This “Dune” looks like other “Dunes” So?

Timothee Chalamet, in full desert-gear as described by sci-fi pilferer of Bedouin culture Frank Herbert.

He looks a LOT like young Kyle MacLachlan. Which fits.

Oscar Isaac, as many have suggested, could be in different and a full beard in a new “Star Wars” outfit. He’s got the Jürgen Prochnow role, that of Daddy Atreides,in this latest version of a book first filmed in 1984,with visionary David Lynch behind the camera.

The one overriding gripe many of us had, watching that original film lo those decades ago, was that Lynch & Co. realized they’d barely gotten into the book and thus had to cram everything that happens in most of it into a truncated 30 minute blur to finish the job.

It was still two hours and 17 minutes long, and felt like they’d skipped over half of it.

We knew somebody would come along and try to better “Dune.” Like Ralph Bakshi’s abortive “Lord of the Rings,” fans recognized this as maybe more of a mini series than a single movie.

But the SyFy Channel didn’t have the oomph to do it justice in three installments in 2000.  William Hurt played the Duke/Dad in that one, Alec Newman was son Paul.

We later learned how close Alejandro Jodorosky came to getting a version off the ground a decade earlier, pre “Star Wars,” when the sci-fi stakes were lower and artier.

Denis Villeneuve (“Arrival,” “Blade Runner 2049”) brings the “visionary” back to the project. But all those stills floating around the Internet — released to this outlet and that one — don’t make the case that we’re going to see anything new.

Herbert’s desert culture/blood feuds and “jihad” and worms and “Spice” book came out before the West had paid much attention to the Islamic world, desert culture and tribal mores. It read as kind of “old hat” by the time I got around to it in the ’80s (Herbert was coming to a sci-fi writer’s conference at my college).

This December, we’ll find out if there’s anything new under the “Dune.”






About Roger Moore

Movie Critic, formerly with McClatchy-Tribune News Service, Orlando Sentinel, published in Spin Magazine, The World and now published here, Orlando Magazine, Autoweek Magazine
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