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
A battle raged for twelve years whilst desert dweller Paul Maud'dib Atreides's, Freman Jiha travelled the universe destroying the remaining old Imperial armies. Maud'dib's rule saw planets colonized one by one, though amid the anarchy, the House of Atreides emerged as a superpower of Dune's planet Arrakis. However, the rule of the government is not wholly universal, there are numerous corrupt adversaries, the greatest being the fallen Baron Harkonnen who strives to regain control of his old empire, Dune, with its mystifying life force and all it symbolizes, to the galactic order. Harkonnen aside, a treacherous threat is about to emerge from within the House of Atreides as the number of clandestine enemies increases. Maud'dib believes that his sole chance of safeguarding his family sovereignty is his newborn twins born of his concubine, Chiani. Soon his son, Leto will be heir to Dune, a most unimaginable power. The son will be responsible for demystifying his father's legacy, destroying the old regime in order to reinstate peace in the Empire. The definitive war has yet to be waged and will see the Children of Atriedes - the Children of Dune - trapped amid a future so volatile, yet of their family's very own creation.
Stunning effects, incredible battles, high court intrigue with both theological and ecological theories, Frank Herbert's 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.
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