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Alexandra DuPont's DUNE 2K 2-Disc DVD Review

El Cosmico here, with fresh insight from the ever-excellent Alexandra DuPont, regarding a series we covered a bit here already, the Sci-Fi Channel's recent rendition of Frank Herbert's DUNE. Here's Alex:

Review by Alexandra DuPont                    


I. The subject of our review:

Frank Herbert's Dune. Two DVD platters containing the complete 265-minute Sci-Fi Channel miniseries, plus extras. In stores March 20.

II. The disclaimer:

Chances are that (a) you've already read Dune, and/or (b) you watched and/or taped the miniseries a few months ago, formed an opinion, and simply want to know if the DVD's worth owning. It is, I think. Skip to Section IX. for details on the extras.

III. For the rest of you: the story.

Noble-born Paul Atreides (Alec Newman) heads to sand planet with Dad and Mom (William Hurt, Saskia Reeves). Fat floating baron (Ian McNiece) kills Dad, takes over palace, drives son and mother into desert. In short order, son finds out he's (a) the end result of übermensch breeding program set up by creepy nuns and (b) prophesied messiah to a pack of water-worshipping nomads.

Son ingests scads of mind-expanding drugs. Son whips nomads into messianic frenzy. Son takes back the kingdom. There's Machiavellian intrigue, an entire glossary of made-up jargon, knife fights, and giant-worm riding along the way.

I'm being glib, of course, but that's Dune in a nutshell: a mind-bending mix of Machiavelli, the Apostle Paul and Ken Kesey — or, as a less-pretentious friend put it, "Shakespeare meets Battlestar Galactica."

IV. Does the miniseries capture the story, which I read in high school and (even in high school) knew would need about five or six hours to be told properly?

Yes. Well, let's just say it captures the story a heck of a lot more successfully than David Lynch's ambitious (but damn-near incomprehensible) 1984 adaptation, which was legendarily hacked within an inch of its life by producer Dino De Laurentis.

Writer/director John Harrison, making the most of a tight budget, exercises near-total control of the material — no easy feat, given that the material depends on (a) everybody scheming all the time, (b) some increasingly esoteric hallucination sequences, and (c) a protagonist who makes such non-protagonistic utterances as "My dear Emperor, I'm about to destroy your sanity" and "The vast expanse of humanity is about to awaken from its complacency.... There are no innocents!"

V. What's the best thing about Dune 2000?

Oh, that's easy: Vittorio Storaro's cinematography. That's right — the man who lensed Apocalypse Now, The Last Emperor, Last Tango in Paris and Dick Tracy (which Dune 2000's aesthetic most resembles, truth be told) is slumming at the Sci-Fi Channel. Storaro — working closely with Harrison and production designer "Kreka" Kakovic — films Dune as set-bound Expressionist cinema, using giant backdrops in place of outdoor locales and dimmer boards to shift boldly-colored lighting mid-scene.

Of course, those same giant backdrops are what polarized viewers of this miniseries when it aired last December. Harrison et al defied viewer expectations by making the "world of the play" blatantly, sumptuously fake — about as convincing as Dune performed by the Max Fischer Players, truth be told. In the making-of documentary, Harrison explains away all the "Classic Trek"-level exteriors by saying he wanted to create a "completely fantastic world." It's more likely he simply couldn't afford to be at the mercy of the outdoors, but I'd still argue that it's a largely successful device — mostly because it's consistent and allowed the filmmaker to control his variables, and thus focus on story. Whether you'll enjoy it is, of course, a matter of personal taste.

VI. What else is good?

The epic number of subplots — the fleshing out of characters and situations that got scissored out of the Lynch version, including the relationship between Paul and his perfectly lovely concubine. Graeme Revell's excellent, Eastern-tinged score. Saskia Reeves as Lady Jessica — she comes off like Emma Thompson crossed with Michelle Yeoh. And of course some striking visuals: glowing eyes in blue shadows; a character standing in a hallucinatory sea of bodies; airships doing battle over a desert city. And finally, the fact that this ambitious piece of work comes from the same TV network that just a few years ago was bringing us such dreck as Assault on Dome 4.

