The Spice Must Flow…

22Jun11

finished reading dune a few weeks ago. i’ve waited to post anything because i wanted to watch the david lynch movie, as well as the sci-fi miniseries from a few years ago, just to compare. so here are my thoughts.

the book:

not a fan. sorry. i know thats heresy to some of you, as dune is considered a masterpiece of science fiction. genre defining if you will. don’t misunderstand, i certainly understand its influence and impact. i mean, its obvious that lucas straight up lifted certain ideas from it for star wars. jedis = bene gesserit. but to me, it suffers from many of the same ailments as the lord of the rings (yes, more heresy). the world is so dense as to be borderline impenetrable. herbert refers to objects and uses terms as if they’re commonplace, with little to no visual description, save for the entries in the glossary (which i didn’t realize was there until my second attempt). this probably served him well long term, as he wrote 5 sequels, not counting all the stuff his son wrote. not that i’ll ever know cause i’m never gonna read any of it. there were whole pages, though, where i found myself glossing over the words because i had NO FUCKING IDEA WHAT HE WAS TALKING ABOUT.

sigh. sorry. guess i just need to stick to pop-up books.

the movie:

hah! seriously? for starters, i’ll refer to this list from topless robot of the top things added to dune for no reason. the acting was terrible, the casting was bad, and the plot was nearly indecipherable. and i actually read the book. i felt sorry for katie. she had to have been utterly lost.

the tv series

i actually held out a bit of hope for this one. i had heard it was fairly accurate in terms of the novel, and i’d have to agree that, for the grand total of 45 minutes that i actually watched it, it was.

though the casting visually looked better, the acting was much worse, as were the effects, despite being made over 15 years after the movie. yes i know it was a tv series made for sci fi, but that doesn’t excuse shitty anti-aliasing on renders and bad compositing. one of the outdoor shots looks like it was lit in someones living room. the vast desert of arrakis looked to be about 20 square feet.

and the costumes. oh god, the costumes. everything was way, way over-designed, and the colors looked like peewee’s playhouse in technicolor. it was like a bad 1970′s scifi serial.

i think its time another shot was given to this property. theres some great stuff in there. it just needs someone who can do what peter jackson did with the lord of the rings. someone who can distill it down to its essence, get rid of the extraneous bullshit, make us care about the characters, and make a cool ass space movie.



One Response to “The Spice Must Flow…”

  1. 1 Danny

    Ok. You probably knew I would respond to this one. And I shall start with the things I agree with…

    Movie.(Sting version) Too done up. They concentrated on the wrong things trying to make it unique, trying too hard not to make Star Wars or Star Trek. Terribly cast, for goodness’ sake, Paul is a boy. Not 27 year-old Kyle Mclauchlan. Patrick Stewart was great though. And these are people who live in the desert, the desert, hot , no water… and they wear BLACK stil-suits? And they just made shit up. Sound weapons? Paul makes it rain?

    The TV series(non-Sting version) That thing flat sucked. Sucked in a way I was sorry for the guys who did the catering. Let alone the actors. I bought It, never seeing it live on Sci-Fi. I threw away the DVD.

    I really feel it is a novel worth leaving a novel. TV and movies could come close if done right, but it would be massive, such as the likes as Lord of the Rings.

    The Book. Friend you have violated a sacred text. I read it first as a teenager. Read it cover-to-cover again while I was in Iraq. First, it is heavy, but rich with real world, our world, information. The Fremin, are Sunni arabs, zealots even today. It about the wrongs and right of religion, its about the perversion of thought and the corruption of power. It’s becomes rich when you realize its about humans, but they feel and read as non-humans, aliens if you like. Yet there is not one “alien” in whole text. Many sci-fi and fantasy novels rely on monsters and fictional life-forms to portray evil. But overall it is such a rich novel, full of detail, and poetry, that frankly describes the desert perfectly. I do not recommend reading in a desert combat-zone to bring its flavor to life. But having once lived in the desert makes it familiar to me.


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