25 DAYS OF CHRISTMAS REVIEW: A CHRISTMAS PRINCE 3: THE ROYAL BABY

Rose McIver and Ben Lamb in A Christmas Prince: The Royal Baby (2019)

Starring

Rose McIver (Izombie)
Ben Lamb (The White Queen)
Alice Krige (Star Trek: First Contact)
Honor Kneafsey (Crooked House)
Kevin Shen (Unlocked)
Momo Yeung (The Grind)
Sarah Douglas (Superman II)
Theo Devaney (Run)
Richard Ashton (The Fifth Element)
Tahirah Sharif (Waterloo Road)
Crystal Yu (Shanghai)

Rose McIver and Ben Lamb in A Christmas Prince: The Royal Baby (2019)Two years ago, Netflix’s A Christmas Prince was the silly, meme-ready movie none of us knew we needed. Despite its absurdly illogical storytelling and undeniable tackiness, it was charming. Unfortunately, its sequel, last year’s A Christmas Prince: The Royal Wedding, was an uneasy mix of politics, personal drama and forced holiday cheer that was more often frustrating than fun. Luckily, this year’s installment, A Christmas Prince: The Royal Baby, combines the best of both films.screen-shot-2019-11-21-at-12-05-27-1574338870The film finds Aldovia’s King Richard (Ben Lamb) and former New Yorker, Queen Amber (Rose McIver), awaiting their first-born child. However, before they can take a break from their royal duties and prepare for the baby’s January due date, Richard and Amber have to renew the treaty that ended the war between Aldovia and the nearby (and equally imaginary) country of Penglia on Christmas Eve 600 hundred years prior. Though Richard and Amber want to modernize the process by allowing the queens to also sign the treaty for the first time, King Tai (Kevin Shen) and Queen Ming (Momo Yeung) are very traditional and refuse. The point becomes moot, though, when the scroll combining the previous treaties disappears and, if it’s not found and signed by midnight on Christmas Eve, then not only will the war between the countries resume, but a curse will befall Aldovia’s unborn royal baby.1Considering Richard and Amber’s behavior in the previous film, maybe that baby deserves to be cursed. Much of what made The Royal Wedding so frustrating was that it depicted Richard and Amber as such terrible rulers that Aldovia seemed on the cusp of revolution and they don’t do much to change that here. Though Amber spent the last year studying Aldovian history and seemingly winning over everyone in the kingdom (at least, according to her own blog post), the first thing she does when meeting the Penglian royals is to commit a faux pas by *checks notes* introducing herself? It’s a bizarre moment not just because writer Nate Atkins doesn’t give the audience enough context to understand why Amber’s actions would draw literal gasps from the spectators, but because the standoffishness between the Aldovians and Penglians in that scene so quickly becomes irrelevant.2Atkins clearly saw Crazy Rich Asians and in those first moments, Queen Ming feels embarrassingly like a rip-off of Michelle Yeoh’s Eleanor. From the second she steps out of the car, Ming is already looking down her nose at Amber and continues to condescend to her in the following scenes. So, when the scroll disappears, the natural assumption is that it would spark an international incident. Instead, not only to the Aldovians act as if the disappearance of this priceless historical artifact isn’t a big deal, but Amber and Richard decide that the best way to smooth over this diplomatic nightmare is to pass the Penglians of to former villain, Simon (Theo Devaney) to play a traditional Aldovian board game about who can decorate Christmas tree the best.48419798_2153116994726451_8852346708554678272_nIn any other film, that scene would irrevocably turn the audience against it, but it’s precisely the film’s conviction that the magic of Christmas (and, on some level, Amber’s journalistic skill) will solve everything that ultimately makes it not only so hard to take seriously, but so inexplicably pleasant. Is it utterly unbelievable that Amber and Richard wouldn’t care about finding the missing scroll until they hear about the possible curse? Absolutely, but adding such an insane twist also makes realism irrelevant. Does it make no sense that stuck-up Ming would not only be fairly calm about being separated from her three children over the holidays, but would willingly go to the Aldovian Christmas Market to mingle with commoners? Completely, but nothing that matters in the real world actually matters in the Christmas Prince universe and that’s why it’s so fun91d6d8965dd5bc4b1da7b0.80964457_.More than any previous Netflix Christmas film, A Christmas Prince: The Royal Baby is pure escapism. Sure, you could complain about how illogical the story or character beats are, but that would be missing the point. These films are about getting swept up in the magic of Christmas and the consuming power of love. And more than any film before it, Baby makes that total break with reality look like art.

