Hey there Movie Club,
This is Casey. In a few hours, the regular “Episode 14” of Molly Movie Club will go up. Before it does, I wanted to post this “extended cut” version, and explain what it contains so members can decide which one they want to listen to!
After the regular podcast discussion of Dune, I went on for thirty minutes about how bad the screenwriting was in this movie. It was not really “podcast material” per se, it was just a straight-up rant because the screenwriting in this film epitomizes everything I hate about writing in modern “big budget” movies:
Lines that only the writer, not the character, would be thinking at that time - especially when it is very unlikely (or even impossible) for the character to have known the information contained in the line
Lines that mechanically state what is happening, rather than being dialogue someone might plausibly say
Stating things as if they exist in the world of the movie, but those things never actually seem to exist in the world of the movie
Stating things as if they are true in the movie, but then demonstrating that in fact those things were either not true or very unlikely to be true
Having people be preternaturally good at something in one scene, then completely terrible at it in another
Allocating lots of screen time to things that don’t matter or that we already know, while allocating little or no screen time to things that would’ve made a big difference
Lines that are supposed to be profound or clever, but which actually make no sense or feel completely out of place
Mechanical scene construction where each scene just happens because that is the next thing that happens in the movie, but never because it actually makes sense why it is in that order (or sometimes in the movie at all)
We didn’t think the extra thirty minutes of rant was necessary for the main episode, because Anna and I’s dislike for the screenwriting in Dune should have been abundantly clear from the main hour-long episode. We’re pretty sure everyone will get that point.
But, we do know that there are some people out there who like a good rant, so we included the full version here in this bonus episode for our members.
Since this rant was off-the-cuff, I would point out that it’s actually a very small subset of the complaints I have about the screenplay for this film, and is less well-constructed than if I were writing it up. If I actually went through the screenplay scene-by-scene, I would have something negative to say about basically every single line of this movie.
NOTE: If you’d like to hear the rant, but already listened to the normal episode, you can skip the first hour - it’s exactly the same. The only difference between this version and the episode is that we cut the rant from the end.