3 min read

Dune: Part Two

Dune: Part Two

Arrival, Blade Runner 2049 and Dune: Part One - Denis Villeneuve's last three films have been some of my absolute favourite films of the last decade. Dune: Part Two joins them.

I found these films highly engaging purely on a visual and auditory level, that's before you get to the plot, the dialogue, the cast, and everything else that makes up a film - and those are all excellent too.

The Dune universe is a load of fun and Dune: Part Two has pulled me into it more than ever before. Prior to Dune: Part One, my exposure to Dune was through the strategy games in the 90s, I still have my original PC copy of Dune 2000 somewhere. Off the back of those games, I had mostly read about the novels and the wider lore, but never read the novels - maybe I will soon.

I also watched a bunch of clips of the David Lynch film, which I have to say, weren't a great ambassador for Dune - though it looks like a bit of fun.

Dune: Part One and Two are genuinely great. Part Two has had a sizeably larger impact than the first, and that makes sense, Part One is more of a set up and it was a strong decision to create that film in that way, not knowing if a Part Two would ever happen. It does feel like it has had a pop culture moment.

I'll not try and write any sort of review for the film, I feel like my post about Blade Runner 2049 says enough about my love for Villeneuve's work, so I'll just quote from a review I agree with:

As before, the second Dune film is superb at showing us an entire created world, a distinct and now unmistakable universe, which will probably be much imitated: a triumph for cinematographer Greig Fraser and production designer Patrice Vermette. Hans Zimmer’s score provides exactly the right tone, at once plangent and grandiose.

Villeneuve shows such ambition and boldness here, and a real film-making language.

via Peter Bradshaw in The Guardian

I'm really looking forward to Part 3, or Messiah. This has the potential to be arguably the best trilogy of films since The Lord of the Rings, which might not be saying a lot as I'm struggling to really name much competition. Most good films aren't part of a trilogy.

Re-watching it at home is also something I'm excited for. I watched Dune: Part Two in Vue Manchester Printworks IMAX, it looked brilliant and sounded amazing too. But I do think the sound was missing some detail that I expected, I missed Dune: Part One and Blade Runner 2049 in IMAX and that's something I still regret, so my only experience of those two films has been at home, on a 4K HDR OLED with a surround system capable of some level of Dolby Atmos (with simulated height channels).

Those films look and sound incredible at home, so to know I missed them at IMAX hurts. However, I do think comparing the sound experience at home with Part One vs IMAX Part Two, it's not a straight win for IMAX. It's louder, it's got gigantic amounts of bass that feel appropriate, or as Wendy Ide described:

There are passages so thunderous, it sounds as though he somehow harnessed the noise of colliding planets in place of percussion.

And of course it has good sound separation and surround effects. But I feel like the detail got drowned out a tad and the surround didn't feel quite as impactful as my home setup in some scenarios. My home setup is absolutely nothing special, it's a Sonos Arc plus two Sonos Ones as rear surround speakers. These devices are in what feels like a best case scenario room size/shape for them, so they've often felt like they punch above their weight, especially in Dolby Atmos.

I'm excited to experience it again in a slightly different way, perhaps in some ways better? This is not to say it didn't still sound incredible at the cinema, just that it sounded different to what I expected.

If you haven't seen Dune Part One, go and give it a try. By the time Dune: Messiah comes around, you'll feel like you're missing out if you haven't at least given it a try to see if it was for you.