Mar. 21st, 2008

sirandrew: (Default)
Just to clarify things, I'm not posting today!  My silence will make those money grubbing Russian bastards learn a thing or two about pissing off Livejournal!  No posts from me, no sir.  If the yawning cavern of silence from my journal can't destroy the vile, oily, cruel Russian bear whose fangs drip with the blood of screaming, wailing innocent babies and kittens, then nothing will!  Power to the people!  Workers of the world unite (hey, Marx was German not Russian)!  Long live the fighters!  ATTICA!  ATTICA!!
sirandrew: (Default)
Ok, so, if you read one of my previous posts, you learned that Dune is being made into a movie for the third time, this time with a gigantic budget and apparently the director, Peter Berg, being given a free hand.  Now, I personally think that I should be given complete control over the project because I am the only person I trust to be as fanatical about keeping the filmed version of the story true to the book, but I know that that of course is not going to happen.  I also realize that there's no humanly possible way that this version is going to be literally true to the books any more than Jackson's Lord of the Rings was literally true to its source material.  However, there are a few very severe things that they must get right this time in order for me to be happy with what they produce. 

First, lets muse on the director, Peter Berg.  I don't know much about this guy and have only seen one movie he's made, Remember the Titans.  That was a tremendously forgettable film that didn't seem to have any style per say, but wasn't a bad movie.  I've heard Berg is competent in his other works, and actually did a good job in The Kingdom.  I've also seen him act before, but that has nothing to do with anything.  I guess it comes down to the fact that there could have been much worse people than Peter Berg to pick.  Imagine the tears of horror if they'd chosen someone like Michael Bay or Tony Scott.  I'd have even probably been driven to murder if they'd decided on someone artsy like Terrence Mallick.  Sure, people can say, "Oh, why not Ridley Scott, he wanted to do Dune" or "Why not someone great like David Fincher or Steven Spielberg" or worse "Hey, bring back Alexandro Jodoworsky!".  Well, I can tell you what Berg doesn't bring to the table that those guys all do, an ego.  Berg is at least a new enough director that he doesn't think he's the hottest shit on earth.  He's already said he's not making Peter Berg's Dune, he's making Frank Herbert's.  As long as he just makes the movie and doesn't try to make it his vision of the book, then I'll be happy. 

Ok, now that I've said that, lets go over a few things that they must get right:

1. There MUST be ONLY hand to hand combat, with the only exceptions being the Harkonnen/Sardakuar use of ancient artillery to close up the caves of Arakeen and the use of primitive rocket launchers in the deep desert.  No other version of Dune seemed to understand how vital this was to the plot.  The use of shields was the great equalizer of armed forces in the Dune universe, it made warfare not about technology but about the skill, training and ferocity of the individual soldier.  This is why the Atredies go to Dune in the first place, to cultivate the Fremen as an army.  Leto could've given two shits about Spice, he wanted soldiers.  This is how the Emperor kept his power, the fear of the Sardakuar, which were invincible in war because of their skill in hand to hand combat.  This is why Paul ended up ruling the universe after the Battle of the Arakeen Plain.  Both other versions of Dune failed to get this right.  Lynch's version tried to chalk everything up to a techno-sound weapon.  Harrison's Dune simply ignored this altogether. 

2. The movie needs to be in two parts, preferably three.  This is a story deep with plot and it's hard to find stuff to leave out.  There's no way possible to do the book justice in two hours, almost no way to do it in four. 

3. You can't throw out how Paul is built into a religious figure by manipulating myth and superstition.  You must not make him truly magical or spiritual.  That's part of the damned point.  Lynch's version got this wrong, Harrison's at least didn't.  Paul is NOT a god, he just plays one on TV.  

4. You must this time actually show Feyd's character development.  It's very important and it makes Paul's and Feyd's duel at the end all the more weighty. Feyd isn't a generic supervillian, he's actually a pretty deep character who isn't nice, but isn't as cruel as his family.  Heck, he's the alternate path to the Kwitzaz Hederach, just one genetic step from what Paul is.  Don't gloss him over this time. 

5. Herbert took great pains to describe costuming and dress.  This time it'd be nice if the filmmakers just listened to his descriptions.  Please, no more wacky hats, no more haz-mat or chef Sardaukar, no more rubber suits in the desert.  Just do what Herbert described, I promise, he put some thought into it. 

6. Don't leave out Hasmir and Margot Fenring this time.  Please.  I know Harrison had Hasmir in his version, but he was barely there and might as well have been left out.  He's such a rich character and he actually was capable of killing Paul at the end of the book, and chose not to.  Hasmir was the other "almost K.H." even closer to the prize than Feyd was.  I just want to see him and his wife done right. 

7. Watch the ages on these people.  The Emperor is in his late 60's but he doesn't look a day over 30.  It's Spice people, it makes people look young.  With rare exceptions (Thufir) they shouldn't cast anyone much over 40 for this film.

8. Fremen are thin and hard and dark, like carved out of frikking stone.  Please no water fat blondes. Actors of middle-eastern descent would be best.   Oh, and no more open faces in the desert.   Completely enclosed Stillsuits are a must.  The Fremen didn't lose one drop of water. 

Ok, I think if they honestly stuck to those simple eight things while keeping everything from the previous films right, I won't have to declare Berg's version a heresy as well.  I'll probably think of five or six more things I'd want done in just the next hour, but those eight will make me the most happy.  I seriously don't want to have to wipe my ass with a DVD. 


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