Dune 4K Ultra HD

Featured In Issue 257, September/October 2021

WSR Score4
Basic Information on new release titles is posted as soon as titles are announced. Once reviewed, additional data is added to the database.
Arrow Video
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David Lynch
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In "Dune," the battle for control of a spice called "melange"—which expands consciousness, extends life and facilitates space travel—is pitted between two houses, the noble Atreides and the evil Harkonnen. The sole source of this substance is the desert planet Arrakis, a.k.a. Dune, where proud dwellers known as Fremen are subjugated and forced to mine the spice by the evil house of Harkonnen. But when the Atreides' royal mistress gives birth to a son—the prophesied ruler of Dune (MacLachlan)—the balance of power undergoes a drastic change. Based on Frank Herbert's book. (Gary Reber)

Special features include the featurettes "Beyond Imagination: Merchandising Dune" (HD 22:37) and "Prophecy Fulfilled: Scoring Dune" (HD 24:52), Interviews, a 58-page booklet, a fold-out movie poster and five movie cards.

The 2.35:1 2160p HEVC/H.265 Ultra HD HDR10/Dolby Vision picture, reviewed on a Sony Bravia Z9D 4K Ultra HD HDR display, was photographed on Eastman film stock in Todd-AO 35 using the Arriflex 35 BL2 and Photo-Sonics 4E camera systems and sourced from a 4K master Digital Intermediate format. "Dune" is an imaginative epic with excellent color fidelity. Nuanced hues exhibit subtle variations in the imagery and elaborate production designs, including stunning costumes. Colors are robust and nicely saturated, as well as effective color bursts. HDR contrast is excellent with deep blacks, revealing shadows, and effective white levels. Fleshtones appear natural throughout. This is a heavily laden special effects film, filled with elaborate visuals and a vivid color palette that is engaging. This is the best the film has ever looked. (Gary Reber)

The DTS-HD Master Audio™ 5.1-channel soundtrack is marred by compressed sound and at times distorted deep bass in the .1 LFE channel, especially involving action involving the worms. Otherwise, this is an extremely bass-heavy soundtrack full of thundering low frequencies. While solid imaging around the soundfield is not always fully attained, directionality and surround activity can be superb in scenes. Atmospherics and sound effects comprise effective sound elements, as well as Foley sound effects. Dialogue is intelligible and generally acceptably integrated spatially, including whispered thoughts. Toto's synth-laden core is generally buried in the action. Overall, this is a nicely dynamic holosonic® soundtrack with an emphasis on deep bass. Very impressive for such a vintage film. (Gary Reber)