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A view on Blu-ray by Gary W. Tooze

 

Dune [Blu-ray]

 

(David Lynch, 1984)

 

 

Review by Gary Tooze

 

Production:

Theatrical: Universal Home Entertainment

Video: Universal Home Video

 

Disc:

Region: FREE! (as verified by the Momitsu region FREE Blu-ray player)

Runtime: 2:16:33.810

Disc Size: 41,350,514,814 bytes

Feature Size: 38,498,494,464 bytes

Video Bitrate: 30.82 Mbps

Chapters: 16

Case: Standard Blu-ray case

Release date: April 27th, 2010

 

Video:

Aspect ratio: 2.35:1

Resolution: 1080p / 23.976 fps

Video codec: VC-1 Video

 

Audio:

DTS-HD Master Audio English 4547 kbps 5.1 / 48 kHz / 4547 kbps / 24-bit (DTS Core: 5.1 / 48 kHz / 1509 kbps / 24-bit)
DTS Audio French 256 kbps 2.0 / 48 kHz / 256 kbps / 24-bit

 

Subtitles:

English (SDH), French, Spanish, None

 

Extras:

Deleted Scenes (Intro by Raffaella De Laurentiis - 17:18 in SD)
Designing Dune (8:54 in SD)
Dune FX (6:00 in SD)
Dune Models + Miniatures (7:01 in SD)
Dune Wardrobe Design (4:49 in SD)

D-Box Motion Controls

My Scenes

BD-Live

 

Bitrate:

 

 

Description: Even more than most of David Lynch's deliberately bizarre and idiosyncratic movies, Dune is a "love-it-or-hate-it" affair. An ambitious, epic, utterly mind-boggling--and, let's admit it, all-out weird--adaptation of Frank Herbert's classic science fiction novel, Dune remains one of the most controversial films in the director's exceedingly provocative career. The story (if Dune can be said to have just one story) is complex and convoluted in the epic tradition; it has something to do with political intrigue and a planet that is home to a precious spice and gigantic sand worms. Think Shakespeare's Henry IV with a dash of Tremors, and set in another galaxy. But despite plenty of strangely whispered voice-overs that explain the characters' thoughts (and endlessly detailed exposition), storytelling is not really among the film's strong points. There are, however, a lot of memorably fantastic/grotesque images, an extraordinary cast, and a soundtrack featuring Toto. I told you it was weird. Among the stars are Kyle MacLachlan, Josť Ferrer, Dean Stockwell, Brad Dourif, Sting, Kenneth McMillan, Patrick Stewart, Sean Young, and Linda Hunt.

Excerpt from Jim Emerson at Amazon located HERE 

 

The Film:

Dune is a huge, hollow, imaginative and cold sci-fi epic. Visually unique and teeming with incident, David Lynch's film holds the interest due to its abundant surface attractions but won't, of its own accord, create the sort of fanaticism which has made Frank Herbert's 1965 novel one of the all-time favorites in its genre.

Set in the year 10,991, Dune is the story of the coming to power of a warrior savior and how he leads the lowly inhabitants of the Dune planet to victory over an evil emperor and his minions.

Lynch's adaptation covers the entire span of the novel, but simply setting up the various worlds, characters, intrigues and forces at work requires more than a half-hour of expository screen time.

Excerpt from Variety located HERE

 


Image :    NOTE: The below Blu-ray captures were taken directly from the Blu-ray disc.
 

Although the same VC-1 encode as the previously released HD version - this must be a new transfer as it takes up more file space than the entire capacity of that, now defunct, format. Dune is over 25-years old now and looks better than I expected in this 1080P rendering. It blows away all the old DVD transfers (some of which were atrocious). We should state that this is the theatrical version not the longer "TV" version available on the Extended Edition DVD. The image quality shows some minor grain but detail advances tremendously and there are sporadic sequences showing depth. This is dual-layered with a strong bitrate but has some imperfections beyond the 'dated' F/X. There are rare speckles and some lesser noticeable noise but overall I was impressed with the appearance.  Contrast exhibits healthy, black levels - colors are always subdued - as they were in production. This Blu-ray has a reasonably consistent feel with no dramatic black-marks and I suspect that this will be the best it looks for home viewing for quite a long time.

 

CLICK EACH BLU-RAY CAPTURE TO SEE ALL IMAGES IN FULL 1920X1080 RESOLUTION

 

Universal Blu-ray Region FREE TOP vs. Sanctuary Special Edition UK - Region 2 - PAL BOTTOM

 

 

Universal Blu-ray Region FREE TOP vs. Laser Paradise - Region 2 - PAL BOTTOM

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Audio :

The DTS-HD Master 5.1 at 4547 kbps is robust enough but the mix can fall flat at times. Still let's remember the original production time. This has some decent bass and surround effects - just nothing like a modern action film. Some moments are supported well and the score (Brian Eno, Toto etc.) is crisp. There are optional subtitles and my Momitsu has identified it as being a region FREE disc playable on Blu-ray machines worldwide.

 

 

Extras :

It's the same 45-minutes of featurettes as found on the last DVD edition (Deleted Scenes with Intro by Raffaella De Laurentiis, Designing Dune, Dune FX, Dune Models + Miniatures and Dune Wardrobe Design) plus being a Universal Blu-ray we get some D-Box Motion Controls (BD-LIVE) and the My Scenes functionality. The troop of die-hard fans would want more - or at least something dramatically new like a commentary - but alas, there is nothing more - and it's all in SD.

 

 

BOTTOM LINE:
While intended or not - the campy feel suits the film so well after a 1/4 century. It's fun to revisit this every once in a while - I've never disliked Dune and it's easy to see why it has a niche following. It carries a kind of supercilious grandeur. And what about this cast? The Blu-ray, in my opinion, supports the best presentation yet available. Whether you feel the film is a failure or simply an aberration from a gifted filmmaker - it has a weird appeal - that I can't put my finger on... or shake. No new extras and good audio make for a simplified package for the legion of fans - who might never be satisfied with the completeness of any edition.   

Gary Tooze

April 14th, 2010

 

 


 

About the Reviewer: Hello, fellow Beavers! I have been interested in film since I viewed a Chaplin festival on PBS when I was around 9 years old. I credit DVD with expanding my horizons to fill an almost ravenous desire to seek out new film experiences. I currently own approximately 9500 DVDs and have reviewed over 3500 myself. I appreciate my discussion Listserv for furthering my film education and inspiring me to continue running DVDBeaver. Plus a healthy thanks to those who donate and use our Amazon links.

Although I never wanted to become one of those guys who focused 'too much' on image and sound quality - I find HD is swiftly pushing me in that direction. So be it, but film will always be my first love and I list my favorites on the old YMdb site now accessible HERE.  

Gary's Home Theatre:

60-Inch Class (59.58” Diagonal) 1080p Pioneer KURO Plasma Flat Panel HDTV PDP6020-FD

Oppo Digital BDP-83 Universal Region FREE Blu-ray/SACD Player
Momitsu - BDP-899 Region FREE Blu-ray player
Marantz SA8001 Super Audio CD Player
Marantz SR7002 THX Select2 Surround Receiver
Tannoy DC6-T (fronts) + Energy (centre, rear, subwoofer) speakers (5.1)

APC AV 1.5 kVA H Type Power Conditioner 120V

Gary W. Tooze

 

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