Performances range from excellent--Julie Cox, Alice Krige, Alex Newman (much better here than in the first series) and James McAvoy--to a surprisingly wooden Susan Sarandon. The set-pieces are exceptional, with many individual images sufficiently memorable to stand comparison with the work of Ridley Scott. Production-wise this is surely the most beautiful mini-series ever made, with gorgeous lighting by cinematographer Arthur Reinhart, breathtaking set design from Ondrej Nekvasil and a ravishing score from Brian Tyler. By TV standards the CGI is first-rate and, though rarely looking real, establishes a credible science fictional universe. Even when rather baffling, the production achieves moments of dramatic grandeur and a sense of wonder not experienced in TV SF since Babylon 5.
On the DVD: Children of Dune on DVD has one feature-length episode on each disc. The picture is presented at 1.77:1 anamorphically enhanced for widescreen TVs. Shot in high definition, its clarity and detail is superb with virtually no blemishes to the image at all. Colour has a painterly beauty that is remarkable. However, some shots look inaccurately framed, with what was presumably a 4:3 image being a little too closely cropped for widescreen presentation. It's a minor flaw and really only noticeable in some close-ups. Sound is a richly luxuriant Dolby Digital 5.1, which gives no ground to any modern blockbuster movie. Perfunctory extras are confined to the first disc and consist of an interesting but short look at the special effects (13 minutes), a storyboard comparison for one key scene and a photo gallery. --Gary S Dalkin
Stunning effects, incredible battles, high court intrigue with both theological and ecological theories, Frank Herberts visual, award-winning opus reinvents the mythology of fantasy fiction. This fantastical saga challenges the intellectual puzzle of the future of humanity as we know it, raises the bar and unveils breath-taking sci-fi cinematography.
Alice Krige (aka Borg Queen) is amazing as lady Jessica and the general acting is first class. The imagery and special effects of this mini series are truely staggering for TV and the haunting soundtrack is most probably the best I have ever heard; and easily rivals the best of most big-budget films. It sets the mood of the drama perfectly.
The mini-series adapts the 2nd amd 3rd Dune series novels faithfully so I would recommend you see the first mini series or at least have read the books.
I cannot over emphasise the slick ingenuity gone in the production of this epic mini series. This is what epic sci-fi should be and every self respecting sci-fi fan (or anyone else for that matter) should see this masterpiece.
Surely this should win am emmy or two...
The story follows on from Herbert's stunning 'Dune' and the series has cleverly wrapped the two subsequent novels; 'Dune Messiah' and 'The Children of Dune' into one series. We left Dune with Paul Atreides having overthrown the Emperor of the Known Universe and becoming Emperor himself. Here we have sped forward a number of years, Paul rules the Empire and a jihad of the Fremen (the native inhabitants of Dune, repressed by the former regime) has spread his name across the cosmos. The story follows the repercussions of the jihad as well as the events surrounding the birth of his two children.
There are some great performances here, Alex Newman may not be the best Paul Atreides, but he works well enough, Alice Kirge as his mother plays well, as does the actors who play Irulan, Chani, Leto and his sister. Some dodgy performances from Gurney Haleck and Stilgar but all in all a good cast. The change of some of the actors from the first series is a little confusing but in general has worked to the benefit of the series.
Wonderful sets, a beautiful score, and effects while not of cinema calibre are a cut above the usual television variety make for a good series.
Watching this, I can't help but feel that if this had been released in the cinema, on a Hollywood budget, it would have done very well indeed and more than made up for Lynch's high concept, but hard to follow film adaptation.
Oh well - if wishes were horses.
I can't give this five stars mainly because despite all its good qualities, the sometimes bad acting and bad effects do affect your viewing. That said, this is in no way the fault of the production or script, but simply budget and acting problems.
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