Recently I watched the 2nd and 3rd episodes of the Children Of Dune miniseries, this covered the book Children of Dune and I think the start of the book God Emperor of Dune (but I'm not sure because I havent read it yet)
I really enjoyed these 2 episodes, I didn't particularly enjoy the book but I think this told the story in a far less boring way. It felt rushed, as I think all Dune adaptations are going to. The effects were dated like in part 1 and The Preacher/Paul was so obviously Paul that all the mystery was completely removed, a lot of the book was very simplified or not explained so it might have been strange for someone to watch it without having read the book beforehand.
I thought the way Leto's visions were done was very good and I liked seeing Baron Harkonnan possessing Alia.
I still recommend anyone who's interested in Dune to watch this miniseries, I found it very entertaining!
I watched the first episode of Children Of Dune the other day. It is a 3 part series which adapted the books Dune Messiah and Children of Dune into 90 minute episodes. The first episode, which I just watched, covered Dune Messiah so I think the next 2 episodes are gonna do Children of Dune and maybe part of God-Emperor of Dune. I've read Messiah and Children but I haven't read God-Emperor yet.
The series was made in like 2003 so the effects look pretty bad but if you look past that I think the first episode was a decent adaptation but it felt very rushed, which makes sense for adapting a fairly dense book into only 90 minutes. The two scenes where Paul visits the house in Arakeen were combined into one (which I think is a shame because they're both interesting scenes and I think having them seperated benefits the plot).
I thought the costumes and sets looked cool but I don't think they captured the Dune vibe because it wasn't futuristic enough. I think the Corrino people had cool outfits and the Guild Navigator looked interesting but not what I imagined them as.
I loved the Stone Burner, I had always imagined it as like a big laser shooting from a sattelite in space (like Archemedes II from Fallout New Vegas) but an atomic bomb probably makes more sense. The other bits i really liked where the visions Paul has of Leto II as an adult.
I think my least favourite scene was probably the one with Alia training with all the flying blade thingies, it looked super unrealistic and was clearly just the Actor jumping around while the blades were added in post, and also she stripped naked at the end for like no reason, I'm sure the book has it making more sense because I do not remember being so weirded out by it.
Overall I enjoyed this episode a lot and if you have read the book or like the series I suggest you watch it too!
I watched it on Amazon Prime video where you can stream it.
note: I think you will have to select the spoilered text with your curser to see it
Yesterday I watched the film The Man From Earth. It is about a college professor who is suddenly moving away without giving his friends much warning, during his going away party he starts acting strange and refuses to answer his friends asking why he's leaving so suddenly. He proposes a hypothetical question about what a person would be like if they had lived since the stone age, since his friends are: a history profesor, an anthropology professor, a biology professor, and an art history professor they are pretty uniquely all able to talk about the subject. They say he would be like any normal person since humans were just as developed then and suggest he would be a genius with huge amounts of built up knowledge from living for all that time. After this John (the protagonist) says he is that person and had lived for all that time, everyone thinks he's joking or gone mad.
Over the course of the story his friends move from not believing him at all to some of them starting to believe him and eventually some seem to fully believe him. He tells stories about how he discovered he was different and how he was ostracised by his tribe for not aging because they thought he was stealing their life energy. He talks about how he hunted and how the environment changed before people started doing agriculture and he moves into Sumeria where he lived for I think 2000 years, which seems pretty long for one place, he talks about how he trained with the Buddha, and about how he had to change identity and location whenever people began to notice that he didn't age (which was alluded to earlier when one of his friends says that in 10 years he hasn't aged a day). John says he was a pig farmer in one of his lives and during that time he met Vincent van Gogh which is how he got a van Gogh painting which the Art History professor is amazed by at the start of the film and tells him he should appraise but he dismisses her and says its a copy. He says that after van Gogh died he moved to America where he had lived ever since.
The film talks about some interesting stuff, the main idea I think, other than the idea of someone living 14000 years, is that he can't prove that he has lived so long and his friends cannot disprove him, they can only try to poke holes in his story while he can tell a more convincing story. He says he hadn't held on to any regular items from his past and compares a stone tool to a regular office pen, showing how mundane such an item would be to someone from that period and also how hard it would be to hold onto it. I think it would be especially hard to hold on to something for such a long time across changed identities and lives.
spoilers in this bit: He says he was Jesus, which he shows he didn't want to say because the Art History professor is VERY christian and she thinks its blasphemy. He says after he trained with the Buddha he moved back west and became an Etruscan (people in Italy before the Romans took over) then integrated with the Roman Empire before moving away from its core when he decided it was too corrupt and bad. He said he tried to pass on Buddha's message while preaching against the Roman Empire, as well as saying all the supernatural elements to Jesus' story were added after he had "died" along with the stories of his childhood. He says that he never preached about anything supernatural (he also says he doesnt believe in a creator or god) and just talked about humanity in a general sense which people interpreted as a god - I think this isn't a strong excuse for what the bible says about jesus and is just too convinient, but I dont know how else this could be explained away.
He also talks about how he was forced to conform to catholic religion which he found ironic because it went against what he had preached in the past as well as how the name 'Jesus' had changed over time from its root.
Another interesting element the story talks about is that he thinks he met another immortal man in the 16th century but they only talked for 2 days before going their seperate ways, promising to stay in contact but never doing so, neither could trust whether the other was actually an immortal or just testing them to learn about them. He says he thougt he saw the man again in a crowd 100 years later. He seems regretful about not staying with the other.
