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Denis Villeneuve
Timothée Chalamet, Rebecca Ferguson, Zendaya
Writing Credits:
Denis Villeneuve, Eric Roth, Jon Spaihts

Duke Leto Atreides accepts stewardship of the dangerous desert planet Arrakis, the only source of the most valuable substance in the universe, "the spice", a drug which extends human life and provides accelerated levels of thought.

Box Office:
$165 million.
Opening Weekend:
$41,011,174 on 4125 Screens.
Domestic Gross:

Rated PG-13.

Aspect Ratio: 2.39:1
English Dolby Atmos
English Dolby 5.1
English Descriptive Audio (US)
French Dolby 5.1
Spanish Dolby 5.1
Portuguese Dolby 5.1
Czech Dolby 5.1
Hindi Dolby 5.1
Hungarian Dolby 5.1
Polish Dolby 5.1
Supplements Subtitles:

Runtime: 155 min.
Price: $34.98
Release Date: 1/11/2022

• “The Royal Houses” Featurette
• Five “Filmbooks” Featurette
• Three “Inside Dune” Featurettes
• “Building the Ancient Future” Featurette
• “My Desert, My Dune” Featurette
• “Constructing the Ornithopters” Featurette
• “Designing the Sandworm” Featurette
• “Beware of the Baron” Featurette
• “Wardrobe from Another World” Featurette
• “A New Soundscape” Featurette


-LG OLED65C6P 65-Inch 4K Ultra HD Smart OLED TV
-Marantz SR7010 9.2 Channel Full 4K Ultra HD AV Surround Receiver
-Sony UBP-X800 4K Ultra HD Blu-ray Player
-Chane A2.4 Speakers
-SVS SB12-NSD 12" 400-watt Sealed Box Subwoofer


Dune [Blu-Ray] (2021)

Reviewed by Colin Jacobson (January 6, 2022)

37 years after David Lynch’s version flopped, Frank Herbert’s epic novel Dune once again received a big-screen adaptation. This time Denis Villeneuve – last seen as the director of 2017’s Blade Runner 2049 - gave the property a go.

Set in the year 10192, it concentrates on two competing clans: the House Atreides and the House Harkonnen. The movie follows their conflicts, especially as they relate to the planet Arrakis, a sandy world from which a vital spice comes.

We spend a lot of time with Paul Atreides (Timothée Chalamet), the son of Duke Leto Atreides (Oscar Isaac). Paul seems to have some unusual powers and it looks like he might have a special purpose on Arrakis. We view the conflicts and his place as a potential savior for that arid world.

That synopsis comes almost literally word for word from my review of the 1984 Dune, partly because I’m lazy, but mainly because both tell the same essential story. However, notable differences occur, so one shouldn’t expect the 2021 version to offer an obvious rehash of the prior flick.

Which I regard as a positive, for the Lynch Dune felt nearly incoherent. I saw the movie a handful of times over the years, but the damned thing never made a lick of sense, even though Lynch went out of his way to spoonfeed the material via clunky voiceover.

Some of this clearly stemmed from the source, as Herbert’s text came with enough complexity to make it difficult to adapt into a film. Indeed, many long regarded Dune as borderline unadaptable – and the crumminess of the Lynch edition reinforced that notion.

Villeneuve proves this incorrect – or at least less correct, as the dense nature of Herbert’s source remains a challenge. Though I never read his work, the fact that I saw the 1984 movie multiple times means I went in with some familiarity, and even then, I got a bit lost in the proverbial sauce occasionally during the 2021 flick.

That said, this never became a substantial problem, and it occurred mainly during the movie’s exposition-heavy first half. Dune needs to relay an awful lot of information, and even with some snarls along the way, the film does so reasonably well.

Unfortunately, all this dense plot material means that the film can move awfully slowly at times – again, especially during the first half. In addition, even with 155 minutes at its disposal, a lot of roles don’t get suitable development, so they can feel sketchy and unclear.

