Tuesday, November 30, 2021     Volume: 22, Issue: 39
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Santa Maria Sun / Film

This weeks review
A QUIET PLACE PART II
ANOTHER ROUND
BINGEABLE: 100 FOOT WAVE (2021-)
BINGEABLE: BARRY (2018-)
BINGEABLE: FLEABAG (2016-2019)
BINGEABLE: MAID (2021)
BINGEABLE: MIDNIGHT MASS (2021)
BINGEABLE: ONLY MURDERS IN THE BUILDING (2021)
BINGEABLE: SQUID GAME (2021)
BINGEABLE: SWEET TOOTH
BINGEABLE: TELL ME YOUR SECRETS (2021)
BINGEABLE: THE WAY DOWN (2021)
BINGEABLE: Y: THE LAST MAN (2021)
BLAST FROM THE PAST: THE MATRIX (1999)
BLAST FROM THE PAST: THE PRESTIGE (2006)
BLAST FROM THE PAST: WILD AT HEART (1990)
BOSS LEVEL
DUNE
ETERNALS
GHOSTBUSTERS: AFTERLIFE
GUILTY PLEASURES: CHEER (2020)
GUILTY PLEASURES: GUNPOWDER MILKSHAKE
GUILTY PLEASURES: JOLT
GUILTY PLEASURES: TRAIN TO BUSAN (2016)
HAVE A GOOD TRIP: ADVENTURES IN PSYCHEDELICS
HEARST CASTLE: BUILDING THE DREAM (1996)
I CARE A LOT
I’M THINKING OF ENDING THINGS
LIMBO
NEW FLICKS: ARMY OF THIEVES
NEW FLICKS: CRUELLA
NEW FLICKS: FINCH
NEW FLICKS: HIGH GROUND
NEW FLICKS: LAND
NEW FLICKS: RED NOTICE
NEW FLICKS: RIDERS OF JUSTICE
NINE DAYS
NINE PERFECT STRANGERS (2021)
NO TIME TO DIE
PIG
SOUL
THE BIGGEST LITTLE FARM (2019)
THE CARD COUNTER
THE FRENCH DISPATCH
THE LAST BLOCKBUSTER (2020)
THE LAST DUEL
THE MAP OF TINY PERFECT THINGS
THE NEW MUTANTS
THE PAPER TIGERS
THE PROFESSOR AND THE MADMAN
THE SUNLIT NIGHT
TV REVIEW: A WILDERNESS OF ERROR (2020)
TV REVIEW: BATES MOTEL
TV REVIEW: DEFENDING JACOB
TV REVIEW: EXTERMINATE ALL THE BRUTES (2021)
TV REVIEW: HOMECOMING
TV REVIEW: HOW TO WITH JOHN WILSON
TV REVIEW: I KNOW THIS MUCH IS TRUE
TV REVIEW: I MAY DESTROY YOU
TV REVIEW: LENOX HILL
TV REVIEW: LITTLE AMERICA
TV REVIEW: MARE OF EASTTOWN
TV REVIEW: MRS. AMERICA
TV REVIEW: ONE MISSISSIPPI
TV REVIEW: PAINTING WITH JOHN (2021)
TV REVIEW: RAMY
TV REVIEW: RUN
TV REVIEW: SPACE FORCE
TV REVIEW: TABOO
TV REVIEW: TED LASSO (2020-)
TV REVIEW: THE BOYS
TV REVIEW: THE END OF THE F***ING WORLD
TV REVIEW: THE FLIGHT ATTENDANT
TV REVIEW: THE LAST KINGDOM
TV REVIEW: THE MIDNIGHT GOSPEL
TV REVIEW: THE MOST DANGEROUS ANIMAL OF ALL (2020)
TV REVIEW: THE PLOT AGAINST AMERICA
TV REVIEW: THE QUEEN’S GAMBIT
TV REVIEW: THE VOW
TV REVIEW: UNDONE
TV REVIEW: WANDAVISION
TV REVIEW: WARRIOR
TV REVIEW: WHAT WE DO IN THE SHADOWS
TV REVIEW: ZEROZEROZERO
UNDERRATED: BATMAN BEGINS (2005)
UNDERRATED: THE KINGDOM (2007)

‘Dune’ offers a compelling spin on Frank Herbert’s sci-fi classic

DUNE

PHOTO BY , COURTESY OF WARNER BROS. AND LEGENDARY ENTERTAINMENT

DUNE


Where is it playing?: Regal Edwards RPX Santa Maria, Hi-Way Drive-In Santa Maria, Movies Lompoc, Regal Edwards Arroyo Grande, HBO Max

