Posted by: daveed | December 5, 2008

There and back again

From The LA Times’s “Hero Complex” blog, Hollywood’s planned remakes of sci-fi classics. Couple of surprises here, particularly Dune. And that Peter Berg, who I find to be a mediocre filmmaker, is supposed to direct.

I recently watched the extended cut of the David Lynch abomination—the version so bad that even Lynch would not let his name to be attached to it (yep, it even says directed by “Alan Smithee” in the credits). A huge fan of the novel, which I devoured at age 14 in anticipation of the soon-to-be released film, I’ve always been disappointed with the movie adaptation. But with this extended version, maybe I could appreciate its artistry as a “cult classic” from a more mature perspective. With more time to dramatize the book’s incredibly imagined universe.

Hell no. It’s still a clunky, uninspired mess with horrible production values, but this time with 40 excruciating minutes to endure. The film sucked in 1984, and is even worse now. And I would argue is unfilmable as a feature; the excellent Sci-Fi Channel miniseries of a few years ago got it right.

So, exactly how is the director of Hancock and The Kingdom supposed to make a better film adaptation of one of the greatest science fiction novels ever written? You got me.

As for some of the others listed (even though I’m not down with remakes) I think something interesting could come out of and updated Fahrenheit 451 or Forbidden Planet. I am still holding out for an authentic version of Heinlein’s Starship Troopers to supplant Paul Verhoeven’s entertaining, but thematically vapid and camped-up satire. Even tried writing an adaptation years ago. If I recall, I got as far as the first combat drop.

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Responses

  1. Here comes possibly the worst insult I’ve ever hurled at a movie: I found the Sci-Fi Network version far more watchable.

  2. I’m a big fan of the miniseries. Despite it’s obvious budgetary limitations and occasional odd lapses of judgment, it plays out like a Shakespearean stage production.

  3. […] All the good-natured smiles, it almost makes me want to see David Lynch’s film again. Almost. […]


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