Frank Herbert's Dune - The Spence Edit Revised

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Faneditor Name:
Tagline:
The Sleeper Has Awakened
Original Movie Title:
Fanedit Type:
Original Release Date:
2000
Original Running Time:
265
Fanedit Release Date:
Fanedit Running Time:
169
Time Cut:
96
Subtitles Available?
Available in HD?
Brief Synopsis:
Frank Herbert's Dune is a fantastic miniseries adaptation of the original novel, but what would it look like as a feature length film?
Intention:
Cut the 3-part miniseries of Dune into a feature film that makes sense from beginning to end and has a reasonable runtime (under 3 hours). Color correct and crop the footage to make it more cinematic, and use the score from Children of Dune throughout.
Other Sources:
Frank Herbert's Children of Dune
Frank Herbert's Children of Dune OST by Brian Tyler
Special Thanks:
ArtisDead
Bionicbob
Stromboli Bones
Release Information:
Digital
Editing Details:
This is a remake of the edit from the ground up with a better HD quality source, new and extended scenes, different color timing, and a 5.1 surround track. This will be the definitive version of my Dune edit, so if you're curious about it, I'd wait for the newer version.

Some changes:
- Additional scenes: New/extended dream sequences for Paul, Yueh and Jessica in the palace, Paul is visited by the Reverend Mother, Paul rides the worm.
- 2:35:1 cropping is further refined, now moving within the same shot to keep the framing correct throughout.
- Further color correction and use of LUT's to make the cinematography more cinematic.
- Further soundtrack replacement/additions from Children of Dune.
- Extended runtime, it will still be under 3 hours. Goal is 2:50-2:55.
Cuts and Additions:
- Crop the footage to 2:35:1 and desaturate the over-bright colors to make it more "cinematic". The film was actually originally shot in 2:1 ratio, so the cropping actually works quite well. Still, ever shot had to be hand cropped.
- Brian Tyler's score from Children of Dune has been incorporated and blended in with Graeme Revell's original score. Both composers are credited.
- New opening credits sequence.
- Princess Irulan's subplot with Feyd is removed. It doesn't really add anything to the story, she's just finding out things we already know.
- Paul is less whiny, less childish. Because this footage is so condensed, I needed to make him a little stronger right off the bat, so we can believe he has grown into the leader he becomes.
- The first act of the movie has been chopped up the most, completely reordered with a large amount of scenes removed.
- The majority of the cutting I did was for pacing and truncating the plot. Though it's still a long film, this length to me feels like the perfect amount of time to tell this story without it feeling hacked to bits.
Trailer

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9.7
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9.8(6)
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9.8(6)
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10.0(6)
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9.5(6)
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9.7(6)
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Overall rating
 
9.3
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9.0
Paul Atreides immaturity and arrogance was something I found to be quite grating in the original series however seeing as how this edit improved Paul’s characterisation by dialling down his arrogance and whininess it made his journey to godhood much more believable for me and any arrogance and whininess that remained left him flawed enough to not be considered a Gary Stu, the rearrangement and slicing of the first act made for a much better paced and more coherent experience with the dream sequences no longer inducing confusion and incoherency as such it’s nice to be able to watch a movie and understand what’s going on as it gives me the time and pleasure to appreciate the cinematography, world building and ultimately the preparation towards Muad'Dib's true destiny.

As far as audio goes I noticed no audio jumps or glitches and the blending of Brian Tyler’s Children of Dune OST along with Graeme Revells OST made for an impactful experience with the various scenes that these tracks accompanied them however there were a few areas in the visual department that were a little distracting for me, these included some small film crackles and dots that tended to occasionally appear throughout different parts of the edit and on the right side of the screen I noticed an overscan line that persists throughout followed by a fair bit of picture noise at the 2:47:03 mark which ceases around the 2:47:40 mark but other than the things I just listed the picture quality generally looks great.

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Top 500 Reviewer 12 reviews
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The original miniseries that inspired this edit has a big place in my heart despite its budget limitations.
Spence's work was a labor of love and the amount of care he put into the details its just amazing. making it faster, tighter and lighter, without losing the soul of the story.
I would really recommend it to anyone who wants to discover Dune in a different way than Lynch's or Villeneuve's versions and for fans of the original books its a must.

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9.1
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I'll start of with his was a good watch overall. The technical aspects of cutting, reframing, color correction, and rescoring are near flawless. There's one scene I could tell was an extended cut bit, but it was blended pretty well--there's only what the source material offers to work with.

The cuts largely worked. The further into the story you go the smoother they get. Early on it felt a bit choppy to me and almost seemed rushed. I had a little feeling of rushing to get to Arrakis to move to that story and some of the foundational early plot got short shrift. That may partly be my being more recently familiar with edits of the movies (Lynch & Villeneuve) and the books. Once the Atreides get to Arrakis pacing smooths out and the story flows better.

So while it isn't a perfect experience for me, it's still enjoyable to watch overall and still recommended.

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(Updated: December 17, 2021)
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I loved Spense's 2014 edit of the ScfFi Channel mini-series DUNE.

