scene — never forget.

SLIM He’s like — what was that jacket he had on? That like red — velour? Is it velour?

DANNY It’s like corduroy.

PROTO Suede.

SLIM Suede?

DANNY Corduroy.

SLIM How many fabrics can we name? [Slim & Danny laugh]

PROTO Just name them all.

SLIM Oh god. Eyes Wide Shut in 4K will require an ID to purchase.

DANNY That’s an all time Letterboxd review of yours too, Slim. [Slim & Proto laugh]

SLIM Let’s see, we do give away a free year of Letterboxd Pro, so if you want to read my Eyes Wide Shut R-rated review without ads popping up, share the show on social media and you get a chance to win a free year of Letterboxd Pro, no ads. This week’s winner, MsJessR on Twitter. Free year of Letterboxd Pro, congratulations.

DANNY Congrats.

PROTO Congrats!

SLIM She sent out a quote tweet this week.

DANNY Oh my.

SLIM About our most recent episode, Suspiria. “Sorry to Slim and Danny but this episode was Proto’s time to shine. Personal fave lines include “You just gotta go with the vibe, man” and the ruthless “No, you had your moment.”” [Proto & Danny laugh]

DANNY All time.

PROTO He had a good show.

SLIM Great show. Great time listen to that Goblin soundtrack. Who posted the Goblin vinyl in Discord this week?

DANNY Someone has it.

SLIM Is that Ben? Who was that? Show yourself again. Please.

PROTO Coward. [Slim & Proto laugh]

SLIM Proto, did you watch any movies this week?

PROTO I did. There’s one movie that I have to talk about. I watched The Innocents.

SLIM Ohhhhh.

PROTO Jack Clayton directed from 1961. It’s based on the book The Turn of the Screw by Henry James. Woof. I gave this five stars. This was an experience. This is a special horror movie to me. And I know we gave our top five horror movies last week but — breaking — I have to update. This is now in my top five.

SLIM Wow.

PROTO Onibaba is out. I had to put it in. This movie is just so good. And I had to write — I wrote this long review. I just felt like I wanted to talk to someone about this movie. So I had to talk to myself. So I wrote, you know, a longer review. Hadn’t felt this way probably about a movie and the story since I watched the original The Fly, where I love that story too. But it’s just brilliant. Some of the things that it feels so modern, all the — I won’t spoil anything, but just the presentation of the character Jessel is amazing. Just every scene that she was involved in, loved it. Yeah, highly recommend this.

SLIM Yeah, I remember watching this, we bought the blu-ray. And because this wasn’t on the Criterion last year when I had the track it down. It was hard to find, wasn’t on YouTube. But some of the scenes in there I thought are like genuinely frightening. And let alone in the 60s. People must pooping themselves seen this movie back then.

PROTO It’s also written by Truman Capote, which you know, I know the name of course.

SLIM Ever heard of him?

PROTO Philip Seymour Hoffman movie. He has In Cold Blood, the famous book. But yeah, just seeing him flex on us in this adaptation.

SLIM Capote. I think it’s pronounced Ca-poe-tay. No, I have no idea. [Slim laughs]

DANNY Don’t listen to that please.

SLIM Please god, don’t trust me on that.

PROTO Has he ever lied to us before?

DANNY It’s true.

SLIM For anyone that — there’s probably some Netflix fans out there. The Haunting of Bly House is based on the same work as The Innocents, so take that for what you will.

DANNY Yeah, I saw Proto;s review come in for it. And I saw that you had also, Slim, gave it five stars. So I turned it on while I was working and then I got like maybe 10 minutes in and I’m like, oh, I can’t do this while I’m working. I’m already needing to have a sit down with this movie. So I stopped it. Hopefully gonna jump back in this weekend to watch the whole thing because I was just kind of I really enjoyed the beginning. And I kept like, damn, I got to work so I stopped it. So I need to give this a good watch through because I’m excited.

