The theatrical stage effects, such as dropping the lighting and turning on a spot light, do create a startling contrast to the other CGI effects in the film, shocking you out of the story and reminding you that you are watching a performance. The acting by Ian McNeice as the Baron Herkonnen is a bit over the top at times, and his use of rhyme is a bit of an annoyance. Despite all of this, however, I absolutely loved this film. To be sure, perhaps because it's length allows it to develop the story and the characters much more fully, it completely blows David Lynch's version of Dune out of the water - and I am a David Lynch fan. This is one of those novels that I keep meaning to read, but have not yet managed to get around to. But if this film is only half as good as the novel, I definitely need to read it. All in all, this film is definitely worth buying (preferably in the "director's cut" version). (A)
Anyway, this is the second major adaptation of Dune and it's both better and worse than the 1984 version. It's better in that there's none of the WTF Lynchian moments (milking a cat? Feyd Rautha's codpiece? Harkonnen's pustules?) and being a mini-series it is able to pace itself better. The problem is everything else. The acting is indifferent and removed, the CGI makes the world of Arrakis feel fake and insubstantial and there's just nothing remotely exciting in there. It's an honest adaptation, but it barely caught my attention while it ran in the background.