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Dune miniseries vs Lynch' Dune


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I've recently picked up the miniseries on DVD and watched it. From what I've gathered most people here prefer Lynch' take on the story, but I'll have to respectfully, yet strongly disagree.

I didn't like how Lynch made Shaddam a puppet of the Guild, the flawed and over-the-top portrayal of the Harkonnen, the BLACK and uncovered stillsuits and most of all how he showed Paul as being a real messiah. Especially the scene where he drank the water of life and is surrounded by pet sandworms is retarded.

Granted, the miniseries too fails to show how Paul is trapped by a man-made legend and how much he resents the fact that he needs to exploit the legend to avoid even worse scenarios but at least Harrison left it ambiguous wether or not Paul was sent by some higher power.

Some things did annoy me though. In order of magnitude:

- Why did they bother including Fenring at all (as a mere court advisor, at that) if they were going to deny him his greatest moment at the end of the book  >:(

- Duncan dying because of a missile instead of taking down 19 Sardaukar in melee combat

- Thufir's role being practically scrapped. When I bought it one of the things I wished would be in it was his death scene.

- Paul's immaturity. Though I didn't think it was as bad as I've heard from other people it still made me cringe to see him being such a disrespectful dick against Gurney after practice.

- To many guns. Well, for the Sardaukar and Harkonnen anyway. The Fremen probably didn't use them enough in this flick. I know that the intricaties of shield dominated warfare would not be the easiest thing to explain to the casual viewer but it wouldn't be heinously difficult either. A scene where the Baron boasts of his brilliance of bringing back artillery against Feyd, for example (but then again, that part didn't make it either). But it isn't as bad as in Lynch' movie and there is at least some knife fighting.

- Not novel related, but the acting isn't the best quality I've ever seen. Most of it is descent but there are some quirky bits of overacting here and there. The best performance would probably be from the guy who played the Baron.

If we watch the two on their own instead of comparing it to the novel all the time, the miniseries is clearly better. It could have done a better job of emphasizing how vastly important the spice really is, or explaining the feudal structure of the empire. But overall I think that the miniseries would be more comprehensible to the uninitiated than Lynch' Dune.

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I actually started a thread about this a few years ago, but I don't blame you for starting a new one. ;)

Just remember that the miniseries was far longer, and so it could much better develop the characters and story of the book. David Lynch was forced to rush a lot, but I still think he did a good job. I myself could never have squeezed so much out of the story in less than two and half hours. I still feel he could have left Thufir dying in, and I'm not quite sure why he took it out.

I still feel that the atmosphere in the miniseries has nothing over Lynch's version. It's something that good special effects don't make up for, in my opinion. The miniseries has such a bland feel about it. But don't get me wrong, the miniseries certainly has its place.

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But overall I think that the miniseries would be more comprehensible to the uninitiated than Lynch' Dune.

Anything would be more comprehensible to the uninitiated than something from Lynch.

Lynch could still have Frank Herbert around, although FH was generally loose regarding the directions taken from there (although he threatened to sue Iron Maiden for their Dune song?). Overall, some find that Lynch's artistic feel is closer to Herbert - like me who personally saw the movie before and was brought to read further from there.

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I watched the Lynch movie before I read Dune, and I used to think it was okay albeit very...shall we say "artistic"?

Then, a couple of months ago, I watched it again and I thought it was terrible. Most of the costumes were cool (the Sardaukar and the stillsuits excepted) and but I couldn't force myself to immerse in the atmosphere. Instead I got the feeling that it was written and intended to be an epic tale yet it wasn't.

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I am one of the people who prefer the miniseries to the movie. I very much enjoyed both miniseries. I own directors cut of dune miniseries, CoD miniseries, and lynch movie. I still havn't watched the movies/miniseries on my 20" widescreen monitor, I'll probably wait until I get a 22". I previously watched them on my 19" CRT which would have sucked compared to the bigger monitors.

Did you get the directors cut edition of the miniseries? It includes about an extra 20 minutes of footage and other stuff.