25 DAYS OF CHRISTMAS REVIEW: A CHRISTMAS PRINCE 2: THE ROYAL WEDDING

A Christmas Prince: The Royal Wedding (2018)

Starring

Rose McIver (Izombie)
Ben Lamb (The White Queen)
Alice Krige (Star Trek: First Contact)
Honor Kneafsey (Crooked House)
Sarah Douglas (Superman II)
Theo Devaney (Run)
Tahirah Sharif (Waterloo Road)
Tom Knight (Dcotors)
Richard Ashton (The Fifth Element)

Rose McIver and Ben Lamb in A Christmas Prince: The Royal Wedding (2018)One year after the events of the first film, Amber and Richard are still happily engaged. At Christmas time, Amber and her father, Rudy, travel to Aldovia to plan Amber’s wedding. Amber continues to blog about royal life with Richard. Amber becomes overwhelmed with the dictatorial traditions of royal protocol and lack of control over her own wedding, which is controlled by the flamboyant designer Sahil and Mrs. Averill, as Richard struggles with the failing implementation of his Aldovian economic revitalization program, the New Aldovia initiative, which is mysteriously hemorrhaging money from the monarchy as unemployment and low wages afflict the increasingly discontent populace. To assist in the economic efforts, Queen Helena brings in Lord Leopold to assist Richard, as Leopold had been planning aid efforts with Richard’s late father. Meanwhile, Simon, impoverished due to his divorce from Sophia, also returns to beg to be brought back into the palace; a resentful Richard reluctantly accepts, as Simon is family.Rose McIver and Ben Lamb in A Christmas Prince: The Royal Wedding (2018)Amber and Richard’s relationship grows strained as Richard becomes increasingly distracted with royal demands, and Amber refuses to kowtow to Mrs. Averill’s strict guidelines. After Princess Emily’s play is cancelled due to a strike by governmental workers, Amber hosts the play at the palace. While the move was well-received, Amber becomes furious when Mrs. Averill takes down posts from her blog about the affair due to their casual nature, and is further enraged when Sahil and Mrs. Averill demand she remove her locket (containing her late mother’s photo) for a royal portrait.Rose McIver and Ben Lamb in A Christmas Prince: The Royal Wedding (2018)After receiving a bitter Christmas card from an unemployed worker, Amber investigates the royal finances with her friends, who have come to celebrate her wedding. She learns that the New Aldovia initiative has been failing because a group of new companies has been outbidding local workers and taking the money out of the country. During a paparazzi ambush, she’s saved by Simon, who wants to help investigate the economic issue. With Emily’s help, the group hacks into a site that the shell companies are owned by an association, Glockenspiel Consortium. Mrs. Averill confronts Richard and Amber over paparazzi photos of Amber at a bar while investigating, and Amber admits to the sleuthing. When Richard fails to defend her against Mrs. Averill, she storms out. Richard admits his failings as a fiance to Emily, and after finding Amber, the two reconcile.MV5BYmYzYjJmMTItMDEzMi00YzQzLWFhM2ItMjAzODUxZTk1MWE4XkEyXkFqcGdeQXVyMjQwMDg0Ng@@._V1_SX1777_CR0,0,1777,999_AL_During a royal celebration, where Helena gives Amber the blessing to have the ceremony she wants, the group reveals that Glockenspiel Consortium is owned by Leopold, who is accosted and thrown into the palace dungeon. Richard gives a Christmas address that promises holiday bonuses to all Aldovian workers, and the populace celebrates. Richard and Amber finally marry in a ceremony that blends tradition with modernity, and everyone celebrates as Richard and Amber leave to share a private kiss.As a cute, typical, royal romance and Christmas movie, I think it delivers. Yeah it’s cheesy, but of course it is! I watched the first one and it’s the same thing! I think it’s a charming, cheesy, Christmas romance. That’s what we expected.

