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Movie Monday: Dune (2021)

Dune is set in the distant future amidst a feudal interstellar society in which various noble houses control planetary fiefs. It tells the story of young Paul Atreides, whose family accepts the stewardship of the planet Arrakis. While the planet is an inhospitable and sparsely populated desert wasteland, it is the only source of melange, or "the spice," a drug that extends life and enhances mental abilities. Melange is also necessary for space navigation, which requires a kind of multidimensional awareness and foresight that only the drug provides. As melange can only be produced on Arrakis, control of the planet is thus a coveted and dangerous undertaking. The story explores the multi-layered interactions of politics, religion, ecology, technology, and human emotion as the factions of the empire confront each other in a struggle for the control of Arrakis and its spice.

Directed by Denis Villeneuve with a screenplay by Jon Spaihts, Villeneuve, and Eric Roth. It is the first of a planned two-part adaptation of the 1965 novel of the same name by Frank Herbert, which covers roughly the first half of the book. The film stars an ensemble cast including Timothée Chalamet, Rebecca Ferguson, Oscar Isaac, Josh Brolin, Stellan Skarsgård, Dave Bautista, Stephen McKinley Henderson, Zendaya, David Dastmalchian, Chang Chen, Sharon Duncan-Brewster, Charlotte Rampling, Jason Momoa, and Javier Bardem.

Here’s what the Critics said:

Villeneuve's Dune takes a bit of time to set up the necessary palace intrigue and family dynamics before finding its shape as a relentless, propulsive chase movie. - Adam Nayman

"If there is one word to describe this film, it is epic...It has an immense, almost overbearing sense of scale, coupled beautifully by this overwhelming, reverberating score...It is absolutely gorgeous, it is fascinating, I was complete - James Marsh

The film is geared to fans; newcomers may want a second look but consider it a pleasure. - Peter Howell

"Dune" manufactures the magic of movies where the dreams can be as big as the screens that display them. - Marshall Shaffer

It makes for a taut drama that too often flirts with incredulity but works effectively as a stifling reminder of our disconnected, claustrophobic times. - Stephen Garrett

Dune ends up feeling like an extended prologue for what one can only hope will be a sequel that will clarify its parables and paradoxes. - Mark Hanson

For all its faults, weaknesses, and missed opportunities, Dune is unapologetically weirder, more interesting, and more ambitious than any of its big-budgeted peers. - Meg Shields


Global Release: September 15, 2021

US release: October 22, 2021

Global Box Office: $36.8m

Watch on: HBO MAX & AMC Theaters

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