Thursday, January 12, 2006

And to think this paved the way for "Twin Peaks": "Dune"

I did not say this. I am not here.

You know, there actually could have been a decent movie here, even with Baron Harkonnen's pustules and Paul Atreides's big hair.

The slow blade penetrates the shield.

Not sure why I've been sucked into this movie on more than one occasion. Maybe it's because of the big worms. Maybe it's because it's a well-known flop. Maybe it's because my friend Tex quotes it without hesitation, and at high volume.

Fear is the mind-killer.

Don't get me wrong. "Dune" looks great, even if you set aside those little nose-hoses when Kyle MacLachlan is on the eponymous planet.

He who controls the Spice controls the universe

And I actually enjoy most Lynch efforts. Although overrated, "Blue Velvet" wasn't boring. (Bonus points for its role in "The Squid and the Whale.") I also liked Nicolas Cage's Elvis turn in "Wild at Heart," and "Mulholland Dr." was pretty cool, albeit incomprehensible.

They tried and failed? They tried and died.

But clearly "Dune" was too tall an order. Funny, since the convoluted tale by Frank Herbert might seem a perfect match for Mr. Confusing.

Father ... the sleeper has awakened!

Our story, if you care, essentially is a battle between two families for a priceless commodity, the Spice. This takes place well into the future -- sometime after the year 10,000 -- and also involes some interstellar politics.

My name is a killing word.

MacLachlan ultimately becomes a Messiah type figure on the only planet where this Spice is produced, much to the chagrin of the rival family, led by Kenneth McMillan as a revolting fat man who can float through the air. Also part of the fold is singer Sting, grinning maniacally.

Do we have wormsign?

Like I said, there could have been a nice story here, especially with some of the special effects. Unfortunately, this potential is undone by two things: the squeezing of plot advancement into bits of narration, and the hugely awkward internal monologue of multiple characters.

Long live the fighters!

Seriously, it's just weird to have a camera fixed on a person during a voiceover. Yet this happens a heck of a lot in "Dune," and it's incredibly distracting.

Why prolong the inevitable? I will kill you!

I'll admit that some scenes and quotes (perhaps you noticed those) are entertaining, and that it's fun to see famous faces pop up throughout the movie. (Hey, there's Capt. Picard! There's Ming the Merciless!) But when the "short version" is two hours and 17 minutes, you know you're in trouble.

And how can this be? For he is the Kwisatz Haderach!


At 9:32 AM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Excellent review! I think this movie may surpass Clash of the Titans, Flash Gordon, and Krull as the most awesome really bad Saturday afternoon movie of all time.

Speaking of random actors, don't forget that it's Virginia Madsen who kicks this movie off in fine style--summarizing about 1,500 pages of Frank Herbert's novel in 10 seconds. Thus leaving most movie-goers utterly lost as to what's going on for the next 3 hours.


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