Dune: Glad I read the book first.

Dune was a great book, full of all sorts of ideas which don’t really translate into a cinematic portrayal. I’ve seen the David Lynch film before, but I wasn’t really “watching” and it was a shitty VHS transfer and all, so this time I actually did it properly.

It is full of pretty things and no expense was spared to make a vision come to life. But even that can’t save a cinematic portrayal of Dune (the miniseries handled a lot of things better). Part of it was what they kept (too much inner monologue!), part was what they left out (Yueh, Kynes and the Shadout Mapes are barely there; Paul’s induction into the Fremen was drastically modified), and part was what they added (what was the deal with “weirding modules” and syllables with power and whatnot).

The casting choices are, to say the least, interesting. A handful of extremely recognizable faces peer out of a generally workmanlike crowd. Sting is well-placed as Feyd-Rautha, if only because the role only demands a limited range of looking pretty and smirking. Patrick Stewart is rather appropriate as Gurney Hallack, but since his face has become recognizable and he’s become a star since this film, there’s a certain discomfort in seeing him in a bit role, and every time he was on screen he distracted me a lot from what was going on. Not that much distraction was necessary, mind: between the weird additions and modifications and omissions, it was hard to see the original story, or indeed any story, shining through.

See also: IMDB, Wikipedia.

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About Jake
I'm a mathematics professor at the University of Louisville, and a geek.

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