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Badmovies.org Forum  |  Movies  |  Bad Movies  |  A pretty good film and some of its flaws « previous next »
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Author Topic: A pretty good film and some of its flaws  (Read 657 times)
WyreWizard
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« on: June 30, 2006, 03:15:18 PM »

Many of you known my posts for exposing some of the flaws in some films.  Well, in this post, I want to talk about the sci-fi film I love the most.  This film was produced in 1985 by Dino De Laurentiis and based on the novel written by the late Frank Herbert.  Yes you know what I'm talking about, Dune.  When I first saw this film after its video release, I was only 16 years old.  Back then, I wasn't yet mature enough to appreciate the full magnitude of this beautiful film.  I know some people like it and some hate it, but I respect them all.  
I saw the 2001 presentation of Dune done by Sci-Fi channel.  It may have been 4 hours long and much closer to the original story than the 1985 version.  But I feel that film didn't have the flair of the 1985 version.  I had also seen the 4 hour presentation of its sequel, Dune Messiah.  Even though De Laurentiis didn't make Dune Messiah, that one probably would have had more flair then the Sci-Fi channel presentation.
You're probably thinking I might talk about some of Dune's scientific flaws.  But to be honest, even though I had seen Dune lots of times, I didn't take the chance to carefully scrutinize the film.  There are lots of things in this film which would seem like scientific flaws, but Dune takes place over 8,000 years into the future.
I haven't seen any future sci-fi film which takes place more than 2 or 300 years into the future.  These films have scientific flaws which aren't possible by science.  But who can speculate what sciences will exist 8 millennia from now?
I see only a few problems with Dune on a few casual viewings of it.

1.  No Aliens.  In a time when humans have control over the entire universe, why are there no aliens?  Why are humans the only intelligent species in the universe?  Did Frank Herbert have a lazy imagination?  Those Guild Steersmen you see may look alien, but they aren't.  They are just humans mutated by over 4,000 years of exposure to spice melange.  That takes me to my next problem.

2.  Spice Melange.  What exactly is this Spice Melange and why is it only produced on Arrakis?  Why is it produced on one planet in the whole universe?
Humans living 8 millennia in the future must have the ability to replicate this material.  And what will they do if Arrakis is destroyed?  A lot of things can happen to a planet.  Its star can go through its natural life cycle and die, taking the planet with it or go supernova.  It can be hit by an asteroid, comet or worse, a black hole!

3.  Water of Life.  This substance is apparently excrement from the sandworms that roam Arrakis.  It kills men who drink it but not women.  I see only 2 ways this is possible.  It doesn't kill women because estrogen somehow neutralizes the toxins in the water of life to some degree.  But enough of the toxin remains to cause women who drink it to hallucinate.  Because when women drink the water of life, they have visions.  The other way is that human testosterone turns the water of life into a potent toxin, killing the man who drinks it.  Because women produce so little testosterone, the toxins only causes them to hallucinate.  My only problem is figuring out which is the truth.

4.  Sandworms.  These things aren't possible by any stretch of the imagination.  These creatures are far too large to be roaming on dry land.  Arrakis has no oceans or bodies of water on its surface.  These sandworms are roughly the size of Blue Whales.  You don't see blue whales slithering around on land, do you?  The fact these sandworms can go under the sand like sandswimmer snakes is not possible.  The sand on Arrakis wouldn't be that deep.  Sand is created by the erosion of rocks.  On Earth, there are 3 ways for rocks to erode:  By wind, water and sunlight.  But since there are no bodies of water on Arrakis it has only two ways, wind and sunlight.  And since it has only those methods to erode rocks, then it wouldn't have that much sand.   So the sandworm would only be roaming the surface of Arrakis.
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2xSlick
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« Reply #1 on: June 30, 2006, 11:10:59 PM »

I'd like to weigh in on some of your points. Although I've only seen bits of Dune (any version), I am a fair sci fi buff so my opinion counts for something (Right? Guys?).

1. Wouldn't the sand worms count as aliens since they didn't originate on Earth? If they did then crap. However, the lack of aliens in Sci Fi isn't anything new. Asimov (it seems I drag him into all my posts but the man's the shiznit) didn't depict aliens in most, if not all, of his novels.

2. My guess is that is the ultimate wonder drug: powerful antioxidants, aspirin, and cocaine. Makes you feel better but you come down Hard.

3. As for the Water of Life, IIRC, only specific women can convert the posion into esctasy. And they can do it because of their superpoweredness, not that they are women. If it only kills men and women are unaffective I don't think steroids would be the culprit. Testosteroine only has an extra methyl group and it's oxygen is double bonded compared to estradiol (estrogen). It seems strange that interfering with a sex hormone could somehow poison the body, especially if it targets a specific one. If it does hate testosteroine it would most likely just interfere with its ability to bind with it's receptors, thus making you sterile. My guess is that it is a mutagen that specifically affects the Y chromosome. Strike that. Even with a destroyed Y chrom a guy can still live. Sudden induced testicular cancer is all that I can come up with...

4. Agree with you on both points. Sandworms should crush themselves by their own weight. What I don't get is how water is poisonous. Even if they had an extreme amount of salts in their body to retain what little moisture they could, drinking water wouldn't kill them. Although if you put a worm on a fishhook and drop him into a pond, the excess water will kill burst his cells but I don't think the Sand worms have to worry about any maurading lakes. I thought the sand was made by the worms. But that in the past, they had to burrow through rock. I don't buy that.

I need to sit down and read the book.
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Jim H
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« Reply #2 on: July 03, 2006, 05:06:33 PM »

Most of the points here I don't think are even worth discussing really, but I'll mention a couple bits...

The sand worms are FAR, FAR, FAR, FAR, FAR larger than blue whales.  On the order of 10,000 times bigger, probably more.  And yes, they're alien creatures.  

Also, in the book series, the worms die out and there is no longer spice.  So yeah, it is gone in the Dune universe.
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BoyScoutKevin
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« Reply #3 on: July 06, 2006, 06:16:17 PM »

WW, I agree with everything you say. At least up to the first three paragraphs of your post.

As for your questions, Lord, I read the first book in the "Dune" series by Herbert, but it has been over twenty years. Basically, about the same time as I saw the film.

2.) Having said that, I thought I remember reading or hearing that spice melange was also a by-product of the worns. And while they tried to introduce the worms to other planets besides Arakis, there was something about the planet of Arakis, that made it the only planet, where the worms could live without becoming extinct.

4.) There is no large bodies of water on Arakis at the time of the novel, but has the planet always been so arid? There are parts of earth that are arid now, but in centuries past, they were covered by bodies of water.
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trekgeezer
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We're all just victims of circumstance


« Reply #4 on: July 06, 2006, 09:57:39 PM »

I'm a big fan of the Dune books and I can only tell you no movie will ever do Dune justice.

Frank Herbert actually wrote 6 books in the Dune series. His son Brian Herbert and Kevin J. Anderson have written three prequel to Dune novels and three novels covering the Butlerian Jihad which led to the creation of the civilization portrayed in Dune.

Notes and an outline for a seventh Frank Herbert Dune novel, which Brian and Kevin have turned into two books, the first of which will be released next month. The Hunters of Dune.
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And you thought Trek isn't cool.
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