Dune Part Two in 1.43:1 IMAX – The DVDfever Cinema Review – Timothée Chalamet, Zendaya

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Dune Part Two is out now in cinemas, and like with the 2021’s first part, as I watched this four-month delayed sequel, I had absolutely no idea what was going on, other than a basic good vs evil tale, and how everyone wants to Spice up their lives, courtesy of the product from the planet Arrakis, and you can see my Manchester-based reference in that review as well.

Still, there’s always the visuals to behold. The trouble with Part Two is that we’ve already been in awe of those desert images. Plus, there’s a hell of a lot more desert, too. I’ll get onto the IMAX impression, later.

This film has a few light-hearted moments in the first hour, as some of the young ones joke amongst themselves, but when it gets down to business, you know that Paul Atreides (Timothée ChalametWonka) is the hero of the (three) hour(s), while Dave Bautista (as Beast Rabban) and Stellan Skarsgard (as Baron Harkonnen) walk around with a face on, as if they’ve not been able to poo for three days and now it’s all come flooding out, while they’re miles away from a toilet.

Similarly, Christopher Walken (The Deer Hunter) – as Shaddam IV, the Padishah Emperor of the Known Universe – was in a similar position, albeit less constipated, and looking more as if he’d lost a pound and found a penny.

Also grimacing, but more spritely is Austin Butler as Sting… okay, Sting’s character from the 1984 movie version, Feyd-Rautha (which I learned, afterwards, as I still haven’t seen that yet, but wanted to get these two films out of the way, first, to avoid spoilers), but since he looked nothing like Elvis, I first thought it was Jesse Eisenberg.

In lieu of a plot, Reverend Mother Ramallo (Giusi Merli) is dying – because no-one lives forever – and needs someone else to take over, which – because reasons – will be Paul’s Mum, Jessica (Rebecca FergusonMission Impossible: Dead Reckoning Part One). This all seems completely superfluous to events carrying on between her son and Chani (ZendayaSpider-Man: No Way Home More Fun Stuff Version), who spends much of the time suffering from an extreme case of RBF.

And how does Baron Harkonnen fly, just because he has a tube stuck in him? God knows. It was like the writers shoved a line of cocaine up their noses before putting pen to paper.

Dune Part Two also has mentions referring to Paul as ‘the messiah’, thus setting up a potential third film to conclude the director’s intended trilogy, ending on Dune: Messiah. Plus, Stilgar (Javier Bardemmother!) refers to ‘the prophecy’, and the forthcoming TV series is called… Dune: Prophecy.

But a third film is dependent on this film’s success at the box office. Then again, early into the first film’s release, the second outing was confirmed to be happening, hence why the time I saw Part One, during its third week of release, it had been renamed “Dune: Part One”, as opposed to just “Dune”.

But for Part One’s box office – and bear in mind a film has to recoup around three times its budget in order to break-even, so as to take marketing into account – its budget was $165m, so triple that is $495, and it only took $434.8m. So it doesn’t technically make financial sense to keep making them.

Then again, it does look good when you can completely sell out a huge IMAX during the weekend afternoon and evenings.

Dune Part One – Aspect Ratio Comparisons – IMAX

If there’s one thing I like to nerd out to more than any other, it’s when a film is presented in the IMAX ratio containing footage in 1.43:1, which can only be shown in around four cinemas in the UK at present, and even then, not all of these can do it all the time for technical reasons – e.g. Vue Printworks has the ability to play such a ratio from both 70mm film and digital with a GT dual-laser, whereas the BFI in London can do the former, but not the latter.

Part One generally gave a lot more in 1.43:1 – as the video below shows, although some scenes had some slightly different framing between the different ratios in which it was presented.

Part Two was rumoured to be presented in 1.43:1 IMAX from start to finish. In the end, it didn’t, and I can understand why, since for example, some dialogue scenes are best shown NOT in that ratio, and then when you want to give a sense of spectacle, THEN you go for filling the 1.43:1 frame. It’s like how Top Gun Maverick was 2.39:1 for all the talking/indoor scenes, but the flying scenes opened up to 1.90:1 in IMAX. For Dune Part Two, it’s around 40 minutes in 1.43:1, with the rest being 99% in 1.90:1 – those few exceptions where it isn’t being a handful of 2.39:1 shots as we look down the viewfinder on a telescope or the gun-sight on the Royal Atreides Ornithopter.

At the time of posting this review, Dune Part Two has almost recouped the $190m basic budget, and I think with a series in the offing, Warner Bros will go for part three regardless of what happens, since this one will certainly make enough, and it would just be embarrassing to get to the end and leave the franchise one movie short of a full sandworm. After all, look at what happened with the Divergent series, as they split the third and final book into two films – like the Hunger Games series of movies – but didn’t film the last two back-to-back, meaning that because No.3 failed at the box office, the final part was never made, and when they came to look at considering concluding it as a TV series, various cast members eschewed the idea, and then the public lost even more interest, so it’s just left hanging in the wind.

Dune Part Two is in cinemas now, and is available to pre-order on 4K Blu-ray, Blu-ray and DVD, ahead of its release date TBA.

You can also buy The Art and Soul of Dune: Part Two, in Hardcover.

Dune Part Two – Official Trailer #3 – Warner Bros

Detailed specs:

Running time: 167 minutes
Release date: March 1st 2024
Studio: Warner Bros
Aspect Ratio: 1.43:1 (IMAX GT dual laser, approx 40 mins), 1.90:1 (IMAX digital, most scenes), 2.39:1 (a few scenes – see review for info) (ARRIRAW (6.5K, 4.5K), Dolby Vision)
Cinema: Vue Printworks Manchester
Rating: 2/10

Director: Denis Villeneuve
Producers: Cale Boyter, Amanda Confavreux, Tanya Lapointe, Robbie McAree, Patrick McCormick, Mary Parent, Denis Villeneuve
Screenplay: Denis Villeneuve, Jon Spaihts
Novel: Frank Herbert
Music: Hans Zimmer

Paul Atreides: Timothée Chalamet
Chani: Zendaya
Jessica: Rebecca Ferguson
Stilgar: Javier Bardem
Gurney Halleck: Josh Brolin
Feyd-Rautha: Austin Butler
Princess Irulan: Florence Pugh
Beast Rabban: Dave Bautista
Emperor: Christopher Walken
Lady Margot Fenring: Léa Seydoux
Baron Harkonnen: Stellan Skarsgård
Reverend Mother Mohiam: Charlotte Rampling
Shishakli: Souheila Yacoub
Lanville: Roger Yuan
Jamis: Babs Olusanmokun
Maker Keeper: Alison Halstead
Reverend Mother Ramallo: Giusi Merli