25 DAYS OF CHRISTMAS REVIEW: A CHRISTMAS PRINCE

Starring

Rose McIver (Izombie)
Ben Lamb (The White Queen)
Tom Knight (Doctors)
Honor Kneafsey (Slumber)
Sarah Douglas (Superman II)
Daniel Fathers (The Voice)
Alice Krige (Star Trek: First Contact)
Tahirah Sharif (Waterloo Road)
Emma Louise Saunders (Skin Deep)
Theo Devaney (Run)

Rose McIver and Ben Lamb in A Christmas Prince (2017)An aspiring young American magazine journalist, Amber Moore, is sent to the foreign nation of Aldovia to cover a press conference with the crown prince Richard, who is set to take the throne following his father’s recent death. Richard is alleged to be an irresponsible playboy and is also rumored to be planning to abdicate. Amber hopes her work in Aldovia will lead to a big break and she heads to the royal family’s palace for the press conference, but the prince fails to appear, frustrating the assembled journalists. Amber decides to snoop around the palace and while doing so is mistaken for young Princess Emily’s new tutor. Amber takes the opportunity to go undercover to investigate the rumors of abdication.Rose McIver in A Christmas Prince (2017)Emily, who has spina bifida, intentionally tries to prank Amber into quitting, but soon warms up to her after Amber treats her like a normal girl. Amber also meets Richard, whom she is embarrassed to realize she insulted earlier after he, incognito, stole the cab she was about to get into at the Aldovian airport. Amber quickly becomes attracted to Richard upon learning that, contrary to rumors, he is actually a compassionate and responsible family man, though he is indeed reluctant to take the throne. During this time she also learns from Emily that Richard’s cousin Simon is next in line for the throne, which he sorely wants; Amber also encounters Richard’s ex-girlfriend Sophia, who Richard suspects was only interested in him for his future title. Amber is eventually confronted by Emily, who reveals that she knows the truth about her identity. Amber prepares to leave, but Emily agrees to not reveal her secret so long as she writes a story that exposes Richard for the real person he is and ends the negative rumors about him.5c93a-marcos-002After Amber follows Richard on horseback through the woods, her horse throws her off and she is nearly attacked by a wolf, only to be saved by Richard. While warming up at his father’s old hunting cabin, the prince reveals to her that he told his father he was going to renounce the throne; they had a fight over the decision, and the king died soon after. Richard shows Amber a mysterious poem written by his father, and the two almost kiss but are interrupted by the sound of neighing horses. After Richard leaves to check on the animals, Amber searches the late king’s desk and discovers a hidden compartment holding documents which prove that Richard was secretly adopted. Amber is reluctant to reveal the truth, as it would deeply hurt Richard, but decides to tell him during a walk; he kisses her instead, and she realizes she is in love with him. At the same time, a suspicious Sophia and Simon search Amber’s room, discovering not only her true identity but Richard’s adoption certificate.christmasprince-998x685At the Christmas Eve Ball, Richard prepares to be crowned, only for Sophia to reveal his adoption and Amber’s true identity. Simon asserts himself as next in line for the throne as Richard storms off and rebuffs a repentant Amber’s apologies, and she tearfully leaves the palace. The queen reveals to Richard that she adopted him after being told she could not have children, and that she regretted not telling him sooner, but that she and the king considered him their true son. The two reconcile, and Richard promises to not let Simon win the throne so easily.  Simon marries Sophia, but learns he cannot be crowned until the queen is available to preside over the ceremony. Meanwhile, Amber suspects that she can prove Richard is the rightful king based on clues from his father’s poem. She is allowed back into the palace and unearths a secret proclamation in a Christmas ornament made by the king which declares Richard as the rightful heir. Amber carries the document to the official chamber where Simon is being crowned, and she intervenes in time for Richard to be crowned instead, quietly slipping out of Aldovia afterwards.christmasBack home, Amber’s story on Richard is refused for being a puff piece. In anger, she quits the magazine, deciding to blog about the true Richard instead. Her blog becomes popular and eventually gains the attention of Richard himself. Amber spends New Year’s Eve at her father’s diner, where Richard surprises her and proposes to her, and she happily accepts.street-proposal-inset-CustomThis is cheesy and a straight-shooting plot line. It’s an easy watch, enjoyable movie. It’s a good film for the Christmas season.

REVIEW: CARNIVAL ROW – SEASON 1

Orlando Bloom and Cara Delevingne in Carnival Row (2019)

Starring

Orlando Bloom (Lord of The Rings)
Cara Delevingne (Suicide Squad)
David Gyasi (Cloud Atlas)
Tamzin Merchant (The Tudors)
Andrew Gower (Outlander)
Karla Crome (Misfits)
Jared Harris (Lincoln)
Indira Varma (Game of Thrones)
Arty Froushan (Knightfall)
Caroline Ford (Nekrotonic)

Cara Delevingne in Carnival Row (2019)