SLIM I’m anxious to see what you think. Anything else, Proto?

PROTO Only other thing I’ll mention is I finally watched the The Wolf Man from 1941. I think that was the last that one I needed to watch of the Universal Monsters.

DANNY Nice.

PROTO I gave it three stars. You know, I just — I really love the whole werewolf thing. I’m just gonna, you know, watch more of these movies. And I know Danny didn’t love this. I thought it was okay. It’s just like the main actor is just so bad. He’s like one of the worst castings I’ve ever seen. So it’s hard for that reason. But there is a Bela Lugosi cameo in this which is really good. Yeah, our boi.

DANNY I will say my biggest gripe was not just the actor, the character itself. He was just an a-hole. I was like, oh, I don’t want to even — I don’t even know how to like pull for that guy. Like I was like, oh, should I — should I be — I don’t know how to act watching this movie and I just really hated that guy.

PROTO Where are your earrings? “What earrings?” The ones you were wearing. I saw you in the window wearing, I was watching you. [Proto laughs]

DANNY Creep. Oh man. Yeah, I didn’t enjoy it. You’re right. But I’m glad you got to watch all the movie monsters. That’s fun. Good time.

SLIM Wasn’t the Invisible Man also a creep?

PROTO A little psychotic that guy.

DANNY He’s just crazy. Yeah.

SLIM Do I want to talk about anything before we get into Dune? Real quick. I watched The Passionate Friends.

PROTO Oh, yeah!

SLIM On the Criterion. 1949. This was a top four for an upcoming Letterboxd Show episode. David Lean, you might remember that name from Proto’s journey. And what else did he do? Lawrence of Arabia. Let’s see, a woman is torn between the love of her life who was married to someone else and her older husband. So Anne Todd is the lead. Claude Rains is in this. And Trevor Howard. And I watched this, you know, it’s about the main characters kind of. She had a relationship with this one guy. But she married Claude Rains for like money and stability, etc. They have like a respect for each other. But she’s still like, she meets up with this guy years later, and they have a tryst and are found out. And then nine years later, they happen to be staying at the same hotel room next to each other. So they have like this kind of day out, this weekend out. And she’s thrown back into these feelings of like, oh god, did I make the right decision? And I thought it was, I gave it five stars. I watched it twice. I watched the first time for the show. And I was like, I think I want to watch this again. Never been done. [Proto laughs]

DANNY Excuse me.

SLIM I watched it again. I couldn’t get over how they conveyed the regret in the lead actress. There are so many shots in it where the camera just shows her in a moment with her husband or in a moment at home, where she’s thinking, did I make a mistake? And it’s like this long 30 second shot of just her sitting, thinking. And I was just really taken aback by that. Also, the ending is insane. Another thing, like 1949, I called it out in my review but the ending involves something that I thought is extremely bold for 1949 and still holds up today in my opinion. I thought it was fantastic.

DANNY Wow.

PROTO We got to fire this up. It’s on Criterion.

SLIM It’s on the Criterion Channel right meow.

PROTO If I may.

DANNY Yeah.

PROTO Slim, you also saw another movie. You saw Edgar Wright’s new movie this week.

SLIM I did.

PROTO Last Night in Soho. And I have to say, I read your review. I was pretty perturbed. [Slim laughs] He didn’t give any stars. And I was really ready to go off on you about this. You know, you’re complaining about being the first person in your group of friends to see a movie, you felt like it is daunting to leave a rating, you have like this out about being on The Letterboxd Show and you’re not going to give a star rating. I’m just thinking, “coward, coward, coward.” You know, that’s what I was thinking I was ready just to you know, say all these things that I’m saying right now. But then I thought, you know what, I need to give Slim time to grow. [Slim laugh] I think you could grow into being someone who won’t have that fear, you know, who will be brave in these moments and give the rating. So I just want to say just, you know, just think about that. [Slim & Danny laugh]

SLIM Proto, we’re just categorically different in that respect. If you were on The Letterboxd Show, you were having Edgar Wright’s new movie, the first one, you would have no issues dropping a one star, two star.

