I've finally seen Dune from beginning to end. Its easily the worst sci fi book adaptation I've ever seen, and probably the worst one ever. This movie did not go 30 seconds without screwing something up from the book or just being obnoxious. It also loved to have pointless, usually disgusting, imagery for no real reason except that the writer/director is an moron. I could write a large essay about the problems in this movie, but I'll just bring up a few.
The villain, Baron harkonnen, was ruined. He went from a very evil, but clever and sane, villain to a basically completely made clown. In the book he was really into violence and stuff like that, and a lot of his violence was disturbing. But in this movie its jumped the shark. He's diseased (with a face ravaged by disease) and seems to get off on drenching himself with blood and doing other bizarre things. He's constantly laughing like a bad supervillain and just acting like a complete nutjob. He also poisoned Hawat, who was his prisoner, and agave him the poison antidote by making Hawat milk a cat. That was so bizarre I find it hard to even be angry at that, I'm just confused about what idiot thought that was a better idea than how the book Baron dealt with Hawat. Anyway, the baron is easily the worst written character, and completely misses what the original character was.
The movie also just messed up basically everything possible from the book. Instead of just being a good fighter with powers honed by people for centuries, Paul had a "weirding weapon", basically a blaster, and thats how he and his men fought. Instead of hand to hand combat, we got crappy blaster fights. He also seemed to gain the ability to control worms, and control the weather (both extremely stupid things , and in the case of making the planet rain stupid and actually very destructive because rain+spice under the ground = chain reaction that kills all the worms and, in effect, billions of people, so I hope his control of the weather is really good). I could literally go on for hours, but it comes down to this. Dune is a horribly written movie that basically fails in all areas, and is an insult to the book its "adapting" (and I use that term loosely).
Most characters are written badly (although Patrick Stewart does a good job with his 10-20 lines in the movie) a lot of the plot was fast forwarded through, and it was in love with its own crappy special effects. People could say that the movie needed more time, and I agree that Dune can really not be adapted in 2 hours. That said, what we got in 2 hours was so wrong that there is no way Lynch could have done any better (and would probably have done much worse) even if he could have made it as long as he wanted. The only thing i can say positive about this movie is that I think that the actors were honestly trying to do the best with what they were given, and they deserve credit for that. Still, nothing saves this movie from being a horrible adaptation of an excellent book.
Also, just as a side comment, what was up with the pug? There was literally just a random pug (apparently owned by the atriedies) that just kept popping up. Gurney Hallack even went into battle with a rifle in one hand and the pug in another.