VII. What's not so good?

The fact that the fleshing out of characters and situations slows things down quite a bit. The fact that most of Herbert's best character writing consists of interior monologues that can't really be captured onscreen (remember that "whispered-thoughts" narrative device that made Lynch's version so maddening?). The way more than one scene with Ian McNiece's Baron ends with him laughing like a mustache-twirling Scooby-Doo villain. The way the Marilyn-Manson-ish Guild envoy mimes with his hands. The fact that the set-bound nature of the piece (and the frequently mellow energy level) at times carries the whiff of "TV movie." The somewhat slow-moving fight sequences (which, that said, are still above average for TV). And, alas, P.H. Moriarty as Gurney Halleck — who mumbles as if he'd wandered onto the set from the local Renaissance faire's mead booth.

VIII. Elements I personally would pluck from Lynch's Dune and digitally insert into Harrison's Dune had I money and technology and copyrights to spare:

  • Selected costume design (Fremen, Harkonnen, Bene Gesserit)
  • Selected set design (Caladan, Imperial Throne Room)
  • From the cast: Patrick Stewart as Gurney Halleck, Sting as Feyd (well, except maybe when he's wearing that leather diaper), Jose Ferrer as the Emperor, Sian Phillips as the Revered Mother, Jurgen Prochnow as Duke Leto, young Alicia Witt (and whoever voiced her creepy overdub) as Alia, and most especially the palpably slimy Kenneth McMillan as the Baron
  • All scenes involving the Harkonnen clan (except that one involving cat-milking)
  • Lynch's let's-fly-into-people's-mouths hallucinatory sequences
  • The scene where Paul masters the Voice and busts himself and Jessica out of the Harkonnen ornithopter — a scene that's also in the book but inexplicably left out of the miniseries


IX. Um, okay. So how about those DVD extras?

They're relatively paltry: There aren't even language tracks or subtitles on my Region 1 discs (apparently, the deaf are stuck with the book or, good Lord, Lynch's version), and the sound mix is a mere Dolby 2.0. Still, what's included is damned interesting — often as not for its sheer pretension:

(1) First up, the whole shebang is presented in the mildest of widescreen formats, and it's simply lovely. DVD really brings out the color — though it also brings out the inherent video-game-cutscene cheesiness of most of the effects. But still.

(2) Then there's "The Lure of the Spice" — a 26-minute promotional documentary chock full of sound bites from executive producers Richard P. Rubenstein and Mitchell Galin, writer/director John Harrison, actors William Hurt, Alec Newman, Saskia Reeves, Julie Cox, Ian McNiece, Matt Kesslar and Barbora Kodetova, cinematographer Vittorio Storaro, production designer Miljen "Kreka" Kakovic and effects supervisor Jim Healy. It's fairly run-of-the-mill fluff, but there are a few points of interest:

  • For one thing, I was delighted to discover that Harrison, with his owlish eyebrows, looks almost exactly like a Mentat from the Lynch version; I very nearly freeze-framed to look for stains on the director's lips.
  • For another, everyone goes ape over Vittorio Storaro like they know they were lucky to get him, and the rationale behind the miniseries' essential staginess is fleshed out.
  • But most amusing are the nonsensical pronouncements by exec. producers Rubenstein and Galin. Here's Rubenstein: "There are some movies that, basically, you have to lean into — sort of lean forward in your seat to engage them — the dialogue. Then there are other movies where you can sit back and let the movie wash over you. Well, I think this is both." Gosh, I hope there aren't any moments where I have to lean both directions simultaneously. Oh, and here's Galin: "The key to a great adaptation is creating what I call 'the illusion of fidelity.'" Um, that's infidelity, isn't it?


(3) That said, the pretentious yammerings of those two pale in comparison to what's found in an extra titled, I kid you not, "The Cinematographic Ideation of Frank Herbert's Dune." Billed as "An Interactive Written Treatise by Vittorio Storaro," this extra is 42 (42!) pages of New Age gobbledygook, laid out in an unreadable font, that's meant to clarify Storaro's approach to the cinematography but instead sounds like William Hurt when he goes off on tangents in interviews.

Now, I want to reiterate that Storaro's lighting design is by far the best thing about this miniseries. It would not be an exaggeration to call the man a genius, or at least a serious artist. But sometimes it's a shame when serious artists in one medium try to explain themselves in another — particularly when there's a language barrier. To wit, here's the first freakin' sentence of Storaro's "treatise":

"One of the highest periods of the philosophical thought of mankind was certainly the fourth century before Christ: Confucious in China; Buddha in India; Zarathustra in Persia; Socrates, Plato and Aristotle and the whole of the philosophical thought of ancient Greece, certainly laid the bases [sic] for a concept of life which for many centuries guided Man along his path of growth until the magic formula of Albert Einstein: E=m.c2 — placed our flesh and our spirit in close connection to the point of projecting us into a future which still today we only manage to perceive through that omnipresent hope of constant growth towards the Evolution of our species."

