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Blu-ray Review: DUNE

John Mulhern

by: John Mulhern
April 27th, 2010

Blu-ray Rating: 3/5

Since DUNE is an older film and everyone probably already has their mind made up about it, I will just be reviewing the Blu-ray set as a whole and not the film itself.

DUNE is a really fun film to talk about because people's views on it are so incredibly polarizing. Despite this, a large cult following for David Lynch's adaptation has grown in the past two decades since the film's been released. Now the sci-fi classic is hitting on Blu-ray, and Kyle Maclachlan's crazy haircut has never looked better.

One thing I love about sci-fi movies on DVD and Blu-ray is how easy it is to put out good features on the set; this is largely due to how interesting the behind-the-scenes aspects of the film commonly are. So much work and consideration has to be put into making the film feel and seem authentic, and that is certainly the case for DUNE.

The first feature is Designing Dune, a feature that gives you the deep insight into how David Lynch imagined the film looking before production was started. Lynch is well known for doing very odd and imaginative films. Although DUNE is based the novel of the same name by Frank Herbert, he still had to make a lot of creative visual decisions. It is really interesting to see early sketches that Lynch did for the film, how the crew thought it was crazy, and how it was ultimately the right decision.

Next up is Dune FX which shows how many of the special effects in DUNE were achieved. The special effects crew discuss some of the many aspects of their job on DUNE. They even go into detail about how they created different and futuristic explosions in the desert scenes. What really caught my eye though, was where they show how they made the robot that Paul must fight. It is so interesting to see just how cutting edge the film was at the time.

I also really enjoyed Dune Wardrobe Design where the extensive costuming work for DUNE is honored. Many of the costumes were made at the last minute. For example, there was a costume made for Sting after the studio hastily decided that he could not be shown naked. They also show how hundreds of futuristic hats for the characters to wear, only to have David Lynch decide he wanted none of them.

This isn't a perfect set though, one thing that DUNE fans are probably wondering, is which cut of the film is on the Blu. One could hope that the Blu-ray version would go all out, 5-Disc BLADE RUNNER style, and have every version, but on this set you will get the original 137 minute theatrical cut and that's it. It's just a little surprising that the 177 minute cut is nowhere to be found. Who knows if that version will be released on Blu-ray in the near future, but I'm sure we'll find out.

Since the features are so interesting, and the film looks absolutely gorgeous, it's easy to suggest the film to any DUNE or David Lynch enthusiast. Until a Director's Cut version is released though, this is the DUNE set to pick up.

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