The Good

A comprehensive look at a movie that I don't think was fully appreciated when it was first released.

The Bad

I wish the deleted scenes would have been disseminated better.

Dune is one of those movies that I don't think I fully appreciated when it first came out. It was a different time back in the mid-1980s. It's hard for me to explain but there weren't as many movies in the theaters. At least that's the way it seemed to me. As a result, I think I saw this movie two or three times when it first came out.

Truthfully, this tale of battles and majestic splendor happening in a time either before or after or may be not even related to Earth (I'm still not sure), still confuses me. It is the kind of movie that I have never totally understood, yet I can watch it again and again. When I was younger, I was a big fan of The Police, so I was naturally disappointed to see that Sting was barely in the film, which was why I saw it in the first place. Yet, looking at this movie now, with it's sweeping deserts, inspired FX and overall feeling of "grandness," I know I didn't understand that I was seeing one of the last great epic movies that Hollywood has made.

While I know that there is a giant lore around this film of what it was or what it could've been, Dune will forever remain a great example of film's potential to tell great stories.

Features

Deleted Dune

With an enlightening introduction by the film's producer, Raffaella De Laurentiis, I was saddened that these scenes weren't indexed out. In fact, it seems a bit odd that such a well designed DVD wouldn't make it easier to navigate through it's deleted scenes. The quality of these scenes isn't that great but I think that adds something to the mystique of the film.

Designing Dune

This segment gives us an in-depth look into the world that David Lynch has created. We are treated to early sketches, concept ideas and just about everything else we could want in order to see how these world's were brought to life. Also, seeing David Lynch here it is interesting when you realize the direction his career took afterthis film.

Dune FX

Kit West really puts the scope of this film in perspective. Sure, this movie feels uneven and yes, when I first saw it I remember being somewhat bored. However, with hindsight being 20/20, and having the ability to really examine the visual FX of this film (with the help of this supplemental feature), I think the FX of this movie hold up rather well over time. It would be interesting to see what kind of film Dune could have been with today's technology?

Dune Models

Considering what Brian Smithies had to work with, I almost wish I hadn't seen this bonus feature. I say that because we are given too much of a look behind the magic curtain that is this film. That said, I was really impressed with the models that were employed. Lets not forget that this movie was made back in the day when practical effects had to be utilized.

Dune Wardrobe

It was while I was watching this segment that I realized Dune may have had a hand in killing the costume epic. This isn't to say that this movie was a total bomb but by 1984 standards it probably was. I just can't get over the size of this film. I mean, having to keep track of 4000 costumes for all the various characters and people... this movie seemed to be asking for trouble. Sadly, to make a film like this today would probably cost four times as much.

Photo Gallery and Dune inology

This photo gallery is filled with pictures from the production that can be easily navigated with your DVD player's remote. I thought these were interesting, but I am sure rabid fans of Dune will appreciate them more. Lastly, this DVD even came with a listing of Dune terminology to help out people like myself with terms like "Hunter-Seeker."

Video

Anamorphic Widescreen - 2.35:1 for both the Theatrical and Extended versions of the film. Truthfully, I am pretty partial to the longer cut of this movie. This isn't a knock on David Lynch, I just feel that even though this version is forty minutes longer, it has a somewhat quicker pace. Also, I didn't notice too much of a difference in the quality of the extended film's picture. If anything, I was taken in by just a how big and lush this film actually is. Nothing about the disc's compression has hurt it at all.

Audio

English Dolby Digital 5.1 - French Dolby Digital 2.0 - Subtitled in English, Spanish and French. The extended version isn't in French Dolby Digital 2.0. For a large film, this movie relies heavily on it's score. In fact, while there is a decent amount of dialogue, I also think that

Dune is a pretty quiet film. Sure there is lots of audio during the the battle scenes but honestly, all that really does is underscore how much the film's music really enhances this movie.

Package

A metal cover of sorts that clamps open and shut. Also, this artwork is full color with a montage of the movie and it's main characters taking place on the front cover. The back features some more images from the film, a detachable description of what this movie is about, a "Bonus Materials" listing, cast list and technical specs. I am amazed that they have managed to package so much on a double sided one disc release. Good work, Universal!

Final Word

It is very hard to not be excited about a DVD release that includes not only the theatrical release of the movie, but an extended version of that movie that contains an extra forty minutes. Having done a little bit of research of this disc online, I have heard that this is actually a TV version of the movie that has been blown up to fit the 2.35:1 aspect ratio. Whatever the case is, I was pleasantly surprised at the way this longer cut played.

For me, Dune has always been this large film that never fully added up. I can safely say that this DVD, with all it's supplemental features has done a decent job of somewhat demystifying this film.