James Atkinson’s review published on Letterboxd:
I Wanted a big release for my 500th review and here we are with Dune! Finally released, this has been one of my most anticipated film of the past 2 years (along with The Green Knight).
Paul Atreides the heir of house Atreides travels to the planet Arrakis to help his family with their oil... uh... I mean... spice empire, the most sought after resource in the universe.
Denis Villeneuve is one of my all time favorite directors, his style and ability to get the most out of his crews are often not surpassed. His previous film Blade Runner 2049 is one of the best sci-fi movies period (if you don't agree with me I'll meet you by the flag pole after school, we can fight about it there) and Arrival is not far behind it. My anticipation for this was at an all time high even though I am not a fan of the Lynch version, it's a film that should intrest me but I just can't make it through the whole thing... I have tried many times.
Dune isn't an immediate home run for me, but this is due to it being only half of a story, I'm not looking forward to the long wait in-between this and the next film 😭. Other than that is easily top tier cinema.
As is too be expected with a Villeneuve film it is visually stunning, the cinematography making such a baron landscape of sand look beautiful is an achievement in itself. The visuals are accompanied with a rousing score which in my opinion is Zimmers vest since Inception.
The cast is an ensemble of some of the best talent this decade has to offer and they are all in fine form. There is a reason Timothée Chalamet is in everything at the moment and that's because he has the looks and skills to hold his own amongst the best Hollywood has to offer. Rebecca Ferguson is stellar with her nuanced performance with her fighting against being a mother and a player in the larger world pushing events into place. Then there is Oscar Isaac, we all know it but I don't think it's said enough but how fucking good is this guy!?!? He makes everything he's in just that much better with his screen presence.
This version has much better pacing, than the Lynch version. It isn't entirely exposition and Villeneuve finds ways to fit in the lore, mythos and world building around beautiful shots, cool architecture, fantastical machinery and exciting action scenes while still pushing the story forward, I suppose this is easier to do with the benefit of another movie on the way and a few extra hours to tell the story.
I really enjoyed this telling of the story and while it's not 5 stars for me right now it will likely be when the second part is released.
Finally if you are still reading at this point I wanted to say thanks to everyone on here that interacts with me, I love the Letterboxed community and find this really fun to do. I am no writer, I don't have a good grasp of the English language and I'm not very analytic but I have fun filling out my thoughts and discussing films with you all, I also like trying to come up with an Academy Award for each film whether its for a laugh or something serious and most of all I enjoy finding out about all the hidden gems you write about that I would have never have heard about and now get to seek out for myself.
For this 500th review I'm giving the Academy Award to you, the Letterboxed community.