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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars This is THE version to see
Ignore the Lynch version, cult classic though it may be--this is the true movie version of the original Dune. William Hurt plays a fantastic Duke Leto. If they had a little better funding, they could have made it a real feature film and played it in the theatres. This is a definite must see for Dune fans who are disappointed with the Lynch Dune!
Published on Dec 15 2003 by Steven M. Balke Jr.

versus
3.0 out of 5 stars just okay
haven't seen a movie version yet that really captures the story as written in the books, but for the most part, this isn't too bad. I think most of the visuals work really well even if the adaptation is a little loose.
Published 17 months ago by wendy L moore


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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Epic science fiction, Jan. 15 2004
By 
Mark T. Matranga (Elk Grove, CA United States) - See all my reviews
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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
5.0 out of 5 stars This is THE version to see, Dec 15 2003
By 
Steven M. Balke Jr. (Ypsilanti, MI USA) - See all my reviews
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Ignore the Lynch version, cult classic though it may be--this is the true movie version of the original Dune. William Hurt plays a fantastic Duke Leto. If they had a little better funding, they could have made it a real feature film and played it in the theatres. This is a definite must see for Dune fans who are disappointed with the Lynch Dune!
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3.0 out of 5 stars just okay, Feb. 22 2013
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This review is from: Frank Herbert's Dune (DVD)
haven't seen a movie version yet that really captures the story as written in the books, but for the most part, this isn't too bad. I think most of the visuals work really well even if the adaptation is a little loose.
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5.0 out of 5 stars This is an amazing movie!, Dec 30 2003
When I first sat down to see this movie, I didn't really have much enthusiasm about it. I had never read the book, and didn't understand what the movie was supposed to be about. But that was all before the movie actually started. And as soon as the movie was over, I went and hunted down a copy of the book as quickly as possible. Dune has a very complex plot, and so reading the book helped me to understand the little twists and turns, so when I saw the movie a second time, it was even better. But you don't have to read the book to enjoy this movie. It has amazing visual effects, and all of the actors were very good at portraying the characters. While some of the desert backdrops are obviously fake, it actually just improves the movie's grandness. Once the movie is over, it leaves you wanting more. And fortunately they did a sequel, so there is more to be had, in Children of Dune, which is based on Frank Herbert's books Dune Messiah and Children of Dune.
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5.0 out of 5 stars A perfect portrayl of Dune, Nov. 23 2003
By 
Kyle Stewart (Georgia) - See all my reviews
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John Harrison captures all the right parts of Frank Herbert's vision, in all the right ways. This movie is far superior to David Lynch's version. This version cuts-and-pastes and just the right times, and makes up it's own mythos at just the right times.
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5.0 out of 5 stars The Better "Dune"..., Nov. 17 2003
By 
Dave Bara "db" (Auburn, WA United States) - See all my reviews
John Harrison's adaption of Dune for the small screen acomplishes much of what David Lynch's film adaption could not. A coherent story, emphasis on the book's major dramatic conflicts, and a realistic portrayal of the evil Harkonnens. This version of the mini-series solves many of the problems the original broadcast version DVD could not. The final battle at the palace of Arakeen was given short shrift in the original broadcast but has much more impact here when shown in full, as originally intended. Some scenes containing nudity were originally edited but are now much more realistic. And I for one won't complain about seeing the lovely Barbara Kodetova in the buff! All in all this is a much more satisfying experience than the original broadcast DVD and puts even more distance between itself and the Lynch movie version. If you only buy one, buy this, and you won't regret it!
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5.0 out of 5 stars On-par with my favorite movies., Nov. 10 2003
By 
theButterfly (Austin, Texas USA) - See all my reviews
Despite my 5-star rating, there are some pretty big problems that need to be pointed out:
-it was too short
-some weak casting, especially for Reverend Mother Gaius Helen Mohiam
-considering the quality of the source material, John Harrison should be ashamed of much of the writing in especially the first episode
-the Fremen aren't portrayed correctly (clean, water-fat white people? I don't think so)
The last point doesn't really bother me, considering the circumstances, but the other three would have wiped out any chance of a perfect score if not for three main points: 1) If it were not for these bad points it would, like the book and its sequels, stand high above all others as a pinnacle of excellence of Shakespearean proportions--instead, it is forced to contend with other 5-star movies, such as Pitch Black, The Matrix and The Lord of the Rings; 2) I believe that for all its shortfalls, it really captures the spirit and essence of the novel; and 3) this DVD set includes not only a good 5-hour movie, but also a nice load of excellent special features.
