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Retro Film Review: Dune (1984)
Movies
stainsteelrat
Dune (1984). Directed by David Lynch and based on the book by Frank Herbert. The film opens with some exposition from Princess Irulan, the daughter of the Emperor of the Known Universe. It is the year 10,191, and mankind has expanded and colonised the Universe. There are two planets feuding over control of the planet Arrakis, which is the source of the most valuable substance in the Universe, the spice melange. The spice in turn allows navigators to pilot spaceships across vast distances, and is therefore vital. Dune is an epic film, and not just by virtue of its epic story. It has a rich and eclectic cast of both known and not so known actors that for me do a fantastic job of conveying a complex story, including such luminaries as Jurgen Prochnow, Max von Sydow, Kyle MacLachlan, Patrick Stewart, and Francesca Annis. Lynch does a stunning of bringing the story to life, albeit with the limited special effects of the time, and some changes to the book. The cinematography is impressive, and there are some very imaginative sequences. Alongside the special effects are vast sets, opulent costumes, and hordes of extras. And if that weren't enough, there's an unusual and varied soundtrack from Toto and Brian Eno. The overall result varies quite dramatically with the viewer. Most find Dune to be a bewildering mess of a film, and it was a box office failure. But much like Blade Runner the film attracted a cult following over the years, essentially due to the home video market. Also like Blade Runner, I first saw Dune on the small screen in the mid 80s, although I can't remember whether it was on VHS or via terrestrial TV. I hadn't read the book, yet understood the film on a first watch and immediately fell in love with it. The world that both Herbert and Lynch created was an incredible one, and something quite unlike I had seen before. I have watched the film many times subsequently, including the TV version that Lynch somewhat understandably disowned, and the Sci-Fi channel TV remake. I have read all the books, although I felt they lost their way as they progressed, and were often a hard read when they got bogged down in political minutiae. Ultimately the film is still my first love in the franchise. It's a hard film to recommend because it doesn't appeal to many, but there's a chance you might like it if an SF fan open to something different. 5/5 (Excellent)
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My eldest brother tried to forceread me Herbert's novel in an effort to convince me that the book was better than the film.

I'm a huge Lynch fan as you know and to me, Dune is number 2 in my top 5 Lynch movies. Number one being Lost Highway. I must have seen Dune more times than Lost Highway though.

I have a DivX version of Lynch's Alan Smithee edit. Which sucks. My only other copy is on VHS.

I'm most interested by the KTVU version, although have no idea whether it's obtainable http://uk.imdb.com/title/tt0087182/alternateversions

Have you a) Dune itself and 2) it's Frank Herbert written sequels?

The movie is a mess but there's brilliance there in spades. I remember hearing that Lynch was offered directing duties on Jedi; I wonder how that would've turned out? I like to think that he did take the gig in an alternate universe...

READ Dune and it's sequels. *facepalm*

My brain, he no work anymore!

Yep, mentioned in the OP that I have read all the books.

I'm guessing it would have been a hack job for Jedi, in that it would have been nothing like Dune. I'm glad he took on something unique :-)

Oops, sorry about that. Like I said, my brain, he no work no more!

one of my favourites even if the baron did scare the crap out of me as a kid. i had heart plug nightmares.

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