Tuesday, September 22, 2009

The David Lynch Adaptation of "Dune"

is not very good and makes Herbert's prose seem subtle and airy by comparison.

But, holy moley, does it look expensive. They just sort of skip over major plot points, though, don't they? While just sort of making a few bits up along the way.

Credit where credit is due. Lynch cast pre-koo-koo Sean Young, a very young Virginia Madsen, and this Francesca Annis person who plays the Lady Jessica.

Also, Patrick Stewart.

To be fair, the challenge of translating that book was never going to be easy for anyone.

I gotta say, though, the handling of Alia was surprisingly good.


Katar Hol said...

David Lynch's Dune was pretty to look at but not much else.

The Sci-Fi channel "Dune" miniseries was quite good at adapting the novel and it looked really good at what is probably a tenth of the budget of the theatrical Dune.

Steven said...

You know who played Alia? Alicia Witt.

My friends in Holland all thought that the show "Cybil" was funny, I did not. It was like a bad knock-off of Absolutely Fabulous, which I also think is pretty stupid.

But for the odd chance Ms. Witt would be in that episode: such dreams! such hopes! such reveries!

The League said...

Katar, I actually borrow the Sci-Fi Channel version from my brother, and plan to watch it over the next week or so. I'd had this version sitting on m DVR for about two months, and finally knocked it out.

I look forward to seeing what a mini-series can do with the book. I'm almost positive the longer running time can only act in its favor.

I did look up who played Alia last night, and was surprised it was Alicia Witt. And even more surprised I knew who Alicia Witt is, as I think I watched one episode of Cybil circa 1996.

I can say nothing in regards to the Dutch and their love of Ms. Shepard except that I liked AbFab back in the day (but it doesn't hold up terrifically well in re-runs).

NTT said...

Lynch's Dune was tremendously flawed and a clumsy adaptation of the novel. I still like it a lot in a B movie cheesy admiration kind of way. But as a huge fan of the novel, it showed Lynch had no idea how to streamline the novel for cinematic purposes.

The set designs, art directions and costumes were fantastic. He failed in 3 things:

1. The special effects were atrocious considering how Star Wars made things look so much better with less money. The worms looked bad bad bad. Anything needing a green screen was not composited right with the foreground. It looked terrible.

2. He did a 180 and made Paul an actual messiah. Wait whut? The whole point of the novel is that he was a false messiah.

3. He completely made the Fremen wimps. The Fremen were supposed to be the most badass warriors in the universe, a cross between the Mongols and the Comanches. A warrior tribal race who could go toe to toe with the Sardaukar. Instead we got desert warriors fighting with sonic voice boxes shouting at each other? This is what brought down the Empire? It looked terrible on screen and you couldn't help but laugh. It also contradicted the whole first half of the movie where blades were introduced as the only effective method to counteract against shields. Yet the whole blade vs. shield was dropped at the end of the movie. Umm not to get all sci-fi geeky on things.

The League said...

Some FX were okay, but, yeah, in particular the worm FX were uniformly badly matted, and it was always obvious when they cut to a miniature for the worm sequences. It looked like someone's sandbox.

I need to talk to you off this channel about Paul as messiah/ pre-destined/ etc... because I was left with some questions, and its why I was going to read the next two novels. I certainly got a completely different read on it as per how they wrapped the film.

As per point 3, I couldn't agree more. There was no focus at all on the Fremen culture, and how that culture was unique, etc...

And the "weirding modules" were confusing as hell, as per "why did Lynch add this in?".

Anyway, someday I'll watch the extended version, but its going to be a while before I try it.

tachyonshuggy said...

I really think the Lynch Dune movie is one of the stupidest wastes of time and effort ever. Here are some bad genre movies that are still better:

- The Chronicles of Riddick

- Event Horizon

- Alien Resurrection

- Critters

NTT said...

I don't know. I would have to say Highlander 2 being the worst sci-fi genre movie ever. Nothing came with so much expectation and hope and was immediately crushed under 5 tons of defeat than Highlander 2 in the first 10 minutes of the movie.

Also, just send me an email about Dune stuff.