PROTO I mean, I was like, is Edgar going to be on the show? I’m ready. [Slim laughs]

SLIM All I’ll say about that review, I mean, Marcie gave it three stars. What’s more to say? In our Discord. Speaks for itself.

PROTO Settled.

DANNY It’s over.

SLIM But I had a great time. I went to the Philadelphia Film Center.

DANNY Nice.

SLIM Had a screening, Secret Screening. I’m so out of the loop on the film, you know, the inner workings of Center City Philadelphia and film groups, film businesses, film — I don’t know what the word I’m looking for. But when I got there, I said I was there for the Soho screening and I probably should have kept my mouth shut because I think it was a Secret Screening for members. And it’s probably like a popular thing in memberships where you know, they have a secret screenings. I think a smalltony goes to music box in Chicago and I think he’s mentioned secret screenings before but I have no idea what the eff a Secret Screening is. You know, I’m laying on my floor watching HBO Max every night. So but then they had like someone introduced the movie and they’re like, oh, it’s you know, thanks for coming, thanks to members, you know, it’s a best kept secret in in town, but we’re watching Last Night in Soho.

DANNY Up until five minutes ago. [Danny laughs]

SLIM And I wondered, like, I guess there’s word of mouth in the memberships, in the groups that like, oh, I heard we’re watching, you know, Last Night in Soho or something like that, but I just thought it was a pretty cool experience that I kind of want to be a part of those groups, you know? Like, the memberships and like, what’s that experience like? Everyone just shows up Monday night for a movie and it’s in Philadelphia, and they don’t know what it is? That that idea is like, crazy to me. You know? What if it’s a movie you don’t want to see? [music from Dune plays] This is the big release this year, simultaneous day and date release on HBO Max, much to the chagrin of many industry insiders. And this has been delayed for so long. We tried to scoop our friends at Dune Pod, but you know what, it felt right to let things simmer. Let things marinate, gestate, in our Discord, and all those reviews out there, all those rewatches and this is our moment now. Denis Villeneuve’s Dune. Proto, what is this movie?

PROTO Before I give the synopsis, I know a lot of people feel a lot of tension right now. A lot of anxiety. They’re nervous. So I wrote a few jokes. So I’m gonna start it with a joke right now. And just you know, get everybody feeling relaxed. So… knock knock.

DANNY Who’s there?

PROTO Shai.

DANNY Shai who?

PROTO [Proto chants] [clip of Paul’s Dream by Hans Zimmer plays]

SLIM God damn.

PROTO Now, Slim producer, I’m gonna need you to just put the Shadout Mapes over me singing it at that moment. You know, just so it’s like timed perfectly.

DANNY Please.

PROTO So I wrote a little poem for the summary. Our story begins with a boy named Paul, who lives on the planet Caladan. His family is moving to a place called Arrakis, it’s known for its worms and sand. It’s also got this stuff called melange or spice, it makes space travel super easy. But the planet is full of people called the Fremen who spit a lot and might make you queasy. Daddy Atreides is scared of the Baron who could attack at any hour. Harkonnens are ruthless and ugly and stupid, but Daddy has a plan: desert power. [Slim laughs] Betrayed by a Yueh, Paul and mom are hunted, sent to the desert to die. Paul can snort the spice and see giant buttholes maybe? Hard to say, he was high. Dad is dead and mom is preggers, Paul, a Fremen weep. But before you are the Kwisatz Haderach, you must first be Muad’Dib. Dune.

[music from Dune ramps up, fades out]

SLIM The poet is back. He’s back. Took 80 episodes but he’s back.

PROTO Unreal.

