I've had time to let Dune (2021) settle now. I have a weird dichotomy to settle, and I'm not sure it'll ever go away. Barring a complete quality nosedive a la Game of Thrones, I think Dune (2021) is my preferred adaptation of the book, but man is there a long list of things I prefer with David Lynch's version (henceforth referred to as '84) and the mini-series (henceforth referred to as Sci-Fi). Some general comments, comparisons, and spoilers to follow:
Gurney Halleck - I'm fine with Josh Brolin's portrayal, but I much prefer Patrick Stewart. Seriously, it's hard to beat Patrick Stewart. Both are still better than P.H. Moriarty.
Jason Mamoa as Duncan Idaho
The trip to Arrakis: I'm not sure why it's such an abbreviated sequence in Dune, but I really love the space travel sequence in '84. There's a scale to "we're packing up EVERTHING" that '84 captures as well as the whole batshit insanity with how space travel happens in the Dune universe. The arrival on Arrakis I also prefer.
I prefer the opening narration of the book and '84 (I don't remember how the mini-series goes), but the opening narration by Chani is alright. It's different, and neither better or worse in all respects.
I'm still unsure about Zendaya at this point. She was just kind of there for me. I'm going with the mini-series on this one, but I'll withhold until we see part 2.
I like the Baron in this one. Stellan Skarsgård and the make-up crew did a good job capturing the obese, but still fierce and intellectually plotting Harkonnen. It's a much better interpretation than '84 although I'm fond of the hamminess of that performance. But oddly enough this is where I think the character interpretation by the mini-series nails it better. But I can understand why they went in this direction as the mini-series portrayal of general depravity and decadence from an unmasculine, aristocratic degenerate is a hard sell as a bad guy to general audiences.
The pronunciation of Harkonnen in Dune and the mini-series is probably more accurate (I'm not sure to be honest), but damn I like the '84 version pronunciation better.
The actual love between the Duke and Lady Jessica felt a little underdeveloped. It's a pretty big reason for the events happening in the story.
Spice Quota: I started reliving memories of playing the computer game.
Ornithopters: Pretty cool.
Lack of pew pew lasers:
I'll probably going to be giving it a second watch. I had to view the film with low volume (family reasons), but I'm hoping I get a better sense of the sound design and orchestral score. I hope to have a better sense of the film at that point, but I'm still super excited about part two.