Friday, October 7, 2011

Dune: Extended Edition Movie Review

I've seen David Lynch's Dune many times.  Twenty years ago, I remember seeing the super long extended version of Dune on the Sci-fi channel.  I always wondered why the original release wasn't the longer version since it had more in it.  Flash forward 20 years to this week, and I rented the extended version.  It made me question where my head was when I was 15, because this extended version is horrible.  Maybe I wasn't such a movie making critic and could look past the horrible editing and sound.  David Lynch was very smart to have his name removed from the extended version.  The only parts that play out with any degree of quality are the scenes untouched by Alan Smithee.  And when I say untouched, I mean sound too.  There is so much to be said for proper film making, from editing and sound to acting and score.  As much as a fan of Dune as I am, I have to say in my more seasoned age, I hope to never see this version again.  For those of you who don't know Dune, aside from a pile of sand, it is the greatest sci-fi novel ever written.  It is the sci-fi equivalent to the Lord of the Rings.  Dune tells the galactic story of politics and intrigue in a very distant future (approximately 20,000 years if you piece it together from the prequel novels).  At the center of the story is young Paul Atreides, who could be a prescient super being created through 90 generations of breeding, who loses his father and fiefdom to his sworn enemies, the Harkonnens.  He befriends the local inhabitants of the planet Arrakis, the fremen, and together, they work to defeat the Emperor of the known universe and place themselves and their desert planet as the center of the Universe.  The fremen culture as created by Frank Herbert is one of the most interesting parts of the novels, which brings me back to the movie.  The movie does a horrible part under developing these fierce warriors that take over all power.   Dune is a great novel and its depth of character, description, and intrigue ruined me for most other novels.  I give the book 12 thumbs up, and the original movie 2 thumbs up, and the extended version of the movie 12 thumbs down.

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