Sunday, March 1, 2009

3-1-09: Dune

My Netflix movie of the week (for last week) is, without a doubt, David Lynch's 1984 adaptation of Frank Herbert's Dune. I haven't seen that many good sci-fi movies recently, so I made sure this time around to watch a classic. And boy... did Dune live up to the hype. I'd only seen bits and pieces of the film on HBO and other movie channels, but never in its entirety. I also made sure to rent the Extended Edition, which had a three-hour run time.

The basic gist of the plot is that there are a bunch of planets that are part of an empire that are feuding over the mining of "the spice melange," which is the most precious substance in the universe. It allows for extended life and special powers that let some bend space. Different groups use it for different things, but it all comes from the desert planet Arrakis (a.k.a. "Dune"). The story revolves around Paul Atreides, who is the heir to the House Atreides, one of the royal houses in the empire. Paul is thought to be a messiah figure, and the story plays out around that theme.

I can't help but think The Amory Wars and Tremors stole some ideas from this; one in a deeper way, one just took the worms idea (they have enormous worms on Arrakis that are attracted to movement and devour everything). But I don't think either quite live up to Dune. It's just an amazing story, and the film adaptation is marvelous. Great cinematography, excellent cast, excellent film.

If you're in to sci-fi movies, Dune is one you must see. I think I might go ahead and look into reading Herbert's novel.

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