I unequivocally love this film in the two hour version and think it works less well in the extended/TV cut, plus I've watched extended fanedits before. This time I watched spicediver's 2012 'Dune: The Alternative Edition Redux' fanedit, which runs for about 3-hours. spicediver skillfully integrates the deleted footage in a way that feels true to the style and tone established in the shorter cut. I was impressed by the way he removed the aforementioned rain sequence without detracting from the climactic swell of the music and visuals. There were a couple of minutes during the final battle where the audio editing sounded a bit choppy but otherwise it was all seamless. As with other extended versions, it does suffer from unbalancing the narrative and characters. Because the bulk of the additional material focuses on Paul and/or the first half, the 2nd half of the film seems increasingly rushed and the other characters get lost somewhat. I wish it was in HD (as much as possible) but it's still a wonderful way to watch the film. I think I'll be torn from now on when I need to decide which version to watch. Thanks spicediver!
I have a different take than most other reviewers. For one, I actually really enjoyed the normal DVD version of Dune! Yes, I'm the one.
I don't find the film particularly harder to understand than a film like Memento or Inception or The Fountain. You need to be attentive, and a rewatch wouldn't hurt. But it's not nearly as impenetrable as the novels. Therefore, I wasn't really looking for anything to simplify the narrative in this fanedit. For me, this was simply a chance to get more of a good thing! I wanted all the extra footage from the other versions.
Unfortunately, this footage is a mess, with very inconsistent quality and a few hard-to-incorporate edits. Despite spicediver's work on the effects, it is just really very jarring whenever the footage switches. It took me right out of the film every time.
In as much as some of the added scenes expand and deepen the world of Dune, many of them really do nothing but slow down the narrative. I actually have to agree with many of the decisions of the original studio. Putting these scenes back in makes you very aware of the runtime, and adds little to the story. Dune is already a long, epic film without them. I think a few could be added back in, IF the visual/audio quality wasn't distracting.
Overall, many of the small tweaks in this edit are appreciated. But the length and structure now feels bloated to me, and the added scenes are a mixed bag. I still prefer the previous version, personally, though I'm sure completists and fans of the novel may like this version better.
My long, strange love/hate affair with Dune has culminated to an end point with this fanedit. I will never go back to any other conceivable version of Dune, nor will I facepalm myself in indigination over maestro David Lynch's well-intentioned but utterly misguided attempts at science-fiction dramatics. I am, now, at peace with Dune.
To the completely uninitiated, you'll likely be as lost as we once were in 1984 with Dune, no matter what the edit. Dune requires love, the kind of love Lynch himself couldn't admit to honestly. He was right in saying there is something very, very wrong with the integral structure of the theatrical cut (disowned, I might add), but when you witness the parts the added up to that gruesome whole, there is no way "love" wasn't part of Lynch's drive and passion in design, in intention, and in, to degrees, execution.
Some of what once caused me to bury me gulliver in me hands still exists: those voiceovers (NONE of which are necessary), the laughably muted "action scenes", which shows that while Lynch is capable of some almost-metaphysical miracles of cinema (check that new Twin Peaks - wow!), he can't direct a basic action scene with any sense of suspense. The "weirding way" is awkward. The Baron remains one of THE most over-the-top-annoying villains of all time. Toto's guitar music and the special effects are hopelessly outdated.
OK....still with me? Now let me tell you something about Dune. The above list and all, Dune exerts a hold, in this edit, that has a seductive power that the best science fiction stories do. It's a real epic story; it's believable. You must see Dune more than a couple times to 'get it' (I'm speaking to those unfamiliar with Herbert's work). This edit provides, finally, the pillow and framework for such a journey. At three hours, one may find spending that kind of time with....DUNE....utterly insane. For me, the first time with this cut was like Christmas morning - let me settle in, let me explore, let me be carried away on those titles: "BOOK 1", "BOOK 2", etc. It adds grandeur, love, and the kind of correct structuring and framework this story needs, freed from all pretenses of "profit" and "box office". It ain't Jodoworsky, but Lynch deserves to be proud over what he envisioned. Spicediver brings out the absolute best in Dune.
By the time the transcendent vision of the Atreides fleet folding space to get to Arrakis comes to the screen, we are dealing in sci-fi territory not to be reckoned with. Sure, Dune screams for a remake (Denis Villeneuve, where are you???), but the lengths Lynch went to, following his walking away from the Return of the Jedi job, are nothing less than astonishing. As a big Grateful Dead fan, i remember an interview with Jerry Garcia, where he says that he was pushing the band to get to a place he had once been to and found it ever-elusive. And thus it was forever. He was very, very frustrated in not being able to "get there", but then listened to the tapes of the band's gruelingly intense live improvisational work and was amazed at what was created in the process. You could look at Dune that way - a vision that ultimately fell short of complete realization, but, wow, what a way to fail!
This is a psychedelic movie. It is a tale of a society which has evolved itself around a drug. The vision you need with Dune is with an inner sense of the infinite related to narrative, to believe in the "realism" of such a society. It certainly is a vision of realistic proportions. Again, Spicediver pays very close attention to that sense of the psycho-tropic infinite, and, with that pallet, we willingly let ourselves be carried along towards Paul's sense of self-actualization on Arrakis, blue-eyed wonder.
The 8/10 section of my review is due to the limitations in quality of the deleted scenes - it's more than obvious when they're in the film. But, having seen the edit as many times as I now have, they have become seamless.
So fine-tune your truthsayer senses, turn off all the lights, turn the volume way UP, and behold Spicediver's miraculous salvaging of Lynch's tottering giant. Spicediver, you have done something truly remarkable - through the film you have ended the problems of Dune.
The best fan edit that I've ever seen thus far without making it such an enterprise like Adywan's Star Wars Revisited.
- Much more comprehensive to those who find Dune complicated to understand.
- Very coherent narrative with well placed explanations either by Irulan, the male narrator or by the characters own "audible thoughts".
- Very good work with music mixture and sounds.
- Good visual treatment, added blue eyes to the 3rd stage navigator, Fremen and other characters, etc.
Dune is a piece of literary art that, almost like LOTR, has a tremendously large universe and information. I don't like that people or even David blames himself. The film was made in the 80s and they've done the best they could at that time. George Lucas had to build his own special effects company to bring his vision to the big screen. I don't care that some things are not exactly adapted from the book, like the Weirding Modules (Paul says in the movie that it is just another part of the Weirding way he'll teach the Fremen. Frank Herbert gave his approval), i don't like the miniseries adaptation of it although true to the book. The Bene Gesserit having telepathic powers and the voice effect itself, so on...
My personal praise to SpiceDiver and whomever may have contributed to this edit. I've seen it before but at the time i didn't wrote my review because i didn't had the sufficient knowledge to do so and even today i'm continuously learning more about this wonderful universe.
It is now my official version of the film to watch. Great Work SpiceDiver =)
PS: i saw the DVD9 version, i don't know if I've chosen the correct classification.