DUNE (2021) Part One – 4K UHD Review

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Dune (2021)
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Paul Atreides, a brilliant and gifted young man born into a great destiny beyond his understanding, 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.

Movie Review

Having never read Frank Herbert’s books and only having seen the David Lynch film back in 1984, I could only compare Denis Villeneuve’s retelling on the previous movie. When I saw it in theatres back in October 2021, I knew right then I had to read the book. I started it a few weeks ago and was hoping to finish the first half before watching DUNE again, but I’m still a little behind.

Even without finishing the book, I LOVED this version of DUNE. Everything from the visuals to the acting to the subtle story elements was fantastic. The accuracy of what I’ve read vs what I’ve watched is quite stunning. The casting is spot on. Rebecca Ferguson’s performance is so poignant and powerful. Oscar Isaac is as brilliant as always. Timothée Chalamet was a great choice for Paul Atreides.

This is a masterfully directed film. Villeneuve sets the perfect pacing and blends it with beautiful visuals that crescendo with the immense score and sound effects. DUNE is the sci-fi masterpiece we’ve been waiting for and it is a remake.

Video

DUNE’s Dolby Vision HDR might be the best I have ever seen. DUNE’s stunning visuals really get to shine here. You mean all that sand? No. I’m talking about the dark hallways and rooms that are filled with rich black and silver accents. I’m talking about the natural earth tones, the bright blue skies and stunning detail in every scene.

The intricate details on the gom jabbar needle being held to Paul’s neck as he’s being tested by the Reverend Mother stands out in my mind. Facial texture and details from the freckles to the creases near the eyes are crystal clear.

Audio

In back-to-back reviews feature the score of the amazing Hans Zimmer. In DUNE this magnificent score pushes the LFE hard as the rest of the score fills the sound space.

Not only is the score fantastic, but the Dolby ATMOS track is the richest, most immersive, and most dynamic track I’ve ever heard on disc. Yes, I said it. It’s that good. I don’t know if I’ve heard a track that simultaneously brings the boom and yet nuanced in each scene.

Even in subtle scenes, like the hunter seeker moment, you’re drawn into the moment from the way the sound stage plays out. The Ornithopters sound absolutely amazing, especially during the sandstorm sequence. Sandworm scenes… OH MY.  I’m not sure how much more I can say. This is by far the BEST audio track I HAVE EVER HEARD.

Extras

You’re going to have to get up and pop in the standard Blu-ray to get to the extras. The 4K UHD disc does not hold any. Here’s what’s on there and a brief breakdown of each.

  • Filmbooks
    • The Royal Houses: An overview of all the different groups of people involved in Dune Part One.
    • The Spice Melange: The full in film “documentary” watched by Paul about Arrakis.
  • Inside Dune
    • The Training Room: A look at Paul vs Gurney in the training room
    • The Spice Harvester:
    • The Saraukar Battle: Breaks down the big Duncan fight with action star Jason Mamoa.
  • Building The Ancient Future: Shows the scope and scale of the sets. It’s mind blowing how big they were.
  • My Desert, My Dune: Denis Villeneuve breaks down his vision for bringing the Frank Herbert book to the big screen.
  • Constructing The Ornithopters: A look at the ‘thopters (dragonfly like) ships used in the film.
  • Designing The Sandworm: They discuss designing the massive creatures and how they didn’t intend to make them scary but revered.
  • Beware The Baron: Breaking down the amazing looks of the Harkkonan Baron.
  • Wardrobe From Another World: A look at the futuristic rustic wardrobe in the film.
  • A New Soundscape: Hans Zimmer and the sound effects team break down the score and sounds of DUNE.

Conclusions and Final Thoughts

I would have loved to have sat through a few commentaries for DUNE. Maybe one from Villeneuve and one from Zimmer, but what we got was still decent in terms of bonus features. However, this is now THE reference disc. I’m stating it loud and clear. When you want to show off your setup, this is the FIRST disc you reach for. OK? Good. I was absolutely blown away by the audio and visuals get a full-on Keanu Reeves “WOAH”.

Review copy provided by Warner Bros. Home Entertainment

Good

  • The best looking 4K I've had the pleasure of seeing.
  • The Dolby ATMOS track is reference material.

Bad

  • No audio commentary
9

Amazing

Movie - 9
Video - 10
Audio - 10
Extras - 7
Since seeing Star Wars on TV as a child Shane has been hooked on movies. In 2001 he decided to start up his own webpage dedicated to his new love DVD. Now, over 20-years later he continues to FEED YOUR HUNGER with the latest Theatrical, Blu-ray and DVD reviews.

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