SLIM The hype for this moment. Now I’m not talking about the movie, I’m talking the hype for this moment of the show. You know? Our reviews have been hidden. Ratings hidden. But everything has been leading to this moment. Movie is out. Everyone’s seen it. Danny’s seen it five times by now. Proto, you grew up on these books. What was your experience? You saw this in theaters, right? You didn’t watch it at home?

*PROTO I did. Yeah. So Jenna and I — jrscrolling on Letterboxd — went to see this. We saw it in the IMAX on Saturday night. And I’m glad I did. I’m glad I saw this in the IMAX because I watched it in the IMAX and then I did watch it at home. And I’m here to say Denis was right. It’s a different experience.

SLIM Wooow.

PROTO It’s a different experience. And I’m glad that I can say — I can tell my children, my grandchildren — I was there. I was there to see it in theater.

SLIM What did Jenna think?

PROTO You know, I really wanted to record her thoughts. That was the plan after we get out, we record. But you know, the babysitter, we had to pick up the kids and then after that Jenna, she just kind of lost steam. So I would still love to sit down and talk to her about it, but I will say she’s not a five star. I’m gonna say that now. She’s not a five star. What did she say?

SLIM Is she a four star?

PROTO She had some complaints. I don’t know. She didn’t give me a firm answer. She’s usually like a one star or a five star. It’s either good or bad.

DANNY I respect that.

PROTO But I think she was leaning somewhere in the middle but I don’t know what the middle is for her.

SLIM Stay tuned next week to get Jenna’s official thoughts on Dune.

DANNY Could be my special guest.

SLIM Ohhhh. [Slim & Danny laugh] I forgot later in the show, Danny is going to announce his movie but then also a guest that Proto and I have no idea is for next week. That’s right. We don’t know who the guest is next week. It’s never happened on a podcast before. A shock guest. What about you Danny, you saw the preview, you went to theaters to see the preview and you’re sitting down in the IMAX, walk us through it.

DANNY After the preview I think we recorded around that time and maybe even that night, I was impressed by what I saw for the preview, what Hans was doing. So coming in to the IMAX, I went to my favorite IMAX theater here in Orlando, the Point Orlando Regal. Incredible screen, incredible sound. And I was really excited, super excited for this movie. Yeah, then it started.

SLIM It delivered. Is that what you were about to say?

DANNY Oh no, no. That’s not what I was gonna say. Don’t put words in my mouth please.

SLIM On the fifth viewing it delivered. [Slim laughs] Let’s see. So I you know, notoriously was saying I’m gonna sit at home, eat a chicky parm, get a strawberry smoothie, oat milk smoothie from WaWa. There’s the image in chat. It didn’t happen though. I had a very busy week, could not weasel in my original plans at home. So I went over to Amanda and I was like, “what do you think about me going to see Dune in theaters tonight?” And then she said “I don’t give a fuck.” [Danny & Slim & Proto laugh] So I went to see it in IMAX partially because I didn’t know what my review was going to be. But if I gave it a negative review, you know everyone wouldn’t shut the eff up about me seeing it at home and giving it a negative review.

DANNY 100%.

SLIM So I wanted to shut them up fast.

PROTO Shut ’em up.

SLIM In a preempt them, the whining. So I saw it in theaters and went to the Regal and I saw it in IMAX. My first note for Dune and the balls of Denis to put Part One under the title when allegedly this wasn’t greenlit. There’s no way.

DANNY No way.

SLIM He’s putting Part One under the title card if this wasn’t back of the envelope, backdoor handshake with Legendary, you’re going to get this and this is happening. Right? Like we got scammed! We got scammed. The only thing I can think of is if Legendary to him was like, “Don’t worry, you make like $50 million box office US, you got it in the bag.” And then maybe that’s why he got so annoyed with HBO Max saying like, oh, actually, we’re going to stream this same day. So maybe he’s like, well, my guarantee for Part Two is now in question. What do you think Denis?

DANNY I had this like theory that if — there’s no there was no way coming into this movie coming out that to wasn’t already greenlight. You couldn’t tell me that watching this movie.

