Director: Denis Villeneuve
Year Released: 2021
In the far distant future (some 8,000 years from now ... give or take), the Emperor informs House Atreides - which includes Duke Leto (Oscar Isaac), Lady Jessica (Rebecca Ferguson) and their son Paul (Timothée Chalamet) - to rule over the desert-like planet of Arrakis, which is full of something wonderful called "spice" (the single most important element in the whole universe) ... but this angers House Harkonnen (led by a very puffed up Stellan Skarsgård), who want total control over the material and with no outside interference. Like Blade Runner 2049, it has its strengths - the cinematography (by Greig Fraser) is outstanding, as is the production design (the attention to detail is evident) - but Villeneuve runs into the same issues Lynch ran into, which makes this line from Pauline Kael's review of the 1984 adaptation apply here as well: "The movie is heavy on exposition, and the story isn't dramatized - it's merely acted out (and hurried through), in a series of scenes that are like illustrations." This only covers half of the book - Part Two should be coming in due time - but you have to wonder (even though they already did it before) if this would have been better off as a mini-series to allow for more time to go through all of the background information and terminology. I do believe this vindicates Mr. Lynch (and even Jodorowsky): some books are meant to be books.