Dune [DVD] [1984]

David Lynch's stylish, flawed Dune was a controversial movie upon release for many fans of the Frank Herbert novel from which it was adapted. By the time of this DVD release, the controversy had pretty much faded away, allowing Dune to be viewed as more of a campy, cult-classic sci-fi film. The picture and sound quality of the DVD transfer are both superb. The 2.35:1 widescreen presentation consistently impresses via the rich colors of Lynch's bold visuals, the stunning cinematography of Freddie Francis, and Carlo Rambaldi's bizarre creature effects. The Dolby Digital Sound is quite rich and always aurally interesting. Supplemental materials don't provide much of interest. The production notes could just as easily and successfully have been included in the liner notes for the DVD; they only amount to about ten paragraphs of straightforward information. The cast and filmmaker bios are standard biographical filmographies. The theatrical trailer is interesting, but its sound and video quality isn't up to the presentation quality of the movie itself. The liner notes claim the DVD includes a "Film Highlights" feature, but that feature doesn't seem to be accessible from any menu. It's possible the notes are actually referring to the "Chapter List" menu, which allows direct scene access. It should be noted that some fans prefer the longer, edited-for-television version of this production, though David Lynch disowned it in classic Alan Smithee fashion; that version is not included on this DVD edition. Dune still makes for a highly entertaining DVD, if one isn't expecting anything more than the movie itself.
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Overview

Ratings & Reviews


Overall Customer Rating:
86% of customers would recommend this product to a friend (30 out of 35)

Synopsis


Dune
David Lynch wades through dark waters in his adaptation of Frank Herbert's cult science fiction novel. In condensing Herbert's rambling and complex book by eliminating characters and compacting events, Lynch succeeds in rendering the story incomprehensible to those unfamiliar with the novel and making the film look like a sketchy greatest hits collection of the book for Herbert fans. The story takes place in the year 10,191. The universe is governed through a system of feudal rule, presided over by Padishah Emperor Shaddam IV (José Ferrer), who appears to take his marching orders from something that resembles a talking vagina. In the kingdom are two rival houses -- the House of Atreides and the House of Harkonnen. Each house is trying to gain dominion over the universe, but that dominion can only be gained by the house that controls the Spice, a special substance that permits the folding of time. The Spice is only available on the desert world of Arrakis, or Dune. Shaddam, tired of the feuding between the two houses, permits the Atreides to take over the Spice production on Dune, while secretly working with the Harkonnens to launch a sneak attack on the Atreides and destroy them. The leader of the Atreides is Duke Leto (Jürgen Prochnow), who rules with the help of his concubine Jessica (Francesca Annis) and son Paul (Kyle MacLachlan). The rival Harkonnens are headed by the pus-oozing degenerate Baron Vladimir Harkonnen (Kenneth McMillan, in a thoroughly through-the-roof performance) and his two unsavory nephews, Rabban (Paul L. Smith) and Feyd (Sting). When his father is murdered by the Harkonnens, Paul escapes to Dune, where he is greeted by the Fremen (the desert dwellers on Dune who prepare the Spice) as the messiah foretold in Fremen legend. Paul assumes the mantle of messiah and leads the Fremen in a revolt that topples the balance of power in the universe. ~ Paul Brenner, Rovi

Cast & Crew


  • Francesca Annis
    Francesca Annis - Lady Jessica
  • Image coming soon
    Leo Cimino - The Baron's Doctor
  • Brad Dourif
    Brad Dourif - Piter De Vries
  • Linda Hunt
    Linda Hunt - Shadout Mapes
  • Freddie Jones
    Freddie Jones - Thufir Hawat



Customer rating

4.2
86%
would recommend to a friend
  • Rating: 5 out of 5 stars

    Best version of Dune on DVD

    Posted
    nonanon

    If you like sci-fi at all, liked the Dune books, or just like lush cinematography, you might love this version of Dune. The extended version is my preference as most of the more objectionable material is gone and it's extensive narration makes it easier to follow for anyone who hasn't read the first Dune book. Even so, it's not as long as I'd hoped for, I still think there is a lot more footage that could be restored if the parties involved could agree to do so. I doubt this will ever happen, though, unless in the future their estates can work it out. Be warned, the Lynch vision of Dune is very different from the books in some ways. The change I most disliked was the 'weirding modules'. While visually appealing and gadgety, it defeated one of the author Frank Herbert's main concepts, that the unbelievably harsh living conditions on Arrakis had made the inhabitants into fearsome fighters, men, women and children alike. In the movie here, they instead use a sonic device to defeat their enemies, which is a bit of a cheat since anyone who got one from a dead enemy should have been able to reverse engineer it and devise a counter-strategy or make their own similar devices. The fact that the device makes them undefeatable is fun (if far-fetched) but not as much as pure hand-to-hand supremacy would have been. Still, the film is one of the most beautiful I've ever seen, the sets, costumes and backgrounds are all riveting and gorgeous. The soundtrack by Toto is similarly one of the best I've enjoyed, really capturing the mood of the film and quite majestic at points. It's best to consider the film and the book as two separate creations with many similarities, and enjoy them as such. One of my favorite books, one of my top 10 of all time movies, despite their respective flaws. The bonus features on the disc and the extended scenes are excellent and I only wish there was more. I'm not a David Lynch fan so I was surprised I liked this movie so much.