The movie follows a basic sequence of increasing quality from beginning to end. In truth, if the whole thing were like the first episode, I wouldn't have such a high opinion of it. The words in the book should have been taken much more seriously than they were. But the beginning isn't all bad. On the contrary, the scenes with the Baron Harkonnen are very high quality. Ian McNeice and Matt Keeslar work perfectly together throughout the movie.
The second episode is better than the first. At this point, many people are unhappy, because it looks like everything was shot on a sound stage, which it was. Part of the problem is that the sand that was delivered to them was not the same color as what they had ordered. Personally though, I thought it added an artistic touch, giving the movie an elevated quality, like a play about an epic Greek tragedy--a quality that often matches part of the mood of the book. It is also in this episode that you are finally treated to the outstanding performance of Barbara Kodetová, the best actress in the world. Even if you don't like the rest of the movie, you're sure to enjoy watching her fantastic treatment of the Chani character. Like the first episode, this one also races through the story much faster than it should. This is unfortunate but not fatal. By the end of this episode, you should be very excited to begin the next.
The final episode is the best of the three. This is where director John Harrison and cinematographer Vittorio Storaro really earn their pay. Even Zuzana Geislerová's terrible acting couldn't ruin this episode, although a better actress could still have improved it. As it draws closer to the end, the spirit and feeling of the book are captured more closely than I would ever have thought possible. My favorite scenes near the very end are the real reason that I couldn't bear to give it less than five stars. If the whole thing were this good, it might give a partial idea of just how magnificent the book is.
It's also worth noting great performances by Laura Burton (Alia) and Julie Cox (Princess Irulan). Have you ever seen a little girl acting circles around a room full of seasoned actors? You'll have your chance in the scenes with Alia. As for Julie Cox, she is the definitive Princess Irulan, plain and simple; although Purists might be unhappy about her expanded role.
If you don't have any experience with the books, you should be aware that The Master's writing can't be accurately adapted to the screen. He uses techniques that are exclusive to the book format. My point is that you should not think that watching any movie will give you much of an idea of what DUNE is all about. But it's a great movie in its own right, and it's great to be able to see parts of the story play out in live action.
One more thing I'd like to add. If it weren't for the book, there would be no question that this movie deserves five stars. It's comparing the two that causes disappointment. All of Frank Herbert's incredible dialogue is changed! It's uncertain why such changes would be made, and they certainly don't help. So when you watch this movie, you might try to pretend that there is no book.
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4.0 out of 5 stars Schweet, Oct. 17 2003
By 
Lorna Reynolds (Tucson, AZ) - See all my reviews
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While it's impossible to make a perfect replica of the book (well, it's possible but it's be 20 hours long and 90% would be silent while subtitles show what the characters are thinking), this is the best job I've ever seen done. I agree that William Hurt was an unnecessary inclusion in this one, I pretty much put that on the side burner, as he's only in the first part of the movie. Being an avid sci-fi fan I was a bit worried when I realized a new Dune was being made, but this rendition is fantastic. The sets are awesome even if you can sometimes tell that they are just back drops. At some points I was annoyed with the lighting and how unrealistic it became but all in all, I really enjoyed this Dune. I was especially proud of how fleshy they made Princess Irulan, seeing as they only had chapter heads to base the character off of.
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5.0 out of 5 stars Fun !, Sept. 10 2003
By 
Howard C. Craig (Poway, Ca United States) - See all my reviews
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I particularly liked the parts in which the director and friends talk about what went on in each scene. I also liked seeing the different scenes that didn't make it to the Sci Fi version.
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3.0 out of 5 stars Meh, Sept. 8 2003
By 
"ldysafire" (New Albany, IN United States) - See all my reviews
While a great undertaking to create the rich world Frank Herbert described on the big screen I found this movie a let down. Sure the special effects and the look was amazing, so rich in colors unlike the darker version in 1984. But the audacity to "enhance" the original text with scenes not in the book was atrocious. Princess Irulan is a nothing character, yet she is depicted as a serious player in the grand scheme of things in this film version. WRONG! Frank Herbert didn't make her important therefore she is not. A simple pawn in man's game for power.
The director should have stuck closer to the book and he would have pleased more people with the outcome, aside from that his film was flawless in detail to look and feel of the gritty world of Dune.
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