Hollywood
Dune (1984)

Like most book adaptations, this movie version of Frank Herbert's sci-fi classic suffers from requiring too many explanations. There are various things that still make it a decent film, though. The great supporting cast, the trance-inducing music, and the grandiose scenery are some of the reasons this movie isn't as bad as the Dune purists would have you believe.

Rating  

We need a prescient director to make a good Dune adaptation.

[do action=”play-by-play-spoilers”/]

[do action=”moment” emo=”Facepalm” title=”Cool-looking intro, but it lacks efficiency.”/]

Looking back at the introductory scene after viewing the entire film, I think it would have made things simpler if we would have been shown all these opening topics instead of watching Virginia Madsen narrate them. Dune‘s story is complex, why complicate things further?

[do action=”moment” emo=”Disgusting” title=”The Faces of Spice.”/]

Damn, that Spacing Guild member is fugly. Fans of the Dune novel might question Lynch’s version of the Navigators. They kinda look like mutant peanuts with a severe–and I mean severe–case of acne.

[do action=”moment” emo=”Creative” title=”Dune is beautiful.”/]

The design of the various rooms, uniforms, and clothes is very inspired and original. There’s an organic feel to this universe that’s uncommon in science fiction movies. Visually, the film is refreshing.

[do action=”moment” emo=”LookingGood” title=”Beam me up, mutated peanut thingy!”/]

The scene showcasing how the Guild manages to travel through space by guiding the Atreides fleet to Arrakis is nicely executed. One could say that the whole scene is ambiguous; we don’t really know what’s going on and how space travel works, but I believe this is what actually makes it better. It’s also different from other forms of space travel we’ve seen in other sci-fi flicks such as Star Wars and Star Trek.

[do action=”moment” emo=”Disgusting” title=”In space, no one can hear you puke.”/]

Okay, so I’ve had enough of disgusting scenes involving Baron Vladimir Harkonnen already. Wasn’t his face ugly enough? Why add more and more nastiness? Who wants to see him spit on Jessica’s face? We knew he was awful the first second we met him. The time wasted on watching him do additional gross and grotesque stuff takes time away from other important elements of the story. Ultimately, they just go untold, making the whole story difficult to follow for those who haven’t read the book.

[do action=”moment” emo=”Laughable” title=”Sing with me: I’m an Englishman on Giedi Prime…”/]

Sting ruins all the scenes he’s in. It’s not his fault, but, you know, it’s Sting. Whenever he’s on the screen, you don’t see na-Baron Feyd-Rautha Harkonnen, you just see Sting. He can’t even prove himself as an actor either, because he has limited dialogues. Most of the times you see Feyd-Rautha, he has this creepy rape-face expression going on.

[do action=”moment” emo=”Exciting” title=”Huge monsters always help bad screenplays.”/]

If there’s something fun with this movie, it’s the sandworms. All the scenes involving the colossal beasts are entertaining. When Paul and the Fremen ride them, we can really feel their excitement. The epic score contributes to elevate this scene and makes it one of the best in cinematic sci-fi.

[do action=”moment” emo=”Puzzling” title=”Hey, David Lynch, we are not prescient, you know.”/]

The Bene Gesserit’s Reverend Mother’s early screen time involves her subjecting Paul to a test. As Paul passes the test, she smiles, removes her threatening poisonous needle and we get the feeling she became an ally. But in the final scene, she’s on the emperor’s side and is clearly an enemy of the Atreides. It’s just confusing for someone who hasn’t read the novels. Of course, when you read the books you understand the Bene Gesserit’s motives, but without the novel, the Bene Gesserit make no sense at all.


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