Sep 032021

Dune wasn’t a movie that I found incredibly engaging or even entertaining from a story or character standpoint, however I can at least appreciate some of the more technical aspects with respectable effects work for its time, and some even stand out today.




Genre(s): Science Fiction, Action, Adventure
Arrow Video | PG13 – 137 min. – $59.95 | August 31, 2021

Date Published: 09/03/2021 | Author: The Movieman

Directed by: David Lynch
Writer(s): Frank Herbert (novel); David Lynch (screenplay)
Cast: Francesca Annis, Brad Dourif, Jose Ferrer, Linda Hunt, Freddie Jones, Kyle MacLachlan, Virginia Madsen, Patrick Stewart, Sting, Dean Stockwell, Max von Sydow, Alicia Witt, Sean Young

Features: Audio Commentaries, Featurettes, Deleted Scenes, Gallery
Slip Cover: Yes (slip case)
Digital Copy: No
Formats Included: 4K, Blu-ray (bonus content)
Number of Discs: 2

Audio: English (DTS-HD MA 2.0), English (DTS-HD MA 5.1)
Video: 2160p/Widescreen 2.35
Dynamic Range: HDR10
Subtitles: English
Codecs: HEVC / H.265
Region(s): A, B, C

Arrow Video provided me with a free copy of the Blu-ray I reviewed in this Blog Post.
The opinions I share are my own.


Plot Synopsis: The year is 10,191, and four planets are embroiled in a secret plot to wrest control of the Spice Melange, the most precious substance in the universe and found only on the planet Arrakis. A feud between two powerful dynasties, House Atreides and House Harkonnen, is manipulated from afar by ruling powers that conspire to keep their grip on the spice. As the two families clash on Arrakis, Duke Atreides’ son Paul (KYLE MACLACHLAN) finds himself at the center of an intergalactic war and an ancient prophecy that could change the galaxy forever.

Quick Hit Review: I will admit up front that while of course I’ve heard of Dune, this 1984 sci-fi cult classic is one that I never got around to watching (despite owning the extended edition and mini-series). Now with Arrow Video releasing this on 4K now was a good time as any. Although this is a movie that for its time, and in fairness even today, has some dazzling special effects (practical especially) and some nice performances, notably Kyle MacLachlan in his feature film debut, and incredible direction from David Lynch.

All of that said, the technical side of things was impressive. The story on the other hand I never quite found terribly engaging. It’s not that it was confusing, although it does seem to try to be with some connection between the “spice” and monster worms, and Paul’s lucid dreams, it is fairly straight-forward morphing into a revenge film for the last third. The finale was also a bit of a letdown with a strange mano-e-mano fight between MacLachlan and Sting even though Paul’s ire was directed towards the Baron, whom he did get his revenge the scene prior, there’s no palpable animosity between Paul and Sting’s Fehd’s character, not that Fehd didn’t deserve a painful death.

There is plenty to admire from Dune, even as a regrettable production from David Lynch’s standpoint. The technical side is mostly well done (a couple instances of CGI was wonky) and I guess it never was really boring, but as a whole never really connected with me on any level. As a one-time viewing it’s worth it.


This two-disc release comes housed in a black HD keep case which side-slides into a study slip case. The inner sleeve is reversible revealing the film’s original artwork. Inside the case are 6 double-sided, postcard-sized lobby card reproductions, a large fold-out double-sided poster and a 60-page perfect bound book featuring new and old essays.

Disc One (4K UHD):
Audio Commentaries:

  • Film Historian Paul M. Sammon
  • Mike White (The Projection Booth podcast)

Both of these tracks, new to this release, give a historical look at the project, providing background on the production including David Lynch’s thoughts on it. Would’ve been nice to have some directly involved like MacLachlan, Madsen or Dourif but nowadays it is nice to get any commentary tracks.

Impressions of Dune (39:39) — Featurette from 2003, includes interviews with Actor Kyle MacLachlan, Producer Raffaella de Laurentiis, Cinematographer Freddie Francis, Editor Antony Gibbs and other members of the crew.

The following are all from 2005:

  • Designing Dune (8:55) — Featurette looking back on the work of production designer Anthony Masters and includes interviews with various crew members.
  • Dune FX (6:01) explores the special effects and features interviews with members of the crew.
  • Dune Models and Miniatures (7:03) —Focuses on the model effects and includes more interviews with the producer and crew.
  • Dune Costumes (4:50) — Takes a look at the costume designs including costume designer Bob Ringwood.

Deleted Scenes with Introduction by Raffaella de Laurentiis (2:52/14:41) — Some scenes that were trimmed or taken out.

Destination Dune (6:25) is a featurette from 1983 and originally produced to promote the film at conventions and publicity events in the lead up to its release.

Last up on this disc are Trailers & TV Spots including 2 Theatrical Trailers, US TV Spots and the VHS Promo; and Image Galleries (Production Stills, Behind the Scenes, Cast Portraits, Production Design and Poster & Video Art).

Disc Two (BLU-RAY):
Beyond Imagination: Merchandising Dune (22:37) — New featurette exploring the merchandise created to promote the film and features toy collector/producer Brian Stillman from The Toys That Made Us.

Prophecy Fulfilled: Scoring Dune (24:52) — Looks at the film’s score and features musicians and a film music historian.

Additional Interviews:

  • Giannetto de Rossi (17:20) – Make-Up Effects
  • Golda Offenheim (26:16) – Production Coordinator
  • Paul Smith (8:50) – “Rabban”
  • Christopher Tucker (3:02) – Special Make-Up Effects



VIDEO – 4¾/5

Arrow Video releases Dune onto 4K Ultra HD and is presented with a 2.35 widescreen aspect ratio and 2160p high-definition transfer (scanned in 4K from the original 35mm camera negative). This is another excellent picture from Arrow and it’s growing 4K catalog of releases. The detail on this now 35+ year old film is sharp and nicely defined, with the original film grain still maintained and gives this what I assume as close to the theatrical experience, and maybe even better. Colors are well balanced with the desert scenes geared more to the natural elements but there are some splashes of vibrancy for most of the interior sequences while black levels also have a good balance as well.

AUDIO – 4¼/5

The disc includes two options: DTS-HD Master Audio Stereo and 5.1 tracks, the former is the default option and original to the film. I toggled back and forth between the two and while the 5.1 one is a bit more dynamic, it does have a bit of an artificial tone to it so I did watch the majority with the 2.0 track. Both tracks however do output clear dialogue and on the 2.0 one, some depth for the more action centric scenes.



Dune wasn’t a movie that I found incredibly engaging or even entertaining from a story or character standpoint, however I can at least appreciate some of the more technical aspects with respectable effects work for its time, and some even stand out today. This 4K Ultra HD release from Arrow Video does have excellent video and good audio transfers to go along with a fine selection of bonus features.


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