SLIM Scam.

DANNY Because this was just a long trailer for the second movie.

SLIM It’s a half movie.

DANNY So my theory was that they announced the Part Two because of not great numbers of the weekend box office. You know what I mean?

PROTO Oooh.

DANNY Like, instead of people knowing that a second one’s coming out, let’s just keep lying to everybody and saying we don’t know yet. But if they knew it was coming, I think feel like less people would have went to the theaters to go to see it.

SLIM So then thy will be like, well, actually, I don’t need to spend money. I can just see it at home.

PROTO When you have the biggest event since the resurrection of Jesus Christ, there’s no way you’re not going to have a sequel. [Slim laughs] There’s no way it’s not happening. And they saw this movie before we did. They were group testing this. It was in the bag.

SLIM I’m just saying like my overall thought, at the end of this movie. There’s no way Part Two was not guaranteed by the end of this movie. Everyone at Warner Brothers saw this movie. And they were like, Part Two isn’t happening?

DANNY Yeah right.

SLIM There’s no way this thing stands on its own, as its own movie in my opinion.

DANNY Zendaya is in more of the trailer than she is in the movie. [Slim laughs]

PROTO Yeah, I feel like I remember people saying like, “Oh, this is in Zendaya’s movie. This is more about her than anyone else.” She’s in like three minutes of this movie!

SLIM Danny, what’s first on your list? You’ve seen it five times. Let’s get into it. Dune. 2021. Denis. Zendaya.

DANNY My first notes — here’s the thing. My first notes don’t really start until the Paul, Duke convo in the graveyard area. Because that’s when I first kind of felt like, oh, this is good. [Danny laughs] Like, this is the only moment in the movie also where I had any sort of emotional feeling. Like everything else was just kind of flatlined. This conversation with the dad is the only time when I was kind of like, this gets me a little emotional. Him having us this father/son conversation, which is a great conversation. And Oscar’s amazing at it.

[clip of Dune plays]

DUKE LETO A great man doesn’t seek to lead. He’s called to it. Then he answers. And if your answer is no, you’ll still be the only thing I ever needed you to be — my son.

[clip of Dune ends]

DANNY And that’s just kind of where it begins for me. I think any of my praise for this movie kind of comes to the visual aspects of this film, not so much the story per se, but I think a lot of the win for this movie is the the design of ships, the locations, the music, the color choices, like there’s a lot that went into making this film that makes it the success better than, for me the Dune story itself. Because when it gets to like the end of this film, I kind of was bummed out every time I watched it. One of my biggest notes in this is for me, there’s no climax in this film. There’s just a lot of flatline kind of storytelling throughout the whole thing. There’s great moments, but there’s not like a climax, there’s not like an ending. And that’s what frustrates me I think the most. That’s my biggest note.

PROTO Yeah, it’s half a movie.

DANNY It’s half the story. And I don’t know that it had to feel like half a story. Especially when we’re being told that this might not get a sequel.

SLIM Imagine a world where there’s only one Dune movie and this is the ending.

DANNY This is the only one that’s not possible.

PROTO Wow, what a story. They just walk off the the desert. [Slim laughs]

SLIM I mean, the one thing I can think of is — remember when Halo 2 came out, and they couldn’t finish the game, and the ending was like Masterchief saying “Let’s finish the fight.” And it just ends. Like this doesn’t work on its own in my opinion.

