Monday, September 13, 2010

Fuck Dune

Last night I watched Dune. The 1984 David Lynch one. Actually, watched might not be the right term, this is more a movie that inflicts itself on you.

It's unbelievable what a trainwreck it is. Nathan Rabin has a great writup over at The AV Club which is the perfect analysis of this film's fuck-ups. I did, however, want to add one thought. This movie clearly got away from everyone involved. Lynch isn't always the best straight-narrative film-maker (I can't really picture what about Eraserhead or The Elephant Man would convince people he should make this movie) but he's got a great flair for atmosphere and visuals; which makes the movie's lack of both especially depressing. There are a few striking images, the 80's washed-out look of Fremen standing semi-circle in the desert or the cutaways to Paul's unborn sister in the womb come to mind, but not too much more. Also, this is the only movie I've ever seen with clumsily handled exposition in literally every line. But my bigger complaint is actually about the actors.
This movie has an all-star cast, and by that I don't mean Shia LaBeuof, Megan Fox, Guy-from-James-Caan-Vegas-show, and both John Turturro and Jon Voight needing boat-payment-money, I mean a real all-star cast. It's jam-packed full of awesome character actors who are all the best parts of other movies. The problem is none of them seem to realize what the movie they're in is going to look like. For some this is a fun scream-fest chance to get really nuts: Sian Phillips, Brad Dourif, Sting, Kenneth McMillan, and Jack Nance fall into this category. Others, Jurgen Prochnow, Kyle MacLachlan, Jose Ferrer and Francesca Annis spend the entire movie looking over-serious and whispering very quietly. It's as if Lynch treated the actors like they were all making different movies, and for these five it was some kind of silent pictures-era Lifetime movie. Others are just totally lost looking or their talent is wasted. It's kind of surprising it's not a film written, directed, produced by, and entirely starring Alan Smithee's.

Fuck Dune.

I'm gonna give the 2000 TV movie a try next week.

Still....Fuck Dune.


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