Mini Review of DUNE

The last time I went to the movies it was to watch Roadrunner, the Anthony Bourdain documentary. Hardly a movie suited for the big screen, I think it would have gotten more traction if they had streamed it on HBOMax or something. Then I was the only one in the theatre. I had to drive all the way to Cheyenne to see it too. Which is why I jumped at the chance to watch the new Dune release.

I wasn’t a big fan of Bladerunner 2049. It had some enjoyable bits and the cinematography was unreal. The music was like an infusion of the Vangelis score, but I think it lacked real depth. Just a lot of excuses to crank the bass and make the synths go BWAAAWWWWNNNNNN every once in a while.

Denis Villeneuve has made the Dune movie that finally comes the closest to doing the book justice. The levels of detail in this film (hardly a movie) are unbelievable. Even the alphabet resembles something from the year 10,000. The characters have depth, the world building is unparalleled, and the landscape of Arrakis is its own character. The only problem I had with it is some of the parts of the script where they tried to make things a little light-hearted. Which I can’t really blame them too much. Dune is a dark story that only gets bleaker and bleaker as you work through the books.

You can’t help but compare some parts with the David Lynch version back from 1983. A few scenes were definitely borrowed heavinly, with the tone and delivery of the lines. Which I am fine with. This movie had a lot more money for production to chuck at it too, but the shining point of the story has got to be the actors. If I had to pick a performance out of the whole lot I enjoyed the best, I really couldn’t do it. I did think that the Shaddout Mapes was the weakest of the bunch, but she got like six lines, compared to the role she played in the book and the earlier movie.

Holy Crap, but Stellan Skarsgard will give you the heebie jeebies as Baron Harkonnen. Dave Bautista is a perfect Beast Rabban. Jason Momoa was the perfect Duncan Idaho, and in this version they actually made him more than a walk-on we have no idea why he is even there.

If you still give a damn about the Academy, this one will sweep the Oscars next year.

Screw it. They were all awesome. However, the complexity that Zendaya gave Chani, even with the limited screentime was complex and nuanced. I didn’t have long to actually be invested in the character, but as the Bene Gesserit would say, there were plans within plans within plans with how she was emoting.

I want my own ornithopter now. Screw flying cars. I want to know why we don’t have dragonfly helicopters.

The cinematography…jeez, it was more like watching a National Geographic special. Absolutely beautiful. The desert is its own character.

The movie is long, but it didn’t feel like three hours.

I was among eight people who viewed it at a matinee showing. COVID has dropped the prices of movies and concessions to somewhat reasonable rates again, just to put butts in automatically reclining seats. The funny thing is that the Marvel movies have everyone sitting through credits to see stingers. No, Nick Fury doesn’t pop out and ask Paul to join the Avengers Initiative. A whole generation of people who are stuck waiting for the credits to end. Crazy.

Go see it. Read the books.

Also, I had almost forgotten how much I enjoy previews of coming attractions. Some of the movies look like absolute garbage. Moonfall being a big one. It’s like somebody saw the Rick and Morty episode with “Two Brothers” and decided to make a movie. I was disappointed in the lack of old women and cats.

Also, the preview for the new Batman movie looks like DC just keeps digging that hole deeper and deeper to make it grittier and nastier.

Drawing a Blank

I honestly have no idea what to write today. All I know is that I need to write something. It’s one of those days. I try to call up the Muse and all I get is static. Or that boing screeeeeee boing grrrrr sound the old modems used to make. I guess it’s a day where my brain is telling me to take some time off. To stop running like a horse in a barn fire. Last night I got off the zoom call with my son, and finished off a day of trying to be productive with six hours of playing Conan: Exiles on XBox. This morning, I woke up after a fretfull night of video game dreams to sore and red eyes. Weird dreams. Not even video game dreams. Just weird dreams. The kind where you are supposed to find something, but you lose track of it and it is gone.

I’ve been having those a lot lately. The other night, it was a dream where I was walking my my dog and her pet bunny, Sunny. I went around a corner, and they were both gone. Of course, I also had no idea where I had parked my car. So maybe they weren’t lost. I was.

But the grass was green and there were butterflies.

I’m going to give myself a mental health day today and I’m going to go see the new Dune movie. I’ve always been a fan of the books and the movies and even the SyFy channel miniseries. Though everyone claims this director is a genius, I have to admit that I did enjoy the asthetics of Blade Runner 2049, it wasn’t Blade Runner. It should have just been a movie on its own without Harrison Ford to muddle things up. It did look really cool.

Maybe I need to recharge my creativity. Though if the movie is good, you always risk comparing your rough draft with a finished story. That’s never good.

I’m coming up on an anniversary. Seven years ago, I had some very hard conversations, arguments, and fights with my ex-wife about ending our marriage. I read some old journal entries I had written about those times. The voice is familiar, but the man is different. In some ways, he is wiser, more comfortable in his own skin, but in other ways, he is no less confused. At times he feels isolated. Forgotten. He keeps wondering when his life is going to begin.

I had a moment of frustration seven years ago when I said I felt pulled in two different directions. I wanted a divorce, that much was certain, and my family was encouraging this. I had believed at the time it was for selfish reasons. Really they just wanted me to be safe. And my ex-wife was pleading for me to stay–as she often did (just before everything went off the rails). I said to myself that I wished I could just leave everyone I knew and move somewhere nobody knew me and just live out my days as the crazy guy who lives at the end of the street

Be careful what you ask for, kids!

I’m not sure how crazy I am, but I do now live alone at the end of the street. Hahaha! I’ve got my dog. I go places and do things, but I’m not very social in town. It’s a small town. There’s more than enough drama to be found if I want a piece of it. I think I’ll pass. I want to live in peace. I want to have adventures. I want to make up for lost time with good memories. You don’t have to do everything in one day either. You can pace yourself. Be forgiving of yourself. Know that sometimes life kicks you in the teeth, but each day, the sun will rise again. We get another chance as long as we make it to that new day.

Maybe today I just don’t have a lot to say. I guess I’m feeling a little quiet. A little lost.

But I do know that things are a lot better today than they were seven years ago. My forever just gets a little bit shorter with every day. So it’s important to enjoy life. Today I’m taking an old friend out to see a movie: Me.

Remember to be kind to yourself.