Silly me: I always thought General Relativity was about light, speed and time. Anyway, it gets worse, with clauses like

"It engenders in Man a reverential state through its protective mysterious potentiality...."

and

"The Asteroid, the IMAGO MATER with the mysterious face of a Goddess, is not only the daughter of the night sky but also the Mother of all our most hidden thoughts...."

Quick — someone give this man an Emmy. Storaro's thesis, as near as I can tell, is that Paul Atreides' journey is the journey of mankind, and that "green, ocre, red, blue = water, fire, earth, air = childhood, youth, growth, maturity." Or something like that.

(4) And finally, there are separate Costume Design and Production Design Exhibits (featuring some excellent renderings), plus Cast & Crew Notes and 20-odd pages of hagiographic Production Notes.

You have been warned. Give it a spin.

— Alexandra DuPont
dupont@dvdjournal.com

Three Stars

  • Color
  • Widescreen (1.77:1)
  • Two single-sided discs
  • English (Dolby Digital 2.0 Stereo)
  • 26-minute making-of featurette: "The Lure of Spice"
  • Costume design exhibit
  • Production design exhibit
  • "The Cinematographic Ideation of Frank Herbert's Dune" (an "interactive written treatise," ahem, by Vittorio Storaro)
  • Cast & crew notes
  • Production notes
  • Dual-DVD keep-case

Many thanks, Alex, and thanks, as always, to all of our friends at DVD Journal.

-El Cosmico

elcosmico@aintitcool.com

You got time for jibba-jabba?

Readers Talkback
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  • March 5, 2001, 6:28 a.m. CST

    What's wrong with...

    by Jonte

    ... Max von Sydow, Alexandra?!

  • March 5, 2001, 7:09 a.m. CST

    Liet

    by Tripper

    Nothing with von Sydow, just he's too old for Liet (now especially). I would have loved to see him as the Emperor (ala Ming). But the fellow who played Leit, whooo! Dead, solid, perfect!

  • March 5, 2001, 7:23 a.m. CST

    I thought the 'Dune' mini-series was very good, however, I still

    by Uncle Jay

    ....so, why don't they put out a special edition, remastered, full director's cut DVD of Lynch's version. I'm sick of seeing all these imported laserdisc transfers (pan & scan no less), w/Japanese subtitles on the bottom!

  • March 5, 2001, 7:42 a.m. CST

    Lynch's Dune was the best

    by joekun

    They need to go back and give Lynch's film the treatment it deserves. It is an insult to even compare the Sci-fi version to it. Oh, and a word to those who want this DVD from thedigitalbits.com: "Fans waiting for Artisan's 2-disc DVD release of Frank Herbert's Dune are going to be a little disappointed by it. Early information was that the set was going to feature anamorphic widescreen (it doesn't, even though Artisan's little "aspect ratio" grid on the back says it is)"

  • March 5, 2001, 9:47 a.m. CST

    Reality

    by Achilles

    Dune is a lot like LotR, in that to successfully bring it to the large or small screen, you need two things: 1) a fanatical director, completely devoted to translating the words onto the screen; and 2) a sh*tload of money. LotR has both, and we all have very high hopes for it. Dune had the first, but it was hurting for money and it shows. Well acted and beautifully adapted (except for expanding the Irulan role), Harrison tried his absolute best and deserves a lot of credit. But overall, the telefilm looked cheesy, with cheap effects and ridiculous looking indoor "desert" shots. I liked the look of Lynch's film much better, but Harrison's version has him beat by a mile in terms of content. It is a shame that Harrison did not have more cash on hand. Hopefully they will float him some more for his Dune Messiah/Children of Dune sequel.

  • March 5, 2001, 10:27 a.m. CST

    Lynch's Dune

    by Wolfsbane

    The theatrical version is the one which has Alan Smithee as director, instead of David Lynch. His cut was more than 5 hours long, and he refused to cut farther, so the studio did it without him. I would love to see the version Lynch wanted.