Nonetheless, the 2021 Dune remains reasonably focused on its participants and story elements, and it benefits from stunning visual design. I often criticize modern visual effects, as I find CG tends to… well, to “look CG”.

Dune relies on nearly-constant use of this kind of work to create its environments and ships and other elements. I find the CG in movies such as this to usually look more like concept art than actual organic circumstances.

That never becomes an issue with Dune, as the visuals create a wholly believable sense of place. Even at their most extreme in terms of an “alien landscape”, the effects seem excellent from start to finish. If any flaws emerge, I can’t discern them.

I almost hate to praise the visuals so much because they lend toward an impression that Dune offers style over substance, which I don’t believe – well, I don’t wholly believe. I do think Villeneuve concerns himself more over the movie’s look than he does story/characters at times, but this doesn’t become so unbalanced that it damages the film.

Again, I think the dense nature of the material becomes the biggest obstacle, as these factors can render Dune a bit tough to follow and to embrace. We also don’t find a ton of rousing moments to give the audience a lot of excitement, so the film can seem like tough sledding at times.

Nonetheless, I mostly like Dune. It never quite grabs me and involves me in the story/characters, but even with the flaws, it moves at a decent place and its sets up a visual world so fascinating that it carries a lot of the load.

What Dune lacks is an actual ending. At the start, the title card refers to the movie as “Part One”, and it means that literally, as the finale seems completely anti-climactic. While not cliffhanger territory, Dune heads to the end credits without anything that vaguely resembles dramatic resolution.

This seems like a mistake to me, as I think Dune could have wrap up with a finale that both ties up this chapter and also points to the future. It can be done!

At least I find myself reasonably curious to see Dune Part 2 when it hits screens in 2023, and that’s a huge step up from my view of the 1984 version, as that one made me want to gouge out my eyes with soup spoons. While a somewhat erratic movie, the 2021 Dune does more right than wrong and becomes a fairly compelling tale.

Footnote: I can’t be the only one who views Stellan Skarsgård’s take on Baron Harkonnen as a clear homage to Colonel Kurtz from Apocalypse Now, can I?

The Disc Grades: Picture B+/ Audio A/ Bonus C+

Dune appears in an aspect ratio of approximately 2.39:1 on this Blu-ray Disc. I expected a brand-new big-budget flick like this to look positive, and Dune did.

Overall definition worked well. Some effects shots could be a little soft, but those instances were infrequent and minor.

The vast majority of the flick offered tight, accurate delineation. I saw no shimmering or jagged edges, and the image lacked edge haloes or print flaws.

Like many modern flicks, Dune opted for a fairly amber palette, with more than a little teal tossed in at times.I would’ve liked something that deviated from the norm, but within its parameters, the hues seemed positive – and given the sandy setting for so much of the movie, the amber made more sense than usual.

Blacks were deep and dark, while shadows showed nice clarity and smoothness. Across the board, the movie looked quite good.

Downconverted to Dolby TrueHD 7.1, I also felt consistently pleased with the appealing Dolby Atmos soundtrack of Dune. Though not packed with action, the soundscape used all the channels on a frequent basis. This led us to an exciting sonic experience much of the time.

The various speakers provided lots of information that filled out the movie and blended together in a seamless manner. This formed a dynamic soundscape with a lot to offer, even without a lot of overt “action”. The material created an engrossing sense of place that really excelled.

In addition, when the story did move toward more traditional sci-fi/action sequences, these prospered. The speakers blasted the information at us in a dynamic manner.

In addition, audio quality seemed strong. Music was bold and full, and even with a lot of looped lines, dialogue remained crisp and natural.

Effects appeared lively and vivid, with clear highs and deep lows. I felt pleased with this impressive soundtrack.

