Dune: Part One 4K Ultra HD

Featured In Issue 259, January/February 2022

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.
Warner Bros. Home Entertainment
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Sequences of strong violence, some disturbing images and suggestive material.
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Single Side, Dual Layer (BD-66)
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Denis Villeneuve
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Dolby Atmos, Dolby TrueHD 7.1
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"Dune" tells the story of Paul Atreides (Timethée Chalamet), a brilliant and gifted young man born into a great destiny beyond his understanding, who must travel to the most dangerous planet in the universe to ensure the future of his family and his people. As malevolent forces explode into conflict over the planet's exclusive supply of the most precious resource in existence––a commodity capable of unlocking humanity's greatest potential––only those who can conquer their fear will survive. (Gary Reber)

Special features include 15 featurettes: "The Royal Houses" (HD 08:12), "Filmbooks: House Atreides" (HD 02:08), "Filmbooks: House Harkonnen" (HD 01:51), Filmbooks: "The Bene Gesserit" (HD 02:23) "Filmbooks: The Firemen" (HD 02:12), "Filmbrooks: The Spice Melange" (HD 01:51), "Inside Dune: The Training Room" (HD 05:07), "Inside Dune: The Spice Harvester" (HD 03:12), "Inside Dune: The Sardaukar Battle" (HD 04:04), Building The Ancient Future" (HD 06:26), "My Desert, My Dune" (HD 04:50), "Constructing The Ornithopters" (HD 05:38), "Designing The Sandworm" (HD 05:40), "Beware The Baron" (HD 05:00), Wardrobe From Another World (HD 02:52) and "A New Soundscap" (HD 11:12) and a Movies Anywhere digital code.

The 2.39:1 2160p HEVC/H.265 Ultra HD DolbyVision/HDR10 picture, reviewed on a Sony Bravia Z9D 4K Ultra HD HDR display, was photographed in IMAX digital using the Arri Alexa LF IMAX and Arri Alexa Mini LF IMAX camera systems and sourced from a 4K master Digital Intermediate format. A 3D version was produced with stereo conversion by DNEG but no 3D Blu-ray was provided for review.

The imagery is extremely imaginative with a dusty earthy color palette and an overall dark presence. Colors are naturally hued with an emphasis on grays, blues and beiges, Color balance is even with no hue accents common that pop in character with the stylization. Skies are typically bright grayish. Fleshtones are naturally hued. The wide color gamut exhibits fine subtle shadings in the palette, HDR contrast is excellent with effective spot lighting throughout to illuminate the otherwise-dark environments. Black levels are naturally deep, and shadow delineation is revealing and enhances the realism of the counters of the vast sand deserts. Some segments exhibit very bright lighting backgrounds. Resolution is excellent throughout with stylized softness to enhance the filmic quality to the imagery. This a captivating visual experience. (Gary Reber)

The Dolby Atmos/Dolby TrueHD 7.1-channel soundtrack features a powerful bass-weighted orchestral/synthesizer/choral score composed by Hans Zimmer that completely immerses the soundfield, The music moves methodically through the soundfield as a dominant sound element that sets the mood of the story, hardly ever not a presence. Bass energy extends to sub-25 Hz with support for rhythmic drumming at times and powerful weighted sound effects. The action sequences are powerful with flying machines and harvesters aggressively defined sonically. Surround energy is extremely aggressive and directional. Sonics are effectively panned in various sequences. Atmospherics are enveloping, and sound effects are dynamic sounding and at times powerful. Foley sound effects are perfectly in sync with the movements on screen. Dialogue intelligibility can be challenging at times, though, generally intelligible with good ADR spatial integration.

The Immersive Sound element is comprised of the Hans Zimmer score elevated throughout with numerous sound effects including the machine sounds of a harvester, explosions, subtle and not-so-subtle dialogue, steel sword blades in fight, swishing sounds of aircraft panned and aircraft rumble, hissing sounds of voices,, sand waves and much more. This is a wonderfully effective height layer creation, which leads the way in creating a powerful Immersive Sound experience.

This is among the finest holosonic® spherical surround soundtracks thus far. The sonics are haunting and brooding with excellent dynamics and fidelity. Reference quality throughout. (Gary Reber)