Dune ★★

Very big and very loud for no fucking reason. There are no good moments. Hans Zimmer’s score is terrible, consisting of room-shakingly, blaringly loud music that doesn’t mesh with the image or its movement at all. Booming drums and bass and weird creaking sounds that signify nothing and build to nowhere. And that’s really a microcosm of the entire reason this movie doesn’t work for me:

It’s so cinematically inert. Villeneuve always puts it all on the screen, never actually directing your attention or emotions at anything in particular. He never builds a forward momentum or smashes two shots together or has any fun with the gargantuan nature of this thing. Dune sacrifices maneuverability for sheer size. I feel bad for Denis’ poor wife, he should know that it’s all about the motion of the ocean. There is never any tension built or euphoric release. There are no good moments. Since when did we want movies to move like this?

Aesthetically it fares no better. This entire movie is canned prestige cinema stylistics with its boring ass dim lighting and lack of texture. “Ugly” is a word that I haven’t seen being used to describe it, but that’s what I would call it. It spits in the face of everything I actually enjoy looking at. I hate how “smooth” this wants to be and how clinical it actually is. Tech corporation wallpaper computer render core that gets its personality from a “How To Make Serious Art” handbook. Half the shots seemed like the word “SAMSUNG” in big letters should be superimposed on top of them. It was washed when Arrival did it and it’s washed when Dune does it, but at least this movie isn’t neoliberal mouth foam.

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