Recurring / Notable Guest Cast

Alce Krige (Star Trek: First Contact)
Ariyon Bakare (Life)
Maeve Dermody (Ripper Street)
Jamie Harris (Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D.)
Anna Rust (The Brothers Grimm)
Leanne Best (Cold Feet)
Simon McBurney (The Conjuring 2)
Ronan Vibert (Hex)
Tracey Wilkinson (Outlander)
David Nykl (Arrow)
Waj Ali (Red 2)
Scott Reid (Still Game)
Mark Lewis Jones (Troy)
Chloe Pirrie (War & Peace)

Orlando Bloom and Cara Delevingne in Carnival Row (2019)Carnival Row is based on a feature film script by Travis Beacham (Pacific Rim), written when he was still in film school in North Carolina 17 years ago. He was working in the school library and found himself reading about everything from Celtic mythology to Jack the Ripper. All that fodder fed into a ten-page script for a short film about a constable in neo-Victorian London visiting a faerie brothel where a murder has taken place. His professor suggested the subject was better suited to a full feature, and Beacham worked on it in his spare time. An alumnus of his school forwarded the finished script to a few people in Hollywood, and it started winning fans. In fact, the script made the very first Hollywood Black List in 2005, an annual list of the “most liked” screenplays not yet produced.Orlando Bloom in Carnival Row (2019)It still took another 14 years to make it into production, and Beacham was convinced his dream project would never amount to anything. “I loved it very intensely,” he said. “Imagine feeling like you’re never going to do anything better than this, and it’s never going to be a thing.” The success of Pacific Rim in 2013 certainly helped bring the project to fruition; the same production company, Legendary Entertainment, ultimately bought the script in 2015 and reimagined it as a series for Amazon Prime. That turned out to be the perfect format in this golden age of big-budget prestige drama, which is far more friendly to this kind of extravagant, cinematic world-building.Cara Delevingne in Carnival Row (2019)Rycroft “Philo” Philostrate (Orlando Bloom) is an orphan of the Burgue, a human city co-existing in a world with other exotic lands that are home to various mystical creatures: faeries (“Pix”), fauns (“Pucks”), trolls (“Trows”), centaurs, werewolves (“Morroks”), and so forth. The races used to live peacefully in their respective regions, until war broke out with a mysterious group called The Pact. The humans of the Burgue sided with the fae to protect their homeland from the invaders. We learn in a standalone flashback episode that Philo met and fell in love with the faerie Vignette Stonemoss (Cara Delevingne) during his military service in her homeland of Tirnanoc. The lovers were torn apart when the Burgue forces retreated. Knowing Vignette would never leave him willingly, Philo faked his own death so she would evacuate with her fellow fae. Many of them ended up in the Burgue as refugees to escape being murdered by The Pact’s occupying forces.Orlando Bloom in Carnival Row (2019)Philo is now a police inspector working to solve a string of heinous murders, and anti-immigrant sentiment among humans in the Burgue is on the rise. “Our streets are safe no more!” one pompous politician declares, and there appears to be little Absalom Breakspear (Jared Harris), current head of the Burgue’s Parliament-style government, can do to appease the opposition. Creatures are treated as subhuman, but Philo defends and protects the “critch” (a derogatory term) as best he can. When Vignette finally seeks refuge in the Burgue, after years helping smuggle others to safety, she is understandably peeved to find him alive and well. She becomes an indentured ladies’ maid to spoiled heiress Imogen Spurnrose (Tamzin Merchant), whose brother Ezra (Andrew Gower) has lost much of the family fortune with his bad investments. She spies an opportunity to reverse their fortunes when wealthy puck Agreus Astrayon (David Gyasi) moves in across the street, and (reluctantly) befriends him, in defiance of all social norms.David Gyasi and Tamzin Merchant in Carnival Row (2019)There’s a polish to the finished eight-episode season that assures you the show knows exactly where it’s headed as the story unfolds, despite how complicated it is. In addition to the compelling central mystery of the murders, there are subplots involving political rivalries, religious and racial tension—particularly from those humans who worship The Martyr, a vaguely Christ-like figure, only hanged instead of crucified—romantic entanglements, a criminal underground, and dozens of smaller narrative flourishes that serve to further build out this fictional world. It is to Beacham’s and Amiel’s credit that the viewing experience is richly immersive rather than hopelessly confusing, and all those threads neatly converge in the finale. That polish extends to the expert pacing: the series takes its time to build toward the Big Reveal, but it is never overly plodding or ponderous.