What's it rated?: PG-13

What's it worth?: $Full price (Anna Starkey)

What's it worth?: $Full price (Glen Starkey)

User Rating: 0.00 (0 Votes)

Co-writer and director Denis Villeneuve (Prisoners, Enemy, Sicario, Arrival, Blade Runner 2049) takes viewers on the heroic journey of Paul Atreides (Timothée Chalamet), the son of a noble family entrusted with protecting the most vital element in the galaxy. Once he arrives on the desert planet Arrakis, he begins to understand his destiny and transformation into Paul Muad’Dib, prophesized messiah of the native Fremen people. Dune is based on Frank Herbert’s sprawling 1965 sci-fi novel of the same name, and this film is part one of two. (155-min.)

Glen: As a fan of David Lynch’s 1984 film as well as the 2013 documentary Jodorowsky’s Dune about cult filmmaker Alejandro Jodorowsky’s failed attempt to make a 14-hour version in the ’70s, I have decidedly been in the “we don’t really need another Dune” camp. And we probably don’t, but I have to admit, after its somewhat slow beginning, I was hooked by French-Canadian director Denis Villeneuve’s singular vision of this epic messiah story. It’s not as visceral or messy as Lynch’s version, but its scope is overwhelming, and its often-monochromatic color scheme is austerely beautiful. Like Lynch’s version, the story is deeply compacted and streamlined, but unlike Lynch’s version, Villeneuve’s Dune probably makes more sense to viewers unfamiliar with the book or subsequent film and TV miniseries. The larger machinations are about a galactic emperor who fears the rising House Atreides, so he pits them against the Harkonnen, another powerful family that’s less honorable and more bloodthirsty. While the Atreides hope to form an alliance with Arrakis’ Fremen, the Harkonnen want to enslave and master. It’s the story of an impending uprising, and I for one am ready for part 2 right now.

Anna: I came into this version of Dune as a newbie. I haven’t seen any of the films or read the book, so I have no idea who these characters are or the complexities of the world the filmmakers are aiming to create. Despite not even having the “Dune for Dummies” guide on the series, I held on pretty well to the storyline and the different power dynamics between the different factions. This sort of sci-fi world-building honestly isn’t really my thing, and I most likely would have never gone back to watch Lynch’s version for that reason, but this new offering pulled me in. The barren landscapes and otherworldly atmosphere is visually stunning, and watching Paul’s realization of his place in a larger story is gripping. Villeneuve describes this film as a “delicious appetizer” to the upcoming sequel, and while it must spend a chunk of its time setting up the players and the setting, it also is allowing part 2 to be the spectacle Villeneuve envisions. That being said, this stands on its own, and I would argue it’s accessible for people like me who know nothing about the storyline. These characters draw you in, Paul especially. I’m excited for part 2 and will certainly give this Dune a re-watch to refresh myself on the characters when the sequel comes out.

Glen: There’s always been an argument out there that Dune is “unfilmable”—the story is too long and complex for any film to do it justice. That’s probably certainly true if your goal is to include every nuance of Frank Herbert’s 400-plus-page novel, not to mention its five sequels, but Paul’s story is so compelling, and the side plot about the Bene Gesserit—an exclusively female group with honed powers and a mysterious political agenda is fascinating. Paul’s mother, a member of the order, has trained Paul in their “weirding ways”—forbidden for men. This falls perfectly into the Fremens’ prophecy, and part 2 will undoubtedly set up Paul’s relationship with the Chani (Zendaya), a female Fremen warrior, as well as Paul’s rise to power and ultimate face-off with the Emperor. Even knowing how Herbert’s novel concludes doesn’t dissuade me from wanting to see how Villeneuve will wrap up the second half of this story. Bring it on.

Anna: I really liked the dynamics Paul had with his parents, especially his mother. Lady Jessica Atreides (Rebecca Ferguson) knows better than anyone the power Paul wields with his ever-growing knowledge of the weirding ways. Yet while she wants to see him rise above and beyond his potential, she still has the fear of a mother who’s sending her child into a dark and dangerous world. Stellan Skarsgård is a great foe as Baron Vladimir Harkonnen, a chilling and pale beast who has every intention of wiping out the Atreides and claiming Arrakis as his own. It’s quite a cast, and while I found myself once or twice trying to piece together how the characters connect, I’m pretty impressed with how easy it was to follow along—even for someone like me who doesn’t hold onto complicated sci-fi lingo very easily. I was invested, and I’m excited for more.

New Times Senior Staff Writer Glen Starkey and freelancer Anna Starkey write Sun Screen. Glen compiles streaming listings. Comment at gstarkey@newtimesslo.com.










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