PROTO I think like, well, could this could this be avoided in any way? And I think it could have been if Villeneuve took the approach of adapting the story to a film and not adapting the book to a film. Because that’s what it feels like. He’s being true to the book, which is cool, in a sense, but it doesn’t make for the greatest viewing experience. Because it’s just, it’s a very, it feels very weird watching this. Because Dune, it doesn’t have like a good breaking point. It’s it’s broken into three books. So this is I think it’s somewhere in like middle of two. So it’s like kind of halfway, but there’s no natural ending point for it. So he could have totally adapted the story to be a single movie, two and a half hours long and told a complete story in the same way that David Lynch did. And if he did that, of course, it would have been an amazing movie. Right? Like I have no doubts that he couldn’t have made an amazing single movie. But I think Danny is totally right that like there’s so much in this that is so — like, me reading the book and just following it in my mind and seeing scene after scene realized in amazing ways, is amazing. I couldn’t have asked for a better development of the costumes, the ship design, the look and feel of this movie is just absolute killer. It’s an imagining of the story that is, yeah, I don’t know how you could have asked for something cooler than this.

DANNY And I’m glad that’s — sorry, real quick — I’m glad you’re here, Proto, for this conversation knowing that you’ve read the books, because that’s part of like how — I don’t know, that’s what I want to know more from you is, did this feel like a true, kind of — is this what you wanted? Like is this what you would have wanted as the story is being told of Dune? For someone who’s read the books. For me, I feel like after the second one comes out, I might actually enjoy this first one more, having a longer story that I can continue.

PROTO I think in theory, I like the idea of staying true to the book and making it into two movies. But I think as a viewer, a movie lover, watching it I didn’t feel the same satisfaction that I feel from movies often. Not robbed – I don’t think robbed is the right word. But it was a very strange feeling the way this movie ended, just knowing that it’s not done. And it’s not even ending at a place that feels like there’s some completion.

SLIM I’m just cracking up looking at chat while this is happening, there is an emotional meltdown happening in chat, because everyone was expecting that I would be the negative one. And we’re just getting into some critiques here, folks. You know, we’re all friends here. One of the highest rated movies in our village history. I think it’s a 4.6 according to VGER. The average rating, says it’s higher than Into the Spider-verse. Right? Is Lord of the Rings, the first movie — I haven’t seen it in a very long time. Does that feel like a complete film? Like Haitch is in chat, potentially drinking his life away, hearing you to talk about the movie, but does that feel like a complete movie? Because he brought up Lord of the Rings.

DANNY You mean just as individual movies?

SLIM Yeah, I can’t remember.

DANNY Yes. But it’s a different feeling, though. Because we know it’s three movies based on the stories, The Fellowship, The Two Towers and The Return of the King. So knowing that that exists and how that is happening, it’s different. It’s a different feeling. When you get to the end of Fellowship, knowing that next December, you’re going to have Two Towers. So I don’t know if it’s a fair comparison, but that’s how I felt. I mean, it is how I felt at the end of Dune Part One, is this kind of feels like the fellowship kind of leaving.

SLIM I think there was some quotes coming out of our Dune episode from last year, we did the OG one, where we were kind of like making jokes about how hard it would be to market this. You know, with Timothée Chalamet Kwisatz Haderach and no one’s gonna know what that is, why would I want to watch this movie? So I do get the critique that like it would be next to impossible for them to say that we’re going to make two movies actually about this IP that could fail big time, and give us the money for that. But you know, maybe they should have just filmed them both at the same time. And maybe it would have been cheaper that way. And they could have curtailed a little bit of the kind of potential critiques about this being half a movie that’s like, well, actually, we got two movies coming out, and it’s going to be a great experience. So just buckle up, and get ready for the second one. And again, some of the comments and chatter be like, well, actually two is coming. But you know what, when we saw the movie, you know, wasn’t really guaranteed at the time.

PROTO The comparison to the Lord of the Rings, I feel like I can’t make that comparison because like now Lord of the Rings it’s just a completely different, you know, it’s in a different world in my mind. They’re all released, they’ve been out for years. I don’t even know what I felt when I first saw those. I don’t think I could make a fair comparison. But I totally think it’s fair if people say it, it kind of ends not as a complete story in the same way as this.

SLIM I thought the sign language was pretty rad. I don’t remember that in the David Lynch movie. Is that in the books?

PROTO Yeah, they have a secret Atreides language they do through hand signals.

