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Dune: Special Edition Director's Cut (Widescreen) [3 Discs]


Price: CDN$ 147.23
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Dune: Special Edition Director's Cut (Widescreen) [3 Discs] + Children of Dune [2 Discs] + Dune (Widescreen)
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Product Details

  • Actors: William Hurt, Alec Newman, Giancarlo Giannini, Uwe Ochsenknecht, Saskia Reeves
  • Format: Anamorphic, Box set, Closed-captioned, Color, Director's Cut, Dolby, DTS Surround Sound, DVD-Video, Special Edition, Widescreen, NTSC
  • Language: English
  • Region: Region 1 (US and Canada This DVD will probably NOT be viewable in other countries. Read more about DVD formats.)
  • Aspect Ratio: 1.77:1
  • Number of discs: 3
  • MPAA Rating: UNRATED
  • Studio: Universal Music Group
  • Release Date: June 18 2002
  • Run Time: 265 minutes
  • Average Customer Review: 3.4 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (468 customer reviews)
  • ASIN: B0000639EV
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: #31,303 in DVD (See Top 100 in DVD)

Product Description

Amazon.ca

It's a mixed blessing, but Frank Herbert's Dune goes a long way toward satisfying science fiction purists who scoffed at David Lynch's previous attempt to adapt Herbert's epic narrative. Ironically, director John Harrison's 288-minute TV miniseries (broadcast on the Sci-Fi Channel in December 2000) offers its own share of strengths and weaknesses, which, in retrospect, emphasize the quality of Lynch's film while treating Herbert's novel with more comprehensive authority. Debate will continue as to which film is better; Lynch's extensive use of internal monologue now seems like a challenge well met, and Harrison's more conventional approach is better equipped to convey the epic scope of Herbert's interplanetary political intrigue.

This much is certain: this Dune is a sumptuous treat for the eyes, with sets and costumes that were conceived with no apparent limits of budget or creativity. In terms of architecture alone, this is one of the most impressive films in science fiction history. And although the special effects fall short of feature-film quality, writer-director Harrison (who rose from an extensive background in TV) admirably tames the sprawling narrative that pits the opposing houses of Atreides and Harkonnen in a struggle to control the lucrative market for the spice melange. This is as accurate as any Dune adaptation is likely to get (i.e., there's no need for another attempt), and even then, it can be tricky to keep track of who's doing what to whom. Unfortunately, the film's biggest flaws are the casting of a nearly comatose William Hurt as Duke Leto, and a wooden Alec Newman as the messiah-to-be, Paul Atreides. These are regrettable shortcomings, but this Dune remains altogether respectable. That Frank Herbert would be impressed is perhaps the biggest compliment one can pay. --Jeff Shannon

Special Features

Owing to the differing broadcast standards of global television, the director's cut of Frank Herbert's Dune essentially combines the international versions originally broadcast in 2000. Several scenes are new to American audiences, including some brief and tasteful nudity, but the real benefit comes from scenes that clarify the politics and betrayals that arise between the houses of Atreides and Harkonnen. In his articulate and informative commentary track, writer-director John Harrison illuminates the value of these scenes, while additional DVD supplements explore the challenges of production and, most eloquently, the artistic philosophy of cinematographer Vittorio Storaro, whose color strategies are outlined in interviews and an intellectual essay. And while the "Defining the Messiah" and "Science Future/Science Fiction" supplements are not directly related to the film, they place this epic production (and Frank Herbert's legacy) into a rich and meaningful perspective. Even if viewed only once, these and other features provide valuable context for a deeper appreciation of Harrison's ambitious adaptation. --Jeff Shannon

