It wasn’t the best of times

It wasn’t the worst of times.

I’m taking about the newest movie incarnation of Dune. Let me preface this with a little info: This isn’t exactly my genre. I go more for Rom-Coms, Marvel — action with comedy — period or historic drama or comedy, some paranormal comedy. Straight up sci-fi is not my thing. I couldn’t read more than a couple of chapters of the book and I sat through maybe a 1/2 hour of the first incarnation of the movie when it was on TV.

My movie buddy was surprised that I agreed to see it, but the cast is excellent so … why the hell not give it a go?

Dune poster © Warner Bros.
© Warner Bros.

They did an nice job of giving necessary background information to us newbies. I didn’t feel lost by not having read the book. Of course, I did my usual and caught on to what was happening with a couple of characters way before any real indication was given by exposition or actor. I do that.

When I first saw Ghost, I leaned over to the guy I was with — who had already seen the movie — and told him, “That’s the killer.” That was during the first scene when the killer came on screen. During the scene where Swayze and Goldwyn are riding in the elevator, I told my companion why Swayze would be killed.

It’s a gift … and a curse.

The only thing wrong was continuity issues, especially noticeable after one particular fight scene. The blood was there on the nasolabial fold and the philtrum; then it wasn’t; then it was; then it wasn’t. Pretty damned good if that’s the worst problem. There were sound issues where the music drowned the dialogue, but I’m fairly certain that was a movie theatre issue with the balance of the speakers and not a post-production issue.

The storyline is coherent. It made me realize how derivative Star Wars is, especially the sand worms. Robert Jordan’s Wheel of Time White Tower is almost a complete rip-off of the Bene Gesserit.

The cast was, for the most part, excellent. Josh Brolin looked much better than when I last saw him as Thanos and did his usual very fine acting. Jason Momoa was better than I’ve ever seen him. Charlotte Rampling was excellent as always. Timothée Chalamet did a wonderful job of character development and growth in depth. The entire cast was good. Rebecca Ferguson as Lady Jessica Atreides was majorly annoying and I think/hope that was in keeping with the book.

The one drawback was the length of the film. 2 and 1/2 hours. Two and one-half hours! I don’t know what they could have deleted, but ye gods and little goblins, in the name of all that’s holy, I will NOT be watching the director’s cut any time soon.

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