Friday, July 27, 2007

John Scalzi's Weekend Assignment #176: What's Overrated

"Once you've been really "bad in a movie, there's a certain kind of fearlessness you develop."

-Jack Nicholson

Weekend Assignment #176: Tell us of one piece of culture - book, movie, album, painting, play, architectural "masterpiece," whatever - that you think is wildly overrated. Note I said to focus on an object, not the artist: for example, explain why Sgt. Pepper's is overrated, not The Beatles, or The Godfather, not Francis Ford Coppola.

Extra Credit: Have you ever changed your mind about how good a book, movie, etc., was? You know, you read a book once, hate it, come back to it several years later, and find out it wasn't so bad after all.

-John Scalzi (By The Way)

Ok, this is an easy one John, the most overrated film I have ever seen, was the movie Dune. It has to be the worst adaptation of a book I have ever seen make it to the big screen, but not if you ask a one of the movie's cult followers. Released in 1984, and based on the brilliant book written by Frank Herbert, the movie Dune, was no less than a dog of a film, filled with overacting, and miscast parts. Sting was embarrassing in his performance, which hurts me to say, because I have been a lifelong fan of him, and I was really looking forward to seeing him in that movie. If I wasn't laughing out loud at the bad acting, I was falling asleep from lack of interest in the storyline. And yet, this movie has a huge cult following, but then again, so does Attack of the Killer Tomatoes and Plan 9 From Outer Space. Both of which I am a huge fan of, but of which the argument could be made that they are just as nondeserving as Dune.

Hey, I guess we all like what we like, but my goodness, the movie Dune, just didn't come close to doing the book justice, as so often happens with movie adaptations. The movie's director, David Lynch, no longer even appears in the credits to the film, because when the movie first opened in the U.S. to bad reviews, he decided to distance himself from the film. If you have never seen the movie, trust me and forget it, don't listen to the cultists, read Dune the book. :)

Extra Credit: Sure, I have changed my mind on occasion. One example, is when I heard that Madonna was coming out with a version of the Don McLean song, American Pie. Don't get me wrong, I love her voice, but let's face it, Don McLean had made American Pie a true piece of Americana. When I finally did hear her version, I was very pleasantly surprised. I loved it. Now both versions are among some of my very favorite songs. I like finding out I was wrong sometimes. :)


Note: My friend Vicki also did this week's Weekend Assignment, over at her blog, Maraca. She has a really cool story to share, so be sure to drop by. You can read it here. :)


Karen Funk Blocher said...

I've never managed to sit through more than bits and pieces of that film. Then again, I haven't read the book, either, mostly because Bob ordered me to read it back in 1975. Silly of me, avoiding it all these years, don't you think?

MyMaracas said...

Good choice - I agree. The book was awesome, but the movie was the pits.

I've been trying to get the hubby to read Dune, actually. I think he'd like it. However, I picked up a copy of The Dune Encyclopedia at a library sale for him, just in case he starts reading it, and I think it may have scared him off. (Over 500 pages of details can do that, I guess.)


Steven said...

I was so happy when the Scifi channel took on the Dune series. Nothing beats the first time I read dune though. It's one of my all time favorite reads. The 1984 Dune film was an atrocity.