In the 11th millennium, Shaddam IV, ruler of the Galactic Empire, rids himself of his competitor Duke Leto Atreides by giving him control of the desert planet Dune also called Arrakis; fully aware that its present owner, Baron Vladimir Harkonnen, will not give it up without a fight. The reason is that Arrakis is the source of the valuable spice, a substance produced by enormous and dangerous sandworms, which bestows special mental qualities on anyone who consumes it. A short while later Harkonnen does indeed succeed in ambushing and massacring Leto and his men. Leto's mistress Lady Jessica, who is a member of the clairvoyant order of Bene Gesserit, manages to escape into the desert with her son Paul, and after a long and dangerous march they finally encounter the Fremen, the long suppressed desert tribe of Arrakis. Impressed by Paul's clairvoyant abilities, tribal prince Stilgar takes in the fugitives. Very soon the Fremen are convinced that Paul is their long-prophesied redeemer, and...Written by
The problem with adapting books to the movie screen, especially huge epics like Dune, is that a certain interpretation of the original is necessary. Making a 2-3 hour movie out of this novel simply requires a lot of interpretation along with picking and choosing of the source material. So, I know a lot of people who read the book Dune and really hated the movie adaptation for all the same predictable reasons -- "Why did they change that?", "How could they leave that part out?", and "Where did they come up with that?".
I have a unique perspective on Dune -- I watched the 1984 movie first and absolutely loved it, I watched the 2000 mini-series adaptation and thoroughly enjoyed all the familiar scenes/words but with the added depth, and then I read the book. The book, of course, still was different from the 2000 mini-series and I still wanted to know why so many things were different in the mini-series than in the book -- my interpretation of the book would have been different. So, even the mini-series falls far short of the depth of the book and anyone who reads books knows they can be better than any movie.
The 2000 mini-series conveyed a much better story than the 1984 movie did, but the 1984 movie was simply a much better movie -- much better performances, much better visual effects for the most part (and 16 years earlier), and much more *excitement*. No matter how good the 2000 mini-series is, it can never be described as being as exciting as the 1984 movie. In short, the 1984 movie is worth buying and the 2000 mini-series is only worth renting unless you have no intention of ever reading or buying the book. If you're a book reader, just buy the book and skip this mini-series.
I could only give this mini-series a 6 out of 10 stars (barely above average).
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