  • March 5, 2001, 11:50 a.m. CST

    the various Dune versions

    by ron2112

    Okay, here's the scoop on the various versions of Lynch's Dune, as culled (read: stolen and then edited a tiny bit) from imdb... The theatrical version, which has Lynch's name on it, is 140-minutes long. The theatrical release features a brief introductory narration spoken by the "princess". The network TV version, disowned by Lynch, is 190 minutes long and features outtakes and additional footage. The TV print credits "Allen Smithee" as director. The TV version has a longer spoken introduction by a narrator, with still paintings and drawings used to bring the viewer up to speed on the story. The TV version (available on Japanese Laserdisc) lacks the blue color in the Fremen's eyes, indicating that the scenes were cut before special f/x were added. A third version of "Dune", seen on KTVU in San Francisco in 1992, is the only one that edits together footage from both the theatrical and TV versions, putting back the violent scenes (such as the "heart sucking sequence") and theatrical versions of some scenes (such as Paul and Jessica running from a thumper). Also, Lynch's name is restored at the end (watch for the "Assistant to Mr. Lynch" credit). Contrary to popular rumors, no 6-hours long director's cut, ever existed. The only "director's cut" of the film was the one shown theatrically; Lynch never had a hand in any other version of Dune. Lynch's original intention was for Dune to have been about 3+ hours long. To that end, about 5 hours was shot. This is also confirmed by author 'Frank Herbert' (qv) wrote in the introduction to the book "Eye". It would be impossible for a 6-hour version to exist and even a 5-hour Dune would mean the inclusion of many scenes never intended for the final version (for reasons of redundancy, etc.). It is only necessary to read any of the final scripts for the film to realize that there was never any intention of making Dune more than 4 hours in length at the very most: the script for anything more just was never there. There are two theatrical versions available in Europe, the only two differences between being the short scene in which the Navigator can be seen "at work" folding space; and a very short clip showing the cheek of Duke Leto torn open. The Region 2 DVD version, billed as 'TV extended version' is 180 minutes long and contains the extended intro and scenes. Lynch's name has again been removed and re-credited to Allen Smithee due to his objection to the extended intro.

  • March 5, 2001, 1:30 p.m. CST

    Alexandra DuP. apologizes and corrects: The "Dune" DVD is NOT an

    by Alexandra.DuPont

    Apologies all around. The info in my posession said it WAS anamorphic -- and I was on deadline and didn't have my player handy to check. Do please color me corrected. Here's the word straight from Karen Appel, Artisan's lovely PR rep: "I apologize for the misunderstanding, but the Dune DVD is NOT anamorphically enhanced for widescreen televisions." So there you are. I'll try to get El Cosmico to remove the anamorphic reference from my review. -- A.DuP.

  • March 5, 2001, 5:03 p.m. CST

    This overlong, pathetically boring, and drab version of Dune was

    by kingink123

    This overlong, pathetically boring, and drab version of Dune was a waste of time and money. How anyone can blast Lynch's version of Dune is beyond me. I saw Dune in 84 when I was in middle school. I had never read the book. I understood everything just fine. The funny thing about a true Science fiction movie is that it makes you think. And using context clues and abstract thinking, you can easily understand the film. Everything made perfect sense to me, the cultures, the plotting, and also the whispered thoughts were just damn perfect. What better way to convey a character's inner thoughts. Plus, no version of Dune will ever be able to top the production design of that film. THe costume designs in the sci-fi channel's version are just ridiculous. The emperor's terror troops look like a gaggle of gay french chef's on a weekend paintball stint. PLEASE. These are the most feared soldiers in the universe???? I won't even go on to the poor still suit designs and the crappy samurai harkonnen troops. But I digress, after watching the film I read the book, and found that though Dune did not cover everything in the novel, and all the characters, it did manage to capture a feel of the story and the politics that were being played. What amazes me most, is that this new version was so long, and it still didn't cover everything. I was hoping to see the famous "dinner" sequence, and it was reduced to a terribly vapid scene in which nothing of the elegant and vicious plotting was even hinted at. I've rambled enough, but I just have to defend Lynch's version of dune. It is still the highest quality and the best version in my opinion.