SLIM Yeah I thought that was pretty cool. Also the voice stuff. I was trying to think of — I kept referencing the Lynch movie, maybe because there’s a lot of scenes that I was like, oh yeah, I remember this scene from the Lynch movie. But was the voice stuff in the Lynch movie? I don’t even remember.

PROTO Silence! [Slim & Danny laugh] Doesn’t he say that? That might have been it.

SLIM It also sounded pretty cool.

PROTO It sounded amazing in theatre I thought.

[clip of Dune plays]

DANNY Yeah, in theatre it was nuts.

PROTO Like the way you felt the bass first before there was like any tonal sounds, that was really cool.

DANNY Shook the chairs. I wrote down just Timothée’s name.

SLIM King.

DANNY King Tim. My comparison — I mean obviously my only comparison for Timothée is the Lynch Paul and I think Tim does a good job. I actually kind of like him as Paul.

SLIM I’m gonna say it right now — I love Timothée Chalamet. I love him.

DANNY Me too.

SLIM Even though a few scenes in this movie he had hair like Jonathan Taylor Thomas from Home Improvement. He really needs to get a cut I think at some point. It’s getting a little too wild.

PROTO Timothée Chalamet was the best choice to play Paul Atreides as Timothée Chalamet. [Danny & Slim laugh]

Because this is the thing — Timothée Chalamet is a good actor. He is not a great actor. He plays Timothée Chalamet in all of his movies. He’s the same person. But he’s gorgeous to look at. You know, he’s great to see on the screen. But he’s like mumblecore Lord.

SLIM How about the scene where he’s mumbling to his mother 30 feet away? When she goes to say goodbye to the witch den mother.

DANNY Oh my gosh.

SLIM And they’re having a conversation like outside. They’re so far away but they’re mumbling the whole time.

DANNY Do it in the voice.

PROTO [giving his best Timothée Chalamet impression] “You steer the politics of the Imperium from the shadows.” [Slim laughs] Like all of his lines, it’s like he’s in Lady Bird! This is him and Lady Bird. This is him in like, Little Women. He’s just like the same character but I mean, it’s okay because he looks great while doing it. But there are some lines I thought — when we watched it again, me and Jenna were watching some scenes together, he has some like terrible deliveries in this.

SLIM Oh god.

PROTO When they like get back from the the spice harvester scene and Oscar is like “What are you doing?” He’s like, “Sorry, sir. Won’t happen again, sir.” And he just like scoots off the screen. don’t know. Like there were some scenes that were to me pretty poor. But by the end of it, he kind of wins you over, I think. Some of it, it works so well, because he’s charming. Like at the end, where it’s him and Chani and he goes, and he says “Chani” and she looks at him he just says, “Nevermind.” That delivery is great, because he’s so cute and charming in that moment. And you’re like, he feels like just like a teenager you know, just in over his head. So I think that’s where it works. How about that him without a shirt on? Is he like, Chicken Little? [Danny & Slim laugh] I wonder if he’s gonna bulk up for Part Two.

DANNY Yeah, I don’t know. He doesn’t have to, right?

SLIM How about his like underwear short knickers that he was wearing to be?

DANNY Excuse me?

SLIM They were like above his knee but they were also like skin tight.

DANNY That’s what I sleep in.

SLIM What?! You have boxers that go down to your knees and they’re attached to your leg?

DANNY I need you to — yeah, it’s time to live Slim.

SLIM Biker shorts. [Slim laughs] Yes, beks, that’s what he was wearing.

PROTO Doing to DMs later. [Danny & Slim laugh]

SLIM I’m just saying I’ve never seen shorts like that before worn to bed. Let’s see, next on my list for — the scenery. We talked about a little bit. The scenery where he’s brooding going through like the tombs, the graves which was like one of the initial presser shots of him wearing you know, like a black cloak and black gloves and you can see ships behind him. I thought that was like an amazing teaser shot they released. I love those scenes. Them him with the water in the background, the ships. It was gorgeous. It reminded me of Rogue One, had the same cinematographer I think right. Greg Fraser. But some of that stuff just reminded me of why I liked Rogue One, it just looks so good. The inside of these houses, House Atreides, where it’s just like all stone or whatever, there’s like nothing going on inside.

