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SciFi Frank Herberts Dune
Here are my thoughts on CD1 - Caladan through Leto's Death.
Paul is a whiny brat
He resists the voice by Gaius?? He's supposed to be UNDER HER CONTROL.
He's taller than Jessica? Nobody remembers the 'short for his age'?? And she's a TALL woman.
He uses the voice on Gaius??? This gets worse and worse. He is NOT that powerful yet! And he is nowhere near as powerful as Gaius is.
Paul doesn't even cry out with the pain, it's Gaius that gives up. He's coming across as the Brave Guy amongst the Weakling Women.
And then instead of being a quiet Paul and answering the questions put to him, he whines, "You should have warned me!" to his mom and he runs off. I dislike this Paul immensely. It is NOT the Paul from the book.
OK it gets worse. Now Paul picks on Gurney - "if Idaho was here I'd get a real workout." They're supposed to LOVE each other and playfully joke. He's being snotty.
Now Paul says "I'm not in the mood" and walks out?? The whole point of that scene is that he tells Gurney he'd rather play - and Gurney teaches him a serious lesson. In the miniseries, Paul is the one saying "I don't feel like it" and stomping away. His instructor would NEVER take that from a student.
Nobody else besides Gurney is introduced?? The miniseries has at least 3 times as many minutes to work with. Yet they use it all to demonstrate that Paul is a Jerk??
On Arrakis, the primary concern should be water. Water water water. The "garden" in the house is sealed in an airlock in the book, controlled with a palm lock. Yet in the movie they just 'walk into' the garden. I don't think so!!
Jessica, not Leto, is the one to give the water. And now Paul is the one with the 'cost of doing business' idea. They're turning Jessica and Paul into the "people with ideas and concerns" and everyone else becomes a cardboard model standing in the background.
The Emperor is supposed to be wearing his Sardaukar uniform, a man of power and force, that people "feel" his presence when he enters the room. Instead he mushes around the room in purples with his glass of wine and is ... "gushy".
OK back to the Paul That Is Whiny. I swear he drives me insane. Plus this house on Arrakis. Open Windows??? They say EXPLICITLY in the book that the Harkonnens were 'wasteful' by having just regular windows and doors and not airlocked windows and doors. But this still means they HAD THEM and used them to not completely run dry. The miniseries makes it seem like they're in a "tropical paradise", not on a planet almost devoid of water.
Jessica is hardly tall and is on the curvy side. And that's not quite a bronze cap of hair on her head. And now when she's with Yueh, Jessica knows of his wife. 'If she's still alive we'll find her.' The whole point of the revelation is that it was supposed to be news to her, and that this was supposed to help throw her off of why he's upset - that this is new information. If she had already KNOWN about this in his past, she would be suspicious of his new behavior on the planet.
Paul with Liet - Paul is still obnoxious. This has got to be the worst Paul ever seen. Then the worm dramatically goes after the ship. That wasn't in the script, a killer-attack-worm ...
The Fremen calling "mahdi" on the ride in suspiciously seem to be calling "muad-dib" and it was changed afterwards because of course they don't know that's his name yet. Kynes - says this is 'the one who can change Arrakis - the mahdi.' Funny, in the book they were more low-key about revealing their secrets to newcomers.
Paul lusts after female forms. Suddenly the mysterious "girl" not in the book appears in his bedroom. And she's of course still there when the hunter-seeker comes. When Shadot enters he YELLS AT HER!!! And she tells him about the traitor anyway. I would have slapped him across the face! This is the MATURE Paul, the WELL TRAINED Paul?? The MENTAT Paul??
It's nice that they have the dinner scene. But then Irulan shows up?? And worse than that, Paul, who is supposed to maturely TAKE OVER THE TABLE and CONVERSE MATURELY WITH THE GUESTS instead PETULANTLY RUNS OFF TO HIDE???? And then Paul practically accuses Gurney as being a traitor. I don't know where they invented this Paul from but he is NOT IN THE BOOK.
OK, now comes in the not-blonde Irulan who is supposed to be blonde with green eyes. And she's not supposed to be here. She seduces the "innocent" Paul even though in the book Leto comments that Paul is very wise in his dealing with the female party guests. Yup, more Paul-stupidity. And then even worse, the FOPPISH Sardaukar (as if) and the JUMP-AT-A-MOUSE Gurney (so much for 'weathered and wise') are nearly attacking each other and only the Brilliant Teenagers can prevent it. This has almost turned into a Disney film where the So-Smart-Kids have to take care of the Stupid-But-Well-Meaning-Adults. I can't tell you how much this whole theme annoys me by this point.
OK, we get down to Yueh and Leto. Suddenly Yueh isn't doing this to Kill the Baron - he wants to save his wife!! As if - in the book Yueh was smart and knew Wanna was probably dead. He was doing this all for revenge against the Baron since Leto was going to be killed anyway. But that seemed too complex for the miniseris. Instead Yueh is a dolt who thinks this will let him save his wife. And let's just note - Yueh is missing his long-hair-in-suk-ring AND his tattoo. So the whole Suk Conditioning signs.
OK, they show Yueh his dead wife (not in the book) and kill him. Then on to Leto. Somehow Yueh forgot to tell him his wife and son were saved as part of this!! So he dies not knowing about them! Jeez, Yueh, forget the MOST IMPORTANT PART??
The whole Paul-Jess-Escape-Scene which was brilliant in the book is completely missing. They just "appear free" in the desert' It is IDAHO that gives Paul the ring - not Yueh who saved it for Paul. Attackers come, and Idaho "stays with the fremen". No no on - Idaho is supposed to DIE DEFENDING PAUL. And as it is it's a giant rocket that blasts Idaho into bits in the miniseries. He's supposed to die in hand-to-hand combat protecting Paul's escape.
At least I did think the Baron was very well done - he is supposed to look "Cherubic" and be smart and scheming. These all come across well. Feyd is supposed to be smart and ruthless. Unfortunately the actor says in the special features that Feyd is an insane 'psycopath' and focusses on the fact that he 'killed many people.' The actor forgets that these guys TRAINED FOR COMBAT and that for them a normal part of this training was real, live combat. You wouldn't say that Roman Gladiators were "psycopaths" because of their Gladiator experience! It was a part of their life. It prepared them for combat. I think he missed some of the key nuances of the Feyd character by taking that approach, and you can see it in how he acts.
SciFi Miniseries Main Review
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