Escape Velocity

A curated Collection of Fantasy and Science Fiction Media

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In Denis Villeneuve’s adaptation of the first half of the classic sci-fi novel Dune by Frank Herbert, House Atreides receives orders to take control of the planet Arrakis, the rich desert world that produces the spice that allows for interstellar traffic, and take control of the fief from their arch-enemies, the Harkonnens. Paul, the Atreides heir, must quickly learn to be at home on a foreign planet in the ensuing struggle, as Harkonnens, the desert, and the Fremen, the planet’s native inhabitants, close in on the new rulers.


I have literally been waiting for this movie to happen for years, and since the moment Villeneuve was announced as the director, I’ve been on a hype train without breaks preaching to everyone who wanted to listen (and those who did not find an excuse quickly enough) about how great this movie was going to be. I forced the people in my book club to read Dune. I forced my parents to reread it. The hype train only sped up when the first shots and later the trailer came out. My girlfriend baked cinnamon buns and cinnamon cookies to eat in the cinema when we finally got to go.


It is as if Villeneuve and I had the exact same experience reading the books. He managed to translate what Dune is to the screen so incredibly well I still have a hard time believing it.

To start, the visuals of this movie are absolutely stunning. The space ships, machinery, ornithopters, everything is beautifully designed. The size of the transports and sandworms are awe-inspiring. Villeneuve understands the importance of the planet to the story, and gives us ample time to admire the different types of desert that Arrakis has to offer. Every other shot just completely knocks you over in your seat with the immense scale of it all.

The casting is equally spot on. Rebecca Ferguson as the Lady Jessica and Stellan Skarsgård as the Baron Vladimir Harkonnen particularly stand out to me as the perfect faces for their role, but in my opinion, there are no duds in this movie’s casting. Sadly, not every actor gets their chance to fully flesh out the iconic character they are portraying, but that is an unfortunate byproduct of the medium – a movie can simply fit less story than a book.

That leads us to the question – how does Dune do as an adaptation of its source material? I think we can be glad that Villeneuve decided to split book over at least two movies, for as his – very faithful – adaptation goes to show, there is so much worldbuilding in Dune that it threatens to bog down the movies at times. I am in love with the books so perhaps ask Lotte whether she felt she understood everything, but I can imagine it is a lot to take in if you are not familiar with the novel. The result is also that the ending is not the stongest. It does not end with a cliffhanger – but with a large portion of the central conflict unresolved.

What is most important though, I think, is that this is an adaptation of the story that ticks almost all the boxes with fans of the novel: it tries, and achieves, to capture not just the same spirit, but also the same plot beats and visuals based very closely on the book’s descriptions.

So can people who do not light a candle at their Frank Herbert altar every night like me expect a similarly satisfying experience? I think yes, because even though the movie might be long and a lot might happen, none of it is filler and every shot individually keeps you on the edge of your seat. You’ll definitely walk away a little exhausted, but Dune, I feel, is a phenomenon in the making.

Just as it is often posited that Herbert’s novel is to sci-fi’s what Tolkien’s The Lord of the Rings is to fantasy, so Villeneuve’s Dune wants to offer a sci-fi epic to rival Jackson’s The Lord of the Rings. I’ll hold off on my judgement of whether it is succesful on that account until I’ve seen the (at the time of writing still uncertain) sequels – but I am already looking forward to Dune Trilogy movie marathons.

I have a lot more to say, but I think I should conclude by repeating that this movie looks absolutely stunning and you should go see it in cinema if you can to be blown away by the visuals and the deep reverberating sounds of space ship engines and worms tunneling through the sand.

I was conflicted about going to see this movie because I haven’t read the book yet. Still, there’s a certain kind of movie you really have to see on the big screen, and Dune is definitely one of those movies.

In many ways, Dune reminded me of The Lord of The Rings. This is old school science-fiction, which often means that the line between Science Fiction and Fantasy gets blurred. The only thing that really solidifies this as Sci-Fi is the space travel.

The reason I would really recommend seeing this in theatres (if you can) is because of the ~vibes. The soundtrack of this movie is really beautiful, and the sound design as a whole is really on point. The cinematography in this movie is also… chef’s kiss.

Dune is quite long, and I was pretty tired when we to see it. It never quite drags, though I must admit the ending was a little slow (but as I mentioned I was pretty tired and the end of the movie takes place at night so there was very little light to keep me awake).

All in all, I would really recommend checking Dune out, especially if you love (old school) Sci-Fi, but also if you’re not a huge fan of Sci-Fi, but you do really enjoy epic Fantasy stories, because that’s basically what Dune is.

As someone who thought Herbert’s writing was quite arduous, I had high hopes for the movie adaptation of Dune. Luckily, I was not disappointed. The movie fixed many things I struggled with in the books, such as the characterization of the protagonists and the suspense of the story. And, not unimportant, the movie delivers some truly stunning cinematography, as well as the radiant presence of Zendaya <3.

To elaborate on the cinematography; almost all of Villeneuve’s athmospheric shots contain symbolic meaning or little references to the book. Because I’ve read the book, I could really appreciate these little nods to the source material. However, Villeneuve also really takes his time with them, which results in quite a slow movie. I wonder if those who have no previous experience with the Dune-universe might find the pace forgivable. Personally, I thought it started te drag a little towards the end.

All in all, I think  fans of the genre will be quite pleased with Villeneuve’s Dune. Others should just watch it at least once to marvel at the stunning views. And at Zendaya…

Surprising aboslutely nobody, I was not very entertained by Dune. Dune the movie PART ONE. This movie is not the whole story and nobody told me. My only expectation was to find out how the book ends. This expectation was not met. Ironically, the movie ended EXACTLY where I stopped reading the book, which was quite something.

I saw many angry men and a lot of sand. Since everyone around me was mesmerized by it, I felt like I watched a completely different movie. Which left me with the question: why? Why didn’t I like this movie?

The first thing I realised was that there was no real music. Sure, there are soundscapes and ambiances. By Hans Zimmer, nonetheless. But apparently I need more. Music is my language and Dune just cut out that whole part of the experience.

Something else that got on my nerves real fast were the many, very slow shots of ‘look at how much sand there is’. I’ve been to the beach before, I know what a lot of sand looks like. You’re going to show me again? Now I’m bored.

I never expected to be blown away by the storyline. It just feels like nothing is happening. I knew it wasn’t for me. But I hoped there would be some redeeming factors when watching the movie. I only found one: seeing the joy on Peter’s face. I was happy I got to experience this movie with him.

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