Monday, 8 August 2016

Dune Review


Release Date: 14th December 1984 - Australia

Production Companies
Dino De Laurentiis Company

Genre: Sci-Fi

Rating: PG

Runtime: 137 minutes
               177 minutes
               (extended cut)

Budget: $40,000,000

Box Office Gross: $217,991,874

Plot Summary
Set in a distant future where
life in the universe and space
travel is dependent upon a
spice found only on the planet
Dune, this film tracks the rise
of young Paul Atreides, son
of noble Duke Leto, from the
time of his father's betrayal
and murder in the hands by
the evil Baron Harkonnen,
to his discovery of the great
secret behind the planet Dune
and his own destiny, which
is to free the planet and its
denizens of the cruel rule of
the Emperor.

Kyle MacLachlan - Paul Atreides
Sean Young - Chani
Sting - Feyd Rautha
Patrick Stewart - Gurney Halleck
Francesca Annis - Lady Jessica
Jürgen Prochnow - Duke Leto 
Richard Jordan - Duncan Idaho
Dean Stockwell - Dr. Wellington Yueh
Freddie Jones - Thufur Hawat
Max von Sydow - Dr. Kynes 
Linda Hunt - Shadout Mapes
Everett McGill - Stilgar
Alicia Witt - Alia
Virginia Madsen - Princess Irulan
José Ferrer - Padishah 
Emperor Shaddam IV
Siân Phillips - Reverend Mother 
Gaius Helen Mohiam
Kenneth McMillan - Baron 
Vladimir Harkonnen 
Brad Dourif - Piter De Vries
Jack Nance - Nefud
Paul L. Smith - The Beast Rabban
Leonardo Cimino - The Baron's Doctor
Silvana Mangano - Reverend 
Mother Ramallo

Screenplay/Director - David Lynch
Based on Novel "Dune" - 
Frank Herbert
Executive Producer - Dino De Laurentiis
Producer - Raffaella De Laurentiis
Production Designer - Anthony Masters
Creative Makeup - Giannetto
De Rossi
Costume Designer - Bob
Cinematography - Freddie Francis
Creature Creator - Carlo Rambaldi
Special Photographic Effects - Barry Nolan
Mechanical Special Effects - Kit West
Additional Special Visual
Effects - Albert Whitlock
Film Editor - Antony Gibbs
Music - Toto
Composers: Prophecy Theme - 
Brian & Roger Eno and Daniel Lanois


1985 Academy Awards
Best Sound - Bill Varney, Steve Maslow,
Kevin O'Connell and Nelson Stoll (Nominated)

I have never reviewed a David Lynch feature before as I have not seen one, except for DUNE. The film adaptation of DUNE has had a major part in my life after STAR WARS and I'm sad to say it was a financial flop during its release added with a dismal reception among people who were readers and fanatics of Frank Herbert's acclaimed sci-fi series of books. Unfortunately halfway through the filming process, the director David Lynch lost control of the movie, due to pressure from the studio for him to cut the length of the film. His original vision of DUNE was severely compromised in post-production when numerous scenes were trimmed, deleted and arranged in such a way that seemed disorganised. The changes also reduced the overall running time of the movie to just over two hours.

It was not until 1988 when more editing was applied to the extended cut release that was aired on television. Previously filmed scenes used as stock footage and censorship were added to this version not by the decision of Lynch and this did not please him so he requested for his name to be changed in the opening credits to "Alan Smithee" and "Judas Booth" instead. Since the 1988 re-release, it began a following through the online community and remained as a cult favourite to all people who were into sci-fi, films by David Lynch or even the source material from Frank Herbert. After watching the theatrical release of this film, the plot seemed inconsistent in most of the scenes which are misplaced and what seems like a disastrous butchery of the film. We can all forget the bad stuff that has happened in this stale version as the film has truly glorious elaborate sets, costume and make-up design and some VFX which compliment the movie and makes the bad things about DUNE more bearable.

The acting is not all that bad, some of the classic actors prove to be terrific choices for names such as Kyle MacLachlan in his debut role as Paul Atriedes and Sean Young as the film's leading lady. The supporting actors also have their place in the movie like future STAR TREK alumnus Patrick Stewart, Sting and Max von Sydow. The background score by the rock band Toto creates a genuine ambience not heard in any other classic sci-fi films.

DUNE has its moments, but it leaves us wondering if a director's cut of Lynch's version would do this average movie justice. In my opinion, DUNE doesn't deserve the bad feedback that it received at the box office and nearly cost the directional career of David Lynch of which DUNE should have been properly finished under his supervision.

Star rating: (7/10) Good Movie

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