    I would recommend this to a friend

  • Rating: 5 out of 5 stars

    Stunning

    Posted
    fishlux

    This is the original cinematic version of the film. It has all the hallmarks of a David Lynch film: Great visuals, Characters thoughts, and a confusing plot. The last is not strictly his doing. The novel is only slightly less confusing. I've spoken with dozens of people who read the book before seeing this film. Without exception they love this movie. I've spoken with many who saw the film without reading the novel. They either didn't understand it (more common), or hated it. This is a complicated story set across four worlds, with competing interests (financial, political, religious, and romantic) fighting over one resource. Each interest has its own stake and scheme (and usually a secondary scheme) involved. It's no wonder people find it confusing. But, reduced to it's core, this is a messianic story of a young man coming home to a world he's never seen. If you like the book, this is the version of the film to own.

    I would recommend this to a friend

  • Rating: 2 out of 5 stars

    looks great, less filling

    Posted
    prlwctd

    David Lynch's adaptation of Frank Herbert's mammoth novel was touted as the next Star Wars (I should know, I read plenty of magazine articles in 1984 calling it such). Sadly, the best parts of this film are the trailer and the music by Toto (they must be big Wizard of Oz fans). Herbert's story about Paul Atreides (Kyle MacLachlan) encountering plenty of enemies as he fulfills his destiny as the savior of the title world, becomes buried in the mind-blowing SFX and art direction; thus making it no better than the other Star Wars knockoffs. I doubt anyone could have made a coherent film narrative out of a epic like Herbert's novel into just 2 1/2 hours (although longer versions are now on DVD). Imagine if Peter Jackson had crammed all 3 books of The Lord of the Rings into that length.

    No, I would not recommend this to a friend

  • Rating: 5 out of 5 stars

    Surreal Experience

    Posted
    roscoe1972

    My first re-viewing in about ten years and boy was it an experience watching in HD. The shots of the Baron were crystal clear showing him in all his grotesque glory. This is the first time watching with surround sound, and it makes you feel enveloped in the atmosphere of the flick. Only real downside is that some of the dated special effects don't transfer well to HD. If you like weird, and boy is this one strange trip, I highly recommend Dune on HD DVD.

    I would recommend this to a friend

  • Rating: 4 out of 5 stars

    Entertaining to have on in the background

    Posted
    klaukwork
    • Verified PurchaserVerified Purchase
    • My Best Buy® MemberMember

    I bought this to play and have on in the background. I've seen it a lot over the years since it's release, and I will watch my favorite parts when my attention is not on something else. Loving the novel (I read it about once a year), it is nice to see some of it come to life on the screen. The music score is good, and reminds me of Queen's Flash Gordon soundtrack, which was fun. If you have never seen, I recommend it.

    I would recommend this to a friend

  • Rating: 3 out of 5 stars

    Product was as expected

    Posted
    Jstew726
    • My Best Buy® Elite MemberElite Member

    The Blu-ray was fine and packaged well. Unfortunately I thought it was the remake version of the movie since it was on Blu-ray.... so I was sort of disappointed when I started watching and realized it was the original version of the movie.... otherwise everything with it was perfectly fine!! MAY YOUR KNIFE CHIP AND SHATTER! But definitely watch this cult classic!!!!

    I would recommend this to a friend

  • Rating: 5 out of 5 stars

    Classic sci fi

    Posted
    Tracy1s
    • My Best Buy® Elite Plus MemberElite Plus Member

    Very detailed movie with a lot going on. If you have read Frank Herbert's Dune prior to watching the film, the film is easier to follow. However, reading the book is not required to enjoy the film. I saw the film first and then read the book. Movie gets better with multiple viewings as you can notice things you originally missed.

    I would recommend this to a friend

  • Rating: 5 out of 5 stars

    This is my favorite movie ever

    Posted
    hddvdforever

    I love all the Dune movies. With this Dune being made in 1985, you think it would be hard to bring it up to 1080p resolution but man does it look great! The faces and backgrounds in this movie are simply amazingly clear and the sound is just as great. They really brought the best picture out of this for the HD.

    I would recommend this to a friend




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