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Customer Reviews

3.4 out of 5 stars

Most helpful customer reviews

1 of 1 people found the following review helpful By B. C. Whitcomb on June 13 2009
Format: DVD
After having sat through David Lynch's version of "Dune", I longed for something that was more in tune with, what I thought, it the whole spirit of Frank Herbert's amazing novels. I universe as vast as the one in Dune requires the epic treatment on a massive scale. Believe it or not, the SciFi Channel delivered the mini-series treatment in their version of this literary classic. I guess what hooked me was the art direction, which is stunning in the extreme. Gone is the H.R. Geiger inspired sets of Lynch's Dune. Here, we have the world of Arrakis, with its dusty desert towns, vivid colors, and unending desert landscapes. It is into this world that the battle to control the spice of Arrakis (and the universe) is played out between the House of Atreides and the House of Harkonnen. What evolves is a complex tale of political intrigue and spiritual awaking, filled with uniformly strong performances, and great special effects. I was surprised that the movie seemed to draw much of its visual presentation from the Dune computer games, right down to the Renaissance/Chinese-inspired costumes.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful By Mark T. Matranga on Jan. 15 2004
Format: DVD
As a TV miniseries, this version of Dune worked extremely well. As a DVD it is nice because you can watch as much of it as you like at one time - it's broken into three 90 minute "episodes." The acting is much better than average for television, and the sets and costumes are really superb. The portrayal of the primitive yet sophisticated (and beautifully spiritual) fremen culture will have you cheering for their cause. And the evil baron and emporer, as well as the weasly spicing guild nerds, provide a terrific and fun element of comedy to the production. (They sure have a lot of weird, funky hats in this universe !!)
The special effects and battle scenes do leave something to be desired, although the space scenes actually look pretty real. One star is lost for the cheesy looking battle scenes and fake looking desert mouse, and the DVD itself is pretty bare bones. Nevertheless, this DVD is worthwhile addition to your science fiction collection, especially since the price is so reasonable.
PS - I'm getting really annoyed with reviewers who compare a film to the book upon which it is based, and complain when they don't coincide exactly. When a film is "based" on a novel, it is not necessary to copy it verbatim. So, all you anally retentive Dune (and Lord of the Ring) geeks out there - lighten up already !!
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful By L. Varnau on June 28 2003
Format: DVD
Before "Star Wars" there was a book called "Dune." The book, written by Frank Herbert is considered a classic among many literature historians and is certainly one of the greatest sci-fi books to ever be written. It was adapted by director David Lynch in 1984 for a big-budget screen adaptation. The film was a very noble attempt and has even acquired a cult following, but it wasn't quite perfect and many "Dune" fans shunned it. Now, years later, director John Harrison has done his own adaptation of the book; a 5-hour miniseries that showed on the Sci-Fi channel in 2000. This version is more faithful to the book and, while it has many downsides, is better than the version David Lynch did. It's very thorough in its telling of Paul Atreidies' rise to power on the desert planet Arakkis, also known as Dune. While the middle chapter drags a little, the first and third do a great job of keeping the story going. The visual effects are not perfect. It is very obvious when scenes are done against a matte painting or a blue-screen. But the story and characters are very well thought out and these things can occasionally be overlooked. I would recommend this movie to any sci-fi buff. It's an epic tale told just right and acted very excellently.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful By Enterprise Michael on April 6 2001
Format: DVD
I have read Frank Herbert's Dune series and waiting impatiently for it to be filmed. I got to see the David Lynch version--which Frank Herbert supposed helped create--and was stunned by its stiffness and gernerally proding story. Years later, when the director's cut was released, the movie played a lot better...but not better than this version.
This version is extraordinary. I have watched it 3 times and each time I reveal in the beauty and excellent story telling. This is the book come to life in front of you! The people contributing to the film are first rate. I enjoyed the character transistion of Paul--and this most of all made this movie click for me. Paul matured in this film version. He goes from spoiled only kid to forceful leader and hero.
This version of Dune also brings to life the book's original narrator and observer. Princess Irulan is wonderfully cast and this character's contribution to the overall story is fantastic.
I wish the makers of this version consider taking up some of the additional stories of Frank Herberts Dune--ChapterHouse was by far the most thrilling and imaginative!
I applaud SciFi channel for its original programming and willingness to take a SciFi's grand master's epic and turn it into quality visual entertainment!
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful By Motoman25 on Jan. 8 2004
Format: DVD
The director's cut is great. The images are crisp and colorful, and the DTS soundtrack is excellent. But more important, I think that this version blows away the David Lynch caricature of Dune. If you are a Dune fan, this is a great and pretty faithful adaptation. Are there a couple of cheesey moments when the movie tries to show what a spice vision is like? Sure, but that is tough to do. All in all, this particular version is wonderful.
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