The first movie I'll be tackling is David Lynch's commercially and critically reviled adaptation of Frank Herbert's classic sci-fi novel Dune.
I was nine years old when this movie was released, and being a huge fan of Star Wars and Star Trek, I was immediately drawn in by the promise of sci-fi adventure. In some ways the story of Dune resembled Star Wars (or really the reverse is true since the book was published 12 years before Star Wars was released) - a young hero with budding supernatural powers, a desert planet, laser guns, weird creatures, etc. What I got though was a horribly confusing mish-mash of geo-political, religious and sci-fi themes overrun with baffling inner monologue narration and overly bizarre and gross-looking characters.
To be fair to Mr. Lynch, the studio interfered greatly during post-production and the theatrical cut was very different from what he intended. Unfortunately he has all but disowned this film and has no interest in releasing a Director's Cut, which might actually make the story easier to follow. There is a 3-hour version of the film available but Lynch had no hand in it, and from what I understand it actually confuses things even more.
Dune was originally supposed to be adapted into a film in the mid 70s, with famed Alien artist H.R. Giger attached as a production designer. That incarnation went over-budget and never saw the light of day, and eventually in the 80s producer Dino DiLaurentiis acquired the project and David Lynch ended up in the Director's chair.
Anyway let's examine what's awesome about this movie, and then we'll talk about what's shitty.