Watching ‘DUNE’: A Research Project

Oh my goodness, my friends, I finally watched Dune. I’ve been ultra-fascinated with this science-fiction epic since I started seeing details of the much-needed reboot being made by Denis Villeneuve coming out early next year. However, yesterday, my sister and I decided to do a little research (and thus spoiling ourselves of the plot) by watching the original Dune movie from 1984 and we were flabbergasted…and not in a good way.

As I watched the film unfold I found myself jarred by the incomprehensive storyline that seemed to weave and pounce on my senses with information and exposition that left me reeling. On more than one occasion I would rub my head and ask aloud, “What is happening?” And that is exactly what is wrong with this 80s’ cult classic.

It isn’t the story that was bad. In fact, the story was actually kind of amazing. It was the adaption of this story that was so jacked up.

Names, planets, and other important tidbits seemed to be thrown at me nonstop and at so quick in succession that I just couldn’t follow. It felt like a story that needed at least four hours to be half-explained correctly had been crammed into ONE movie, leaving me drained and overwhelmed by the film’s underwhelming conclusion.

And can we talk about Chani?!

I was really interested in seeing who this character was and what her importance was to the story. Turns out she’s nothing but a kissing vessel for Paul Atreides or Muad’Dib or whatever the heck you want to call him. I was so disappointed!

I’m still not quite sure what the heck the weirding way even means. The Force is so much easier to understand but the powers in this story…it was just odd and not handled comprehensively.

I mean, there is a part halfway through the film where we see Paul’s mother take some poison water to become like the Reverend Mother from the beginning of the movie. She does, it is said that the Reverend Mother sacrifices her life, but later in the film when Paul takes the exact same water and must undertake the same painful procedure, we see the Reverend Mother alive. Why is this the case? Is this a plot hole or did I miss something? Please, if you’ve seen this movie, let me know.

But I will say one thing that I did like…

Paul can ride those spice worms?! Oh yeah! That’s pretty awesome.

Yeah, this movie needed an upgrade in every sense. It needed a better cast (even though it was nice to see Patrick Stewart in this movie) and better special effects, it needed a better composer and cinematographer, but most importantly, it needed a better director and writer, and I think all of these boxes can be checked for this highly-anticipated reboot.

Denis Villeneuve is one of my favorite directors, bringing life to stories that shouldn’t have been so gripping (Prisoners, Arrival, Sicario) and even though I haven’t seen Blade Runner 2049 I have confidence that he will do a great job with this story.

And heck, at least I now know what’s going on. After watching the movie my sister and I watched the trailer for the upcoming Dune and honestly, I’m even more excited now that I know the characters and what the story is about.

If you haven’t seen the trailer yet here it is. And if you have, well, here it is again.

Well, I thank you for reading my miniature rant review and I hope you have a great day.

7 thoughts on “Watching ‘DUNE’: A Research Project”

  1. Quick question. Did you watch the extended version or the shorter theatrical release. As for the weirding way, the book better outlines Paul practicing it before they move to Arakis

    Liked by 1 person

  2. I haven’t seen this movie in forever, I probably was like 12. It was on VHS. (Does this generation even remember what that is? 😓) But yeah… I remember it being pretty incomprehensible at the time. It was just so… random and out there and all over the place. A lot of 80s sci fi exploitation movies (and yeah, this was kind of one of those in the rush to cash in on the coattails of Star Wars) had pretty poor acting and stories and actors that just kinda blurred the lines between “I’m seeing something really deep” and “I just dropped a whole shot glass of acid and I’m tripping golf balls right now.” (Star Trek: TMP *absolutely* fits this description.) Maybe I’ll watch it again some time, but this wasn’t a good way to be introduced to Dune. It left enough marks that I’ve never really had the urge to find it again or read the books or much else.

    Who knows? Maybe I’ll get courage again. More likely I’ll just wait and try to catch the new one and hope it’s better.

    Liked by 1 person

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