We find a slew of video programs here, and The Royal Houses spans eight minutes, 12 seconds. It provides comments from producer Mary Parent, director Denis Villeneuve, and actors Oscar Isaac, Timothée Chalamet, Jason Momoa, Stephen McKinley Henderson, Chang Chen, Josh Brolin, Stellan Skarsgård, David Dastmalchian, Javier Bardem, Rebeccca Ferguson, Sharon Duncan-Brewster, Zendaya, and Dave Bautista.

“Houses” looks at various Dune characters. It’s a decent primer but it doesn’t really tell us anything we don’t find in the movie.

Under Filmbooks, we get five segments that occupy a total of 10 minutes, 27 seconds. These offer basics about the House Atreides, House Harknonnen, the Bene Geserit, the Fremen, and the Spice Melange. These work as ways to help less-Dune knowledgeable viewers grasp some of the details.

Inside Dune splits into three sections. These take up a sum of 12 minutes, 24 seconds and involve Villeneuve, Brolin, Chalamet, Isaac, Parent, Momoa, fight coordinator Roger Yuan, concept artist George Hull, editor Joe Walker, visual effects supervisor Paul Lambert, and property master Doug Harlocker.

In these clips, we learn about fight choreography, various design choices, and some production notes. Though somewhat superficial, these add a mix of decent insights.

Building the Ancient Future runs six minutes, 26 seconds and offers info from Villeneuve, Bautista, Chalamet, Momoa, Duncan-Brewster, set decorator Richard Roberts and production designer Patrice Vermette.

“Future” looks at set design. It delivers some good notes, even if it leans toward self-praise at times.

Next comes My Desert, My Dune, a four-minute, 50-second reel with Villeneuve, Momoa, Vermette, Lambert, director of photography Greig Fraser, visual effects producer Brice Parker, and concept artists George Hull and Deak Ferrand.

“Desert” examines the design of Arrakis and the use of various locations. It becomes another fairly engaging piece.

Constructing the Ornithopters lasts five minutes, 38 seconds and gives us comments from Villeneuve, Ferguson, Vermette, Hull, Duncan-Brewster, Chalamet, and Lambert.

As expected, it looks at the design and construction of the movie’s airborne transportation. Like its siblings, the program mixes useful notes with happy talk.

After this we get Designing the Sandworm, a five-minute, 40-second piece that involves Villeneuve, Parent, Duncan-Brewster, Parker, and supervising sound editors Mark Mangini and Theo Green.

We get notes about how the movie achieved the iconic sandworms. It turns into a fairly solid overview.

Beware the Baron spans five minutes and delivers remarks from Villeneuve, Skarsgård, Bautista, Dastmalchian, executive producer Tanya Lapointe, makeup department head Donald Mowat, prosthetic designer Love Larson, and prosthetic makeup designer Eva Von Bahr.

This one looks at Skarsgård’s performance and the makeup effects required to transform him into the character. Expect another decent summary.

With Wardrobe from Another World, we find a two-minute, 52-second segment that features Villeneuve, Lapointe, Ferguson, Dastmalchia, Zendaya, Duncan-Brewster, Chalamet, and costume designers Jacqueline West and Robert Morgan.

Unsurprisingly, “Wardrobe: gives us a look at the movie’s costumes. It seems too short to tell us much of value.

Finally, A New Soundscape fills 11 minutes, 12 seconds with statements from Villeneuve, Mangini, Green, Walker, Lapointe, composer Hans Zimmer, and re-recording mixer Ron Bartlett.

The featurette lets us know about the movie’s score and audio. It provides some good insights.

37 years after David Lynch created a version of the Frank Herbert story that stunk up the screen, Dune returns with a vastly superior adaptation. Though not without issues, the 2021 Dune becomes a largely compelling take on the narrative. The Blu-ray boasts strong picture and audio as well as a long but semi-lackluster set of supplements. Dune works pretty well and makes me look forward to Part Two.

Viewer Film Ratings: 2.75 Stars Number of Votes: 4
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Review Archive:  # | A-C | D-F | G-I | J-L | M-O | P-R | S-U | V-Z | Viewer Ratings | Main