March 17, 2003 by W. Blaine Dowler
How does it stack up against the first mini-series?
March 17, 2003 @ 6:37 am
Overall I’m stoked for the next 2 episodes.
Wonder if they are gonna make God Emperor or Heretics/Chapterhouse…. God Emperor might be really hard portraying Leto properly. Heretics/Chapterhouse would be a GREAT movie though.
March 17, 2003 @ 7:29 am
Agreed, it’s awesome so far.
Was it just me, or did the special effects look a bit more cg this time. In “Children of Dune” I was aware of the seams between cg and real. Maybe I just need to watch it again, but I don’t recall seeing such noticeable differences in “Dune”.
I really enjoyed the casting. Susan Sarandon as Shaddam’s nasty daughter (Wensichia?), I’m surprised she agreed to play her, but she’s great. Jessica is older so recasting her made sense in my eyes. As for Stilgar, I don’t recall the original actor.
On an aside, I note that there seem to be fewer heavily accented actors in this production.
I can’t wait for part 2 tonight. :)
March 17, 2003 @ 8:19 am
Re: overall: awesome
I actually preferred this actor for Stilgar. The one in the original mini-series was too, let’s say “plump”, for my idea of a desert-hardened Fremen.
And Alice Krige just always gives me the creeps, so I don’t like her as Jessica.
My only real complaint about Part One was that I didn’t think the ghola stuff was done very well. IIRC, in the book (which I’ll admit to not having read in over a decade) the Duncan ghola (what was his name in the book, anyway? Hayt? I spent most of the 2 hrs trying to remember.) went through a lot of mental turmoil and anguish. Here the whole “ghola regaining his memories” thing was too obscured, I think.
Oh, and the Face Dancer reveal at the end was super-cheesy.
March 17, 2003 @ 9:47 am
Tleilaxu eyes …
I thought they were faceted metal. I found Alia’s comment to Duncan “what’s behind those eyes” was a bit unusual since, basically, the TV Duncan’s eyes were as open a book as any other human’s. In the book the comment made sense because Hayt/Duncan had Tleilaxu eyes, not brown eyes.
Scytale’s reveal at the end pretty much followed the book, as I recall. In the movie there was a lot of creative use of Leto II in Paul’s visions that wasn’t there in the book, or that was only implied, but in the book Paul does use Leto and Ghanima’s vision to place, and kill Scytale.
March 17, 2003 @ 9:55 am
Re: Tleilaxu eyes …
It was more the “duck my head, pull off my wig and…ha ha! I’m someone else!” aspect of Scytale’s reveal that I thought was cheesy. It would have worked better, I think, to get a rather androgynous actor to play the part of both Scytale and Lichnya and then maybe obscure things a bit with some good makeup or cgi. That way it wouldn’t have looked so Scooby Do.
March 17, 2003 @ 12:20 pm
I expected him to morph …
I was surprised by the head duck maneuver. I understand what you’re saying now. It was a bit like the Pepsi switch commercials. :)
March 18, 2003 @ 11:47 am
I’m not Scytale, I’m Barry Bostwick…
March 18, 2003 @ 12:01 pm
Re: overall: awesome
I don’t remember the Guild stealing a worm…Didn’t think that happened until Heretics (and then it was the BG)
I don’t remember Heretics that well, but actually there were several worms stolen from Messiah to CoD by the Guild and House Corrino in an effort to start the spice cycle on Salusa. They make the point in the books that they are consistently unsuccessful in starting the spice cycle on another planet.
I will note that I’m bothered by the number of the things they seem to be changing from the books just for the sake of change (as opposed to making things more understandable or trimming for the time). Just one example is the scene where Scytale makes his offer to Paul to give him Chani back. As I recall, Paul kills Scytale while Bijaz is still alive and makes the offer again. Paul finds it harder to say no and begs Duncan to kill him. I thought it was one of the best scenes in the book and its absence was a shame. Also, they manage to stretch Jessica’s arrival (CoD/second of miniseries) out and make a scene between herself, Stilgar and Gurney, but they drop out the part where they have people arrested who don’t kneel fast enough outside the ship. One of the main points in the book is that even the most benign supreme leaders can be cruel and capricious, and that scene in particular illustrates it and I felt it was sorely missed. We needed to see some Tleilaxu eyes, particularly on Duncan – as pointed out below, Alia’s “what is behind those eyes” comment seems out of place.
Finally, the worst change to me was in the conspiracy. Despite introducing all the primary members of the conspiracy, they don’t let them do their conspiracy things and have their conspiracy scenes. Instead, they toss Wensica (sp?) into the center of it as the primary instigator, probably to get more use out of Susan Sarandon (which by itself I don’t consider a bad thing). As a corollary, I didn’t care for the Godfather homage where everyone got whacked, taking care of “all family business” so to speak.
All in all, I’m giving the miniseries so far (two in) my personal rating of “okay.”
March 19, 2003 @ 5:14 pm
Re: overall: awesome
IMDB claims that the original Jessica was pregnant during shooting. Take it at face value or not.
Personally, I hated the hand signals. I understand the needs of the medium, but in the books the hand signals were so subtle that others in the room would miss them – their inexplicable communications were one reason for the mystique around the BG. These hand signals were so bold that a true BG could have read them when facing the speaker’s back.
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