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I got dragged to see the new adaptation of Dune, and it sucked. The movie takes place a million years in the future when everyone is a brooding bore who can’t speak above a whisper. It has less color than if it were shot in black and white.
I get it. Twenty minutes in, I wanted to scream, “I get it!” This is capital-S Serious cinema. Director Denis Villeneuve worked with a $165 million budget to make a blockbuster action movie based on a popular IP, but he wants you to know at heart he’s an impoverished artist who will bring his vision to the screen no matter what. He’s part of the 1% (you could place him in an even more impressive fraction of that percent if you want to do the math) and the payout from Dune will afford him another mansion, but fear not he’s as much an artist as the director who lives off ramen and sells his belongings to fund his weird arthouse project. Hence the entire cast speaks in hushed tones with the solemnity of a child’s funeral. I wanted every character to die, but even had they, how would that change their performances?