Another spoiler warning for this bit (I am going to spoil the ending) towards the end of the film John says it was all a joke and a lie, he wasnt immortal and he had just lied to his closest friends before leaving them forever, which they think isnt a thing he would do (but they also dont think he would be a caveman) its a very dramatic scene and left me wondering if the film would end on this without knowing if he actually lied or just told his friends that to try to get out of having revealed this secret about himself. This is not where the film ends. After everyone had left, except John, his love interest (because of course there had to be a love side-plot) and one other friend who had earlier had a breakdown and almost tried to kill John. John and his love interest are standing outside talking and he confides to her that he had not lied, she asks if his name 'John Oldman' was a pun and he says it was. John says he had used many pun names before: one of them when he was a professor of chemistry 70 years ago and had a name which sounded like Tea Party (beacuse of the Boston Tea Party) the other friend who was still there runs up to him clearly shaken and says that his estranged father was a chemistry professor at that same college 70 years ago before walking out of his life without warning. When John confirms the story and they embrace as a father and son his friend/son has a heart attack and dies there in front of him. John says he has had many children and families in his life but he had never seen an adult child die, I thought this was an especially moving scene.
I thought the ending was touching and interesting but I thought it should have been left ambiguous whether he was really telling the truth or not, everything he said before this could have just been a part of the con - even possibly the van Gogh painting - but I dont think you can make an excuse to say it was unclear after this
Overall I thought the film was brilliant, it was almost like a stage play with its setting staying inside John's living room for almost all of it. I very much related to his feeling of having a secret he wanted to tell but wasn't able to at the start of the film, this reflected my feelings about being LGBT and closeted. Some of the lighting in the film looked pretty weird (not in an intentional way) and sometimes shots were out of focus so I don't think the film had a huge budget but the writing and the acting absolutely makes up for it.
I highly recommend that you watch this film, It said it was the top rated sci fi film on imdb at some time (I can't find anything saying this is true but it probably is) and it has won a whole pile of awards. If you are looking for a film to watch I suggest you go for this one.
Recently I read Foundation and Foundation And Empire by Issac Asimov and currently I'm reading Second Foundation which is the 3rd book in the original Foundation trilogy. After not reading for a while and not reading fiction for an even longer time its been really nice to read a book finally.
I thought the concept for Foundation was really interesting; I could see the parallels between the Galactic Empire and Roman Empire very clearly, I think the prelude to the book makes it quite clear describing Trantor like Rome with all the civil wars and how the emperor tried to protect the city so much (which I don't think happened to the same degree with the Roman Empire because they just used a different capitol once Rome was at too much risk). I thought the way Terminus and The Foundation lost contact with the Empire was really interesting and the rediscovery, in I think the last story, was awesome.
I really liked the way the story followed The Foundation across more than 100 years and the different Eras, I thought the different ways The Foundation adapted to defeat the problems it faced were really interesting and well thought out by Asimov, at first i thought it seemed like characters were all just doing the perfect thing at the right time all the way through - have heard that the characters just being vehicles for the plot is an issue in Asimov's writing - but upon further thought I don't think its an issue, it just more shows that the Plan was working as intended.
The 2nd book, Foundation And Empire, I didn't like so much. The first story, with the Foundation and the last remenants of the Empire going to war for an Imperial General looking to advance his career, I liked - especially the idea of the foundation being protected from the empire because the Foundation could defeat a weak General but the Emperor would not allow a strong General to hold onto any power, I thought that was really cool - but the 2nd story with Mule the mutant I didn't like so much. Basically Mule just had super powers because Asimov's idea of what a mutant was is really weird and I think quite date,at least to the Science Fiction of the period.
While the earlier stories had seemed like The Foundation struggled and had problems and overcame them in ingenius ways; the story about Mule was literally just Mule beating everyone with Magic mind powers.
I didn't like this, but there were some good parts. The return to Trantor was really cool and I liked the Twist at the end.
I am about half way through the 2nd story in Second Foundation. The first story still deals with Mule but he isn't so present in it until the end which I think made it better. Second Foundation is the last book in the original Foundation trilogy so I'm not sure whether i should finish the series next or take a break from it, probably to read God Emperor of Dune.
I watched Crimson Peak the other day, its a film directed by Guillermo Del Toro, I don't really know how to explain what it was about: some websites called it "gothic horror romance" which I would be inclined to agree with.
it had a lot of ghosts in, scary looking ones, but the film kinda said that they were just a metaphor; the main character is writing a novel and she tells her publisher that the ghosts in it are a metaphor. the film had loads of interesting visuals (also Tom Hiddleston who is pretty) and I definitly saw the Guillermo Del Toro style in it, very whimsical and like a fairytale but also dark. a big part of the film is the colour red which comes from the clay in the ground around Alladale Hall where half the film is set (the red clay is actually real in that place but not the the extent in the film). I think the colour red was a metaphor for something but I can't really think of what it would be, the ghosts mean the past - the film says that, but the red staining is less clear. The red looks like blood so I think it is associated, it seeps through the walls of the house and stains everything it touches, its also being exploited for profit by Tom Hiddleston's character. I think it might mean guilt, or maybe the past like the ghosts, or corruption, but I'm not sure. I should see what other people think about it.