  • March 5, 2001, 10:14 p.m. CST

    Storaro

    by Lazarus Long

    I almost want to buy this thing just to read the 42 pages of rambling. This isn't the first time Vittorio has gotten all Tom Hanks-Philadelphia-Acceptance Speech when talking about his craft. As Alexandra put it, it would not be incorrect to call this man a genius. As far as color cinematography is concerned, he is far and away the best of all time. The documentary Visions of Light does contain some interview footage of Storaro, along with clips from his films. The Conformist (dir. Bertolucci) may very well be the best photographed film I've ever seen. The cinematography alone is art, regardless of the acting, story, directing, etc. Storaro helped his reputation by only working with select directors (until recently, it seems) like Coppola, Bertolucci, and Warren Beatty. His three Oscars aren't enough to honor what this guy has done, but he justly won them for Apocalpse, Reds, and The Last Emperor. He should have also won for Last Tango in Paris and Dick Tracy, to name two others.

  • March 6, 2001, 2:20 a.m. CST

    Alan Smithee

    by hard120

    In response to Wolfsbane's post, He mentioned that the 5-hr version of Dune was done by Alan Smithee. Unless I've heard wrong, the name "Alan Smithee" was used in the early days of Hollywood when a director had made a movie they felt was so damagin to thier career. Instead of having thier own name on it, they used the pseudonym "Alan Smithee"... Do correct me if I'm wrong, but that's what I had heard a while back...

  • March 6, 2001, 8:34 a.m. CST

    Lynch's cut

    by joekun

    Okay, I took this from "The Cut List" on dvdfile.com and edited a bit for space, check it out, great site. Frank Herbert wrote an introduction to a book called "Eye" that most of this footage shouldn't be used and was never intended to be seen anyway. Mr. Herbert is pretty clear that at most "maybe" four hours of footage would work. But, as of now, only the theatrical cut bears the Lynch stamp, and he has disowned the TV cut. Universal's David Shin publicly stated in a recent live chat that Universal will "most likely" revisit Dune on DVD sometime in the future. I believe the only way to really do this right would be to get David Lynch involved extensively, and if no new cut of the film is made, then get the director to consent to adding deleted scenes as supplements. But, until then, the theatrical cut is the way to go, as it most closely adheres to the director's vision (and is cheaper than the Japanese laserdisc!).

  • March 6, 2001, 9:12 a.m. CST

    Stillsuits and liberties

    by holyRoller

    If you look at the stillsuits in the two movies from a scientific standpoint, there is no way the Fremen are going to wear the suits in the Lynch version. Who would live on a desert planet where water is so vital and fail to have a part of the suit around the head? PLEASE. Talk about serious water loss. The suits in the Sci-Fi version may not have looked quite as cool, but at least they were thought through a bit more. I do like Lynch's version, however, and loved some of the non-Dune things he added, like the weirding guns and that Paul's name was from a moon instead of a desert mouse. But the suits really needed a revamp, even if they would hide pretty-boy Kyle's face.

  • March 6, 2001, 1:43 p.m. CST

    best of both and smithee answer

    by darmal

    I think the new DUNE would have been fantastic if included the following from Lynch's" -The Baron -Piter -RM Mohiam -the costumes -the sets -the inner voices I like the new Feyd better than Sting..this one is hunkier...would have loved seeing him in the jock strap! the Smithee version is 3+ hrs and is often seen on TV...it includes the historical background at the beginning and extra scenes (the SFX weren't dont yet so the eyes aren't blue) like Gurney with his Baliset....the studio did this cut and Lynch told them to remove his name

  • March 7, 2001, 3:45 a.m. CST

    Wow, I might just buy it for that Sottaro dude

    by Mr_Intimidation

    or whatever his name is. yes, yes, i'm so lazy i won't backspace to actually get his real name. but all that pretentious stuff sounds just about up my alley. heh heh. maybe i can still some and put them in my thesis. fuckin' film professors love nothing more than pretentious shite.

  • March 7, 2001, 2 p.m. CST

    Euro DVD will be DVD

    by InfraMan

    The European edition of the DVD (which will be released later this year) will have more documentaries, the 'director's cut version', and a whole boatload of extras -- including Q & A sessions, a large picture gallery, an audio commentary, etc. A much better product. InfraMan is glad he owns a multi-regional DVD player!

  • March 7, 2001, 2:07 p.m. CST

    Euro DVD will be a much better DVD

    by InfraMan

    The European edition of the DVD (which will be released later this year) will have more documentaries, the 'director's cut version', and a whole boatload of extras -- including Q & A sessions, a large picture gallery, an audio commentary, etc. A much better product. InfraMan is glad he owns a multi-regional DVD player!