The miniseries was much closer to the book than the movie. The movie was ok, but too much 1980s crap going on and I was completely lost most of the time because it did not follow the book.

Sure some scenes in the miniseries were ugly (when they were in the desert and you can easily tell the background is a painting), but I wasn't completely turned off by that since it followed the book.

I completely agree with the Baron in the miniseries being awesome. He is a very good actor in many many movies and tv shows.

It will be very interesting how they the new movie will turn out. Then we will be having discussions about what version people liked the most. (1984 movie, miniseries, 2009 movie).

I watched the dune miniseries before reading dune. It is what got me hooked onto Dune.

I agree with black stillsuits and not covering more of the body was stupid. Wouldn't they get sunburned all the time?

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Personally I prefer the miniseries and I think the actors were also very good with exception of the one playing Lady Jessica. I also really liked the princess. The costumes were great and how the shields were made was also great. I really don't care about that there was time constraint  for Lynch judging from the amount of fans of Herbert he could have tried to negotiate for longer time. Peter Jackson did that with Lord of the Rings when New Line cinema told him to do it in 2 hours he said that he would not do it. So he got himself 3 films. I don't expect the film to be the perfect adaptation of the book but rather a good film and the miniseries really seemed to be better made for me.

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Yes, well, I suppose I should probably see the Dune miniseries again (I don't own it).

The Lynch film certainly failed in representing the book's "tripod of power": the Emperor, the Guild and the Landsraad. Instead, it seemed to have a hierarchy: Guild, then Emperor, then Landsraad. A big failing.

The extended versions of Lynch's film do add a lot more to the story, but they're even more messy than the theatrical version. 

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You know, I find the comparison of Lynch's movie and the miniseries a bit unjustified - they're far too different, and are on different levels, if I can put it that way. Lynch's movie is a very individual interpretation of the book, while the miniseries are a rather straight screen adaptation.

One more thing to say, I find it a huge mistake to start finding "flaws" and "deviations" from the book in Lynch's movie. I did that myself when I first saw it, and it spoiled me this actually quite good, original movie a lot. Only later I realized that Lynch's Dune is good on its own.

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I agree.

Unfortunately, I first got to know Dune by the games, which are heavily influenced by the film, and the film itself, so Lynch's vision strongly affected how I pictured the story.

I just hope the new film incorporates the depth of Lynch's atmosphere with the complexity of the miniseries' plot (I hope I've summarised the strengths of the two versions fairly), while improving on the special effects.

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  • 3 months later...

I like how some Lynch fans say it's good on its own and others say it's only good if you know the novels because else it's confusing.

I think this means that uninitiated people were confused yet somehow intrigued, got into Dune, and finally understood what the hell the movie was about. Since they've been measuring the book by the movie all this time, the horrid inconsistencies that make the Lynch movie such an abomination are already forgiven by them before it even becomes an annoyance.

Personally, I enjoy the miniseries a lot more. It pulled a few tricks on making Paul look different than he really is (Why did Paul know about the spitting custom, and Duncan did not? Why did he give that speech about tax-deductible expenses instead of Gurney?), but that's really minor compared to what they pulled back in '84 with the character for Baron Harkonnen and the ever-so-notorious "weirding modules".

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I love both the movie and both miniseries (SciFi Channel Dune and CoD).

I have the both miniseries on DVD and also have two versions of the Dune movie (extended and Widescreen). Love both, and feel each has it's place.

The miniseries(both) try to stay close to the novel's story line and plots, so can seem to be long, but does builds up the personalities of each character. Giving you more of a relationship with each character.

The Movie/s (depending on if you've watch the extended version) provide a good visual view of the novels, but as said before doesn't have the character depth like the miniseries does. The extended version does have a good prelude of events before the movie timeline and helps to explain why dune is so important and a basic interduct ion of where key groups within the movie come into it and why.

I'd say if the new movie has the style of visual effects (but using today's special effects) from the original movie and the character development of the miniseries to get as close as possible to what Frank Herbert's vison of the Dune universe was, we have the be-all-end-all of all movies.

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