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Dune

By Barry,
Magic spells, witches and wizardry, a mysterious spice, and the search for the Messiah create a fantasy world you won't want to miss. Starring Kyle MacLachlan, Francesca Annis
Author Rating: 
4.0 Stars - Very Good

In 1965, Frank Herbert wrote a science fiction novel called Dune. In 1984,David Lynch (The Elephant Man, Blue Velvet, and Wild at Heart) directed themovie version of this story.

The story takes place in the year 10,191; the Padishah Emperor Shaddam IV(Jose Ferrer) runs the universe.

The most important substance in the universe is the spice Melange -- itextends life, it can be used to expand the consciousness, and it is vitalto space travel. The spice gives the Spacing Guild and its navigators theability to fold space, which basically means they can take you from oneplace in the universe to another without moving (a theory explained in themovie, Event Horizon).

The spice is grown on only one planet in the universe, the planet Arrakis.Arrakis, also known as Dune, is a planet completely devoid of moisture; theentire planet is one giant desert. There is a native race of people wholive on this planet, the Fremen. The Fremen are a deeply religious groupwho live by a prophecy that one day a messiah will come and lead them tofreedom.

Now we begin with the story of a young man named Paul Atreides (KyleMacLachlan), the son of the Duke Leto Atreides (Jurgen Prochnow) of theplanet Caladan. Paul should have never existed but not for the love of DukeLeto's concubine the Bene Gesserit trained Lady Jessica (Francesca Annis),but we'll get to that later.

The Emperor Shaddam IV places Duke Leto in charge of Arrakis, replacing theformer overseer of spice production the ruthless Baron Vladimir Harkonnen(Kenneth McMillan), and his two nephews Beast Rabban (Paul Smith) and FeydRautha (Sting). House Atreides and House Harkonnen have always beenenemies, and the fact that the Atreides are now taking over spiceproduction, which is considered one of the most powerful positions in theuniverse next to the emperor, is cause for the Harkonnens to completelylose it and eliminate house Atreides.

The Bene Gesserits are a group of women, who are considered witches, butmany men of power employ their services for use of their many abilities.For instance, they can control people with the sound of their voice. Forthousands of years, the Bene Gesserits have been manipulating bloodlines tocreate the universal super being, the "Kwisatz Haderach". The Lady Jessicawas supposed to have a female child who would have in turn been wed to aHarkonnen son, which would have done two things: first, their union wouldhave finally brought peace to the two houses; and second, their offspringwould have produced the Kwisatz Haderach.

Before the Harkonnens left Dune, they set many traps, spies, and saboteursfor the Atreides -- one of which was a very close member of the Atreideshousehold. When the time was right, the Harkonnen's set out a full attackon the Atreides and completely destroyed them, leaving only the young Pauland his mother, the Lady Jessica, to be disposed of in the deep desert.

Paul and Jessica managed to escape and meet up with the Fremen. Throughtime, they became part of the Fremen tribe, and they taught the Frementheir methods of fighting and philosophies.

As years go by, Paul starts to take on more and more of leadership role inthe tribe, and the Fremen are beginning to believe Paul is the prophesiedmessiah they have been waiting for.

I'm not going to tell you any more of the story because I hate those moviereviews that give away the entire story. And believe me, I left out a lotof details of the movie 'cause I want you to see it and enjoy it... alsobecause this review would have been ten times longer if I had put them in.

I will tell you this, however. Dune is definitely a movie not only worthseeing, but it's worth owning because the first time you see it, it'spretty confusing. It took me around three times to completely understandevery part of the story. I love this movie, and even after I read the book,I still love this movie.

Unfortunately it was made in a time when everyone and their mother wasusing the blue-screen effect way too much, and computer animation was soprimitive. If Dune would have had the special effects like we have today,and the rest of it stayed exactly the way it was, I would have given thismovie a 10. They definitely made some changes from the book to the film,but I could see why they made the changes, and they were necessary for theflow and continuity of the film.

The Sci-fi Channel put out a mini series version of Dune a couple of yearsago, and I guess they thought that they could have improved on the story,but in turn, they simply mutilated it.

So, if you're debating on which version to see, go see the David Lynchversion.

 

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