  • March 7, 2001, 3:05 p.m. CST

    I liked both versions, for different reasons

    by BigW

    DUNE the mini-series was certainly closer to the story (it had the time to go over it), and actually had Duncan do something other than say hi and get killed. Duncan WAS the Attreides top badass, and he was pretty much cut out of the movie. On the other hand, why they would cut out the Thufir and Pieter, and effectively use the time to add a new plot thread with Irulan, just doesn't make sense (except that it allowed them to try to apease the women-libbers out there, I suppose, since the book could be viewed as fairly sexist). Also, the TV version doesn't have Patrick Stewart. However, the mood and costume of the movie just can't be beat. And the inner dialogue really explained the imprtance of the "plans within plans". But when you watch the movie, you really get the feeling that too much was left on the chopping block. Conclusion: Lynch must be convinced to retrieve the scrapped material and add it to a new DVD release, or someone will have to remake the movie as a 3 hour epic (and get Patrick Stewart back: he's old, so he could play Liet now).

  • March 7, 2001, 4:07 p.m. CST

    Thank you Alex and On Irulan

    by vox8

    I would like to take a moment to thank Alex for the first coherent review of what I also felt was a very strong intrepretation of Herbert's masterpiece. Thank you. As for Iruan and Feyd - the countess Fenrig seduced Feyd in the book to perptuate the Harkonnen bloodline when they felt that it would be lost. In the ScFi version they substituted the character and the intent to provide us with a better relationship with Irulan. The goal is to make the first 3 books into movies. In the first book Irulan was almost nonexistant except for as the narrator, BUT in the next two she was an integral part of the plot. We had to see more of Irulan than her just showing up at the end as the prize. If we had not gotten to know her in the additional scenes her prescence in the subsequent movies would have little or no weight. -Vox

  • March 8, 2001, 9 a.m. CST

    Mrs. DuPont Review

    by Stanazgul

    Mrs. Dupont and AICN, Great review! I dont have a dvd, right now but I caught the Dune series on Sci-fi. BTW,Would u agree, that the lighting from Lynch's movie would be a good pluck from to the other. Adapting movie lighting to tv could have a great affect to. CU, Stan

  • March 10, 2001, 2:10 a.m. CST

    RE:Alan Smithee

    by Redbeard_NV

    Alan Smithee is the Director's Guild's pseudonym for a director who wants to opt out of any responsability for a film, usually when it's been taken over by a producer or studio when in conflict with the director. Since Lynch wanted no part in the hack job performed by Universal in their bzarre re-edit, including the God-awful opening narration and illustrations, as well as splicing together scenes where the digitally enhanced blue eyes of the Fremen where not in place, he went the Smithee route. My favorite Alan Smithee film? "Solar Crisis", with Chuck Heston, Tim Matheson and Paul Williams as The Bomb. Alan Smithee, the name just reeks of dubious quality...like Joel Schumacher or Avika Goldman.

  • March 10, 2001, 6:27 p.m. CST

    I liked the Lynch version. . .

    by Sith Lord Jesus

    . . .but I will at least rent this one just to give it a looksee. I'm a fool for old-skool Trek style interiors. But you know, it seems kind of obvious to me that DUNE, if ever brought to the big screen again, should be broken up into at *least* two films. It's a pity the theatrical movie version was done back in the '80's instead of now, when triolgies/franchises are all the rage. We could have had an excellent triolgy from the first book alone, and Iluvatar only knows how many films from the subsequent novels.

  • March 12, 2001, 2:23 p.m. CST

    All your bases belong to us

    by razor

    "Bases" is the plural for "basis" so the [sic] isn't correct, monkeybrain.

  • March 21, 2001, 1:02 p.m. CST

    I just got the dvd and, well .....

    by Rico_Escobar

    the extras aren't as good as i had hoped. There are pictures of the costumes are that o.k., but the production pics kinda suck. There pretty much pictures of drawings wich are on a wall, you can see the thumbtacks! Some are even pics of a fat boy on his computer working on a rendering of the imperial palace. Pretty lame. What is good is that you get to see the miniseries without the last minute editing the network suits do to allow for more advertising (low ranked networks that cant make promises to their advertisers do this, like UPN.) But there are no deleted scenes on this dvd, and I know that the part where Lady Jessica is fondled by Piter exists, but its not on the region 1 dvd, also I think there's another version of footage when Leto blows out the poison from his mouth. can anyone tell me if there going to be any deleted scenes on the european dvd? is there another website that tells us of this? I went to amazon.co.uk and I couldn't find it.