We saw it on HBO Max, so perhaps there was cinematic power we were missing out on. But it seemed towering enough. The visual design of it seemed influenced by the old John Schoenherr covers. And that’s a good thing. He really had the heft and feel of Dune. It had the scope of Dune. Clearly it was “part one” but it worked very well for me–far better than the creative but hubris-choked movie, any cut, by David Lynch. This is Dune as I remembered it. When I open a copy nowadays, I find the dialogue to be…oh, much of it egregiously pompous and expository and just too much. But still the novel was a great science fiction conception, a wonderful vision, a classic of interplanetary dramas. I think it was influenced by The Seven Pillars of Wisdom by TE Lawrence. AKA Lawrence of Arabia, of course. Note that the movie Lawrence of Arabia came out before the publication of Dune. But it’s quite possible that Herbert read The Seven Pillars of Wisdom too. The novel came out before Star Wars and one is reminded of what Lucas swiped from Frank Herbert (as well as Lucas having ripped off from Jack Kirby comics and other sources) …I think Game of Thrones is also influenced by Dune…And Dune…was influenced by magic mushrooms. Psilocybin. So Frank Herbert told me when he was my teacher at Clarion.
I saw the first three episodes of the Foundation adaptation, based on the Asimov novels, and thought they were trying to be something like this…and the Foundation opening episodes of the series have their fine moments…but ultimately the adaptation of Foundation implodes, corroded by Hollywood hack plotting.
The David Lynch movie was really about David Lynch’s obsessions. This new Dune movie gives us Frank Herbert’s vision.