"Dune" (1984) | Sam Gall Movie Review Issue #138 Gem Mint 10.0

“Dune“ (1984)

Director: David Lynch

Writer: Frank Herbert (novel), David Lynch

Starring: Kyle MacLachlan, Brad Dourif, Francesca Annis, Virginia Madsen, Leonardo Cimino, Jose Ferrer, Linda Hunt, Freddie Jones, Richard Jordan, Silvana Mangano, Everett McGill, Kenneth McMillan, Jack Nance, Sian Philipps, Sean Young, Patrick Stewart, Sting, Jurgen Prochnow

Rated: PG-13

Runtime: 2h 17m

Genre: Action | Adventure | Sci-Fi

Country: United States | Mexico

Language: English

Available on: Various VOD platforms

"A Duke's son leads desert warriors against the galactic emperor and his father's evil nemesis to free their desert world from the emperor's rule."

You might like this if you like: David Lynch, Frank Herbert, Action, Adventure, Science Fiction, Kyle MacLachlan, Brad Dourif, Francesca Annis, Virginia Madsen, Leonardo Cimino, Jose Ferrer, Linda Hunt, Freddie Jones, Richard Jordan, Silvana Mangano, Everett McGill, Kenneth McMillan, Jack Nance, Sian Philipps, Sean Young, Patrick Stewart, Sting, Jurgen Prochnow

Kyle MacLachlan in 'Dune' (1984)

I was a little behind on the whole ‘Dune’ trend, but I recently watched David Lynch’s version for the first time, watched Dennis Villenueve’s 2021 version, and am reading the first book right now. I’ve enjoyed myself throughout all three of these experiences, each having their own uniqueness to them for me.

I always appreciate seeing a person’s take on something. Especially David Lynch’s. I thought it delivered the basics of the story just enough to really get me intrigued to diving into the universe more whether it be the books or ramping up for the remake which is what I did/am doing.

When watching this version, you got to respect the times of course, but I was still insanely impressed with what they were able to pull off back in 1984. They really did a spectacle for the time. Again, I can’t speak on it justifying the books, but for a movie-goer, it was an awesome experience that only left me wanting more and am now reading the books.

'Dune' (1984)

So as this was my first introduction to the ‘Dune’ story, you’ll get my story reaction here. The setup and universe was plenty engaging for me. I kind of liked that the plan was laid out to you up front and center and the adventure takes off and you almost forget what they told you.

The world, universe and life that Lynch created with costumes, sets and art design are by far the most impressive for me when watching this. It’s what hooked me in. I expected the more theatric presentation the actors and scenes gave, just based on its time of release and age, but I enjoy that part of watching older films. They do feel closer to the theater and by theater I mean plays.

Sting in 'Dune' (1984)

I was intrigued by the politics of the story and how it guided our characters, of which I tried to relate it to ‘Game of Thrones’, or frankly, real life colonization. It’s relatable and, well, could very well happen if we were in that scenario. A theme we all know too well from stories and life..

And the one savior that can break its spell; Kyle MacLachlan. He wasn’t bad, but once seeing the remake and reading the books, he did seem a bit too old for the role, though that’s a common thing to do in Hollywood is to not hire young actors/kids. I still enjoyed his performance and it never took me out of the story.

'Dune' (1984)

I was more excited by the fact that I got to see a young Sean Young as ‘Channi’ (no pun intended) who I got to work with on a nostalgia doc piece, of which ironically was only about ‘Blade Runner’, but nonetheless an insane honor getting to meet her. Small role in this, but still exciting to see!

Sam Gall (left) & Sean Young (right) on the set of the three part documentary series "Time Warp: The Greatest Cult Films of All-Time" (2020)

I was also enthralled to see Patrick Stewart in a more athletic role, which naturally leads into my love of all the tech and special effects they used in the film. I loved the training sequence, even though I think it’s blatantly obvious the shield visual effect was behind on the technology, but the shooting targets and spinning sword training device was a wonder to watch.

Kyle MacLachlan (left) & Sean Young (right) in 'Dune' (1984)

Every scene on Arrakis I thought was magnificent - yes even for that time it was pretty damn awesome! I couldn’t do that myself! That’s still hard work and they were trying something. It’s a stepping stone for all future films to learn from and take it to the next step. But honoring the team who had to try it first is always what I’m about. And I’m always a sucker for miniatures! It’s something I’d love to try getting into myself one day. Especially for a film.

Brad Dourif, Sting, Max von Sydow were just a few more faces I was excited to see! The one thing I thought was weird though, is that I recall Paul’s doctor aka Wellington Yueh was supposed to be Asian in the book, and they even use ‘Yueh’ and was just completely white washed in this by a ‘Dean Stockwell’, RIP. Luckily the remake justifies this for me, in which Chang Chen gets to play ‘Yueh’, but still sort leaves a bad taste in my mouth. I get that was sadly ‘the norm’ at that time, but should never have been. Maybe there’s a more detailed story behind this that someone could fill me in on, but until then, it doesn’t come off too great.

'Dune' (1984)

By the end of the film, I was pretty excited to jump into the next medium and watch the new remake. The world was intriguing, and I was excited to see a modern take on this inherently massive and cinematic story.

Written by Sam Gall on Nov 10, 2021

CGC Grading: Gem Mint 10.0

"Lynch, together with the cast and crew, took a lot of effort in order to make this movie as different from other science fiction spectacles as possible." - Dragan Antulov, rec.arts.movies.reviews

"Dune re-announces itself as a movie to remember. Whether that makes for good memories or bad depends on your tolerance for gonzo cinema." - Jeremiah Kipp, Filmcritic.com

"David Lynch is a brilliant filmmaker who also flies in the face of the status quo, delivering challenging tales in bizarre fashion. That is what makes his DUNE such an accomplishment rather than the failure it is always claimed to be." - Alex Maidy, JoBlo's Movie Network

"...a big, sprawling, complicated, almost unwieldy picture." - John J. Puccio, Movie Metropolis

"Underrated, especially for devotees of the book. An impressively faithful if necessarily streamlined adaptation, though heavy on industrial-looking art direction and grotesque makeup effects." - Fr. Chris Carpenter, Movie Dearest

Official Trailer:

Behind the Scenes:

#DavidLynch #Dune #Dune1984 #BradDourif #Sting #MaxvonSydow #SeanYoung #PatrickStewart #KyleMacLachlan

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