But this. THIS!
THIS IS WHY I STILL WATCH FAN EDITS.
THIS IS ABSOLUTELY FANTASTIC!!!

Using the blue prints of his original fan edit, Spense has constructed a better, stronger and more powerful viewing experience.
This time around, there is more emphasis on relationships and allowing the lead characters to breath more. This in turn, creates a more visceral connection to the story for the audience and makes them more willing to embrace the dense mythology and go on the hero's journey.

And yet, for all this increased character development, the fan edit never sacrifices pacing or action. The less than 3 hour runtime flies by and is fully satisfying.

The editing is ambitious and executed with incredible skill. Spense has rearranged the order of scenes, reframed the material, added music, cut over 90 minutes of material and every remaining scene has been tweaked or trimmed. Technically, on the final version I watched, everything looked and sounded perfect.

While I thoroughly the enjoy the Directors Cut of the 2000 mini--series, Spense has expertly recrafted it into an engaging, fast paced, character rich, epic cosmic movie.

As I said at the beginning, I loved Spense's 2014 version, but this new Revised Cut is a MASTERPIECE.

Two Thumbs Way, WAY UP!!!
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I divided my thoughts here into 3 sections, each progressively longer for the people who prefer to read less and the people who prefer to read more!


Short version: This is my (current) favorite version of Dune on a screen. I watched an earlier version of this than the most recent, and despite what I've heard from Spence about a few blips he has since smoothed over, I thought this was edited perfectly. I noticed no weird transitions or audio dips or anything and I recommend this to anyone who enjoys Dune in any of its forms!



Longer version:

I haven't actually seen the original 1984 version or the 2000 miniseries, but I enjoyed the first half of this edit more than the 2021 version, and everything after was a bonus! (will re-evaluate once part 2 drops but that'll be a couple years) This also should not be taken lightly because I generally cannot stand movies that look/feel old. I acknowledge that I have a lot of Recency-Bias in my movie reviews.

I read the book in the weeks leading up to the 2021 release and I finished it the day before. I watched Dune 2021. I'm not sure why I thought reading the book first was a good idea, because everything I've ever known in life has told me reading the book AFTER the movie is the way to go. So, while honestly didn't really care for the book (been reading Sanderson and Abercrombie lately) I surprisngly liked Dune 2021.....less? More? I'm not sure. It LOOKED amazing, and I love Denis Villenueve, but I was pretty bored because, ironically, it followed the book pretty well, so I felt like I'd almost already watched it (I LOVE BR2049 for the record) Anyway, quality was clearly paramount for Spence, it wasn't until I got to the midpoint (at 1:22:32, where the 2021 movie ends, roughly) and started on my notes, that I remembered I was even watching an edit. (note, the 5 year time-skip happens a bit later, so I suppose 2021 cut those out, or will adjust them or something? Not sure.)



This last version is an informal bulleted-list comparison between the book, this edit, and Dune 2021, and reflects moreso how I felt about the work of the original filmmaker's vs the author's.
However, I haven't seen the original 2000 miniseries, so any props I give to that version over the 2021 version also should be given, in part, to Spence!
(most of these points I left as they were when I wrote them out as notes mid-viewing)

Part 1:

- I don't really care for movies that are/feel old, but I managed to overlook the cheesiness and wonky CGI here for the most part (except for the rabbit lmao)
- The dialogue is cheesy but I didn't think much of the dialogue in 2021 felt organic either, and I was pretty bummed about it
- Honestly this feels much faster paced than 2021 despite also feeling much more dialogue focused (both good things)
- They actually use the word Muad'dib thank god
- They sort of included the dinner scene where Paul ends that man's whole career, so, props for trying
- The Hunter-Seeker bit was less stupid in Spence's version
- There was less exposition dumps in Spence's version (it felt like it anyway)
- There was more emphasis on the importance of water in Spence's version
- Uh they did Duncan Idaho DIRTY in this one but honestly I thought the body shields in 2021 did not function like they were described in the book. I hate his death in 2021 because of this, so I'd put this point as a tie.
- I also don't remember Paul addressing his sister in 2021
- love the tidy whities duel
- 2021's "do you yield" was stupid and forced. This one wasn't perfect but it was much more organic!
- Also, with that being said they managed to include just as many book scenes as Dune 2021 in half the runtime (maybe even MORE scenes?)
- Jessica didn't cry in 2/3 of her scenes in this version so that's a bonus for me *cough* 2021 *cough*
- I've really enjoyed everything. Feels pretty spot-on with the book, give or take

Part 2:

Psych. I decided to disappoint you all the same way that Denis disappointed everyone who hadn't realized it was going to be a 2-parter (I did) Spence's edit played out in a very satisfying way that was pretty faithful to the books in my opinion (bear in mind I didn't really care for the book). Obviously not everything will translate 1:1 but I felt that it worked out pretty well. Also, as Denis hasn't had his chance yet, I'll reserve my final judgment for a few years lol.

(not sure what the significance of the bit where the kill the baby worm in the pool was about though)


Nice work here Spence!

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