 

REVIEW: THOR: THE DARK WORLD

CAST

Chris Hemsworth (The Huntsman: Winter’s War)
Natalie Portman (Black Swan)
Tom Hiddleston (Crimson Peak)
Anthony Hopkins (The Silence of The Lambs)
Christopher Eccleston (G.I. Joe)
Jaimie Alexander (The Last Stand)
Zachary Levi (Chuck)
Ray Stevenson (Punisher: Warzone)
Tadanobu Asano (Mongul)
Idris Elba (Pacific Rim)
Rene Russo (Get Shorty)
Adewale Akinnuoye-Agbaje (Sucide Squad)
Kat Dennings (2 Broke Girls)
Stellan Skarsgard (The Girl With The Dragon Tattoo)
Alice Krige (Star Trek: First Contact)
Clive Russell (Sherlock Holmes)
Stan Lee (Avengers Assemble)
Benicio Del Toro (Guardians of The Galaxy)
Chris Evans (Injustice)
Ophelia Lovibond (4.3.2.1)
Chris O’Dowd (St. Vincent)
Richard Brake (Doom)
Talulah Riley (Westworld)
Tony Curran (The Veteran)
Royce Pierreson (Survivor)

 

Marvel's Thor: The Dark World (2013) Loki (Tom Hiddleston)

After learning about a new powerful foe that even Odin (Anthony Hopkins) and Asgard cannot withstand, Thor (Chris Hemsworth) must embark on another dangerous mission. This time, the risk is much more personal than it ever has been for this powerful hero. With both Asgard and Earth facing the chance of destruction, he must sacrifice everything by reuniting with Jane Foster (Natalie Portman) in order to save us all. This forces Thor to request help from the most unlikely of characters. If they aren’t able to stop the ominous danger that approaches us, then this universe will belong to the darkness.
screen-shot-2013-04-23-at-11-45-14-amPicking up a couple years after the previous Thor motion picture, this sequel gets started rather quickly. A bulk of the plot is carried from the perspective of Jane Foster and her intern, Darcy (Kat Dennings). While there’s still a small amount of humor to be seen in the beginning from Asgard, the majority of it comes from the humans.
The casting is excellent. Chris Hemsworth returns in the role of Thor.  Natalie Portman is pretty solid, as she always is. While this isn’t the most memorable performance of her career, she’s convincing as Jane Foster. Anthony Hopkins is a satisfying Odin, as he was in the previous picture. However, the real star of Thor: The Dark World is Tom Hiddleston as Loki. He’s clearly one of the most charming and entertaining actors to portray a role from the Marvel universe. While he always seems to receive good material, Hiddleston’s delivery is simply unparalleled.thordarkworld_newsWhen it comes to the visual department, always expect incredible effects. Thor: The Dark World looks fantastic from its opening scene until the quick scene after the credits. The make-up, costumes, and special effects blend together in an impeccable fashion. These elements aid audiences in becoming a part of this universe.

 

REVIEW: CHILDREN OF DUNE

CAST

Alec Newman (Angel)
Julie Cox (Holby Blue)
Ian MacNeice (Ace Ventura 2)
Steven Berkoff (Red 2)
Daniela Amavia (Tatort)
James McAvoy (Wanted)
Susan Sarandon (Tammy)
Edward Atterton (Alias)
P.H. Moriarty (Patriot Games)
Alice Krige (Star Trek: First Contact)
Jessica Brooks (Footballer’s Wives)
Martin McDougall (Batman Begins)

Twelve years have passed since Paul Atreides had become Emperor at the end of Frank Herbert’s Dune by seizing control of the planet Arrakis and forcing a union with the former Emperor’s daughter, the Princess Irulan. Paul’s Fremen armies have since launched several bloody jihads to solidify his position. Deposed Emperor Shaddam IV and the rest of his family are exiled to Salusa Secundus, where his other daughter Princess Wensicia plots to restore House Corrino to power. The Bene Gesserit, the Spacing Guild, and the Tleilaxu also plot to overthrow Paul’s reign, aided even by rebel Fremen, who hate how Paul’s terraforming project is changing Arrakis and the traditional Fremen way of life. The Tleilaxu present Paul with a ghola in the likeness of his friend Duncan Idaho, killed during the events of Dune, but secretly conditioned to assassinate Paul when triggered by certain words.