DANNY The carvings.

SLIM Yeah, all that stuff on real looked great, I thought.

PROTO How about the Harold scene where he lands on Caladan? All of them guys come in out of the ship, the procession, the ceremony? Yeah boi! [Danny laughs] I think those guys were the from the Guild, with the suit, with the helmets on, with the orange. Those guys look so great.

DANNY One of my notes that I don’t want to miss — I need the person whose decision was to shave off Momoa’s beard —

SLIM Fired.

DANNY Fired.

SLIM Disgusting.

DANNY Because by the end of that movie, he looked like a baked potato in the poop suit. [Slim laughs] I was dumbfounded that they shaved his beard off.

SLIM Jason Momoa should never not have facial hair in my opinion. I 100% agree.

PROTO I loved him. I loved his look.

DANNY No, no, no, no, no, no. Without a beard, thank you. With the beard, yes. And I get Oscar Isaac’s beard in this is as kingly as it gets. Like, there’s nothing better than that beard that Oscar has. But to shave it off of Momoa’s face, I was kind of pissed off.

PROTO But I think that’s a good thing. Because he’s too — you just know him as Jason Momoa with a beard.

DANNY I mean, that’s almost everybody in this movie though.

PROTO It’s just a completely different look.

SLIM Rob says that happens in the book. He shaves his beard in the book.

PROTO Also, I was really surprised by this.

DANNY Tell me.

PROTO But Jason Momoa was probably my favorite performance in this.

DANNY Oh, really? Nice.

PROTO I just love — so Duncan is probably my favorite character in all of Dune. So I was really worried about what his presentation was going to be. And then I hear Jason Momoa. So I was really pleased with just the way his performance was. I just thought all his stuff was really cool. All of his, you know, of course, they’re gonna make the fighting look great. But just the way he carried himself, it was just like very believable to me. I just really liked him in that role.

DANNY Yeah, I did too. I agree with that. He’s great in it.

SLIM I love the pain box and witch mother stuff. I wanted way more of that stuff. The creepy likes telepathic witch women, you know, like the scenes that that she was in, I thought it was great. I loved Timothée’s reaction to her also, like he wasn’t kind of like bending to her will really like he was kind of like being like his dad a little bit.

PROTO Defiance in the eyes.

SLIM I wanted a lot more that stuff in the movie, for sure.

DANNY But I think that was the scene at least from Lynch’s that I was looking forward to the most in this because I really liked the pain box scene. I liked it. So I was wondering how how Timmy was going to kind of pull that off. And I think it’s probably his best scene. For sure. It shows an entire range of what he can do. For sure.

PROTO Yeah, that scene’s great. I like the representation of the — I like how they were presented, like anytime they were on the screen, this is my favorite shot, I’ll put it in chat. Probably my favorite shot from the movie is just when you see a group of them outside of the room. The Bene Gesserit are my favorite, like group in Dune, I would have loved if they got more screentime. They’re just so fascinating. And so cool. I feel like they didn’t have enough screen time. And just that shot alone. It’s so small and short, like just the, you know, the black robes that they have on the screen. But it’s so good. Like just anytime that just the the way that presented, it just felt very true to who they are. Especially, it felt very true to the book as well, because they’re kind of — they become bigger players as the series goes on. And just the way that presented here, it felt very, very good. And true to the story.

SLIM So Part Two is going to finish the end of book one, right? Is that what the first Dune movie was? The Lynch one? It was just book one?

A podcast for film lovers, inspired by Letterboxd.

A podcast for film lovers, inspired by Letterboxd.