Though his prescient abilities reveal the dangers ahead, Paul allows the conspiracies to succeed to avoid even worse consequences. He is attacked with a type of nuclear weapon called a stone burner and blinded, but still manages to “see” by following his prescient visions. Later, Paul’s concubine Chani gives birth to twins at a Fremen sietch but dies soon afterward. In Paul’s absence, his sister Alia purges the imperial city of the enemies of House Atreides. Meanwhile, the Tleilaxu Face Dancer Scytale triggers Duncan’s conditioning; but the trauma of potentially killing Paul breaks his programming, and unlocks the memories of his original incarnation.MV5BMTg2MzIyNTg5OV5BMl5BanBnXkFtZTYwNjIwNTk2._V1_His plan foiled, Scytale threatens the lives of Paul’s children; whereupon the unique nature of the infants (who, like Alia, were “pre-born”) allows Paul to see through the eyes of his son and kill Scytale. Following the Fremen tradition of abandoning the blind to the sandworms, Paul walks alone into the desert. His legacy secured, the twins and their future empire are now left in the care of Alia. Paul’s and Chani’s children Leto II and Ghanima are now young adults; Princess Irulan has protected their interests as her own. Now married to Duncan, Alia is still regent of Paul’s empire and official guardian of the children. Irulan’s sister Wensicia yearns for a return to power through her son, Farad’n. After a long absence, Paul and Alia’s mother Lady Jessica arrives on Arrakis to visit her family, but Alia fears that Jessica has resumed her allegiance to the Bene Gesserit and may be plotting against her. An individual known as “The Preacher” has surfaced in the capital, speaking against the decline of Muad’Dib’s religion into fear and ritualism; but Alia resists having him killed because she shares the popular belief that he may be a returned Paul.MV5BMTI1NzczMjMzN15BMl5BanBnXkFtZTYwMjcwNTk2._V1_Alia possesses the memories and personalities of her ancestors due to being pre-born, but has trouble controlling them; her internal struggles against the assertive voices manifest themselves in the form of paranoia and self-destructive behavior. The persona of the evil Baron Vladimir Harkonnen, Alia’s maternal grandfather whom she had herself killed, begins to influence her, and threatens to overtake Alia’s consciousness altogether. Jessica senses that Alia has become dangerous, and advises Irulan to spirit Leto and Ghanima away to safety. Later, after an assassination attempt on her, Jessica seeks sanctuary with Fremen dissidents. Wearing clothes presented to them by Wensicia, the twins escape into the deep desert but are soon cornered in a deadly trap of her devising.Wensicia’s plot to assassinate the Atreides heirs fails, but provides Leto an opportunity to fake his own death and buy time to overcome Alia. Alia’s madness reaches its peak as Baron Harkonnen’s grip on her consciousness strengthens and a civil war brews with the rebel Fremen. Leto returns from the deep desert, having used sandtrout — the larval form of Arrakis’ sandworms — to acquire the superhuman speed, strength, and invulnerability of the sandworms themselves.

As a means of forcing as-yet-neutral Fremen leader Stilgar to lead the rebels, Duncan murders Alia’s lover Javid in Stilgar’s sietch; Duncan knows that, according to Fremen custom, Stilgar must revenge-kill him, which will force Stilgar into active opposition to Alia. Leto encounters the Preacher, whose identity as his father is revealed. Leto’s prescient visions have convinced him that he must lead mankind along “the Golden Path” to ensure humanity’s ultimate survival.

With a political marriage arranged by Jessica between Ghanima and Wensicia’s son Farad’n, the Corrino heir identifies his mother as the mastermind behind Leto’s apparent death. Alia has Wensicia imprisoned, but Ghanima accepts Farad’n’s gesture as honest. With Stilgar’s forces moving in, father and son return to the capital city of Arrakeen, where the Preacher makes a final speech denouncing Alia and his own religion, and is fatally stabbed by a rebel Fremen. Leto confronts Alia at Ghanima’s wedding and defeats her. Alia then commits suicide rather than be controlled by the Baron. In the final scene, Ghanima tells Farad’n that while he will not be her husband, they may yet fall in love, and how she pities her brother for the pain and suffering he will endure in the long life he must expect.Children of Dune’s compelling plot is executed with precision by director Greg Yaitanes, who does a bang-up job over his predecessor, John Harrison. As a matter of fact, though Dune Messiah’s story is naturally a bit weaker than Dune’s, the superb execution here makes it superior to any previous adaptations of Dune (it’s at least as good as the terrific miniseries, far better than the horrible Lynch film). The cinematography distinguishes itself with darker colors, while still maintaining the vibrancy the original miniseries had. Brian Tyler’s beautiful score is evocative, particularly during a wonderful montage segment of literal birth and death.